Here are the best Japanese snacks you have to try or take back home as food souvenirs from Japan! Check out our favorite Japanese snacks you can buy online!
I love snacking all the time, whether it is when I am watching movies, cozying up with a book, drawing, or crying. I need snacks all the time. When it comes to a wild variety of snacks, no one does it better than the Japanese.
Best Japanese Snacks — Quick Summary
|Best Japanese Snacks||Key Features||Major Ingredient|
|Morinaga Caramel||Chewy texture|
|Matcha Kitkat||Matcha flavor Hint of sweetness||Matcha|
|Wasabi Beef Chips||Savory|
Meaty flavor with umami
|Jagariko Sticks||Crunchy with a soft core||Potato|
|Calbee Seaweed Salt Chips||Lightly salted|
Accented with seaweed flakes
|Almonds and Dried Fish||Slightly sweet||Dried Fish|
|Seaweed Strips||Crisp and lightweight|
Goes well with rice
|Himemaru Rice Crackers||Deep fried and crunchy|
Coated with a rich soy sauce
|Kaki No Tane Rice Cracker||Bold flavors|
I am sure you know of the worldwide popularity of the best Japanese snacks. There are so many quirky and unique flavors available that I get quite dizzy when I am out shopping for them.
You will find candies, chips, chocolate, as well as several other nibbles available on the market to satiate your hunger for snacks. There are so many variants that I have brought together an assortment of them for you here today.
Since it can be quite an overwhelming task to choose from so many variants, I hope this guide can help you choose the ones that tempt you the most. But, if you are like me, you will be filling up your cart with all of them. So, are you ready for some delicious treats?
Top Japanese Snacks
Savory Japanese Snacks
Wasabi Beef Chips
Do you ever have those moments where you crave something savory and delicious? I find that these Wasabi Beef Chips work perfectly for those times. In fact, many of us reach out to a pack of crisps when hunger strikes.
The chips have been inspired by roast beef topped with horseradish. The flavor is delicious and the hint of wasabi really kicks in as you keep munching on it. I love the meaty flavor and the fact that it also fills you up.
- Savory and delicious
- Meaty flavor with umami
- Hint of wasabi
If you want to satisfy your hunger and curb those cravings, this is the perfect snack item for you. This has become one of my favorite snacks that I keep a stock of at home. The sticks come in a colorful cup that is sealed with a foil lid.
The sticks are very crunchy but they have a soft core. You will also find several limited edition seasonal flavors. One of its most popular flavors is Salad, which is flavored with carrots and parsley.
- Perfect munching snack
- Crunchy with a soft core
- Several limited edition flavors
- Convenient packaging
Calbee Seaweed Salt Chips
Seaweed is a very popular flavor in Japan that is used in several dishes. When I first tried seaweed in my sushi, I had mixed feelings. However, with time and after tasting several nori-infused dishes, I have come to love seaweed.
So, it goes without saying that I absolutely love the Seaweed Salt Chips. The chips are lightly salted and are accented with seaweed flakes. If you are new to eating seaweed, this is a very good way to begin the journey.
I usually sit with a few bags of these crisps when I am cozying up for some Netflix. Trust me, you will love it too.
- Best-selling flavor
- Lightly salted
- Accented with seaweed flakes
- Great for a movie night
Pretz is a popular Japanese snack that is similar to the well-known snack Pocky. It is made by the Glico company, which is also famous for its other snack products like Pocky and Yan Yan. Pretz sticks are long, thin biscuit sticks that come in various flavors.
Pretz sticks are baked rather than being coated in chocolate like Pocky. They have a crunchy texture and are often flavored with savory or sweet seasonings.
Some popular flavors include:
- Original: The original Pretz sticks have a lightly salted flavor, similar to breadsticks or pretzels.
- Salad: This flavor is inspired by the taste of a fresh salad, featuring a mix of herbs and spices.
- Tomato: Tomato-flavored Pretz sticks have a tangy and slightly sweet taste, reminiscent of tomato sauce.
- Pizza: Pizza-flavored Pretz sticks capture the flavors of tomato, cheese, and herbs found in a pizza.
- Butter: Butter Pretz sticks are rich and savory, offering a taste similar to buttered toast.
- Chocolate: While Pretz sticks are primarily known for their savory flavors, there are also sweet versions available, such as chocolate. These sticks are coated in a layer of chocolate, providing a delightful combination of sweet and crunchy.
Pretz snacks are commonly found in convenience stores, supermarkets, and snack aisles in Japan. They are enjoyed by people of all ages as a convenient and tasty snack option.
Senbei is a popular traditional Japanese snack that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a type of rice cracker that comes in various shapes, sizes, and flavors. Senbei is loved for its crispy texture, savory taste, and wide range of flavor profiles.
Here are some key details about senbei:
Ingredients: The main ingredient in senbei is rice. The rice is typically soaked, steamed, and then pounded into a paste called mochigome. This paste is shaped into crackers and baked or grilled.
