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If you are looking for the types of snacks in Japan that are delicious and fun to indulge in, you have come to the right site.
Generally, Japanese snacks are overwhelmingly interesting and abundant.
From century-old traditional snacks to modern treat inventions, each of them plays a significant role and helps to shape the local food culture.
You can find different types of Japanese treats in terms of shapes, flavours, preparation methods, and so much more.
But you might have caught yourself asking what are the unmissable Japan famous snacks to munch on, especially when you are feeling clueless on which to pick for your imminent snacking session as you are surrounded by tall shelves of tidbits all written in a foreign language.
Fret not! I have compiled a list of the top 23 snacks in Japan that you need to try when you are in the country.
Or even if you are not flying there anytime soon, at the end of this article you can find helpful information on where to get the scrumptious snacks from Japan directly or online.
So let’s dive right in!
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Japanese Snacks List: Top 23 Treats
- Kinoko no Yama
- Takenoko no Sato
- Kabukiage Rice Crackers
- Happy Turn
- Tokyo Banana
- Japanese Kit Kats
- Alfort Mini Chocolate Biscuit
- Shiroi Koibito Biscuit
- Calbee Chips
- Jagariko Sticks
- Jagabee Sticks
- Tohato Caramel Corn
- Wasabi Pistachios
- Kameda Kaki no Tane
- Melon Pan
- Umaibo Japanese Corn Puffed
- Ramune Candy
Want to snack on the different Japanese snack types (with unique flavours) every month? Subscribe to Tokyo Treat snack box for thrilling surprises month after month!
What Is Japan’s Most Popular Snack
Among the most popular Japanese snacks in the biscuit category is Kinoko no Yama.
In the Japanese context, Kinoko no Yama means “mountain mushroom”.
Kinoko no Yama is a type of small mushroom-shaped biscuit when its tips are typically coated with a thick layer of chocolate.
This saltish sweet snack is also available in other flavours, including:
- Sweet potato
- Green tea
- White chocolate
The cute size accompanied by the crunchy biscuit texture makes Kinoko no Yama to be popular among children and adults for leisure snacking sessions.
If you are looking for another popular alternative to chocolate-coated biscuits, Takenoko no Sato is your best bet.
In the local language, Takenoko is literally translated as “bamboo child”.
This cute looking bamboo-shaped biscuit tastes sweet and complements well with the dark chocolate coating.
And those delectable pairings make it extremely difficult to stop gobbling on the snack once started!
You can also find strawberry or chestnut coated Takenoko no Sato, depending on the seasonality.
These bamboo biscuits make a great treat for tea-break sessions or simply as Japan food souvenirs for people back home.
I tried both Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no Sato, and I proudly announce that I am team mushroom (Kinoko no Yama)!
Kabukiage rice crackers are considered one of the popular snacks in Japan that you can easily find at most convenience stores.
Rice crackers or senbei are believed to have originated from China and became a staple part of the Japanese food culture since the 8th century.
Kabukiage rice crackers are very palatable since they are coated with soy sauce with a crunchy texture.
If you are looking to indulge in this savoury snack, it is best paired with hot green tea or alcoholic drinks.
Loved by both adults and children, Happy Turn is one of the classic senbei snacks in Japan.
Typically present at parties as treats, Happy Turn makes a great tea break or late-night movie snack alternative.
These highly addictive crispy rice crackers are coated with powder that gives rise to the sweetness and saltiness taste—the signature ingredient that will make people keep coming back for more!
Tokyo Banana is among the best snacks from Japan.
Thanks to its pretty packaging, this delicious banana-shaped cake with cream filling are highly sought after among tourists as souvenirs for their loved ones back home.
The original and most classic flavour of Tokyo Banana is, as this Japanese snack name suggests, banana; though it is available in several other flavoured fillings too.
You can also get some cute-looking sponge cakes from this famous snack store, such as Tokyo Banana Racco—where the cakes are printed with a cute face of an otter holding a milk bottle on.
Note: Tokyo Banana confectioneries have a short expiry date so it is recommended to consume them within 7 days.
Japanese Kit Kat is a serious business and brought this simple wafer chocolate bar to a whole new level.
