Another little shopping guide post from my Japan trip. If you’re visiting Japan you have to bring back some Pocky and KitKats as they come in so many fun flavours. Here’s my top places to shop for Japanese candy and snacks.
Okashi Land is an area in the basement of Tokyo Station where you can pick up edible souvenirs to bring home. You’ll find seasonal flavours of Pocky as well as Giant Pocky in regular and rainbow editions, plus Hi-Chew, Chocoball and more. There’s also freshly made Calbee crisps (chips) that you can eat with ice cream and chocolate!
If you want an extra special treat, head to one of the KitKat Chocolatory stores, located around Tokyo and Japan. They’re little boutiques where you can buy a very limited selection of exclusive flavours plus larger sized single bars, some encrusted with fruit and nuts! Everything comes in fancy packaging and the prices are higher too, but you won’t easily get to try these anywhere else. I picked up Strawberry Maple and Green Tea & Kinako.
Okashi No Machioka
Okashi no Machioka is a chain of traditional sweet shops where locals go to stock up on their childhood favourites at cheaper prices. You’ll also find similar stores in Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City and Odaiba’s Decks malls. It’s a bit like stepping into a subscription box as I spotted so many things I’ve been sent to review. Everything’s really cheap so grab whatever looks interesting and who knows what you might end up with.
Don Quixote / Village Vanguard
These are both discount stores that sell a bewilderingly random selection of goods at bargain prices. Don Quixote (Donki) is well worth visiting as they sell big multipacks of KitKats, Umaibo etc. plus candy kits, biscuits, snacks and drinks. Village Vanguard has a smaller selection but will stock the latest crazes like these watermelon choc chip cookies that I was very happy to find. Both have branches all over Japan.
These are convenience stores situated on every corner and all are a million times better than your hometown equivalent. You’ll find seasonal flavours of Pocky, KitKat, Pringles, Fanta, Haagen Dazs and more here, as well as lots of fun Japanese brands. It’s worth visiting as many as possible as each chain will stock slightly different things – FamilyMart, 7-11 and Lawson are the main ones.
Other places worth checking out are ¥100 shops like Daiso, gift shops at major sights and the airport, which will have exclusive KitKat flavours.
Not able to visit Japan?
All photos by Marceline Smith
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.