The Best Japanese Candy Ranked Worst To Best

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There are a lot of cool things you can find if you visit Japan. The incredible history and culture behind the country, the beautiful shops and sites, and of course, the amazing food. The country is filled with delicious rice dishes like onigiri, meat filled gyoza, and even grilled eel. There's a lot of new and unique foods you can find in Japan, though perhaps some of the more underrated treats that are made in the country are the sweet candies. From the cute star-shaped sugar candies, to the uniquely flavored Kit Kats, there are loads of fun, sugary sweets that originate from Japan.

You don't have to travel all the way to Japan to get these treats, fortunately. In fact, some of the incredible, Japanese candies can be found in American grocery stores. Even though they might not be the typical Snickers bar or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that you grab at the checkout aisle, they're creative and tasty sweets that might end up becoming your new favorite candy, if you give them the chance. 

Here are some of the best Japanese candies you can find either in stores or online, ranked from worst to best. So the next time you happen to come across any of these sweet treats, you'll know what colorful and flavorful food you're getting yourself.

13. Otoko Ume Candy

The first candy we have on this list is the "Nobel Otoko Ume Gummy Candy." This candy is made by the Nobel confectionary company, who specialize in making candies with ume plums. Ume plums are bright peach apricots that originate from China, and have a more tart, bitter taste to them (via Just One Cookbook). Because of this, the fruit isn't eaten raw, but instead, used in wines, syrups, and of course, candy. The Nobel Otoko Ume Gummy Candy is made out of the flavor of pickled dried ume plums. They are a harder gummy candy, and are a bright red color, and coated in an ume powder.

These candies, while quite popular, are an acquired taste. They're a little sweet, but they've got a more prevalent, sour note to them, much like an ume fruit. The sweetness is a bit more subtle, according to some reviews, so it's less like the sugary candies you commonly pick up in stores, and more like a tart, pickled lemon. If you like the taste of pickled ume, then you'll likely enjoy these candies. However, if you aren't a fan of the salty sour taste the fruit adds to the candy, you might not enjoy this gummy candy. Regardless, it's still an interesting, unique candy, and it wouldn't hurt you to try them out if you consider yourself a daring candy lover.

12. Pukupuku-Tai

Unless it's in the form of a bright red gummy candy, you likely don't associate fish with candy. When it comes to Japanese treats, however, fish is a pretty common treat to see, especially in the form of Taiyaki. Taiyaki is a fish-shaped cake that is typically filled with a red bean paste (via Delighted Cooking). According to the Japan Candy Store, Meito is a company known for selling many things, including its iconic Japanese food products. One of their most notable treats is their "Ninjapo Puku Puku Tai Taiyaki," which are Taiyaki-inspired wafer candies, shaped like a fish, and filled with red bean paste. This treat comes in several different flavors, including lemonade, chocolate and strawberry.

These wafer treats are made to look like a traditional Taiyaki treat, and thanks to the fun fish shape, and the use of the red bean filling, they taste pretty spot on. Red bean taste has a sweet, slightly salty taste, so this Taiyaki candy may be a bit of an acquired taste, but it's extremely flavorful, and depending on what flavor you get, this dessert is a light, airy, and crisp, way to get a taste of Japanese cuisine. They're comparable to ice cream wafer cookies (via Amazon Reviews), so if you like those, there's a good chance you'll like these fish-shaped delights.

11. Popin' Cookin

There's a good chance that you've seen this next entry pop up in nearby grocery stores, in colorful, eye-catching boxes. The creators of Popin' Cookin Diy Candy Kits didn't actually start out as a candy company, but a cotton trading company in Tokyo in 1887. By 1964, the Popin' Cookin brand expanded to include food goods, which eventually focused on DIY gummy kits. These cute kits allow you to make strange gummy concoctions, like gummy sushi, ramen, tanoshii cakes and donuts, and more. The kits began to be sold in the U.S. in 2016, and since then, the company has continued to launch more DIY gummy packages.

