Within the past couple of months, some things have happened back at home which leads to the difficult decision that hubby and I would need to return to the US of A first instead of going straight to Taipei as we originally planned. So knowing hubby and I would be leaving Japan in a couple of months, somehow my sister has tricked me into becoming her shopping assistant and my apartment her personal warehouse to which she sends all her otaku collector items ^.^' Hubby has jokingly worried that the mailman thinks he's a creepy gaijin otaku because he's always home when the packages show up LOL! As for myself, I've been running all about town to supply her of candies, dry foods, skincare, sunscreens, and soaps. So while I'm at it, I might as well share with you some of my favorite Japanese candies ^.^
These Kishiri Crystals are "throat candies" aren't meant to be candy candies. However, they're so yummy they might as well be. You know how Ricola is supposed to be a cough drop but it's so mild it's not really effective as a cough drop? These are much much milder than Ricola, so mild they taste like a minty milk candy that is quite delicious! While at Don Quixote one day I found a super sized bag for the original Milk Mint flavor (blue bag) as well as the special Peach Mint (pink bag) flavor. I haven't tried the peach mints yet, but I'm pretty sure I won't hate it.
Peach Mint versus the original Milk Mint
Also popular in Japan are "shio ame," which is salted candies, candies that are sweet and salty. Have you ever eaten a Chinese candy that is domed and clear with a dry preserved salty-sour plum in the middle? I love these plum candies (and salted caramel and sea salt in chocolate as well!), so the shio ame in Japan are also a huge hit for me. In my sister's case, for some reason it the salty sweet combination really helps her with motion sickness or car sickness, so she sent me on a mission to find her favorite Japanese shio ame because her supply at home had ran out.
A version of the Chinese preserved plum candy sold in Japan.
Most shio ame in Japan comes in citrus and ume (plum) flavor, depends on the season. A couple of months ago, this Yuzu Shio Ame (left bag) were sold widely, but now it takes me several stores to find this specific brand that I like. Right now, the more readily available flavor is lemon, but I also found these grapefruit and lime ones that are really yummy.
Yuzu versus Grapefruit and Lime Shio Ame.
And after going to a dozen store, I finally found my sister's favorite Nama Shio Ame (Fresh Salt Candy) in Lemon flavor. I've had these before and like them as well, so I bought a couple of bags for myself too. ^.^ Mean while, my sister is going nuts, asking for 10 bags O.o She also wants a specific brand of ume candy, which I haven't been able to find at all and thus suspect that it's seasonal. Can't help you there, sistah :P
Fresh Salt Candy, Lemon flavor