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Japanese food is like no other. On one end, you have classics like sushi, ramen, tempura, and gyoza. On another, you have Japanese snacks that can range from cheap dagashi staples to artisanal chocolates to delicious Japanese candies.
If you’re into sweets, you’re in luck because Japan’s convenience stores and supermarkets are teeming with all kinds of candies – chewy candies, Japanese lollies, gummies, jellies, hard candies, and more!
If you’re on the hunt for some of the best Japanese candies to buy in Japan or online, this list will come in handy.
Chewy and soft Japanese candies
Released in 1975, Hi-Chew is one of Japan’s bestselling candies.
These soft, taffy-like chewy candies come in so many flavors like grape, green apple, strawberry, watermelon, and mango. Seasonal flavors like the Hokkaido yunari lemon and Okinawa mango are available exclusively in Japan.
Ever heard of beauty candies?
Kracie’s Fuwarinka is called such since they contain collagen, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and Damask rose oil. All these ingredients are said to be beneficial for the skin.
These chewy, soft Japanese candies have a crispy outer shell, similar to Mentos. The rose flavor contains real rose extracts that bring out a rosy aroma and clean fruity taste. It also comes in other sweet and sour flavors like mixed berry rose, strawberry rose, and citrus.
3. Kamu Kamu
Have you ever bitten into a lemon? That’s what biting into Kamu Kami lemon candy is like. Unlike other lemon-flavored candies, this Japanese candy is as sour as a lemon with only a bit of sweetness. It’s soft and chewy and contains 200mg of vitamin C.
Like Hi-Chew, Puchao candies are taffy-like bites that come in different fruit flavors.
What makes Puchao different are the spherical bits inside. These bits have strong fruit flavors, it’s almost like eating dried fruit.
Each chewy candy is individually wrapped so you can easily keep a few pieces in your pocket.
Hard Japanese candies
5. Lotte Koume
Launched in 1974, Lotte’s Koume, or hard plum candy, is one of the oldest Japanese candies. Ume, or plum, is one of the most beloved fruits in Japan, and dried or pickled plum candies are just as loved.
Koume comes in two sizes but while both candies are sweet and have a sour plum filling inside, the smaller one has a more pronounced salty-sour taste. It’s a really interesting flavor and can get quite addicting, too.
Super Lemon is perhaps the only Japanese candy that can rival Kamu Kamu in terms of sourness.
This hard candy has a super sour powder coating on the outside but is sweet and juice on the inside. It’s like biting into a lemon and then being rewarded with a sweet treat after.
We know Peko from the famous Milky candy, but Fujiya has more candy and snack products sporting the famous character. These include fruity Japanese lollies.
Choose from grape, strawberry, orange, and peach flavors. They’re not just fun as snacks but can also be amazing Japanese gifts.
Konpeito, the famous star-shaped rock candies from Japan, dates back to the 16th century. But these ancient candies made from pure sugar are still very loved to this day.
Sweet, colorful, and available in various flavors, they make for great snacks and gifts.
Candies aren’t just great for snacking. Some Japanese candies also act as throat lozenges and Ryukakusan Herbal Drop is the most famous candy of such kind.
This mint-flavored herbal drop candy contains 19 herbal extracts, including chamomile and Chinese quince extract. These herbal extracts help soothe sore throat. Plus, it’s minty so it’s refreshing!
10. Sakuma Drops
Made with real fruit juice, Sakuma Drops boast fruity, addicting flavors. But the joy of eating these treats probably stems from the nostalgia more than the taste.
This Japanese candy has been around since 1908! Fans of Studio Ghibli will most likely remember this iconic tin can of candies from the movie Grave of the Fireflies, which is featured in its commemorative can.
11. Kasugai Kuro Ame
Raw brown sugar made from sugarcane is known as kokuto in Japanese.
It’s an Okinawan specialty and Kasugai’s Kuro Ame is one of the bestselling Japanese candies made from kokuto. It features kokuto’s distinct aromatic sweetness, which is loved by both adults and kids.
This may qualify as a weird Japanese candy to some, but cider or soda-flavored candies are very common in Japan. This hard candy is super refreshing because it replicates the flavor of Mitsuya Cider, a famous Japanese carbonated drink by Asahi.
