The holidays are coming soon, and for many people, that means visiting family, or even perhaps taking a vacation. Like they say, the journey is just as important as the destination, and keeping a full stomach is part of that! Keep your hunger at bay with our handy guide for the most convenient and tasty Japanese snacks to take on the road, and how to pack them.
Hands down, pocky is one of the easiest snacks to travel with. The chocolate-dipped sticks are convenient to eat because of the end of the cookie not covered in chocolate, meaning no melting and no mess on your fingers. A standard box of pocky comes with two packets for separate snacking sessions. Don’t forget that the box itself has a sealing slot to help keep it closed for easy storage!
Japanese rice crackers, or senbei, are great on-the-go snacks, especially because they are often individually packed. You can eat one or two, and then not have to worry about resealing a large bag like you would with a typical bag of potato chips. Senbei come in all kinds of flavors, including soy sauce, seaweed, seafood, or sugar. With such a wide variety of senbei to try, you’re sure to stay entertained on the road. For extra convenience, check out arare, which are smaller, finger food versions of senbei. Pick out a couple of senbei flavors and put them in your backpack or purse for whenever your stomach growls.
As one of the most popular souvenir items in Japan, these white chocolate sandwich cookies are easy to travel with because they are ultra-thin, and each cookie comes in its own packaging. Take a few with you for a small, sweet pick-me-up, especially for chocolate lovers who don’t want to worry about a mess when traveling.
Japanese Kit Kats
Kit Kats from Japan are fun and come in tons of unique flavors, ranging from strawberry to green tea. Also, compared to the way Kit Kats are packaged in the United States, Japanese Kit Kats are smaller and usually packaged as two pieces. Take a break with a Kit Kat, one piece for you, and the other with your travel buddy! If it’s hot though, as with any Japanese chocolates or cookies that can melt, you may want to stick your Kit Kats in a cooler bag, box, or even a cute bento box if you have one!
Craving ramen, but don’t have any hot water to make an instant cup of noodles? Sure, you could actually pack an instant cup of noodles for a plane ride and request hot water from a flight attendant, but this isn’t so easy to do on a road trip. Instead, check out these finger food versions of ramen, such a the appropriately-named Baby Star bite-sized ramen sticks. Or, if you’re interested in a unique, spicy flavor, try out beef-tongue flavored ramen sticks. These crunchy snacks come in fun-sized packs to easily take along in your carry-on bag.
If you love mochi, but are looking for something less sticky to eat while traveling, try out the baked version of the popular rice snack. Also known as kakimochi, these bite-sized mochi rice crackers are light, like munching on really airy cheese puffs. You may already be familiar with sweet mochi with red bean filling, but be sure to check out these savory rice crackers that feature kombu (seaweed). They’re crunchy, easy to eat and packed with umami-rich flavor that’ll surely satisfy you during your travels.
Normally, you wouldn’t really think to pack bread for an easy snack, but Japanese breads are a great option when traveling! These breads are known for being soft, often incorporating milk to add a rich texture. A traditional Japanese bread is manju, a sweet bun that is perfectly sized for a quick bite to eat. Just be sure to stash one of these at the top of your travel bag to avoid smashing it!
Or, if you really can’t decide and want to get a bit of everything, pack along an entire Japanese snack box of savory goodies and sweet treats. Japanese snacks are fun, delicious, and can make great entertainment as you chat about all the different flavors with your travel companion!