Sakura treats for spring

Sweeten your hanami picnic with these gorgeous goodies

Sakura treats for spring

With cherry blossom season just around the corner, Tokyo businesses are already out in force, hawking countless kinds of pink sakura wares to cheerful city-dwellers. Sakura desserts are always particularly popular, with pastry shops, bakeries and confectioners across town conjuring up new creations every year, ensuring that Tokyo's 'limited edition'-loving sweets fiends keep coming back with their coin. Here are some of 2015's top choices so far...

Glaciel Spring Specials

Until mid-March | Glaciel
Known for their fancy glazed mousse cakes, the folks at Omotesando's Glaciel have come up with a range of new creations for hanami season. Headlining the selection is, of course, the Sakura (¥3,780), a decadent mix of mascarpone sorbet, vanilla ice cream, strawberries and salted cherry blossom petals, while green tea cakes and other specials are also available.
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Lindt White Chocolate Sakura Ice Drinks

Feb 20-Apr 14 | Lindt Chocolate Café Ginza (and all other branches)
Swiss luxury chocolatier Lindt kicks off the spring season early, mixing white chocolate with cherry syrup and purée to create the fresh-tasting but rather decadent White Chocolate Sakura Ice drink, available from February 20. They're also offering sakura-themed macarons for the blossom-viewing season – sounds like the perfect snack combo for a hanami party.
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White Day Sweets Collection

Mar 1-14 | Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel (Pastry Shop)
The pastry chefs at Shibuya's Cerulean Tower have also come up with a little something special for spring and the cherry blossom season: the Japanese-style 'Sakura Happy Cake' (¥1,600) is made with green tea powder, flower petals and sweet beans, while the limited-edition Sweet Box (¥4,000) combines macarons and chocolates in a heart-shaped container.
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Sakura Pound Cakes

Mar 1-Apr 5 | Hotel East 21Tokyo (Bakery Shop)
Not to be outdone by its more centrally located competitors, Hotel East21 in Koto-ku is joining the sakura sweets fray with these cherry blossom-coloured pound cakes, flavoured with raspberry liqueur, pickled sakura leaves and sakuramochi, plus ample amounts of whipped cream. This one also looks like it's easy to bring to and eat at a hanami party without making a huge mess.
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Sakura Cream Roll

Mar 4-31 | Patisserie Kihachi (all branches)
Always one to count on when it comes to seasonal sweets, Patisserie Kihachi's sakura dessert contribution is a decadent cake roll, which contains real cherry tree leaves along with strawberries, red bean paste, cheese mousse and gyuhi rice cake, all lined up to resemble sakuramochi – albeit a rather decadent version of the traditional treat.
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Sakura Sweets and Bread

Mar 1-mid-April | Fiorentina Pastry Boutique
Some of the most exclusive edible cherry blossoms can be found at the Grand Hyatt's pastry shop, which sells creations like the Sakura Pannacotta (¥810), a combo of two jellies topped with a salted flower, and the Sakura Guimauve (¥702), a flavoured form of marshmallows. If you prefer a little carb with your petals, try the Sakura Anpan (¥302), a sweet roll filled with anko bean paste.
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Solamachi Sakura Sweets

Feb 27-Apr 12 | Tokyo Solamachi
Bringing a little cherry blossom magic to the sterile surroundings of the Skytree, Solamachi's sakura sweets include goodies like pastry shop Pompadour's Sakura Mushipan (¥162), a steamed bun filled with koshi-an bean paste and cherry leaves, confectioner Funabashiya's hanami-style anmitsu (fruit jelly with sakuramochi, ¥561), and pretty Sakura Leaf cookies (¥238, pictured) from the Esprit de Paris bakery. As for liquid delights, visitors can look forward to choices like sakura amazake and cherry blossom wine.
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Sakura Sweets at Palace Hotel

Mar 10-Apr 20 | Palace Hotel Tokyo (Sweets & Deli)
The Palace Hotel's pastry shop celebrates the advent of spring with a wide selection of cherry blossom-themed sweets. One of the shop's best selling cakes, the Mont Blanc, will be covered with cherry blossom-flavoured whipped cream (¥648), while the sakura-flavoured tiramisu (¥594) is another highlight.
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Fauchon Hanami Box

Mar 11-Apr 12 | Takashimaya (Shinjuku, Nihonbashi & Yokohama)
Available only at Takashimaya department stores in Shinjuku, Nihonbashi and Yokohama, éclair champion Fauchon's luxurious Hanami Box is available in three varieties – one with bread and other savoury appetisers, one with sakura-flavoured pastries and one with miniature versions of the brand's signature éclairs. The words 'Fauchon' and 'limited-edition' usually gets Tokyo sweet fiends' juices flowing, so you might want to consider an advance booking.
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Hanami Sweets at The Strings

Mar 1-Apr 30 | The Strings Hotel Tokyo (The Dining Room) 
If you're too lazy to put together a homemade sakura picnic set for the hanami season, there's always this option: Shinagawa's Strings hotel is offering a special afternoon tea plate arranged to satisfy even the most demanding of cherry blossom enthusiasts. ¥4,000 (plus tax and service) gets you an assortment of cakes, pastries and savoury appetisers, all themed on Japan's symbol of spring.
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Sakura and Strawberry Afternoon Tea

Mar 16-May 10 | Conrad Tokyo (TwentyEight)
Pastry chef Momoko Machida's sakura-themed afternoon tea set is making a comeback at the Conrad. Expect treats like cherry blossom scones, sakura pannacotta and pink financiers (no, not that kind), plus added value in the form of strawberry delicacies. The views over the nearby Hamarikyu Garden and its cherry trees add to the attraction.
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Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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