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Haagen-Dazs Japan has done a great job of celebrating the country’s wagashi sweets in its desserts, and the current limited-edition mochi (chewy rice cake) offerings stand as its best nod to traditional flavors yet.

The company’s Hanamochi ice creams pop up in konbini freezers seasonally and, for the next few weeks, you can find the Ginsen Kinako Kuromitsu (toasted soybean flour and black sugar) or the more straightforward Kuri-an chestnut flavor (both ¥295 before tax) at supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide.

The main draw is the sticky piece of mochi atop the ice cream base, which makes it a textural experience rarely found in the konbini coolers. The Kuromitsu in particular is rich without feeling fussy or complicated. All in all, a great riff on traditional Japanese sweets and a definite annual highlight.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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