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Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

1. Taiyaki

Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

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Taiyaki is a very popular snack in Japan. It is a fish-shapped cake that is most commonly filled with sweet red bean paste. Although this is the most common and traditional type of taiyaki there are also places that have taiyaki with custard fillings, chocolate fillings or sweet potato fillings. There are even places that have savory type taiyaki. This is a treat that is believed to have started during the Meiji era. This is a snack that can be found in supermarkets and food stalls at festivals. This can be found all over Japan. It is very delicious and is definitely worth trying as it is a traditional Japanese treat.

2. Dorayaki

Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

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This is a sweet that is similar to the Taiyaki mentioned above but instead of being fish-shaped it is more like two mini pancakes with a sweet red bean paste in between the pancake layers. It is said that originally, when dorayaki was invented in the Ueno district of Tokyo in 1914, the Dorayaki only had one layer. This snack is often associated with the famous Japanese character Doraemon as the dorayaki is known to be his favorite food.

3. Melon Pan

Top Japanese sweets

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Melon Pan, pan which means bread, is a popular snack that is eaten in Japan. Although it says it is melon bread there is actually no melon in this bread. Is it called melon bread because the appearance resembles melon. It is actually made with a rich dough and a thin layer of cookie dough that is crisp on top. It is sweet but not too sweet. Because of it’s popularity is can be found pretty much in any convenience store, supermarket, and bread store/bakery.

Top Japanese sweets

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What has also become popular in the recent years is melon pan Icecream which has vanilla icecream sandwiched in between.

4. Manju

Top Japanese sweets

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Manju is another popular traditional sweet in Japan. There are many different types of manju that you can find all throughout Japan but the most common one would be the the manju that has a outer layer made from flour and rice powder with a sweet red bean paste filling. It is very common for traditional Japanese sweets to have red bean paste in it. Manju is a sweet that derived from mochi which is like a type of rice cake. It is believed to be something that came from China. In China it was originally called Mantou and when it arrived in Japan by a Japanese envoy it became known as manju. If you’re someone who does not like red bean paste then you most likely wont like most of the traditional Japanese treats.

5. Dango

Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

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Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

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Dango is also another traditional Japanese treat that is like a sweet dumpling. It is made from rice flour and is usually a round shape and stuck through a stick in a set of three. The taste and consistency is very similar to mochi. There are a bunch of different types of mochi and they often have different toppings as well.

6. Kaki no tane

Top Japanese sweets

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Kaki no tane is a snack that can be eaten on it’s own or it is often a snack that is enjoyed with beer as a tsumami mono. Tsumami mono means little appetizers to eat with alcohol. Kaki no tane is pretty much Japanese crackers that are shaped like a small crescent and is often mixed with peanuts. The name Kaki no tane comes from how the shape of the cracker looks like a persimmon (kaki) seed (tane).

7. Anmitsu

Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

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Anmitsu is a traditional Japanese dessert. It has agar jelly cut into cubes which is served with sweet bean paste, icecream, mochi and fruits. The toppings will differ depending on where you buy it but usually there is always fruits and red bean paste served with the agar jelly. Then on the side there is usually a small bowl of black syrup served on the side to pore on top.

8. Konpeito

Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

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Konpeito is a type of sugar candy that is very colorful. During the Meiji period it culturally became a standard Japanese sweet. And at the Imperial House of Japan it is standard to give Konpeito as a way to thank people for coming.

9. Jagariko

Top Japanese sweets

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Jagariko is pretty much potato chips that are shaped as sticks and sold in a package that is cup shaped. It first came out in 1995 and since then it has become increasingly popular and is not one of Japan’s most top selling snacks. There are different flavors and often during different seasons they will come out with new flavors for that season only. But the flavors that are most commonly found everywhere are the cheese flavored, salad flavored and butter flavored ones. You can pretty much find them in any convenience store, supermarket and drug stores.

10. Kakigori

Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

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Kakigori is Japanese shaved ice. In Japan, shaved ice is often flavored with some type of syrup and then condensed milk drizzled on top to make it taste sweeter. It is similar to a snow cone except that the ice is a much fluffier consistency than a snow cone. In Japan, you will not ever really see Kakigori being solf but during the summer it is a very popular snack to keep cool during the hot and humid days. So during the summer restaurants, coffee shops and food stalls at festivals will have Kakigori. There is not a single festival in Japan that will not have Kakigori during the summer time.

11. Takoyaki

Top Japanese sweets to try in Japan

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Takoyaki is more of a savory sweet in Japan. It is ball shaped and the taste is very similar to the Okonomiyaki that I mentioned above. The batter is made from a wheat flour base and is filled with diced octopus, tempura bits, pickled ginger, and green onion. Then on top there is a sweet takoyaki sauce spread on top with mayonnaise and katsuobushi (dried bonito) put on top. Again, with takoyaki the toppings with differ and Takoyaki shops will often have a few different toppings that you can choose from. And you can usually choose whether you want a regular sweet takoyaki sauce or a little bit spicy. Takoyaki is sold all throughout the year. It can be seen in local supermarkets, mall food courts, convenience stores and food stalls at festivals. There are many people in Japan who will also have a takoyaki party where they will enjoy making takoyaki at home with friends or family.


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