Japanese candy or snack is one of the must-try things if you visit Japan!
I myself have a sweet tooth, especially when I was a child and even now, haha.
What I selected here are all very popular Japanese candies and snacks since old days and even now here in Japan.
Most of them are long-seller.
I’ve tried all of them many times since I was a child.
I’ll introduce all the candies and snacks here.
Best Japanese Candies and Snacks
Pai no mi
This looks like chocolate biscuit.
But its texture is pastry rather than biscuit.
Outside is crispy and it sometimes peeled off that hard to eat when I was a child.
I think now this Pai no mi improved so not difficult to eat.
Combination of crispy pie and chocolate filling inside is good.
Long-seller candy since 1979.
Character on the package looks cute, doesn’t it.
It is called Kyoro-chan.
I do not know if it is a bird or something even now.
Chocolate-coated peanuts balls inside.
There are also caramel, banana, strawberry, etc. flavors.
You can find which flavor it is from the package of Kyoro-cyan as its color reflects flavor.
You have the chance of another one, too.
If you get golden angel mark, you can have canned toys called Omocha no Kanzume.
I’ve never gotten golden angel although I bought this Choco Ball so many times so it must be very rare.
This is popular candy among children and adults.
It looks like an ice cream.
But is is a candy.
Or I can also say a kind of snack.
It is made of chocolate.
Texture is crispy but it is aired in chocolate that fluffy at the same time.
You’ll be surprised when you hold it as it is so light.
Caprico was first sold in 1970 so it is more than 40 years now.
Pocky is very very popular since old days.
When I was a child I could not see any reason of its popularity at all as it was just a chocolate stick.
Taste was also ordinary taste of chocolate.
But Pocky looked like an icon of Japanese candy.
When I saw someone who ate Pocky, I looked on him or her as a modern person, haha.
Maybe that simple shape and taste is the key of long-seller.
Its design of package also changes often and it is certainly becoming stylish.
Long-seller candy over 50 years.
If I explain Toppo, it is thicker version of Pocky.
Contrary to Pocky, chocolate is covered in Pretz.
I like crisp texture of this Pretz.
There are many flavors other than chocolate but chocolate is best I can say.
It is relatively new candy as it has first sold in 1994.
Since then, it is very popular.
Jagariko is also relatively new snack.
It was first released in 1994.
Same year as Toppo.
I became a big hit once it came onto the market among young people.
I myself like this Jagarico and even now I sometimes buy it.
It is very crispy and you can enjoy rich flavor of potato itself.
It is easy to eat, that is also good point.
What I like about it is, they have spirit of entertainment.
Sometimes giraffe is playing on words on the package and even official bar code on the package is used as a part of design for pun.
Other than normal flavor of salad, cheese is also popular.
Kinoko no Yama
Kinoko means mushrooms and Yama means mountain.
As you can see, this is mushroom shaped chocolates.
I like this Kinoko no Yama very much since I was a child.
Taste is actually simple chocolate taste but I like cute shape of mushrooms of this Kinoko no Yama.
The ratio of snack and chocolate is also good, not too much snack.
This Kinoko no Yama is often compared with Takenoko no Sato.
Takenokno no Sato is also similar type of candy and I’ll introduce Takenoko no Sato next.
Takenoko no Sato
Takenoko no Sato is also very popular like Kinoko no Yama.
Takenoko means bamboo shoot and Sato means hometown or village.
It often becomes like “Takenoko no Sato VS Kinoko no Yama”.
I also argued with my friends as to which is better.
I always stand by Kinoko no Yama but my friends or most people are on the side of Takenoko no Sato.
Their claim is much snack is better.
Certainly Takenoko no Sato defeats Kinoko no Yama for the rate of snack.
But if I asked, much choco is better!
To my surprise, it finally became election in this 2018!! Σ(ﾟДﾟ)
Maker of these chocolate Meiji announced that they hold a general election of Takenoko no Sato and Kinoko no Yama.
Many say no need to hold as everybody knows the result from the first without holding it.
I’m so frustrated!
Which side are you on?
Either way, if you decide, go vote online.
Meiji accept vote until 31 July 2018 on their website.
Please vote after you read manifest of each Kinokon no Yama party and Takenoko no Sato party.
No interest? Σ(ﾟДﾟ)
I think there is no need of my explaining the origin of the name.
