Spring is a great time for fans of wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets. While many wagashi reflect the seasons all year long visually — especially the colorful, beautifully formed nerikiri created by skilled artisans — this is the time of year when you can taste, as well as see, the season as it progresses.

In March and early April, there are sakura-mochi that use salty, tangy preserved cherry blossoms as well as leaves for flavor. And later on in May, there are kashiwa-mochi, wrapped in woodsy kashiwa (oak) leaves, as well as chimaki, which use young green bamboo leaves as wrappers.

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