Try Japanese confections with tea on Wagashi Day
June 16 is celebrated as Wagashi Day (Japanese confections day) in Japan and was established by Japan Wagashi Association in 1979. The date was chosen because the emperor of Japan offered confections as an offering to the gods on June 16, AD 848 when praying for good luck, good health and protection from evil spirits.
Famous examples of wagashi confections include manju bean buns, red bean jelly, ohagi rice cakes, monaka bean sandwiches, rakugan candy and senbei rice crackers. Wagashi are classified by moisture level as namagashi (moist confections), han-namagashi (halfway moist confections) or higashi (dry confections) and include such ingredients as rice flour, wheat flour, kudzu powder, azuki beans, soybeans and sugar. Only select natural ingredients are used and oils are rarely included.
Wagashi were first developed for tea ceremonies and go well with green tea. Those still served at tea ceremonies typically have a delicate taste, artistic shape and colors representing the current season.
Every region boasts unique wagashi that reflect the local culture and climate, but the most renowned wagashi confectionery stores are in the ancient capital cities of Kyoto and Nara.
- Try Japanese confections with tea on Wagashi Day