There are heaps of Japanese snacks to try when you visit Japan. From the seasonal candies to delicious chocolate treats to Japan-only snacks, there is something for everyone. This is the reason why many tourists choose to buy Japanese snacks as souvenirs to bring back home. Rather than magnets or keychains that others might not end up using, edible souvenirs are unique, delicious and also affordable.
We asked Erika, a staff at Okashi-no-Machioka, one of Japan’s popular candy and snack shops, to show us 10 snacks in their Shinjuku store that are popular with foreign visitors. Let’s take a look!
1. Green Tea Kit Kat (Nestle)
It is no longer a secret that Japan has the most variety of Kit Kat flavors in the world!. Therefore it didn’t come as a surprise when Erika led us to the Kit Kat section. One of the most popular Kit Kat flavors for foreign travelers is the green tea flavored Kit Kat.
Because the matcha flavor is so popular, there are actually variations of the green tea Kit Kat that is not just limited to the packaging. We asked Erika to explain the difference. “You can find the regular green tea flavor as well as the more bitter green tea that are catered to adults. And, there is even one variety with polyphenol (micronutrients packed with antioxidants) and lutein (carotenoid vitamin good for your eyes) for health benefits.”
2. Assorted Flavors Kit Kat (Nestle)
Apart from green tea flavors, Erika went on saying that, in general, Kit Kat is a very popular snack for foreign travelers.
They come up with new flavors once in a while, such as this Strawberry Tiramisu that was introduced at the end of 2018 to mark the 45th anniversary of KitKat’s debut in Japan. This flavor was the top pick in votes cast in a worldwide competition.
One thing to note is that you can find many regional and unique Kit Kat flavors in souvenir stores and in airports. So the next time you’re in Japan, make sure to try them all!
3. Green Tea Mochi Chocolate (Tirol Choco)
Mochi is a traditional Japanese glutinous rice cake that is loved for its chewy texture. So what if you combine green tea chocolate with the soft and chewy mochi in one bite-sized chocolate candy? The taste is surprisingly like eating a regular green tea mochi and is definitely worth the try. The very-Japanese flavor and texture is the reason why this snack by Tirol Choco confectionary company is a popular choice for foreign visitors.
4. Kororo Premium Gummy (UHA)
Kororo is a new sensation gummy that is wrapped with a thin gelatinous outer layer to give a similar texture to eating real fruits. The inside is ultra soft fruity gummy, some made with 100% fruit juice. They have different fruit flavors, such as grapes, melons, apples and strawberries. They come in a small packaging and are a convenient choice for travelers to bring back to their home country.
5. Bourbon Petit’s Green Tea Chocolate Chip (Bourbon)
Bourbon Petit comes in cookie-form and also senbei (rice cracker). In line with all-things-Japanese, the most popular flavor for foreigners is the green tea chocolate chip cookie. It comes in long and thin packaging and is popular with both adults and kids. You can easily slip a couple in your luggage to give to friends and colleagues – and you won’t have to break the bank, as they usually cost under ¥100.
6. Ryukakusan Cough Candy (UHA)
Cough lozenges in Japan come in many different flavors and are sold not just in pharmacies that sometimes you might mistake them for normal candies. The Ryukaku cough candy helps soothe your throat when it is too dry or when you’re coughing. It combines 19 kinds of throat-friendly herbal extracts plus chamomile. Apart from the regular version, there’s also one containing royal jelly and propolis with a mild milk flavor and another with shikuwasa (a type of citrus native of Okinawa) fruit juice.
7. Hi-Chew Chewy Candy (Morinaga)
Hi-Chew from Morinaga confectionary is a soft chewy candy that was first released in 1975. In response to customer demand, it was intentionally created to have chewing gum-like texture that can be swallowed—making it an easy and enjoyable format for kids and adults alike.
With so many fruit flavors to choose from, Hi-Chew is addictive in both taste and texture. Hi-Chew often releases various seasonal flavors that foreigners will love to try, such as persimmon for Autumn.
8. Bourbon Alfort (Bourbon)
Bourbon Alfort is a chocolate biscuit that’s popular for both Japanese and foreigners. It combines fragrant whole grain biscuits with rich deep milk chocolate (but to clarify, no liquor – ‘Bourbon’ is the manufacturer). Serving suggestions include putting a thin slice of cheddar cheese in between two biscuits. This is a safe choice to buy for people who are not as adventurous in trying out the more unique flavors some Japanese snacks tend to offer.
9. Macadamia Chocolate (Lotte)
Lotte Macadamia chocolate is made from roasted macadamia nuts surrounded by a rich layer of chocolate and then wrapped in a shell of smooth milk chocolate. They are bite-sized and very addictive. Erika explained that many foreign visitors love these Macadamia chocolates so much that they would buy in bulk. The white chocolate version is also vastly popular for tourists from Asian countries.
10. Purunto Konjac Jelly (Orihiro)
Orihiro konjac jelly is a healthier snack option that is easy to consume. Konjac is considered health food as it is high in fiber and consists of konjac powder, jelly and more.
The Orihiro konjac jelly has a tagline of: tasty and good for your stomach. “The dual-flavor pack is very popular as foreigners can try two different fruit jellies in one package”, Erika explained. They come in little squeezable plastic tubes that you can tear the top, push out the jelly and eat little by little. It is enjoyable to eat and konjac hardly contains any calories.
Do you have a must-buy Japanese snack?
It’s always good to try different snacks when traveling. You can buy many of these snacks from convenience stores or local snack shops. There are so many others to choose from, however these 10 options will give you an idea on what’s popular among other travelers. You can find all the snacks in this article at Okashi-no-Machioka’s Shinjuku store!
Just remember that the products displayed may vary depending on the store and some of these snacks might not stay around.
Okashi-no-Machioka (Shinjuku)おかしのまちおか 新宿店
- Address 1-12-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 1600023 Japan / 〒160-0023 東京都新宿区西新宿1-12-1
- Phone Number 03-3342-0321
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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