Kit Kat Japan Update

Back in 2014 I had the pleasure of visiting the first Kit Kat Chocolatory in Tokyo. Now there are eight stores across Japan, and I visited two more last year.

Kit Kat Chocolatory Matsuzakaya Nagoya (松坂屋名古屋店)

Chocolatory in Matsuzakaya, Nagoya

I really want one of those Kit Kat chandeliers!

Chocolatory in Matsuzakaya, Nagoya

Every store has fancy displays of the Kit Kats available

In the store in Nagoya I got a ‘Sublime’ set. Sublime is a special range of Kit Kats only available at the Chocolatory stores. They are single finger, high quality chocolate bars, and they are really delicious!

キットカット ショコラトリー サブリム (Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime) Set

キットカット ショコラトリー サブリム (Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime) Set

I also discovered the chili and passion fruit and the orange cocktail noir flavours in the ‘Special’ range – yum!

Kat Chocolatory Special Chili & Passion Fruit (キットカット ショコラトリースペシャル チリ&パッションフルーツ)

Kat Chocolatory Special Chili & Passion Fruit (キットカット ショコラトリースペシャル チリ&パッションフルーツ)

Kat Chocolatory Special Orange Cocktail Noir (キットカット ショコラトリー スペシャル オレンジカクテル ノワール)

Kat Chocolatory Special Orange Cocktail Noir (キットカット ショコラトリー スペシャル オレンジカクテル ノワール)

Kit Kat Chocolatory Daimaru Kyoto (大丸京都店)

Chocolatory in Daimaru, Kyoto

Each store looks pretty similar, and they are all concessions in department stores

Chocolatory in Daimaru, Kyoto

Kit Kats everywhere!!

Chocolatory in Daimaru, Kyoto

I wanted to buy every flavour…

In Kyoto I found some different Kit Kats – my favourites were the ‘I ♡ FRUITS’ range:

キットカット ショコラトリー I ♡ FRUITS (Kit Kat Chocolatory I ♡ FRUITS)

キットカット ショコラトリー I ♡ FRUITS (Kit Kat Chocolatory I ♡ FRUITS)

The Kit Kats came in yuzu, passion fruit, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry flavours, and they were really fruity!

I also bought some of the ‘Special’ gift boxes as gifts for Christmas. These include the flavours: butter, pistachio & raspberry, strawberry maple and green tea & kinako. The butter ones are too sweet for me, but the others are great – especially the pistachio & raspberry ones.

Kyoto Chocolatory Special Kit Kat Collection

Kyoto Chocolatory Special Kit Kat Collection

As I was staying in Ikebukuro I popped back to the Kit Kat Chocolatory Seibu Ikebukuro (西武池袋店) too:

Chocolatory in Seibu, Ikebukuro

Chocolatory in Seibu, Ikebukuro

Kit Kats are crazy popular in Japan! There are regional and seasonal varieties, and now all the major souvenir shops in cities and airports stock the most popular flavours. It’s incredible to think that a humble English chocolate bar is now a massively popular Japanese souvenir simply because the name sounds like the phrase ‘kitto katsu’ which means ‘you will surely win’. Kit Kats were launched in the UK in 1935 as a simple treat (originally being called ‘Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp for the first two years) and did not make their way to Japan until 1973. It wasn’t until about 14 years ago that Nestle realised people were buying Kit Kats to give as good luck gifts for students taking university entrance exams and jumped on the idea with a marketing collaboration with Japan Post. The first ‘postable Kit Kat’ was then launched in 2009. There have been over 300 different flavours of Kit Kat in Japan and more are being created all the time. Top patissier and chef Yasumasa Takagi of ‘Le Patissier Takagi’ is the mastermind behind the unique flavours being sold at the Chocolatory stores, and it is his creations which are taking Kit Kats from being a humble tea-time treat to being a luxury brand which consumers are willing to queue for. You can’t go anywhere in Japan these days without running into a Kit Kat!

