25 BEST Japanese Snacks You Should Try Once In A Lifetime

25 BEST Japanese Snacks You Should Try Once In A Lifetime
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Japanese food always knows how to make people amazed and surprised by its one-of-a-kind dishes. And so do Japanese snacks. This article will share 25 best Japanese snacks that definitely make huge fans of snacks jaw-dropped. These Japanese treats are so unique and exclusive that you can only try all of them in Japan.

Top 25 Best Japanese Snacks To Try

1. Mochi

Mochi is a rice cake whom flavor profile is sweet and texture is soft, sticky and chewy. It comes in a wide range of other flavors such as matcha, red bean, green bean, cherry, and so on. Many people cannot resist mochi as it is delicious with diverse flavors. Especially there are some kinds of mochi whom filling is vanilla, strawberry and matcha ice cream. Those are very popular and favored by many people from other foreign countries not only in Japan.

Let’s try some mochi flavors in the video below:

2. KitKat

It is not exaggerating to say that Japan is a treasure trove of KitKats. Having adopted the chocolate bars from England nearly 30 years ago, Japan is now renowned for more than 300 different unique KitKat flavors.

Some best flavors are matcha (green tea), strawberry or blueberry cheesecake, sakura (cherry blossoms), lemon, grape, red bean paste…. And it can go without saying that the weirdest KitKat flavors are varied such as grilled potato, wasabi, brown sugar syrup, French salt, pumpkin, soybean powder, houji tea, apple vinegar, cappuccino, and the list goes on and on.

Watch this funny video to discover some KitKat flavors:

3. Pocky

Pocky by Glico is one of the most popular snacks in Japan. It was first sold in Japan over 50 years ago, and now exported to many countries around the world both Asian and European.

Pocky is the biscuit stick whom two-thirds are coated with solid chocolate cream. The biscuit part is crunchy and its plain flavor with the sweet coated cream make a perfect combination. Today, pocky has a wide range of flavored cream, not only chocolate. Some unique flavors can only be found in Japan such as Almond Crush, Wagokoro (the finest matcha and red bean and very limited in Japan), the rainbow pocky (the coolest with 7 different flavors), Aldult Amber Whisky (very exclusive and enjoyed when drinking whisky), Giant Cantaloupe (only in Hokkaido!), Pumpkin Apple (the limited edition for Halloween),…. Have you ever heard of any of those?

This video below will introduce you many flavors of Pocky:

4. Jagabee

Jagabee, made by Calbee – a major food maker, is a popular potato snack shaped like french fries. The flavors are lightly salty, cheese and butter soy sauce. This tasty potato treat is crunchy both outer shell and inside. Its flavor is great as it contains a right amount of salt. The packaging is so cute and eye-catching with the image of a little potato fairy.

best Japanese snacks

The flavors are lightly salty, cheese and butter soy sauce.

5. Oreo

Oreo will be always on the top of the list of best Japanese snacks. It is the Japanese must-try as its taste are so unique that no other food brands can intimate and make a success like that. The flavor of the circle biscuit is so special: crispy, a little sweet, a little bitter combined with chocolate flavor. The filling cream is so diverse with many flavors. And the Japanese Oreo comes in so many crazy and weird flavors: lemon mousse, green tea latte, watermelon, pumpkin spice, candy corn, red velvet, peanut butter,…

best Japanese snacks

The flavor of the circle biscuit is so special: crispy, a little sweet, a little bitter combined with chocolate flavor.

6. Goldfish Apple Yokan

Goldfish Apple Yokan, also known as Yokan, is a jelly dessert made of sugar, agar and the apple juice the most popular apple – producing region in Japan – Aomori Prefecture. The jelly is sweet, chewy and delicious. The wrapping is cute with the face of a goldfish which refers to a traditional game “Kingyo Sukui” (goldfish scooping).

best Japanese snacks

The jelly is sweet, chewy and delicious.

7. Taiyaki

Taiyaki is a sweet treat shaped like a fish. The yellowish wrapper of tayaki is made from dough or wheat flour, the filling inside is traditionally sweet red bean paste. Nowadays, taiyaki with other savory fillings like custard, chocolate, matcha ice cream or cheese can also be found in supermarkets.

Another popular taiyaki is ice cream taiyaki. It is like waffle ice cream from Western countries. The frozen taiyaki is cool, delicious and perfect for hot summers.

Let’s try some taiyaki ice cream!

8. Dorayaki

There is no doubt to say that Doraemon is the most popular and favorite comic character of all time. And the hobby of this cute fat cat robot is also famous all over the world: he is a huge fan of Dorayaki! His hobby may make Dorayaki a household name and it has become one of the most popular Japanese snacks.

So what is Dorayaki? It is two round pancakes with filling of red bean paste. The texture is soft and fluffy, the flavor is very sweet and favored especially by sweet – toothed persons.