The Popin' Cookin candy kits can be a little strange, depending on which pack you buy, but it's a good strange. It takes a bit of time, and paying attention to the instructions to set up the packs, but once you do so, they're a fun, sweet, and fruity way to enjoy a box of candy. The gummy ramen pack even uses a cola flavored broth, as well as gummy ramen noodles. Some reviews of these products admit that they're a little strange, and because you have to put the candy together, you have to wait a bit before you actually get to eat this gummy treat. However, if you have the patience, and want a treat that offers a bit more fun, then the Popin' Cookin kits are right up your alley.

10. Fujiya Milky Candy

The next candy on this list is the Fujiya Milky Candy. The candies are pretty simple, as they are made out of sweet milk, and take on the flavor of the creamy drink that we commonly have seen paired with cereal at breakfast. The company that makes the candy is the Fujiya brand. All of the packages of this candy feature a smiling young girl on them, who is the candy's mascot. Peko-chan, the young mascot of the Fujiya brand, has been featured on the company's milk treats since 1950, and is typically shown licking her lips as she stares at the candies around her.

The Fujiya milk based candies are small, hard candies that melt a bit as you suck on them, providing for a sweet milk flavor. When asking about the flavor of the candy, shoppers and sellers alike on Amazon compare the candies to a sweet, condensed milk with a sweet, mild taste. There aren't a lot of milk-flavored sweets that are sold in stores, unless you count chocolate candies. These small dairy delights are an incredible way to experience Japanese candy culture in a light, creamy way. They may take awhile to arrive if you order them online, but with a wonderful milk flavor, Fujiya's Milky candies are worth the wait.

9. Apollo Candies

You might be used to candy being round or in more of a square shape, though Meiji's Apollo candies take on a unique shape, while providing you with a familiar, delicious flavor combination. The candy is sold in a triangular, umbrella-like shape, and consists of a sweet piece of milk chocolate that is topped with strawberry-flavored white chocolate. The reason for the odd shape is supposedly because the candies were made to celebrate the success of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 (as per Japanese Products Blog), and are based on the shape of the ship that landed on the moon.

Even though these candies aren't capable of sending you to the moon, it's safe to say that they taste out of this world. Like any good chocolate candy, you're hit with a rich, creamy chocolate flavor that practically melts in your mouth. You also get a wonderfully natural strawberry flavor from the white-strawberry chocolate, leading to a nice balance between that and the milk chocolate, which a review on Amazon notes, as well. The one thing that drags this candy down is the odd shape sits differently in your mouth, though it isn't a real detriment to the Apollo candies, and these sweets are a wonderful sweet to try if you ever find yourself in Japan, or even just if you're ordering candy online.

8. Puccho Cola

The taste of a nice cup of cola on a hot summer day is incredibly refreshing, and it's difficult to match the sweet, cool experience of one. Cola is a fantastic flavor for sweet treats, though, and not just for cold drinks. Another popular Japanese candy is the Puccho Chewy Candy. These cola-flavored fruit and yogurt candies include fruit gummy pieces, and are made with real fruit juice. The Puccho candy comes in several different flavors, including cola. They come wrapped individually in a stick, and are wrapped together in a bright red wrapper with a cute face smiling back at you.

The sensation of eating a pack of Puccho candy is like no other. The small balls of candy pieces throughout each piece provides for a fizzy, almost soda-like sensation, while the more milky aspect of the candy makes it like you're eating an ice cream float-flavored candy. It's got a wonderful cola flavor to it, so we can see why this flavor, in particular, is so popular. One consumer who purchased these candies online described the Puccho as a cross between fruit gummies and a piece of Hi-Chew. This candy brings a unique, fun, and sweet flavor to the table, and we'd definitely go through the hassle of international shipping to get several servings of these soda-flavored treats.

