As a child, I often gazed longingly at the colorful candy wrappers and imagined the sweet surprises hidden within.
Little did I know then, that one day my curiosity would lead me on a lifelong journey into the vibrant world of Japanese candy.
When I first visited Japan, I was spellbound walking through candy stores piled high with colorful plastic barrels overflowing with exotic treats.
It was like stumbling into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory! I wanted to try them all – the curious soda-flavored Ramune, the rainbow bags of chewy Hi-Chew, and the classic Sakuma fruit drops.
That trip sparked an obsession with Japanese candy that has brought immense joy over the years.
In this article, I’ll share my favorite Japanese candy finds, the cultural significance behind them, and tips on where fellow candy lovers can find these hidden gems.
- 1 Most Popular Japanese Candy
- 1.1 Pocky
- 1.2 Hi-Chew
- 1.3 Kit Kat
- 1.4 Meiji Chocolate
- 1.5 Kasugai Gummy Candies
- 1.6 Morinaga Milk Caramel
- 1.7 Dagashi
- 1.8 Shiruko Sand
- 1.9 Takahashi Koume
- 1.10 Senjaku Hichew
- 1.11 Fujiya Milky
- 1.12 Coris Whistle Candy
- 1.13 Lotte Koala’s March
- 1.14 Meiji Apollo Strawberry Chocolate
- 1.15 Calpis Gummies
- 1.16 Shigekix
- 1.17 UHA Mikakuto Puccho
- 1.18 Iro Enpitsu
- 1.19 Glico Pretz
- 1.20 Morinaga Hi-SOFT
- 1.21 Wagashi
- 1.22 Botan Rice Candy
- 1.23 Morinaga Chocoballs
Most Popular Japanese Candy
Pocky are slim, stick-shaped cookies that are a popular snack in Japan. They often come coated with flavored icing or chocolate, with popular flavors like strawberry, almond, and matcha.
Pocky is known for its crunchy texture and sweet coating, making it a favorite amongst people of all ages.
This candy has gained international recognition and is readily available in many countries around the world.
Hi-Chew is a chewy, fruity candy somewhat similar to Starburst. Originating from Japan, it comes in a variety of flavors, including apple, grape, strawberry, and more exotic ones like lychee and dragon fruit.
Each piece of Hi-Chew is individually wrapped, making it a convenient snack to enjoy on the go.
It’s beloved for its intensely fruity flavors and chewy texture.
Japan is famous for its unique and extensive variety of Kit Kat flavors.
In addition to the classic chocolate flavor, you can find varieties such as matcha green tea, sweet potato, sake, wasabi, and many more.
Each flavor is designed to capture a different aspect of Japanese cuisine and culture, making Japanese Kit Kats a sought-after treat for both locals and tourists.
Meiji is one of the most popular chocolate brands in Japan. It offers a wide range of flavors and types of chocolate, from dark to milk to white.
Meiji chocolates are known for their smooth texture and rich, creamy taste.
Some of their chocolates are also mixed with nuts, fruits, or other confections, offering a delightful variety to chocolate lovers.
Kasugai Gummy Candies
Kasugai Gummy Candies are known for their authentic and rich fruit flavors, ranging from lychee to grape to apple.
These candies are loved for their juicy and chewy texture and the real fruit juice they’re made with.
Each candy is individually wrapped, making them a convenient, flavorful snack.
Morinaga Milk Caramel
Morinaga Milk Caramel is a classic Japanese candy featuring a sweet and milky flavor. These caramels have a smooth and chewy texture and are individually wrapped.
They have been enjoyed by generations in Japan and remain a nostalgic treat for many.
Dagashi refers to a range of traditional, cheap candies and snacks in Japan. They come in a wide variety of flavors and types, such as sweet, sour, salty, and umami.
Dagashi are typically colorful and have playful packaging, often targeted at children. However, they are enjoyed by people of all ages as a casual and affordable snack option.
Shiruko Sand is a wafer candy filled with sweet bean paste. It features the unique combination of crispy wafer and smooth, sweet bean filling, making it a delightful treat.
It’s a representation of the traditional Japanese preference for bean-based sweets and offers a distinct flavor profile compared to western candies.
Takahashi Koume is a small, plum-flavored hard candy. It’s often associated with the winter season and is known for its sweet and tangy flavor, derived from Japanese plums, or “ume.” This candy is a traditional favorite, offering a refreshing taste.
