One of the most attractive places to visit in spring time is Tokyo, a city known for its immense beauty in spring, coinciding with the cherry tree blossoms known as hanami. This year, the cherry blossom began on March 19th and reaches its peak on March 27th to coincide with Easter.
Added to the different festivals at this time of year is the possibility to taste different cherry cakes and dishes.
Examples of this are the delicious treats on offer at Mukojima Chomeiji Sakuramochi, Thrush Happo-en and the Fiorentina Pastry Boutique at Grand Hyatt Tokyo Hotel.
Mukojima Chomeiji Sakuramochi Café
The cafe, located in the Sumida Ward, is well known for its “Sakuramochi”, a seasonal treat made from sweet rice with a fine toasted layer and stuffed with a red bean paste and wrapped in a pickled cherry blossom leaf. The first batches of sakuramochi were sold back in 1717 and became an instant hit with locals and tourists who flocked to Bokutei-Dori Street to see the then already famous cherry blossoms.
Fiorentina Pastry Boutique at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo
This patisserie in the luxurious Grand Hyatt Tokyo Hotel in Roppongi Hills, a development project in the Roppongi district, offers a selection of hanami confectionery including the “sakura roll” and the “sakura-anpan”, sweet rolls filled with beans, cherries, and other ingredients.
The first takes a sponge cake baked with sakura liqueur and wraps it around sakura-flavoured cream liqueur to give it a fluffy texture. The second, a big seller each year, is made using condensed milk and regular milk to create a light and airy dough. As souvenirs, both are guaranteed to delight the receiver!
Thrush Happo-en Café
This outdoor café-restaurant commands incredible views of the 33,000m2 Happo-en gardens. Visitors can enjoy the views of some 80 different varieties of cherry trees from the open-air terrace, including the Yoshino, the weeping cherry, and the Yaezakura (double-flowered cherry). Thrush Happo-en specialises in French cuisine made using fresh seasonal vegetables and other ingredients, and during the hanami season, it serves a special “Sakura Lunch Buffet.”
As we mentioned before, you can also enjoy other well-known, spectacular hanami festivals such as the new Bunkyo Cherry Blossom and the Toshimaen Cherry Blossom Festival until the beginning of April.
The first of these is one of the five big festivals in the Bunkyo Ward and the second can be enjoyed in a pink landscape surrounded by the best rides and attractions at the Toshimaen amusement park.
There’s also a whole host of other great festivals taking places in the Ueno, Sumida and Rikugien parks that are sure to please visitors to this springtime fairytale.