Glossary - Food Culture



Pink mochi wrapped in salt-preserved cherry leaves, popular as a spring confectionery

What is sakuramochi?  

Sakuramochi is a confectionery that has salt-preserved cherry (sakura) leaves wrapped around pink mochi. There are two types of sakuramochi. The first is in Kanto (Eastern Japan), where the anko (sweetened red bean paste) is wrapped in a thin crepe. The other is in Kansai (Western Japan), where the anko is wrapped in mochi made from coarse glutinous rice flour (refined glutinous rice that has been steamed, dried, and ground into a powder). Sakuramochi is popular as a sweet Spring treat, available between February and April.


It is said that sakuramochi’s popularity across Japan started when a gatekeeper at Chomyoji Temple in Tokyo during the middle Edo period (1716-1745) took fallen leaves from the cherry tree at the temple's garden and used them to sell mochi.

Occasions related to sakuramochi

There is no direct link between sakuramochi’s origins and the March 3rd celebration of girls known as ”Hinamatsuri”. However, sakuramochi is sold in Spring and pink is a color associated with Hinamatsuri. Not surprising that it has become a confectionery which represents Hinamatsuri.

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