wagashi and online shopping

How to Buy Japanese Sweets Online

by: Hideo Takahashi



Time to read 7 min

Why you should consider buying Japanese sweets online

If you are a geek of Japanese sweets, you might want to have the possibility to eat them at your own

home, even if you don’t live in Japan; while it may sound difficult, it is possible and straightforward! Here are

some tips for buying these unique and tasty artworks online in Japan and overseas.

Pros & Cons of buying Japanese sweets online


Many online stores offer a great variety of sweets and allow you to receive them directly

at home. You may explore specialties from all over Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa, without

having to travel from region to region physically; also, if you live outside Japan, it would probably be

the easiest way to access authentic wagashi, because traditional Japanese treats are

usually difficult to find in overseas countries.

Hokkaido and Okinawa

Hokkaido on the left and Okinawa on the right side


Online shopping always includes some cons: first, shipping costs might be an issue since

sometimes they are even higher than the cost of the products you buy if you live outside Japan!

Also, shipping time is another important factor: Japanese sweets are known for their delicate

texture and natural ingredients, and preserving their freshness is fundamental to enjoying them. Also, you might be concerned about the quality of your online products. But no worries: we are here to help you discover the best ways to safely enjoy your favorite Japanese sweets,

no matter where you are!

Factors to consider before buying Japanese sweets online

Authenticity and quality

While Japanese sweets are becoming more and more popular around the world, it is also a fact that non-authentic wagashi are spreading rapidly: they are often presented as a cheaper option and are usually more accessible than the “real” Japanese sweets, but sadly, while they might look almost identical to them, they lack the original ingredients, craftsmanship, quality, and cultural significance that characterize wagashi. Authenticity is a crucial factor in enjoying this particular aspect of Japanese tradition.

Shelf life and expiration dates

Traditional Japanese sweets often have a relatively short shelf life compared to other commercially

produced treats: they are mainly made from natural ingredients such as red beans, sweet potatoes, and

agar-agar and usually contain a minimum amount of preservatives. Therefore, it is fundamental to

always check the expiration date before buying a wagashi to enjoy its characteristic flavors and

freshness and avoid undesirable health problems.

Buying Japanese sweets online during your stay in Japan

Why buy Japanese sweets online during your stay in Japan

For many reasons, buying Japanese sweets physically in Japan can be preferable.


Buying wagashi directly in Japan is the most affordable way to obtain these traditional sweets: not only

will the cost of the products be lower inside the country where they are produced, but shipping fees will

also be way cheaper.

Time efficiency

As explained before, most wagashi have a short shelf life: by buying them directly in Japan, you can enjoy them when they are fresh!

Regional Specialties

Buying sweets directly in Japan will give you a wide selection of wagashi, including local specialties! Every region has its traditional foods and sweets; exploring their incredible variety is an experience you can likely only have in Japan.

Exclusive Deals

Buying wagashi directly from Japan can offer many exclusive deals: first, you would have access

almost only to real, authentic sweets without the risk of buying fake products. Moreover, websites based

in Japan might have direct partnerships with manufacturers; consequently, there might be

unique discounts. Also, purchasing limited wagashi, such as seasonal sweets, would be easier.

Avoid Crowds

Japan is famous not only for its unique culture and culinary traditions but also for the crowdedness of its

biggest cities (sigh). For example, did you know that six of the ten busiest train stations in the world

are in Japan? Buying sweets online would be a practical option to avoid long lines and crowds.

A crowd in a Japanese city

Language Barrier

Even though we discussed the advantages of buying wagashi from online stores, there is an

essential factor to consider: many Japanese websites are only written in Japanese! But you don’t have

to worry; some authentic online wagashi shops have an English page!


Where to buy Japanese sweets online during your stay in Japan

Here is a list of some online stores with an English page from where you can buy Japanese sweets:

- Minamoto Kitchoan is one of the most famous stores specializing in wagashi.

