Best Japanese Candy You must try in Japan!
Japan had been mass producing candy since the Meiji period when the Western candy was brought to Japan. Many confectionery companies were established and created a large selection of sweets that gave the Japanese joyful moments.
Since many snacks come and fail quickly from the market, only a handful candies have become classic. Here are some of the candies that have been catching the hearts of Japanese people for decades. If you come to Japan, you can’t miss these sweets!
Hi-Chew is a soft, chewy candy produced by one of the leading candy companies, Morinaga. One-bite size candies are packaged individually and sold as a package of tens or more. It comes in many different flavors, with the regular flavors including green apple, strawberry, grape, and lemon, and seasonally limited or regionally limited flavors released.
Hi-Chew is known for its flavorful taste of fruits that lasts long in your mouth. It doesn’t take space in your bag, so it is good to have it with your journey in Japan.
Milky is a chewy candy that has a rich milk flavor. This candy was first marketed in 1951 by Fujiya and has been loved by everyone. The basic version of Milky is made out of condensed milk and sugar, which gives it a rich, creamy flavor. The candy is wrapped individually and packaged in a plastic bag featured by the red color and a girl character, “Peco-chan.” Fujiya released the green tea flavor and cherry blossom (sakura) flavor as the limited edition, and other varieties of sweets such as chocolate and cookies are available. Of course, all of them have the Milky flavor.
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Puccho is a soft, chewy candy that is often considered to be a rivalry item of Hi-Chew. It has a chewer and harder texture than Hi-Chew has, and each candy contains small gummy candies and pop of flavor burst. It comes in many sorts of flavors, but it has more soda-based flavors than fruit-based flavors. Also, It corroborates with characters such as Disney or Minion.
4 Mitsuya Cider candy
Mitsuya Cider is a classic carbonated drink with a sweet flavor produced by Asahi. This company came out with a hard candy using the flavor of this drink. The candy tastes exactly like Mitsuya Cider drink, and it has a carbonation effect. Varieties of flavors include regular cider, grape, peach, and apple.
5 Ichigo Milk
Ichigo Milk is a candy with strawberry milk flavor produced by Sakuma, which specializes in hard candy production. It has a triangle shape with a hard strawberry candy on the outside and layered milk candy on the inside. A little tart flavor of strawberries and the sweet milk flavor make a perfect harmony in your mouth.
6 Bontan Ame
Bontan Ame is a classical soft candy produced in 1924. You cannot find any other candies like Bontan Ame. It has a mochi-like texture that comes from rice used as the ingredient and is wrapped in a thin edible sheet individually. The package is made of paper and has a classical design that feels a sense of nostalgia. It uses citrus fruits for flavoring that tastes a little sour but sweet at the same time. If you look for a unique candy, Bontan Ame should be the one.
7 Morinaga milk caramel
Morinaga milk caramel is a chewy candy that has a rich caramel and milk flavor. As you chew the candy, the sweet flavor spreads all over your mouth. You can feel the creamy flavor of milk and a sweet but savory flavor of caramel. Aside from the regular caramel flavor, it has the azuki (red beans) flavor and the green tea flavor, both of which have a milky taste.
8 Kit Kat
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KitKat is a must-try candy when you come to Japan. The chocolate tastes more milky and sweet than that sold in other countries, and it comes in hundreds of different flavors. The regular flavors that you can find in supermarkets or convenience stores include milk chocolate, dark chocolate, strawberry, and green tea, but limited editions come out seasonally, and you can find regionally specialized flavors at tourist shops or train stations.
In the summertime, they release Kit Kat that can be enjoyed by freezing them. As for regionally limited flavors, sake-flavored Kit Kat will be a great souvenir to take back home. Other regionally specialized versions have unique packages, for instance, strawberry cheesecake Kit Kat is packaged in a box with the Mt. Fuji-shaped.
9 Chiroru chocolate
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Chiroru chocolate is a series of individually packaged chocolate that you can buy at convenience stores and supermarkets. It is often sold individually at the lowest price in an entire store and also sold in a packet or a box. Variations of Chiroru offer flavors of chocolate imaginable with different fillings such as mochi, biscuits, fruit flavors, caramel, wafers, creams, nuts, and jellies.
Seasonal flavors and special editions released according to the seasons or events, and colorful, cute packaging make the chocolate a collective item. “Shop Chiroru Choco” has opened recently in Akihabara, Tokyo, where you can get varieties of Chiroru and corroborated items.
10 Black Thunder
Black Thunder is a small chocolate bar that is popular among children and women. It has a chunk of chocolate cookies covered with milk chocolate. The sweet milk chocolate and crispy cookies are the best combinations ever! The brand has released different flavors of the chocolate bar and ice cream products. It is often sold in an individual package and costs only 32 yen!
11 Galbo mini
Galbo mini is a chocolate snack released by Meiji. It has a chocolate-flavored biscuit coated with milk chocolate. It sounds like a typical chocolate-covered cookie, but in fact, it isn’t. The biscuit isn’t like the normal biscuit, but more like baked chocolate: it has a rich chocolate flavor, and doesn’t have a crumbly texture that you feel when you eat normal biscuits. You can taste the rich chocolate flavor, but still, you can feel the crispy texture of the biscuit.
Apollo is a chocolate that resembles space capsules in shape that is inspired by the Apollo space missions in the 1960s. It has milk chocolate on the bottom and strawberry chocolate on the top. Small chocolates come in a paper box.
13 Mochi Choco
Mochi Choco is a mochi snack with an almond paste and crushed almonds in the center, covered with milk chocolate. It has a round shape and is about the same size as your palm. It is individually packaged and sold at 42 yen at convenience stores or supermarkets. Just give it a try, mochi and chocolate make perfect harmony!
Chocoball is a small chocolate ball with fillings inside. Different flavors of chocolate have different fillings, including milk chocolate with peanuts, strawberry chocolate with strawberry cream, and caramel chocolate with caramel cream. Small chocolate balls are packaged in a paper box with the character called “Kyoro-chan” at the center. Limited editions come out seasonally.
15 Choco Anpan
Choco Anpan is a one-bite size soft bread with chocolate cream inside. Inspired by the popular sweet bread anpan, it has the anpan-like appearance. It is a great snack to fill your empty stomach!
16 Almond chocolate
Almond chocolate has long been a popular brand in the confectionery market. An individually roasted almond is covered with milk chocolate, which you can enjoy the savory taste and crispy texture of the almonds and sweet flavor of chocolate at a time. About 20 pieces are packaged in a carton, easy for snacking and sharing with friends.
17 Melty Kiss
Melty Kiss is a brand of chocolate that lines up in stores only in winter. The cube-shaped chocolate has a soft texture and melts in your mouth when you bite into it, as the name “Melty” indicates. Regular flavors include milk chocolate, strawberry, and green tea, and limited editions are marketed each year.
18 Pure gumi
Pure gumi is a gummy candy that has a heart shape and sour powder on the outside. Different flavors are all fruit flavors including grape, lemon, peach, and white grape. The juicy, sweet taste of gummy candy are balanced out with sour powder on the outside. Another variation of this product is “Jure Pure,” which has a fruit-flavored jelly in the center, which adds more juiciness to the candy.
19 Kaju gumi
Kaju gumi is a popular brand of gummy candy released by Meiji. As the name “Kaju” (fruit juice) means, the gummy is flavored with actual fruits juice: No artificial flavoring! You will taste the natural flavor of fruits. The candy has a shape of the fruit used, so you can enjoy it with your eyes as well. Kaju gumi has a softer texture than other kinds of gummy candy.
Poifull is a type of candy that resembles jelly beans, but it has a gummy texture rather than a chewy texture that jelly beans usually have. The candy has a gummy texture on the inside and crispy texture on the outside. A regular box of Poifull contains four different flavors, including raspberry, grape, lemon, and green apple. A drink mix version includes coke, lemon soda, white soda, and normal soda. It is the best when you share this candy with a group of people!
Kororo is a gummy candy with a juicy fruit flavor coming from the actual fruit juice. Each candy has a one-bite size and ball shape. What’s amazing about this gummy candy is the texture. The candy has a soft, jelly-like texture on the inside, and since it is coated with a thin layer of edible film, it splashes in your mouth once you bite it. Your entire mouth is filled with the juicy flavor of the fruit just as you are eating the actual fruit! When it was first launched, it only had the grape flavor, but now it comes in a variety of flavor including peach, white grape, and “berry berry berry.”
22 Ramune candy
Ramune candy is like a tablet candy designed to taste like a classical Japanese drink known as Ramune. It has a fizzy taste, and each piece has a cute face! Candies are sold in a plastic bottle case that resembles the glass bottle for the Ramune drink.
Kompeito is a traditional Japanese sugar hard candy that comes in different colors and flavors. It has a bumpy shape that looks cute. This candy was introduced to Japan from Portugees in the 16th centuries, and has been a familiar candy among Japanese people.
If you have a chance to come to Japan, check out these candies!
They are readily available in any convenience stores and supermarkets!