Product Reviews,  Traveling,  Traveling Tastebuds

A round-up of Fukuoka souvenirs [Japanese snacks Vol. 4]

It’s clear by now how addicted I am to hauling Japanese snacks. I always come home with a suitcase full of them! Seeing my list today, I had to ask myself: Why on earth do I keep hauling sweets when I don’t eat sweets an awful lot? Is it the cute packaging? The interesting presentation?

I don’t know, and I don’t think I really care what the answer to this question is. I am simply curious about trying out all these Japanese snacks and edible souvenirs! If anyone asks, that’s the only important thing. So here we are, with yet another list of food items that we tried during our trip to Fukuoka.

The best part about traveling to different parts of Japan is that often enough, you can only acquire certain goods in certain places. The charm of a limited edition treat is stronger than you might think, and Japan know how to play the game. Stacked in neat rows in a shop, they draw you in and whisper, ‘Try me.’ You’ll find yourself trying one pack of each interesting thing, and suddenly your whole basket is full! These Japanese snacks can hypnotize haha!

Now not everything on this list is limited only to Fukuoka, but there are quite a lot that I think you all may want to give a try when you visit there in the future. I aim to show the variety of surprises in store for your tastebuds, so let’s dive right in!

Meito Assorted Strawberry Chocolates (798 yen) & Look Ala Mode Assorted Chocolates (278 yen)

japanese snacks fukuoka 1

These chocolates aren’t Fukuoka limited, so I reckon you can get them from any DonKi in the entire Japan. And you should. They make great inexpensive pasalubong, and they also make great snacking chocolates. They are a little sweet because they are milk chocolates with flavored fillings, but the fillings taste pretty good.

Bought at: Don Quijote

Bourbon Alfort cookies, any flavor really! (price varies)

japanese snacks fukuoka 2

I have loved Alfort since I first tried them, and I can’t stop buying them every time I go to Japan. I usually pick up the Alfort Black (78 yen) variant and the matcha one, but now I have a new favorite: the Premium Strawberry Alfort Mini Chocolates (158 yen).

japanese snacks fukuoka 3

Oh my goodness, what a difference using 40% real strawberry makes in the flavor of these! You can taste the sweet-sour tanginess of a real strawberry in every bite. LOVE.

Bought at: Don Quijote and 7-Eleven

Regular and special edition Pocky snacks (price varies)

Since Fukuoka is the land of strawberries, I began to try looking for more strawberry-flavored snacks to take home. It’s hard to miss the Giant Pocky Strawberry (780 yen) boxes, boasting 22% real strawberry flavor. It’s not bad, but the Alfort is hard to top.

The Pocky Matcha (128 yen) is one of my all-time faves which you can find anywhere in Japan, but the Pocky Banana Bran (128 yen) might be a different story. (I didn’t see it when I went to Sapporo last month.) It’s not my favorite flavor because it’s super sweet, although yes it has a full banana scent and flavor. The Pocky Midi White Chocolate & Lemon (168 yen) is another new-to-me flavor. It was sweet with a pleasant lemon scent. I would have liked more lemon sourness though.

Bought at: Don Quijote and 7-Eleven

Various Kit-Kat flavors

There’s a lot of novelty in “collecting” KitKat’s when you travel to Japan. Combining all my past few trips, I must’ve tried at least a dozen different flavors of KitKat already, but I still came across a bunch I haven’t. I have tried the KitKat Sake (700 yen) and Amazake (716 yen), as well as the Uji Houjicha KitKat (800 yen) before and they are some of my favorites, so I bought them again. Good balance of flavor against the sweetness of creamy white chocolate.

This KitKat Iyokan Mandarin Orange (298 yen) is new to me though. White chocolate flavored with a fragrant orange, a bit sweet, a bit citrusy, not bad but not good enough for me to add to my favorites. If you like orange flavored things, I imagine you will enjoy this one. Plus, look at those adorable messages on the packaging!

