Coming Valentine’s Day is going to be my first Valentine’s Day in Japan! I have been working hard on searching for special Valentine’s sweets for my boyfriend who does not like chocolates so much (how can he!!). As I am living in Japan now, the easiest thing I could think of was the ‘mochi’ (Japanese rice cake), particularly, ‘daifuku’.
Daifuku is a small round-shaped mochi stuffed with sweet filling. The most common is white-, pale green-, or pale pink-colored mochi filled with ‘anko’, sweetened red bean paste. In Japan, there are many kinds of daifuku with various colors and fillings, and they are popular gifts or souvenirs among the Japanese.
For people who want to give their valentines special sweets other than chocolate or other common candies on Valentine’s Day, daifuku can also make a good sweet.
Below are pictures of daifuku I found in some Japanese sweet stores on first floor of Daimaru department store which is directly connected to Tokyo Station. Here is the location of the building.
A pale pink-colored daifuku in the picture below is one of ‘ichigo daifuku’, which is stuffed with strawberry and sweet filing. This daifuku’s name is ‘Ichigo-anju’ which means strawberry (ichigo) red bean (an) pearl (ju).
For your information, most ichigo daifuku contain whole pieces of strawberry like the one in the below picture.
Below are ‘Suikanshuku’ filled with persimmon filling. The name, Suikanshuku means elegant(sui) sweet(kan) soft(shuku).
Below are daifuku stuffed with anko and covered with tiny colored rice crackers. The name of daifuku is ‘Shunsaika’ which means spring(shun) plant(sai) flower(ka).
Below is a picture of Oniyarai Mochi (left) and sushi shaped mochi (right). Oniyarai Mochi, which name means ‘out with the demons’, is filled with red bean paste and covered with powdered sponge cake. These mochi are inspired by Setsubun (the day before the beginning of Spring in Japan). On that day, the Japanese eat soybeans and roll sushi to avoid evils bring bed luck. You can see masks of Japanese demon in this picture, too.
Below might look like chocolates, but actually they are daifuku covered with red bean paste and stuffed with a whole piece of chestnut. This is interesting daifuku because red bean paste was not used for anko but for cover. The daifuku’s name is ‘Ikoten’ which means ‘to become generous.’ Maybe you can present this daifuku to person you want to be more generous? :p
So far, I have shown you some kinds of daifuku (actually there are way more kinds of daifuku in Japan…I will talk more about them later!). What do you think? I hope this post is helpful for you to get an idea for special Valentine’s Day gifts (I am still working on it! >_<).
How about making sweets with red bean paste instead of chocolate for this Valentine’s Day? 🙂
Thank you for reading my post!
Japanese Fruits Daifuku (Rice Cake) – strawberry
Mixed Mochi (Red Bean, Peanut, and Sesame)
Japanese Fruits Daifuku Mochi (Rice Cake)- Melon