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              Traditional Japanese sweets, or wagashi, are a part of Japan's unique food

              culture. They come in many varieties, also offering diversity of flavors.

              Because of their beautiful colors and the Japanese feeling they provide,

              they are also booming among international tourists in Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

      A Sense of the Seasons     Visual Beauty     Low Calorie
 

 

  Wagashi are frequently served

  during traditional seasonal events

  in Japan. This allows one to feel

  the seasons when eating the

  sweets.

 

 With wagashi that are cute or that

 are almost like works of art, it is a

 pleasure just to visually appreciate

 at these sweets.

 

 As wagashi use relatively less

 fat that Western confectionery,

 they are low in calories and

 very healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ties between wagashi and traditional events in the Japanese calendar have been strong since times of old.

This custom still remains in many events today. Today, we would like to introduce some representative events

together with the wagashi that are served on these occasions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         New Year's Day The Doll's Festival

         January 1st. The New Year arrives and everyone

         prays for a year of health and happiness.

March 3rd. Dolls are put on display in a wish that

girls will grow up healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

        The Equinoxes The Boys' Festival

         The equinoxes in the spring and fall. Japanese

         visit the graves of their ancestors or hold memorial

         services.

May 5th. Carp streamers and dolls are displayed

in a wish that boys will grow up healthy and

succeed in life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        The Mid-autumn Festival Shichi-Go-San (7-5-3) Celebration

         The 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar

         calendar. While watching the full moon, offerings

         are made of tsukimi dumplings or chestnuts and

         tubers that were harvested that year.      

November 15th. Boys aged three and five,

together with girls aged three and seven, visit

Shinto shrineson November 15th to celebrate

their growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                          Manju Buns

 

                             Manju buns are the outstanding example of steamed wagashi.

                             A part of Japanese life since times of old, they appear in legends

                             and rakugo comic storytelling and are used as offerings on

                             Buddhist family altars. Easy to eat, they are a popular kind of

                             wagashi found in tourist areas.

        

 

 

 

            Rice Crackers

 

            The best example of savory wagashi is rice crackers. They come in

        different varieties included soy sauce-flavored crackersand salad-

        flavored crackers. What makes them popular among international

        visitors is their hard texture and that they are easy to eat.

                                          

       

 

 

 

 

                          Red Bean-Jam Rice Cakes

                                  

                             Just like rice crackers, rice cakes appear to be a quite addictive

                             kind of wagashi for their chewy texture. They come in many

                             varieties, including the cute strawberry daifuku and sakura-mochi,

                             and are popular among women and men alike.

 

        

 

 

            Dumplings

 

            A common kind of dumpling is mitarashi dumplings, which

        comprise several small, round rice cakes skewered on a stick.

        Mitarashi dumplings can become a bit addictive for their sweet

        and sour taste and are highly popular as they can often not be

        enjoyed overseas.

 

                    

 

 

 

                          Sweetened Bean Jelly

                                  

                             Sweetened bean jelly is a kind of wagashi that has been loved

                             by common folk since times of old. It comes in different varieties

                             such as red bean, white bean, or matcha.

 

        

 

 

 

 

            Sugar Candy

 

            This pea-sized wagashi has little bulges of sugar on its bumpy

        surface and comes in different colors and sizes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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