22 traditional sweets bringing good luck and a happy stomach!

Japanese cuisine, like many other aspects of the culture, is characterized by an attention to detail and a respect for traditional form. Japanese candies are no exception. Just take a look at these Japanese good luck sweets. Intended to bring good fortune, each piece of candy is immaculately created—equally as pleasurable for the eyes as they are for the taste buds.


Fukudoku Senbei | from Ishikawa

photo source: web-japan.org

This senbei, or Japanese rice cracker, is actually hollow! Inside are two good luck charms, the Manekineko (lucky cat) and Komainu (guardian dog), made from baked sugar. Cute, edible and delicious!


Kusudama | from Ishikawa

photo source: okashibako.exblog.jp

The Kusudama is a ceremonial ball hung from the ceiling that, when opened, reveals colorful streamers and decorations. The Kusudama shown here, however, is made of mochi! Almost 10 centimeters wide, this mochi Kusudama shares a similar celebratory spirit as its dangling cousin, and is filled to the brim with traditional Ishikawa sweets.


Fortune Cookies

Fushimi Fortune Cookie | from Kyoto

photo source: blog.goo.ne.jp

While it may surprise the western reader, fortune cookies are not particularly common in Japan. Formally known as a tsujiura senbei, these original fortune cookies from the Fushimi district in Kyoto contain 180 unique fortunes.


Moroe-ya Fortune Cookie | from Ishikawa

photo source: webry.info

Dainty sweets complimented by immaculately well-designed paper fortunes. While the cookie can easily be eaten in one swift bite, the fortune, on the other hand, might last a lifetime!


Woman's Good Luck Sweets

Hinagashi | from Kyoto

photo source: kagizen.co.jp

Hinagashi are candies prepared for the annual Hina Matsuri (girls doll festival). We just hope the assortment of dried higashi candies shown above are as sweet as they are cute.

Hinamanju | from Iwate

photo source: made-in-shiwa-agri.jp

Prepared as a gesture of good faith for growing girls, Hinamanju, also called Hanamanju or Hanadango, are traditionally homemade. One can only imagine the time required to get those color gradients just right.


Peach Castella | From Nagasaki








photo source: ootakedo.net

The castella, originally brought by Spanish merchants in the 16th century, is now a regular staple in bakeries throughout Japan. Combined with peaches, which according to Chinese lore are believed to bring a long and pain-free life, these sweet spongecakes are customarily given to reign in the beginning of the peach season in Nagasaki. A long life filled with tasty peach sponge cakes—we certainly can't complain.


Sweets for Weddings and Fertility

Sanuki no Oiri | from Kagawa

photo source: himazines.com

"Thanks for coming! Here's some candy!" In Shikoku's northern Kagawa Prefecture, these little candy balls are customarily given out to wedding guests by the no-longer-single bride.


Multi-colored Namagashi | from Ishikawa

photo source: ai-cb.com

The imagination runs wild with these special Namagashi, intended to represent the sun, moon, mountains, sea and earth. While primarily associated with weddings, namagashi are also exchanged to celebrate all sorts of other milestones, from a pregnancy to a new house.


Korokoro Mochi | from Ishikawa

photo source: nakagosi.co.jp/

Given the egg-like shape of these little mochi balls, it's not hard to guess what these are given to celebrate! Korokoro Mochi tell a soon-to-be-mommy that you hope her child turns out healthy and awesome.


Kagayacho | from Ishikawa

|photo source: nakagosi.co.jp/

Given the egg-like shape of these little mochi balls, it's not hard to guess what these are given to celebrate! Korokoro Mochi tell a soon-to-be-mommy that you hope her child turns out healthy and awesome.


Sweets for Fuku (Good Fortune)

Fukudaruma | from Kyoto

photo source: ayano.hatenablog.jp
These little candies look an awful lot like Japanese baby biscuits, but the resemblance stops there, because they are really tasty too.


Fukuwauchi | from Kyoto

photo source: kanshin.com

Given during the Setsubun festival in spring, Fukuhauchi are filled with good luck. They even wrote it right on the box: "Fuku!"


Shofuku Mochi | from Tokyo

photo source: item.rakuten.co.jp

Can you guess what these Shofuku Mochi ("sho" meaning "to invite") are all about? If you guessed that they are "mochi that invite good fortune," you're right!


Sweets for Fulfilling Wishes

Swan Lake Kaiundo | from Nagano

photo source: sanpo.mapion.co.jp

Before these cakes melt in your mouth, it is recommended the receiver repeat "Polvoron!" a total of three times to maximize potential happiness. Good luck!


Atari Manju | from Kyoto

photo source: tokyo-midtown.com

Made by traditional candy shop Kano Shojuan these good luck sweets come with an arrow for prodding and sticking! Just stick the manju and aim for the mouth.


Iwaokoshi | from Osaka

photo source: daikoku.ne.jp

Okoshi are processed cereal snacks, and these Iwaokoshi from Osaka capture the humorous nature of the people there, with some strange play-on-words written across the packaging.


Tochio no Marutai | from Tochio, Shizuoka

photo source: botekinkobeya.blog.fc2.com

Though inspired by the sea bream (called tai in Japanese) regularly eaten raw in sushi shops across the country, don't expect any fishy smells to emanate from this sweet treat. Tochio no Marutai is filled with anko red bean paste, shaped extra-round to ensure that every bite is filled with the perfect anko distribution.


Tonpinkan | from Nagasaki

photo source: m-mizoguti.com

Tonpinkan is the local Nagasaki word for "frivolousness," perhaps a tongue-in-cheek reference to the rather whimsical arrangement of confectionaries, designed after local specialties like the hygrangea, Nagasaki flower and loquat.


Shakushi Senbei | from Hiroshima

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photo source: sn-hiroshima.co.jp

Simple and minimal, the Shakushi Senbei is a popular treat believed to help with both business ventures and domestic stability.


Monzen Hato Awase | from Nagano

photo source: sn-hiroshima.co.jp

Simple and minimal, the Shakushi Senbei is a popular treat believed to help with both business ventures and domestic stability.


Namagashi from Itohkuemon | from Kyoto

photo source: itohkyuemon.co.jp

Believed to bring a long life and a bright future, this namagashi from Kyoto's famous sweet shop Itohkuemon makes a great gift for all the beloved elderly people in your life.


Who would have thought that the Japanese candy world would be so full of well wishes? So go forth and get acquainted with the fortune-filled world of traditional confections! Just try not to eat too much, or your good omen might turn into type-2 diabetes before you can even get your fingers crossed.