In fact, you can find over 300 unique varieties of Kit Kat flavoured snacks in Japan!
Though you might argue that Kit Kat is available worldwide, the flavours that you can find in this country are exceptionally innovative and definitely one of a kind.
Have you seen any soy sauce flavoured Kit Kat on the snacks shelves in your home country? Well, you can find this interestingly appetising flavour in Japan.
Some rather unconventional flavours of Japanese Kit Kat that you need to try while in Japan are:
- Green tea
- Japanese chilli
I was expecting the green tea flavoured Kit Kat to have a strong bitter taste but that was not the case—I actually quite liked its refeshing and unique flavour.
And if you are planning a 3-week Japan itinerary, make sure to check out the snacks section of every convenience store or supermarket that you visit.
That’s because some Kit Kat flavours are only available during certain seasons or confined within the speciality regions of Japan.
For example, you can get :
- wasabi Kit Kat in Shizuoka (a Japanese city that is famous for its wasabi production),
- sweet potatoes Kit Kat in Okinawa,
- adzuki bean chocolate bars in Nagoya, and not to forget
- sakura flavoured snacks
in Japan during the spring season.
Travel tip: Japanese Kit Kat is popular among students especially during the examination period. This is due to the similar pronunciation to Kitto Katsu, which means “You will surely win” in the local language. Hence, students will receive these wafer bars from their loved ones as a good luck charm.
Of course you should not miss out on the next classic snack in Japan.
Pocky is manufactured by the Ezaki Glico Company and has been producing this irresistible snack since 1966.
Note: Does Ezaki Glico Company sound familiar to you? The giant running man billboard in Osaka belongs to this century-old company.
You can find numerous exciting flavours of these chocolate-covered biscuit sticks in Japan, such as strawberry, almond crush, green tea, and so much more.
I personally like the chocolate coated Pocky!
Similar to Kit Kat, some Pocky flavours are only available during certain seasons or in certain parts of Japan.
If you are visiting Japan in spring, you can look out for honey flavoured biscuits sticks on the shelves.
Pocky has also recently launched two new flavours for the summer edition; Brazilian orange and coconut coated chocolate sticks.
If you are looking forward to getting your hands on the speciality flavoured Pocky in Japan, here are some of the popular snacks flavours to try out:
- Yubari melon in Hokkaido
- Shinshu grape in Nagano
- Kobe wine in Kobe
Big fan of chocolate-coated biscuits? You can consider getting the Alfort mini chocolate biscuit while you are in Japan.
This small rectangular shaped snack is layered with a thick coat of milk chocolate at one side, making your palate burst with the richness of the dense creamy cocoa. Oishii!
Though chocolate flavoured biscuit is Alfort’s best-seller, the company also launched strawberry and vanilla coated snacks to cater to a wider audience flavour preference.
The next speciality cookie is an unmissable snack to buy especially when you are in Hokkaido.
Translated as “White Lover” in the local language, Shiroi Koibito is a tasty white chocolate sandwiched langue de chat biscuit that is extremely popular among the Japanese.
The buttery light biscuit paired with the sweet chocolate goes well with a hot cup of tea or coffee, making it a perfect snack for a short tea break.
Thanks to the nice blue-white packaging with Mount Rishiri printed on the box, Shiroi Koibito is also highly sought after by international travellers as souvenirs or as food snacks for themselves!
Travel tip: In Japan, you can only get Shiroi Koibito biscuits at Hokkaido so make sure to include this White Lover into your Japan snacks must-buy list.
Being one of the major snack production Japanese companies, Calbee centres all its products on potatoes.
Of all products, Calbee is most known for its irresistible sliced potato chips.
You can pretty much see Calbee chips decorating a big portion of the snack sections in most convenience stores and supermarkets in Japan.
There are many delectable flavour variations of these crispy chips to choose from, including:
- Soy sauce
- Japanese plum
The company also launched speciality chips flavours where you can only get them in certain regions of the country so make sure to hit up the local stores while embarking on your Japan travel journey.
Another Calbee snack product that is very much lovable is none other than Jagariko potato sticks.
