Vegan Snacks In Japan

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Want to know more about vegan snacks in Japan?

Eating vegan in Japan can be a bit of a minefield – between the language barrier and the fact that fish and seafood products seem to creep their way into EVERYTHING, it can be a tricky situation to navigate for many foreigners. 

So, I decided to put together a list of tips and tricks for eating vegan in Japan, which I’ll be featuring on my blog as part of a two-part series. And, because we all know being hangry when travelling is just the worst, I’ve decided to start with snacks!

I’ve compiled a list of vegan-friendly snacks that you’ll easily be able to get hold of from most supermarkets, convenience stores or by the roadside.

Quite conveniently, a lot of traditional Japanese snacks happen to be naturally vegan, and also gluten-free. 

Obviously ingredients do vary from brand to brand, so I can’t 100% guarantee that all of these products listed below will be vegan, but this is just a rough guide of the types of foods you should be looking out for!

Mochi

Mochi are sticky rice cakes often filled with sweet red bean paste. You can buy lots of different types of mochi in supermarkets, convenience stores, traditional Japanese sweet shops and just by the side of the road.

For the best quality, most authentic-tasting mochi, I’d suggest buying something from a traditional mochi shop.

However, one thing to bear in mind is that mochi does sometimes contain dairy products, so if you’re dairy-free, it’s best to avoid mochi ice cream, or cream-filled mochi. 

Walnut mochi filled with sweet red bean paste:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Mochi being cooked on the roadside in Asakusa: 

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Sticks of mochi topped with sweet chestnut paste and cherry blossom-flavoured (!!) white bean paste: 

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Mochi filled with sweet edamame bean paste:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

More of the above:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

A selection of different types of mochi:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Dried/candied fruit and vegetables

I’d recommend branching out from raisins and trying out some of the more unusual dried and candied snacks available in Japan.

Sweet potatoes are popular, as well as beans, and in terms of fruit, dried persimmon is delicious. These all tend to be naturally gluten-free.

I love these candied sweet potato slices:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

More candied sweet potato – it tastes reminiscent of marron glacé:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Candied beans. Sounds weird, tastes amazing:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Dried sweet potato – it tastes a bit like dried mango but less sweet:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Veggie crisps

Finally, a savoury snack! Vegetable crisps seem to be super popular in Japan at the moment. They’re generally slightly thicker than the ones sold in the West.

These also tend to be naturally gluten-free, though it’s best to double-check yourself.

Vegan Snacks In Japan

More vegetable chips but using lots of unusual vegetables like French beans, okra, pumpkin, radish etc:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Similar to the above but for dogs:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Deep-fried salted broad beans. These are ADDICTIVE:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Crispy little sticks of deep-fried, sugar-coated sweet potato deliciousness:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Same as above but using purple sweet potatoes (!) instead:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Puffed rice

These are a very traditional Japanese sweet snack.

They’re basically clusters of puffed rice glued together with sugar, and also tend to be naturally gluten-free, though some of them may contain gluten in the form of soy sauce. 

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Same as the above but in a different shape:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Bread

Japanese bakeries are amazing and smell divine. However, a lot of bread in Japan contains dairy products which is unfortunate.

The types of bread that tend to not contain dairy are the ones filled with nuts and dried fruit, like this delicious rye loaf filled with dried cranberries and chestnuts:

Vegan Snacks In Japan

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you found this helpful. Do you have any useful tips for eating vegan in Japan? If so, please share below!

You can also check out my post about vegan drinks