5 Types of Wagashi sweets that Japanese like the most
Wagashi (和菓子) are traditional Japanese sweets that include various different types of confections.Thus, it is different in meaning from Okashi (お菓子).
Representative examples of Wagashi sweets include Manju (饅頭), Daifuku (大福), Yokan (羊羹), and Karinto (かりんとう).Furthermore, each of these confections has various types and variations as small classification.
We Japanese like to eat such Wagashi sweets along with hot Japanese green tea for afternoon tea.In fact, typical Wagashi sweets, including the above 4 types, are usually inexpensive and available at most supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan.
Speaking of the popularity of the Wagashi type, a popular Japanese news website, Nifty News performed a questionnaire survey on the question several years ago.
The Top 5 Most Popular Types of Wagashi sweets in Japan
According to the result, the top 5 most popular types of Wagashi sweets in Japan are as follows.
The 5th place : Sakura Mochi (桜餅)
Sakura Mochi (桜餅), literally cherry blossom rice cake, is a type of Mochigashi (餅菓子) with more than 300 years of history.The Wagashi consists of a sticky pink-colored rice cake and the inside sweet red bean paste, which is wrapped with a salted cherry tree leaf.When we think of Sakura Mochi rice cakes, that reminds us of the cherry blossom season.Nevertheless, Sakura Mochi is available throughout the year.
The 4th place : Castella (カステラ)
Castella (カステラ) is a traditional Japanese sponge cake with over 400 years of history, which has its roots in a confection derived from Portugal.The Wagashi is made from hen’s eggs, wheat flour, and sugar.As the cake is fluffy and has gentle sweetness, it is loved by many Japanese of all generations.Though Nagasaki Prefecture is famous for its Castella cakes called Nagasaki Castella (長崎カステラ), Castella cakes are available throughout Japan.
The 3rd place : Mitarashi Dango (みたらし団子)
Mitarashi Dango (みたらし団子) is one of the most common types of Dango (団子 : Japanese rice dumplings).Generally the Wagashi consists of three to five lightly grilled rice dumplings on a stick, which are covered with a sweet soy sauce glaze.The confection is really easy to get in Japan.It is being sold at most supermarkets and convenience stores.
The 2nd place : Dorayaki (どら焼き)
Dorayaki (どら焼き) is a traditional Japanese confection that is well-known as Doraemon’s yummy buns.It is said that the origin dates back to the 12th century.The Wagashi usually consists of 2 small baked pancakes with sweet red bean paste in between.The pancake is somewhat moist like Castella cakes because the dough generally contains honey.Most supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan handle the confection.
The 1st place : Daifuku (大福)
Daifuku (大福) is a representative of Mochigashi (餅菓子) that has its origin in the confection made miniaturizing a traditional Mochigashi, Uzura Mochi (うずら餅), by a widow named Otayo (おたよ) in 1771.The Wagashi consists of a small, round Mochi rice cake stuffed with Anko (餡子), or sweet red bean paste.Dredged with starch, the rice cake isn’t so sticky but soft.There are many variations of Daifuku, but the most popular one in Japan is Ichigo Daifuku (いちご大福) that has a strawberry in the center.