Hanabiramochi 花びらもち is a type of wagashi, specifically a type of namagashi (click here for more info on types of wagashi). It is eaten during the New Year, especially at the first tea ceremony of the year. The meaning of 花びら hanabira is “flower petals,” so it is flower petal mochi. How can anyone resist something called flower petal mochi?
I purchased this sweet little mochi while traveling in Kyushu right before the New Year. I have never tried hanabiramochi before now, but it looked delicate and pretty that it seemed like I must. The shop counter in the department store I purchased from was full of various Japanese sweets to complement the New Year, and honestly I wanted all of them, but settled for just the hanabiramochi.
So what is inside? The white colored mochi outside is flat and round then folded in half, The pink color shows through in the center then fades to white at the edges. There is a piece of long, thin, sweetened gobou ごぼう (burdock root) in the middle which sticks out both sides of the mochi. The sweet bean filling is made from the pale mung beans (the pink is usually just food coloring).
Overall? Pretty good, but I admit the gobou is a bit strange in there.