These are the Best Japanese Snacks from Tokyo

by Megan Taylor Stephens

These are the Best Japanese Snacks from Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan is the largest metropolis in the world with a population of approximately 14 million in Tokyo prefecture and about 38 million in the greater Tokyo area. Arguably, Tokyo also has the most variety of any city in the world as well. It has a vast array of shopping, gawking, sights, and smells, and spans the traditional to the contemporary. It has the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the emperor’s residence, which was originally the site of the Edo Castle built in 1457. And it also has modern attractions like the Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world.

If you’re a foodie (or a snackie), it’s fun to make your way through Tokyo while sampling the delicious and unique flavors of Japanese snacks—whether in your fantasy life or in reality.

Traditional Japanese Snacks

As busy and bustling as Tokyo is, many sacred shrines and temples are nestled within the city. You can steep yourself in thoughts of Buddhism as you take a tour (literally or figuratively) around Sensoji Temple, which was built way back in 628. Or you can experience a taste of Shintoism as you tour of Meiji Shrine, which was erected in 1920 as a way to commemorate Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.

A simple meal to harken back to the olden days of Japan is the Rice and Shijimi Miso Soup Set From Izumo. Izumo, which is west of Tokyo, is the site of ancient rice fields that the gods are said to dwell in. Not only is the rice of the highest quality, but the miso soup contains delicious shijimi (clams) as well as the satisfying umami heartiness of miso made from soy beans.

Rice and Shijimi Miso Soup Set From Izumo

Another way to bring traditional Japanese snacks to someone’s palette is through Hatsuho Seika Gift Box: Petit Rice Crackers. This Japanese snack box features peasen rice crackers, which is a type of senbei (mochi rice flour cracker) that has peanuts added to it. It has a light and airy crunch and comes in seven addictive flavors, such as aonori seaweed and bonito. These artisanal rice crackers truly preserve and sustain tradition, as the method of producing these crackers dates back to the 1600s!

Hatsuho Seika Gift Box: Petit Rice Crackers

Japanese Snacks with a Modern Twist

Some tourist sites that symbolize the juxtaposition of old and new in Tokyo include Nintendo Tokyo, the Pokémon Center, the Ghibli Museum, and the Sanrio Puroland amusement park. These places give a nod to old school pop culture icons like Hello Kitty and Super Mario. And they also give a glimpse into the future of entertainment and innovation. Similarly, there are Japanese snacks that balance old and new with grace and style.

There are many donut shops in Tokyo, including western ones like Krispy Kreme and home-grown ones like Dumbo’s Doughnuts. But leave it to Japan to infuse the new age donut with very traditional Japanese flavors! This donut is a case in point: Kocha Black Tea Donut. The sweet dough has a soft and moist texture that is sprinkled with bits of black tea leaves. Kocha, or black tea, has been grown in Japan since the Meiji period, and is now firmly part of Japanese tea culture. This Japanese sweet is a traditional spin on the modern pastry and will be a hit with any donut aficionado.

Kocha Black Tea Donut

Chocolate Azuki Beans: Uji Matcha are a Japanese candy that are at the crossroads of modern and traditional. You can’t get more traditional than red azuki beans and green tea matcha powder, two of the savory ingredients in these Japanese sweets. Add the novelty of white chocolate to the mix, and you have a match made in heaven. Creamy, crunchy, light, and sweet combine together to create this perfect Japanese candy.

Chocolate Azuki Beans: Uji Matcha (8 Packs)

The Best Way to Experience Tokyo

Other than traveling there in person, the best way to experience Tokyo is through a Japanese snack subscription box. Sign up with Bokku to have a monthly box of curated snacks, sweets, and teas delivered to your doorstep. You can also order a Japanese candy box separately, as well as other individual Japanese products on Bokksu Boutique or Bokksu Grocery, an online Asian grocery store.

Happy snacking!

By Megan Taylor Stephens

Author Bio

Megan Taylor Stephens interest in the Japanese language, culture, and food goes way back. She was a Japanese exchange student in high school. Then she studied Japanese and linguistics in college, returned to Japan to work through the JET program (Coordinator of International Relations), and was an interpreter and translator for a while. Megan taught English as a Foreign Language in Japan and other countries before getting a Master's degree in ESL and becoming an ESL teacher. She then pivoted to becoming a school-based speech-language pathologist, so still gets to be immersed in the field of applied linguistics and loves working with bilingual students. Megan enjoys writing on the side for companies like Bokksu. A love of language, culture, travel, food, and learning never dies, it only gets more intense--just like cravings for ramen and Pocky!