It’s the time of the year where we let sakura invade all our senses. We want to see, smell and taste them everywhere: in photographs, on the trees, cascading to the ground and — not surprisingly — in our food. The pink craze is catching on like wildfire this spring. Many establishments are joining the conga line and providing an array of delectable, inspiring treats for us to gobble up.
Treat yourself to the delectable sweets at Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s Florentina Pastry Boutique. For a limited time, choose between a range of sakura-inspired and flavored treats including but certainly not limited to macarons, marshmallows and eclairs. If you’re looking for a more Japanese pasty experience, the shop also sells sakura anpan, a red bean paste-filled and buttery pastry with an infused sakura flavor.
Sakura macarons (3 pieces) ¥1, 100 | Sakura guimauve ¥700 | Sakura eclair ¥1,800 | Anpan ¥300
This fabulous five-star hotel has an irresistible collection of sweets, lunches and free-flowing champagne for you this spring. Pamper yourself at The Pastry Shop with iced eclairs, delicate macarons and matcha roll cake with a surprising filling. For those who like to share (or can’t decide), the Sakura Box with eight bite-sized cherry blossom delights is for you. Plus, a crowd favorite: jars filled with a mesmerizing display of sakura blancmange, jelly and sour raspberries.
On their 52nd-floor rooftop terrace, you’ll observe breathtaking views of Tokyo Tower and the city beyond while indulging in dainty sweets and morish savory bites. Cherry blossoms are the key ingredient, so expect a burst of pink on your plate when sampling this exquisite Sakura Afternoon Tea. In the evening, the lights of the city come alive, and Perrier-Jouët Champagne starts flowing in the rooftop garden for a unique hanami experience away from the noise. On the same floor, Sushi is offering a delightful chirashizushi lunch, that features fresh sakura sea bream and sakura shrimp.
The Pasty Shop sweets ¥200 – ¥2,900 (Sakura Box) | Sakura Afternoon Tea ¥6,000 | Chirashi lunch ¥4,500 | Snacks with champagne at the rooftop garden from ¥8,000
The flavor of cherry blossoms can be in the unlikeliest of food at ARK Hills. In the Mori Building, Sakura shrimp is the starring ingredient in Ark Hills Cafe’s pasta and Wolfgang’s pizza. Even encounter it on top of kimchi at Yakiniku Ten Gamushara. The remaining towers don’t stop there with culinary innovations. Try refreshing sakura chirashizushi, take away a bento box for a picnic or sample a poke bowl with crushed sakura flakes at Halekai’s.
Prices vary depending on the restaurant
With four stores in hotels around Tokyo, GG Co. cafe presents its new spring combination: sakura mochi and black tea. Drink it hot or cold but make sure to mix the cherry sauce, strawberries and whipped cream to create a wonderful pink hue and powerful scent. Along with these special drinks are delicious pastries including a bread that imitates cherry blossom petals and a sakura maple roll, soaked in cherry liqueur and dashed with maple sugar.
Sakura Mochi Royal Milk Tea ¥495 | Pastries ¥264 each
For the first time, enjoy more than 100 cherry blossoms of 20 varying species amongst a sea of clouds at Hotel Chinzan-so at this year’s Sweet Selection. Watch them roll in from the terrace as you sip sparkling wine and dine on a two-tiered tower of glorious cherry macaroons, sakura-scented bread and perfectly crafted scones. Savory dishes such as quiche, roast beef, clam chowder soup and rapeseed sandwiches are also on offer. Plus, ten types of tea to choose from.
The Sweets Selection ¥6,500
Bring sakura season home with you by purchasing this take-out strawberry and sakura afternoon tea. No need to use plates, as the original packaging unveils as a three-tiered afternoon tea stand filled with treats: tarts topped with strawberries and cherry cream; fromage blanc; a unique tiramisu, made with strawberry and sakura mascarpone cream layered on a berry syrup-soaked sponge; and Japanese sweets such as daifuku and dango.
Pick up at the ZelkovA Cake Boutique. One Set (for two people) ¥8,000. Please reserve five days in advance
Jiichiro in Roppongi Hills prides itself on making elegant sweets with passion. This fluffy edition to the list is more than just a delight to the eyes. It has an impressive 24 layers, which achieves a silky, moist texture that melts in the mouth. The dough is mixed with white chocolate providing an extra hint of sweetness. Treat yourself and throw in some pudding and roll cakes too.
Cherry Baumkuchen ¥1,450
There are both salty and sweet spring specials to try at the Palace Hotel Tokyo and its numerous restaurants. The Palace Lounge presents a superb parfait with three types of strawberries carefully selected by the chef. At the Pastry Shop Sweets & Deli, consider the limited-edition Ichino Ichino Ichi Sakura cake that’s made with fragrant sake or open up an edible sakura-shaped treat. There are further options for dinner including a seasonal hanami bento, spring afternoon tea and a take-out party box for entertaining guests.
Sweets at the Pastry Shop start from ¥380
Along with illuminations lining the street, many restaurants in Nihonbashi are celebrating this March and April with their own specialized menus and events. 150 stores have an impressive lineup of lunch boxes fit for a banquet, collaborative onigiris and intriguing ice cream. There are even food and drink seminars for those who want to educate themselves.
Prices vary depending on the store
Tokyo Marriot Hotel’s Gotenyama outdoor terrace has been a go-to spot every cherry blossom season since the Edo period. Embrace the true meaning of spring while looking out at the lush greenery of the garden. Fill yourself with fresh clam marinière, mountain vegetables, Sakurahime chicken rolls and seasonal bamboo shoots with the Sakura Box. Or take yourself to the G-Wa Selection restaurant and feast your eyes on a colorful collection of creative sushi.
Gotenyama Sakura Box
Trunk Hotel has a tantalizing selection of treats in store. Walk past branches of cherry blossoms as you enter Trunk (Kushi) and settle down on the terrace to enjoy sakura dango topped with white bean paste and wrapped in salted cherry leaves. Trunk (Kitchen) introduces a gorgeous dish of Shiogama pork roasted with salted cherry blossoms. Don’t leave without a Sakura Honey Premium Soft Serve ice cream or a surprising cocktail at Trunk (Lounge).
Sakura Honey Premium Soft Serve
Chef Julien Perrinet has crafted an excellent menu with an ingenious design for this sakura season at Pastry Boutique. His Sakura Palette features the showstopping Sakura Roll Cake with an exquisite dark chocolate cherry blossom tree proudly protruding from the center. Alongside this masterpiece, is Sakura Lace, a pastry rising up like the sun and adorned with strawberry chocolate namelaka cream and tangy strawberry marmalade. Last but not least is Sakura Saint-Honoré, a modern spin on the classic French dessert of the same name.
Sakura Roll Cake ¥5,200 | Sakura Lace ¥950 | Sakura Saint-Honoré ¥2,600
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