20 Interesting Snacks to Bring Home from Your Solo Trip to Japan
As a solo female traveller, if there is one country that is on every traveller’s bucket list, it’s Japan. And for a fair reason too. Japan is a country like none. With its ancient history that permeates into its modern life, with its classics that tell stories like no other, and definitely its own food. The experience of Japan is something we all dream of. And when we plan the trip and experience the beauty of Japan, we realise that reality supersedes our expectations.
Japanese cuisine is something we are all quite familiar with but eating authentic Japanese food in the little bylanes of the cities is an experience you should not miss when travelling the mystical and mythical country as a solo female traveller. But often, in the midst of the ramens and gyozas and tamagoyaki, we often miss out on a hidden gem in Japan: its snacks. And if you are looking for snacks to bring home from Japan, let me give you a list of snacks you can wow your friends and family with!
I am sure all of you are familiar with this wafer chocolate, and it has dominated most of our childhood. So why would you travel all the way to Japan to get Kitkat and bring them home? Well, it is because while we have probably eaten a couple of flavours of this chocolate wafer, Nestle produces over 300 flavours of Kitkat for Japan alone! What makes kitkats the snack to bring home from Japan?
After adopting these English chocolate bars for almost 30 years, Japan has made KitKat its own, and its popularity in this island country has soared. Though there are many flavours like edamame, cinnamon cookie, or sakura flavored to herald the country’s cherry blossom season, it is the matcha flavoured KitKat that is ruling the roost. The fine green tea powder from Japan has now been made into 14 different KitKat flavours, and this is a snack you absolutely cannot miss.
2. Potato chips
Another popular snack from all of our childhood, a potato chip is no stranger to anyone. Potato chips or crisps, as they are called in the UK, also boast of different flavours in different countries. But when in Japan, everything is different. Here one can find flavours like sushi, wasabeef (wasabi and beef), and even crispy salmon. These delicious and out-of-the-ordinary flavours make these potato chips ideal snacks to bring home from Japan.
3. Popin’ Cookin’
If you love things Kawai, Japan is just the place for you. Kawai or cute things can be found in every corner of the country, and you can find a heavy dose of Kawai at the Kawai Monster café in Tokyo. In the same breath, Japanese snacks Popin’ cookin’ are the cutest things one can lay eyes on. These manufactured by Kracie is a DIY candy kit that lets you create your own Ramen, sushi, donuts, and so much more. They look just like the miniature version of the actual food but in candy form. All you need is to mix the powder in a dish of water, and voila, your miniature foods are ready. Now isn’t that the best snacks to bring home from Japan as it is sure to blow everyone’s minds?
Have you ever visited Japan if you haven’t taken a few packets of pocky back home? This cult hit is the one candy that has become synonymous with Japan for the last 45 years. The thin and slender pretzel-like stick is so well known that it is now available in most countries around the globe. But the fun of buying matcha or strawberry flavoured pocky in Japan and bringing the snacks back home hits different!
5. Jagariko chips
Potatoes make the world go round, and what better way to enjoy them than in Jagariko chips. These chips look like French fries and come in small colourful packaging. The potato sticks are absolutely crispy on the outside and delicately soft on the inside, and just like all things Japanese, they come in a few different flavours. But the one you must try and is an ideal snack to take home from Japan is the salad flavour which has specks of parsley and carrots.
6. Kinoko No Yama
These sweet candies which looks like a mushroom is one that will be a huge hit among your friends and families back home. The stem of the mushroom tastes a lot like pocky, whereas the cap is made from chocolate, and it makes for one perfect bite of food. Another brand that is quite similar to this is Takenoko No Sato, and there is a huge debate between the two brands about which one is more delicious. The only way to find out? Buy both to take home.
7. Morinaga DARS
The one thing everyone expects when you come back home from a foreign country is chocolates made in the said country. And when it’s Japan, Morinaga DARS is one of the best snacks you can take home from Japan. Available in milk, bitter chocolate, and white chocolate varieties, these just melt in your mouth.
8. Almonds and dried fish
For starters, this is not for the faint-hearted and may seem a little too pungent for the first time if one has not developed an acquired taste for it. But this is indeed a Japanese classic. Dried sardines and slivers of almonds are tossed in some sesame and taste quite sweet. It is one of the healthiest snacks and is rich in minerals. So now you know what to pack for your health-conscious family and friends.
9. Seaweed strips
If you know Japanese cuisine, you will definitely know that seaweed or nori plays an integral role in Japanese food. From Ramen to onigiri, nori is omnipresent, and thus seaweed strips are the perfect snack to bring home from Japan. This savoury dried seaweed is the perfect snack to munch on without thinking too much about calories.
