20 of the best Japanese snacks you NEED to try.

From Japanese Junk food to famous Japanese snacks and more, we count down the best Japanese snacks you need to try!

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Japanese Snacks (Specifically cherry blossom snacks) have a cult following, and have done for a long time

With a crazy amount of flavor variations and strange packaging designs, it’s no wonder that Japanese snacks are universally popular.

Most of these are available throughout Japan depending on limited additions and seasonal stock levels but that’s no help if you cant get to the country.

I’ve included links for all items to help you find somewhere that can send them to you locally.

From Japanese Junk food to famous Japanese snacks and more, we count down the best Japanese snacks you need to try!

Let’s take a look at some of the best snacks to ever come of Japan and where to buy them!

1. Popin’ Cookin’

popin cookin sweets

We start of the list with possibly the cutest snack on here!

These bite sized nibbles replicate almost every traditional Japanese food but in candy form.

Some of the flavors include:

Each food kit includes powders and molds which means whoever eats it has to make it first.

A Do-it-yourself snack!

Is Popin Cookin edible?


This might not be how you’re used to making a burger, but it sure tastes good in the end! (don’t eat the containers, though;))

Does Walmart have Popin Cookin?

They sure do! Walmart – Popin Cookin

Does Popin Cookin taste good?

Depends on your individual taste and which food kit you have, but expect the sweet ones to taste pretty artificial!

Is Popin Cookin vegan?

Some. Make sure you check the labels on the individual kits to confirm which ingredients they do and don’t have.

Take a look at this video to learn more about this Japanese DIY candy.
From the hugely talented Cococookie!

© Cococookie | Youtuber

2. Matcha Flavored Pocky

Matcha pocky - best japanese snacks

Possibly the most famous (and in my opinion) the best Japanese snack mixed with matcha!

Well, unless you don’t like matcha I suppose… weirdo…

Why is pocky so popular?

With a development that began back in 1963, Pocky from Japan has now become a worldwide sensation.

Much like most of the delicious snacks from Japan, Pocky has a LOT of flavors.

Whilst there are about 50 different flavors world wide, the most interesting ones of course come from Japan.

You’ve got the standard regional flavors like Hokkaido Melon, Kyoto Matcha, and Nagano Shinshu Grape.

And then you’ve got the stranger flavors like:

Mystery Flavor Pocky – Absolutely no idea what this is but totally want to try it.

Smoked Bacon Flavor Pocky – Because, why not?

Smoked Cheese Flavor Pocky – Who doesn’t love cheese toasties??

Limited edition seasonal flavors seem to be released every few months by Glico and who the hell knows what they’ll release next!

3. BOSS Coffee

boss rainbow coffee - best japanese snacks

Looking for something to start your morning routine with?

Launched by Suntory in 1992, BOSS canned coffee has become a Japanese favorite and recognizable the world over.

This Japanese coffee is so highly consumed within society that it’s known as the workers “Aibo”, a reliable partner with many years of experience.

My kind of coffee!

4. Milky

Milky candy - best japanese snacks

The well-loved individually wrapped Milky candy faced by none other than Peko Chan!

These Japanese sweets are less crazy than some of the others on the list, but dam they’re a classic!

Milky candy has been around since 1951 and is still going strong 70 years later.

To me, they seem like a true and traditional taste of Japan in the sweet form!

These Fujiya candies also have a lucky secret hidden within. On the back of that pack, it explains how you might be lucky enough to find a sweet with a clover on it.

I haven’t yet, but I’m not that lucky!

5. Calpis

calpis - best Japanese snacks

What is calpis?

Before you ask, it’s not cow piss!

Calpis drink, or ‘カルピス, Karupisu’ is a Japanese milky beverage that is (you guessed it) widely loved across the whole of Japan.

Think of its main form (Calpis water) as a soft drink. Although it does have a carbonated variety called Calpis Soda… Not entirely sure I fancy trying that…

It’s also available in syrup which is basically like concentrated juice on steroids, so use it sparingly!

6. Hi-Chew

Hi chew - best Japanese snacks

Ah! Now, this is an interesting one!

The reason Hi-Chew was initially created is because taking food out of your mouth in Japan is technically a taboo.

So that meant chewing gum wasn’t an option. But what about chewing gum that dissolves in your mouth?

Well that’s exactly what they did!

Hi-Chew candy is meant to be eaten in a similar way to caramel. Once it has reduced down and dissolved, the rest can be swallowed.

It’s not exactly healthy for you and is pretty high in sugars, but let’s be honest this is pretty much a Japanese junk food list at this point!

Hi-chew Flavors are quite standard by Japanese standards.

Sour lemon, Granny Smith Apple, Mandarin Orange, White Soda, all sound rather nice! ^_^

7. Unique Flavor Kit Kats

unique Kit Kat flavors - best japanese snacks

Did you know there are over 300 Japanese Kit Kat Flavors?

It’s no surprise then that these are one of the most famous candy creations to come from Japan.

They have everything from the relatively normal matcha flavor Kit Kat to the red bean sandwich flavor.

One of the strangest I found was this Yogurt Sake flavor. I haven’t tried it and to be honest, I really don know what it would taste like!

If you want to bring home some of these flavors but can’t choose which, try this Kit Kat party box with 18 unique flavors!

10. Instant Miso Soup

instant miso soup - best japanese snacks

Loved that miso soup you tasted in Japan so much that you want it on demand literally every single day?

Well, you’re in luck, Instant Miso soup is a real thing!

The pack pictured above comes with 32 soup packets and 4 flavors including Wakame and Tofu!

11. Calorie Mate

japanese energy bar - best japanese snacks

Calorie Mate is a popular Japanese snack that’s packed full of vitamins and nutrients.

They were initially made for Japanese salarymen who didn’t have time for lunch and have since become a national favorite for people who need a bit of on-the-go energy.

Gamers among you might recognize this snack from somewhere else.

CalorieMate block featured in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. When consumed It would fully restore snake’s stamina. Just like in real life, though without the health bar.

Each Calorie Mate bloc forms a balanced nutrition and comes in Plain, Fruit, Cheese, Chocolate, and maple flavor.

12. Ritz Chocolate Crackers

japanese ritz biscuits - best japanese snacks

Not something I thought would be on a list of the best Japanese snacks, and to be honest I really didn’t think I’d ever see ritz with chocolate. But the more I think about it, the more it seems like a tasty treat!

A bit salty, a bit chocolatey. Seems like it would work!

13. Ramune soda

famine soda - best japanese snacks

Ramune Drink is on the list of best Japanese snacks for a reason.

Yes, it’s a drink and not food. But It’s also the most fun thing to try if you haven’t already.

If you get to Japan and you want a unique experience, make sure to grab one of these sodas!

How to open ramune bottle?

You have to take the bottle cap wrapper off and push the top pin into the bottle which will release the marble and carbonate your drink!

Ramune flavors:

There are about 55 of them, so take a look here!

14. Riska Corn Potage Snack

corn pottage - best japanese snacks

Probably the highest-ranking flavor in Japan.

Extremely rich, and a very tasty Japanese snack!

If you want to eat snacks like the locals, go for something corn flavored!

15. Calbee Potato sticks

cable potato sticks - best japanese snacks

Made from Hokkaido butter, these Calbee potato sticks are another popular snack from Japan.

Jagariko has been sold by Calbee for a long long time now, and it’s certainly stood the test of time.

Crunchy, tasty, and the perfect size for a lunch box!

16. Ramune Whistle Candy

famine whistle candy - best japanese snacks

This Ramune candy is a fun one!

The candies are shaped a lot like polos, and when placed in between your lips they can be used as a whistle. A favorite of kids and adults alike!

Well, I like them but maybe I’m still childish…

ANYWAY, try them, and have a laugh.

Each Coris whistle candy pack also comes with a small toy in the bottom.

They can be found in pretty much every convenience store across the country, or alternatively bought from the links above.

17. Hotaru no Haka sweets

anime sweets - best japanese snacks

Ahhhh, what a film!

If you want to unleash your fanatic Studio Ghibli side just a little more, you can now buy the sweets from the anime film ‘Grave of the fireflies’.

The tin is filled to the top with fruity ‘anime’ sweets and they look exactly like they do in the movie.

Nice sweets, and a cool prop from a movie. What more could you want!

18. Mochi

mochi - best japanese snacks

Rice that’s pounded into shape to form a tasty cute blog of mochi!

If that didn’t explain it well enough, have a look at the pictogram here that explains how to make mochi.

Mochi Flavors:

  • Sakura mochi
  • Japanese mochi
  • Red bean mochi
  • Green tea mochi

Of course, this is Japan and this is only a small snapshot of the mochi flavors available

19. Umaibō

umami snack - best japanese snacks

Created by Yaokin in 1979 Umaibō corn snacks have been popular with Japan ever since.

And who wouldn’t love them with a name that literally means ‘Great tasting stick’ Ha!

Umaibō flavors:

  • Beef tongue
  • Chicken Curry
  • Pizza
  • Corn Potage
  • Vegetable Salad

And as always, a hell of a lot more!

If you’re interested in finding out more, check this page on Japan Crate!

20. Miso Ramen Pringles

miso ramen Pringles - best japanese snacks

Something you’re all probably quite familiar with!

But, maybe not in Miso Ramen flavor!

Just like everything on this list (Especially the Kit Kats) Japanese Pringles take flavors to the next level

Japanese pringles flavors

  • Tasty salt
  • NY Cheeseburger
  • Egg Benedict
  • Mushroom soup
  • Wasabi Nori
  • Smokey Potato Salad

If you’re interested, Sora News Has a list of all of them.

So, what’s the best Japanese snack?

Well, that’s up to you!

We looked at 20 of the best japanese snacks, and I’d happily have any of them.

Poppin cookin will always be the cutest to me, and Japanese Kit Kats will always be the most outlandish!

Let me know what your favourite Japanese snack is and whether I’ve missed it out!

Jonny Gleason

Jonny is the founder of A Day of Zen and has an unhealthy obsession with Japan. In 2022 he moved to Japan on a mission to give his audience the best possible information. He's helped over 300,000 plan their trip so far, and is eager to make that number much bigger!

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