Types of Japanese Snacks

Let's dive into the world of Okashi, the luxury snacks of Japan with our curated snack boxes. The Okashi treats have been around since the Edo period, and in those four hundred plus years, very little has changed. To put it in American terms, “If it ain't broke, don’t fix it.” 

Understanding Okashi: A Dive into Japanese Treats

With our curated snack boxes, the Okashi treats inside add to the splendor of a perfect gift, for friends, family, coworkers or anyone special in your life. Share in the luxury and try one of the most luxurious types of snacks and candy that Japan has made in centuries. 

Okashi Meaning & Significance

Okashi refers to the wide range of Japanese confectioneries and snacks that are cherished not just for their taste but also as items of indulgence and luxury. Traditionally, Okashi was enjoyed during the tea ceremonies of the feudal elite, symbolizing etiquette that went beyond everyday meals. 

Okashi is actually an umbrella term that we can divide into three main categories: 

  • Dagashi,
  • Wagashi, 
  • and Premium Okashi. 

For a broad overview, Dagashi are inexpensive, playful snacks meant for children, and are often characterized by their colorful packaging and fun shapes. These treats are designed to be accessible and easily enjoyable, with flavors that range from sweet to savory.

Wagashi, on the other hand, represents traditional Japanese sweets that are typically made from natural ingredients like mochi, anko (red bean paste), and Japanese fruits. Wagashi is the type of Okashi that is often served with tea (usually green tea) and is known for their delicate and artful presentation, even reflecting the seasons of Japan, like the pink of the Sakura blossoms during fall. 

Premium Okashi encompasses a wide array of snacks and confections, from everyday treats to high-end delicacies often given as gifts or served on special occasions. Premium Okashi are distinguished by their quality ingredients, craftsmanship, and often elaborate packaging, making them a symbol of luxury and sophistication in the world of Japanese snacks.

What is Dagashi?

Dagashi snacks trace their origins back to the Edo period in Japan (1603-1868), a time when these affordable treats became popular among the common people. Originally, Dagashi were made from simple, inexpensive ingredients such as miso, seaweed, and leftover grains from sake production. 

These snacks were designed to be accessible to children and the working class, providing a small luxury through tough times. Interestingly, Dagashi shops also served as social hubs where children could gather and enjoy these treats, fostering a sense of community as they played together. 

The Dagashi Experience

Dagashi candies come in a variety of popular flavors like cola, soda, grape, and strawberry, catering to youthful palates with their sweet and often fizzy taste profiles. The combination of appealing aesthetics and familiar, enjoyable flavors makes Dagashi a beloved choice among kids and those seeking a nostalgic snack experience, encapsulating the simple pleasures of childhood in every bite.

Wagashi: A Symphony of Tradition and Flavor

What is Wagashi?

Since feudal times, Wagashi candy has been intricately tied to the country's cultural and culinary heritage, primarily enjoyed alongside tea. 

These confections are crafted with careful attention to detail and artistry, often reflecting the natural beauty and seasonal changes of Japan. Ingredients like mochi, anko (sweet red bean paste), and agar-agar are commonly used, resulting in treats that are not only delicious but also visually stunning. The delicate flavors of wagashi complement the bitter notes of green tea, creating a harmonious balance that enhances the tea-drinking experience. This pairing is central to Japanese tea ceremonies, embodying a deep respect for nature, seasonality, and the art of hospitality and sharing. 

Exploring the World of Wagashi

Japanese Wagashi sweets are renowned for their use of natural, plant-based ingredients, with sweet azuki bean paste, known as "anko," being one of the main components. 

Anko is made from azuki beans that are boiled and sweetened, creating a smooth or slightly textured paste used in a variety of wagashi. Other key ingredients include mochi, made from glutinous rice pounded into a chewy texture; agar-agar, a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed used to create jelly-like sweets; and matcha, finely ground green tea powder that adds a distinctive flavor and color. 

These ingredients are celebrated for their simplicity and natural origins, embodying the essence of wagashi as artful confections that harmonize with traditional Japanese aesthetics and create a new experience for Western palettes. 

Savor the Essence of Japanese Treats with Sakura Box

With curated Japanese candies and fast delivery all across Northern America, you’ll be getting your savory snacks straight from Japan. Normally you will receive your package in 2-3 working days. 

Check out our general FAQs and learn about our Okashi treats. For more information, please feel free to contact us directly.