As the potato sticks are packaged in a colourful cup covered with a lid, many international tourists mistake them as cup noodles at first glance, before realising the printed potato image on the cup.
During the manufacturing process, the potato is steamed and mashed before adding the flavours into the paste directly. The stick shape is then created and deep-fried before sealing the sticks in a cup with foil.
As a result, Jagariko sticks have a stronger flavour with a soft inner texture.
Same as the Calbee chips, there is also an interesting variety of Jagariko potato sticks flavours available that will make you want to get them all at once!
Some of the popular flavours to munch on are:
- Potato butter
- Salt and lemon
If you can’t get enough Japanese flavoured potato sticks, then make sure to get Jagabee too—it is one of the equally tasty snacks alternatives!
Though Jagariko and Jagabee potato sticks look similar, the main difference between these two snacks Japan is their texture.
Jagabee sticks are akin to french fries but with a crunchier texture. The stick colour of Jababee is darker too as the potato skin is fried together with the potato and hence its resemblance to the typical french fries.
So if you are having a hard time choosing between Jagariko and Jagabee potato sticks, just get both products and see which texture that you prefer more!
Here are some addictive flavours of Jagabee potato sticks to get from the shelves for your Japan snack day:
- Butter soy sauce
- Sweet potato
A beloved snack from Japan adored by both kids and adults, popping Tohato Caramel Corn into your mouth is going to be your next favourite pastime once you try it.
Coated with sweet caramel, this crispy puffed corn with peanuts will melt in the palate without much effort.
Tohato Caramel Corn comes with cute packaging with bright colours that definitely stands out among the rows of snack shelves.
As wasabi is a popular Japanese native plant, it will be such a shame not to include a wasabi snack product in this list.
Wasabi pistachios is a popular snack to be given as souvenirs for loved ones back home.
This classic snack might look harmless due to its small size but the wasabi pungent ness might knock one off and cause them to have teary eyes while savouring the flavour.
It usually comes with a smaller individual packaging in a bigger bag so it is easier for customers to bring around and enjoy the wasabi coated pistachios whenever they want.
Among the best Japanese snacks on this list, Kameda Kaki no Tane is a simple crunchy snack consisting of crescent-shaped rice crackers and peanuts.
Originating from Niigata, this popular snack is served as bar food and complements well with icy cold alcoholic drinks.
And fret not if you prefer hot tea—Kaki no Tane goes very well with almost everything and is frequently consumed during a short break from work or as refreshment.
Kameda offers a wide range of flavours of Kaki no Tane and some flavours can only be found in certain Japanese regions.
Its best-seller flavour is soy sauce coated Kaki no Tane. If you prefer something pungent, you will be glad to know that it also comes with wasabi flavour.
And if you are looking for exclusive Kaki no Tane flavours, here are the recommended ones:
- Pork cutlet sauce in Niigata
- Grilled oyster in Setouchi
- Yuzu bonito in Shikoku Island
- Yuzu pepper in Kyushu Island
First created in the 1930s by Taichiro Morinaga, Hi-Chew is one of the top Japanese treats that will make you ask for more once you tasted it.
This chewable candy takes pride in incorporating real concentrate fruit juice as the main ingredients for the two-layered sweet treat.
Though Hi-Chew can be found internationally with over 50 flavours, certain fruity flavours are only exclusively available in Japan or Japanese speciality marts.
These Japanese speciality flavours of Hi-Chew include:
- Lemon in Setouchi
- Apple in Tohoku
- Shikuwasa (a type of lime) in Okinawa
- Persimmon during autumn season
You can find Hi-Chew candy in its individual pack or a mixed bag of several flavours. The latter option is a great party pleaser especially if your guests are a crowd of kids!
I tried grape, strawberry, and green apple flavoured Hi-Chew (which are its most popular flavours) and I personally like the green apple one.
17. Melon Pan
Melon Pan is definitely among the most popular Japanese snacks.
With Japanese origins, this sweet bun with thin crisp on its outer top layer can be easily sighted near the front section of convenience stores.
You can find many interesting flavours of Melon Pan, such as green tea, chocolate, maple syrup, and caramel.
In some bakeries, you can also find whipped cream or custard-filled Melon Pan.
