Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

10 Snacks to Try in Japan

Photo: Shingo Yoshida on Flickr

10 Snacks to Try in Japan

Kade Delis

For more interesting and delicious Japanese snacks, check out this article: Top 10 Traditional Japanese Snacks

Japan has many kinds of delicious snacks that you cannot find anywhere else. There are some flavors that are only available in the country and can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. While you are planning your trip to Japan, you may think of sushi, miso soup, and noodles as your first choice of nourishment but why not try some of these famous confectionaries that are cheap, good and fun.

1. Senbei

Photo : w00kie on Flickr
English speakers know them as rice crackers, this crunchy potato chip-like snack is made from rice that is baked or grilled. They taste good with almost any flavor such as salt (called sarada), soy sauce, sugar, shrimp, or seaweed. They can also come in thick and thin sizes; some senbei are as small as a coin or as wide as a plate. Each is delicious and satisfying for all ages.

2. Kibidango

Photo : Shinichi Hatamoto on Flickr
This ancient rice candy has a long history in Japanese culture and literature. It is named after the town Kibi, which created it and is so famous that it is mentioned in folk tales like Momotaro. It is made from glutinous rice, sugar, starch, and syrup and has a chewy taffy-like consistency. It can be found in stores all over Japan.

3. Kinakobo

Photo : hirosh on Flickr
A tiny sweet that may be rare to find in any other country outside Japan. Its main ingredient is kinako, which is soy beans chopped up into a powder. Its recipe is very simple: just syrup, sugar, and kinako combined into a tiny stick with a rich flavor. It may be small, but has a spectacular taste and has more health benefits than most candies.

4. Pocky

Photo : Mmm...Fiber! on Flickr
These easy-to-eat and easy-to-carry snack sticks can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It is a chocolate covered pretzel stick that Japanese people have grown up with. Today, you can enjoy all kinds of flavors like milk chocolate, white chocolate, strawberry, banana, or even pizza flavored.

5. Umaibo

Photo : zenjiro on Flickr
A crunchy corn snack that comes in salty or sweet. This is great for kids and is easy to carry around in a bag. Their flavors are common mostly in Japan like mentaiko (spicy tuna row), sweet corn, or seaweed among others. It may remind Americans of the popular snack Cheetos.

6. Miyako Konbu

Photo : NIC KYU on Flickr
Have you ever imagined kelp as a sweet candy? The Japanese have been eating it for more than 100 years. An old sweet that is chewy, savory, and healthy. It is rich in umami, the fifth taste that the Japanese believe exists.

7. Edo Dagashi


These puffy wheat sticks have the same consistency as umaibo, but are sold much bigger and in greater amounts. Called Edo era cheap snacks, this ancient sweet puff contains many different sugars providing a large amount of flavor that melts in your mouth. They are only available at certain times, so get them while you can.

8. Big Katsu

Photo : David Pursehouse on Flickr
Inspired by the Japanese fried pork dish tonkatsu, Big Katsu is the fried pork taste pressed into a flat jerky. It contains a surprising amount of pork and sauce flavor for such a thin snack. You can enjoy a fried food taste for only a penny candy price.

9. Grilled Eel Snack

Photo : cinefil_ on Flickr
For people outside Japan, this is for the adventurous eater. The taste, as you might have guessed, is Japanese grilled eel (unagi). It is a chewy snack that is rich in a salty, fish taste. Because eel is rich in vitamin E, there are some added heath benefits too.

10. Sobaboro

Photo : kagen33 on Flickr
These are cookies made from buckwheat and are very sweet and crunchy. They became popular after World War II. They are rich in buckwheat so are also settling for the stomach. They taste great with any Japanese tea.

If you enjoy new foods, you can enter any Japanese grocery store and find all sorts of snacks to munch on. For your trip to Japan, try these bold, exciting flavors that may surprise and captivate your taste buds.

For more interesting and delicious Japanese snacks, check out this article: Top 10 Traditional Japanese Snacks