10 Must-Try Japanese Dagashi Snacks and Candies

Have you ever heard of “Dagashi (駄菓子)”? Dagashi is the generic name for cheap and relatively small Japanese snacks and candies.

The Japanese snacks and candies are so-called junk foods and popular among children in particular.

It is said that the origin of Dagashi snacks dates back to the Japan’s Edo period, over 300 years ago, so there are a bunch of Dagashi products that have been loved by Japanese for a long time.

10 Must-Try Nostalgic Dagashi Snacks and Candies

Thus today, I will introduce 10 must-try nostalgic Dagashi snacks and candies that have been widely enjoyed by children and adults alike in Japan.

1. Black Thunder (Chocolate Candy)

Black Thunder Chocolate Bar

Black Thunder is a popular chocolate candy that was released in 1994. In fact, over a hundred million of Black Thunder chocolate are sold every year in Japan. It is a bar-shaped rock-lump-like chocolate candy consisting of cocoa-flavored chocolate with cocoa cookie bits embedded throughout.

2. Morinaga Ramune (Soda Candy)

Morinaga Ramune Soda Candy

Morinaga Ramune is a famous Japanese soda candy, which has several decades of history. It is a simple tablet-formed sugar candy. In fact, 90% of the food ingredient consists of glucose. Other ingredients mainly includes tapioca starch and milk calcium. This tablet candy is refreshing like Ramune Soda Pop and melts in the mouth.

3. Baby Star Ramen (Deep-Fried Noodle Snack)

Baby Star Ramen Deep-Fried Noodle Snack

Baby Star Ramen is a deep-fried noodle snack released in 1959. There are 4 flavors in the series and the chicken flavor is the original one. The fried noodle snack is characterized by its pleasant crispy texture and short in length. It has plenty of umami flavor and is easy to eat.

4. Kabayaki-San Taro (Fish Paste Snack)

Kabayaki-San Taro Fish Paste Snack

Kabayaki-San Taro is a famous fish paste Dagashi snack that I used to eat a lot when I was a boy. This Dagashi snack is salty-sweet in taste and characterized by its hard and tough texture. Its main ingredient is walleye pollack, which is seasoned mainly with squid flavoring, Mirin sweet cooking rice wine, and soy sauce.

5. Tirol Choco (Chocolate Candy)

Tirol Choco Chocolate Candies

Tirol Choco is one of the top-selling chocolate candies in Japan. Its original flavor went on the market in 1962, and since then more than 300 flavors have been created. If you have a chance to go to convenience stores in Japan, you will see unique flavors of Tirol Choco being sold there.

6. Oyatsu Karupasu (Beef Jerky Snack)

Image : Livedoor Blog (Remsy)

Oyatsu Karupasu Beef Jerky Snack

Oyatsu Karupasu is a popular beef jerky snack. It is so cheap and only costs 10 yen per piece in Japan. Unlike usual beef jerky, this Dagashi snack is soft in texture and not spicy. Besides, Oyatsu Karupasu is bite-sized so it is suitable for children. Since this Dagashi snack goes well with alcoholic drinks like beer, adults can also enjoy it.

7. Butamen (Mini Instant Cup Ramen)

Butamen Mini Instant Cup Ramen

Butamen is a popular mini instant cup ramen known as a Dagashi snack. This pork bone broth ramen is the original flavor of Butamen series. Even though this ramen is a Dagashi for kids, it has an authentic flavor. Therefore, adults can also enjoy it when a little bit hungry.

8. Marukawa Marble Gum (Fruit Chewing Gum)

Marukawa Marble Gum

Marukawa Marble Gum is a fruit-flavored chewing gum that makes me feel nostalgic, because I used to buy it a lot in my childhood. It is a small chewing gum ball coated with thin colored sugar. Marukawa Marble Gum comes in several fruit flavors and only costs 10 yen, so it is popular with children.

9. Cut Yocchan (Squid Paste Snack)

Cut Yocchan 

Cut Yocchan is a famous squid paste Dagashi snack with several decades of history, which was one of my favorite snacks in my childhood. Unlike Kabayaki-San Taro, this fish paste snack is soft and chewy, and flavored with a vinegar sauce.

10. Umaibo (Corn Puff Snack)

Umaibo Corn Puff Snacks

Umaibo is one of the most popular Dagashi snacks in Japan and known as “The King of Dagashi”. As you may know, Umaibo is a corn puff snack bar with a slightly hard texture and comes in many flavors. This Dagashi is really yummy but only costs 10 yen, so not only kids, but many Japanese adults also love it.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. 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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