The petals may have dropped from the cherry trees, at least in the Tokyo area, but there are plenty of leaves to be seen — and not just on the trees. Look around any shop selling traditional wagashi sweets at this time of year and you’ll find cherry leaves in evidence, wrapped around sakura-mochi.

Nibbling on these pink-tinged confections is one of the classic rites of spring. It’s easy to identify them by the salt-preserved cherry leaves wrapped around the outside. But, as so often in Japan, there is an east-west divide on what’s supposed to go inside.

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