Wagashi: Sakura Mochi (Kansai-style)

Sakura Mochi (Kansai-style) 関西風桜餅

Kansai-style Sakura Mochi 関西風桜餅
In Kyoto, this year’s sakura blossoms have begun to fade and fall, pavements are covered in pink petals and streams are covered with them to the extent that the water cannot be seen. The sakura season is not over for foodies though, we may still feast on sakura themed yummies for another few weeks. This is sakura mochi, as it is made down here in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe.

Kansai Style Sakura Mochi
Kansai, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe has it’s own distinct version of sakura mochi. Kanto (Tokyo) style has a pink crepe-like wrapping around the anko (azuki paste), however down here in Kansai, it is typically made with steamed mochi rice formed into a ball.

In terms of taste Kansai-style is quite different in texture, but less in taste. The sakura taste, the salt ‘hit’ and the perfumy fragrance of the salted sakura leaf are the same. It is softer and more chewy and ‘ricey’ than the Kanto variety.

I like both styles very much, usually I prefer Kyoto style to Tokyo, but in this case I think that Kanto style is actually more sophisticated and refined. I can’t think of anything else in Japanese culinary culture in which Kanto-style is more sophisticated. This Kansai-style sakura mochi is more ‘homey’ and country-style.

Both styles are readily available most anywhere in Japan and one sakura mochi is not much more than a bite, so you can easily try both! Both taste wonderful, I would say that if you are enjoying sakura mochi with maccha, Kanto style is a bit more suitable.

See this article for more about Kanto-style sakura mochi , a photo with the anko filling and the history of this wagashi confection.

Sakura Mochi
Kansai-style Sakura Mochi 関西風桜餅
Some people don’t eat the leaf, but you absolutely must!

Sakura Mochi
Kansai-style Sakura Mochi 関西風桜餅

8 Responses to “Wagashi: Sakura Mochi (Kansai-style)”

  1. Arun says:

    Yay! :D I love these!

  2. Elise says:

    The best part about traveling to Japan during April is the cherry blossoms. The second best part about traveling to Japan during April is sakura mochi. I love that stuff. I could easily get fat feasting on it. Good thing the season is so short and I have to travel thousands of miles to get my hands on some.

  3. Erika says:

    Hi, could you let me know which camera you use? I can’t get my pictures to turn out like yours! thanks a lot.

  4. Peko Peko says:

    Hello Arun, Thank!

    Hello Elise, Your are right, mochi is rather fattening. Usually Japanese only eat one piece of mochi at a sitting though, so getting fat isn’t much of a worry.

    Hello Erika, Really? Well, thanks. I am quite dissatisfied with my camera. It ought to be a good one. It is a Canon EOS KISS Digital N (marketed as Digital Rebel abroad I hear). My house is pretty dark so I struggle to get good photos – a lot times I don’t.

    KISS commercial
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiN36h-T0cU
    KISS commercial (part filmed in Kyoto)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiYd092FRM8

  5. diva says:

    oh this are just the most precious things ever. adorable! great photos.

  6. Sonja says:

    The colors are quite lovely! They always look delicious but for some reason I’m afraid to try because the “salty” aspect. I have to suck it up….

  7. Peko Peko says:

    Hello Sonja, Oh, don’t be afraid of the salty aspect. It isn’t too salty!

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