Let’s watch how to make Dorayaki professionally:

9. Matcha Green Tea

Matcha is made out of fresh green tea leaves. The flavor is so intense but not bitter and brings about the comfort of fragrance. This finest green tea of the world is not only in liquid form (the matcha powder is dissolved in water), but it is used creatively to give flavor for many Japanese snacks and foods: matcha ice cream, matcha chocolate, matcha cakes, matcha milk tea,…

Below is a simple guide to make matcha:

10. Namagashi

Namagashi is one of the sweet Japanese treats along with daifuku, dorayaki, taiyaki,… All of these are called “wagashi”. Namagashi is made from flour, egg, sweetened beans and sugar. This sticky and sweet snack is often used in tea ceremony. Unlike other wagashi types, namagashi is beautifully designed in shape of mini – size colorful flowers and leaves. The special thing is namagashi lends its gorgeous color from other plants so it is completely fresh, natural and healthy.

Namagashi is truly a representative of Japanese candy art:

Namagashi is the most expensive among all types of wagashi maybe because of its so delicate and charming appearance. Another noticeable feature is that namagashi is highly moisture so it is perishable. You need to eat it immediately.

11. Crepes

Some people argue that crepes have the origin from France, not Japan. However, crepes have made their way in Japan and managed to become popular here. Crepe is a type of thin and round pancake rolling the filling inside. It is served with a wide variety of fillings, mainly two types: sweet and savory. First, they spread the dough on a heated frying pan. After that, they put the filling on and start to roll up slightly.

This amazing video below will certainly make you mouth – watering:

The most common fillings of sweet crepes are whipped cream, multi – flavor ice cream and cookies, cheese and some fruits like strawberry, kiwi or banana. The savory crepes have some fillings such as tuna, mayonnaise, shrimp, sausage, meat,…

12. Tokyo Banana

Tokyo Banana is a Japanese sweet cake shaped like banana. The original one is full of banana custard inside wrapped by a fluffy sponge. But Japan is a very creative nation; needless to say, Japanese have made some other flavors.

best Japanese snacks

Tokyo Banana is a Japanese sweet cake shaped like banana.

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The honey flavor has a triple pattern that looks like the honeybee. The Heart maple one is cute with the colorful heart patterns and delicious with maple-flavored filling. And there are so many other flavors like almond milk cream, banana caramel, chocolate caramel, and so on.

Tokyo Banana is packaged in a square gift box so many people buy it as a souvenir for their loved ones.

13. Anmitsu

Anmitsu is a mixed dessert of jelly, agar, fruits, mochi, peas, ice cream and red bean paste; the fruits are made in thin slices. It is served in a bowl of sweet black syrup mixed with some ingredients mentioned above.

Like other Japanese snacks and desserts, anmitsu also have a few types. Mitsumame has no red bean paste, cream anmitsu has the topping of ice cream.

Anmitsu is a cold, fresh and sweet dessert for warm summers:

14. Konpeito

Konpeito is a traditional Japanese candy which was first introduced in Japan in 16th century. It is a type of hard sugar candy coated with sugar syrup. Until now, Konpeito is still delicately hand crafted and it takes 7 – 10 days to produce a candy.

Konpeito is colorful, very small (only 5 – 10mm) and shaped like a star. It now has many different flavors like sake, sakura, whiskey,… The special thing about these cute candies  is that they are deeply rooted in Japanese culture. They have appeared in some famous anime and manga (Japanese cartoon and comic). They are also used as souvenir or a gift as they are prepared in a beautiful and elegant box.

best Japanese snacks

Konpeito is a type of hard sugar candy coated with sugar syrup

Would you try these ancient candies? They are certainly in many people’s childhood memories.

15. Yamachan Snacks

Yamachan is a food store chain selling Nagoya fried chicken wings. But they also have squid snack and rice cracker snack. Yamachan squid snack is crunchy outside, chewy inside and a little savory. The rice cracker one is salty and spicy. Both of yamachan snacks are perfect to use with beer.

best Japanese snacks

Yamachan squid snack is crunchy outside, chewy inside and a little savory

16. Ice No Mi

Ice No Mi by Glico is a small gelato in shape of round ball. It is a frozen treat which has 80% fruit juice so it will melt instantly when you put it in your mouth. The juice filling comes in many flavors: grape, orange, peach and other seasonal variations. When you enjoy ice no mi, you will feel like eating iced fruits.

best japanese snacks

When you enjoy ice no mi, you will feel like eating iced fruits.

17. Royce Nama Chocolate

It comes as no surprise that Royce Nama Chocolate is the best Japanese candy due to its fresh ingredients, amazing flavors and luxurious packaging.

