Japan's food culture is known for regional specialties, which sometimes can only be bought by tourists when they actually visit that specific area of the country. But these days, since travelling is much less common, there’s new ways to get a taste of the various prefectures of Japan. Thanks to online retailer Felissimo, one traditional sweet from Niigata prefecture has become much easier to get our hands on.

The colourful little snacks look very similar to konpeito, a more well known Japanese sweet which is featured in famous anime such as ‘Spirited Away’. However, they are completely different. This Niigata creation, which has been produced for 115 years, is actually rice covered in syrup.

This traditional sweet was originally named ‘yukari’, but in a rebrand effort to combat dwindling sales, they renamed it ‘ukihoshi’, meaning floating stars. A pretty and cute name which is very fitting of these aesthetically pleasing sweets. Ukihoshi are a wonderful example of the craftsmanship which goes into Japanese traditional sweets. Although there are several flavours to choose from, only one flavour can be made per day due to the work and time (9 hours!) that goes into each batch.

Of course they can be eaten as is, but ukihoshi are surprisingly flexible. They can also be used to decorate desserts, and even sweeten coffee and tea, adding a delicious syrupy taste.

Even the packaging is adorable, making these sweets the perfect gift for fans of traditional Japanese sweets.

For a traditional taste of Niigata prefecture without even leaving your home, you can order ukihoshi from Felissimo's online store.

By - Jess.