Translated by Jasmine Nishino
9 Souvenir Sweets To Get at Convenience Stores and Supermarkets!
Written by OsawaKimie
Not sure what to take back from Japan? Here are some ideas of compact, budget friendly and tasty Japanese sweets you can purchase at convenience stores and supermarkets!
Trying to pick out souvenirs to bring back from your trip can be difficult. The size, the weight, who you intend to give them to, the points you need to keep in mind when choosing souvenirs differ from person to person. Today, we will introduce to you nine budget friendly and delicious sweets you can find at a local convenience store or supermarket in Japan.
1. The Classic: Matcha Green Tea Flavored Chocolate Sweets
(Left) Nestle's Kit Kat Mini semi-sweet matcha green tea flavor. (Middle) Melty Kiss rich matcha green tea flavor. (Right) Lotte special Toppo robust matcha green tea.
In the sweets section at convenience stores and supermarkets, there are many types of matcha green tea flavored chocolate sweets to pick from. Out of the many matcha green tea sweets, I would like to recommend these three to visitors to Japan.
On the left (light green) is a KitKat that has the great aromatic Uji Matcha green tea blended in. Within the sweetness there is a hint of saltiness that creates a lovely balance. A mouth-melting rich green tea chocolate that is only sold during the winter is the Melty Kiss Rich Matcha Green Tea (center, *1). The special Toppo Robust Matcha Green Tea (right, *2) uses matcha green tea from Nishio along with yuzu citrus as the hidden ingredient.
*1 Melty Kiss: An easy to melt chocolate that is only sold during the winter.
*2 Toppo: A pipe-like pretzel stick filled with chocolate.
2. Breaking the Standards of Chips: Kata-Age Potato Chips
Calbee's lightly salted Kata-age potato chips.
A potato chip brand that many Japanese people know, is the Kata-age Potato. The reason for the long time popularity of these chips is their hard and crispy texture.
The secret to Calbee's distinctive crispiness lies behind their special manufacturing process. The thick cut potatoes are fried for four to five times longer than standard potato chips. That lengthy process manages to keep all the flavor of the potato. The fact that their simple flavors are a great match with beer is also a big selling point.
3. Popular Japanese Flavored Potato Snacks!
(Left) Calbee's butter soy sauce flavored Jagabee. (Right) Calbee's Tarako butter flavored Jagarico.
A potato snack that has an addicting crispy texture is the Jagabee (left, *3) and Jagarico (right, *4). For visitors to Japan, flavors such as butter soy sauce or tarako (salted Alaska Pollock fish roe) butter would make a unique souvenir to bring back.
*3 Jagabee: potato chips that resemble flattened french fries. May be ruffled or smooth.
*4 Jagarico: crispy fried potato snacks; have a texture similar to pretzels or breadsticks.
With a fragrant flavor and the light crunch, these potato snacks are addictive once you've tried them.
4. Three Bite Size Recommended Snacks
(Top) Bourbon Alfort Mini Chocolate Blonde Milk. (Center) UHA Mikakutō Puccho (Cola flavor). (Bottom) Meiji Takenoko no Sato Milk & Caramel
Alafort (top) is a pack of whole grain biscuits topped with rich chocolate. Puccho (center) is a chewy candy with ramune (Japanese lemon soda) candy in the center. Last is the popular chocolate cookie in the shape of bamboo shoots, Takenoko no Sato (bottom). Lately, it can be even found outside of Japan as well at specialty stores and supermarkets.
These snacks are especially popular with children as they are bite-sized. You can find all three in convenience stores and supermarkets, nation-wide. The package is very compact as well, so it is easy to carry around. Each box costs from 100-200 yen, making these snacks very budget friendly as well.
The high quality and reasonable pricing of Japanese snacks makes them very popular with tourists in Japan. Next time you are lost selecting a souvenir from Japan, how about stopping by a local convenience store or supermarket to find an interesting snack to bring back?