7. Bourbon Mochi Truffle

If you've ever been to the frozen dessert aisle of a grocery store, then you've likely come across the ice cream dessert that is mochi. American mochi is made by stuffing ice cream into the rice-based, almost marshmallow-like Japanese mochi. When it comes to this next Japanese candy, however, you won't find any ice cream. Bourbon's Mochi Truffle Ganache is made out of a chocolate flavored sweet ganache, and coated in a layer of mochi before it is sprinkled with a cocoa powder. Bourbon actually carries many different flavors of these small mochi candies, and some of the flavors they carry are only around for a short time, like their banana truffles (via Entabe).

In their chocolate flavor, these candies are a marshmallow-like delight full of a rich chocolate flavor. There are eight pieces within each box of this candy, so they're a bit bigger than your typical piece of candy. They're comparable to wagashi, which is a traditional Japanese dessert made with anko, a bean paste, mochi, and Japanese agar (via Japan Guide). Unlike the traditional dessert, however, the Bourbon mochi truffles are made with sweetener ingredients, like the flavored ganaches. This is a sweet, chocolate-y delight for chocolate lovers not just in Japan, but all across the globe, so if you ever get the chance to, we suggest trying these truffles out.

6. Crunky Chocolate Bits

A chocolate-y, puffy candy that you can find sold in Japan are the Crunky Bits Chocolate Balls. The Lotte confectionery company is the Japanese company that produces this candy, and offers gum, snacks, and other desserts for the public to enjoy. The Crunky Chocolate balls are made of round pieces of chocolate, filled with bits of crispy malt puffs. The closest thing we'd compare this candy to is to something like a Nestle Crunch bar, but in the shape of a chocolate ball, like a Whopper. It's not exactly like either of these candies, but that's what makes it so unique, and a wonderful Japanese candy to treat oneself to.

The crispy malt puffs that are used in this candy make for a light, crispy candy. The malt puffs also lead to a nice, satisfying crunch within each piece of the candy, making it the perfect ingredient to pair with the chocolate. The chocolate is velvety, rich, and the most prevalent flavor in this candy, but Crunky Bits seem to be made for chocolate lovers, so we aren't complaining. You can also find this candy in different flavors like strawberry, which adds a fruity depth to the entire thing, and helps the rich taste of chocolate stand out all the better — with the fantastic crispiness of the malt puffs, of course.

5. Hi-Chew

This sweet product is a candy with a name you may actually be familiar with. Hi-Chew is one of the most popular candies in Japan. Taichiro Morinaga started the Hi-Chew candy company in Japan in 1899 (via Hi-Chew), and from there, went on to become one of the most successful candy brands in the country. The actual Hi-Chew candies weren't actually created for awhile after this, though the predecessor of the Hi-Chew candies, strawberry flavored chews that would dissolve in your mouth, were created in 1956. The Hi-Chew candy wouldn't come to America until 2008.

When Junichi Tazawa, member of the Boston Red Socks, added the candy to his team's gum stock, the candy's popularity would only grow across the country (as per Sports Business Journal). The chewy, gum-like candies are full of fruit flavors, such as grape, kiwi, and strawberry. Though these candies are newer to the U.S., they still have quite the following among candy fans. With the strawberry Hi-Chew, one reviewer states that the flavor tastes more like actual strawberries than most candies, and is very chewy and satisfying. You can likely find Hi-Chews in many different grocery stores across the country, if they aren't out of stock — though with such a fruity, enticing flavor, we'd understand why this candy would fly off store shelves.

4. Kit Kat: Maccha Green Tea Flavor

Matcha green tea is a Japanese drink that has become pretty popular in the states, and it seems as though its popularity will only grow (via Senbird Tea). While it's also a popular tea flavor to find in drinks, matcha also is a prevalent flavor in other sweet treats, including candy. When it comes to Kit Kats, the chocolate-y wafer candies can come in a variety of flavors, from a classic milk chocolate to their newer blueberry pie flavor. When it comes to Japan, there are a lot more flavors that the crunchy candy is sold in, including the popular Matcha green tea flavor, which unlike its original counterpart, comes in a bright green color, much like a cup of matcha green tea.