Bought at: Don Quijote and Hakata station souvenir shop

Various chocolates and candies

As a fan of 70%+ chocolates, I buy a lot of random chocolates labeled as such. The DARS Strawberry Chocolate I bought on a whim because it had strawberry. It tasted like any other milk chocolate with strawberry filling.

The more interesting stuff here are the Meiji Bean to Bar THE Chocolates, which feature good quality chocolate for a not-so-expensive price. I think it was 200+ yen each. There’s also that Green Tea Caramel (598 yen) that’s like a green-tea flavored soft candy with caramel notes.

Bought at: Don Quijote

Calbee Fruit Granola (598 yen)

This brand of cereal is one of the best I have ever eaten in my life. All the flavors I have tried so far have been great. These are half the price when you buy them in Japan versus when you buy them in Japanese grocery stores here so I try to fit as many in my suitcase as I can haha!

Bought at: Don Quijote

Giant Pretz in Mentaiko flavor (600 yen)

Finally something savory! These crunchy long biscuits are flavored with salty mentaiko, and they are addictive. They are pretzel-based, coated with a dusting of mentaiko powder that makes you want to lick the packaging after.

Bought at: Don Quijote (also available everywhere in Fukuoka)

Savory nuts and rice crackers

I am hooked on these savory treats. Somehow, the combination of rice crackers and nuts with bits of dried anchovies (198 yen) are just so good! Add nori and it’s a party. I also love the almond-dilis combo (980 yen). These are pretty much take-home staples for me now. I’ve talked about these in a past Japanese snacks post.

Bought at: Don Quijote

Various mentaiko flavored snacks

One of Fukuoka’s specialty foods is mentaiko, a salty cod roe that might not be for everyone, but that I enjoy quite a bit. Using it as a flavoring for snacks helps make it more universally enjoyable because the strong taste becomes a bit mellow.

I actually like fresh mentaiko but I still enjoyed most of the things in the photo above, and I’ll tell you about each briefly:

On the left, the Mentaiko & Premium Dried Squid, is not just great for snacking but as topping for rice or congee as well. On the upper right is Fukutaro Mentai-Aji Karinto (100 yen), a crunchy deep fried dough shaped into bite-sized pieces, flavored with mentaiko. I feel so-so about karinto in general because usually they are sweet, but these were fairly addictive. Savory with an underlying sweet taste.

I much prefer the Fukutaro Menbei crackers in Extra Spicy (500 yen) rather than Mayonnaise. Menbei is actually a play on words, combining the word mentaiko with senbei (rice cracker). Flat, crispy, yummy, with a kick!

Bought at: Hakata station souvenir shop

Hakata no Hito Amaou Ichigo Milk and Yame Matcha (520 yen each)

These cakes are like mini baumkuchen, which Japan seems to be obsessed with. They were sweet and I liked them well enough with tea in the afternoon. The matcha and strawberry flavors were present in the paste filling, but a little too sweet for me.

Bought at: Hakata station souvenir shop

Hakata Marron by Akai Fusen (561 yen) & Makkana Ichigo no Langue de Chat by Hanakufudo (1,380 yen)

These two are award-winning Hakata-exclusive treats, so without knowing how they taste, we confidently added them to our basket.

The Hakata Marron is a bite-sized financier pastry filled with sweet chestnut paste. The company Akai Fusen makes sure that the chestnuts and every ingredient used for their marron are grown in Kyushu island, and then made by local artisans to ensure top quality. These are delightful little buttery cakes with a smooth chestnut glacé, but a bit sweet for me.

I am however a big fan of the langue de chat. Japan LOVES langue de chat so I’ve tried a few, and these are some of the best I’ve had. The cookies are perfectly thin and crisp, but it is the filling, just rightly sweet with a beautiful strawberry flavor, that makes it stand out. The filling is made with white chocolate and freeze-dried Amaou strawberry. No wonder. Highly recommended!

