aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
Browse by Travel
Browse by Food
japanese desserts
sweet and squishy

Jelly Japanese desserts

Gummy desserts

I know, I know . . . another Japanese food post.  I can't help myself.  We see the food, we want to eat it, then we want to photograph it, and then I want to tell you about it.  Then, we walk around, eat a bit more, and, of course, have to photograph.  I have never seen such beautiful food --- the colors, the smells, the strange shapes!  And, I've saved the best for last: Japanese desserts, an amalgamation of sweet and squishy, in every color of the rainbow. 

Gummy desserts

Gummy candy

Gummy candy:  Forget gummy bears; in Japan, there's gummy fish, flowers, fruit, and even gummy sushi that make the perfect gifts to take home . . . assuming you don't eat them on the way back to your hostel.

Coffee jelly

Coffee jelly: Expanding on the gelatin desserts, nearly every coffee shop in Japan sells coffee jelly which, as far as we can tell, is considered an acceptable substitute to drinking a cup of joe in the morning.  In fact, because Japanese coffee tends to be fairly weak, coffee jelly packs a stronger punch for those early mornings.



Warabimochi:  Warabimochi is a cooling jelly-like dessert made from bracken starch and dipped in sweet, nutty kinako, a toasted soybean flour.  A Kansai specialty, in Kyoto and Nara, this is the summertime dessert and in the hottest months, warabimochi trucks patrol the streets. 



Perhaps our favorite dessert in Japan, we can't wait to try making it at home using Clotilde's recipe at Chocolate & Zucchini.



Mochi: The quintessential Japanese dessert, mochi is a round dumpling made from ground glutinous rice flour , often stuffed with jelly, jam, pastes, or ice cream.  The most common filling is a slightly sweet red bean paste but we have seen exotic flavors like cherry blossom (sakura), mango, passion fruit, and others. 



Dango:  Dango are related to mochi in that both are made from glutinous rice flour.  Dango, however, tend to be dense, sticky, and not stuffed with fillings.  The version shown here is boccan dango, colored with red beans, eggs, and green tea.

Miyajima cookies

Cookies with red bean filling

Cookies:  When the Japanese travel, they shop for meibutso, a local food specialty, as a souvenir to take home.  In Hiroshima and Miyajima, the Japanese opt for cookies shaped like maple leaves and stuffed with a thick red bean paste. 

Maple cookie machine Miyajima

Maple cookie machine

Find a place that makes the cookies in huge conveyor belts and ask for yours to be served piping hot so the filling melts into the steaming cookie.

Japanese crepes

Japanese crepes

Crepes:  Crepes in Japan are often folded in triangular cones to be eaten standing up and sold in stands facing the street.  However, you will never see a Japanese person eating one while walking because eating and walking is considered rude.

Black sesame ice cream

Ice cream:  Ice cream is a Western import that has invaded Japan.  There are ice cream stores everywhere and most convenience stores have a huge display of ice cream bars to pick up and eat.  We particularly liked the unappetizing looking but delicious tasting black sesame ice cream and the variety of Japanified flavors from Haagen Dazs like burnt sugar ice cream, green tea and cookies, and raspberry and cream cheese.

Japanese Haagen Dazs

Haagen Dazs ice cream flavors

Green tea Kit Kat

Green tea Kit Kat

Green tea everything:  The Japanese love green tea and it is used in just about every type of dessert.  We found green tea Oreos, green tea crackers, green tea ice cream, green tea mochi, and green tea Kit Kats.  Like all things, some of it was good (the Kit Kats and mochi) and some not so good (the Oreos and ice cream).

07/30/2010 08:17
That's funny, the one thing we bought during our layover in Tokyo was green kitkats to bring home. We thought they might have them in Thailand, but when we discovered that they didn't, we made sure to purchase some on our return home! Haven't tried them yet -- we're saving them for a special occasion.
Melissa's recent blog post: Coming Soon . . .
07/30/2010 12:18
I will never get tire of your food post. With mouth watering pictures and great description, I feel like I was there with you. :)

The most experience I had with Japan was at the airport and I did the same as Melissa. I bought KitKats - green tea. It was deliciious!
07/30/2010 15:43
Captivating images. Always impressed by your photography skills. I love Mochi!!
Keith's recent blog post: State of the Savage: July 2010
07/30/2010 19:56
As much as I can't wait to go to Japan for the food, the desserts are not high on my list, I admit. I think I'm too much of a chocolate lover to enjoy most of those, but the crepes look yummy and I think I'd like to try that black sesame ice cream.
Thanks for sharing that eating and walking is considered rude. Good to know!
Kristina's recent blog post: Isla Contadora, Panama Day 3
07/31/2010 17:56
Always love your photography. I don't think I could substitute coffee jelly for coffee - no mater how weak the coffee was! And green tea kit kats?! Wow!
08/01/2010 03:10
Yum! Beautiful photos! We're loving the food in southern France now, but now you have me drooling in excitement about our time this fall in Asia! ;)
soultravelers3's recent blog post: Darling Dordogne: Vacation Holiday in France
08/01/2010 13:47
I am personally a mochi fan. There is a sushi place down the road that does the ice cream kind so I have my fill whenever I can. I really need to stop reading food posts when hungry. :X
08/02/2010 07:26
Melissa, That's a great idea to save them for a special occasion because they are quite unique.

