Savor Spring & Summer Exclusives: 5 Best Seasonal Japanese Snacks

By Ryan Noble
Updated: April 24, 2024

If there’s one thing Japan knows how to do well, it’s a limited-edition exclusive or collaboration. From collaboration and game cafes to tie-ins with the latest games, anime, movies, and idol groups, there’s always some new Japanese snack or sweet with an exclusive twist that’ll have you rushing to the konbini (convenience store).

Since we’re equally tempted by such limited-edition items, we wanted to share five of the best Japanese snacks being released for a limited time only, embracing seasonal flavors, ingredients, or even marketing campaigns — we’re looking at you, McDonald's!

1. McDonald’s: Kissaten McDonald’s (喫茶マック)

If you love the old-school vibes of Japanese kissaten (traditional cafes), McDonald’s limited-time Kissaten McDonald’s items — known as “Kissa Makku” in Japan — is for you. 

Two options from previous years are making a return: Coffee Jelly Parfait and Cream Soda. 

The former places a creamy parfait inside a retro cup, giving a nostalgic feel to its contents of coffee sauce, sweet condensed milk sauce, coffee jelly, soft-serve ice cream and cornflakes. The latter is already on the menu as a McFloat Melon, but will also receive a retro-styled cup and new name for the duration of the campaign.

Most exciting is the entirely new Maple Butter Pancake Pie, a dessert that’s inspired by fluffy pancakes found at many kissaten. Bite into this crunchy fried pie, and you’ll discover a filling of cake batter, maple sauce, and salted butter sauce, designed to give you “a new sensation that makes you feel like you’re eating a pancake even though it’s a pie.” 

The Kissaten campaign from McDonald's showing their Coffee Jelly Parfait, Melon Soda Float, and Maple Butter Hotcake Pie.

These nostalgic additions to the McDonald’s menu are expected to be around until late May.

2. Mister Donut x Gion Tsujiri: Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha and Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha Kinako

The promotional image for the Misdo x Gion Tsujiri collaboration, showing off five exclusive seasonal donuts.

The Japanese donut chain, Mister Donut, or “Misdo,” is famous for their Pon de Ring donuts. They have seasonal — if not monthly — collaborations with brands and franchises to create donuts of new flavors and shapes all year round, most recently collaborating with Pokémon on a range of cute, colorful donuts.

Now, Misdo is collaborating with Gion Tsujiri, a Kyoto tea brand that’s known for their high-quality matcha (green tea) and hojicha (roasted green tea).

A shot of the limited-edition Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha, shiny with its hojicha glaze.

There’s the Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha, creating a chewy donut that’s separated into segments and has a shiny hojicha glaze. This unique donut also has Gion Tsujiri’s premium Uji hojicha tea kneaded into the dough, giving it a gentle roasted flavor that’s traveled all the way from the tea capital of Kyoto.

The Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha Kinako, dusted with kinako and served with a packet of brown sugar hojicha sauce.

Next up, the Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha Kinako has a dusting of kinako (roasted soybean powder) sugar and is sold with a packet of brown sugar hojicha sauce — simply pour over your donut before taking a bite, and your taste buds will be transported to Kyoto.

Both of these limited-edition donuts are available at Mister Donut stores from today, sold alongside three other exclusives that were released in April: Pon de Double Uji Matcha, Pon de Uji Matcha Crispy Arare, and Pon de Uji Matcha Wasanbon Warabimochi.

Don’t wait around… they’ll be disappearing from shelves in late May!

The Misdo x Gion Tsujiri combo box, where you can buy all five limited-edition donuts with a discount.

3. Daiichiya Baking Co. x Heart Bread Antique: Danish Chocolate Ring and Butter and Egg Fluffy Melon Bread

Examples of the limited-edition Daiichiya Baking Co. x Heart Bread Antique collaboration: Danish Chocolate Ring and Butter and Egg Fluffy Melon Bread.

Daiichiya Baking Co. and Heart Bread Antique have put their minds together to craft two sweet new treats, just in time for summer: the Danish Chocolate Ring and the Butter and Egg Crunchy Fluffy Melon Bread, both available in Japanese supermarkets in the Kanto region from May 1, 2024.

Daiichiya Baking Co. x Heart Bread Antique's Danish Chocolate Ring.

