Ame vs Okashi : What is the difference in meaning?

Okashi, Wagashi, and Dagashi are the 3 Japanese words for snacks, candies and sweets, but specifically, they have a somewhat different meaning as I wrote about it before.

The Difference in Meaning between Okashi and Ame

Among those, Okashi (お菓子) refers to any kind of snack, candy and sweet, regardless of where they are made. In other words, Okashi is the generic term for snacks, candies and sweets.

Actually, other than Okashi, Wagashi, and Dagashi, there is one more Japanese word that refers to candies. That is Ame (飴).

What is Ame (飴)?

Ame (飴) is a category included in Okashi and generally refers to hard candies. The Japanese word is typically used as a suffix, like Hakka-Ame (ハッカ飴), Shio-Ame (塩飴), Tankiri-Ame (たんきり飴), Kuro-Ame (黒飴), Nikki-Ame (ニッキ飴), Shoyu-Ame (しょうゆ飴), and Nodo-Ame (のど飴).

The Ame candies that can be called Amedama

The Ame with the shape of a sphere or ball can be called Ame-Dama (飴玉), which literally means “hard candy ball”.

Kata-Ame (固飴) and Mizu-Ame (水飴)

Strictly speaking, Ame is categorized into 2 types, “Kata-Ame (固飴)” and “Mizu-Ame (水飴)”.

Kata-Ame literally means “hard candy” and most Japanese Ame candies are classified as Kata-Ame, in other words, they have a hard texture.

Mizu Ame (水飴)

On the other hand, Mizu-Ame refers to thick, sticky, stretchy candies like honey. As the Japanese word, Mizu (水) means “water”, Mizu-Ame is usually clear in color.

(Reference page of this article : Wikipedia 飴 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: