Popular Japanese Snacks That are Just Weird and Where to Buy Them Online

The Japanese are a weird people. Everybody knows that. There are literally thousands of blog posts about all the crazy things you can find in this country. From inventions that make you shake your head and think “Who would need something like this?”, but also weird fashion choices and disturbing game shows. But when it comes to food the Japanese are culinary sane. They have the best, the most exquisite cuisine in the world. You should for example try Eel, it is so delicious. They also have very delicious soft serve ice cream. Nothing about Japanese food is weird. Right? Right? WRONG!

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If you have ever been to a Japanese supermarket, or drug store or convenience store you will have seen really weird and sometimes disturbing snacks that Japanese love to eat. Don’t you know what I’m talking about? Let me show you! The below list of popular Japanese snacks is in no way complete, it is much more thought of as a teaser to what you could find in Japan. Keep your eyes and mind open, and try everything, once.

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Soy Jerky

Soy Jerky

You all know Beef Jerky. Dried beef often with some kind of seasoning. Delicious! The Japanese love Jerky as a snack with for example beer and they sell it everywhere. But what I am sure you have never tried before is Soy Jerky. You might ask yourself “How do you dry soybeans?” Well, to tell you the truth, I have no idea.

The soy jerky looks like normal jerky and it tastes really good. Not really like normal beef jerky but it has a strong taste of pepper seasoning and also delicious consistency making it a popular Japanese snack while watching TV or as mentioned before drinking beer.


Plum Umeboshi snack
Pickled plums are a part in almost every Bento (Japanese lunch box). You can also find them in Onigiri (rice balls). They taste really sour and take getting used to from the point of view of a foreigners pallet. There are actually different ways to pickle these plums, and what I enjoy the most are the ones with honey. They are quite sweet and the sour and sweet taste fits perfectly with rice, but surprisingly also in pasta. From what I have written so far it doesn’t seem so weird right? But there is more. You can buy Umeboshi packed separately as a kind of Japanese candy. It is a normal plum, quite small, hard and crunchy as an apple as if isn’t ripe yet, and extremely sour.I don’t know why anyone would eat something like that but it is a very popular Japanese snack here.


Speaking of snacks, Umeboshi is so popular that they have a lot of sweets and other snacks with Umeboshi flavor, like gummy bears (just weird) and seaweed snacks (see below), they also like Umeboshi salad dressing (which is quite good actually). All kinds of Umeboshi snacks are sold on amazon.com. Like for example this Umeboshi snack box. You can also follow the links above to the different snacks I mentioned.

Seaweed Snacks

Seaweed snacks

You might just have wondered what Japanese snacks made from seaweed are. If you have ever eaten sushi you know that dark green sheet wrapped around sushi is seaweed. With many Japanese seaweed is a popular Japanese snack. Salted it is really delicious. And has the benefit that it is very low on calories and also healthy. (The left pack on the picture above)

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But there are other kinds of seaweed that are eaten as snacks. Other dried kinds of seaweed with different tastes and consistencies. The most disturbing one for me as a foreigner is Kuki Wakame. This seaweed is exactly like you would imagine seaweed to be like if you pluck it out of the ocean and cut it in short strips. Kind of slimy, soft and green. It tastes kind of sour and has this strange consistency when you chew it.

Coriander Sweets

Coriander chocolate
A new trend in Japan is their love for coriander. Not a typical herb in the Japanese kitchen it has become more and more popular through dishes from the Thai cuisine. But the Japanese have gone too far. They love coriander so much that they have opened coriander restaurants, there are shops that mix coriander cocktails and lately, there are popular Japanese snacks and sweets made from coriander. The above is baked chocolate with coriander flavor. The usual flavors of this chocolate come in ranges from white chocolate and matcha to mint and banana. Do we really need coriander chocolate? I think not!

Dried Octopus

Octopus Snack
Now to my all time “what the fuck” snack. Dried octopus tentacles. These popular Japanese snacks don’t look delicious (more like disturbing, if you aren’t used to the sight of octopus), if you open the pack you are greeted by a fishy smell that is going to kill even hardcore fish lovers like me. And it tastes like it smells, unfortunately. Fishy, fishy, fishy! Japan, what are you thinking??? This is not delicious…

In Conclusion

Japan is definitely a country with the most delicious food in the world but keep away from their weird snacks, unless you are very adventurous. Let us know in the comments what kind of weird stuff you have tried in Japan and if you would like to try the snacks I have mentioned above. By the way, even though I have written this post in a very negative way, I encourage you to try each and everyone of these snacks and make up your own mind. I have a policy of trying everything at least once. Sometimes you might be surprised!
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Authors Note:
None of the experiences in this post are in any way sponsored and have all been payed for by myself. The opinions stated are all my own and have not been influenced in any way.
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