3 Must-Try Classic Japanese Cheese Snacks

Cheese works well with a wide range of foods and is often used for snacks sold in the snack and candy section of Japanese supermarkets.

Calbee Pizza Potato Mentaiko Mayo

In fact, there are a bunch of popular treats using cheese in Japan, one of which, my favorite potato chips, Calbee Pizza Potato features globs of cheese spotted on the surface.

3 Classic Unique Japanese Cheese Snacks

In addition, I love 3 classic Japanese snacks whose main ingredient is cheese. I think they are unique to Japan and loved by Japanese people of all generations, both children and adults. 

The Japanese treats are Cheese Tara (Chiitara), Cheese Kamaboko (Chiikama), and Cheese Kakidane, about which I will talk today.

Cheese Tara (Chiitara)

Cheese Tara

First off, Cheese Tara, or Chiitara, is a Japanese snack widely enjoyed as an Otsumami or an accompaniment for alcoholic beverages.

It consists of a stick of processed cheese sandwiched between two thin sheets of dried codfish paste.

The fish crust adds a different texture to the cheese stick and improves the chewiness of the snack, as well as enhancing umami taste.

Since many Japanese drinkers love it as a snack for beer, it can be bought not only at supermarkets but also in convenience stores.

Cheese Kamaboko (Chiikama)

Cheese Kamaboko

Made by baking or steaming a mixture of whitefish paste (such as cod, shark, or lizardfish), sugar, salt, mirin, and egg white, “Kamaboko (かまぼこ)” is a traditional Japanese food with about 900 years of history.

Cheese Kamaboko is a modern variety of Kamaboko typically consumed as an Otsumami snack, which is a firm fish paste Surimi snack with half-dried processed cheese bits embedded throughout.

Cheese Kamaboko is as popular as Cheese Tara among Japanese drinkers, so it is also available at many supermarkets and convenience stores around the country.

Cheese Kakidane 

Cheese Kakidane

Cheese Kakidane is a type of “Kaki no Tane (柿の種)” cracker coated in a thin layer of processed cheese.

Flavored mainly with soy sauce and red chili pepper, Kaki no Tane itself is a savory, a little bit spicy rice cracker, which has been a long-time favorite Otsumami snack here in Japan.

When Kaki no Tane is combined with processed cheese, the spiciness and heat of the rice snack are almost offset by the mild and rich taste of cheese, making the overall snack a delicious treat that everyone can like.


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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