*Wagashi* are traditional Japanese sweets. Many *wagashi* are made with [mochi](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/mochi-recipe) (pounded glutinous rice), *dango* (rice flour dumplings), or azuki beans (sweet red or white beans). The term *wagashi* originated in the nineteenth century to distinguish traditional Japanese confections, many which have existed since prehistory, from *yōgashi*—treats with a Western influence.\nInstead of shape or ingredient, *wagashi* are often categorized by whether they are “fresh” or “dry.” There are three types of *wagashi* based on moisture content:\n\n1. __*Namagashi*__: Namagashi, or fresh *wagashi*, have a moisture content of 30 percent or more and are best eaten soon after they are made. Examples of *namagashi* include *ohagi*, [*daifuku*](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/daifuku-recipe), sakura mochi, warabi mochi, *joyo manju*, *dorayaki*, *yokan*, and various types of *dango*.\n2. __*Han-namagashi*__: *Han-namagashi* means “half fresh,” and these *wagashi* fall somewhere in between being gooey and dry. An example is *monaka*, which consists of both dry and wet ingredients—wafer-like rice cakes and bean paste.\n3. __*Higashi*__: *Higashi* are “dry” *wagashi* containing less than 10 percent water, such as *rakugan*.\n*Wagashi* come in various shapes and often feature intricate decorations that reflect the season. Many varieties of *wagashi* are unique to a particular region or specialty *wagashi* shop. Some of the most popular varieties include:\n\n1. __*Daifuku*__: *Daifuku* are sweet dumplings featuring a *gyūhi* (soft mochi) wrapper.\n2. __Warabi mochi__: [Warabi mochi](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/warabi-mochi-recipe) are jelly-like confections made from bracken root starch and dusted with *kinako* (soybean flour).\n3. __*Kibi dango*__: *[Kibi dango](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/kibi-dango-recipe)* are sweet millet flour dumplings. \n4. __*Mitarashi dango*__: *Mitarashi dango* are skewered rice flour dumplings glazed with sweetened soy sauce.\n5. __*Ohagi*__: *Ohagi*, also known as *botamochi*, are mochi coated in anko ([red bean paste](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/red-bean-paste-guide)).\n6. __Sakura mochi__: This mochi is dyed cherry-blossom pink and wrapped in a cherry leaf.\n7. __*Yokan*__: *Yokan* is a jelly-like *wagashi* made with *kanten* (Japanese agar). \n8. __*Dorayaki*__: [*Dorayaki*](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/dorayaki-recipe) consists of two pancake-like castella cakes sandwiched around red bean paste.\n9. __*Joyu manju*__: *Joyu manju* are teamed cakes made with yam flour.\n10. __*Nerikiri*__: *Nerikiri*, also known as *jo-namagashi*, is made from bean paste kneaded with rice flour and molded into interesting shapes. *Nerikiri* is often served as part of japanese tea ceremonies.\n11. __*Monaka*__: *Monaka* consists of red bean paste sandwiched between rice wafers, often shaped to resemble the moon.\n12. __*Rakugan*__: *Rakugan* is a type of *higashi* made with rice flour, sugar, and just enough water to form a thick paste perfect for intricate molds.\n13. __*Taiyaki*__: *Taiyaki* are grilled, fish-shaped cakes made with wheat flour. A popular street food, *taiyaki* can be filled with red bean paste or even ice cream.\n14. __*Yatsuhashi*__: Made from cinnamon-flavored rice dough, this *wagashi* can be dried, steamed, or filled with red bean paste.\n15. __*Zenzai*__: This [sweet red bean soup](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/red-bean-paste-guide) is typically served with a toasted rice cake.\nBecome a better chef with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Niki Nakayama, Gabriela Cámara, Chef Thomas Keller, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel, Gordon Ramsay, Alice Waters, and more.\nTraditional Japanese confections are perfect for tea ceremonies, seasonal holidays, and everyday treats.