Hi,I’m Keiko from Osaka!
The Japanese snacks seem to be everyone’s favorite these days.
There have been many articles and videos on social media detailing various types of the Japanese snacks.
Not only are these snacks the top souvenir pick for foreign travelers visiting Japan, but these days, there are even services abroad to purchase these snacks or a box of assorted ones.
I have worked in a university where I regularly communicated with hundreds of foreign students.
During these encounters, I found out their popular Japanese snacks.
So in this article, I will introduce you their top 10 picks.
Top 10 best Japanese Snacks
1.Matcha KITKATKITKAT is the internationally popular chocolate covered wafer snack sold by Nestle.
KITKAT is famous for having so many variations in its flavor.
But it seems matcha green tea seems to be the most popular flavor for our foreign guests.
It is understandable as the slight bitterness of the green tea taste goes perfectly with the chocolate wafer.
This is a perfect souvenir also for your family and friends at home.
2.Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no SatoLiterally meaning “Mushroom Mountain” and “Bamboo Shoots Village” these are chocolate snacks sold by Meiji.
Kinoko no Yama is a mushroom shaped snack where the stem of the mushroom is made from a biscuit-like crunchy cookie with its “cap” made from chocolate.
Takenoko no Sato on the other hand is an integrated version of the snack where a bamboo shoot shaped cookie is covered in chocolate.
There has been a peculiar debate for years on which one is better.
Though my personal favorite is Takenoko no Sato, it seems more foreign students preferred Kinoko no Yama.
Which one do you prefer?
3.PockyPocky is a brand of chocolate covered biscuit sticks sold by Glico.
Now it is available in hundreds of different flavors such as milk, strawberry, almond crush, orange peel, etc.
They also have some region specific or limited season versions where you can buy only in a certain region or during a certain season.
What seems popular among our expats or foreign travelers are those that are availably only in Japan or the original red box chocolate flavored Pocky, which has become popular world-wide.
4.Kaki no Tane
Kaki no Tane is a mixture of a small crescent shaped rice crackers with peanuts.
Though it literally means the seeds of persimmon, they look and taste nothing like them.
Rice crackers are soy flavored and peanuts are lightly salted.
They go well with beer, so often they appear at a bar, or offered alongside your beer.
They now also have a wasabi flavored version, that are also often sold overseas, along with a few more.
5.Black ThunderBlack Thunder is a chocolate covered crunch bar.
It has become popular as it is fairly inexpensive (30 yen for the original version).
The crunch is made of crispy cookies.
Now it has a couple of flavor options with different textures as well as an icecream version.
Somehow this snack became extremely popular in Taiwan when the famous actor blogged about it there.
It sure is yummy despite its cost!
6.Koala’s MarchKoala’s march is a bite size koala shaped snack with sweet filling.
The most typical type comes with a thin koala shaped cookie/cracker with chocolate filling.
Just like any other snacks, it has a several flavors.
It is popular for their cute koala shaped crackers that have various koala prints of different activities, or showing different emotions.
7.Country Ma’amCountry Ma’am are cookies made like home-made ones.
You can heat them up in a micro-wave or a toaster and they taste like home baked cookies (or at least as close as a store bought one can get).
The most common flavors are vanilla (more like chocolate chip) and cocoa, though some different variants came along, such as matcha flavor, chips, frozen, etc.
8.JagaricoJagarico is a potato snack shaped like sticks, offered by Calbee.
They look like air-fried French fries/chips.
They offer such flavors like salad, cheese, butter.
They are extremely crunchy and a bit hard.
People love jagarico for their texture.
You can even make a real potato salad by pouring some hot water in them!
Bonchi Age is a rice cracker that is flavored with sweet light soy sauce.
These deep fried crackers are crunchy, savory with the umami taste of kelp and bonito.
This snack has been in the market since 1960s so it can be considered as a traditional Japanese snack.
It is perfect with tea, beer, or itself.
Happy turn is another savory rice cracker snack that has been loved by the Japanese for a long time.
People become addicted to this snack due to its flavor, which is salty yet sweet at the same time.
Individually wrapped crackers are sprinkled with “magic powder (ok, it sounds scary, but yummy)” and you can keep eating them.
Top 10 best Japanese Snacks
- KITKAT・・・Matcha green tea seems to be the most popular flavor for our foreign guests.
- Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no Sato・・・Literally meaning “Mushroom Mountain” and “Bamboo Shoots Village” these are chocolate snacks sold by Meiji.
- Pocky・・・Pocky is a brand of chocolate covered biscuit sticks sold by Glico.
- Kaki no Tane・・・Kaki no Tane is a mixture of a small crescent shaped rice crackers with peanuts.
- Black Thunder ・・・Black Thunder is a chocolate covered crunch bar.
- Koala’s March・・・Koala’s march is a bite size koala shaped snack with sweet filling.
- Country Ma’am・・・Country Ma’am are cookies made like home-made ones.
- Jagarico・・・Jagarico is a potato snack shaped like sticks, offered by Calbee.
- Bonchi Age・・・Bonchi Age is a rice cracker that is flavored with sweet light soy sauce.
- Happy turn・・・Happy turn is another savory rice cracker snack that has been loved by the Japanese for a long time.
These are based on the opinions of foreign students in Osaka, but you can probably purchase them anywhere in Japan, so try these out and enjoy!