The sakura (cherry blossom; 桜) season is perhaps Japan’s most anticipated time of the year. This essential part of Japanese culture brings a stream of new visitors each year, and with it, a massive boost to the country’s economy.
Aside from beauty, these sakura flowers also bring great business to Japan with the increasing volume of tourism and, of course, consumption. Since the season is just around the corner, some Japanese companies have already begun their annual springtime campaign with a number of sakura-inspired products popping up everywhere.
In anticipation for the upcoming season, belmarchow is a list of limited edition sakura-themed goodies that you can enjoy when you happen to visit Japan this spring!
— かっとびジャパン (@japankattobi) 2017年1月19日
Spring seems to have come early at Coca-Cola Japan with the release of their Sakura Sakuranbo Royal Milk Tea on January 9 2017. This sakuranbo (or cherry fruit) flavored drink is made with fresh cream from Hokkaido (北海道) and one hundred percent locally produced milk to diminish the strong zest of the Assam tea leaves. This 410ml milk tea costs 140 yen per bottle and will be available for a limited time only.
From February 13 2017, they launched another product, the special limited edition Coca-Cola Sakura bottle! This is in celebration of not only the Hanami Season, but also the Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival; ひな祭り) held every March 3, which is a special day for girls in Japan where they pray for good health, happiness and future success. This cute 250ml slim, white, aluminum sakura-themed bottle is 125 yen to buy.
Stop by ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo’s Sakura Fair and get a taste of spring through their delectable desserts! This event will run from March 15 to April 16 2017.
The fair features the sakura eclair and the white chocolate and cherry mousse, which both cost 600 yen each. Another highlight of the fair would be the Sakura High Tea Set, which costs 3,800 yen.
Now, if you wish to experience spring all-year-round, you might want to avail of Starbucks Japan’s cherry blossom-themed mugs and tumblers! You may choose any items from their Harmony and Purity series.
The Harmony Series are available from February 15 2017 while the Purity Series are from March 1 2017. For the Harmony Series, prices range from 1,500 yen to 4,400 yen. The Purity Series range from 1,700 yen to 4,500 yen.
Besides all these cute souvenir items, you may also try out their limited edition Sakura Blossom Cream Latte and Sakura Blossom Cream Frappuccino with Crispy Swirl from February 15 to March 14 2017. Both drinks are flavored with sakura milk sauce, containing ingredients like sakura petals and leaves, condensed milk, and white bean paste. They are topped with shaved pink chocolate (made to look like cherry blossom petals), pink rice cracker bits, and maple whipped cream.
Other available beverages include:
Sakura Blossom Cream Frappuccino with Crispy Swirl: Tall 570 yen, Grande 610 yen, Venti 650 yen
Sakura Blossom Cream Latte (right): Short 430 yen, Tall 470 yen, Grande 510 yen, Venti 550 yen
Starbucks Sakura Raspberry Milk for 219 yen ($1.95)
In case you are looking for a more accessible Starbucks drink, the Sakura Raspberry Milk Tea may be just the right choice for you! You can easily purchase this from any convenience stores across Japan from February 14 2017 until the Hanami season ends.
Click here to find your nearest Starbucks (Japan).
For a more sophisticated sakura treat, the Swiss premium chocolate brand Lindt will be launching its two new limited edition products: the Lindt White Chocolate Sakura Ice Drink and the Sakura Delice (Macaron).
The iced drink makes use of Amarena cherry syrup blended with Morello cherry puree and is topped with almonds and framboise (liquor made from raspberries), accompanied by a light and fluffy pink Chantilly cream. It is then decorated with premium white chocolate shavings and a dash of Framboise powder and cherry blossom sauce.
You can purchase these items from February 16 to April 17 2017 at all Lindt Chocolate Cafes around Japan.
The Unilever-owned best-selling tea brand is also up for the sakura craze! The sakura tea will be their latest addition to the line of Lipton sweet teas, but for a limited time only.
Based on its product description, the sakura tea is said to have a similar scent and flavor to that of sakura mochi, a traditional Japanese confectionary, which is especially popular in spring. A limited edition package of twelve easy-to-use pyramid-shaped sakura tea bags is currently being sold online through the Rakuten Website and Yahoo! Japan Shopping site for 324 yen. But, beginning on March 1 2017, it is available in combo packs (along with a 25-bag pack of the regular Lipton Yellow Label tea) at Japanese stores nationwide.
Now here’s a cool and unique take on the ongoing sakura trend in Japan!
Sapporo Brewery’s Yebisu brand launched its Yebisu Premium Sakura Design Beer on February 14 2017! It is available in 350ml and 500ml cans.
What’s special about this product? You’ve got to see it for yourself! When the beer is chilled to below 10℃, you will notice the white sakura on the can’s print turn into pink color. Talk about Japanese technology on canned beers!
Finally, spring is also in the air for the Japanese fast-food chain LOTTERIA! And so, if you are looking for a more scrumptuous sakura-inspired meal – from February 15 to March 15 2017 – you may take advantage of their latest menu item, the Sakura Ebi Tartar Prawn Burger, for 380 yen. What makes the sauce pink in color are the tiny, dried shrimps mixed into the creamy tartar sauce. It definitely looks in harmony with the mouthwatering fried prawn patty and the pink buns, which have been fused with sakura extract.
And, as they say, there is no better way to end a meal than with a dessert! Don’t miss their limited edition Sakura Mochi Mochi An Pie for 180 yen, which is available until April 10 2017. Taste the savory and chewy goodness of the pie crust made from cherry blossoms filled with sweet red bean paste, made of beans fresh from Hokkaido.
So while you enjoy this sakura season in Japan, why not explore the exciting new products these places have to offer? With this list, you can enjoy 2017’s sakura season in seven new delicious ways!
・40 Things to Do In and Around Ebisu, the Birthplace of the Much-Loved Yebisu Beer, in 2018
・Hungry for Sakura-Infused Food? Check LOTTERIA’s Spring 2017 Menu!
・Get to Know the Different Types of Sakura That You Can Admire Every Spring