The new Danish Chocolate Ring combines bittersweet chocolate chips and crunchy almonds in a sweet Danish dough before being baked into a ring shape. We could see this one being especially delicious with a cup of coffee or tea.

The limited-edition Daiichiya Baking Co. x Heart Bread Antique's Butter and Egg Fluffy Melon Bread.

The Butter and Egg Crunchy Fluffy Melon Bread, however, is all about keeping you on your toes with a mix of textures and ingredients. For starters, a fluffy bread dough is filled with fresh cream and then sprinkled with biscuit dough and baked with crunchy grains. There’s a lot going on here, and we’re all for it!

4. Kimuraya’s Ippin Range: Warabimochi-style Brown Sugar Kinako Bun and Salted Bean Steamed Bun

Kimuraya’s Ippin Range: Warabimochi-style Brown Sugar Kinako Bun cut in half, with the gooey center oozing out.

Adding two new baked goods to their Ippin “Gem” or “Masterpiece” range, Kimuraya recently announced the release of their Warabi-mochi-style brown sugar kinako bun and a salted bean steamed bun.

Kimuraya’s Ippin Range: Warabimochi-style Brown Sugar Kinako Bun in its packaging.

The warabimochi-style brown sugar kinako bun combines a chewy kinako-flavored filling (roasted soybean) and a brown sugar syrup jelly inside an eye-catching green bun, coated in soybean flour for a strong, nutty flavor.

Kimuraya’s Ippin Range: Salted Bean Steamed Bun in its clear packaging.

The salted bean steamed bun, on the other hand, has a more subtle flavor. It balances sweet and salty with salted bean paste inside an azuki bean-flavored dough, topped with salted azuki beans before being steamed.

If you’re looking for Japanese snacks you can buy online, Kimuraya do have an online store, or you can visit supermarkets in the Kanto region from May 1, 2024.

5. Wendy’s: White Peach Fruit Tapioca Drinks

A poster for Wendy’s White Peach Fruit Tapioca Drinks, featuring three new drinks.

Thirsty after all those seasonal snacks? Head to Wendy’s, selling new limited-edition white peach tapioca drinks from Thursday, April 25, created with a summery hit of fresh white peach pulp.

Wendy’s White Peach Fruit Tapioca Drinks set against a white background.

Wendy’s milk tapioca white peach option blends white peach pulp and chewy tapioca pearls with milk, creating a gentle summer drink that really brings out the flavor of the fruit.

If it’s just not summer without bubbles, you may want to order the sparkling tapioca white peach. This drink blends the same fruity white peach pulp and tapioca pearls with the refreshing fizz of 7UP.

Finally, there’s the oolong milk tea tapioca white peach, likely harder to say than it is to drink! In this limited-edition concoction, you’ll find the same white peach pulp and tapioca pearls but blended with the fragrant flavors of a milky oolong tea.

A poster for Wendy’s seasonal tapioca drinks, including fruity and brown sugar latte options.

Never one to shy away from summer exclusives themselves, Wendy’s is launching an entire range of new Fruit Tapioca and Brown Sugar Latte Tapioca drinks!

If you’re not already on a plane to try these limited-edition Japanese snacks and drinks for yourself, you might want to learn about a few more Japanese snacks, explore Japan’s cutest foods, or even get to know Japan’s permanent game cafes.

Japanese snacks FAQs

A selection of Japanese snacks and sweets served at a bakery counter.

Where to buy the best Japanese snacks online?

Of course, the most well-known delivery services for Japanese snacks are Bokksu, Tokyo Treat, and Sakura Co., popular Japanese snack subscription boxes. But, did you know that byFood also has a Japanese snack delivery service?

From instant ramen, soy sauces, and high-quality matcha to different types of Japanese snack boxes, we have it all! Take a look and bring Japan’s best snacks to you.

What are the best Japanese snacks from Japan?

We couldn’t possibly choose, but we can tell you that there are loads of traditional Japanese snacks to choose from. Most people know about Pocky and unique Kit-Kat flavors, but you may not know the ongoing war between Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no Sato or the traditional crunch of a classic senbei rice cracker.

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Ryan Noble
Ryan’s love for Japan may have begun with Naruto — something he refuses to hide — but it only grew once he truly understood the beauty of this country’s language, culture, and people. He hopes to use that passion to bridge the gap between Japan and the rest of the world, shining the spotlight on its hidden gems and supporting the revitalization of rural regions.
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