15 Snacks You Must Try in Japan

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Source: yoppi

Japan is heaven for food lovers. Besides the traditional Japanese dishes, there are all kinds of delicious snacks that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Check out this list of 15 snacks you must try in Japan!

1. Senbei

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Source: Andrea Nguyen

Senbei is a type of rice crackers. They vary in shape, size, flavor, even color. Senbei is typically either baked or grilled; the preferred method being grilling them over charcoal. People that have guests usually serve senbei as a courtesy refreshment, often combining them with green tea.

2. Pocky

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Source: LWYang

These are a favorite among the Japanese; actually, in a large part of Asia. The original product was chocolate-coated biscuit sticks with a non-covered zone. It was soon followed by an array of other flavors, such as milk, banana, coconut, green tea, almond, strawberry and so on.

3. Crepes

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Crepes are to be found basically anywhere in Japan, since they also became a favorite. Just like senbei, there are a huge amount of ingredients that can be found inside. The crepe is very similar to the French recipe, with minor differences, and they are shaped like an ice-cream cone. However, the filling ingredients are added on the spot; they are mostly fresh, raw ingredients, very rarely cooked.

4. Dango

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Source: Charles Kim

They are often to be found in sets of three or four, usually on a skewer. Dango are ball-shaped dumplings, made of rice flour (mochi). They taste well with green tea. There’s a large variety of dango, which the Japanese usually eat according to the season. Most of them are used after the seasonings served on them.

5. Daifuku

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Source: Usodesita

A very common dessert in Japan; you can practically find them anywhere. They consist of cooked mochi (rice flour) stuffed with sweet fillings, among which the most popular is anko (a sweetened paste from azuki beans). The fillings are either in paste form or in pieces, such as with fruits. Daifuku are either small (about 3 cm) or large (palm sized).

6. Anpan

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Source: Nattyq2

Anpan are bread rolls filled with red bean paste, usually sweetened. There are several anpan recipes, starting with the ingredients, the filling, and the baking means (from oven to microwave). It is said to have been invented by a ronin (a samurai who was out of a job, which at that time was a rather often occurrence).

7. Kinoko no Yama

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Source: garapa dish

They are a type of dessert that appeal to the children just as much as to adults. They look like mushrooms: the leg is a biscuit, the cap is chocolate. Actually, Kinoko no Yama literally means “mushroom mountain”. There are different types of chocolate flavors, so there is no need to stick to only one.

8. Melon Pan

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Source: Antonio Tajuelo

Ironically, the Melon Pan are not usually melon flavored. They just look like a cross between a melon and a pie: roundish, with a pie-looking crust on the top. And it is actually sweetened bread. Of course, there are the usual variations, from chocolate chip filling to the use of syrup to change the taste.

9. Manju

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Source: Richie Johns

Also a popular Japanese confection, the Manju somewhat resemble the Anpan. The outer shell is made from flour, rice powder and buckwheat. Sometimes green tea is added, and the exterior looks green. The filling varies, from anko to orange-flavored cream.

10. Jagariko

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The name comes from the word “jagaimo”, meaning “potato”, combined with the name Rikako, who apparently was a friend of the creator. Jagariko are basically a mix of potatoes, cheese and vegetables in a stick form. They go with pretty much any drink and they are a hit with young Japanese people.

11. Monaka

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Source: nanao wagatsuma

Monaka are a Japanese sweet made of two thin, crisp layers of mochi (rice cake) and azuki bean jam filling. Obviously, in time, the filling became subject to variation, such as chestnut jam or sesame seed jam, but also ice-cream.

12. Kitkat

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Source: Bodo

Kitkats are to be found in at least fifty different flavors, ranging from caramel, chocolate or strawberry to soy sauce or baked potato.  The company is an English one, but the Japanese adapted the product to their own tastes. The Kitkats come as wafer bars covered in flavored chocolate. They are an amazing hit with the Japanese.

13. Shiroi Koibito

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Source: Toby Oxborrow

These are usually square-shaped, European-style cookies. They consist of two langue de chat biscuits; sandwiched between them is either white chocolate, or milk chocolate. There are a few related products newer to the market under the same brand.

14. Dorayaki

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Source: Emran Kassim

Dorayaki is made of two small red-bean, round pancakes made from castella (a sort of sponge-cake) which sandwich a large amount of filling, ranging from anko to whipped cream. The original recipe consisted of only one pancake. Dorayaki are often served hot.

15. Taiyaki

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Source: Takanori Nakanowatari

Taiyaki is made using pancake or waffle batter. The particularity of this dessert is it’s fixed shape: the one of a fish. Hence the baker needs fish-shaped moulds. It is cooked on both sides until brown. Taiyaki is often filled with red bean paste, custard, cheese, sweet potato, chocolate and so on.

Have fun exploring all these delicious snacks! Have a good trip and travel!

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Asia, Japan