Travel tip: Traditionally, Melon Pan does not come with melon flavour; though some stores in recent years started to incorporate real melon fruit juice into the cream filling of the bun.
And if you are in Tokyo, make sure to check out Kimuraya at Ginza district for its delicious melon flavoured bun.
If you are looking for tasty and ridiculously cheap snacks in Japan, Umaibo Japanese Corn Puffed will fit those criteria perfectly.
Why? That was because you can still get a Umaibo stick for US$ 0.09 (10 yen)—where the price has remained the same for the past 42 years since 1979!
Literally translated as “delicious stick”, Umaibo corn puff comes in 14 unique flavours with colourful, eye-catching individual wrappers.
Some of the interesting Umaibo flavours to look for at the snacks section are:
- Chicken yakitori
- Mayo shrimp
- Takoyaki dumpling
The manufacturing company also offers premium product lines and speciality flavours from time to time so make sure to check out these too.
For example, you can only get mentaiko, okonomiyaki, and kiritanpo flavoured sticks at Kyushu, Kansai, and Akita regions respectively.
Caution: Among all Japanese snacks that I have tried in this list, I think Umaibo is the most dangerously addictive! I could not seem to stop my hand from reaching out to grab this snack and munch on it till I had to ask my mum to hide it far away from my sights. #truestory So snack Umaibo at your own risk!
Onigiri is one of the popular Japanese snacks that you need to try in Japan.
It is made with steamed rice without additional seasoning and wrapped with dried nori (seaweed).
These savoury Japanese rice balls can be easily found in most konbini (local convenience stores) and supermarkets.
Available in several shapes and various fillings, onigiri is a great snack option for lunch among the locals or simple picnic food.
Some of the typical mouthwatering fillings that you can find in Japan are:
- Pickled plum
- Soy-sauce soaked bonito flakes
- Tuna and mayo
Note: Most foreigners might mistake onigiri as sushi due to the similar ingredient used between these two popular Japanese foods.
While the rice used in making onigiri is plain steamed rice, sushi rice is mixed with other seasonings such as vinegar that gives additional flavour to the dish.
Another famous Japanese snack that you need to get your hands on is none other than ramune candy!
In Japan, ramune is referring to “lemonade”. It is a classic fizzy soda drink that is popular during summer.
Travel tip: You can easily differentiate ramune soda bottles out of countless drinks options in Japan by looking for a curve-in feature on its neck.
Due to its popularity as a summer-soothing drink among the Japanese, several snack manufacturers started to launch ramune inspired candy and the rest is history.
Similar to the drink version, the candies comes with a fizzy punch along with a fresh sourish taste when you ingest them.
You can find ramune candy contained in a cute plastic bottle with a soda bottle design or in its individual wrapping of a big bag of ramune candies.
Or as shown in the picture, you can also look for resealable packet of ramune candy for extra convenience.
The most iconic flavour of ramune candy is lemon, though you get to try several other fruity flavours when you purchase the mixed bag packaging.
Personally tried the grape-flavoured ramune candy myself, I found them extremely useful when I needed some external help to stay awake!
Your Japanese snacks to try list will not complete without munching on mochi—one of the must-try traditional snacks from Japan.
Mochi is a type of versatile Japanese rice cake made from water and sticky rice.
The dough mixture is pounded with a kine (thick wooden mallet) into a paste before transforming them into the typical spherical shape.
Note: You can even find mochi in triangular or diamond shapes.
This chewy snack can be prepared in several ways too; either steamed, grilled, boiled, or paired with tasty toppings!
If you are looking for some unusual mochi flavours to try, here are some recommended ones:
- Tofu curd
Like every other wagashi, mochi is best eaten with a cup of hot green tea.
Travel tip: Make sure to visit Ueno and Asakusa when you are in Tokyo. These beautiful districts are home to speciality stores selling different types of mochi.
Dorayaki is among the best snacks in Japan to go for.
If you have ever watched a classic Japanese anime “Doraemon”, then most likely you will come across dorayaki—which happened to be this blue robotic cat’s favourite snack.
