There’s nothing better than eating pink sakura treats while gazing up at their beautiful blossoms.

As this year’s sakura trees begin to bloom, stores across the nation are welcoming the cherry-blossom-viewing season with a bevy of pretty pink products, and one of the most popular ranges at the moment comes from the 7-Eleven convenience store chain.

The Japanese company released their lineup of pink treats last month, just before the early-blooming Kawazu sakura unfurled their petals around the country, so we headed down to Kawazu in Shizuoka Prefecture for our first hanami flower-viewing picnic of the year, with the 7-Eleven sweet treats in our picnic basket.

The dark pink Kawazu sakura bloom in late February and early March, much earlier than the more iconic pale pink Yoshino variety, which blossoms in mid-to-late March every year.

With eight seasonal treats laid out before us under the sakura trees, it was hard to choose which one to devour first, so we took a moment to admire the pink-hued scene, which matched the colour above our heads and across the river.

First up to the tasting plate is the “Haru no Gohobi Parfait” (“Springtime Reward Parfait“), which retails for 298 yen (US$2.72).

All the ingredients inside this colourful parfait are written out in detail on a sticker on the side of the lid, with a helpful diagram for easy reference.

On top we have two bite-sized pieces of chocolate gateau, or chocolate cake, which are placed neatly next to some beautiful swirls of plain and strawberry-flavoured whipped cream.

Underneath the fancy topping is a layer of custard, followed by a layer of strawberry mousse, and then a layer of strawberry sauce. Buried in the middle of it all is a delicate sponge, which adds a crumbly texture to each mouthful.

This treat is absolutely delicious, and the small servings of each flavour add up to give you a mouthful of different tastes and textures throughout. Though it doesn’t actually contain any sakura ingredients, this one makes the list for its pretty pink hue, and because it’s a great option for those who aren’t so keen on the flavour of sakura but still want to join in with the sweet pink springtime celebrations.

▼ Next up we have the Sakura Milk (100 yen), which comes packed with sakura flavour.

This delicate sweet is so small you could pop the whole thing in your mouth without any problem, but delving into it with a spoon reveals the goodness that lies within.

▼ Have you ever seen a fluffier, lighter mousse than this?

The quality of this sweet is really remarkable, far exceeding anything you’d expect to find at a convenience store. With a well-rounded balance of salty sweet sakura and smooth whipped cream in every mouthful, this is hands-down our favourite item in the whole collection. But then again, we always have a soft spot for sweets covered in mochi sticky rice.

The Sakura Moko (140 yen) is the newest flavour to join 7-Eleven’s Moko range of oversized cream puff sweets, and this one comes in pale purple packaging with a gorgeous flurry of sakura petals spread out across the front and sides.

Inside, the cream puff pastry has an orangey pink hue to it, due to the addition of sakura flavour in the dough.

▼ Requiring two hands to devour it, this is one of the biggest treats in the collection.

Breaking this one apart reveals the pale pink rare cheese filling inside, which melts on your tongue with hints of salty sakura flavour. If you love the taste of cheese and sakura, this is definitely the sweet for you.

▼ Next up is the “Sakura Mon Blanc and Uji Machi Japanese Parfait” (298 yen).

This one also comes with a seal on it explaining the ingredients and their placement.

On top is a serving of sakura whipped cream, matcha whipped cream, and adzuki red bean paste, alongside a candied cherry and a dango sticky rice ball. Inside is a generous serving of matcha mousse, which comes with bite-sized pieces of chocolate cake to create a sweet counterpart to the bitter green-tea flavour.

The pièce de résistance here is definitely the salted sakura flower, which sits atop the swirls of sakura-flavoured whipped cream. Each tiny petal hits your tongue with salty floral flavours that will have cherry blossom fans swooning with delight.

There’s nothing like eating a cherry blossom while admiring their beauty on the trees.

▼ Next in line for a taste is the Strawberry Ganache Chocolate Gateau (180 yen).

This is another treat that uses strawberry instead of cherry blossoms to create its sakura-like springtime appeal. The white chocolate sauce decoration on top represents a flurry of petals falling on the breeze.

Chocolate-loving guests at any hanami picnic will go weak at the knees for this sweet, with its rich, brownie-like flavour standing strong against the sweet strawberry topping.

Now we move on to a more traditional Japanese sweet, the Sakura Mochi, which retails for 130 yen.

Containing red beans sourced from Tokachi in Hokkaido Prefecture, this type of sweet is very popular around Japan at this time of year. Containing pink sakura-flavoured sticky rice, this particular treat comes filled with adzuki red bean paste, which acts as a sweet counterpart to the bitter sakura flavours.

This one also comes topped with a salted sakura flower, which gives you an extra strong hit of cherry blossom, making this a good choice for fans of salty sweet flavours.

Next, we have the Strawberry and Chocolate Flower Cake (328 yen), which is one of the best-looking sweets in the collection.

▼ The explanatory seal on this one reveals its secret layers.

This gorgeous treat looks too good to eat, with its decorations depicting a moonlit cherry blossom scene.

Its beautifully glossy appearance comes from a thin coating of fruit glaze, which sits upon a layer of strawberry cream.

Inside is a mound of chocolate cream and a couple of bite-sized brownie pieces, which will send chocolate lovers to heaven and back again with every bite!

▼ Rounding off the collection is the Softened Sakura Muretto (160 yen).

▼ This one also has a gorgeous flurry of petals on its packaging.

This treat is based on the traditional dorayaki, a Japanese confection that comes with a sweet red bean filling sandwiched between two round pancake-like pieces.

Here we have a soft and fluffy sakura-flavoured pancake wrapped around a serving of sweet red bean paste and whipped cream, which gives it an extra richness.

The addition of a pickled sakura blossom to the mix packs a big sakura punch on first bite, mellowing out to give you a more rounded balance of sweet cream flavours.

With sakura season now officially underway in the capital, and full bloom to follow in the next 7-10 days, now’s the time to stock up on the limited-edition collection of sweets for your upcoming hanami cherry blossom-viewing parties.

And while you’re at the convenience store, don’t forget you can print out postcards of photos from your phone there so you can share your memories of the season with friends and family too. Happy hanami everyone!

Photos © SoraNews24