Bought at: Hakata station souvenir shop

Fukuoka strawberries (700 yen up, depending on weight and variety)

If there’s one thing you should be clever enough to gorge on while here, it’s Fukuoka’s strawberries. I’ve never quite cared about strawberries, that is, until I tasted these sweet, juicy gems. You get the slightest hint of tang to make the strawberries interesting but mostly it’s sweet and juicy. Yum!

Bought at: Daimaru supermarket

Mentaiko and Wasabi-flavored Japanese mayonnaise (less than 500 yen)

Unfortunately I can no longer find my receipts for these, but I remember they didn’t cost as much as 500 yen. Let me just say, as someone who does not like greasy Western mayonnaise, I really liked these. I love how the flavors are so apparent that even when you eat the mayonnaise as part of a sandwich, you get wasabi, you get mentaiko. If you like Japanese mayo, this is like next level!

Bought at: Hakata station souvenir shop (probably also available in supermarkets)

Takahashi Yuzusco Hot Sauce (500 yen)

This is the Japanese version of tabasco sauce, with the fragrance and sweet tang of the yuzu citrus added in. And because of that, it imparts this sort of fresh sunny taste in the mouth in the middle of the spicy flavor. To me, it’s not THAT spicy, but I really like spicy food so maybe my tolerance is a little bit higher. The green one has a more apparent vinegar-y taste to it, blending well with the yuzu. The red version uses red peppers and has a more smoky flavor to it. Both are awesome, if you like hot sauce.

We only bought these two bottles so we were SOOOOO careful about making this last for as long as we could. That was how much we liked these!

Bought at: Hakata station souvenir shop

Royce Nama Chocolates Sakura and Grand Marnier Flavors (720 yen each)

You could never get me to eat white or milk chocolate, unless it’s Royce’s Nama. Smooth and creamy in the mouth, these are the things I NEVER fail to bring home when I go to Japan. It has become a habit to spot limited editions, and this time I found these two flavors.

The Grand Marnier is milk chocolate based, with bitter tones from the brandy and fruity tones from the citrus. It smells lovely and is not too sweet. Meanwhile the Sakura one is a pretty shade of pink, with a light floral taste overshadowed by sweetness. Good to try but not my fave.

The Sakura Nama is probably a spring limited edition chocolate but the Grand Marnier might be made available for certain periods in the year.

Where I bought: Fukuoka Airport

Nagasaki Fukusaya Cube Castella Cake (500 yen)

My brother bought this little cake not because he thinks the castella is the best, but because of how cleverly packaged it is. I’ll write about a castella shop I recommend when I publish my posts about my visit to Nagasaki, but if you’re a fan of Japan’s sweet castella sponge cake, this one is a handy travel version.

The box opens up like a present and also serves as a little plate for you to eat in. Inside there is a tiny knife, but it’s good enough to cut through the cottony soft cake. This cake smells amazing and is just a classic sweet castella flavor. The crumb is amazing and the cake brings about some nostalgia.

Where I bought: Fukuoka Airport

My top recommendations:

For Fukuoka souvenirs, I suggest you try out the mentaiko-flavored treats like the Pretz and the , or even just potato chips. Also grab some of the mayo! It’s great with hotdogs. I also think the Makkana Ichigo no Langue de Chat by Hanakufudo is a must-buy. And of course, do not miss having fresh Amaou Strawberries while in Fukuoka. Hot sauce fiends should try a bottle or two of Yuzusco.

For snacks widely available in Japan, Bourbon’s Alfort cookies are AWESOME. My faves are Matcha and Premium Strawberry. Stocking up on Matcha pocky and Sake-flavored KitKat never hurt. If you like granola, you will find delight in any flavor of the Calbee granola. If you like munching on things, the Mixed Rice Cracker snacks are A+.

Finally, grab any limited edition Royce Nama Chocolate you can get your hands on. You might not see them again when you return!

Hope you guys have a blast snack-hunting and snack-devouring! 😉

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