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[Traditional famous Senbei from all over Japan, part 1]

Each region of Japan has its own unique culture and history, and each region has its own traditional Senbei. This time, we will be compiling our first round of traditional Senbei carefully selected from all over Japan. These Senbei, which have a long history and have been loved by locals, give you a taste of the local flavor and culture. Through the various types of Senbei, you can get a glimpse of Japan's rich food culture.

Soka Senbei (Saitama Prefecture)

It originates from the Edo period, when rice was steamed in Soka-juku, crushed, dried, sprinkled with salt, and then baked. It was marketed as a product for travelers and spread throughout the country. It is said that the reason why Soka , along the Nikko Highway , became a specialty is because high quality rice, high quality water, and high quality soy sauce were all nearby. It was also popular as it was reasonably priced and lightweight.

Nanbu Senbei (Hachinohe region/Iwate Prefecture northern region)

"Nanbu Senbei" is widely eaten in the Hachinohe region and the northern region of Iwate Prefecture . These simple and flavorful rice crackers are made from a dough made from a mixture of wheat flour, salt, and water, rather than non-glutinous rice, and baked in a round mold. Nanbu Senbei began when Shiki Komatsu learned how to make rice crackers while working as a child. For 54 years, Shiki devoted his life to making rice crackers.

Nure Senbei (Choshi City, Chiba Prefecture)

Nure senbei began as a failed senbei cracker with sauce seeping into the dough . Yuji Yokoyama , the second generation of Kashiwaya, inherited the hand-baking technique and began distributing them as "bonus" from around 1960. It gradually spread through word of mouth and was registered as a trademark under the product name "Nuresen".

Tile Senbei (Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture)

Each type has an explanation of its origins, and there is a manufacturer who claims to be the "original" one. In Kobe, Kameido Sohonten is said to be the "original" tile, and the founder, Sasuke Matsui, developed it in 1873, taking advantage of the characteristics of Kobe, which was a port city, and explained that the shape of the tile came from his hobby of collecting tiles. ing. In Takamatsu, Kutsuwado's "Tile Senbei" was created in 1877 (Meiji 10). A chicken egg rice cracker baked using a special Wasanbon rice cracker with a motif of tiles from Takamatsu Castle, also known as Tamamo Castle . A tile is placed on top of a building and has the meaning of "protecting or symbolizing" something, and kawara senbei, like roof tiles, are branded with a logo or family crest that is a symbol of a company or house, and are "solid and strong". It is said that this sweet was made with the wish of "prosperity."

Carbonated Senbei (Arima Onsen, Hyogo Prefecture)

Rice crackers originated from hot springs. The name comes from the fact that the dough was made with carbonated spring water from Yunoyama Onsen . It got its . Currently, that water is not used for sanitary reasons, but as the name suggests, carbonated water is used. Hyogo Prefecture's "carbonated senbei" is a sweet senbei made from wheat flour and sweetness . Other varieties include Isobe Senbei (Isobe Onsen, Gunma Prefecture) and Yusenpei (Unzen Onsen, Nagasaki Prefecture).

Yaotsu Senbei (Gifu Prefecture)

It is read as yaotsu senbei . A simple and traditional senbei cracker made from Yaotsu Town, Gifu Prefecture, with a Japanese-style -like feel made from wheat, sugar, and eggs . Assortments using peanuts, eggs, ginger, mini mineral springs, baked granules, etc. are also popular.

Ni○ka Senbei (Fukuoka Prefecture)

A long-selling rice cracker released in 1909. The design is inspired by the masks from Hakata's local performing art, "Hakata Niwaka." Pronounced as Toundo "Niwaka Senpei ." A rice cracker with an impact that can be said to be the best in Japan when eaten. A sweet rice cracker shaped like a humorous mask used in Hakata's local performing art, "Hakata Niwaka."

Yukari(Aichi Prefecture)

Each piece uses about 7 natural shrimp and is made using a unique twice-baked method. A signature product of Sakakaku Sohonpo in Tokai City, Aichi Prefecture. It has its roots in shrimp hanpei, which fishermen grilled and ate on the beach, and the lord of the Owari clan, who liked it, ordered it, and from that tradition, it has established itself as a high-class gift. The name has the meaning of connection.


Iga specialty: "Original Katayaki Aonori Extra Large" Katayaki senbei made by Iga Kaan Yamamoto are known to be the toughest in Japan. It was used as portable food by Iga ninjas when they hid behind mansions, under floors, or in storerooms . In order for ninjas to wear it on a daily basis and carry out activities quickly, the cap needed to be rolled up small, hard-fired, and dense. As a side note, the Kanto region also has some of Japan's toughest senbei. Gokuken Fukagawa is a super thick rice cracker from a long-established rice cracker shop in Fukagawa Fudodo, Koto Ward, Tokyo .

Awa okoshi (Osaka Prefecture)

Traditional senbei made with millet. It is made by mixing crushed rice with syrup made from starch syrup, sesame seeds, etc. The name "Awa" comes from the fact that the rice is crushed until it is about the size of millet grains. It is also known as a sweet that brings good luck.

*The name and shape are similar to the famous Edo confectionery "Kaminari okoshi" from Sensoji Temple. I'll look into it again.


The "traditional famous rice crackers from all over Japan" that we introduced are senbei that reflect the rich food culture of each region of Japan and the characteristics of each region. These senbei, with their ancient manufacturing methods, unique flavors, and the history and stories of each region, teach us about the diversity and depth of food traditions across Japan. We hope you find this useful as a reference when choosing souvenirs when traveling, or for those interested in Japanese food culture.



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