Japanese food

Best snacks from Japan: You should try once.

Written by Kaori sensei

Japanese snack fans gather! The snacks from Japan have many flavors and variations, and a whole world of dreams inside those cute little packages! Today, I will introduce you to the world of Japanese snacks in detail, including the traditional Japanese dagashi, chocolate snacks, rice crackers, and many other flavors and varieties that you may not know just by looking at them. The six categories and a recommended Japanese snack box of confectionery that allows you to enjoy them all at once are presented here.

DAGASHI : Traditional snack from Japan

First of all, Dagashi are inexpensive snacks made for children. In Japan, they are sold at prices ranging from 10 to 50 yen and feature cute packaging. It used to be common to see children taking their pocket money to a candy store after school to eat their favorite snacks, but nowadays there are many convenience stores and the number of such stores has decreased. But there are still many fans out there who can’t forget the taste of Dagashi.

Baby Star Ramen

Baby Star Ramen Mini Chicken Taste

Baby Star Ramen is a snack made of fried and flavored ramen noodles. Nowadays, they come in a variety of flavors, including cheese and yakisoba , but the chicken flavor is the most popular. They are delicious eaten as snacks, but they are also delicious on salads!

Umaibo

Umaibo Japanese Corn Puffed Snacks

When it comes to Dagashi, Japanese people would say “Umaibo“. There is probably not a child in Japan who has not had one of these. As of June 2022, there are 15 flavors available! Here is a ranking of the most popular flavors from the official website.

RankingFlavor name
1st placeCorn potage
2nd placeCheese
3rd placeMentai (Spicy fish egg)
4th placeSalad
5th placeTakoyaki
Umaibo flavor ranking

I I like the No. 3 Mentai! The spicy flavor is addictive.recommend this set, which includes 10 different flavors. Let’s rank them all together!

Kabayaki ya san Toro

Kabayaki-ya-san Taro

Have you ever tried eel in Japan? This snack is a perfect replica of that sauce. It is not eel, but perfect fish jerky. It is made of fish paste. is flattened, hardened, and coated with kabayaki sauce.The sweet and salty taste can be enjoyed for a long time, and children love it!

Kyabetsutaro

Kyabetsutaro Japanese Sauce Taste SnackKyabetsuTaro is a rounded corn snack. It is characterized by its thick sauce flavor. If you have ever eaten Okonomiyaki or Takoyaki, you may remember the taste. The thick sauce flavor and the dired green seaweed flavor are irresistible. “~Taro” is a traditional Japanese boy’s name. It is often seen in Japanese snack names.

Ramune candy

Morinaga Ramune Soda Fizzy Candy Set of 20

This ramune has been a favorite since long ago. When you put it in your mouth, you can enjoy the refreshing and cool sensation. In fact, it is very popular among students taking exams and office workers. The reason is that this Ramune is made of 90% glucose. This glucose is a source of energy for the brain. This spread quickly through social media, and Japanese office workers began buying it to replenish their sugar intake when they are tired from work.

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KITKAT

Kit Kat is synonymous with Japanese souvenirs. It has gained popularity because of its original Japanese flavors, including matcha green tea, regional specialties, and seasonal flavors. In addition, a message can be written on the back of the small package. This is said to be good luck for students preparing for exams or competition, as “Kit Kat” sounds like the Japanese word for “surely win(きっと勝つ /kitto katsu/)”. There is a culture of writing a message “do your best(がんばれ /ganbare/)” during the season and handing them to friends and so on.

Matcha

Kit kat chocolate Matcha dark green tea

The classic Kit Kat in matcha green tea flavor. You can’t talk about Kit Kat without trying this. You can enjoy the flavor of matcha green tea and the umami of chocolate.

Starwberry

Kit kat chocolate strawberry

This Kit Kat has a deliciously refreshing sour taste of strawberries. Like the Matcha, it is a popular regular product.

Sake

Kit kat Chocolate mini Japanese Sake Masuizumi 9 bars
$18.96 ($18.96 / Count)

This is a sake Kit Kat in collaboration with "Manjusen", a famous sake from Toyama Prefecture in Japan. The taste and flavor of fine sake matches the white chocolate. It is a wonderful marriage.

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03/15/2024 08:48 pm GMT

Wasabi

Japanese Kit Kat – Wasabi Chocolate BoxThis is a collaboration with Shizuoka Prefecture, a famous Wasabi producer. You can enjoy the harmony of the elegant spiciness of Wasabi and white chocolate. You say you can’t imagine? Wasabi and cream are a perfect match. Try it once.

KITKAT Assorted

Nestlé Kit Kat Assorted 24 types

If you want to try variety tastes, I recommend the assortment set that includes many different flavors. Here you can enjoy 24 different flavors of Japanese Kit Kat!

RICE CRACKER

There are several types of Japanese rice snacks. Today I will introduce the popular standard rice crackers.
There are many variations, such as fried, baked, salty, sweet, etc.

Kabuki age

Amanoya Japanese Rice Cracker

Kabukiage, as the name suggests, comes from the traditional Japanese performing art of “Kabuki”. The package is designed with a typical curtain used on a Kabuki stage. This is because both rice crackers and kabuki are part of traditional Japanese culture, and the company wants to convey this to the public. These senbei are deep-fried and light in the mouth. The sweet soy sauce flavor is also very delicious.

