There’s a reason Japan is one of the most-visited popular countries in Asia. The Land of the Rising Sun has a lot of interesting facets, including their rich history, culture, love for seasons, and of course, food.
If you’re planning to visit Japan, your experience is not complete until you’ve tried some of its famous food and snacks. Eating a country’s cuisine is one way of knowing the culture there, after all. If you’re not familiar with popular Japanese fare or you need a refresher so you can remember what to buy when you land there, here are some of them.
Perhaps Tokyo Banana is more of a popular souvenir, but it’s still a yummy snack to try. Since its first release in 1991 (that’s almost 30 years), this treat is still selling like hotcakes. It is basically a sponge cake filled with banana custard cream, and the soft, fluffy texture makes it a great treat for anyone.
Tokyo Banana comes in boxes of four, eight, or twelve and priced respectively. You can buy it in department stores, airports, and subway stations. Apart from the original flavor, Tokyo Banana also comes in honey, coffee milk, banana yogurt, maple, and chocolate banana. The store also offers other sweets, and you can check this website for more information.
Onigiri, or rice ball, is perhaps one of the most iconic snacks that Japan is known for. This eponymous snack is a ball made out of rice, wrapped in a seaweed sheet, and filled with meat or vegetables. Onigiri is considered a sandwich to-go for many Japanese people because it is convenient, filling, and accessible. You can often see it in most convenient stores and food shops all across the country.
There are a lot of rice cracker brands and flavors in Japan. It is a traditional snack that dates back to centuries and is still enjoyed today as a light snack. Japan’s rice-cracker game is strong, and that is why there are different manufacturers still vying to become number one in the country.
The flavors range from salty to sweet and then to savory and weird. Consider trying it while you’re visiting, or take some with you home. Here is a handy list you should check out.
Chocolate-covered biscuits are hardly anything new, but for some reason, Pocky has been a dominant snack food for decades in Japan. The thin biscuit sticks have an appeal to them, and as a snack, they’re both delicious and entertaining. The Pocky in the red box is the original chocolate variant, but as you know, Japan won’t be Japan without a variety of flavors that range from sweet to bizzare.
Most seasonal Pocky snacks are limited edition, so grab a box or two before they run out. You can buy Pocky in many stores in Japan, and they’re unlikely to go away anytime soon.
Wacky-Flavored Kit Kats
When it comes to popular snacks like Kit Kat, you always have a ton of choices when you buy them from Japan. Do you know that there are over 300 unique flavors of this chocolate wafer bar in the country? One of the reasons for this variety is that Kit Kats are usually given as presents for impending school tests or job interviews.
Additionally, Kit Kats sounds a lot like “Kitto katsu” in Japanese, which is a saying that means “It’s in the bag” or “You will win.” It is a phrase uttered to encourage and bolster the confidence of the test taker or interviewee during their big day.
Curious what Kit Kat flavors are out there? Check this link out for more information.
Curated, Boxed Variety
Not sure where to start or perhaps you have no access to the snacks mentioned above? Then get yourself a snack subscription box straight from Japan. For a small fee, you get a curated box of goodies sent straight to your doorstep every month. If you’re visiting Japan soon and want to know which snacks and candies to get, check out this ultimate guide to help you prepare.
What are other Japanese snacks worth trying? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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