Although Japanese sweets taste amazing regardless of how they look, let’s face it – a picture-perfect appearance is just as appealing to our taste buds. What’s more, a good looking Japanese dessert is the perfect Instagrammable food – it’s colorful, unique, delicious, and beautifully packaged! If you’re one of those people who can’t start digging into their meals without snapping a few pictures for their feed, Japanese sweets are definitely worth looking forward to. Let’s take a look at nine Japanese desserts that will make your Instagram explode!
Parfaits are one of the most photogenic desserts that you’ll find in Japan. There’s a wide variety of them to choose from, from simple fruit and ice cream ones to traditional Japanese and character-inspired ones. Japanese parfaits are always served in a tall glass so that you can even capture all the layers underneath the top for your Insta feed. The ‘Most Instagrammed Parfait’ award goes to the one from the Kawaii Monster Café in Harajuku, which is a visual masterpiece – 7 different colors of icing, a rainbow rolled cake, an upside-down ice cream cone, and countless layers of sweet sugary goodness. However, if you’re looking for an exquisite taste rather than visual appeal, skip this one – the KMC desserts are huge and overly sweet.
2. Ichigo Daifuku
Most foreigners would probably call this ‘ mochi,’ but the correct Japanese name for what we know as mochi in the West is actually ‘daifuku.’ A daifuku is a ball of sweet red bean paste wrapped in a sheet of rice cake – and an Ichigo daifuku, as those of you who know their Japanese fruits may have guessed, is a daifuku with a whole strawberry inside of it. They usually sell fresh handmade ones at street food stalls (when in Tokyo, look out for them in Asakusa), but you can also find packaged ones at supermarkets and convenience stores. And while the outside of the Ichigo daifuku might not look very appetizing, once you bite into it, the different colors and textures will make for the perfect Instagram shot!
3.Totti Candy Factory Cotton Candy
We’re sure you’ve already seen this one all over your Insta feed – a giant rainbow-colored cotton candy cloud. It comes from a small shop in Harajuku named Totti Candy Factory, and you can get different color and flavor combinations, to satisfy both your sweet cravings and your Instagram aesthetic. Not only does this dessert look cool in pictures, but it also is pretty delicious – not extremely sweet, and you can actually differentiate several flavors – from bubblegum to watermelon and strawberry.
You cannot go on Takeshita Dori and not get a crepe from one of the stalls – the plastic samples they have on display with definitely catch your eye. The crepes are freshly made right before your eyes, and filled with delicious toppings like whipped cream, ice cream, fruit, chocolate syrup, and more. They are really delicious and cheap, and you can enjoy them right in front of the pink stall – which equals selfie time! However, you might find that the samples look better than the crepes themselves – but no one on Instagram must know that they’re actually plastic!
Dango is a very popular traditional Japanese sweet. Usually known as a festival food or something you’d buy at food stall when visiting a temple, dango are basically flavored rice cake balls on a stick. The flavors range from strawberry and matcha to yuzu and kinako, and some are just flavored using a sweet soy-based sauce. Although they all taste amazing, the ones that make the best Instagram snaps for your feed are the sanshoku (three color) dango. Place them against a cherry blossom tree as a background, and you’ve got yourself a great photo.
The name ‘nerikiri’ probably doesn’t ring a bell to a lot of people, but they’re actually one of the most beautiful traditional Japanese desserts. Made using a soft mochi and sometimes white bean paste, nerikiri come in a variety of vivid color and are usually shaped into intricate designs (flower motifs are the most common). Make sure you get a set of at least five, and place them against a plain and rather dark background for that perfect Instagram look. Japanese minimalism right there!
7.JTRRD Café Fruit Smoothies
To get a picture of these mesmerizing fruit smoothies, you’ll have to go all way down to the JTRRD Café in Osaka. A real hidden gem for food Instagrammers, the place takes the art of the smoothie bowl to the next level. They use fruit smoothies, chia pudding, milk, and fruit slices to create a hybrid between a smoothie bowl and a parfait – and it is definitely one of the most beautiful desserts you’ve seen in a while. It is not very popular with foreigners either, so that means shorter lines and more unique pictures for your Instagram feed!
You’ve surely stumbled upon taiyaki pictures on the Internet before – they’re little fish-shaped pancakes filled with red bean paste, custard, or matcha cream. A famous chain you can get one from is Kurikoan – there’s a few of them scattered throughout Tokyo, but the Kichijoji one usually has the greatest selection of flavors. Their packaging is also super cute – what else could you need for the perfect Instagram picture?
Tokyo Banana is the most famous souvenir sweet to bring home from Tokyo – it’s basically a sponge cake shaped like a banana and filled with banana or chocolate cream. But what makes them great for Instagram is the different patterns they print on the ‘bananas’ – they have anything from tiger stripes to stars and from tiny flowers to leopard spots. The boxes are all super elegant as well, and hey, they do taste pretty good. Try them out!
Of course, this list could go on forever – as almost every Japanese sweet you’ll stumble upon will be Instagram worthy. However, these are some must-try and must-take-a-picture-of desserts you will definitely be able to find pretty much anywhere in Japan – so why not start from here?
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