One of the best things about Japan is the food. From ramen and sushi to takoyaki and tempura, the options are as endless as they are tasty. However, this excellence in quality even extends to packaged snacks, sweets, and of course, chocolate. For those with a sweet tooth, the country is a haven. In this article, we’ll cover some of the best Japanese snacks, as well as where to buy these Japanese snacks online.
If you find that some online Japanese snack shops don’t ship to your country, don’t worry. Virtually all of these items can be shipped worldwide using ZenMarket’s $3 per-item proxy shipping service.
15 Best Japanese Snacks Everyone Should Try
1. Black Thunder
If you are a fan of chocolate, you’ll be downright offended that Black Thunder hasn’t made it big outside of Japan. The best way to describe the chocolate is a mix between Twix and an Oreo cookie. Black Thunder is a cocoa cookie bar with rice crisps, completely covered in milk chocolate. There are a variety of special and limited edition flavours, such as matcha, white chocolate, almond, and many more. I personally recommend the Black Thunder Gold Minis and the Black Thunder Volt.
2. Pure Sour Candies
If you’re a fan of sour gummy candies, Japan has its fair share of these products. One of the most famous that you can find in virtually every Japanese convenience store is the Pure Gummy brand by Kanro candy company. At just around 110 yen ($1 USD) a bag, these sour candies have the perfect ratio of sourness and sweetness. Aside from the staple lemon and grape flavors, the company releases limited and seasonal flavors all year round.
For both children and young adults, Hi-Chew is one of the most popular chewy candies in Japan. Similar to the Starburst and Fruitella candies in North America, Hi-Chew is soft, sweet, and as the name suggests, chewy. It comes in countless fruit flavors and sour flavors. The candy is so popular that Japanese brand Morinaga created an english version of their Hi-Chew website for international buyers.
4. Royce Chocolate Covered Potato Chips
Are you a fan of both the sweet and savory? Well, you’re in luck, because chocolate-covered potato chips provide the best of both worlds. Royce is a famous chocolate brand from the Northern prefecture of Hokkaido, Japan. They are a very popular souvenir that tourists bring back from their travels. Royce’s chocolate-covered potato chips are more of a luxury item than a snack, and the price reflects that. However, they are well worth the price. With multiple chocolate flavors, these chips are a must-try.
Tip: Keep them in the fridge before and after eating, as they taste much better chilled.
5. Royce Baton Cookies
Also from Royce company, their rich baton cookies are some of the best cookies I’ve ever had in my life. They are thin, rich, and packed with flavor. Each cookie comes individually wrapped, so the box is perfect for sharing and will keep for a longer time without going stale. From hazelnut and cacao to cheese and matcha, there are so many flavors to choose from. However, I personally recommend the coconut / hazelnut mixed pack, so that you can try two of their best flavors in one box. The coconut flavor is very light, so don’t think you’re going to be getting large chunks of coconut fruit in your cookies.
6. Meiji Chocolate Almonds
If you don’t want to break the bank buying imported snacks, you’re in luck. Japan’s lower-end chocolates are of high-quality as well. Meiji is a famous Japanese chocolate brand that could be referred to as the Hershey of Japan. Korean company Lotte and Japanese company Meiji dominate a large part of the chocolate market in the country.
One of the best Meiji products are their chocolate covered almonds. Usually just around 200 yen ($2 USD) a box, they provide great value and are highly-addictive. Japanese chocolate tends to be less-sweet than American chocolate. Although it’s not recommended, it is so easy to lose track and eat an entire box in one sitting. Remember, just because they have almonds doesn’t mean they’re healthy, but they sure are delicious! As a bonus, if you aren’t a fan of almonds, Meiji also offers chocolate-covered macadamia nuts at around the same price.
From large potato chip manufacturer Calbee, Jagarico is pretty much potato chips shaped like french fries. They come in small cans normally priced around 100 yen ($1 USD), and are available in a variety of flavors, including cheese, potato butter, and vegetables as the main flavors. If you’re looking for a new savory snack to eat while gaming or even during drinking parties, definitely give Jagarico a try.