Similar to the drink, the candy has tiny bubbles and creates a slight fizz when you suck on it.
Ramune is a popular carbonated lemon-lime drink that dates back to the late 1880s. Years later, this beverage inspired a slew of soda-flavored candies.
Morinaga’s ramune candies are inarguably the star among the bunch because it not only features the fizzy flavor – the packaging also imitates the bottle of ramune.
Senjaku’s soda candies are among the sourest ramune candies.
This assorted bag of ramune candies features four different flavors and textures. One is powdered, one is super fizzy and sour, one comes in a variety of colors, and the last one is the salted watermelon, which is great for summer days.
Why this is called “noisy”, I don’t know. Probably because of the fizz it creates in the mouth?
Lion’s 8-flavor hard candy pack is not limited to ramune favor, but all eight flavors are fizzy. You get grape, apple, ramune, peach, melon, orange, lemon, and cola in a pack.
As expected, the ramune and cola flavors are the most loved.
Kuppy ramune candies come in cute, nostalgic packaging. Inside the small pack, you’ll find candies of assorted flavors: ramune, lemon, green apple, and yogurt.
The candy pieces are small and not as sour or sweet as the others on this list so it’s perfect if you don’t like strong acidity. It’s also a mainstay in most Japanese candy boxes.
When it comes to gummy Japanese candies, Kasugai’s gummy candies are prominent. The brand has been around since 1928 and its fruit-flavored gummies are made with real fruit juice so it’s juicy and yummy.
Flavors include mango, lychee, peach, watermelon, yuzu, strawberry, grape, and lemon. You can also try all flavors with a sampler pack.
Like Kasugai’s gummies, Kanro’s Puré gummy candies are fruity, soft, and chewy.
The gummies are heart-shaped and coated with sour granules that give them an addicting taste and texture. It comes in flavors like tangerine, muscat, and lemon.
If it weren’t for the tart dust and fruity taste, you’d easily mistake these Bourbon’s gummies for what it’s named for – Fettuccine.
These al dente textured gummies resemble flat, thick pasta and are covered with sour powder. It comes in flavors like cola, grape, cider, lemon, and peach.
Marukawa bubble gum is one of Japan’s classic gums and it shows in its packaging, too. These fruity bubble gums come in small vintage-looking boxes.
A sampler pack lets you enjoy seven different flavors: orange, strawberry, grape, melon, peach, apple, and mixed fruits.
If a chewing gum that’s teeth-friendly is what you’re looking for, Lotte’s Xylitol is for you.
Xylitol is a natural substance found in many plant materials like fruits and vegetables. It is often used as a natural sugar substitute. Since it’s natural and fructose-free, it’s way friendlier on your teeth than other gums. It also has lesser calories.
The assorted Xylitol gums come in fruit flavors like peach, lime, orange, grapes, green apple, berries, and lychee.
Another teeth-friendly gum, Recaldent comes in a tablet form with a firm outer shell. It’s chewy, minty, and contains xylitol which has proven dental benefits, including rebuilding the calcium in teeth.
The sturdy plastic container also includes mini sticky notes that are for disposing of used gums.
Need to be alert on the road or need to stay up for work or studying? Chew some Black Black Gum.
Introduced in 1983, Lotte’s Black Black gum is an iconic Japanese treat, partially because of its television commercials that star Jean Claude Van Damme and anime character Kenshiro.
Celebrities aside, Black Black has a distinct taste and color because its ingredients include oolong tea extract, ginkgo extract, and caffeine.
Stride’s long-lasting, sugarless gum deserves its name.
It has three layers of gum for a refreshing and longer chewing experience. It also comes in a handy, slim fold packaging that you can easily fit in your pocket.
25. Meiji Kaju Gummy
The Japanese sure love fruity treats and it’s apparent in how many fruit-flavored candies and gums they have. Meiji’s Kaju Gummies are some of the fruitiest gums in Japan and even if you’re not particularly a fan of sweets, you will still likely love these.
Available in flavors like orange, grape, strawberry, and pineapple, these Japanese gummies taste like the fruit they represent but not overly sweet.
