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Maruka Setouchi Lemon Flavored Ika-Ten: I found this bag in the dried squid / bar snack section of my local supermarket and was drawn to the colorful packaging. It contains ika-ten, dried squid that's battered and fried; in this case, it's coated with a strong lemon powder that's extremely addicting. I haven't come across a snack that is this tangy and acidic before, even though I've had a good number of citrus snacks by now. It balances the deep savory and salty flavor of the fried squid, which is very crispy rather than the u... (read more) 4.0/5.0

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Kit Kat Okinawa Beni Imo KitKat: There are a few different form factors for KitKats here in Japan beyond the breakable sticks, along with a never-ending stream of seasonal flavors. This special edition KitKat came in a resealable pouch with a flavor inspired by Japanese Beni Imo sweet potato from Okinawa. I haven't had the chance to try it, but apparently there is a very famous Beni Imo tart featuring a swirling mound of sweet potato creme (pictured on the packaging). The Kit Kats come in bite-sized cubes and have a thic... (read more) 3.5/5.0

recommended japanese kitkat okinawa beni imo 3.5
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Frito Lay Takoyaki Balls: I was both surprised and not surprised to find that Frito Lay has a presence in the snack aisles of Japan; I've seen Lay's potato chips and Cheetos corn snacks, but these Japan-specific takoyaki corn puffs were an exciting find. The corn puff balls are about the same size as cheese puffs in the US, and they're flavored with Otafuku Takoyaki sauce, which is a staple brand here for various condiments. Traditionally, takoyaki are battered octopus balls that are topped with a thick brown sauce... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended junkfood japanese queensisetan fritolay takoyaki balls 4.0
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Hula's Shrimp and Garlic Maui Chips: Another flavor of Hula's potato chips, Japanese kettle-style potato chips that stand out for their Western-looking packaging and portion sizes (typically in Japan, the potato chips come in smaller 1-2 serving packs). Shrimp and Garlic is not a normal potato chip flavor I'd see stateside, so it was exciting to give this Asian take a try. The garlic flavor is very prominent and is the main flavor you taste, though the seafood does come through as well. It reminds me a bit of shrimp scampi, ... (read more) 4.0/5.0

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Hula's Sour Cream Maui Chips: These potato chips are marketed as being made using "American Potato Chip Methods" but are fully Japanese, first developed by a Japanese man who spent time in Hawaii during WWII. By "American Method," I think it's referring to a kettle style potato chip that's thicker and crunchier than most potato chips you can find in Japan, which tend to be almost translucent in thinness. To me, the sour cream flavor tasted even more tangy and creamy than the sour cream and onion chips I've had in the U... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended queensisetan japanese potatochips sourcream hulas sour cream maui chips 4.0
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Nanaya Aoyama Matcha (7) and Roasted Rice Tea Ice Cream: Nanaya Aoyama is a small ice cream shop near Omote-Sando in Tokyo and had been on my checklist of places to try for Tasty Snacking since before I arrived in Japan. Its menu features matcha ice cream at different levels of concentration, from 1-7, with 7 being the most potent (they claim it's the strongest in the world). On display, you see how matcha ice cream 1-7 goes from a light shamrock color to a dark forest green (though there isn't too much difference visually between #5-7). The ice... (read more) 4.5/5.0

exceptional icecream tokyo japan greentea nanayaaoyama matcha (7) roasted rice tea ice cream 4.5