Sakura, two ways

Illustration by Serene Lusano

Cherry blossom season passes without much notice here in Sacramento, probably because we’re all too busy sneezing. But in Japan, the emergence of pink petals causes mass celebration. I like to swing by Osaka-Ya (2215 10th Street) at least once each spring to pick up some of its seasonal sakura mochi. Look for the pale pink, bulbous rice cakes wrapped in cherry blossom—in Japanese, sakura—leaves. They’re lightly sweet, slightly floral and, like all of Osaka-Ya’s mochi, so satisfyingly chewy. But act quickly, as Osaka-Ya only sells them on Saturdays through mid-April, and they tend to sell out early. If sweets aren’t your thing, check out the Davis Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday, April 9. Sudwerk Brewery will serve a special sakura beer while taiko drumming groups perform at the Sudwerk Dock Store (2001 Second Street) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit