2024’s Most Unique Japanese Snacks So Far

By Annika Hotta
Updated: June 26, 2024

If Japanese food brands are known for anything, it’s for their creativity when coming up with snacks that are unique to Japan. From butter Kit Kats to curry chips, there are so many options to satisfy your hunger. 

For snack ideas that will appeal to everyone, we have a list of the most popular snacks in Japan. But, for those looking to delve into the more unique snacks of Japan, here’s a list of must-try Japanese snacks that have been released this year.

8 unique Japanese snacks to try in 2024

  1. Unique kakigori shaved ice flavors
  2. Popin’ Cookin’ fast food sweet kit
  3. Calbee x Splatoon 3 squid ink chips
  4. Royal milk tea KitKats
  5. Starbucks Japan’s green tea chai latte
  6. “Mexican meat” curry donuts by Mister Donuts
  7. 7-11 fruit smoothies 
  8. Ohagi rice cakes

1. Unique kakigori shaved ice flavors

A close-up of mango kakigori with a scoop of ice cream on top.

Kakigori, or shaved ice, is a summer staple that people look forward to all year. To attract customers passionate about kakigori, many shaved ice restaurants appreciate the challenge of coming up with never-before-seen flavors, such as mango lassi, avocado mascarpone and pumpkin with black sesame. 

For a few restaurants where you can try the latest unique kakigori flavors this summer, check out this list of five kakigori shops in Tokyo to beat the heat.  

2. Popin’ Cookin’ fast food sweet kit

Popin’ Cookin’ fast food sweet kit on the shelf at a konbini. You make your own little fast food set from sweets.

This nostalgic fast food-making kit from Lawson’s is sure to bring back memories of using an Easy-Bake oven in the 90s. Construct your own hamburger, french fries and Coca-Cola set out of fruit-flavored dough — perfect for a fun night in with friends or your kids!

3. Calbee x Splatoon 3 squid ink chips

Calbee x Splatoon 3 chips on the shelf at a konbini.

With a punch of Consommé flavor, these Splatoon 3-themed squid ink chips from Calbee are a flavorful, crunchy snack that is sure to impress any friends from overseas who may be surprised at their all-black appearance.

Wondering what other flavors you can find? Explore these 20 types of Calbee chips.

4. Royal milk tea KitKats

A hand holding a seven-pack of the Royal Milk Tea KitKats,

If you normally eat a plate of cookies with some tea for your snack, these royal milk tea KitKats combine the two for a light, creamy snack. You can pick these up at your local Don Quijote (the best place for sourcing a wide variety of Japanese KitKat flavors, by the way) or find them at a supermarket if you’re lucky! 

5. Starbucks Japan’s green tea chai latte

The modern interior of a Starbucks cafe, surrounded by green plants and the Starbucks logo.

For a fusion of Indian and Japanese beverages, look no further than Starbucks Japan’s new green chai tea latte. With a base of sencha and green apple, the drink has a lovely aroma coming from the citrusy addition of yuzu and sudachi, a citrus hailing from Tokushima prefecture. Giving it the typical chai spice is notes of cardamom, ginger, green pepper and sansho pepper. 

Available only at Starbucks Tea & Cafe stores, this controversial drink looks as tasty as it is unique! 

6. Mexican “meat curry” donuts by Mister Donuts

A poster for Mister Donut's curry donuts, featuring three different varieties stuffed with curry filling.

Japan is not exactly known for its Mexican food, but Mister Donuts is looking to answer the call for it with its Mexican "meat curry" donuts. A play on the beloved kare pan, or curry bread, sold at most bakeries in Japan, Mister Donuts’ curry donuts have a crunchy outside, a mochi inside, and a savory curry filling topped with half a boiled egg. Also in this savory donut collection is a meat variety inspired by chili con carne and an egg salad type. 

7. 7-11 fruit smoothies 

A green smoothie in a plastic to-go cup, sitting on a wall on a sunny day.

For a cheap alternative to a juice bar, why not try a make-it-yourself smoothie at your local 7-11? Offering four flavors — strawberry banana soy, double berry yogurt, mango pineapple and green smoothie — these smoothies come at an affordable price point of just ¥300.

Simply grab a cup of ice and a cup of frozen fruit, pay for it, and then insert it into the smoothie machine where your drink will be blended for you. Perfect for cooling down this summer. 

8. Ohagi rice cakes

A top-down shot of Oh!huggy!!'s photogenic ohagi sweets.

If you love traditional Japanese snacks, look no further than Oh!huggy!!, a shop specializing in extremely photogenic ohagi sweets. Consisting of a glutinous rice flour wrapping and adzuki red bean paste filling, these ohagi come in kawaii collections for different occasions, including Valentine’s Day. 

You can even get ohagi ice cream and an ohagi matcha latte topped with a delicate ohagi rose. Support a shop that’s been open since 1925 by heading to their Toyosu, Inagi or other locations.

Still hungry for more snack ideas or drinks to pair with them? Check out these popular Japanese drinks and snacks!

Japanese snacks FAQs

A pile of different Japanese snacks, including KitKats, Hi-Chew and potato chips.

Where can I buy Japanese snacks? 

No matter where you are in Japan, there will be konbini, drugstores, supermarkets, and food stalls nearby where you can access a variety of snacks depending on your budget and preferences. 

And if you want to try regional snacks without having to travel, our gourmet market has the perfect thing for you: regional snack boxes! Try out a few different treats from across the world — either by yourself or to share with some lucky friends.

What are the most popular Japanese snacks? 

Kids across the globe likely grew up with the popular Pocky, Choco Pie and Hello Panda products, which remain well-loved to this day. 

Within Japan, rice-flavored snacks like senbei and arare rice crackers are a popular souvenir to bring home as there are so many different regional variations — all of which are a must-try.

For those who prefer snacks that are heavy on the chocolate, Galbo, Riska Shittori Choco and Takenoko no Sato are deliciously rich.

Alternatively, take a deep dive into the most popular snacks in Japan!

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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Annika Hotta
After studying abroad in Shiga prefecture in 2019, Annika moved to Japan in 2021. In her writing, she highlights the best dishes and places to eat in Japan for both the picky and the adventurous.
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