Kakimochi and Other “Weird” Snacks in Hawaii: Explained!

Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Kakimochi and Other “Weird” Snacks in Hawaii: Explained!

Have you seen bags of Kakimochi at the grocery store in Hawaii – or even at the movie theaters? We’ve got lots of fun info about this popular Hawaii treat and other unique treats you’ll find in the islands. 

Hawaii’s Most Unique Snacks

Now that I’ve been a resident for a while, strolling along the shelves at my local Longs Drugs and checking out all the “weird” snacks in Hawaii doesn’t phase me a bit. Even seeing Kakimochi at the movie theater seems normal. My middle child is a BIG fan of all those potent bagged snacks — I believe she’s a local now!

For visitors, though, it can be a bit jarring (and confusing) to look at all our local snacks and figure out what tastes like what! That’s what we’re here to help with!


Kakimochi is also known as Arare, and it’s a type of bite-sized Japanese cracker made from glutinous rice and flavored with soy sauce. 

If you’re heading to an outdoor activity, such as a hike on Haleakala, horseback riding, or a sightseeing tour, grab a bag of Kakimochi and head off! 

Or, if a movie is on your vacation agenda, you can probably find this tasty snack at the snack bar. Many locals love topping their popcorn with Kakimochi. 

Popular Kakimochi suppliers include Jade Food (a name you’ll see on lots of unique Hawaii snacks) and Diamond Princess. 

You can find Kakimochi plain, spicy, or even dipped in chocolate. Why not try some while you’re in Hawaii?

Beyond Kakimochi: Other Unique Hawaii Snacks

Whether you love or hate Kakimochi, it’s just the beginning of your Hawaii snack tour. Ahead are more of our favorite unique snacks you’ll find in the islands. 

Li Hing Mui

li hing mui

 If you’re looking for a local snack along the candy aisle, you’ll probably see lots of bags that say, “li hing mui.” 

This is salty dried plum, and here in Hawaii, we like to add it to just about anything! You’ll mostly find li hing mui powder added to gummy candies. But, you might also see it by itself (with or without seeds). 

Li hing mui has a strong, distinctive flavor. It is often said to be an acquired taste, as it combines sweet, sour, and salty flavors. It has also been described as tart and even tangy.

Crack Seed

Crack seeds are preserved fruits that have been cracked or split, with the seed or kernel partially exposed, to enhance their flavor. 

The flavors are varied, ranging from extremely sweet and salty to sour flavors. Flavors can include rock salt plum, honey mango, licorice peach, or any kind of combination of fruits, flavors, and type of preservatives used. 

You can find them on shelves at just about any of our local grocery and drug stores.

You’ll find crack seed stores around the island – they’ll carry lots of Li Hing Mui products along with Kakimochi and other local snacks. 


You can’t leave Hawaii without trying mochi (mochi ice cream included). Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is then pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. Even at our local Costco, you can find mochi ice cream, which is ice cream surrounded by mochi.

You can also find fresh-made mochi at many bakeries. And, many local shops also create mochi donuts, mochi pancakes, and other mochi treats. 


Senbei is a type of Japanese rice cracker. They come in various shapes, sizes, and flavors, usually savory but sometimes sweet. You can also find them at our local Costco. 

Since they’re usually individually wrapped, they’re a great snack to bring along to the beach or pool. We actually love bringing all these Hawaii snacks to the pool, from Kakimochi to mochi ice cream!

Kakimochi: A New Favorite

Well, we hope you like Kakimochi. Maybe we’ve at least helped you see it in a new light – revealing it as unique, but not weird! And hey, if these Hawaii treats aren’t for you there are dozens more to try. Discover your next favorites at local ABC stores, grocery stores, crack seed stores, or 7-Elevens!