Updated: January 29, 2019
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10 Interesting Japanese Desserts You Should Try When In Japan

Japanese sweets are always one of the most popular genres of food among people visiting from outside of Japan. This article is a guide to the many kinds of Japanese desserts! Enjoy this list of Japanese desserts.

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Kakigori (かき氷)

Kakigori is a Japanese shaved ice. Kakigori is very common during the summer in Japan. It is usually flavored with colorful syrup (popular ones; strawberry, lemon, melon, condensed milk).
Kakigori is inevitably sold at food stalls in festivals in its most simple form, but you can have more luxurious types that have many toppings at a specialized kakigori cafe. When summer comes, many stores start to serve kakigori. This traditional Japanese dessert is delicious and refreshing.

Anmitsu (あんみつ)

Anmitsu is a very popular Japanese dessert that usually contains canned fruits such as oranges, pineapples and cherries, cubes of agar jelly, anko, a scoop of ice cream, and sometimes shiratama (small mochi balls). It is served with kuromitsu usually that you pour on it (sweet black syrup).
This is a refreshing dessert, and there are so many unique Anmitsu desserts offered in different cafes and restaurants!

Harajuku Crepes (クレープ)

Crepes are really popular in Harajuku, well known as the city for young people. There are many crepe shops in Harajuku from food stalls to specialized restaurants. The Harajuku crepe is characterized by being rolled and jam-packed with all kinds of tasty ingredients. This is a must-try cute Japanese dessert.

Manju (まんじゅう)

Manju is originally a Chinese steamed cake. They are filled with anko (red bean paste) and some are uniquely shaped. Manju is often given to friends or family members as a souvenir. This is probably the most popular Japanese dessert.

Anko (あんこ)

Anko (bean paste), which is akin to a sweet bean jam, is the Japanese traditional taste you can add to so many of your favourite desserts. It's been eaten in Japan in Japan for centuries. It's a make or break kind of dessert, some people love it, some people hate it.

Dango (団子)

Dango is a small dumpling made from mochi powder. There are varieties of dangos, such as mitarashi dango, a sweet soy sauce dango, dango with kinako powder, dangpo with anko, and so on. Some dangos are served on a skewer. You can easily get one at food stalls or any grocery stores. They go perfectly well with Japanese green tea.

Oshiruko (おしるこ)

Oshiruko is a Japanese traditional dessert which is made of anko, sweet red bean soup, and mochi. It is considered to be a comfort food in Japan, especially during cold winter days. The custom of eating oshiruko is especially strong at the beginning of January, because people celebrate the new year by eating lots of mochi.

Zenzai (ぜんざい)

Zenzai seems very similar to oshiruko, but somehow we Japanese define them differently. The definition differs by regions but speaking generally, sweet red bean soup is more likely to be called oshiruko and the simple combi of anko and mochi is regarded as zenzai. To make a clear distinction, oshiruko is served hot on the other hand zenzai is served both hot and cold.

Yakiimo (焼き芋)

"Yakiimo" is a common winter snack loved by everyone in Japan. They are sold by mobile sales trucks with interesting announcements. Why not try it next time you hear the sales truck's loud announcement?

Wagashi (和菓子)

Wagashi can even be called small art you can eat. Only the well-trained professionals are able to make these beautiful and delicate wagashi. The main ingredients of wagashi are mochi and anko, which are made into many different colours. There are so many beautiful wagashi, it's almost overwhelming to choose one out of the many beautiful choices.
Quite sure I'm a Ramen freak. Almost up to 200ramens in 2017. Not only ramens but also love to eat around and drink around.

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