Wagashi sweets have always been an art form as much as a culinary treat – they come in different colors and shapes throughout the year, matching the season’s natural features such as red maple leaves or cherry blossoms. But instead of following the seasons, designer Kotaro Watanabe chose to have his Hitohi (one day) wagashi change with the time of the day. The result of his collaboration with Toraya, a renowned wagashi maker, is a set of 5 confectionery representing 5 patterns of light found thorough the day.

But the sweets are not only beautiful – they come with nutritional benefits too. Watanabe is part of a design studio called The Future Laboratory, and to make his project an inspiration for the food of the future, each of the 5 sweets contains specific nutriments needed for the time of the day they will be consumed.


Daybreak (Akatsuki). Rice paste on the outside, bean paste inside. Sacharides and minerals help the body produce neurotransmitters for one day.



Respite (Ikitsugi) – granulated sugar and glutinous starch syrup. Stimulates the stomach before lunchtime generate energy to continue with work or studies


Meridian (Hiru-tsukata) – white sugary foam and clear crystalline gel. “Sleepiness can be shaken off by consuming a snack with an appropriate amount of sugar after the lunch”


Afterlight (Yu-tsukata) – ginger-flavored foam candy. “Expresses a sea of clouds lit by the setting sun”

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Beaconing to Slumber (Izana-i), contains anise to relax the mind after diner. It captures “the faint light barely seen from around the new moon”.


Images by Takashi Mochizuki