Yes, that spaceship of NASA.
The shape of it is like that of Apollo, isn’t it.
But there is also another story.
The name is derived from Greek god Appolon.
They started selling this chocolate Apollo in 1969, same year of spaceship Apollo landed on the moon but the name Apollo was formally registered in 1966.
Anyway, this is favorite of child and I often ate it.
It has 2 layers of chocolates (strawberry chocolate and normal chocolate) as you can see.
I often ate it by separating them just for fun.
Marble chocolate is very colorful.
It reminds me of M&M’s.
But this Marble chocolate is more flat than M&M’s and inside is just a chocolate.
Outside is crispy and just watching colorful chocolates made me happy in those days.
I remember there was a small seal inside and I think it still is attached.
Meiji Almond Chocolate
This is a bit expensive chocolate compared with other chocolate I introduced here.
Although it is about $2 so not very expensive.
I could not buy this chocolate like other chocolates when I was a child or student.
This is the chocolate adults love.
Selected quality almond is used for the chocolate.
Almond inside is big and really crispy.
I can say even people from overseas come to like this Meiji Almond Chocolate very much once they eat it.
What a tasty cookie!
This is the first impression when I ate COUNTRY MA’AM first time.
I’ve never had this texture before and its taste.
It was not like traditional candies since old days that it gave me a big shock.
This was the taste of cookie in US or Europe I knew afterwards.
But in those days, there were no cookies which have taste or texture like that of COUNTRY MA’AM as far as I remember.
My image of cookies were crispy and sweet, that’s it.
But COUNTRY MA’AM was not crispy rather soft taste but the taste was that of cookies in US or Europe.
I recommend you toast it in oven before you eat.
It makes the taste much better!
Koala no March
Koala no March is very cute.
Long-seller chocolate snack and favorite of child.
Taste is also good and I sometimes buy it even now.
You can also enjoy wide variety of Koala drawn on the snacks.
Sumo Koala, Baseball Koala, etc.
If you could find Koala with eyebrows you are lucky as most of all Koalas don’t have eyebrows so that’s rare one.
It was interesting I could see fake Koala no March in some countries.
Shape or package was almost same, I should have tried them.
This is also relatively new chocolate snack to me.
I thought so but it was not, it had been first sold in 1973 in Japan.
I did not know that!!
Top of it, its origin was UK.
I wonder why I thought KitKat was chocolate of Japan.
And why now KitKat of Japan is popular among people in overseas?
Anyway it is true KitKat is popular chocolate snack.
There is even a specialty shop of KitKat in Tokyo.
Looks like Matcha flavor is popular among people in overseas.
I also like KitKat and would buy it often in the past.
Caramel Co~rn, hohowhoho~!
On TV, I often saw CM of Caramel Corn with this unique theme song.
This is very sweet and popular snack.
Not only Japanese but people in overseas love it, I would say.
Taste of caramel, who hate it?
Some peanuts were also inside but when I was little, I did not like it and thought what’s the worth of this peanuts.
I thought that’s not a good combination at all.
I think that was not only me who thought like that.
But now I understand, it is a good combination.
A bit salty taste of peanut brings out the taste of Caramel more.
Package design is also cute, isn’t it.
Baby Star Ramen
Hero of children!
Because it is just 30 cents (in 1980s).
Even a five-year old child can buy it.
There is also a story behind this Baby Star Ramen.
First what they were making was instant noodles.
But when making noodles, technically speaking, when they were drying noodles in the sun, some dried noodles had fallen.
Just throwing away the noodles was Mottainai thing to founder at the time, so he seasoned it and gave the staffs and it got a good reputation among them.
Founder decided to sell this as Baby Star Ramen.
They started selling Baby Star Ramen in 1959 and it became popular soon.
One of the keys of this snack is very cheap so even child could buy.
Its taste is also actually good and I love it.
First it was only chicken flavor but late curry, salt, soy sauce, etc. are released.
My favorite way to eat when I was little is to pour hot water and add little soy sauce on Baby Star Ramen.
Wait 1 minute and voila, here you have small Ramen.
Tongari means pointy so it is Pointy Corn.
The shape of it is trigonal pyramid and it is empty inside.
I think many people enjoyed putting their fingers into this Tongari Corn while eating.
It is a unique snack.
