6 Delicious Japanese Desserts and Sweets You Need to Try

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6 Delicious Japanese Desserts and Sweets You Need to Try

For those with a sweet tooth landing in Japan, there's a seemingly endless amount of sweets and desserts to try. Rather than risking a sugar induced coma while on your travels, check out this list for the most delicious Japanese desserts to treat yourself to when you're in the Land of the Rising Sun.

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6 Delicious Japanese Desserts and Sweets You Need to Try


Japanese shaved ice known as kakigori

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Kakigori is a godsend for surviving the swelteringly hot Japanese summers. This shaved ice dessert is made with sweetened syrup and often decked out with fresh fruit. Other additions include red beans and mochi but recent years have seen all kinds of interesting toppings.

If you're in Tokyo during the summer, we've made a handy list of some of the best place to find Kakigori in the city here.

Fluffy Japanese Pancakes

Fluffy Japanese pancakes

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These jiggly fluffy Japanese style pancakes take the simple American diner food to a whole other level. Also known as Japanese souffle pancakes, they're made with beaten egg whites to create that thick, super airy and fluffy style that create this iconic modern dessert.


Anmitsu, a traditional dessert from Japan

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Dating back to the Meiji era, amitsu is another traditional dessert that we can't get enough of. Made with cubes of agar jelly, red bean paste, mochi and usually seasonal fruits, it's then often drizzled with a dark syrup. Nowadays you'll often find it served with a scoop of ice cream or other toppings too which make it another perfect combination for the summertime. We find it goes well with a cup of iced green tea or matcha.


Yatsuhashi, a traditional Japanese sweet from Kyoto

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Although mochi might be the first traditional dessert most people associate with Japan, we feel Yatsuhashi deserves the spotlight. One of the most famous sweet treats from Kyoto, Yatsuhashi is the more refined version of mochi.

The parcel-like exterior is much more delicate than mochi, with a pleasant texture that doesn't leave you chewing for prolonged periods and it's often flavored with cinnamon. Inside these little parcels of sugary joy is usually a filling of red bean paste, but other addictive fillings include lemon and matcha.

One of the most famous places to buy these delicious snacks in Kyoto is Honke Nishio Yatsuhashi but you can also find them around Kyoto Station if you're short on time.

Japanese Pudding (Purin)

Japanese custard pudding known as 'purin'

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Japanese pudding or purin is like a block of flavorsome custard jelly topped with a layer of delicious sweet caramel. Whether you're eating it at a high-end restaurant or out of a plastic tub in 7/11, the unique taste of this dessert is addictive. It's fairly similar to a western flan or creme caramel, yet with a distinctive taste that has made this one of the most popular desserts in Japan.

Like most good desserts in Japan, you'll find a plethora of different flavors such as matcha and strawberry, but the classic original flavor is unbeatable.

Ichigo Daifuku

Ichigo Daifuku, mochi filled with strawberries

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Adding a whole new addition of flavor to mochi, ichigo daifuku uses the same rice flour based dessert but is filled with a whole strawberry covered with sweet red bean paste. The unique texture of mochi and juicy, sweet burst of flavor from the strawberry seems to pair perfectly together. You'll find them all over Japan, especially during late spring when strawberries are in season.

If you're a sucker for the traditional desserts of Japan known as wagashi, check out this list of our ten favorite types here. Or click here for a detailed guide on wagashi.