Higashi is Japanese term for small dry, hard or semi-hard candies, with a moisture level of 10 % or less.
Some grades of Higashiwill be made with “wasanbon”, which is very fine-grained sugar. These Higashi are regarded as the finest.
Types of Higashi include Goshikiitō, Hakusansekkei, Hanakazura, Konpeito, Mugirakushizuka, Nininsuzuka, Rakugan, Shigure no Matsu, and Suiko. Higashi can also refer to a toffee.
Goshikiitō comes in 5 flavours: Bainiku (pickled ume), Hakka (Japanese mint), Nikkei (cinnamon), Shōga (ginger), and Yuzu (citron.)
Suiko Aka is pinkish; Suiko Shiro is white.
Rakugan is a Higashi made from a paste, usually of sticky rice flour and sugar. Some Rakugan might use finely ground bean starch (azuki or soybean or green pea) or other starch instead of sticky rice flour. The paste is coloured, and pressed into small decorative wooden moulds, often seasonal. The treats are then dried.
Often served on a flat tray with Usucha tea to drink.
Owing to their low moisture content, they store longer than most other forms of wagashi.