Wagashi are usually classified into three main categories: namagashi (fresh confectionery), han namagashi (half-dry confectionery) and higashi (dry confectionery). Below are some of the most common wagashi types:

Namagashi (生菓子)

Namagashi (lit. raw sweets) are traditional Japanese sweets that are most often associated with wagashi. They are made of rice flour and a sweet bean paste filling, and are delicately shaped by hand to reflect the season. Namagashi are served at the tea ceremony.

Daifuku (大福)

Daifuku are made of soft rice cake (mochi) wrapped around a small round of smooth, sweet bean paste or other fillings. They are covered with a light dusting of potato starch to keep them from sticking together. Popular daifuku variations include strawberry (ichigo), beans (mame) and ice cream.

Dango (だんご)

Dango are chewy, small, steamed dumplings made of rice flour. They are typically served skewered three or four to a stick and topped with a sweet sauce or bean paste. The dumplings are also added into other desserts like anmitsu and oshiruko. Like daifuku, dango are best eaten fresh.

Yokan (羊羹)

Yokan is a sweet, firm, jelly-like snack made of sugar and kanten agar. It comes in many different flavors like azuki bean, gree tea or black sugar. Single serving bars of yokan are usually the size of a small pack of chewing gum, while larger bars should be sliced before they are served.

Dorayaki (どら焼き)

Dorayaki consist of sweet bean paste sandwiched between two pancake-like patties. It is also known as the favorite snack of Doraemon, a popular anime character. Modern dorayaki variations may be filled with other fillings, such as whipped cream, custard cream and green tea flavored cream.

Oshiruko (おしるこ/ぜんざい)

Oshiruko is a type of dessert soup that consists of hot, sweet bean soup with grilled rice cakes (mochi) or rice flour dumplings. The red bean soup may be either smooth or chunky. A similar dish is zenzai which comes with a more viscous soup.

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