We love to test out the local treats in every place we visit. As a former baking blogger with kids, this ranks high in importance. When we travel, we like to experience life as a local, and surveying a destination in every aspect. We simply have to know if the treats measures up.
Our Family’s Favorite Treats in Japan
The first thing that stuck out to me in the candy aisle, while grocery shopping in Japan, were these multicolored chewy candies in super bright packaging. They were insanely good! They had just the right amount of chewiness, juiciness, and sweetness. About halfway through our trip I realized some very small print on the back of the packaging directing to the Hi-Chew website.
I may not be the primo expert on Hi-Chews, but I’ve had a few in my time, mostly at my sister Jill’s house. These are insanely better in Japan. (I’ve used insanely twice already regarding this candy – it’s going to be the word of the post!) Sure, you can buy a giant package at Costco in the states to get your fix, but they are nothing like the real thing. These treats are everywhere in Japan: convenience stores, grocery stores, vending machines, kids candy machines, claw machines and at local attractions like the Tokyo Metropolitan Building.
Fortunately, Jill is an expert and she agrees with me. The banana flavor is the best.
There is also another version of Hi-Chew like candies called Puchao. These are the chewy candies that are very similar in flavor, size and tartness, but in addition they have flavor beads inside of them. When you chomp down, the bead bursts open to release a second flavor component. We brought those treats home for all our friends.
The other insanely amazing thing is a specific type of grape soda. Grape sodas are abundant in Japan, and come in a variety of brands and flavors, but this one beats them all: Mistio. We first had this drink after literally running a mile up to the top of Mt. Misen and back down again before the final gondola left for the night, and we would be left stranded, having to run back down the mountain with three children. We were searching for anything to drink, and bought this out of desperation. We were immediately hooked which made it pretty awful that this drink is surprisingly hard to find. You can’t find it in any grocery store. It is only located in the abundant vending machines located around every corner, but only in select ones. That’s the kicker. One location is at Miyajima obviously, another is outside the Inari JR station in Kyoto, and one is in the Jujo Ginza Shopping Arcade in Tokyo, but only down one side alley. We checked everywhere.
There is also a honeydew melon version of this drink that is also insanely good.
Chocolate and biscuits are a match made in heaven. These cookies are the combination of both. The cookie top is the equivalent of a Hershey’s chocolate square melted onto a shortbread cookie and then chilled. They. Are. So. Good. I brought home 5 packages. They also have an oreo version, with a chocolate shortbread and white chocolate. I brought home 5 packages of this variant too. In fact, I came home just tonight to find Gabriel had allowed our baby to finish off the last package, and let’s say we had words. I am officially obsessed.
These cookie treats also come in a butter and pomegranate flavor, but they aren’t as good.
Another kind of treat we loved were these hard candies. We were first introduced to them on our All Nippon flight and they were so good. They are jolly rancher meets Vitamin C drop, the perfect blend of sweet to tart to satisfying. They come in a variety of fruity flavors, and are shaped into the perfect little ball that melts into happiness inside your mouth.
These didn’t appeal so much to me, as they did to my daughters. We first had these in France, so our eldest daughter was pretty excited to see them again here. Pocky are chocolate coated, brightly colored biscuit sticks. They come in a variety of flavors like strawberry, our favorite, cookies and cream, and banana. You can pretty much get them anywhere, but these biscuit treats did originate in Japan back in 1966.
The Japanese are nuts over Kit Kats. Not the chocolate covered wafer sticks they give away for free on Qantas airlines (post coming soon), but the chocolate covered wafer sticks in flavors like soy sauce, sake, strawberry, bean curd and more craziness. More on that over at the Kit Kat Chocolatory.
Kasuagi Gummy – All 10 flavors
Japan knows how to do gummy candies right. These candies are a lot like peach rings in the states, but I’ll say it again, so much better. The flavor is spot on, they are covered in just the right amount of microscopic sugar, and are a smaller size so you can get away with enjoying a lot more in one sitting. The full flavor of treats includes purple grape, green grape, watermelon, strawberry, mango, kiwi, pineapple, apple, and orange.
Just for you, I’ve compiled all these treats with links on Amazon so you can try them for yourself!
Did we leave any out? We tried a few other items such as chips, a bugles knock off, and some crackers, but they didn’t stick out. What is your favorite insanely delicious treat in Japan?