Recharge Your Energy with These 5 Japanese Snacks

Whether it be your stomach crying after that 5th period class, melatonin striking hard after a long day of classes, or losing focus in class right before lunchtime, having some snacks on hand is always guaranteed to make you feel more awake in class and also more motivated with class prep. 

Japan is known for producing delicious sweet and savory snacks over the years, and this possibly explains why I gained 10 kilograms in weight throughout my first few years in Tokyo. As a person self-conscious of maintaining a fit body, I make an effort to read the nutritional values on the back of snack packages. After scouring the internet for the perfect grab-and-go Japanese snack, here are the top 5 sweet and savory snacks that I recommend.

1. Sweet: Morinaga Baked

Photo courtesy of Amazon Japan

I can’t exactly recall when I first tried the Morinaga Baked snack, but this bite-sized snack is delicious. Baked snack is basically chocolate that "doesn’t melt" in your hands, and Morinaga has invented various flavors; some collaborate with cute cartoon characters, while some are seasonal flavors. Some of the flavors that I’ve seen are matcha, original chocolate, cream cheese, and mint chocolate. The most recent Bake snack flavor release is salted caramel, and the white chocolate base with caramel scent makes this snack irresistible.

You can find Morinaga Baked snack in major pharmacies (where I found the new salted caramel flavor) and convenience stores all around Tokyo, and they cost just a bit over 100 yen!

Give Morinaga Baked snack a try to boost up your energy.

2. Sweet: Balance Power snack

Photo courtesy of Amazon Japan

This snack is my personal favorite, and I bring it to devour between classes all the time. Although Balance Power snack is produced from a relatively unknown company, this snack comes in two small sticks within each packaging, making it not too high in calories and sugar content. Balance Power comes in numerous flavors such as Hokkaido butter (also really good), almond chocolate, almond, and blueberry. My personal recommendation would be the Balance Power big stick black cocoa flavor as you can really taste the rich chocolate flavor; the black cocoa flavor is also the lowest in sugar content.

Balance Power is also really easy to find; they are sold all around major pharmacies and occasionally in convenience stores around Tokyo. This is the ideal snack to give you balance and power for the day.

3. Sweet: Tokyo Rusk

Photo courtesy of Tokyo Rusk official website​

I am sure many of you are familiar with this product as it is a popular omiyage that Japanese tourists like to buy at the airport. Tokyo Rusk has been making rusks - which are dried, crispy toast slices - for 35 years, and they have successfully created their brand within the Tokyo omiyage (souvenir) market for sure. 

As rusks provide a versatile base for the company to create new flavors, Tokyo Rusk has produced countless flavors, both seasonal and classic. A few of the classic flavors include the original Tokyo Rusk, Quebec maple, and premium almond; Tokyo Rusk has created delicious flavor combinations such as Earl Grey and juicy orange and Setouchi lemon. They have also managed to create a savory flavor, which is garlic. Their beautiful packaging for seasonal flavors is definitely another appealing factor for both locals and tourists.

While this is different from normal snacks you can get at the convenience store, Tokyo Rusk serves as a great souvenir option when you are traveling abroad from Japan!

4. Savory: Soft Salad flavor Senbei

Photo courtesy of Amazon Japan

I have always loved eating Japanese senbei (rice cracker), and the soft salad flavor senbei is definitely a good one that I want to recommend. (Don’t worry, there is no salad included in the senbei itself.) Kameda company is a renowned company for creating senbei snacks, and their soft salad flavor senbei series is quite popular. Each package includes two round senbeis, and this flavor series is usually not too heavily seasoned.

Some flavors include the original soft salad flavor which uses Okinawa salt, the newest consomme (French bouillon soup) flavor, and the Setouchi lemon flavor, which is a seasonal flavor.

You can find the soft salad flavor senbei in major pharmacies all around Tokyo, and be sure to give it a try.

5. Savory: Jagabee

Photo courtesy of Amazon Japan

Last but not least, Jagabee. Taiwanese are big fans of Jagabee, and they always buy several boxes or packs to bring back when returning from a trip to Tokyo. It is common to see Calbee company’s snacks in supermarkets and convenience stores, and Jagabee is that one snack you can never get tired of eating.

The most recent seasonal flavor of Jagabee is the adult’s furikake (a type of seasoning that Japanese like to put on rice), in which I want to try myself. Other Jagabee flavors include lightly seasoned salt, butter soy sauce, and happiness butter flavor (a combination of parsley, butter, honey, and cream cheese). Jagabee is sold in major pharmacies, supermarkets, and convenience stores all around Tokyo.

Amongst all the snacks that you’ve bought to fulfill your hunger throughout the day or purely for satisfaction, I hope you can give these five snacks that I’ve mentioned a try. Japan is definitely one of the best and most convenient places in the world to get delicious snacks with unique flavors.