Senjaku Hichew candies are chewy, fruity candies available in a variety of flavors like apple, grape, and strawberry.
Similar to Hi-Chew, they are individually wrapped and known for their vibrant flavors and pleasing chewy texture. They are a popular choice for a quick, sweet snack.
Fujiya Milky candies are creamy, milk-flavored candies with a soft texture. These candies have a sweet and rich flavor, reminiscent of condensed milk.
They are individually wrapped and often feature the character “Peko-chan” on the packaging, making them instantly recognizable.
Coris Whistle Candy
Coris Whistle Candy are hard candies that can be used to make a whistling sound when blown through.
They come in various fruity flavors and are a fun, interactive candy option for children.
Each package typically includes a small toy, adding to the enjoyment.
Lotte Koala’s March
Lotte Koala’s March are bite-sized cookies filled with sweet flavors like chocolate or strawberry.
Each cookie features a cute koala print, making them a visually appealing treat.
The combination of crunchy cookie and creamy filling makes them a popular choice among candy lovers.
Meiji Apollo Strawberry Chocolate
Meiji Apollo Strawberry Chocolate candies are triangular, strawberry-flavored chocolates with a milk chocolate base.
These candies are visually distinctive and are known for their sweet, fruity flavor, combined with the richness of chocolate.
They are a popular choice for those who love the combination of fruit and chocolate flavors.
Calpis Gummies are flavored like the popular Japanese drink, Calpis (or Calpico), known for its sweet and tangy taste.
These gummies capture the distinctive flavor of the drink and offer a chewy texture, making them a delightful and unique candy option.
Shigekix are sour gummy candies available in flavors like grape, cola, and lemon. They are known for their intense sourness followed by a sweet flavor.
The combination of sweet and sour makes them a thrilling choice for those who enjoy a tangy treat.
UHA Mikakuto Puccho
UHA Mikakuto Puccho are chewy candies mixed with gummy bits and are available in a variety of flavors.
Each flavor offers a unique combination of textures and tastes, making Puccho a versatile and enjoyable candy option.
Iro Enpitsu are pencil-shaped candies with a sweet and tangy flavor. They are colorful and fun, making them a popular choice among children.
The pencil shape adds a playful touch, and they are often enjoyed for their unique appearance as well as their taste.
Glico Pretz are thin, crispy, stick-shaped snacks available in a variety of flavors, both sweet and savory.
From tomato to salad to chocolate, Pretz offers a wide range of flavor options, catering to different taste preferences.
They are a popular snack for their crunchy texture and flavorful taste.
Morinaga Hi-SOFT candies are soft, chewy candies available in various flavors, like strawberry and milk.
They are known for their smooth texture and rich, creamy flavors, making them a favorite for those who prefer a softer, chewy candy.
Wagashi are traditional Japanese confections that are often served with tea, especially during the tea ceremony.
They are typically made from plant-based ingredients and come in a variety of shapes, colors, and flavors, often reflecting the seasons.
Common ingredients include sweet red bean paste, mochi (rice cake), and fruits.
Wagashi are not just candies but are considered an art form, with each piece delicately crafted to please both the palate and the eyes.
Botan Rice Candy
Botan Rice Candy is a soft, chewy, slightly lemon-orange flavored candy with an edible inner wrapper made from rice paper, which dissolves in the mouth.
Each box of Botan Rice Candy also usually comes with a children’s sticker inside, making it a fun treat for kids.
The candy itself is sweet and slightly tangy, offering a unique texture and flavor combination.
Morinaga Chocoballs are small, chocolate-coated candies that come in a variety of flavors, including peanut, caramel, and strawberry.
The candy is characterized by its unique packaging, a small box with a resealable top, designed to be portable and convenient.
The combination of crunchy and sweet makes Chocoballs a delightful treat, and the variety of flavors caters to different taste preferences.
Hello, I’m Matthew, a candy expert and enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the candy industry. My passion for candy started at a very young age. Since then, I have worked in numerous, large candy stores, and have been fortunate enough to try out hundreds of brands of candies, different types and flavors. In addition to my work, I enjoy sharing my extensive knowledge with others, and decided to create Sugar Stand in order to do so. My mission is to make the world a sweeter place, one candy at a time.