Sure, those cherry blossom Frappuccinos are great, but they’re not the only sakura sips waiting for you in Japan.

Part of what makes sakura season in Japan so incredible isn’t just the beauty of the flower itself, but how dynamic it looks when a whole grove of trees transforms into a mass of cherry blossoms. But it isn’t just Japan’s parks and forests that turn a stunning shade of pink in spring, but its drinks too, as all sorts of seasonal sakura-flavor beverages go on sale.

Starbucks Japan tends to draw the most attention, but they’re far from the only cafe/takeout place offering cherry blossom beverages, so here are seven places, other than Starbucks, to sip sakura drinks right now.

1. Sakura Strawberry Shiratama Latte
From 720 yen (US$5.60), available until March 27

Nana’s Green Tea, as its name implies, is a cafe chain specializing in matcha and other green tea-based drinks. They’re making an exception with the Sakura Strawberry Shiratama Latte, though, a cream-based dessert drink with sakura-flavor anko sweet bean paste, strawberry sauce and bits of fruit, and a topping of shiratama mochi dumplings. Want even more for your taste buds to enjoy?

You can add a swirl of soft-serve ice cream for an extra 70 yen and turn the drink into the Sakura Strawberry Shiratama Latte.

2. Sakura Berry Berry Soda and Sakura Chamomile Tea
480 yen each, available until April 18

Belying their fancy looks, this pair is actually being offered by fast food chain Freshness Burger. Both of them contain actual cherry blossom petals, with the soda getting a mix of sweet and tart flavors from the addition of honey and a tri-berry syrup, while the non-caffeine tea, served hot to ward off the lingering chill in the spring air, gets sweet sakura syrup.

3. Sakura Latte Warabimochi Drink
From 600 yen, available “until the time when the sakura petals fall from the trees”

Amamidokoro Kamakura may not have as many branches as some of the other cafes on this list, but their experience as a specialist in jiggly warabimochi sweets all but guarantees that this drink, with its sakura warabimoci, sweet and salty sakura sauce, and shaved sakura chocolate whipped cream is worth the extra legwork to try.

4. Sakura Matcha Latte
From 540 yen, available for a limited, undetermined time

Another cafe known by well-informed Japanese sweets fans, Ichimaruhachi Matcha Saro, also known as 108 Matcha Saro, is offering two great tastes together: cherry blossom and matcha green tea. The mix of sweet, salty, and bitter notes also shows up in their special seasonal imagawaaki sweet bean cakes, and if you’re feeling especially fancy…

…there’s also the Matcha Perrier Sakura, which adds the springtime flavor to their sparkling tea drink for 702 yen.

5. Sakura Black Tea Mocha Frozen
680 yen, available until April 15

Cage & Bakery Miyabi’s standard Mocha Frozen is a mix of Ceylon tea and vanilla, and this seasonal variant puts a dash of sakura flavor into the glass too, along with a delicate touch of white chocolate. Teaming up for the topping are a swirl of whipped cream, Miyabi’s popular white chocolate rusk, and a dusting of sakura chocolate shavings. Also on offer are Sakura Milk Tea and a Sakura Latte (550 yen each).

6. Sakura Peach Milk Tea
620 yen, available until April 4

Japan’s boba/tapioca tea craze might have cooled down a bit from its height a few years ago, but Taiwan Ten Cafe’s Japanese branches are still serving it to loyal and happy fans, who’re even happier now that this flavor is on the menu.

7. Tom and Jerry Dancing Sakura White Chocolate Latte and Sakura Fragrance Royal Milk Tea
From 695 yen each, available for a limited, undetermined time

And last, Tully’s Coffee’s white chocolate cafe latte with sakura and strawberry enhancements comes in a special cup featuring the famous American slapstick cartoon characters sitting amongst a flurry of fluttering sakura petals, the most Japanese the pair have looked since their recent anime makeover. The drink is available both hot or cold, as is the Sakura Fragrance Royal Milk Tea which exchanges a strawberry sauce topping for the latte’s chocolate flakes.

With so many tempting limited-time drinks to try, we plan on starting soon, just like we’re getting an early start on our sakura party plans because of the earlier-than-normal arrival of the flowers in Japan this spring.

Source: PR Times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Top image: PR Times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Insert images: PR Times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
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