47 Food Souvenirs to Buy From Every Japanese Prefecture
Japan has many regional food-related souvenirs that are popular among both domestic and international travelers. They're all very different depending on the region. Here are snacks from each prefecture that you should consider picking up.
Aug 14 2015 (Feb 03 2021)
Royce' is a famous chocolate company from Hokkaido. Its levels of popularity are so high that items from this company are definitely souvenirs representative not just from Hokkaido, but of Japan as a whole. The most popular product is their Nama Chocolate. You'll grow addicted to how easily it melts in your mouth. It's made with Hokkaido cream.
Aomori is famous for apples. This treat uses one of their famous Fuji apples soaked in syrup, then wrapped in a pie crust. The apple's crunchy texture stays intact through the baking process, making it a very delicious snack.
3.【Iwate】Kamome no Tamago
"Tamago" means "egg," and this treat looks like its name. This cute snack is representative of the Tohoku area. It has three layers; the inside is red bean paste wrapped in castella, then coated in white chocolate.
4. 【Miyagi】Hagi no Tsuki
Hagi no Tsuki is so popular that every day, 100,000 are made and sold every day. It's made by wrapping high-quality castella dough around custard cream. There are different ways to eat it, such as warming it up, cooling it in the fridge, or even freezing it and eating it like ice cream. Why not get some and see which way you prefer it?
Kinman has a history of more than 50 years and is a popular souvenir with foreign travelers. It's castella filled with white bean paste, and since it's fairly small, it's easy for children to eat. If you're buying it as a souvenir, it's recommended to buy the vacuum packed packaging so it will keep on your way home.
6. 【Yamagata】Karakara Senbei
Karakara Senbei has a long history dating back 300 years. From then, it became one of Akita's most famous products. The way it's made is very unique. Inside the triangular senbei is a small toy. It's perfect as a souvenir because it combines the deliciousness of senbei with the uniqueness of the toy.
Aizu Aoi's kasutean is made with techniques that were learned through castella cakes brought from abroad, and they mixed those techniques with traditional Aizu wagashi knowledge. The originality used in creating kasutean was recognized in 1962, and earned public recognition of the Director General of the Science and Technology Agency, something very rare for wagashi.
8. 【Ibaraki】Yoshiwara Denchuu
Yoshiwara Denchuu is made from mochi rice and covered with kinako (roasted soybean) flour. Even in this modern era they're made by hand by craftsmen. The ingredients have absolutely no additives, making it very popular. It's said that this snack has been eaten since the Edo Period.
"Kariman" is an abbreviation of "karintou manjuu," and that's exactly what it tastes like. Karintou is a fried dough cake, and manjuu is a steamed yeast bun with filling. It's sold all year round and is always filled with red bean paste, but depending on the season you can find different versions such as some made with a sakura motif or matcha flavors.
10. 【Gunma】Isobe Senbei
Isobe Senbei uses spring water from the Isobe Onsen, known to have many minerals. The crunchy texture is very popular, and you can enjoy the taste of the snacks they ate in ancient Japan. It goes well with Japanese tea, so please try it with that rather than coffee.
11. 【Saitama】Saika no Houseki
The word "houseki" means "jewel," and just as the name says, these delicious and popular treats look like jewels. They use carefully selected fruit and turn them into jellies. They use 29 kinds of fruit, and you can also find jellies shaped like roses or leaves.
Tai Senbei is from the famous Tai no Ura, an area where lots of tai (sea bream) congregate. The color of the front of the Tai Senbei is different from the back. This is to show the reflection of the sun on the fish as they swim. The senbei is curved, making it look like the tai is jumping.
Tokyo Banana boasts sales of 40 billion yen a year. The fluffy sponge cake is filled with an addicting banana-flavored custard cream. They also offer strawberry, caramel, and other flavors, as well as location-limited products, such as in Tokyo Station or Tokyo Skytree. Search for your favorite!
"Hato" means dove or pigeon, and as the name implies, it's a cute buttery cookie that looks like a bird. It's famous nationwide. Toshimaya has been making Hato Sabure for 100 years, and it's known as a souvenir from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, the shrine where the guardian deities of warriors reside.
Koshinoyuki's history dates back to 1778. It's said it was created to bring back the appetite of a lord who had fallen ill. Its bite-size and made of such high quality that the sweet flavor immediately spreads through your mouth the second it hits your tongue.
Owara Tamaten looks like tamagoyaki at a glance. The surface is browned and fragrant, but the inside is fluffy and sweet, so you can enjoy two different types of deliciousness in one bite.
Warikoori is made from dried agar, and has a beautiful appearance. Each one has a unique shape that comes from each one being cut personally by craftsmen. This multicolored "ice" ("koori") is definitely a souvenir that would make anyone happy.
Habutae Mochi is extremely soft and has a gentle texture, so it's recommended for people who don't really like sweets. The name comes from habutae silk, one of Fukui's famous textile products.
19. 【Yamanashi】Shingen Mochi
The "Shingen" of "Shingen Mochi" comes from the military commander of the Sengoku Period, Takeda Shingen, who had his headquarters in Yamanashi. Shingen Mochi has a specific way of eating it: you pour kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) over the kinako-covered mochi sitting in the little receptacle before eating it.It's a perfect souvenir to bring overseas, but be careful! It can be messy.
Kurumi Yamabiko is made with the concept "gentle, nostalgic, the taste of being at Grandma's." The outside is a crunchy cookie, but the inside is filled with a soft mix of caramel and walnuts ("kurumi"). You can enjoy various textures as it reminds you of bygone days.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.