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Japanese Candies and Treats: Top 10 Best Traditional Wagashi!

Jojo MorscheJojo Morsche
Published Time
Posted on 
March 04, 2019
Modified Time
Updated last 
January 23, 2023
A close-up of brightly=colored, traditional Japanese candies.

Japanese candies range from traditional to crazy and unique flavors! There are many flavors of Japanese snacks that companies in other countries never would have thought of!

The most common flavors for Japanese candies include ramune, matcha, red beans, octopus, curry, sakura, chocomint, and lemon! Other snacks include potato chips, gummies, marshmallows, chocolate (think of KitKat), and so on!

Japanese people also have their own traditional snacks known as wagashi. Most of these treats come from times when Japan didn’t have any connections to Western countries, which makes these treats so unique!

Shingen Momo (Yamanashi)

A plate of peach flavored manju, also known as shingen momo. They're a gradient of light pink and white. This is one of the most delicious Japanese candies and treats out there.
Shingen momo uses Yamanashi peaches and sweet white bean jam. Image via All About Japan

Even though it’s not too far from Tokyo, surrounded by nature, Yamanashi prefecture is famous for Mount Fuji. Besides that, the area is also renowned for its fruit, especially peaches! The Shingen Momo is also a type of Manju, but instead of the traditional red bean paste, white bean paste and peach jelly are used as filling.

Ichigo Daifuku (Osaka)

There’s a big chance that you have heard of Ichigo Daifuku or strawberry daifuku. It’s a famous Japanese sweet and is originally from Osaka, a prefecture famous for savory snacks like takoyaki and okonomiyaki.

A picture of Ichigo Daifuku, which is a large bun containing a strawberry and anko paste.
Ichigo Daifuku is a great snack straight from Osaka. Image via Shutterstock

If you already love mochi, you will love this treat too! Ichigo Daifuku’s ingredients are mochi, sweet red bean paste, and strawberry! This fruity Japanese snack is perfect for spring and summer, and you can find it throughout all prefectures in Japan.

Momiji Manju (Hiroshima)

Momiji Manju is a traditional Japanese sweet treat from Hiroshima prefecture. The Japanese word momiji means ‘autumn leaf,’ and because Hiroshima is famous for maple trees, these manju are also shaped like leaves! They are made of castella cake filled with sweet red bean paste, one of the most popular fillings for wagashi.

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Tokyo Banana (Tokyo)

Plate of banana-shaped custard filled pastries.
Tokyo Banana is very famous for its delicious omiyage! Image via Shutterstock

Japanese people who visit Tokyo never forget to bring back some Tokyo Bananas for coworkers, family, or friends! It’s by far the most popular snack in Tokyo. The ‘bananas’ are made of soft cake filled with custard cream. Shops often come out with Tokyo Bananas with exciting designs such as animal prints or flower prints!

Mizu Manju (Gifu)

A picture of mizu manju, one of the most colorful Japanese candies or treats from Gifu prefecture.
Mizu Manju originated in 1897 in Gifu Prefecture, made of kudzu starch. Image via All About Japan

The Mizu Manju from Gifu Prefecture looks like colorful water drops and is probably the prettiest treat on this list. Thanks to starch made of a unique Japanese root, they look like big drops of water and are a treat that people especially enjoy in summer. This manju doesn’t come in one but in several flavors, such as red beans, matcha, and other fruity flavors!

Ki Ni Naru Ringo Pie (Aomori)

A picture of kininaru ringo pie, which is a candied apples in a flaky crust.
Kininaru ringo pie is an apple pie that only uses one whole apple! Image via All About Japan

Aomori Prefecture in Japan is especially famous for its delicious apples and apple pie! These apple pies are pretty different from the ones we know, though! A whole candied apple, then wrapped in a flaky pie crust. It’s best served warm!

Sakuranbo Kirara (Yamagata)

A picture of sakuranbo kirara, one of many traditional Japanese candies or treats from Yamagata features cherries surrounded by cherries.
Sakuranbo kirara highlights Yamagata cherries! Image via All About Japan

Just as Aomori prefecture is famous for its apples, People from Yamagata take pride in their cherries! Because Yamagata produces 70% of Japan’s cherries, they make plenty of cherry Japanese candies and treats! The Sakuranbo Kirara consists of jelly with a whole cherry! Doesn’t it sound great for summer?

Meika Hiyoko (Fukuoka)

Fukuoka Prefecture, located in the south of Japan, is famous for these adorable chick snacks! These cute treats originated in 1912 by confectioner Shigeru Ishizaka.

A picture of brown chiffon cakes that look like baby chicks.
Meika Hiyoko is so delicious and adorable. Image via Takashimaya

He had a deep connection to sweets, believing that our products should symbolize not only our lives but also our true hearts. Through Hiyoko, he hopes to create a more friendly and lively society. The filling of pea beans and fresh eggs complements the exterior and is slightly savory.

Wari Gori (Ishikawa)

A shot of colorful wari gori or kohakutoiu, a soft sugary Japanese candy.
These candies are made from agar jelly! Image via Shutterstock

Wari Gori is a classic Japanese candy from Ishikawa prefecture and looks similar to rock candy. They are a lot softer, though, and use dried kanten agar jelly, which results in beautiful transparent colors! These sweets have a refreshing and subtle flavor and taste crunchy on the outside and silky inside. These traditional sweets are hand-made and broken into pieces by craftsmen.

Chinsuko (Okinawa)

A shot of purple and beige shortbread chinsuko cookies.
Okinawa chinsuko cookies are inspired by a similar traditional Chinese cookie. Image via Shutterstock

Okinawa is an island south of Japan; visitors are particularly fond of these chinsuko cookies. These cookies are similar to shortbread cookies made of floor lard and sugar. They come in several flavors: vanilla, sweet potato, coconut mango, chocolate, pineapple, and so on!

Which of these 10 traditional Japanese candies would you like to try or have you tried? Let us know in the comments!

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