Iconic Japanese Snacks from Kyoto

by Dallas Ernst

Have you ever dreamed of traveling to Kyoto? The shrines, the temples, the tea and snacks! Well, if you’re looking for snacks to take back from Kyoto, we have just the list for you.

The former capital of Japan until 1869, Kyoto is the largest city of Kyoto Prefecture. Home to beautiful natural parks, several Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, along with some more metropolitan areas, Kyoto is a popular tourist destination and cultural hotspot.

Experience a blast from the past with a traditional sweet or go for a popular tried-and-true treat. Whether you prefer your snacks crispy, chewy, or jelly-like, check out this list of some of our favorite iconic Japanese sweets that hail from Kyoto.

Yatsuhashi and Nama Yatsuhashi are some traditional Kyoto sweet treat

Yatsuhashi (left), Nama Yatsuhashi (right)


Yatsuhashi are made from rice flour, cinnamon, and sugar. When baked, they become delightfully crispy, similar to a thin Japanese rice cracker, or senbei. Yatsuhashi are occasionally covered in chocolate or flavored with green tea, and most variations pair well with tea.

Nama Yatsuhashi

Made from the same dough as yatsuhashi, nama yatsuhashi is the unbaked, triangle-shaped version boasting a soft texture similar to mochi.

Konpeitō is a must try Kyoto sweet

Konpeitō is an iconic Japanese sugar candy. It can be spotted in many Japanese anime and movies, ranging from shows like Sailor Moon and Hamtaro to the film Spirited Away.

A traditional Japanese confection from Kyoto, ajari mochi are shaped to look like a monk’s bamboo hat—a reference to Kyoto’s many temples and shrines. Ajari mochi are also available at Mangetsu, a famous confectionary shop in Kyoto.

Ohigashi is a traditional Japanese confection made from a fine-grain Japanese sugar called wasanbon


Ohigashi is a traditional Japanese confection made from a fine-grain Japanese sugar called wasanbon.

Yōkan is a Kyoto Japanese snack that comes in a variety of flavors


Yōkan is a jellied dessert made from red, and sometimes white, bean paste, along with sugar and ajar, which is what makes the gel-like texture. Yōkan typically comes as a block or bar and is eaten in slices.

Today, many yōkan are produced by the Toraya Confectionery Co., which was founded in Kyoto. These yōkan come in a variety of flavors, including black tea, brown sugar, honey, matcha, and night plum.

Kyoto’s traditional culture influences the area’s cuisine, such as mitarashi dango
Mitarashi Dango

Mitarashi dango are skewered rice dumplings covered in a sweet soy sauce glaze known for its glassy look and strong fragrance. They originated from the Kamo Mitarashi Tea House in Kyoto.

From traditional Japanese wagashi confections to tasty miyagegashi souvenir snacks there’s a wide variety of snacks that hail from Kyoto. As the former imperial capital of Japan and home to numerous Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, Kyoto’s traditional culture influences the area’s cuisine.


If you want to experience the authentic flavors of Kyoto without leaving your home, you should try Bokksu Japanese snack box. Bokksu is a monthly subscription service that delivers a curated selection of premium Japanese snacks and teas to your door. Each box features a different theme and region of Japan, and includes a cultural guide that explains the history and stories behind each snack. You'll get to taste iconic Kyoto snacks such as yatsuhashi, matcha, and senbei, as well as discover new and seasonal delicacies. Bokksu is the perfect way to explore Japan's rich and diverse snack culture.

Featured product

Author Bio