When I first came to Japan, the Japanese sweets did not seem very appealing to me. For starters, I did not understand how someone could use beans as a sweet at all, and then it seemed to contain far to much sugar. It all changed during my fifth year in Japan. Because I had come to appreciate the Japanese cuisine, I took my chances and tried again a Japanese sweet. It was a kibidango from Okayama, a rather simple type of sweet, just the one Momotaro gave to his animal friends. And I liked it. So I have started to try every sweet I could get my hands on. Some of them I do not like that much, but most are just delicious. But the most amazing thing is that even if they look alike, most of the time they are completely different. The sheer variety beats me up to this day. I have developed the habit of stopping at every Japanese sweets maker (and they are in every shopping street) to see what they have to offer.
As with most Japanese food, a lot of the Japanese sweets are seasonal. This cherry leaf was hand made by my mother in law. The outer part is made of mochi (a rice paste), which covers a bean paste made of a sort of white beans (yes, I do love the bean kind of sweets nearly as much as chocolate now). And it was great. Really fantastic. The only drawback is that I have already eaten them all.