Oishii! 10 Must Try Summer Limited-Edition Japanese Snacks
For a literal taste of summer, look no further than the summer-edition food items popping up on convenience stores and supermarket shelves across Japan. While some of these products come back every summer, many of them are only available for the next few months only, so make sure to grab a few of these oishii (delicious) treats when you’re in Japan…or a lot of them!
Colorful Showers Pocky
This beautiful Pocky variation is covered with a sweet lemon meringue coating and multicolored sugar crystals, which appear like confetti on cake. It comes in a special summer packaging, which can be augmented using your smartphone. It is recommended to chill these before eating for an extra zest!
Summer is the season for fresh ume, a type of Japanese plums. While not recommended to eat fresh, it is popularly used to make a Japanese alcohol called umeshu. It can be made at home (or a hotel room) by combining fresh ume, sugar, and white liquor, but the mixture has to be stored for more than six months before it is ready to drink. For those who can't wait, umeshu stocks at supermarkets, liquor stores, and convenience stores all increase during the summer.
For those who prefer their umeshu in chocolate form, these Morinaga chocolates are for you. The ume flavor is also added to chips, adding an extra tartness to their flavor.
Japanese jellies are nothing like Western ones, as they often have a chewier consistency and often laden with fruits. A popular choice when chilled, fruit-flavored jellies flood shelves during this time of year. They come in both the traditional cup version, as well as long tubes that you can easily stick into your hotel room’s freezer.
A quintessential summer flavor for its ability to stave off thirst, lemon is a popular flavor during the summer. Cream Collon, a popular cream-filled cookie, rolled out a “fragrant lemon” flavor for the summer which is the perfect mixture of sour and sweet. Jagabee, a well-known potato stick line, has also joined in the fun with a salty lemon edition.
Ice cream is the classic summer treat, and oh so refreshing during Japan’s humid summer days. Gari Gari Kun is a mainstay in the Japanese ice cream circles due to its low price and availability in almost every supermarket and convenience store. Its summer flavors include the intriguing rare cheese flavor, which combines a sweet cream cheese flavor with a lemon cheese sauce (it tastes like lemon cheesecake!).
Gari Gari Kun has also brought back its Pokemon-themed pops in celebration of the upcoming “Pokemon the Movie 20: I Choose You!”, which is officially releasing in Japan on July 15th. This chocolate custard-flavored treat features a different Pokemon on each pop. Keep an eye out for a winning popsicle stick – you can redeem these for a “GariPoke Tote & Pouch Set” which features Pikachu and the ice cream’s mascot, also called Gari Gari Kun. Another deliciously creamy treat is Morinaga’s Nata de Coco ice cream. This milky treat is studded with chunks of coconut and pieces of lychee.
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