Pxl 20210225 093749441

Toppo Caramel and Butter Sticks: Toppo is sort of like Lotte's response to Pocky, with a very similar stick-like form factor but with the flavoring on the inside. The exterior is a sort of pretzel / cracker hybrid, and this particular one has a strong buttery flavor and a salted caramel-flavored filling inside. Sweet and savory, like chicken and waffles, this snack could have been good in theory but is somehow both too sweet and too savory at the same time; in other words, not well balanced. This standard size you can fi... (read more) 2.0/5.0

familymart japanese toppo caramel butter sticks 2.0
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Long Chips Cheese Mashed Potato Snack: These are quite literally long chips, made of mashed potatoes rolled out into thin long sheets (the entire length of the packaging), fried in oil, and seasoned with a cheese powder. They're super crispy and a bit fragile, given how thin they are, but their unique shape and texture makes them an ideal cross between a cracker and a chip. Kind of like Pringles in terms of fried potato flavor, but the cheese is also uniquely not cheddar -- it tastes a bit like Swiss and parmesan combined. The... (read more) 3.5/5.0

recommended nautrallawson lawson chips longchips cheese mashed potato snack 3.5
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Kubota Strawberry Milk Popsicle: This frozen treat is flavored with milk but has a consistency more like a fruit popsicle than ice cream (it doesn't have the smooth texture of ice cream when you bite into it, but has more water content than cream). Slices of strawberry are embedded in the ice cream so you get both the fruit and the bar in each bite. The strawberry was nice and tart, but I wasn't fully convinced about the milk bar, which had a fairly neutral flavor overall. Purchased from Queens Isetan. 3.0/5.0

popsicle queensisetan japanese icecream kubota strawberry milk 3.0
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Morinaga Marie Lemon Tea Cookies: Lemon tea is a common drink you can find in grocery stores in Japan, basically like iced tea in the US but generally less sweet. Marie is normally a very plain circular biscuit from Japanese food giant Morinaga (hockey puck shaped and the type you'd see labeled as "digestives") but this box contained lemon-tea flavored sandwich cookies that had a surprisingly solid herbal black tea flavor with a bit of sweet lemon acidity. The biscuits themselves are crumbly and much more like cookies than... (read more) 3.5/5.0

recommended japanese coop morinaga marie lemon tea 3.5 cookies
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Calbee Fried Chicken Potato Chips: Thickly cut, ridged potato chips whose seasoning is reminiscent of fried batter and chicken bouillon with a deeply savory flavor. It tastes like when you lick your fingers after eating fried chicken, which is it say you get the sort of greasy flavor of fried foods with a hint of meat, rather than full on chicken flavor. 3.0/5.0

chips potatochips japanese coop calbee fried chicken potato 3.0
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Ginza Akebono Strawberry Daifuku: For the most part, I've been able to try all the major traditional Japanese confectionary treats in my time in Japan, so I generally haven't been going out of my way to visit particular shops. However, if I see that a shop has a line, I'll take a look, especially as there are essentially no tourists in Tokyo now and so any place with a line is a local favorite. I hadn't known about this small shop in Ginza that opened right after WWII (about 60 years old), but their ichigo (strawberry) dai... (read more) 4.0/5.0

exceptional tokyo mochi ginza japanese ginzaakebono strawberry daifuku 4.0