Dorayaki is a kind of pancake with a filling on the center. The filling of dorayaki usually is a red bean jam, chocolate or matcha (green tea powder). The texture of dorayaki is soft and tender suitable to be served along with a healthy cup of green tea.
Melon pan is a type of sweet bun that originated in Japan, but its popularity has spread to other countries in Asia, as well as Latin America. Its name comes from its appearance resembling that of a cantaloupe. The top of the melon pan is a crunchy, cookie-crust layer that complements the sweetened, soft inside. It is not melon-flavored, but it is becoming popular among bakers to add melon to the cookie crust. Variations do exist, sometimes chocolate chips or nuts are added between layers, and some have fillings such as flavored cream or custard.
Momiji manju is a regional pastry from Miyajima, an island off of Hiroshima Bay. Manju consists of dough, flour, water, sugar, starch, and the filling, which are then boiled together. They look soft to the touch and are served cold. Manjus are typically round in shape but momiji manju is distinguished by its maple-leaf shape (momiji translates to “maple” in English). The filling varies, but options include red-bean paste, custard cream, cream cheese, chocolate, and matcha.
Taiyaki is a fish-shaped cake. The shape and name come from tai, Japanese red sea bream, which is a type of fish. The cake is made using pancake or waffle batter that is poured into a fish-shaped mold. The most commonly used fillings are red-bean paste and custard, though some people have been experimenting with potatoes, cheese, sausages, and other savory options.
You can find this special dessert in Kyoto. Yatsuhashi has the soft texture of mochi and filled with cinnamons. Yatsuhashi usually served as steamed desserts but you can also find the fried version of this dessert along with the red bean paste as the filling.
Dango is a small dumpling made from mochi powder. There are varieties of dangos, such as mitarashi dango, a sweet soy sauce dango, dango with kinako powder, dangpo with anko, etc. Some dangos are served on a skewer. You can easily get one at food stalls or any grocery stores. They go perfectly well with Japanese green tea.
Anmitsu is considered to be one of the main types of wagashi. A summer staple, it is made with small cubes of agar jelly, which is white, translucent jelly made from red algae. Anmitsu is served in a bowl with red bean paste (anko) and it comes with a pot of black syrup, that is supposed to be poured over it. Also in the bowl is a variety of fruit and shiratama (mochi rice balls).
Kakigori is a Japanese shaved ice. Kakigori is very common during the summer in Japan. It is usually flavored with colorful syrup (popular ones are strawberry, lemon, melon, condensed milk).
Kakigori is inevitably sold at food stalls in festivals in its most simple form, but you can have more luxurious types that have many toppings at a specialized kakigori cafe. When summer comes, many stores start to serve kakigori. This traditional Japanese dessert is delicious and refreshing.