Are you a foodie who’s visiting Japan soon? Are you curious about the types of chocolate goodies this country has?
We have good news for you! Japan is well known for its chocolate goods. While you’ll see famous Japanese chocolate brands like Nestle, you’ll also come across brands unique to Japan, such as Lotte or Morinaga.
Some even claim that Japan’s version of Nestle tastes different than the Nestle we’re used to back home!
Without further ado, let’s delve into Japan’s chocolate goods. Here are ten must-try brands of Japanese chocolate.
Let’s start with a famous Japanese brand selling tasty sweets since 1948 — Lotte.
Lotte offers delicious Ghana chocolate bars at very affordable prices. In addition to regular chocolate bars, this brand is famous for its Choco Pies. You can expect to pay around 100 yen for a Ghana bar of chocolate. This is around one U.S. dollar.
Don’t let the name fool you, though! Choco Pies are a combination of cookies and cake. The shape is a cookie, but the texture is like a cake. This dessert resembles a cookie sandwich with marshmallow filling. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds!
In addition to their Choco Pies, Lotte has biscuit snacks called Toppo. Toppo comes in the form of sticks filled with chocolate. Toppo is similar, except they’re filled with chocolate rather than dipped in it. Ever tried the Japanese candy, Pocky?
Some Toppo flavors to try include:
- Milk Chocolate Pretzel Sticks
- Strawberry Biscuit Sticks
- Salt & Vanilla Biscuit Sticks
- Bitter Caramel Biscuit Sticks
- White Chocolate Pretzel Sticks
- Sweet Potato Pretzel Sticks
- And much more!
Another Japanese company famous for making chocolate is Morinaga. This brand is one of the largest Japanese companies making candy; we don’t see them going anywhere soon. After all, they’ve been producing delicious sweets for over 100 years.
Perhaps you’re familiar with Hi-Chew candy. Chances are you’ve tried them, and your mouth is watering as we speak! Hi-Chew is a fruity, chewy candy made by Morinaga.
If you’re a fan of Hi-Chew candy, you need to try this brand’s chocolate, starting with Dars. This is their staple Japanese chocolate bar and comes in the following flavors:
- And more!
Be sure to keep an eye out for their seasonal and limited-edition flavors.
Let’s move on to other Morinaga customer favorites: Choco Flakes and Choco Balls. The former is exactly what it sounds like — cornflakes covered in delicious chocolate. The latter are chocolate balls filled with caramel, biscuits, and peanuts, among other fillings.
3. Nestle Japan
It’s time for some fun facts! Nestle is a brand from Switzerland that has made its way into the carts of customers worldwide. However, their Japanese branch paved the way for the global phenomenon: Japanese Kit Kats.
These Japanese kit kats come in flavors that are only available in Japan. Judging from everyone’s obsession with these small pieces of candy, we’d say it’s completely worth it! Yes, you’ll have to make the trip to this beautiful country to get your hands on them.
Flavors you’ll come across include:
- Milk chocolate (called “white”)
- Dark chocolate (called “black”)
- Strawberry-flavored white chocolate
- Green tea
- Brown sugar syrup
- And much more!
One last fun fact about Nestle Japan Kit Kat bars — they come in over 300 flavors to choose from! And, in case you were wondering, there are other Nestle Japan products to try. However, Kit Kats must take the win as the best Japanese Nestle product!
We’ve still got a ways to go regarding Japanese chocolate, but Fujiya is high on our list.
This popular brand is well known for Country Ma’am cookies. This is the number one best-selling snack in Japan — let that sink in!
These cookies are crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. They achieve their delicious flavors due to the one-of-a-kind baking process set in place by this brand. While their signature baking process can’t be replicated in the comfort of your home, you can get your hands on Country Ma’am cookies online or at your local Japanese store.
Another popular product is Look. These chocolates come in several different fillings ranging from fruits like peach and strawberries to more complex flavors like cheesecake and coffee.
Some other flavors to consider include:
- Lemonade & Lychee
- Melon Parfait
- Fondant Chocolate
- Matcha Collection
- Scented Rum Raisins
You cannot visit Japan and not try Fujiya candy. Make sure to add this to your list of must-try treats!
5. Ezaki Glico
Ezaki Glico is a famous Japanese food company located in Osaka. You may be familiar with its logo, known as the Glico Running Man. If you’re ever in Osaka, you’ll want to visit the famous landmark made after Ezaki Glico’s Running Man.
This brand is most famous for Pocky. If you ask any Japanese snack lover, they’ll tell you this is among their favorite chocolate candies because of its many flavors. They’ll likely even tell you the best flavor, whether it’s the original Pocky Chocolate flavor or Pocky with an added twist like the Cookies & Cream flavor.
Other Pocky flavors to indulge in include:
- Matcha Green Tea
- Chocolate Banana
- And many more!
Besides Pocky, this company also sells other chocolate sweets, such as regular cocoa bars or chocolate squares with filling inside them. They may not be as popular as Pocky chocolate, but they’re definitely worth trying.
What makes this company so unique is how they make its chocolate. Every 10 grams of Ezaki Glico chocolate contains 28 milligrams of GABA, a neurotransmitter responsible for reducing stress. Even more, a reason to indulge in this sweetness!
