Wagashi – dainty sweet treats almost too pretty to eat. Wagashi is an umbrella term for traditional Japanese-style sweets often served as an accompaniment to green tea. They’re found all over Japan, from cafes to restaurants to temples to gardens.

The various types differ in shape, flavour, consistency and preparation techniques. Many feature just a handful of plant-based ingredients, like rice flour, agar-agar and azuki beans, making certain wagashi vegan friendly.

While made to be eaten, wagashi are little pieces of edible art to be admired. The subtle flavours and artistic designs are influenced by nature and Japan’s four distinct seasons – like the golden leaf wagashi we enjoyed here, a nod to November’s Autumn.

We purchased our wagashi at Kagizen Yoshifusa, considered one of the best traditional sweet shops in Kyoto. It was subtly sweet, filled with anko, a sweet red paste made from azuki beans.

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