Who doesn’t love the cherry blossom season in Japan? Just before the much-anticipated bloom of the flowers themselves, sakura-related products spring up all over the country. From decorations and housewares, food, and even cosmetics, pretty pink floral things are everywhere you look.
Read on for some of our favorite sakura goods and cosmetics.
Sakura Goods for Home and Hanami
You don’t have to go far or spend a lot of yen to discover beautiful sakura-themed goods. In fact, many items can be acquired from your local 100 Yen Shop, like Daiso or Seria. Stationary, stickers, tableware, paper goods for your hanami picnic, and fake sakura flowers are all available to bring spring inside your home for only 100 yen each.
To step it up a notch, I recommend checking out one of the variety lifestyle stores such as Tokyu Hands or Loft. These shops have wide selections of high-quality cards, note paper and stickers to choose from. And when it comes to cosmetics and fragrance items, there are a lot of sweet sakura scents to be found at these locations!
Easily one of the most popular seasonal releases is the spring collection at Starbucks, with dozens of different mugs, tumblers, and other drinks accessories that are exclusive to Starbucks Japan and sell out every year. This year, the coffee retailer has outdone itself, releasing not one, but two different collections for 2021, with the dainty Sakura Breath and a more colorful Spring Bloom collection. Make sure to check these out while they still remain on the shelves!
Cherry Blossom Products for Face and Body
One easy way to enjoy the season is with sakura bath salts and powders. Bath culture is an integral part of Japanese life, and so this is a huge category when it comes to body care.
As the spring season draws near, the shops stock a wide variety of pink single-use packets to add some sakura to your bath. Most of these bath salts will tint the water, and some even give it a cloudy, milky appearance. In addition to smelling heavenly, they will also make your skin super soft! Since most of these are affordable and single-use, they make great gifts as well.
Even Kniepp, a plant-based, German bath and body care brand, has released a sakura scent! Called Now and Forever, the bath salts and hand cream are formulated with extract from yamazakura flowers, the most common type of cherry blossom. The scent is light and comforting, and both the bath salts and hand cream are available in small sizes for gifting and large ones for home.
Sheet masks are one of the most popular categories of skincare in Japan, and some of the bestselling sheet mask brands have hopped on the sakura train! One of these limited editions is by Saborino, whose “morning masks” are popular with young women since they deliver moisturizing results after only one minute of application. In addition to moisturizing ingredients derived from cherry blossoms, these masks include menthol, which gives your skin a great wake-up call in the morning!
The strangest sakura item that I found has to be the Fresh Sakura Mint Toothpaste from Ora2Me by Sunstar. Their Stain Clear line of toothpaste is the number one whitening toothpaste in Japan, and is known for cleaning well without being harsh. While I’m familiar with their diverse variety of fruity-minty flavors, I was not expecting to see sakura as part of their lineup! I found it to be a surprisingly pleasant flavor, more of a sweet mint than floral, without being too strong or fruity.
Smell Like Sakura All Year Long
Perhaps unsurprisingly, another huge category of sakura-scented items is fragrance itself. Tokyu Hands carries a number of different home fragrance diffusers with sweet, cherry blossom scents, some of which even look like sakura flowers instead of the usual reed diffuser. A mind-boggling assortment of sakura lotions, eau de toilettes, body sprays, and hair mists can be found from fragrance brands Aqua Savon and Sakura Blanc. All of these are seasonal and only available at this time.
One fragrance line that is available year round is the Japanese Cherry Blossom line from British bodycare brand The Body Shop. Of all the scents I sniffed in pursuit of my perfect sakura perfume, this is the one I liked the best. Some of the other fragrances available felt a little sweet and too young for my taste, and the scents faded rather quickly from my skin. With the eau de toilette from The Body Shop, I experienced a light and feminine fragrance that still had some staying power. Made with hand-picked cherry blossoms, this is a beautiful floral scent with a hint of fruity cherries. In addition to the eau de toilette, the line includes body cream, body lotion, and shower gel.
After a long, cold winter, we could all use the joy and beauty that spring brings with it. Get into the season this year with these delightful sakura goods, found only at this time in Japan.
Author: Maureen Stone