10. Instant miso soup
Though this is not a snack by itself, in Japan, you get powdered miso soup which can turn into the delicious goodness that is miso soup with just some hot water. Miso soup is Japan’s answer to comfort food, and when done right, it can be yours too. But unfortunately, not all miso soup found all around the world bears the perfect resemblance to the original. Thus instant miso soup packets are the perfect snacks to bring home from Japan.
11. Hotaru No Haka sweets
If you are a Studio Ghibli fan, you have definitely heard of the movie: Hotaru No Haka or Grave of the fireflies. In the movie, the Sakuma Drops played a prominent motif throughout the film. Taking these candies back home will bring a smile to the faces of your near and dear ones (especially the anime fans in your family) and is a great memento to take back home.
This snack is one of the most-loved snacks in the whole of Japan. It is rice pounded in a traditional manner to turn it into an almost gelatinous mound. It is then filled with a sweet filling like red bean paste and served. But this delicious ball of goodness is also packed and sold for tourists to carry home. So, don’t forget to grab a few packets of mochis with different fillings inside. These are indeed great snacks to bring home from Japan.
These Japanese corn snacks come in both sweet and savoury and have a cat character on their packaging. The flavours for this snack range from sugary goodness like cinnamon apple, chocolate, and sugar rusk, but then go wild in the savoury section. For savoury Umaibo, you can choose from teriyaki, pizza, salami, shrimp mayonnaise, cheese, and even natto. You can also choose a variety pack with ten flavours as the perfect snack to take home from Japan.
Most of us are familiar with one of the most well-known snacks in Japan that come in small boxes. Yes, you guessed it right, it’s natto. Natto is a fermented soybean, and the world is essentially divided over it. While some love it, others despise it way too much. It will be the best snack to take home from Japan if you have friends and family who choose to lead a very healthy life.
15. Saya Endou
It’s not news that Japan has some of the healthiest snacks in the world. Munch away without the guilt of putting on weight. But Saya Endou is quite deceptive. It is a snack that claims to be made from edamame and is green in colour, but there have also been reports suggesting that it is nothing but potato-shaped like peas. Whatever the contents are, it’s no doubt extremely delicious. Carry some packets back home not only for people but keep some aside for yourself too. It is the perfect snack to munch on when you’re working.
16. Tokyo Banana
If you are talking about snacks in Japan, you are sure to go bananas! So why not buy some Tokyo bananas to take back home. Well, as the name suggests, it is not just bananas but rather a cake filled with cream inside but is packaged just like a banana. This delicacy is available just in Japan and is a raging hit in the country. If any of your friends or family have a sweet tooth, then this is the perfect snack to take home from Japan for you.
17. Konjac jerky
This snack is also called devil’s tongue because once you put it in your mouth, you will understand how salty it is, and too much of it is going to definitely scathe your tongue. But all said and done, this dried beef snack from Japan is very hard to put down once you go past the saltiness and tartness. Also, unlike most other meat snacks, Konjac jerky contains no artificial flavours or colouring and are plain beef strips. So it is a no-brainer that the konjac jerky is a great snack to take home from Japan, and everyone will just love it.
18. Himemaru rice crackers
Everyone has tasted fried rice in their lives. But did you know that rice, when deep-fried, reaches the absolute god tier? Yes, you heard that right, and that is why Himemaru rice crackers are one of the best snacks you can take home from Japan. These deep-fried, wonderfully crunchy rice balls are coated with soy sauce, and it gives off a deep umami flavour that will force you to reach for more. So take as many packets of these rice crackers as you possibly can accommodate because your friends and family will be blown over by it and will ask you for more.
19. Ramune soda candy
Ramune is quite a well-known citrus flavoured refreshing soda drink of Japan. But it is difficult to take back anything liquid in your baggage. Fret not because the company Morinaga also offers Ramune soda flavoured candies, which are made from compressed Ramune soda powder and literally melt in the mouth as soon as you put it in. The other reason why Ramune soda became so famous in the country was because of the special-shaped bottle it came in. To remain true to the brand, the soda candies too come in a similar bottle sealed with a glass marble. This is an extremely fun snack you can take home from Japan.
20. Miso Ramen Pringles
It is no secret that Japan is known for its flavours, and they are known to incorporate the said flavour into almost anything edible. We have all grown up on Pringles, but there’s nothing like the Miso Ramen flavoured Pringles that you get only in Japan. The crunchy salty Miso ends with meaty flavoured Ramen in the mouth. It is indeed an explosion of flavor and a perfect snack to take home from Japan.
When travelling around Japan, there is no dearth of souvenirs you can get for your near and dear ones. But what better gift to give someone than a slice of flavour from the beautiful country? So select some snacks from the list above and take them back home with you.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.