DiningTravel

What to Buy in Japan: Tokyo Banana, Shiroi Koibito Cookies & More Japanese Snack Prices

Tokyo banana

Our love for Japanese food doesn’t stop at sushi and sashimi – it extends to sweets and confections as well. Think the famous Tokyo Banana cake and Shiroi Koibito “white lover” cookies. But as much as we love these Jap goodies, they’re kind of reserved for special occasions because of expensive they are to buy in Singapore.

The solution? Go to Japan!

Okay, okay – before you start throwing rotten veggies at me, I know that flights to Japan are expensive. But Japan is one of the top travel destinations of Singaporeans anyway, so if you’re already planning to head there this June holidays, you might as well.

If you too have a sweet tooth and are visiting Japan anytime soon, here are some snacks you “die die” must buy home.

 

Top 5 Japanese snacks to buy from Japan

If you’re thinking of dabao-ing food souvenirs from Japan, here’s a helpful price list of how much they cost.

Popular Japanese snacks Price in Japan*
Tokyo Banana (original) $6.10 (¥483) for 4 pcs 
Shiroi Koibito “white lover” biscuits  From $7.30 (¥761) for 9 pcs 
Calbee Jaga Pokkuru $10.40 (¥820) for 10 pcs
Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory biscuits   $10.90 (¥864) for 10 pcs
Ichiran instant ramen  $25.30 (¥2,000) for 5 pcs

* Prices converted from Japanese yen (¥) to Singapore dollar (S$) based on S$1 = ¥79.22. 

Some of these snacks used to be sold at Don Don Donki, but when I called up to enquire they said they no longer bring them in. You can still get these snacks online via retailers on platforms like Qoo10 and Shopee.

 

Tokyo Banana – from $6.10

If you don’t know what Tokyo Banana is, you must be a dinosaur or something. It’s a sponge cake snack that’s filled with banana cream filling.

Tokyo Banana prices

Tokyo Banana (original) Price in Japan*
4 pieces $6.10 / ¥483
8 pieces $12 / ¥1,029 
12 pieces $19.50 / ¥1,543
16 pieces $26 / ¥2,057

I wish I could say it’s not worth the hype and that I’d never pay that much more for it, but the sad truth is that I would because I genuinely enjoy this snack. The smallest box is $6.10, which is $1.50 per piece. That’s not half bad for “cake”.

 

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The Tokyo Banana snack is super popular, so quite a few on- and offline retailers sell it. But since there’s so much competition, the markup is not as high too. On Qoo10 (Happiberris), it’s $19.90 for the 8-piece box, which is still expensive, but not yet twice the price.

 

Shiroi Koibito “white lover” biscuits – from $7.30

The Shiroi Koibito “white lover” biscuit features a white chocolate slice, sandwiched between two “cat tongue” cookies. If you’re looking at Japanese food souvenirs in general, it probably only loses to Tokyo Banana.

Shiroi Koibito biscuit prices

Shiroi Koibito “white lover” biscuits Price in Japan*
9 pieces $7.30 / ¥576
12 pieces $9.60 / ¥761
18 pieces $14.40 / ¥1,142
24 pieces $19.20 / ¥1,522
27 pieces $23.20 / ¥1,836
36 pieces $32 / ¥2,535

The smallest size is the 9-piece box, which is $7.30. That’s about $0.80 / piece, which is quite reasonable. Although slightly more expensive (~$0.86 / piece), most people get the 27-piece one at $23.20 because that one comes with a nice metal tin.

I found these biscuits on Qoo10 (Ministry of Gifts), and the prices are over 2X more expensive. The 9-piece box is $18.60, as compared to $7.30 in Japan.

 

Calbee Potato Farm Jaga Pokkuru – $10.40

This Calbee Potato Farm “French fries” snack from Calbee is originally from Hokkaido, but even if you’re not heading so far up north, you can still buy it at the Tokyo and Osaka airports.

Calbee Potato Farm Jaga Pokkuru prices

Calbee Potato Farm Jaga Pokkuru Price in Japan*  
10-piece pack $10.40 / ¥820

The Singapore-Japan price difference for this is also quite dramatic. On Qoo10 (Ministry of Gifts), it is $21.90 for the box of 10, which again, is double the price. And that’s excluding the $4.50 Qxpress shipping.

 

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On Airfrov – a platform where non-travellers can request for travellers to help them buy stuff back – the average transacted price for this is $15 per box.

 

Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory biscuits – from $10.90

Of all the snack brands listed, Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory is the only one with an official store in Singapore. Let’s compare the prices.

Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory biscuit prices

Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory biscuits Price in Japan* Price in Singapore
10 pieces   From $10.90 / ¥864 From $13.50
20 pieces From $21.80 / ¥1,728 From $25.50

This is another one of my personal favourites, albeit expensive. Even in Japan, it’s at least $1+ per cookie. In Singapore, it’s more expensive, but only marginally (~20%).

 

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The prices quoted are for the cheaper flavour, salt & camembert cheese. The honey & gorgonzola flavour is slightly more expensive.

 

Ichiran instant ramen – $25.30

Ichiran Ramen is a famous tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen restaurant chain in Japan. Despite the snaking queues, most tourists aim to at least eat there once. Of course nothing can beat the freshly made ramen, but if you can’t afford the time and/or energy to wait several hours, you can buy their instant noodles.

Ichiran instant ramen prices

Ichiran instant ramen  Price in Japan*
5-piece box  $25.30 / ¥2,000 

It’s quite expensive, even in Japan. It’s $25.30, which comes up to about $5 for 1 serving.

 

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Don Don Donki used to sell it for $39.90, which is a whopping 37% more than the price in Japan. Now, the cheapest price I can find locally is $31.50 on Qoo10 (Yukiyama Foods).

 

Going to Japan? Find the best travel insurance for you at MoneySmart.sg. 

What are some other Japanese snacks you recommend buying from Japan? Tell us in the comments! 

 

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