- Isetan Online Store: it is the online platform of a famous department store in Japan, where you

can find a wide selection of products, including wagashi.

- Takashimaya Online Store: another Japanese department store providing an online

shopping service.

- Amazon Japan offers a wide range of snacks and sweets, including wagashi.

- Rakuten: it is a popular online marketplace where you can find a variety of Japanese sweets.

Buying Japanese sweets online in your country

Where to buy Japanese sweets online in your country

Buying wagashi from sellers in your country

Many Asian grocery stores have an online shopping service from where you can buy Japanese sweets;

in addition, there might also be some Japanese communities that import wagashi from Japan!

Buying wagashi from Japan

Another option to purchase wagashi is to buy them directly from Japan: many services, such as Amazon

Japan, Rakuten, and Japan Centre offer a wide selection of Japanese treats you can buy

overseas. However, choosing authentic, high-quality sweets from an online store might be pretty difficult;

JAPANBITE is a subscription service that delivers exclusive, premium wagashi monthly; we

also ship Japanese tea, a culture guide, and sweets. If you are interested in discovering

Japanese wagashi culture, we strongly recommend you try our monthly snack box!

Why buy Japanese sweets from Japan

Buying Japanese sweets from Japan is highly suggested for many reasons.


If you purchase wagashi in Japan, you do not have to worry about authenticity since every

product you can find has been made only by Japanese craftsmen.

Wide Variety

Japanese culinary culture is known for its variety of options, and wagashi is no exception. By buying traditional sweets in their own country of origin, you will be surprised by the wide selection of treats you will find!


Since no intermediate seller is involved, there will not be additional costs other than the product price

and the delivery fee.

Specialty and limited edition items

In Japan, you can pick your favorite wagashi from a wide variety of local specialties from all

over the country and even limited edition items! Why don’t you try eating a sanshoku dango in

Spring, or enjoy a tsukimi dango while watching the moon in Autumn?

Sanshokudago and Tsukimi dango

Sanshoku dago on the left and tsukimi dango on the right side

Gift Options

Looking at online stores based in Japan, you might find some nice ideas, such as gift options.

Wagashi are often exchanged on special occasions, and many Japanese confectionary stores offer

beautiful packages that will certainly be appreciated!


Another important factor to consider is accessibility: online stores based in Japan will give you access to

authentic wagashi, even if you are not near any local store that sells Japanese sweets.


If you buy wagashi directly from Japan, their freshness will be granted since these treats are shipped

only once you decide to purchase them: this will allow you to enjoy your sweets even though they are safely

have a short shelf life and preserve their delicate flavors.

Tips for a successful online purchase

Reading reviews and ratings

Reading reviews and ratings is, of course, the first thing to do when purchasing from an online platform:

The experiences of previous customers are an important indicator of the security of the store, its service,

and the quality of its products.

Comparing prices and shipping fees

Making a comparison between similar stores in terms of their prices and shipping fees can be helpful as

well, it will allow you to avoid paying excessive amounts of money and also to recognize potential


Ensuring secure payment methods

Sadly, the number of online scams is increasing every year. Using trusted websites (here is a trick:

always look for “HTTPS” in the URL and a padlock symbol in the address bar) and ensure secure

payment methods such as PayPal and trusted credit card processors are crucial to avoid online


Japanese wagashi are becoming more and more popular all over the world: nowadays, it is possible to

purchase them online even if you live outside Japan, so if you are interested in discovering this unique

side of Japanese culinary culture, you have to find your favorite online store, and then you can

receive them directly at your own home!

Author Bio

Hideo Takahashi

Hideo Takahashi

Born in Tokyo in 1990. Founder of JAPANBITE and CEO of its operating company, GRID Start, Ltd.
Established the company in 2023 after being a consultant of IT infrastructure.
Inspired by his travels to 15 countries and a deep love for Japanese food, he launched a service to contribute to small local Japanese manufacturers' businesses and allow many foreigners to enjoy Japanese culture.

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