McDonald's Japan Is Celebrating Cherry Blossom Season In The Sweetest Way

Cherry blossom season is more than just a time to see Japan's iconic sakura in bloom – it's time to celebrate the coming of spring. Along with that comes the practice of Hanami, or having picnics in cherry blossom-filled parks across the country to enjoy the change in seasons and to take in the views.

While sakura flowers can't be picked off trees and consumed as is, their petals can be – and are – used to make different delicacies. Gurunavi says blossoms can be pickled in vinegar or freeze-dried; sakura petals can also be salted and ground into a powder. The versatile plant can taste even sweeter than it smells, serving as the inspiration for different traditional desserts, such as sakura-an, which brings together salted sakura leaves and white bean paste. Sakura kanten, or jellied desserts, feature the flower's petals. Sakura cakes combine fresh whipped cream and sakura petals that are "baked into the cake batter." Then there is the sakura mochi – a folded rice cake with a red bean paste wrapped in a cherry blossom leaf. It is this traditional, seasonal treat that inspired McDonald's Japan to come up with a limited-time offer for this year's cherry blossom season.

McDonalds Japan's sakura offer is different this year

Grape describes McDonald's Sakuramochi Pie as a soft concoction made with pickled cherry blossoms and sweetened red bean paste which is then encased in a sakura-flavored, pink-hued pie crust. It's even got special seasonal packaging that makes the pie look as if it's inside a traditional cherry blossom leaf. The pie will be available through to the middle of April.

It's no surprise that McDonald's has gone above and beyond for the Sakuramochi Pie. Grape looks back at a past McDonald's cherry blossom season offer: a "Teritama" burger featuring a pink(ish) slice of pastrami in a beef burger as well as a peach-flavored McFloat. Japan Crate says the fast food giant has even offered up a Sakura McFizz, a Sakura McFlurry, as well as Sakura Shrimp Fries – all flavored with edible parts of the spring flower.

And McDonald's isn't alone. Tokyo Treat says this time of year sees a plethora of limited offers, pink-themed items including sakura-themed candies, soft drinks, and snacks, all of which take the idea of going pink to a whole new level. What better way for businesses to get into the spirit of sitting under the cherry blossom trees to enjoy the coming of a new spring?