❀Oshiruko❀ #Japanesedesserttime #sakuraseason #sweetbeanssweetlife #muchomochi #TBT

As you might remember, a bit over a month ago, the duck and I went north to catch the cherry blossoms in Akita. During our happy strolls around Kakunodate, literally chasing cherry blossoms, we could also score a snap of our awesome lunch (we’re adults – at least on paper – so we can eat whatever we want for lunch, hahahahahaha!):

During our cherry blossom chase (✿) in Kakunodate back in April we decided to go for a sweet lunch to recharge – and what is better than lots of sugar in a traditional ambience? Well, we couldn’t think of anything and that’s why we went to this wonderful traditional shop that advertised oshiruko in big azuki-colored letters with a cute illustration of the dessert on a sakura-pink banner. Since we like to try all kinds of traditional Japanese desserts, the duck and I were pretty excited to taste this bean porridge with little mochi boats that, fittingly, was served with a cute sakura drink and pickled vegetables to counteract the sweetness of the azuki beans. It looked too pretty to eat and turned out to be extremely sweet but a perfect pink energy booster for our sakura samurai town exploration tour. 4/5 Ducks because even though we were afraid of collapsing from a sugary overdose, we could have spent hours looking at this dessert and the beautiful garden outside (also, it’s not the shiruko‘s fault that we’re so weak) 〜

Maybe, if the duck and I ever defeat our laziness, we might share with you our Akita adventure in video form. Maybe.


Late spring

I’m not talking about the famous 1949 Ozu film here, but rather about this year’s sakura (cherry blossoms) that decided to bloom much earlier than expected. Because of that, when the duck and I made a little trip to Inokashira park, one of the most popular parks in Western Tokyo, yesterday to check out what hanami (more on that in the next post) looks like in real life, we did get to see lots of people, but most of the cherry blossoms were already way past their peak. Nonetheless, I did take a few photos, that I thought I’d share with you, to show that we haven’t forgotten about this blog even though the duck and I are rather busy these days. But since a blog about living in Tokyo is not complete without at least one visual post about sakura, we now present to you part one of a rather random selection of post-sakura-peak-season-photos from Inokashira park:

Inokashira park 1

Even though they were hard to find, we did see some sakura in full bloom.

Inokashira park 2

One of these things is not like the others: the lake was filled with paddle-boat enthusiasts!

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Snacks: Spring in cookie-shape

IT’S FINALLY SPRING! Can you tell we’re excited? If it weren’t for my annoying pollen allergies, spring would actually have a great chance of being my favorite season (taking into account how the duck and I dramatically suffer in the cold)!
Despite the varied approaches to determining the official starting point of spring, once the cherry blossom season has begun, it doesn’t matter who you ask, everyone will agree that spring has arrived (even if it’s still super cold or rainy outside). Sakura cookie duckFor us, the countdown to the beginning of this lovely but painful (even with masks and allergy medicine) season started as soon as we saw the first spring-themed snacks on the Konbini and grocery store shelves. When we discovered a pack of sakura (cherry blossom) flavored cookies back in February, the duck and I could not resist!
Spring also marks the new school and fiscal year in Japan (both start in April – which some see as the month for starting new things; April is Japan’s January for new year’s resolutions) and, more importantly, the season when matcha is a popular snack flavor everywhere, not only in Kyoto! Because of that, this time, we present you not one, but three(!) beautiful cookies that we’ve had the pleasure of trying in celebration of spring:

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