Royce has one of the most unique Japanese chocolate products in Japan.
Originating from Sapporo in Hokkaido, Japan’s most northern island, Royce is known for the fresh qualities of its ingredients. This is no surprise since Hokkaido is famous for its fantastic dairy products.
Royce Nama Japanese chocolates are among their most popular products. These treats are soft and made with fresh cream that’s locally sourced. They come in elegant packages, and you’re greeted with perfect cocoa squares upon opening.
Like the other sweet desserts mentioned above, this snack comes in many different flavors, including:
- Au Lait
- Ecuador Sweet
There are also other unique flavors only found in Japan, so if you’re ever in the area, be sure to check them out!
Besides delicious Nama, Royce also sells chocolate balls, cocoa-flavored potato chips, and regular chocolate bars. Each is just as delicious as the last!
Bourbon is a Japanese maker of confectionery, candy, snacks, beverages, and, most importantly — chocolate.
While it shares the name with a type of alcohol, Bourbon has no affiliation whatsoever and dedicates itself to producing delicious treats for everyone to enjoy. The company is best known for its:
- Petit Biscuits
- Alfort Biscuits
- Sour-sweet Fettuccine Gummies
Bourbon is also the proud maker of the French-inspired Rumando. These treats are crispy, and light cookie sticks enveloped in milk chocolate. These cookie sticks are so well-known and popular that they’ve been sold for over 40 years!
Bourbon is a well-known Japanese company that produces desserts and other products with chocolate, such as wafers and cookies. Give them a try if the opportunity ever presents itself!
8. Yuraku Seika
Yuraku Seika is a Japanese chocolate company famous for its Black Thunder bars. These bars are similar to Snickers or Twix in that they have that satisfying crunch. You’re likelier to see Black Thunder bars in Japan than Snickers or Twix.
A fun fact is that these sweets are named after Raijin, the Japanese god of thunder. Raijin is not only the god of thunder but the god of light and storms. He’s among the most feared deities in Japanese culture. However, there’s nothing scary about this candy bar!
The name fits the dessert because the taste of the crunchy biscuit coated in dark cocoa hits you suddenly like a zap of thunder! Not that we’d expect you to know what this feels like, but you get the idea!
Yuraku Seika Black Thunder chocolate bars also have this crunch because they have nuts and creamy chocolate. If you love desserts with nuts, this is the proper dessert for you! On the other hand, if you’re allergic to nuts, stay away from Black Thunder bars.
If you ever have the opportunity, try their Black Thunder bars to see what all the hype is about. We know you’ll love them just as much as we do! This company also sells other savory snacks and regular cocoa bars worth checking out.
Meiji is also another well-known brand that sells delicious Japanese chocolate. You may recognize the brand name on products such as Hello Panda (the panda-shaped biscuits filled with chocolate) or Yan Yan (the biscuit sticks with a flavored dipping sauce).
Customer favorite Hello Panda flavors include chocolate or vanilla creme filled, while Yan Yan favorites include chocolate creme, strawberry creme, and double crème. Each flavor is just as delicious as the last – you really can’t go wrong with any Meiji choice.
In Japan, you can find even more chocolate products from Meiji, such as:
- Regular chocolate bars
- Chocolate covered almonds
- Chocolate covered hazelnuts
- Among other chocolate-covered nuts
Just when you thought you’d tried every Meiji chocolate, another flavor comes along to sweep you off your feet. They even have different flavored chocolate, such as strawberry chocolate, so keep your eyes peeled! The possibilities are endless.
And, as if this wasn’t enough, Meiji creates forest-themed chocolate sweets. For example, Takenoko no Sato (bamboo shoot village) and Kinoko no Yama (mushroom of the mountain) are Japanese chocolate shaped like bamboo and mushrooms. These shapes add a nice touch that makes eating chocolate more enjoyable for individuals of any age! Cocoa fills their tops as if they were dipped in chocolate sauce.
Last but not least, Tirol is a Japanese chocolate company that is famous for its individually packaged sweets. They can usually be found in your local Japanese convenience stores near the cash registers.
What makes these sweets great is that you can buy however many you want without purchasing a complete package. They’re perfect because they’re already portion sized! So, if you only feel that one piece will be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, then you can just buy one small square.
Just like the other sweets, these come in a variety of flavors. These flavors include milk chocolate, mochi, sweet potato, milk tea, caramel, and green tea. You can even get amazake, a sweet fermented rice drinks popular in Japan. And we can’t forget about the sakura mochi flavor. You have to get your hands on this fantastic pick if you get the chance!
These candies are not hard to spot because of their unique packaging. They are not only packaged individually, but their wrapping is satisfying to look at. Their random, fun designs make you wonder what the dessert will taste like, making eating desserts so much more fun!
And if you don’t want to buy individual squares, no worries! You can buy them in their own bulk packages.
Final Thoughts on Japanese Chocolate Brands
You’ll have no problem satisfying your sweet tooth with the Japanese chocolate brands listed above.
You can get most of these candies online or at your local grocery stores. However, there are specific chocolate bars or flavors that you’ll only be able to get at Japanese stores or in Japan (like the Japanese Kit Kats)!
If you’re ever lucky enough to make the trip to Japan, you cannot leave without trying some (if not all) of the Japanese chocolate mentioned above.