Japan has a severe case of a sweet tooth. Be it traditional Japanese confections or western desserts, the Japanese love to fill their tummy with sweet treats. So, we have curated a list of exciting desserts one can find in Japan to help you plan your next sweetness-centered trip.
28 Best Dessert You must try out in Japan
Japan has adopted the French Parfait and turned it into a strikingly Japanese affair. On a crisp bed of corn flakes lies abundant layers of ice cream, whipped cream, fresh fruit, and decadent toppings such as fruit jelly, cookies, or even spongy cake. Served in parfait glass, Matcha is a flavour you have got to try when in Japan.
There is one simple rule in Japan when it comes to desserts- always expect an aesthetic appeal. Crepes in Japan take this rule way too seriously, for they are served like a loaded ice cream cone. Whipped cream, fresh fruit cuts, and tangy-sweet sauces are filled into the cone of crepes, making for an absolutely Instagram-worthy dessert.
Japan’s version of the ice gola, or chuski, Kakigori is a shaved ice dessert. It has tangy flavours in the form of a syrup and sweetener. Condensed milk and evaporated milk are also used during the preparation of this playful dessert. Do not miss out on a good Kakigori in Japan, especially if it is a hot summertime visit.
These are traditional Japanese confections that are typically enjoyed with a good cup of green tea. A platter of Wagashi includes sweet rice dumplings, sweet bean paste filled rice cakes, and jelly desserts that truly make native flavours shine.
5. Soft Serve Ice Cream
If you think Japan hit its creative best with the cute-ification of crepes, wait until you hear about the country’s soft-serve ice creams. The flavours are unbelievably wild and unique. What do you think of denim-inspired ramune-blueberry ice cream? Or a Wasabi soft serve? Or an ice cream topped with a freaking gold sheet?
6. Fluffy Pancakes
Japan clearly specializes in the art of pancake-making because a mere sight of the heavenly pancakes is enough to make you go, “Oh. My. Gawd.” For instance, different cafes use different amounts and types of cheese, heaps of mascarpone, to achieve the ultimate fluffiness and a silky soft texture. As though that wasn’t enough, there are flavours such as banana caramel and tiramisu that somehow make the pancakes even more stunning than they already are.
7. Fruit Sandwich
As far as sweet sandwiches go, as opposed to the variety in the usual savoury kind, you may be acquainted with the idea of chocolate or Nutella as the options. But the Japanese have a killer Fruit Sandwich or Furutsu Sando that is worthy of a try. Loads of whipped cream and fresh fruits such as kiwi, strawberry, banana, and mango are sandwiched between bread slices. Bonus- the bread is without the crust. Need we say more?
8. Taiyaki Waffle Ice Cream
This decadent dessert is the Japanese rendition of Waffle-with-Ice-Cream. Taiyaki are fish-shaped, filling-stuffed cakes that are a beloved winter-time snack in Japan. When gently hued swirls of soft serve are hoisted on top of Taiyaki and propped with cutesy toppings, you’re gonna fall into an intense internal conflict- whether to dig in straight away or click hundreds of pictures to post on Instagram!
9. Mont Blanc
Traditionally, Mont Blanc is a French dessert that stars pureed chestnuts and whipped cream. Japan took this dessert on a quirky spin, transforming it into a soft sponge cake with layers and layers of fresh cream and whipped cream. The cake is called Monburan and has chestnut puree on top.
Japanese cheesecakes are an absolute necessity to be inexcusably tried in Japan, no matter how short your trip is. The cheesecakes here are super jiggly, fluffy, and airy light. They do not have a crust and use excellent cream cheese along with a whole lot of whipped egg whites that form an incredibly soft texture.
11. Gelato Ice Cream
Gelato shops in the country are extremely popular, especially because they experiment with exciting flavours. Believe it or not, matcha is not the only flavour, but there are seven different variants. Tiramisu, rum raisin, raspberry and cream, and sesame-banana are some of the many combinations you can try.
12. Café Latte Art
While Japan loves its green tea, make no mistake. The coffee culture in this country is also at an extraordinary level of amazing. Cafes here are seamlessly skilled at turning a cup of coffee into a stunning masterpiece in the form of Café Latte Art. Manga and Anime characters are popular references that is seen in these artworks.
13. Animal Doughnut
If you love cute little adorable things, it cannot get any better for you than Animal Doughnuts, especially if you have a sweet tooth. These are super delicious animal-themed doughnuts that come in the shapes of chick, cat, cow, sheep, and even alligators.
