Japan’s borders are finally open. Japanese TV is reporting every day on the large numbers of tourists coming to visit Asakusa, Akihabara, and Ginza to purchase anime goods, traditional arts and crafts, and more. The recent slide in the value of the yen has made it easy for tourists to set their eyes on expensive items.

This time, however, I'd like to introduce a very cute and affordable food that you won't be able to bring back to your country. It’s a super rare snack only available in a special area of Tokyo. Readers planning on visiting the nation's capital will surely be interested!

Rare mochi balls!

Ta-da! These are rare mochi (rice cake) balls! What are these adorable things?

These white balls with cute facial expressions are called Tokyo Yakimochi (Tokyo toasted rice cake balls | 東京やきもち). You can buy these Tokyo Yakimochi only at “Parks.” Despite the name, “Parks” is actually a chain of kiosks run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association. They started selling the toasted rice cake balls on March 19th, 2022. Indeed, Tokyo Yakimochi was newly introduced this year!

It’s hard to tell from the picture, but according to the official source, each Tokyo Yakimochi ball is as big as a ping-pong ball. One stick has three yakimochi balls, so it would be good for light meal too.

What's more, you definitely can’t miss these!

These are autumn-limited versions of Tokyo Yakimochi. What’s surprising about them is they are only available in Inokashira Park (Inokashiraonshikōen | 井の頭恩賜公園) in Tokyo. Only one park in Japan! They are time-limited items, only available until November 30th. They are almost as rare as an SSR (Special Super Rare) item from a gacha game!

Are some of you thinking of avoiding the green mochi on the right because it looks like wasabi? Don’t worry, it’s not. The green paste is actually zunda'an ずんだあん, mashed green sweet soybean paste. One stick is only JPY 450.

The one on the left is a seaweed wrap (norimaki | のりまき). The black coat worn by the mochi is made from seaweed. Nori is better known as the seaweed used in sushi but it is also used with mochi, as you can see here. For a limited time, if you order the dashi soy sauce (dashi'iri shouyu | だし入りしょうゆ), walnut miso (kurumi'iri miso | くるみ入りみそ), or mitarashi (sweet soy sauce | みたらし) flavored mochi, you can pay an additional 50 yen to give your mochi a cute coat. It’s like dressing them up for Halloween. How cute!

Fun to eat and photograph!

From the Tokyo Yakimochi official Twitter account, you can see how photogenic these mochi are.

They’re not only delicious, but they also make great props.


The Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association is also selling Tokyo Yakimochi goods. From left to right, there's a reflective keychain, a color-printed plastic folder, and a rubber coin case. They are not only cute but practical too.

The nori garnish and zunda flavors are limited to Inokashira park, but the standard mochi balls are available at ten stores around Tokyo. If you ever find yourself near a Tokyo metropolitan park this fall, don’t miss your chance to try out these rare delicious snacks!


By - Mochijapa (Ayano Irizuki).