I’ve been sent quite a few boxes of Japanese candy & snacks to review this year and it’s not always possible to try everything before I need to get a review posted. Instead I save some for an extra catch-up review later.
I got my whole family involved for a wider range of opinions so read on to see what we thought of everything. I apologise in advance for the lack of original images. My iPhone died so I had to borrow a few product shots.
Let’s start with the most adorable packaging, for Pikachu pretzel sticks. They’re similar to Pocky but chocolate flavour sticks covered in white chocolate and biscuit pieces. Sadly, they didn’t score very highly with any of us, tasting too sweet and a bit oily, but if you’re a fan of cookies and cream you might like them.
Also on a Pokemon theme are the grape and melon Karipori – crunchy fizzy sugary sticks. We all liked the melon flavour best but the grape was good too and they’re a nice shade of green and purple. You get loads in a box so they’ll last you a while.
Maze Maze Drink is a pack of mix and match gummies in different drink flavours – ours had cola, lemonade, grape, white grape and orange. While some of the individual gummies don’t taste that amazing, it’s really fun to try out different combinations and definitely more entertaining as a group.
Chirin Kanpai Ramune is a mini plastic mug filled with ramune (lemonade) candy. They were kind of chalky and fruity and pleasant enough until we realised they were just like chewable vitamins. So if you wish you could eat vitamins by the handful, these are the candy for you! Nicolette hated them so much, she only agreed to give them one point if I let her keep the mug.
Meiji Coffee Beat chocolates come in a fun little box and look like coffee beans, but are just a nice coffee flavoured chocolate. We all loved these and they got the highest marks all round! They usually come as part of a set of 5 assorted boxes and now that I’ve tried the chocolate ones, I would definitely pick that up sometime – they’d make fun stocking fillers.
We were all fairly intrigued to try the Dorayaki (mini sweet red bean filled pancakes), a filling that’s as common and beloved as chocolate in Japan. Everyone gave them reasonable scores, finding it a little weird for our tastes, but enjoyable enough in such a small piece. If you’re a red bean paste fan, you can buy a huge bag of them.
PukuPuku Tai is a fun take on taiyaki, a fish-shaped cake filled with (what else) red bean paste that you can see being made at stalls in Japan. These ones are more fun and, longer lasting, being a wafer fish filled with chocolate. We all really liked this, with a light wafer and a melt in the mouth bubbly chocolate. Definitely worth buying again, especially for anyone who’s visited Japan – there’s a strawberry version too.
We tried these Kaki no Mi rice crackers first and thought they were really boring, but after eating all the sweet stuff we came back to them and enjoyed them much more. It was one of the few things we managed to finish up. Sure they’re plain rice crackers but if you want something simple with a cup of green tea, these are a great little snack.
Check back for part later this week when we’ll tackle two fun DIY candy kits.
Fancy trying some of these yourself?
Check out the Japan Candy Box and Freedom Japanese Market subscription boxes for a surprise selection. You can also buy individual Japanese snacks and candy from Tofu Cute, Blippo, JList, JapanCentre and more.
Snacks were provided for review by Japan Candy Box and Freedom Japanese Market but these are our honest opinions.
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.