In Japan, they take their cookie eating seriously; you'll even find an entire section of the grocery store dedicated to these sweet treats. These aisles and rows are packed with popular Japanese cookies like manju and mochi. If you find the aisle overwhelming, the below guide includes some of the best Japanese cookies to help your grocery selection go more quickly. We’ve included fun options along with traditional Japanese cookies.
What is the Most Popular Cookie in Japan?
Japan's number one cookie option is the Shiroi Koibito, which translates to "white lover." This delightful cookie features crispy langue de chat biscuits, which are filled with a white or dark chocolate filling. The cookies are buttery, while the filling is rich and melts in your mouth.
These cookie sandwiches have been around for 40+ years. Their name refers to Hokkaido's white, snowy appearance and the white chocolate filling some of the cookies have. This is one of the most popular Japanese cookies and is also noted as one of the most popular souvenirs from Japan.
This is one of the types of Japanese cookies which has been around for a long time. Hato Sabure was launched in the 1890s. During this time, butter was a rare commodity in Japan. Since the cookies are buttery themselves, they quickly became a popular snack. Hato means dove in Japanese, which is why the cookie is dove shaped. Expect a crunchy, buttery flavor when eating Hato Sabure.
You’ve likely tried mochi ice cream or chewy mochi with sweet fillings, but have you tried mochi cookies? These delicious treats feature the same chewy texture as other mochi treats. These popular Japanese cookies include a mochi filling for a fun, stretchy goodie. These cookies feature many mochi flavors, like strawberry or green tea.
If you enjoy red bean paste, you’ll love manju cookies. These cookies are made from wheat flour and are stuffed with sweet azuki paste. They’re sealed using a pinch method to ensure the filling doesn’t leak out. These cookies are perfect if you like a sweet but not too sweet flavor.
Yoku Moku Cigare
These cigar-shaped cookies are often given as gifts in Japan and other countries/areas, especially around holidays. For example, Singaporeans typically gift Yoku Moku Cigare cookies to each other for Chinese New Year. During this time, the cookies are packed in boxes featuring the zodiac animal for that year. These cigar-shaped cookies are crispy, buttery and have a delicious vanilla flavor.
Kinako Sugar Cookies
Kinako is a roasted soybean powder popular in Japan because of its nutty flavor. These sugar cookies are made similarly to standard sugar cookies, except they have a good amount of kinako added.
Moominvalley Chocolate Biscuit
These choco biscuits are a favorite among children since they are shaped like characters from Moominvalley, an animated show. These cookies are light yet crispy, making them a fun snack or side for lunch.
Meiji Hello Panda
Meiji's Hello Panda cookies are another favorite among kids since they're sweet and have adorable pandas stamped on the outside and the packaging. The outside is a tasty shortbread cookie, while the inside has creamy filling in different flavors. These cookies were created in the 1970s.
Bourbon Choco & Coffee Biscuit
Each pack of these cookies comes filled with two flavors – chocolate and coffee. The outside cookie is crunchy, making it the perfect vessel for the creamy filling. Each cookie is a perfectly round shape with wavy edges.
Mochi Matcha Chocolate Chips Cookies
These tasty cookies combine traditional Japanese flavors with a unique Western flair. In each cookie, you'll find a bitter matcha taste that is complimented by sweet chocolate chips. Like regular mochi cookies, you'll find a chewy mochi center in each one. Mochi matcha chocolate chip cookies are typically available in Japanese grocery stores, though it's common for them to be homemade.
If you’re curious to know what do Japanese people eat as a sweet treat, then you’ll love learning about Glico Bisco. This popular Japanese cookie has been a favorite among kids since its launch in 1933. At the time, it was not common for cookies to be made with yeast, so this biscuit was considered innovative. These cookies were specifically made with lactic acid bacteria so that they can be easily digested. Each cookie sandwich has crispy biscuits on the outside and a thin layer of creamy filling on the inside.
Meiji Kinoko No Yama
These adorable cookies feature a mushroom shape with a chocolate cap and biscuit stem. They’re lightly crunchy and perfectly sweet. Kinoko no yama cookies are available in many flavors, including cookies and cream, milk chocolate, and strawberry. Meiji planned to launch these cookies in 1970 but were unsure whether the cookie would do well on the market. Five years later, they launched these mushroom-shaped cookies, and they've been popular ever since.
If you don’t have a Japanese market or grocery store near you, you can find a large selection of Japanese cookies at Bokksu. You’ll find tasty cookie options here, like Petit Cafe Au Lait Crackers and Sekkasei Cookies.
Consider getting a Japanese subscription box to try new Japanese snacks, sweets, and tea. Each box comes with an exciting collection of goodies based on a monthly theme. For example, each Springtime, Bokksu subscription boxes include Sakura-flavored items to celebrate cherry blossom season in Japan. Check out Bokksu’s large selection of cookies, or gift yourself a subscription box to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings.