Japan has a wide range of candy and snacks to offer from the famed and exclusive flavors of their Kit-Kats to yummy gummies and fun DIYs. While some are seasonal and limited-edition to Japan, these are the goodies you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled and on the lookout for your next snacking adventure!
First introduced in 1973 to Japan, Kit-Kats have become one of the country’s top-selling chocolate brands and grown to have over 300 special flavors created since it’s launch with popular flavors like sakura (cherry blossoms) blended with kinako (roasted soybean flour) to hojicha (roasted green tea) and wild flavors you would never imagine like edamame, baked potato and soy sauce. Woah!
t’s taken Japan by storm, so much so, that there’s been Kit-Kat sushi and a bar in Tokyo to taste the chocolate confections in pairing with curated cocktails to complement their ume (plum) liqueur and sake flavors!
*hint hint* Getting a variety of these special Kit-Kat flavors to package into organza bags makes the best and yummiest souvenir gift to give to family and friends from one’s travels to Japan.
Launched in 1966, Pocky was marketed as a light and convenient snack to enjoy on the go as they’re thin chocolate-coated biscuits sticks. Since the original, followed by almond and strawberry coatings, they have grown to include variations such as banana, cookies and cream, coconut, green tea, and honey flavored coatings to interesting flavors like pistachio and melon from the Hokkaido region and whiskey only found in Japan.
Ever have chips from Japan before? From popular brands like Calbee with their popular potato stick chips, you’ll also find unique flavors from wasabeef (wasabi beef) to ume - Japanese plum and even crazier creations like Ikinari steak and lovely cheese that were specifically designed for women in their 20s-30’s.
There are lots of different varieties of chocolate from sweet milk to dark chocolate from brands like Meiji and Crunch to name a few. Many are nicely packaged in a way that makes them great for giving as a nice gift such as Morinaga’s (same maker as Hi-Chew) chocoball series with flavors like caramel, peanut, and ichigo (strawberry).
Japanese biscuits and cookies come in a variety of colors, fillings and shapes from fun kawaii designs to indulgent and decadent flavors. Brands like Lotte, with the classic and childhood favorite Koala March snack,  and Country Maam (debated to be the best store bought cookies) with flavors like roasted chestnut, amaou strawberry, winter chocolate and green tea - also have a variety to choose from with new special editions coming out per season.
“Dagashi” is derived from the Japanese words “da” meaning futile and “kashi” meaning snacks - to refer to low price and fun packaged candy and snacks created to attract children, but are just as delicious.
Around since 1979, Umaibo is a great everyday go-to snack. It’s a delicious stick of puffed corn that is easy to eat and comes in many different flavors from natto to tonkatsu and for special holidays such as White Day, you may find variations dipped in chocolate! *drools*.
Matcha also widely known as green tea is an iconic flavor of Japan! And there’s so much to learn about it as it varies throughout Japan’s regions! A hardcore fact, however, is that many exclusive confections and snacks are made that can only be found in the country like exclusive and special editions of Kit-Kat and Pocky.
Why not make your own treat to eat? Japan has fun DIY kits to make you feel like you’re your own confectionary cook. They’re fun to make and fun to eat with versions to make your own popin’ cookin’ DIY sushi candy to ramen noodles from brands like Kracie. There are also funny DIYs such as from Moko Moko with their toilet bowl candy DIY that you can decorate for display and drink it as well.
Japan has a variety of different gum coming in different shapes from bite sized to longer strips of different flavors from cola to ume to enjoying your favorite soda fizz + flavor without the can to tasting the traditional flavors of Japan that can’t be found anywhere else. There are some that even come with a Pokemon Trading Card (TGC). Wow!
With a wide variety of flavors offered and in different forms, hard candies from Japan are a great pick-me-up to keep in your bag or backpack like fue ramune whistle candies and lemon-chan for a nice sweet treat to pop in your mouth.
Offering a variety of drinks that can be purchased cold or hot right straight from vending machines, Japan also offers a combination of flavors each season that could only be dreamed of! Here are our top 3
An iconic and fun drink of Japan, Ramune is a type of carbonated soft drink known for its distinctive bottle design. They’re made of glass and sealed with a marble.To open the bottle, the marble is pushed inside the neck of the bottle where it rattles around while drinking. Some of the unique flavors they have developed are curry, takoyaki and wasabi. Wut?!?!? :exploding_head:
Another iconic drink brand is Calpis. They’re known popularly for their yogurt beverage which has a light and milky yogurt flavor, like Yakult. In Japan, they have versions such as chardonnay and muscat (grape) soda.
Also unique to Japan like their Kit-Kat flavors, they have a plethora of different and limited-edition Coca-Cola flavors and specially designed bottles that can’t be found anywhere else such as white peach and sakura.
Premiering to the market in 1975 and originally called ‘Chewlets’, Hi-Chews are a deliciously chewy and taffy-like treat. In Japan, limited-edition flavors are available per season from Hokkaido Yunari lemon to Persimmon fruit flavors and can be purchased at local 7/11 shops across the country.
Japan exclusive items include the candy in popsicle form. Eeep!
Another iconic flavor from Japan is sakura aka cherry blossom flowers. They have a soft flavor of cherries and when they’re in season starting in March, you’ll find a plethora of limited edition candies and snacks and drinks such as Sakura Matcha Pocky, Sakura Coca-Cola, Sakura Lipton tea, and sought after special drink curations and merchandise from Starbucks with the sakura flavor every year!
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Japan Crate is the leading Japanese culture subscription box that shares the experience of Japan through monthly crates of candy, snacks, kawaii items, noodles, beauty products, and toys.
You can also browse individual products from Japan via Sugoi Mart, Japan Crate’s online store.
Japan Crate has offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Los Angeles, CA. The privately held company was founded in 2014 and has grown to offer multiple crate types to an international audience.
Learn more at www.japancrate.com