This one of a kind chocolate contains 70 – 75% pure chocolate, 20 – 25% fresh cream and a little prestige liqueur. The chocolate is then coated with a layer of fine cocoa powder and cut into rectangular pieces. Each chocolate box has 20 pieces in a vacuum bag.

best Japanese snacks

Royce Nama Chocolate is the best Japanese candy due to its fresh ingredients, amazing flavors and luxurious packaging. (source: ducdepraslin.co.th)

Nama chocolate’s flavor is fresh, elegant and slightly fragrant and its texture is so silky smooth. It offers 6 main flavors: matcha (green tea), milk cocoa, Hennessy (a kind of liquor, this flavor is especially suitable for luxurious parties), nama chocolate white (milky flavor), nama chocolate AuLait (extracted from fresh cherries) and nama chocolate champagne.

18. Arare

Arare is a kind of small Japanese cracker whom main ingredients are glutinous rice and soy sauce. It has many different sizes, colors and shapes. Some of arare are sweet, but most of them are savory.

best Japanese snacks

Arare is a kind of small Japanese cracker whom main ingredients are glutinous rice and soy sauce.

Arare is also a popular japanese snack as Japanese people eat it in the Doll Festival on 3rd of March – Girl’s Day in Japan.

19. Meltykiss Chocolate

Meltykiss is a kind of chocolate truffles that are only sold in winter. These cocoa powdered chocolate cubes are so addictive with velvety texture and a slightly milky sweet and bitter flavor. Like other Japanese candies or snacks, Meltykiss series also offer many different flavors besides the classic one (premium chocolate) such as strawberry, savory soybean, matcha (the most favorite flavor),….

best Japanese snacks

Meltykiss is a kind of chocolate truffles that are only sold in winter.

20. Iwatsuka Confectionery Inaka no Oakaki

Iwatsuka no Oakaki are thin and roasted slices whom the main ingredient is glutinous paddy rice. The outer shell and the body are firm and crispy. Its classic flavors are salt and soy sauce. Iwatsuka no Oakaki with the darker brownish color is richly flavored and becomes the best – seller for 6 years consecutively.

best japanese snacks

Iwatsuka no Oakaki are thin and roasted slices whom the main ingredient is glutinous paddy rice.

21. Kameda no Kaki no Tane

Kameda no Kaki no Tane is a type of rice crackers bearing resemblance to the long seeds of peanuts or persimmon. These crunchy rice crackers come in many flavors such as soy sauce, umami, wasabi (so spicy),… This iconic snack contain 30% less amount of salt so it is good for health.

best japanese snacks

Kameda no Kaki no Tane is a type of rice crackers bearing resemblance to the long seeds of peanuts or persimmon.

22. Amanoya no Kabuki Age

Kabuki Age is created in 1960. It is a kind of deeply fried senbei (Japanese rice cracker) and has soy sauce flavor. Its flavor is slightly sweet, robust and delicious.

best japanese snacks

Kabuki Age is a kind of deeply fried senbei.

Kabuki Age can be used with green tea or beer.

23. Manju

Manju is a traditional Japanese confection made from buckwheat flour, rice powder and sugar. The filling of manju is often red bean paste. This round and soft cake is a very cheap sweet treat and often consumed with tea.

best japanese snacks

Manju is a traditional Japanese confection made from buckwheat flour, rice powder and sugar.

Manju is often steamed or baked. It is somewhat like mantou of China. Manju offers a thousand of fillings but most of them are very sweet. Today, you can find many flavors of manju like matcha, chestnut, fruit,…

24. Tokyo An-Pudding

Tokyo An-Pudding is a sweet dessert made from egg, heated sugar and milk. It is very tasty, and has creamy and smooth texture. The thing that distinguishes Tokyo An-Pudding from other types of pudding is Hokkaido red bean paste is used as an ingredient instead of caramel.

best Japanese snacks

Tokyo An-Pudding is a sweet dessert made from egg, heated sugar and milk.

25. Fried Seaweed

Japan is a nation famous for nori (seaweed). Many Japanese foods have the topping of seaweed. And the list of best Japanese snacks definitely have some snacks from seaweed.

best japanese snacks

Fried Seaweed is crispy and salty.

Fried Seaweed is crispy and salty. The one with sudachi (a fruit that is similar lemon) flavor is sour. Another flavor is lemon fried seaweed.

Conclusion

The adventure of enjoying best Japanese snacks has come to an end. We have gone through a wide range of flavors: sweet, savory, salty, bitter or sour. The world of Japanese snacks is there and so large for you to discover.

About Haruto Suzuki

Haruto Suzuki is a senior food and drinks blogger at Question Japan. He has a background in F&B industry and also experience of running his own Japanese restaurant in Tokyo for over 10 years. Therefore, he has a great knowledge of Japanese cuisine. So if you want to discover Japan through its unique traditional cuisine, Haruto Suzuki’s blog will be a great source of information for you.