Justin Iso is the head pastry chef behind chefiso.com. He is the winner of the Christmas Cookie Challenge on Food Network and was named Best Baking and Sweets Blogger by Saveur Magazine. With a background in Japanese confections and French pastry, he brings the best of both worlds into his recipes.
The Japanese really do have the best candy. Maybe it's their obsession with small cute things and quality over quantity, but all other regional candy industries just can't stack up. It's no surprise that many of Japan's famous candies have become international sensations, such as the famous matcha Kit Kat.
The availability of Japanese candies in Western countries varies quite a bit by country and candy. Some of the most popular ones are readily available online or on the shelves of gourmet and Japanese-focused specialty stores. For the vast majority of candy, however, you will have to travel to Japan yourself to try all of the varieties it has to offer. Even for exported candy, companies usually change the flavors for foreign consumers. So start planning that trip now and try some of these delicious candies in the meantime.