Desserts in Japan

Information about some of Japan's favourite desserts as well of details of popular festival foods...


  • Anko, a sweet bean paste made from azuki beans, often used to fill glutinous rice cakes, rolls and mini pancakes
  • Dorayaki, mini pancakes filled with bean paste. These are sweet and are best eaten warm
  • Ohagi, glutinous rice cakes made from different types of rice and sweet bean paste, and shaped like large cookies
  • Kurikinton, a sweet mixture of puréed Japanese sweet potatoes and candied chestnuts, typically served at New Year
  • Anmitsu, a type of Japanese-style sundae
  • Mitsumame, a traditional sweet snack made with sugar syrup and candied fruit, sometimes served with ice cream and bean paste
  • Mochi, a round dumpling made from ground glutinous rice flour, often stuffed with jelly, jam, paste or ice cream

Festival foods

Festivals and other special events in Japan are strongly associated with specific types of food. For example:

  • Botamochi, a sticky rice dumpling served with a sweet paste, traditionally served in spring
  • Chimaki, a steamed sweet rice cake, served at Tango no Sekku (the boys' festival) and the Gion Festival in Kyoto in July
  • Hamo, a type of fish also served at the Gion festival
  • Osechi, traditional Japanese New Year food served in special boxes
  • Sekihan, a red rice served on many special and celebratory occasions
  • Soba, a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat, which is traditionally served on New Year's Eve