Amy, Thanks! You're so sweet.

Thanks Keith! Yep, mochi is aweesome.

Kristina, Japanese desserts are definitely a bit unusual but well worth trying. Mochi, in particular, is a classic. And, the crepes are SO good! I actually think I might prefer Japanese crepes to French. (Shocking, I know!)

Matt, The funny thing is that in the ubiquitous vending machines, they sell coffee jelly along with iced coffee drinks. :)

Soultravelers3, Thanks! You're going to love Asia. The food is amazing.

Erica, I actually think that mochi with ice cream might be my least favorite way but that's just me . . . :)
08/04/2010 02:39
The only dessert we had in Tokyo was the Dango. These look amazing! Apart from the ice cream and kitkat!
Gourmantic's recent blog post: The Stonehenge Experience
08/18/2010 14:47
could NOT be more excited to stuff my face.
Stephanie's recent blog post: In Rome, Past is Present
10/23/2010 11:17
This is the first time i've read your blog and already I'm captivated! Thanks for sharing with us =)
02/15/2011 13:33
I got to be there for myself! Love Japanese jellies=)
02/16/2011 12:27
Us too! Absolutely love them!
Akila's recent blog post: the butt shot
02/24/2011 02:48
You'll find that Japan probably has the most flavor of Kit Kat's available and it depends on what region you are in. At least, that's what my Japanese friend told me.

In summer they have shaved ice dessert. I forgot what it's called, but it's surprisingly good. :)
02/24/2011 10:14
Kat - We tried the green tea KitKats and the spicy chocolate KitKats and both were really good. Those were the only two we saw but I wouldn't be surprised if there were many more!
Akila's recent blog post: the mug shots
03/31/2011 23:32
Thanks for the tour of Japanese sweets!! I love them! Growing up in the Philippines, we frequented Japan during school breaks (April). Perfect time for cherry blossoms and Japanese sweets!
jen laceda's recent blog post: Argentina Trip Update
04/01/2011 10:40
Jen, thanks! We loved those Japanese sweets, too. We were there in May and just missed the cherry blossoms but the sweets were out in full force by then!
05/26/2011 15:28
drooling again... japanese foods are sometimes too beautiful to be eaten... they exert a lot of effort in preparing their dishes... even desserts... i've tried the warabimochi once in Nara and it didnt taste like anything.. too bland for me.. not sure if they forgot to add sugar or what... but i still love japanese food :-)
flip's recent blog post: Vancouver on a Shoestring
06/06/2011 19:02
Flip, that's too bad that you didn't like the warabimochi! Some of the places had more bland warabimochi while others were even better. :)
Akila's recent blog post: food unites in south africa
07/13/2011 15:17
Green tea oreos? That actually sounds amazing. Why don't they bring that to the US. I really didn't know they loved green tea that much.
07/20/2011 09:51
They're so good, too! I wish they would bring some of these unique flavors over to the US.
Akila's recent blog post: kirstenbosch gardens
09/12/2011 19:50
Akila, what was the name of the all-gummy store?
09/15/2011 08:31
Ugh, I wish I remembered. (Though, even if I had known the name, it might not have helped much because it would have been entirely in Japanese.) It was in Arashiyama to the left of the temple and very very close to the bridge and the small river where the kayakers use. Hope that helps!
10/04/2011 07:47
I write restaurant reviews and was researching Japanese desserts which is how I came across your site. Love it! And I love the idea of a green tea Kit Kat.
Eat Amsterdam's recent blog post: Thai Snack Bar Bird
10/04/2011 11:01
Thanks! And the green tea Kit Kat is delicious!
Akila's recent blog post: the taste of two years
06/17/2012 09:59
I just found this page by typing Japanese desserts in Google because I just had the most amazing mochi... and wondered how it was called! And now I just discovered a bunch of other Japanese desserts I want to try!
A Montrealer Abroad's recent blog post: Instagram postcards from the Queens Diamond Jubilee
07/05/2012 10:56
Thanks! Japanese desserts are amazing, aren't they? Very different and unique which is what makes them so good.
Akila's recent blog post: grilled meats of turkey
10/11/2012 23:21
What is the recipe for mochi?
03/29/2013 01:07
Carol Davidson
Did you ever try corn ice cream while you were there? Heavenly!
05/12/2013 08:13
Green tea Kit-Kats are divine, I think they're the nicest thing I tried while I was in Japan.
05/15/2013 13:38
Yep, I love them!
05/20/2015 20:10
What is that stick they stuck (lol) inside the black sesame ice cream? Thanks and great post BTW.
08/24/2015 06:37
Thanks for sharing the lovely food list i love to keep it in my upcoming event and you effort is appreciated thank you

*Email (won't be shared):
*Image text:
To personalize your comment with a picture, get a gravatar.