Literally, it is made of corn.
You can enjoy savory corn.
Salt flavor is standard but BBQ flavor is also taste good.
When I was born, this Kappa Ebisen was already there and popular.
Kappa is Yokai and Yokai is ghost-like mysterious creature.
It is said that Kappa live in pond or river.
Ebi means shrimp and Sen is from Senbei, that is, rice cracker in Japanese.
Well, I’ve not given a deep thought about the name until now, what a naming.
I do not know why this combination, Kappa, shrimp and rice cracker.
But certainly powdered shrimp inside in this snack.
And famous phrase of this Kappa Ebisen is “Yamerarenai Tomaranai Kappa Ebisen”.
Thai is, “Once you eat it, you can not stop eating”.
Certainly, this is tasty snack and I tasted like shrimp.
Kappa Ebisen is loved to this day.
First Pretz was sold in 1963.
Since then, various flavors were developed.
But Toamato Pretz was a kind of sensational to me.
And it certainly became a big hit.
It was released in 1989, yes in the highlight of Bubble Economy in Japan.
Tomato Pretz looked modern stylish snack to me in those days.
First I thought like tomato taste?
Must be strange taste I thought but once I tried it, I became a big fan of Tomato Pretz.
It was completely different taste and texture than other Pretz.
I do not see much this Tomato Pretz like before but it reminds me of old days.
Happy Turn is I think Japanese taste like Teriyaki flavor.
Because it is a bit salty but sweet taste.
Still taste is not like Teriyaki, sorry it is a little bit difficult to explain the subtle taste.
Anyway I like this snack.
And both men and women like this Happy Turn.
I could often see this Happy Turn at an occasion such as party.
It is made of rice cracker but taste is not like traditional rice cracker.
If you are lucky, you might be able to find heart-shaped Happy Turn.
Black Thunder, what a name!
It is very popular chocolate snack bar among both men and women, from child to adult.
I myself like it very much.
You can find this Black Thunder anywhere in Japan.
But it was actually not popular at all like now when it first appeared in 1994 and they stopped selling next year as it did not sell well.
But there were many people in Kyusyu Region who say “Why you stop selling, Mottainai”.
So they decided to sell it again but could not sell well as usual after all.
But the tide turned in their favor when they started to sell shop at university cooperative in around 2006.
It became popular among students.
They enlarged the market to convenience store and sold twenty million in the end.
Yes, that was the time I started to see Black Thunder at convenience store.
And it became popular overnight after that.
It is just 30 cents but is really tasty.
Bikkuri man is a chocolate wafer with a small sticker bonus.
It made a really really big hit when I was around 5 or 6, that is in around 1985.
Every boys bought Bikkuriman Choco in those days.
Some shops even limited its sales to 2 or 3 packs at the maximum per customer.
Why boys were so into Bikkuriman?
Yes, actually it was not for the chocolate wafer but for the sticker it held.
Every boys was so into collecting this small sticker and I was one of them.
As they had no interest in the chocolate wafer, they threw away it and it became social issue in those days in Japan.
But actually taste of chocolate wafer was good so long as I remember.
Peanuts were inside and it was crunchy.
Now biscuit crunch is used instead of peanuts.
It is still sold in convenience store or supermarket but not very popular like 30 years ago.
That was the highlight of Bikkuriman I can say.
And to my surprise, it is about 80 cents now.
I could buy it just 30 cents in those days and that’s why even child could buy many of them.
But it might be bigger size or high quality now.
This Bikkuriman Choco is one of the things which reminds me of late 1980s.
I also wrote details of Bikkuriman here.
Umai Bou is the cheapest snack so long as I know.
It is just 10 cents.
It is favorite of most children.
It has over 20 flavors now.
Most popular flavor is corn potage.
I see, certainly that was my favorite.
But I recommend you to try Takoyaki flavor, too.
It is really good and some others also say Takoyaki is the best.
That’s the most crispy texture in Umai Bou.
Other than corn potage or Takoyaki, cheese is popular.
Do you have 10 yen?
Dash to a convenience store and get Umaibou!
Carl is the national favorite since 1968.
Literally, it is curly snack.
At every convenience stores or supermarkets you could see Carl.
Yes, “could see” so not anymore now.
It was very popular snack in the past but the sales declined with time.