8. Black Bean Senbei (Rice Crackers)
While you can find chocolate, candies, and chips in other countries, one snack food that is unique to Japan and other Asian countries is senbei (rice cracker). There are countless different flavors, sizes, and ingredients used to make Japanese senbei, with certain types unique to each prefecture. Among the most popular are black bean senbei, which can be found at most grocery stores and convenience stores. They are salty with a slight sweetness and include whole roasted black beans to munch on. If you have never tried senbei before, black bean senbei would be a great place to start.
9. In Jelly
Another popular snack for both children and adults are jelly packs, which is pretty much watery jello. While that doesn’t sound so great, In Jelly packs are the perfect snack for a hot day. At around 150 to 250 yen ($1 – $2.25 USD), they are normally fruit flavored and jam-packed with tons of vitamins and minerals to help strengthen your body. The grapefruit and grape flavors are highly recommended. Eating the jelly out of a pack may take some getting used to, but once you do you’ll sure be glad that you did.
10. Koala’s March
Made by Lotte, Koala’s March has been around since 1984 and was popular enough to be sold in the United States. These Koala-shaped biscuits are filled with chocolate or strawberry filling, and there are other more rare flavors including matcha and white chocolate. The packs are priced around 100 yen ($1 USD) and can be found in virtually every Japanese supermarket and convenience store. If you like chocolate biscuits or cookies, this is one of the best Japanese snacks for you.
You can’t talk about Japanese snacks without mentioning Pocky. From the Glico chocolate and confectionery company, Pocky is a brand of stick-shaped biscuits coated in milk chocolate, strawberry chocolate, matcha, and many other flavors. The snack is so popular that it has been sold in the United States, Canada, and many other countries. However, Japan often has special flavors not sold anywhere else in the world, including strawberry chocolate, chocolate coconut, chocolate almonds, and more.
From Meiji,YanYan is another incredibly popular stick-shaped biscuit. The snack comes in a can with stick biscuits and a small container of Nutella-like chocolate dip. YanYan is eaten by dipping the stick in the chocolate before consumption. There is also a version of YanYan that comes with both a chocolate container and sprinkles. While the snack is more aimed toward children, it is incredibly delicious and recommended for people of all ages.
Umaibo is a Japanese snack that literally translates to “delicious stick”. It is a corn puff snack that comes in various flavours and is among the cheapest snacks available in Japan. The overall flavor and texture is comparable to cheese puffs. Many convenience stores sell them individually for just 25 yen ($0.25 USD) or you can buy them in large packs that average out to around 10 yen ($0.10 USD) or less per stick. It is a great savory snack to stock up on at home or to hand out at children’s parties.
14. Kit Kat
Since Kit Kat is made by Nestle, an American company, we almost didn’t include it on this list. However, the incredible unique Kit Kat flavors available in Japan can’t be found anywhere else in the world. There are some flavors like ice cream or cheesecake that are only available for a limited time and other flavors like Houjicha or Matcha that are available all year round. However, the most eclectic flavors can be found at airports and souvenir shops. Some of the wildest flavors include sake (Japanese rice wine), wasabi, and baked potato.
15. Gaba “For Sleep” Chocolate
Yes, you read that correctly. A company in Japan has created a box of chocolates that can be eaten before bed. These chocolates include GABA, a chemical which works as a sleep aid. GABA is a neurotransmitter that is supposed to relieve anxiety and help your feel relaxed. With that said, Gaba “For Sleep” tastes just like any other milk chocolate, without any weird medicinal flavor at all. I’ve personally tried it, and after 2-3 pieces you really do start to feel sleepy. This effect will vary per person of course depending on your body type. If you love chocolate and have trouble sleeping, give these a try.
Above were just 15 of the best Japanese snacks in Japan. While these are some of the most popular snacks in the country, there are countless more Japanese confectionaries to be discovered.
First published on: https://zenmarket.jp/en/blog/post/9219/best-japanese-snacks