The crackers are often flavored with soy sauce, salt, sugar, or other seasonings. Some variations of senbei also include additional ingredients like sesame seeds, seaweed, or peanuts.
Preparation: Senbei can be made using different methods, but the most common ones involve baking or grilling. The rice paste is flattened into thin circles or squares and cooked at high heat until it becomes crispy and golden brown.
Some types of senbei are made by coating the rice cracker with a glaze or sauce before baking or grilling.
Varieties: Senbei comes in a wide variety of flavors and styles. Some common types of senbei include:
- Shoyu Senbei: These are soy sauce-flavored senbei, which are among the most popular and traditional varieties.
- Nori Senbei: Nori (dried seaweed) is often wrapped around the senbei, giving it a distinct flavor and appearance.
- Araare Senbei: These are bite-sized senbei that are typically seasoned with soy sauce, salt, or other spices.
- Okaki Senbei: Okaki is a type of senbei made from whole grains of rice. It tends to be thicker and crunchier compared to other senbei varieties.
- Agemochi Senbei: These senbei are deep-fried, resulting in a unique texture that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
- Sweet Senbei: Some senbei varieties are sweetened with sugar or honey, offering a sweet and crunchy snack option.
Senbei is a versatile snack that can be enjoyed on various occasions. It is commonly consumed with green tea or other beverages, making it a popular accompaniment to tea ceremonies.
Senbei is also a popular snack during festivals and holidays in Japan. It can be eaten on its own or used as an ingredient in other dishes, such as crushed and sprinkled over salads or used as a garnish for soups.
Senbei is not only a tasty treat but also a significant part of Japanese culinary culture. It has a long history and remains a beloved snack enjoyed by people of all ages in Japan and around the world.
Arare Rice Snacks
Arare rice snacks, also known as arare crackers, are a type of Japanese snack made from glutinous rice. They are small, bite-sized crackers with a crunchy texture and are typically seasoned with soy sauce or other savory flavors. Arare is a popular snack in Japan and comes in various shapes, colors, and flavors.
Here are some key details about arare rice snacks:
Ingredients: The main ingredient in arare rice snacks is glutinous rice, also known as mochigome. The rice is typically soaked, steamed, and then mixed with seasonings before being shaped into bite-sized crackers.
Common seasonings include soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), sugar, and sometimes additional flavors such as seaweed, sesame seeds, or spices.
Shapes and Colors: Arare rice snacks come in a variety of shapes and colors. They can be spherical, cylindrical, or flat, with each shape offering a unique texture and crunch.
The colors of arare can vary as well, ranging from light golden brown to vibrant red, green, or black, depending on the flavoring and ingredients used.
Flavors: Arare snacks offer a wide range of flavors. Some popular varieties include:
- Shoyu Arare: These are soy sauce-flavored arare crackers, which are the most common and traditional type.
- Kaki no Tane: This type of arare is a mix of two shapes: crescent-shaped rice crackers and small peanuts. It offers a savory and slightly spicy flavor.
- Nori Arare: Nori (seaweed) is often added to the rice cracker mixture, giving the arare a distinct umami taste and a hint of ocean flavor.
- Wasabi Arare: These arare snacks are seasoned with wasabi, a spicy Japanese horseradish. They provide a spicy kick to the traditional rice cracker flavor.
- Goma Arare: Goma means sesame in Japanese, so goma arare features the addition of sesame seeds, giving the crackers a nutty flavor.
Enjoyment and Occasions: Arare rice snacks are commonly enjoyed as a snack throughout the day in Japan. They are often consumed alongside green tea or other beverages, enhancing the snacking experience.
Arare is also popular during celebrations, festivals, and special occasions such as New Year’s, where it is included in osechi ryori (traditional New Year’s dishes).
Arare rice snacks are loved for their addictive crunch, delightful flavors, and portability. They are a staple in Japanese snack culture, and you can find them in supermarkets, convenience
stores, and specialty snack shops both in Japan and in some international markets.
Healthy Japanese Snacks
Almonds and Dried Fish
I have to be honest when I first laid my eyes on this snack, I was a little unsure about the combination of sardines and almonds. But that doubt lasted only until I had opened a packet and took my very first bite. This is a very healthy snack option that you must definitely try.
Almond fish is the perfect company for alcohol. These are slightly sweet and are coated in sesame seeds. This combination gives you the goodness of protein, calcium, and vitamin E.
- Healthy snack option
- Slightly sweet
- Gives you the goodness of protein, calcium, and vitamin E
- Sesame seeds may be allergic to some
You will find seaweed in almost everything in Japan. Seaweed is also extremely popular as a snacking option, and it’s really something I go to when I am craving something delicious.
Dried sheets of seaweed make for quite a healthy snack. This is known as nori in Japanese. I prefer sprinkling nori on my rice to make myself a bowl of low-carb snacks. I love the crisp and lightweight texture of the nori.
