As sunshine warms the days, Japanese tables are laden with gorgeous dishes. Traditional flavors that sparkle with artisanal skills quicken the hearts of people impatient for spring.
Registered by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, Japanese cuisine is also praised as an expression of natural beauty and the passage of the four seasons. A supreme example is nerikiri, dainty confections molded into the shape of flowers and other symbols of the season. Amazing morsels are created by traditional, detailed handicraft from bean-and-sugar paste and given a variety of colors. The advanced artisanal skills and high aesthetic consciousness bring the delights of spring to the hearts and eyes of the beholder.
Sake of Spring
No flower-viewing party or spring banquet is complete without vividly colorful sprinkled sushi (chirashi sushi). Sushi rice, flavored with vinegar and sugar, is festooned with seafood, vegetables, and other treats, truly expressing the joy of welcoming a new season. With a different character for each region and household, even for Japanese people this is special. Schools, businesses, and other Japanese institutions start a new year in April. Everyone gathers around a table laid with festive foods and celebrates the season of new beginnings.