Wagashi are traditional confectionery, considered delicacies in Japan. The making of wagashi is a fine art, as their shape and design are as important as their taste. An integral part of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, each wagashi often represents one of the seasons or a locality. They contain local and seasonal ingredients such as fruit and vegetables. Wagashi can be steamed, baked and jelly; there are also half-dried and dried varieties, which keep for longer. Using natural ingredients, wagashi are said to be healthier than the average sweet.