- Crisp and lightweight
- Goes well with rice
Classic Japanese Snacks
Himemaru Rice Crackers
The Himemaru rice crackers are one of the most recognizable snacks in Japan. The crackers are characterized by the tricolor packaging. The tricolor represents the curtains of the kabuki performance hall.
I love these deep fried rice cakes. They are super crunchy and are flavored with a rich soy sauce coating.
I love sitting with a packet of these rice crackers with a glass of alcohol or a steaming cup of green tea.
- Deep fried and crunchy
- Coated with a rich soy sauce
- Extra fat and carbs
Kaki no Tane Rice Cracker
This is yet another of my absolute favorites. I love the bold and flavorful taste of these crackers. These are crescent shaped crackers that look so like persimmon seeds. The crunchy texture of these crackers really draws me in. This texture goes perfectly well so with the seasonings.
The peanuts in the packet add more to the crunchiness.
- Bold and flavorful
- Crunchy texture
Sweet Japanese Snacks
I love everything that has caramel in it. While caramel is not native to Japan, it is still one of the most well-loved treats in the nation. Caramel was first manufactured and sold by Morinaga in 1913.
Today, Morinaga Caramel is one of the favorites amongst the Japanese. I understood why it is so popular right after my first bite. The sweets are chewy and they have a delicious milky taste.
The box is in a recognizable yellow color and it contains sweets that are individually wrapped. I love this packaging a lot because it allows me to just grab a handful and carry them around with me.
Morinaga has also released several different flavors such as azuki, matcha, and yogurt.
- Individually wrapped sweets
- Chewy texture
- Delicious milky flavor
- Available in various flavors
Kitkat is the perfect break-time treat. While many of us are only aware of one particular type of Kitkat, the Japanese market has over 300 different varieties. Since I love Kitkat so much, I keep trying out all these different flavors. One flavor that really stuck with me is the Matcha one.
- Related: Kid friendly Japanese Foods
- Related: Best 7-Eleven Snack in Japan To Try
- Related: Best Japanese Instant Ramen
I love Matcha, in any form available, so I was bound to be attached to the Matcha Kitkat. Also, Japan has over 14 different kinds of Matcha KitKat. The Kitkat has a very subtle hint of matcha that blends perfectly with the sweetness added to it. Believe me, one taste and you will be coming back for more.
- Delicious matcha flavor
- Hint of sweetness
- Different kinds available
Best Japanese Snacks: FAQs
Which is the most popular snack in Japan?
The most popular snack in Japan is Pocky. It is a biscuit stick coated in chocolate. It was first introduced in 1966 by Glico, a Japanese confectionery company. Pocky is available in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, matcha, strawberry, and cheese. It is a popular snack among children and adults alike.
What snacks to get from Tokyo?
Here are some popular snacks to get from Tokyo:
- Kit Kat: Japan is known for its unique Kit Kat flavors, such as wasabi, sake, and green tea. You can find these flavors in most convenience stores and souvenir shops.
- Pocky: Pocky is a biscuit stick coated in chocolate. It is a popular snack among children and adults alike. There are many different flavors of Pocky, so you’re sure to find one that you’ll like.
- Hi-Chew: Hi-Chew is a chewy candy that comes in a variety of flavors, such as grape, strawberry, and apple. It is a popular snack among children and adults alike.
- Senbei: Senbei are rice crackers that are often flavored with soy sauce or seaweed. They are a popular snack in Japan and can be found in most convenience stores and souvenir shops.
- Dorayaki: Dorayaki are a type of Japanese pancake filled with red bean paste. They are a popular snack and can be found in many different flavors.
- Mochi: Mochi is a Japanese rice cake that is often made with sweet bean paste. It is a popular snack and can be found in many different flavors.
Are Japanese snacks healthy?
As compared to typical American snacks, Japanese snacks are healthier. The ingredients and preservatives used in Japanese snacks are better than the ones used in American snacks such as Hostess’s Twinkies and Ding Dongs.
Why are Japanese snacks so good?
Japanese snacks do not make use of ingredients such as chocolate, caramel, or nougat. These snacks make use of sweet beans and sweet potatoes. This decreases the calorie count and makes these snacks super healthy for those sudden cravings.
Treat your taste buds!
Japanese snacks are truly a treat for your taste buds. Each of the snacks that you find is unique. They take your tastebuds on a rollercoaster ride. I love sitting down with all the different flavors of Japanese snacks and going on Cloud Nine with every bite.
Believe me, the moment you taste it, you will find it difficult to say no to more. Also, the fact that Japanese snacks can be categorized into different categories makes it easier for you to decide what mood you are in.
I usually place all my snacks as per their categories so it becomes easier for me to pick up the taste I am craving for. Check out these snacks that are my absolute favorites; trust me, there really is no turning back after your first taste.