Hakka Ame: Classic Japanese Peppermint Candy

Japan has quite a few unique candies that can’t be tasted in other parts of the world.

Among those treats, I think, nowadays, hard candies with the flavor of Umeboshi plums and the flavor of Matcha green tea are especially popular overseas.

Other than these 2 flavors, there are a number of unique Japanese candies that you might not know yet. 

For example, “Shoyu Ame (醤油飴)” is a good-old candy with the umami of soy sauce, and “Kuro Ame (黒飴)” is a long-time favorite of Japanese featuring the sweetness from Okinawan brown sugar.

Additionally, if I give one more representative example of such Japanese hard candy, Hakka Ame is the one that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Hakka Ame (ハッカ飴) 

Kasugai Hakka AmeImage: Amazon.co.jp

Hakka Ame is a classic Japanese peppermint candy that has long been loved in Japan. It is a simple hard candy made from Japanese peppermint called Hakka or Nihon Hakka, sugar, and starch syrup.

Hakka Ame is different in taste and flavor from Western peppermint candies. The Japanese treat has a distinctive minty taste characteristic of Hakka, and its moderate sweetness accentuates the refreshing taste.

Hakka Ame is not cough drops, just a piece of candy, but you will feel like the hard candy soothes your throat while sucking on it, and after you first try the candy, I think you will either like it or hate it.

Colored Hakka AmeImage: Wikipedia

In Japan, many varieties of Hakka Ame, from colored to clear and transparent, are available in supermarkets, and the taste fairly differs depending on the manufacturer and ingredients.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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