It’s that time of the year again: cherry blossom season! Cherry blossoms (sakura, 桜) bloom across most of Japan, starting in the tropical/subtropical areas down south, then working their way up to the temperate areas, and finally, they reach cold Hokkaidō (and its outlying areas) last. This year, the best cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo will be on the weekends of March 20-22 and March 28-29. The predicted best cherry blossom viewing time is March 27 (too bad it’s a regular workday for most workers).
On March 6, Mister doughnut (“Misdo” for short), the popular doughnut chain started by the brother-in-law of Dunkin’ Donuts, will start selling sakura donuts! It will continue selling them through early April (across the whole country), so maybe you can eat some as you enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms on a blanket at a hanami (花見, flower-viewing) party in Tokyo!
↑ (source: Mister Donut’s website) There will be a mighty nine different types of donuts, and types of doughnut holes. They are pink, and “sakura-flavored,” officially called “Blooming Sakura Doughnuts.”
On the bottom row, left to right:
1. The Sakura Chewy Doughnut: ¥120
It’s chewy, obviously. It has the flavor of sakura mochi (mochi, or 餅, is a type of sweet confection with the exterior made from mochi rice and the interior usually being something sweet). Its coating is pink. It has a glaze on it. It’s meant to look like a sakura flower.
2. The Sakura Chewy Doughnut: Adzuki Flavour: ¥120
It has sweet red bean paste, known as adzuki in the middle. Like the above doughnut, it’s sakura mochi-flavored. What’s that white part? Well, it’s a coating of white chocolate.
3. The Sakura Chewy Doughnut Kinako Flavor: ¥120
Kinako is a type of soybean powder. This is in addition to a sprinkling of sugar, as well. It has all of this on top. Its bottom is glazed.
4. The Sakura French Cruller: ¥120
Mister Donut’s French cruller donuts are very popular. In this case, the dough has sakura powder in it. It’s glazed; you’ll never guess what flavor the glaze is, not in a million years. Hint: the flavor starts with an ‘s’ and has six letters!
5. The Sakura French Cruller: Adzuki And Whipped Cream: ¥120
Again, it has adzuki in it (see #2). That’s not the only filling; the other is whipped cream. The top is decorated with white chocolate and strawberry chocolate, making this a perfect White Day gift (remember, White Day, the day on which men reciprocate whatever women gave them on Valentine’s Day, is coming up on March 14).
6. Sakura French Cruller: Sakura Gelée And Whipped Cream: ¥150 (!)
They put honey into the sakura flavoring, then made that into a gelée/whipped cream. There is a coating of strawberry chocolate. What are those red things? They’re raspberry sprinkles.
See those four little doughnut holes on the bottom, called “Sakura Doughnut Pops?” Here’s what they are (from left to right):
- Pon de Sakura Flavor Ball: Its glaze tastes like sakura.
- Kinako Angel Cream Ball: It’s covered in kinako (see #3 above for the definition of that). It’s fluffy. It’s full of whipped cream. It’s sugar-coated.
- Old-Fashioned Ball Sakura Flavor: It has a strawberry chocolate coating. What’s the topping? They’re raspberry sprinkles.
- Strawberry Chocolate Ball: Oh, the red, pink, and dark brown goodness—I bet you can hardly wait. It must be delicious…
The price for a single doughnut hole is ¥35 ($0.33). ¥250 ($2.39) will buy eight of them. ¥482 ($4.61) will buy 16 of them. 24 of them costs ¥704 ($6.73).
Maybe while eating them, you can climb Mt. Takao. Mt. Takao is the most popular mountain located in Tokyo (remember, many famous Japanese mountains, such as Mt. Fuji, while visible from Tokyo, are actually not in Tokyo, in fact, rather far from Tokyo).
↑Behold Mt. Takao. In the early spring, it’s a great place to see sakura.
By the way, did you know that you can buy small apartment in Hachiōji-shi, Tokyo, for only about US$20,000?
More information about that here: