10 Must-Buy Snacks and Confectionaries in Japan

These popular snack foods are also great as souvenirs for tourists. The Japan-exclusive flavors and packaging are a popular secret. If you’re having trouble deciding at the convenience store or at the supermarkets, use this as a handy reference!


Food & Drinks

1. Jagariko

The crispy, crunchy texture of this potato snack makes it extremely popular. Since it’s in a cup, the danger of them being crushed in your bag is low and it’s convenient to carry. In addition to the standard cheese and butter flavors, there are also new limited time and area exclusive flavors so be sure to check.

HP: www.calbee.co.jp/jagarico/ (Japanese Only)

2. Curl

If we're talking about a standard Japanese snack, then it’s Curl. It’s a non-fried corn snack that is popular for it’s light texture. The lightly salted, curry and cheese flavors are the standard but previously you could also buy flavors like soy sauce or clam chowder.

HP: www.meiji.co.jp/sweets/snack/karl/ (Japanese Only)

3. Caramel Corn

This is not popcorn! Japan’s caramel corn is a slightly caramel flavored, light snack. It’s special feature is the inclusion of roasted peanuts. The lightly salted peanuts is a great accent to the sweet snack. The package is also quite stylish so it’s very popular as a souvenir.

HP: tohato.jp/products/caramelcorn/ (Japanese Only)

4. Potato Chips

The potato chips loved by everyone. Of course there’s the standard salted flavor and Japan’s unique “seaweed salt” flavor which you have to try at least once. The unique flavors like wasabi, dashi soy sauce and lots more will give you a hard time trying to choose between them. There are also convenience store limited flavors.

HP: www.calbee.co.jp/potatochips/ (Japanese Only)

5. Onigiri Senbei

Snacks that are made using rice are called “senbei”. This onigiri (riceball) shaped triangle senbei is lightly flavored with dashi soy sauce with the characteristic nori sprinkled on the surface and is eaten by many people from childhood. Originally it was sold largely in western Japan, but these days they can be found in Tokyo too.

HP: www.masuya.co.jp/products/onisen.html (Japanese Only)

6. Kappa Ebisen

This is also a typical snack food. You can enjoy the tasty shrimp flavor this non-fried snack that is so delicious you won’t be able to stop at just one. In addition to the usual salt flavor, there are chocolate coated varieties and other unusual flavors. The plum flavor is recommended. The refreshing sour taste goes well with the flavor of the shrimp. 

HP: www.calbee.co.jp/kappaebisen/ (Japanese Only)

7. Petit Series

The hugely popular Petit Series are bite-sized and easy to carry without taking up too much space. There are over 20 flavor varieties like like cookie senbei, potato chips and more. There is also an abundance of unique Japanese flavors like matcha cookie and ebi senbei.

HP: www.bourbon.co.jp/petit/ (Japanese Only)

8. Yuki no Yado

For a snack that you’d find in every grandma’s house, many Japanese people would say it’s this. The crispy non-fried senbei has white icing made of cream and sugar sprinkled on top of it to look like snow. It goes well with any kind of drink and is a standard Japanese snack.

HP: www.yukinoyado.jp/ (Japanese Only)

9. Ika Furai

Making the most of the squid flavor, this crunchy textured Ika Furai is popular as a snack to go with beer. Although it’s fried, it’s not oily and your hands won’t get dirty easily so it’s perfect for a picnic. The squid shape is cute too. It’s recommended to heat it up a little in the oven before eating.

HP: www.natori.co.jp/product/product_item.html?p_id=812640 (Japanese Only)

10. Umaibou


Unchanged since way back when, it’s 10 yen per stick! This stick shaped corn snack has over 20 unique flavors. The Japanese food flavors are particularly popular like corn potage, natto, yakitori etc. There are tons of obsessed fans and there are even goods on sale.

HP: www.yaokin.com/ (Japanese Only)


Title Photo: mokjc / Shutterstock

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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