Come spring and you can already feel the festive air! As the days get warmer, you are likely to come across various matsuri (festivals) – some large and famous, some local; but no matter what kind of matsuri you come across, the energy and buzz in the air is uplifting.
And when there is a matsuri, there is food!! Most Japanese festivals take place close to temples or shrines, but despite this, you will see yatai (food stalls) lining the clamorous, adjacent streets.
Want to know what all you can enjoy at festivals? We have created a sweet and savory edition for “Things to Eat at a Matsuri.”
Let’s check out some of the unique sweet treats you can savor at festivals in Japan!
1. Karumeyaki (かるめ焼き）
This one was a surprise for me. Apparently also available in Taiwan, this is basically like a honeycomb toffee. Made using baking soda, water and sugar, you can see the magic (or science) unfold.
2. Choco Banana (チョコバナナ）
As the name suggests, there are no hidden elements with this. You have a banana doused in chocolate sauce and topped with colorful sprinkles.
Fish shaped pancakes traditionally stuffed with sweet red bean paste. A seemingly eternal favorite, these days you can even get chocolate, custard, and matcha (green tea)paste fillings.
4. Baby Castella（ベビーカステラ）
A simple sponge cake made using sugar, flour, eggs and starch syrup.
Originally brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants (hence the name), the ones sold at festivals are little round balls filled with custard.
5. Ichigo, Mikan, Ringo Ame (リンゴ、イチゴ, みかんアメ）
Whole apples, strawberries or citrus are covered in sugar syrup and served on a stick.
The candied fruit is crispy on the outside and juicy and soft on the inside.
A classic Japanese summer tradition is to eat kakigori, shaved ice with syrup! Since spring is still a bit cold in Japan, you will find kakigori carts mostly in summer. These are really refreshing!
Cotton candy or fairy floss packed in bags with prints of popular manga, anime and cartoon characters.
This is probably available in most countries but we thought it should be added in case you are traveling with children.
The best thing is most of these cost about 300-600 yen! So you can walk about and pick and choose various things. Make sure to check our updates on Facebook, Instagram, and website for more on festivals and events.