Yuki no yado

Sanko Yuki No Yado Rice Crackers

This is another traditional Japanese rice cracker. The salt rice cracker is simply baked and topped with white honey with fresh cream from Hokkaido. The name comes from the image of  a snow-covered onsen (hot spring) resort. Try it with such a scene in your mind.

Kaki no tane

Uegaki Kaki No Tane

Kaki-no-tane is a small Japanese arare, characterized by its soy sauce flavor with the spiciness of chili peppers. They are also popularly known as “kaki -pii” when combined with loast peanuts. They make a great snack with beer.
Aloso,there are many variations,wasabi-flavored, plum-flavored, and very spicy flavors, as well as local kaki no tane just like Kit Kat. When you travel in Japan, try the flavors that are unique to each place you visit.

CHIPS

Many snacks from Japan are made with salty flavors. This is also true of Japanese cuisine. Also, Japanese people are particular about texture. For example, potato chips can be crispy and light, or crunchy and hard. There are many flavors and textures that are unique to Japan. I encourage you to try them all.

Norishio : Seaweed & Salt

Calbee Mega Potato Chips – Seaweed and Salt Flavor

This is one of the oldest potato chips in Japan. As of 2019, Calbee potato chips account for 70% of all potato chips in Japan. The crispy, light texture, and the flavorful seaweed are perfect. Calbee has developed its own potatoes for this chips. The beautiful color of the potato is the result of the company’s efforts.

Kappa ebisen : Shirmp ships

Calbee Chips Shrimp Garlic

This is another Calbee snack that has been around in Japan since 1964. The whole shrimp, including the shell, is mixed into the filling, giving it a rich flavor. The texture is crispy and you will not be able to stop eating them. They are non-fried and the original flavor is simple, so even small children can enjoy them.

Jagabee :potato sticks

Calbee Potato Sticks — Jagabee (Butter Soy Sauce Taste)


The texture of jagabee is something you must try. It is a texture like no other. When you eat it, you will feel potatoes in a way that you cannot imagine from a snack food. The moment you bite into it, it is crunchy, but as you chew it further, you can feel the soft part like a boiled potato. I was impressed the first time I tasted it. The potatoes in this Jagabee are made from potatoes grown in Oregon and Washington in the United States.

CANDY

Among Japanese candies, I will introduce three notable ones, each with its own characteristics.

Sakuma drop

Japanese HOTARU NO HAKA Full Candy TIN sealed fresh Grave of the Fireflies movie

Have you seen the Studio Ghibli movie “Grave of the Fireflies“? It is a sad story about World War II. The main character, Setsuko, likes a candy called “Sakuma Drop”. The history of Sakuma Drops goes back as far as 1908, when they first went on sale. It looks like a beautiful jewel, tastes sweet and sour, and has an old-fashioned drop can. If you are a Ghibli fan, after watching the movie and crying a lot, eat this candy. And then, like Setsuko, clang the can.

Hi-chew

Morinaga Hi -Chew Assorted Flavored

The most popular Japanese soft candy is Hi-Chew. The juicy, fruity taste and texture are wonderful.My favorite flavor is green apple. It’s not that sour, but the subtle tartness and sweetness is irresistible and I can’t stop at just one.

Kasugai Gummy

If you have never had Japanese gummy fruits, you are missing out. The reproducibility of this juicy juice, and a texture that is neither too hard nor too soft, are the hallmarks of Japanese gummies.

Kasugai Peach Gummy Candy 3.77oz (3 Pack)
$10.50 ($0.93 / Ounce)

If you have never had Japanese gummy fruits, you are missing out. The reproducibility of this juicy juice, and a texture that is neither too hard nor too soft, are the hallmarks of Japanese gummies.

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03/15/2024 08:58 pm GMT

POCKY

Pocky is a bar-shaped biscuit coated with chocolate. Developed by the Japanese company Ezaki Glico, Pocky is partially uncoated with chocolate so that it can be held and eaten without getting one’s hands dirty.

There are a variety of flavors here, including the classic chocolate. Find your favorite.

Chocolate

Glico Pocky, Chocolate Cream Covered Biscuit SticksThese Pocky are coated with the classic chocolate cream. This is still the most popular Pocky.

Matcha

Pocky Matcha Cream Covered Biscuit Sticks

As with Kit Kat, the green tea flavor is not to be missed. The slightly bitter green tea cream is very flavorful.

Almond Crush

Pocky Chocolate Almond CrushMy top recommendation is Almond Crush. You can’t go wrong with cookies, chocolate, and crushed almonds – a box will be gone in no time.

Summary

Today, I categorized six types of Japanese snacks and recommended flavors for each, as well as my own recommendations. If you want to enjoy a little bit at a time, I recommend snack boxes. For more information on snack boxes, please see this article!

About the author

Kaori sensei

Japanese online teacher, live in Kamakura, Japan. She is currently working as a language teacher and online Japanese experience host to introduce Japanese culture to the world. She originally worked as an engineer at a Japanese company, so she is familiar with Japanese business culture too.

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