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10 Best Japanese Snacks 2021 | Must-try Snacks From Japan!

best japanese snacks

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 SnacksKey FeaturesMajor Ingredient
Morinaga CaramelChewy texture
Milky flavor
Caramel
Matcha KitkatMatcha flavor Hint of sweetnessMatcha
Wasabi Beef ChipsSavory
Meaty flavor with umami
Wasabi
Jagariko SticksCrunchy with a soft corePotato
Calbee Seaweed Salt ChipsLightly salted
Accented with seaweed flakes
Seaweed
Almonds and Dried FishSlightly sweetDried Fish
Seaweed StripsCrisp and lightweight
Goes well with rice
Seaweed
Himemaru Rice CrackersDeep fried and crunchy
Coated with a rich soy sauce
Soy Sauce
Kaki No Tane Rice CrackerBold flavors
Crunchy texture
Rice

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

Sweet Japanese Snacks

Morinaga Caramel

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. 

mochi

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.

Pros

  • Individually wrapped sweets
  • Chewy texture
  • Delicious milky flavor
  • Available in various flavors

Matcha Kitkat

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. 

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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.

Pros

  • Delicious matcha flavor 
  • Hint of sweetness
  • Different kinds available 

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. 

best japanese snacks 2021

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.

Pros

  • Savory and delicious
  • Meaty flavor with umami
  • Hint of wasabi

Jagariko Sticks

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. 

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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.

Pros

  • 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. 

calbee seaweed & salt potato

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.

Pros

  • Best-selling flavor
  • Lightly salted
  • Accented with seaweed flakes
  • Great for a movie night

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.

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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. 

Pros

  • Healthy snack option
  • Slightly sweet
  • Gives you the goodness of protein, calcium, and vitamin E

Cons

  • Sesame seeds may be allergic to some

Seaweed Strips

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.

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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. 

Pros

  • Healthy
  • 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.

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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.

Pros

  • Deep fried and crunchy
  • Coated with a rich soy sauce

Cons

  • 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. 

best healthy japanese snacks

The peanuts in the packet add more to the crunchiness.

Pros

  • Bold and flavorful
  • Crunchy texture

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.

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