Sanriku Railway Kippu Katto for Tohoku!

Whilst I was in Japan in June last year I heard about this special campaign that was being run by Kit Kat in Japan. As part of a scheme to help rejuvenate tourism in Tohoku (northern Japan) after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, a special Kit Kat train ticket (dubbed the ‘Kippu Katto’ (切符カット); ‘kippu’ means ‘ticket’) had been released! For a limited time it was on sale at Tokyo Tower, so whilst I was in Tokyo I went along to check it out.

The campaign, in association with Sanriku Railway (三陸鉄道), saw 20 Yen per bar being donated to the rebuilding project. Some trains and train stations were decorated with cherry blossom by Kit Kat, and packaging from special Kit Kat packs was to be accepted as train tickets for travel until May 2015 (each packet is worth 190 Yen of train travel on the Sanriku Line – the cost of a standard ticket).

There was a special exhibition inside Tokyo Tower, talking about the reconstruction of the Sanriku Railway and areas damaged by the disaster, and visitors were encouraged to write messages of hope. It was a shame almost everything was in Japanese (a lot of foreign tourists go to Tokyo Tower and many wouldn’t have known what it was all about), but there were some lovely pictures.

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Various products were on sale including, of course, the special Kit Kats.

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

On the top of the packet there is a special message: 三陸鉄道に乗って、東北を応援しょう!This translated as something like ‘Aboard the Sanriku Railway, let’s cheer for Tohoku!’

Sanriku Railway/Kit Kat promotion

It’s common in Japan to give Kit Kats as a message of good luck, because the name ‘Kit Kat’ (written ‘kitto katto’ / キットカット) in Japanese) sounds like ‘kitto katsu’ (きっと勝つ) which means ‘you’ll surely win’. Cherry blossom is also seen as a symbol of hope. I really like this ‘Kitto, zutto project’ (キット、ずっとプロジェクト)! You can read more about Kit Kat’s special projects here, but it’s all in Japanese I’m afraid.

Here’s a video about the Sanriku Railway with English subtitles – sorry, it’s a little old.

And here’s a slightly newer video showing the Kit Kat train and construction of Kit Kat stations:

It’s great to see big companies doing good things, and doing them well! 🙂



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