We already touched on the fact that wagashi vary with the seasons, but why is that, and which wagashi can you find in specific seasons? Let’s take a deeper look.
The colors, intricate shapes and designs, textures, and flavors of wagashi show an appreciation for the changing seasons. In spring, cherry blossom season arrives in Japan, so you may see pink and purple plum and cherry blossom wagashi. As summer approaches, green wagashi are common, often representing bamboo leaves.
As we move into fall, deep oranges and browns for foliage, as well as moon-shaped or themed wagashi make an appearance, with flavors such as chestnut and persimmon. This is the time for Japan’s Otsukimi Festival when the Harvest Moon is visible, similar to the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated in other parts of Asia.
Winter brings the snow, and many wagashi found in winter are shaped like snowflakes. They also often contain health-boosting ingredients such as yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, black beans, or strawberries.