Snacks

Japanese traditionally have not had the same sweet tooth as the Western world, but this has been changing.  In addition to the imported baking specialities common in French and Italian cuisine referred to as yougashirefers to Western style sweets.
Japanese spelling is ようがし and the Kanji for this word is 洋菓子.
or Western baking, Japan has it’s own indigenous sweet things called wagashirefers to Japanese style sweets.
Japanese spelling is わがし and the Kanji for this word is 和菓子.
, which may vary based on the season and generally consumed with ochagreen tea.
Japanese spelling is おちゃ and the Kanji for this word is お茶.
.  The term is derived from the kanji representing Japan or wa and a harmonizing of the word kashi as gashi.  Although it’s not clear where wagashi originated, it is believed to have been introduced between the 7th and 9th centuries in Nara and Kyoto to supplement the nobilities 2 meals a day.1  Anything sweet is also called amaimonois used to describe something sweet.
Japanese spelling is あまいもの and the Kanji for this word is 甘い物.
and the word okashiJapanese snack.
Japanese spelling is おかし and the Kanji for this word is お菓子.
refers to snacks.

Rice is a common ingredient in many Japanese snacks and desserts.  Rice that has been steamed and mashed into a sticky mass is referred to as mochisteamed rice.
Japanese spelling is もち and the Kanji for this word is 餅.
.  Although an entire web site could be devoted listing every type of Japanese snack and dessert (and 4Japan is working on it), we’ve listed some below (keep checking back as we grow this list).

Traditional Japanese Snacks and Desserts
Anman is a light airy bun stuffed with an azukired beans.
Japanese spelling is あずき and the Kanji for this word is 小豆.
bean paste.
anman

anman

Anpanis a sweet bread roll with azuki.
Japanese spelling is あんぱん. There is no Kanji for this word.
is a sweet bread roll stuffed with an azukired beans.
Japanese spelling is あずき and the Kanji for this word is 小豆.
bean paste and topped with poppy seeds (called keshinomi.)
anpan

anpan

Anmitsumitsumame topped with anko.
Japanese spelling is あんみつ and the Kanji for this word is 餡蜜.
is mitsumameboiled beans, agar-agar cubes and other items in a sugar syrup.
Japanese spelling is みつまめ and the Kanji for this word is 蜜豆.
(boiled beans, agar-agar cubes and other items in a sugar syrup) topped with ankosweet red beans.
Japanese spelling is あんこ and the Kanji for this word is 餡子
(also referred to as an – a sweet bean paste made from azuki beans).  It is most often eaten with ice cream, fruit and anko.  Additionally, two types of syrup called shiromitsu (a white syrup) and kuromitsu (a dark syrup made with a brown sugar and honey) are poured over this dish to make it even sweeter.  These syrups use a base called mizuame shown in the picture on the right.
mizuame

mizuame

Dangosmall balls of mochi in a sweet syrup.
Japanese spelling is だんご and the Kanji for this word is 団子.
is a traditional dessert made from mochisteamed rice.
Japanese spelling is もち and the Kanji for this word is 餅.
.
dango

dango

Daifukumochi with anko.
Japanese spelling is だいふく and the Kanji for this word is 大福.
consists of mochi filled with anko sprinkled with a soybean flour called kinako.  Daifuku, which means “Big Good Luck”, is very sweet and consumed as a snack or dessert.  Daifuku is usually made with red, white or green mochi.   Large 6 inch red & white daifuku are prepared and consumed for special occassions like wedding and new baby celebrations.
daifuku

daifuku

Karintō is a deep fried wheat cracker.  Traditional flavors include kuromitsu and shiromitsu.  New flavors have been developed, including the webmasters favorite, peanut flavor karintō shown in the picture on the right.
karinto

karinto

Manjua rice bun filled with something sweet.
Japanese spelling is まんじゅう and the Kanji for this word is 饅頭
consists of mochi filled with anko.  The picture to the right is manju mixed with azuki beans.
manju

manju

Melon Pan is a light, lemon tasting bun sprinkled with sugar.
melon pan

melon pan

Mochipounded steamed rice.
Japanese spelling is もち and the Kanji for this word is 餅.
is rice that has been steamed and pounded into a sticky substance.  The picture to the right is mochi topped with azuki beans and to the far right is mochi being made.
mochi with azuki

mochi with azuki


making mochi

making mochi

Modern candy consists of the usual “Hershey bars” and the like, but Japanese candy companies like Glico and Lotte make these interesting chocolate covered cookie sticks.  These pictures show the almond chocolate version of this treat.
Pocky chocolate sticks on plate

Pocky chocolate sticks on plate


Pocky Almond

Pocky Almond

Senbeia rice cracker.
Japanese spelling is せんべい and the Kanji for this word is 煎餅
is a rice cracker.
Shirukomochi topped with azuki beans.
Japanese spelling is しるこ and the Kanji for this word is 汁粉
is baked mochi topped with azuki beans.
shiruko

shiruko

Taiyakia sweet pancake in the shape of a snapper fish filled with sweet bean paste.
Japanese spelling is たいやき and the Kanji for this word is 鯛焼き.
is a sweet pancake in the shape of a snapper fish filled with anko.  Other types of this sweet pancake include obanyaki, which is a round shaped snack filled with different things including anko.
taiyaki

taiyaki

Tokorotena dessert made from strips of gelatinous material eaten with vinegar.
Japanese spelling is ところてん and the Kanji for this word is 心太.
is a dessert traditionally served as strips of gelatinous material made from agar, called kanten, covered with vinegar.  Kanten, made from tengusa seaweed, is a name derived by a 17th century zen priest meaning “cold heavens”3.
Yōkansweet bean jelly.
Japanese spelling is ようかん and the Kanji for this word is 羊羹.
is made from azuki beans.  The picture to the right is kuri yōkan or yōkan with chestnuts.  Yōkan originated from China in the 12th century, and as it’s kanji suggests, literally means “sheep soup”, and was made from a thick lamb based soup.  Evolving during the Tokugawa era, sugar was added to the recipe to become the yōkan of today.2

1Mangajin, 5/94, pg. 16
2Mangajin, 5/94, pg. 18
3Mangajin, 8/97, pg. 46

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