Kit Kats in the wild in Osaka

Kit Kats on sale in Don Quijote in Osaka

Kit Kats in the wild in Osaka

A Kit Kat here, a Kit Kat there…

Kit Kats in the wild in Osaka

Everywhere a Kit Kat!

Of course, matcha green tea flavour Kit Kats are still one of the most popular souvenirs. These days the main matcha flavour that is available is in the ‘Adult Sweetness’ range. This bizarrely named range is supposed to appeal to the adult palate more than that of the child, apparently, due to being slightly more bitter.

オトナの甘さ 抹茶 (Adult Sweetness Matcha) Kit Kat (Japan)

オトナの甘さ 抹茶 (Adult Sweetness Matcha) Kit Kat

I also discovered these delicious hazelnut flavour Kit Kats which are in the ‘Adult Sweetness’ range:

オトナの甘さ (Adult Sweetness) Premium Hazelnut Kit Kats (Japan)

オトナの甘さ (Adult Sweetness) Premium Hazelnut Kit Kats

As I travelled around in Shikoku I found some regional flavours – these citrus fruit Kit Kats are really zingy!

Citrus Blend Kit Kats in Matsuyama

柑橘黄金ブレンド (Kankitsu Ogon Blend – Citrus Golden Blend) Kit Kat from 中国・四国 (Chugoku-Shikoku)

I found Kit Kats you could post, on sale ready for entrance exam season:

キットメール (Kit Kat to post)

キットメール (Kit Kat to post) – unfortunately they can’t be sent internationally

One of the seasonal varieties in December was Rum Raisin ‘Big Little’ Kit Kats – I love this range, and rum raisin is my favourite flavour!

Bigリトル ラムレーズン (Big Little Rum Raisin) Kit Kats (Japan)

Bigリトル ラムレーズン (Big Little Rum Raisin) Kit Kats

Special New Year Kit Kats were also on sale. These have an envelope attached for the ‘otoshidama’ – a monetary gift given to children for New Year.

New Year 2015/2016 Kit Kats (Japan)

New Year 2015/2016 Kit Kats

New Year 2015/2016 Kit Kats (Japan)

Otoshidama envelope

New Year 2015/2016 Kit Kats (Japan)

The year of the monkey!

Sometimes Kit Kats are even used in collaborations with other companies. I heard that the cafe chain Pronto (プロント) was serving Kit Kat croissants as a ‘Kit Kat For Cafe‘ promotion and managed to seek one out in Kyoto! It was pretty good, but the smoky cafe wasn’t somewhere I would want to return to! There is apparently a green tea Kit Kat croissant too, which I wish I could have tried!

Kit Kat Croissant in Pronto, Kyoto

Mmmmmmmm…..

If you’re lucky enough to visit Japan I recommend trying some of the different Kit Kats you can find there and bringing some home as souvenirs. Kit Kats can be bought across the country at souvenir stores such as Don Quijote and at airports, some are available in convenience stores, and of course you could visit a Chocolatory. A list of the Chocolatory stores is here, but I’m afraid it’s in Japanese. Kit Kat is apparently now the ‘No. 1 chocolate brand in Japan’, and advertisers are urging tourists to ‘share a ‘bite’ of Japan’ with their friends. Have a break, have a bizarrely flavoured Kit Kat!😉

Kit Kats in the wild in Osaka

Kit Kat: No. 1 Chocolate Brand in Japan! Share a ‘bite’ of Japan with your friends!


One Comment on “Kit Kat Japan Update”

  1. A.Foo says:

    Lovely post, thank you. On my last trip my bag was spilling over with slightly squashed KitKat boxes. The tea-flavoured ones are my favourite. Have you seen these? I am going to track these down next trip! http://en.rocketnews24.com/2016/03/22/nestle-japan-releases-new-green-tea-kit-kats-as-part-of-their-i-love-tea-series/


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