And finally they decided to stop selling Carl in Kanto Region (Tokyo and around Tokyo) in 2017.
I think many Japanese were shocked to hear the news.
So you can not see Carl in Tokyo and actually I do not see Carl at convenience store or supermarket anymore around here.
But you can still buy Carl if you visit West part of Japan.
Looks like they keep selling only in Western Japan.
But the flavor is limited to cheese and salt only.
Cheese is the standard taste since old days.
If you visit Kyoto or Osaka, I want you to remember there is Carl!
Tirol Choco is very cute and popular chocolate.
To my surprise, the flavors are over 700 >
Every package is different and even design carved on the chocolates inside are different.
There are also collectors who keep collecting every packages.
Once, one of my friends gave me tons of Tirol Choco to me (She said she got a prize of Tirol Choco at a party).
I ate Tirol Choco everyday and every chocolates were different flavor and taste that I could enjoy all of them.
I recommend you Kinakomochi flavor.
Kinakomochi is rice cakes covered with sweetened soybean flour.
It’s my favorite and many people love it.
It is just 20 cents and you can buy it at convenience store or supermarket all over Japan.
Kaki no Tane
This Kaki no Tane is often picked up as one of the most popular souvenirs among people from overseas.
Certainly this is very traditional snack.
Combination of a bit spicy rice cracker and peanuts is very good.
It goes well with beer (Although I don’t drink, I often see people enjoy Kaki no Tane with beer or alcoholic drink).
This is not the snack for child but for adult I can say.
Businessmen love it to enjoy Kaki no Tane with beer after work.
First Kaki no Tane was made about 90 years ago.
I think this is the snack which has longest history in all the list I picked up here.
This is not a candy rather cake I can say.
At least, to me in those days, it looked like expensive cake.
So I was very happy when my mother bought it.
Chocolate coating outside is crispy and inside is soft sponge cake with cream.
There was a chocolate-coated coffee beans on the top for an accent.
Looks like chocolate-coated raisin took the place now.
It was a bit expensive sweet (about $3) so I rarely buy it
I think it goes well with wine, too.
This is one of my favorites even now.
And there is even Matcha flavor now.
This snack is very popular snack.
Taste is, yes, that of Cron Potage soup.
It is fluffy and crispy.
I really liked it and often bought it.
It is about $1 but if you want to try only a little bit, buy Corn Potage flavor of Umaibou instead.
It is just 10 cents and the taste is I think similar.
“Milky is mom’s taste”.
Very famous phrase and every Japanese knows this.
What is it like?
As you can imagine, it is sweetness of milk.
It is tasty and children love it.
Mascot character of it is called Peko-chan and I think you are sure to see her standing outside sweets shop if you come visit Japan.
Milky might look like a soft candy but not at all.
Actually it is very hard first but it becomes soft while chewing.
It has strong adhesiveness and attaches to the back of teeth.
One time, I was chewing this Milky and found something so hard in my mouth.
I thought like Milky was such a hard candy?
And I took it out and found that it was silver which capped my cavity.
What a cohesiveness!!( ﾟДﾟ)
But actually this was not only me but some other kids also had same experience.
Milky might be mother’s taste but not always sweet like real mom!!
Funny naming, isn’t it.
When I checked translation, it showed me “Oops”.
I see, certainly Ottotto is Oops.
Anyway Ottotto is salty snack.
It is fried and empty inside.
It has various types of fish or seafood shaped snacks inside package.
Whale, shark, cram, squid, etc.
You can see all the names of fish and seafood written inside package.
Yes, good learning for a child.
I often enjoyed checking the name of the fish and seafood while I eat it.
This snack is loved especially by child but I still like it.
Did you find any candies or snacks that attract you?
You can buy most of them once you visit convenience store of supermarket in Japan.
If you buy candies or snacks at cheap price, I recommend you supermarket as they usually sell items at cheaper price than convenience store’s.
Okashinomachioka is also my recommendation.
It is specialty shop of candies or snacks and offer us reasonable price.
I sometimes visit this shop.
I you have a sweet tooth like me, Japanese candies and snacks are worth trying!!
But if you want try in your country, here Japan Candy Box will offer you assortments of unique Japanese candies and snacks.
Wanna know what’s inside the box?
Check this YouTube video “Japan Candy Box (Introduction of contents)”, too.