Let’s admit it: Japan can be a weird place. It is a land shaped by crazy inventions, questionable humor and special subcultures galore. Where else in the world would you find the craziest candies imaginable? We have compiled a short list of the most bizarre candies found in the land of the rising sun. Japan is infamous for its special dishes with unique flavors. Japanese people are not afraid to try new things - especially when it comes to food - and that’s why their candies can be a little bit different from what you might be used to. It’s up to you to decide whether these candies are just plain weird or secretly amazing. Enjoy!
5. Kit Kat bars
You might think to yourself “what’s so special about Kit Kat bars?”. What seems like a normal chocolate bar abroad is a special treat and popular gift in Japan; there are more than 200 different flavors available and some of them come in the form of special editions only found during specific times of the year. Check out the following crazy flavors; maybe one of them could become your new favorite. Matcha flavored Kit Kat belongs to the most popular souvenirs tourists buy on their trips to Japan. Japanese people love their green tea and apparently foreigners as well are not opposed to it. The subtle flavor of the tea goes well with the natural Kit Kat flavor - a must try for anyone. How about some fruit flavored Kit Kat? Flavors range from Shinshu Apple and Strawberry to Pear or Citrus Golden Blend. These flavors might not sound too crazy, but what amazes many people is the fact that the Kit Kat distinctively tastes like the fruit depicted on the wrapping paper. Japan does not stop at simple fruit flavors. Why not combine the famous chocolate bar with healthy vegetables? You can find Edamame, Sweet Potato or Hot Chili Kit Kat. It might not be healthier than a regular Kit Kat, but many people can enjoy these unique flavors. If you think of a random flavor chances are high that Japan has used it for a Kit Kat bar. Besides the ones mentioned above there are even more unique editions you might want to check out like Wasabi, Red Bean Sandwich, Roasted Tea, Blueberry Cheesecake, Soy Sauce or Baked Potato. The list goes on and on and new flavors are probably already in developmentt. Since some of these flavors are special seasonal editions you should try them whenever you stumble across them; it might be your only chance.
4. Kombu Ame
Konbu or Kombu Ame is a traditional Japanese candy that has been around for many decades. Kombu (昆布, konbu) is edible kelp or seaweed and the word ame (飴, ame) means candy. If you put those two words together you get candy made out of seaweed - a delicacy in Japan, but a little bit unusual abroad. Kombu can be found in many different dishes, for example in the form of Kombu Tea or Dashi used for stews and to create stocks. You might think that this candy is too weird for your taste, but compared to other desserts it certainly has some health benefits. Seaweed is rich in minerals while being low in calories. Whether these benefits still persist after turning it into candy is another question, but why not give it a try? The soft kelp candy can show you a very traditional part of Japanese culture.
3. Crayon Shin Chan Candy
Crayon Shin Chan, the naughty boy who loves exposing his butt, is loved by kids around the world. But did you know that he also has his own candy line in Japan? If you think about it it’s not too unusual for a famous anime character like Shin Chan to have merchandise. The creativity of Shin Chan candy however is especially remarkable. How about the Crayon Shin Chan Experimental Drink that gives the impression of drinking a chemical experiment? Simply combine the two different powders and some water inside the cute plastic flask and your are ready to enjoy some sweet flavors in soft drink form. More controversial might be the Shin Chan Beer Candy Drink which allows your child (or you) to drink “beer” without consuming alcohol. The foaming candy is easy to make and only requires the pre-packaged powder and some water. This candy comes with four different collectible mugs that you can reuse afterwards. The most famous candy is the Shin Chan Puri Puri Pudding which turns Shin Chan’s trademark into a fun dessert. This pudding is shaped like two buttcheeks and will certainly make you laugh with its unique design and jiggly consistency. Designed as a simple DIY kit you are able to make other shapes as well using a plastic mold. Check out this video which shows you how to do it.
2. Toilet Candy
Did you ever want to eat candy out of a toilet bowl? Your answer is probably no, but Japan still designed something to make this dream come true. The Moko Moko Mokoletto candy produced by the company Heart features a plastic toilet filled with foaming soda. After assembling the small toilet - which comes in four different colors - and putting decorative eye stickers on it, the fun begins. You fill the tank with the powdered soda, add some water and soon enough bubbles start to form. After you are done with the soda candy you can keep Moko Moko Mokoletto on your desk as a reminder of this weird experience or to impress your friends with your unique taste in candy.
1. Popin’ Cookin’
Last but not least we have one of the most popular candies of Japan. Popin’ Cookin’ is a series of different candy kits produced by Kracie where the consumer becomes the chef. Popin’ Cookin’ is probably the most famous Japanese DIY candy kit - not only on this list, but worldwide. Making and decorating your candy yourself is not only part of your eating experience but sometimes even more important than the actual taste. The small candies look amazing and allow you to show off both your culinary and your artistic skills. What started out as a fun DIY kit and new sensation soon became popular enough to feature a big variety of different meals. Popin’ Cookin’ let’s you design mini versions of Sushi, Takoyaki, Pizza, Hamburgers, Ramen, Bento and much more. It has become a staple souvenir for every tourist and a must-try for fans of Japan.
Japan keeps surprising the world with its creative and unique candy ideas. After all, it makes sense to design candy that offers you more than just a quick sugary snack. These candies will either challenge your taste buds or turn your candy into a fun DIY experience. Did you try any of these candies yourself? If you didn’t get to try them yet or got interested in Japanese candy after reading this list feel free to subscribe to our Oyatsu Box. Share your own candy recommendations or experiences in the comment section down below.