As I mentioned in a previous post, I work for a Japanese organisation and very often we receive lovely gifts of sweets, as it is a Japanese custom to bring edible treats when a representative of one organisation visits another. Today we received these beautiful higashi, traditional sugar candies that are often served during the tea ceremony. These ones are mostly autumn-themed, in the shape of leaves (including maple and ginkgo), chestnuts, persimmons, apples and acorns. Interestingly for such traditional Japanese items, there’s a few non-Japanese autumn symbols in there, including depictions of hedgehogs and European squirrels, neither of which can be found in Japan. All of them are extremely cute – they look too good to eat! But as the Japanese say, you “eat with your eyes” (me de taberu) – in other words, how good food looks is just as important as how it tastes when it comes to enjoying it.