Japanese snacks are having a global moment, so much so that even Pocky has become commonplace in our vocabulary and in our pantries. Japan has plenty of snack options to offer; however, for the uninitiated, where do you even begin? We’ve put together a list of a few of the most popular Japanese snacks, from traditional favorites to more recent trends that anyone will enjoy!
Many people are already familiar with mochi, the round rice cakes commonly filled with red bean. However, some may not be as familiar with other forms of mochi, like warabi mochi. Warabi mochi is a special type of mochi made with bracken starch and is served with black sugar syrup and roasted soybean flour. Over the years, Japanese sweet shops and snack companies have experimented with all kinds of mochi fillings, including chocolate or fruit flavors, so there’s sure to be a mochi to please even the most fickle taste buds!
Are those pancakes?! That’s dorayaki, which consists of two pancake-like slices of castella cake wrapped around a red bean paste filling. It’s a common street food snack, easily eaten with one hand. But no need to attend a festival just to try this out—there are mini snack versions of dorayaki and even ones with chocolate filling!
Ramune is a Japanese carbonated beverage that has had a surge in global popularity and is known for its distinctive glass bottle. To open a bottle of ramune, you need to push down the marble that sits at the mouth of the bottle, and into the neck of the bottle, where it sits as you enjoy your beverage. The light soft drink is refreshing and, thus, popular in the summer months. It is so well-loved, it has spawned a variety of ramune candies so everyone can enjoy it no matter where they go!
Kinoko no Yama
Japan is amazing at creating cute little snacks like these chocolate-shaped mushrooms called Kinoko no Yama, otherwise known in the United States as Chocorooms. The stem part of the mushroom is made of a light biscuit and the mushroom cap is made of chocolate. The stems make it convenient to grab and eat, so there’s no chocolate melting on anybody’s fingers— nothing wasted here!
Shiroi Koibito is a very popular souvenir snack food item in Japan. The light biscuit sandwich cookie envelopes a white chocolate cream and brings to mind snowy Hokkaido up north, where it comes from. It’s so popular that if you visit Hokkaido, it’s basically expected that you’ll bring this snack back! Each little cookie is very delicate and melts on the tongue for a smooth experience.
Bake x Hello Kitty
Everyone knows Hello Kitty! Japan snack creators often collaborate with many kawaii characters that people young and old adore—and what better combination than Hello Kitty and chocolate? Well-known Japanese confectioner Morinaga did just that with these bite-sized baked chocolate treats that have a crisp outside and melty inside.
Melon pan or melon bread is another favorite that you might know from its many appearances in anime and manga. But it may come as a surprise that melon bread isn’t actually flavored with melon! The name comes from its appearance, which resembles the outside of a melon due to the crosshatched design baked into the bread. The outer shell is made of a crispy cookie dough,
Japanese Versions of Favorite American Snacks
Looking for something a little familiar to try out first? American favorites like Pringles are available in Japan in fun flavors including ramen, cheese mayonnaise, and mentaiko (fish roe). Interestingly enough, Japan also released a limited “American” series, which included a Texas barbecue flavor. There are other American snacks that Japan has imported and then added their own spin on things. For instance, you can find green tea Oreos or wasabi-flavored Doritos in Japan.
Tempted to try these tasty treats? You don’t have to fly across the ocean to do so when you can have them delivered directly to you! Get your snack fix and eat your way through the best Japanese snacks, sweets, and teas with Bokksu!