The second Japanese candy in this list that is great for your skin, Meiji’s Poifull contains not just 100% fruit but also 6,200mg collagen!
These colorful jelly beans are moderately chewy, with a thin outer coating and strong fruity flavors. There’s also a soda variant.
Nobel is known for its sour treats. With Chibi Sours, they took it down a notch, adding sweetness for a more balanced but tasty gummy.
The sour powder coating blends well with the sweet and soft candy bits that are available in a variety of shapes, colors, and flavors.
Tsubu Gummies are colorful jelly beans with crumbly sugar coating and a chewy center. Available in five flavors (grapefruit, apple, peach, muscat, and grape), these Japanese candies are made from fruit juice so they’re pleasantly sweet and fruity.
Milky Japanese candies
Another mainstay in convenience stores and Japanese candy boxes is the iconic Milky candy, a famous treat that dates back to the 50s.
This classic candy has a creamy flavor, thanks to the high-quality milk from Hokkaido and the famous mascot Peko-chan.
Like Fujiya’s Milky, Kanro’s Kin No Milk uses premium fresh cream from Hokkaido. The luxurious golden packaging and the candy itself are reminiscent of butter candies. Milky, creamy, smooth, and not overly sweet, this is one of the famous milk candies in Japan.
While Mikakuto’s Tokuno Milk Candy has 8.2 in its packaging, this milky candy now contains 10.2 percent milk fat.
Featuring rich milk and butter flavor that’s not overly sweet, these hard Japanese candies are individually wrapped so you can bring a few pieces in your pocket or purse.
Meiji’s chocolate bars are among the most popular Japanese chocolates.
You can enjoy an assortment of flavors in bite-sized pieces with the Best 3 pack. These include the flagship milk chocolate, the rich black chocolate, and the creamier and milkier Hi Milk.
DARS chocolate bars are some of the best chocolate candies in Japan. These bars are bite-sized and thus, easy to eat.
Not only do they come in the classic milk chocolate, white, and dark chocolate variants, but also the unique flavors like matcha, raspberry, rum raisin, and mint.
Chocoball is one of the oldest Japanese chocolates. These are chocolate-coated treats, with either peanut, caramel, or strawberry filling.
Apart from its chocolatey goodness, the brand’s mascot, Kyoro-chan, is iconic as well. Chocoballs’ box sports a beak-shaped pull-up opening inspired by Kyoro-chan’s famous large peak.
Distinguishable with its retro kawaii packaging, Meiji’s Apollo Strawberry chocolates are loved by both adults and kids. This Japanese candy dates back to the late 1960s and resembles Mt. Fuji.
It features a gentle chocolate flavor and sour-sweet hints from its strawberry layer.
These individually wrapped chocolate squares are some of the cheapest and most popular Japanese candies.
Since its introduction in 1962, it has had nearly 400 flavors. A package typically consists of around 30 assorted cube pieces so you get to enjoy different flavors in one pack.
Glico’s Caplico is a famous wafer cone with strawberry and chocolate mousse inside.
Now, it’s also available as tiny, bite-sized, heart-shaped snacks. One side has strawberry and the other has creamy chocolate. Sweet, smooth, and chocolatey, this is quite addicting.
Made with natural fruit juice and coconut chunks, these Japanese jellies are high in fiber, low in sugar, and highly refreshing. Fans of Japanese candies will love the juiciness and fruity flavors in these portable cups. Try it straight out from the freezer for an even more cooling experience.
Orihiro’s fruit-flavored konjac jellies are yummy, sweet treats that come in flavors like apple, grape, lychee, peach, grape, kiwi, muscat, and pear.
They’re packaged in a ready-to-eat jelly pouch so carrying these sweets can be a breeze.
One of the oldest jellies from Japan, Kinjo’s mixed fruit jellies are sweet, soft, and fruity treats that are wrapped in edible rice paper. Variants include strawberry, grape, melon, orange, and pineapple.
These classic Japanese candies are flavorful and can instantly transport you to your childhood.
If this list of yummy Japanese candies made you drool, you’re not alone! The good thing is, you don’t even have to fly to Japan to get these – you can just shop online and enjoy these treats from the comfort of your own home.