Spring 2018: sakura-flavored food and drinks   桜味の飲み物・食べ物

Date of publication :

Welcome spring in Japan with pink-colored sweets!

Sakura-themed drinks feature heavily on cafe menus...

Limited edition: cherry blossoms

Drinks, cakes, ice cream, there's no end to cherry blossom-themed foods this time of year in Japan. Here is the list of the biggest products for spring 2018.

The mighty Starbucks Japan

Every year, Starbucks' new drink and dessert menu is almost as anticipated as the cherry blossoms themselves! The Japanese love Starbucks. When spring comes, the coffee chain takes advantage of the particular affection that locals have for sakura to bring out a whole new collection of pink products. But why limit yourself to the food and drink menu? Starbucks also offers a variety of related goods such as mugs, bottles, thermos, glasses... So you can stock your cupboards with sakura goods. This year, no less than 34 products are on offer for customers!

As for the menu, sakura features in three drinks and two desserts, plus there's a drink on sale exclusively in konbini. You can sample a pink strawberry or sakura mochi frappuccino, a strawberry milk with sakura and a tea in the same flavor. And why not try a cherry blossom donut or cake along with your drink?

Discover the Japanese-style Starbucks in Kyoto

The sakura-themed Coke bottle

A perfect beer for spring!

Spring drinks

  • Lipton is offering sakura tea, to put you in a warm spring mood on the couch at home (or under a kotatsu for the lucky ones!) when the weather is less spring-like.
  • Coca-Cola has already won hearts in 2017 with its bottle covered with flowers that was so popular it quickly went out of stock. In January, the brand launched a peach-flavored Coca-Cola, and announced in early March that it would soon market an alcoholic beverage, a first for the soda giant! This year, like the last, the race will be on to get the sakura-edition bottle. However, what's under the label won't change - don't expect to drink cherry blossom-flavored Coke.
  • Asahi is the benchmark in terms of Japanese beer. The entire range of Super Dry bottles and cans get a seasonal pink label, enough to make the beer twice as refreshing, and perfect to enjoy during a hanami party!

Sakura desserts

  • Häagen-Dazs : Two new products are announced for spring, an ice cream with chestnuts and red beans, and an ice cream with, you guessed it, cherry blossom and red bean paste. Add the classic matcha version to these two little tubs to have the tradition Japanese-style combo!
  • Cinnabon : the famous US-chain of cinnamon roll shops Cinnabon has launched sakura flavor buns in Japan for the first time. Their roll with cherry blossom icing, the Sakura Minibon, is well worth trying.

Sakura ice cream

Cinnamon and sakura...?

  • Kit Kat : The popular brand continues to bring new flavors to supermarkets and Don Quijote stores nation-wide. It won't surprise anyone to find there's a limited edition sakura and strawberry flavor this year. But the brand has gone a step further by offering a cherry blossom charm in the packaging box for the confectionery. Of course, the regular chocolate Kit Kat has adopted its seasonal pink packaging too, with blossoms sprinkled over the usual red glossy paper.

Sakura-matcha flavor Kit Kat

Comments Read comments from our travellers