This sweet pancake sandwich is typically filled with mashed red azuki beans, but you can also find dorayaki that comes with different types of scrumptious creams, including chestnuts, custard, and matcha.
If you worry that the red bean sweetness overwhelms your palate, a cup of hot green tea that comes with a tint of bitterness goes well with this traditional snack.
While we are in the traditional Japan snacks category, this popular fish-shaped street food is also one of the must-try snacks when you are in the country.
Invented by Seijiro Kobe in 1909, taiyaki was made with pancake batter and filled with red azuki bean paste.
Note: Taiyaki resembles the shape of Tai fish, where the locals believe tai is a symbol of good fortune or luck.
Since then, there are many variations of taiyaki you can get from Japan, especially in Tokyo.
Some of the typical fillings you can find from the stalls include sweet potato, chocolate, or even green tea ice cream.
If you are up for the Japanese savoury snacks version of taiyaki, these are some of the recommended toppings to opt for:
Where To Get Japanese Snacks
So let’s talk about how you can get Japanese snacks when you are travelling across Japan or getting the snacks online at the comfort of your home.
1. Buy Snacks In Japan
There are so many places in Japan to get your dose of local snacks fixed. These locations include konbini, supermarkets, souvenirs stores, and major airports.
Some of the speciality flavours or snacks in Japan are only available in certain cities. So make sure to include a trip to local convenience or souvenirs stores if you are on the Japan snacks food hunt mission!
Here are some of the popular speciality snacks and their regional area:
- Tokyo Banana mostly in Tokyo metropolis
- Shiroi Koibito biscuit in Hokkaido
- Mentaiko flavoured Umaibo Japanese corn puffed at Kyushu
Travel tip: One of the best places to get your boxes of multiple Kit Kats flavours are at Don Quijote.
For traditional Japanese snacks, you can enjoy these delights by visiting the old towns or parts of the cities. There will be plenty of street stalls or century-old confectioneries selling regional classic snacks, such as mochi, taiyaki, and dorayaki.
2. Best Place To Buy Japanese Snacks Online
Alternatively, you can still have your Japanese snacks craving fixed by ordering them online and delivered straight to your home.
A typical option is by signing up for the monthly Japanese snacks subscription.
These online companies will prepare a snack box consisting of a variety of local authentic treats depending on the season or theme and ship it out internationally to their subscribers.
Tip: There will be several subscription plans to choose from on these companies’ websites, where you will be billed monthly or annually.
You can choose the monthly subscription to see if this is up to your liking. And if you change your mind later down the road, you can simply cancel the subscription hassle-free!
If this kind of subscription service sounds good to you, check out these recommended snack box companies:
If a snack subscription is not your thing, some of these famous snacks can be bought from Amazon.
Tokyo Treat Snack Box: Personal Experience
Tokyo Treat specialises in Japanese snack box subscriptions that ship worldwide from Japan. Containing 15 to 20 full-sized Japanese snacks, each box is curated depending on the theme and season.
That means you can expect to receive different types and unique flavours of snacks from Japan every month in the comfort of your home!
I received my October 2022 snacks box from Tokyo Treat. And boy I am so thrilled with the Halloweenised snack selections!
From limited-edition sweet potato Kit Kat chocolate to sourish candy to the Squid-Ink Yakisoba, this Japanese snacks box screams Spooktacular!
The Japanese snack box from Tokyo Treat also comes with an eye-catching culture guide that contains a complete list of snacks and helpful individual allergen info.
Check out my unbiased Tokyo Treat Review article to know more about its 4 subscription plans, shipping costs, what to expect from Tokyo Treat, and more!
Top 23 Snacks In Japan That You Need To Try: Conclusion
Here you go—a tasty list of the top 23 snacks in Japan that you need to try, especially when you are exploring this spectacular country.
And even if you are not in Japan, it is comforting to know that you can still get to immerse into the Japanese snacks culture by either subscribing to the snack box service like Tokyo Treat or getting them from online like Amazon.
Have you tried any Japanese snacks listed in this list? Or do you have any recommendations of snacks from Japan that one must absolutely get their hands on? Let me know in the comments—I would love to hear from you!
Make sure to save this article for your upcoming Japan trip or share it with your friends or family members.