14. Daifuku Mochi
Mochi refers to a rice cake. Integral to Wagashi platter, Daifuku Mochi is a little round chewy rice cake with a sweet filling of red bean paste typically made from azuki beans. Commonly, there are three coloured varieties of this Mochi- white, pale green, and pale pink.
15. Dango Mochi
This is another type of rice cake included in the Wagashi, which is a thoroughly enjoyable treat. While Daifuku is made from grains of steamed rice, Dango Mochi is made from rice flour. This multicoloured delicacy is often served in the form of three to four bite-sized balls skewered on a stick.
Dorayaki is a divinely fluffy pancake-like dessert that has a rich red bean paste filling at the center. It is a type of Wagashi that is immensely popular among kids and adults alike. The sweetness in this dessert is so well balanced that even those who do not particularly like desserts help themselves to multiple servings of Dorayaki.
Yet another classic Wagashi with a sweet bean filling, Manju, is a delectable treat. It is a round steamed cake commonly made using wheat dough. While steamed ones are popular, baked Manjus are also worth giving a shot. There are varieties in filling and alternatives such as white kidney bean paste, chestnut paste, matcha bean paste, miso bean paste, and so on.
This is a light summer-time dessert from Japan, made using red bean paste and agar-agar. Yokan has a creamy, jelly-like consistency and is always served cold. This makes it an ideal mood-boosting dessert for when the weather is frustratingly hot.
19. Honey Toast
Honey Toast, locally known as Shibuya Toast, is a Japanese dessert that started as a preferred snack at karaoke bars. Today, it is one of the trendiest desserts in Japan. Shibuya Toast features ingredients such as fluffy toast, whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce, honey, maple syrup, and even fresh fruits.
20. Tokyo Banana
Tokyo Banana is such a crazy dessert that you won’t stop yourself incessantly posting on social media about it. It is a moist, light, incredibly fluffy banana-shaped sponge cake with a lip-smacking custard cream filling. The pleasant, mild sweetness and enticing aroma of the banana flavor is something that you wouldn’t forget for a long time.
Anmitsu is a traditional dessert in Japan. It is a parfait-type dish and consists of little cubes of jelly, sweetened red bean paste, and fresh fruit with a dark sugar syrup called Kuromitsu. Modern renditions of this dessert lavishly feature ice cream and Shiratama, a type of rice dumpling.
22. Kimuraya Bread
Kimuraya is a famous bakery in Japan that has made citizens fall in love with bread and treat it as a sweet snack. A simple walk by the bakery is enough to lure you in because the fragrance of freshly baked sweet bread wafting around is irresistible. Be sure to try the Anpan, a bread with super yum bean jam filling in the centre.
23. Treats At Gomaya Kuki
Goma refers to sesame. Gomaya Kuki is a store that specializes in all things sesame. This store will introduce you to the flavour of sesame seed-like never before from ice cream to pancakes. Nested on the street in Shibuya City, Tokyo, be sure to visit this place.
24. Cakes By Hidemi Sugino
Hidemi Sugino, an award-winning pastry chef, makes such heavenly cakes that it would be a crime if you wrap up your trip to Japan without visiting his café. His mousse cakes are an absolute must-try. We strongly recommend Ambroisie and La Harmonie.
25. Sakura Mochi
Sakura Mochi is a very “Kawai,” or cute, Wagashi. It is a rice cake which has a delicate pink color. Filled with a luscious red bean paste centre, this Mochi is wrapped in a salty, pickled leaf of cherry blossom.
Senbei is a type of rice cracker that have significant popularity among the Japanese. These crackers come in both sweet and salty varieties. Pair it with a nice cup of green tea, and you have yourself a refreshing snack item.
27. Fujiya Milky Candy
Fujiya Milky Candy is one of the most loved, hugely famous iconic sweet treats in Japan. Made from milk of superlative quality, these candies have a rich, luxuriously creamy milky taste and are free of added colour and fragrances.
Another super popular dessert in Japan, especially among older adults, Amanatto is a traditional dry dessert typically featuring boiled beans such as azuki beans or black soybeans, sugar, and sticky sugar syrup. It is a commonly preferred snack in tea parties and elderly get-togethers.
Thus, Japan boasts of an absolute sweet parade that you should unquestionably participate in, if you are looking for a “Kawai” dessert adventure.