Japanese candies are popularly known for their distinguished flavors, cute packaging, and innovative shapes. Over the years, these candies have evolved to incorporate a diversity of flavors suitable for each and every candy lover. They have increasingly become more prominent in the Western market and have attracted many curious individuals with a sweet tooth.
If you are someone who enjoys Japanese candy or likes to explore different flavors, you are at the right place. These budget-friendly candies are not to be missed.
Walking into a Japanese convenience store and scanning the endless aisles of candy or going through an online market selling Japanese candy may be overwhelming for some due to the variety of options available ranging from chocolates to gummy candies to ramune candies. But do not fret, for we have prepared a list of some of the best Japanese candies to try in 2021.
1. Morinaga Chocoball
Chocoball is one of the representative sweets of the leading Japanese confectionary maker, Morinaga Seika. Chocoball is a Japanese round-shaped chocolate treat that started out with the classic peanut with chocolate coating but has expanded to include a variety of fillings such as caramel, strawberry, ramune soda, and more!
These bite-size goods are very popular among foreigners in Japan and are enjoyed by people of all age groups. The mascot of the candy, Kyoro-chan, a small bird with a red head and yellow beak, makes the packaging look cute or “kawaii.” No wonder it's popular among kids and adults alike!
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2. Kinoko no Yama
Kinoko no Yama translates to “Mountain of Mushrooms."
Owing to its name, these are small biscuits shaped like mushrooms with the ‘cap’ of the biscuit mushroom coated in chocolate while the stem is all biscuit. The salty flavor of the biscuit along with the mildly sweet chocolate provides for a perfect evening snack.
Kinoko no Yama also comes in a variety of flavors such as sweet potato, cookies and cream, and strawberry. There are even undisclosed flavors called “mystery white” which have the name of the flavor written inside the box. In the United States, this candy is known as Chocorooms.
The shape of the sweet does tend to attract elementary school kids more, which in turn attracts the Japanese adults who have placed the treat in a nostalgic place in their hearts. This treat is often made to compete against Takenoko no Sato which is a similar treat shaped like a bamboo shoot.
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The Japanese are highly ecstatic when it comes to enjoying this sweet.
The classic KitKat is a commonly found chocolate wafer bar in America. But Japan, not to be outdone, has a whopping 300 or so flavors of its own!
Many KitKat flavors rare exclusive to certain regions in Japan or available during particular seasons due to which they can’t be found elsewhere.
These flavors vary from Japanese desserts to fruits to flowers. Sakura and matcha varieties are generally favored by the majority. This chocolate has become a “good luck” charm to Japanese students due its similar pronunciation to “kitto katsu” meaning “a sure win”.
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This Japanese gummy treat comes in a cute pink pack and contains 4 strong flavors: kiwi, lemon, raspberry, and grape.
The candies have a thin outer coating with a chewy center and are known to have no fat and be rich in collagen, which will benefit your skin. Along with the sweetness of the fruits, there is a slightly sour bite to it which adds to the flavor.
The packaging states that they are made of 100% fruit juice. This chewy candy is easy to carry and eat and is highly praised by its consumers.
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5. Pure Gummy
Pure Gummy is a popular sweet and sour powdered gummy which allows you to taste the actual flavor of the fruit and munch on the juicy texture of the candy.
If you are a fan of Sour Patch Kids, this candy should definitely be added to your candy bucket list. It is shaped like a heart and available in a variety of flavors like kiwi, orange tea, and lemon.
This candy has a high concentration of vitamin C and provides collagen to the skin. It is easily available at Japanese convenience stores and online markets.
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This mainstream fruity and chewy candy comes in a 10 piece stick pack that can compactly fit in your purse.
Hi-Chew is highly praised for its addictive taste that is described as a combination of Starburst (a popular candy in its own right) and bubblegum. The texture is quite similar to chewing gum. Each candy consists of a colored flavor inside the outer white coating. As is typical of most Japanese sweets, they come in a variety of flavors. Some of the most popular flavors of Hi-Chew are:
- Green apple
If you have a sweet tooth and like chewy textured candies that dissolve like a taffy, definitely give this a try.
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A must-try small and colorful Japanese sugar rock candy shaped like confetti stars with multiple flavors in one packet.
This candy has a historical significance to the Japanese and is cherished by its consumers since its introduction to the Japanese market in the 1600s.
It is also consumed during celebrations for marriage or childbirth. Konpeito, unlike most other candies, can tolerate high temperatures without any change to its exterior or taste. Konpeito is commonly gifted due to its cute and aesthetic appearance.
This candy has recently gained quite a lot of popularity due to its appearance in Studio Ghibli's animated masterpiece Spirited Away.
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If you’re a pretzel lover, Pocky is a sweet you don’t want to miss out on. Pocky is an all-time favorite of the Japanese and is consumed by many all over the world.
These simple pretzel sticks covered half with chocolate (the classic) or other delicious flavors, such as matcha and sakura, provide a pleasant munch and have just the right amount of sweetness.
These sticks are light and crunchy with a mild sweet taste that everyone can enjoy and are convenient to eat while studying or walking.
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9. Morinaga Ramune Bottle
Ramune candy is a soda candy that gives a feeling of nostalgia to many Japanese people.
This candy is found in a bottle designed like a bottle of ramune and has been identified as an item that helps improve concentration. The candy consists of the sweetness of a traditional Japanese soda which also brings out the freshness of the flavor.
The packaging states that the candy is made up of 90% glucose, which makes it an ideal snack for those who need to keep their minds sharp during work or while studying.
This candy has been loved by its consumers for over 40 years.
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This is a classic sweet shaped like the Apollo space capsules seen in the 1960s.
Each Apollo piece consists of a perfect balance of milk chocolate and a cap of strawberry chocolate. It comes in cute, compact packaging -- itself a pleasure to look at -- and is easily available at convenience stores or online stores that sell Asian goods.
This candy can be enjoyed by children and adults and is specifically recommended for those who really enjoy sweets. This chocolate is easy to eat and leaves you craving for more.
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These are some of the favorites that have been relished by candy lovers all over the world.
With the rising popularity of Japanese culture and animations, people have started taking interest in Japanese food and have discovered some candies that rival their all-time favorite Western candies.
If you haven't already tried some of the candies listed above, do consider giving them a chance as they will certainly not disappoint.
All the candies listed above are pocket-friendly and easily available in convenience stores and many online stores that sell Japanese goods.