If you are feeling adventurous and are in a mood to try something new, I recommended these Japanese snacks! The first five are sweet while the last five are savory. If you are from the Boston area, you can find most of these snacks at Maruichi Market in Brookline or at H Mart. 

1. Caramel Corn

The original corn puffs are a classic, instantly recognized by everyone in Japan. They are caramel-flavored and come in an iconic red bag with a cute face. There are other delicious flavors available as well, such as strawberry, matcha, and almond toasted. After the initial delicate crunch, the corn puff slowly disintegrates and spreads the gentle, delicious caramel flavor throughout your mouth. Some flavors come with peanut pieces in the bag as well, which are lightly salted and contrasts nicely with the sweet corn puffs. 

2. Takenoko No Sato

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The direct translation of the name is “bamboo shoot village.” These bite-sized cookies are shaped like bamboo shoots and are covered in a layer of milk chocolate. This is my go-to snack when I crave some chocolate but want some tender, crumbly cookies! 

3. Koala's March

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Koala’s March are bite-sized cookies with a chocolate or cream filling, packaged in a hexagonal prism box. They hit the stores in Japan in 1984, and were introduced in the U.S. in 1990. Not only are these cookies delicious and come in various flavors such as cheesecake and custard pudding, they are also so fun to eat because each cookie has a different image of a koala! The koalas have different expressions and are shown doing different activities. Check out all 325 koalas that you could find!

4. Apollo 

Apollo combines a milk chocolate base with a strawberry chocolate tip to make the perfect mini chocolates! Its shape was inspired by the Apollo 11 spacecraft that first brought humans to the moon in 1969. These chocolates are small but each bite brings you the perfect amount of sweetness. 

5. Meltyblend (or Meltykiss)

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Individually wrapped chocolates, perfect for sharing, are packaged in a small box as shown above. With a chocolate dusted outer shell and a sweet filling, these small cubes melt in your mouth like how snowflakes melt on your hand. There are various flavors you can try out with friends-hazelnut, strawberry, matcha, mango, and more! 

6. Kappa Ebisen

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These shrimp flavored chips were first produced and sold in Japan in 1964. Since then, it has become a widely popular savory snack. An entire shrimp, including the shell, is used to naturally flavor these chips. They are high in calcium, have a very crispy and crunchy texture, and you won’t be able to stop eating them!

7. Jagarico

Jagarico is not like any other deep-fried potato snack. Potatoes are first mashed and seasoned, then made into thin stick shapes before they are fried. The original salad flavor is made with carrots and parsley, and each crunchy bite is filled with a light flavor that balances with the starchiness of the potato. Some other Jagarico flavors include cheese, basil, and soy sauce.

8.  Calbee Potato Chips

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Bored of normal potato chips? You have to try Calbee’s chips, which come in unique flavors! The one shown above is seaweed & salt. The flavor is not too strong because only flakes of seaweed are used. Japanese chips tend to be thinner and less salty than the chips found in the U.S.

9. Rice Crackers

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Senbei are Japanese rice crackers that have been around for centuries. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and flavors, although they are usually savory. These Himemaru rice crackers are shaped like shells and will certainly give you a satisfying crunch. 

10. Kara Mucho

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These chips are for those of you that like hot and spicy snacks! The character seen on the bottom right of the package is screaming “Heeeee!” which is a sound that someone makes when eating something very spicy. Give these a try and see if they make you scream! 

Did any of these delicious Japanese snacks catch your eye? Personally, my favorite snacks are Caramel Corn and Kappa Ebisen!  If you are looking for authentic Japanese food to eat, feel free to check out my other article. I hope everyone has a happy, healthy new year!