Japanese traditional sweets, called wagashi, are revered for their pristine presentation and exquisite taste. There’s specialist shops all over Japan, staffed by expert confectioners crafting treats that cost a pretty penny. While these are great for a special occasion, you’d be surprised at the quality of Japanese sweets that can be found at the local convenience store for just a fraction of the price.

For example, this latest range from Lawson is a steal. The collection features all kinds of wagashi treats perfect for summer for just 108 yen ($1.02). These mini sweets are perfect for a casual Japanese teatime and includes many wagashi heavy hitters.

Ohagi is a classic treat made from a squishy rice ball covered in something sweet. You can buy a set of two red bean paste flavours or go for a selection which includes one kinako (roasted soybean flour) covered ohagi. The sweet is traditionally eaten during Obon, so it’s the perfect seasonal treat for summer and will be sold from 6th August for two weeks to coincide with the holiday.

But to truly sample the delights of summer wagashi, Lawson have put together an assortment including six sweets for just 214 yen. This includes the aforementioned ohagi duo, plus sakura mochi, kudzu manju, and two mini dango skewers. This will also be sold to coincide with Obon festivities.

But even if you miss out on these, another colourful couple of sweets are on the way. From 26th August (27th for the Kanto area) a set of daifuku mochi is appearing. One is a classic red bean paste filling surrounded by white mochi, while the other gets its green hue from Japanese mugwort. This well loved combination is also going for just 108 yen for both.

These sweets can’t just be found in any Lawson, you have to hunt down a ‘Lawson 100’, a spin off of the ubiquitous convenience store which specialises in 100 yen goods. But if you live in Japan and can’t resist a wagashi bargain, you probably already know where your local branch is.

By - Jess.