strawberry daifuku (left), rakugan (right)
While modern influences can inspire experimentation with wagashi, traditional wagashi are mostly plant-based, containing no dairy and using agar as opposed to gelatin for texture. Because of the use of natural ingredients, wagashi are considered to be healthier than the typical western sweets which feature processed ingredients and high sugar content. Some of the most common ingredients in wagashi are anko, or bean paste, rice, fruit, and nuts. Common types of wagashi include mochi, daifuku, nerikiri, and rakugan.