Here are some recommended sweets that you can bring back from Tokyo as souvenirs. All of these shops have limited-edition items as well, so please look for those too.
- 1. Meika Hiyoko from Tokyo's well-established shop Tokyo Hiyoko
- 2. Amanoya's kabuki-themed snack Kabuki-age
- 3. Tokyo Banana's Mitsuketa will make you want various flavors
- 4. Kikunoya's Fukiyose, a snack that's really cute
- 5. The age-okaki that you can taste before you buy at Azabu-Juban Agemochiya
1. Meika Hiyoko from Tokyo's well-established shop Tokyo Hiyoko
Tokyo Hiyoko is a shop that has more than 50 years of history and their cute treat Meika Hiyoko (605 JPY (tax incl.) for 5) is famous. While the traditional one uses shiroan (sweet paste made from white adzuki beans), but lately they have been making them with flavors like shioan (salt-flavored paste) and limited-edition flavors like black sugar. For people who don't like anko, they also have the Tokyo Hiyoko Sabure, which is similar to a cookie. You can find branches in big stations all over the city like in Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, and you can also buy the treats in souvenir shops. In the souvenir shop Sora no Komachi in Tokyo Skytree® you can find limited-edition Hiyoko made with black tea-flavored an, so please check it out when you go to Skytree.
2. Amanoya's kabuki-themed snack Kabuki-age
Amanoya's Kabuki-age is a fried senbei rice cracker seasoned with sugar and soy sauce for a slightly spicy taste that you'll grow addicted to. You can buy it in places like supermarkets, but why not go to the shops to see their limited-edition items? At Higashi-Ginza's Kabukiza, the Kabuki-age sold there uses a different percentage of rice flour, and the package is also changed to look like the joshikimaku (the three-colored curtain that hangs behind kabuki stages). It's priced at 1,029 JPY (incl. tax) for 10 pieces. At Tokyo Skytree you can find seafood-flavored ones like shrimp as well as the limited-edition tendon flavor (tempura rice bowl)! The packages are designed with Skytree, Sensoji, and tendon. The Kabuki-age from both places are very popular since you can only buy them there, so why not look for them for yourself as well?
3. Tokyo Banana's Mitsuketa will make you want various flavors
After it went on sale in 1991, Tokyo Banana's Mitsuketa series has exploded in such popularity that it's become Tokyo's most popular souvenir. Tokyo Banana is a treat that's made of a cream-filled soft sponge cake that's shaped like a banana and the standard one is banana-flavored cake filled with banana cream. However, the Mitsuketa series ("mitsuketa" means "found it") is made up of various limited-edition versions, including the chocolate banana-flavored cheetah print one at Tokyo Skytree, the caramel-flavored tiger print one at Tokyo Tower, and the banana pudding-flavored giraffe print in airports. All of them are sold 515 JPY (incl. tax) for 4 and 1,080 JPY (incl. tax) for 8. All of them are really cute and you'll want to try each flavor.
4. Kikunoya's Fukiyose, a snack that's really cute
Ginza's Kikunoya is a well-established wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) that first opened in 1890. The second generation owner created Fukiyose in the 1920s, a treat where a tin is filled full of 30 kinds of tiny, cute dried confectionery (like senbei and konpeito sugar candy). It's a popular long-seller that is enjoyable both in sight and taste. They have both standard products and seasonal products, but the recommended souvenirs are the Edo Miyage (1,080 JPY (excl. tax)) versions that is wrapped in lovely chiyogami, decorative washi paper with traditional Japanese prints. There's also the Heart Biyori (900 JPY (excl. tax) where heart and fish-shaped snacks are included. Opening them is like opening a treasure box, and the person who receives it won't even know where to start. Outside of the main branch in Ginza, there are branches in Tokyo Station, Shibuya Station, Haneda Airport, and more.
5. The age-okaki that you can taste before you buy at Azabu-Juban Agemochiya
Azabu-Juban Agemochiya is famous for its age-okaki, a kind of treat made by frying mochi rice. There are a wide variety of flavors, starting with Japanese flavors like salt and soy sauce and heading into unexpected flavors like chocolate, cheese, and even truffle. The age-okaki are in colorful packages and one bag goes for about 400-500 JPY. Since you can try most of the flavors, you can choose which would be best for specific people, such as for children or for those who would want to eat it as they drink wine or liquor. Other than the main branch in Azabu-Juban, there are also branches in Haneda Airport, Ikebukuro Station, Tokyo Station, department stores, and more.
*The photo is for illustration purposes.
6. Karintou from Nihonbashi Nishiki Hourin
Nihonbashi Nishiki Hourin, located in Nihonbashi, is a shop that creates modern versions of traditional Japanese treats like karintou (a stick-shaped fried snack made of wheat, sugar, and yeast). One of their most recommended products is their Edo Fuji Nanakei (Seven Scenes of Mt Fuji), senbei that are made to look like different sides of Mt. Fuji in different seasons and colors. It's made with 7 different flavors that you can enjoy: turmeric, white sugar, chili pepper, colored granulated sugar, purple yam, sesame mayonnaise, and matcha. A box of 21 (3 of each flavor) is 594 JPY (incl. tax) Buying this senbei is easy because it isn't bulky even if you buy a lot at once, so this makes for a good souvenir.
All of these famous stores have many branches, so you can plan your day around sightseeing and still have time to stop by the nearest store and pick up your desired souvenir. Since there are products that you can only buy in specific branches, make sure to not overlook anything!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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