The taste of this candy is phenomenal. You can taste the matcha green tea flavor, though it isn't incredibly overwhelming, and blends together nicely with the rich taste of chocolate. One review on Amazon compares this Japanese Kit Kat flavor to a sweetened green tea with milk added to it — somewhat like a green tea flavored ice cream, with less of a bitter tone. This candy is a wonderful way to introduce yourself or someone you know to the unique, unforgettable flavor that green tea and matcha drinks bring to the table, all with a sweet, chocolate-y twist.

3. Konpeito

Another delicious candy we have on this list is Konpeitō. Also referred to as "kompeitō," this candy gets its name from the Portuguese word "confeito," which translates to confection in English (via Japan Crate). Konpeitō are small, star-shaped candies that are made entirely out of sugar, and colored in eye-popping ways. According to Taste Atlas, kompeitō was introduced to Japan in the 16th century by traders from Portugal, and from there, it became a classic Japanese candy that now features in tea ceremonies and as a topping for cakes. If you go to any sweetshop in Japan, there's a good chance that you'll find these sweet candies being sold.

These candies are essentially just sugar, and honestly, it doesn't need to be anything else. They're colorful, fun, and sweet, like any candy should be. We could definitely see ourselves using konpeitō as a topping for an ice cream bowl or batch of cupcakes. Depending on where you choose to get them from, they can also take on flavors like apple, peach, grape, or even just sugar. They are incredibly simple in terms of candies, but overall, they make for a fun, colorful sweet that you need to try to fully experience Japanese candy at its finest.

2. Daifuku Mochi

Another mochi-based candy you can find in Japan, with a more fruity twist to it is Daifuku Mochi. Daifuku mochi consist of small balls of mochi that contain a sweet anko filling (via Chopstick Chronicles), and they are a popular dessert in Japan. In fact, Daifuku means "great luck rice cake" in Japanese, according to Food in Japan, making it not only a tasty traditional treat, but a lucky one, as well. The mochi treat can come in a variety of flavors, such as chocolate, though lots of Daifuku mochi candies that you can find on Amazon are made with more fruit based flavors, like melon and banana.

A notable type of Daifuku that seems to be very popular among online shoppers is the "Strawberry Mochi Daifuku Ichigo" sold on Amazon. This flavor alone has four times the reviews of other Daifuku flavors on the website, with 4.2 out of 5 stars. There are eight round balls of the candy within each pack, each covered in what seems to be powdered sugar on the exterior of the dessert. The texture of the mochi is described as being like a sweet, delicate cloud by some who have purchased the candy online, and a sweet, flavorful treat perfect for anyone who wants to dip their fingers into the world of Japanese candies.

1. Mini Kit Kats: Strawberry Milk

Kit Kats are a wonderful chocolate wafer candy, and though the sweet's origins are in the United Kingdom (via Hersheyland), there are a variety of Kit Kat flavors that aren't sold anywhere except Japan. One of the more popular Kit Kats you may come across when browsing Japanese candy websites is the Mini Strawberry Milk flavored chocolate wafers. This candy is made like your typical Kit Kat, with several light, crispy layers of a wafer cookie coated in a thick layer of chocolate — though this time, like the name suggests, the chocolate is strawberry milk flavored, and within the treat, the wafers are separated by a strawberry cream filling.

These treats certainly look the part, coming in a bright pink package, and the candy itself being a beautiful light pink color. They also taste just like strawberry milk, in the form of a chocolate-y Kit Kat. They're a bit smaller than your typical Kit Kat (hence the "mini" in the name), and if you get this candy off of Amazon, then you only get ten pieces in a pack. However, the sweeter, fruitier flavor of these Kit Kats is a refreshing spin on Nestle's original chocolate flavor, and it's a wonderful Japanese strawberry candy to treat yourself to.