Oyatsu vs Okashi: What is the Difference in Meaning?

As you might already know, there are 3 Japanese words for snacks, sweets, and candies, or confectionery, which are “Wagashi (和菓子)”, “Okashi (お菓子)”, and “Dagashi (駄菓子)”.

As I explained the difference between these before, Wagashi basically refers to traditional Japanese confections, while Dagashi is the collective term for cheap, relatively small, unique Japanese snacks and candies, particularly for kids.

Meaning: Oyatsu vs Okashi (Kashi)

When it comes to the rest, Okashi, have you ever heard that there is another Japanese word that has a meaning similar to it? which is “Oyatsu (おやつ)”.

Actually, many Japanese people can’t clearly tell how Oyatsu is different in meaning from Okashi, which is why I will talk about that this time. First, let’s see what the word Okashi refers to.

Okashi (お菓子)

Okashi or Kashi

First of all, Okashi is the polite expression of “Kashi (菓子)”. In the word Okashi, the first letter “O (お)” is a Japanese prefix to make a polite expression.

Therefore, Okashi and Kashi have the same meaning and both can refer to any kind of snack, sweet and candy, regardless of where they are produced.

In other words, these are the Japanese generic term for all kinds of snacks, candies, and sweets, including potato chips, cookies, chocolate candies, ice-cream, Wagashi, and Dagashi.

Oyatsu (おやつ)

A Woman Eating Oyatsu

On the other hand, Oyatsu refers to the food eaten between meals, so in addition to all kinds of snacks, candies, and sweets, it even includes fruits and other light foods like Onigiri rice balls.

Customarily, we Japanese tend to have Oyatsu twice in a day, typically at 10 am and 3 pm.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia おやつ, 菓子 )


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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