KitKat in Japan – Top 23 Unique Flavors

A handy guide to the weird and wonderful world of Japanese Kit Kats. Discover 23 of the greatest Kit Kat flavors ever and where to pick them up!

Basic Kit Kats

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Kit Kat is a crispy wafer bar covered in chocolate. It was first created by Britain’s Rowntree confectionery company in the 1930s and later brought to Japan in 1973. It’s now owned by Nestle and available worldwide. 

Kit Kats sold in Japan come in several unique flavours – setting them apart from the Kit Kats of other countries. In fact, most of these flavours are only available in Japan. 

Similar to Starbucks and McDonald’s, the seasonal and limited edition Kit Kat offerings have been met with exceptional success in Japan. Nestle has also made shrewd use of the “one village, one product” movement; an effort to promote regional development in Japan and celebrate each region’s unique traits. This has led to the creation of various regionally distinct Kit Kat flavors which make for perfect souvenirs.  

6 Interesting Kit Kat Facts

1. Android Operating System

Kit Kat is the first brand name to be used as a name for Google’s Android mobile operating system. Its predecessors were named Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich and Honeycomb. 

2. Controversy

In January 2016, a second-year law student in London, Saima Ahmad, demanded a lifetime supply of Kit Kats from Nestle after finding no wafer inside her Kit Kat. She claimed that the incident led her to lose faith with the company and that she suffered emotional and monetary loss. In addition to a lifetime supply of Kit Kats, she also demanded to be appointed a Kit Kat quality control officer – deeming it to be appropriate compensation for her turmoil.

3. Guinness Book of Records

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Nestle sold a whopping 13.2 billion Kit Kats in 1995. That’s 418 Kit Kats sold every second!

4. Japanese Slogan

In Japan, Kit Kat is read as “kitto katto” (キットカット), a sound very similar to the expression “kitto katsu” (きっと勝つ) meaning “surely win” or the classroom lingo: “I’ll pass my exam”. As a result, Kit Kats have come to be seen as a good luck charm for students taking exams. 

5. Blue Wrapper

Due to the shortage of milk during World War II, Kit Kat was forced to use dark chocolate instead of its typical milk chocolate. To signal this change, a blue wrapper with an explanation was used. This went on for 5 years before reverting back to its original recipe and red wrapper.

6. Kit Kat Recipes

Kit Kat Blancmange

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Kit Kat Cake

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Due to their huge popularity, people have found creative ways to use Kit Kats. Our favourite recipes include Kit Kat Blancmange and Kit Kat Cake.

Where and How to Buy Kit Kat?

Inside Japan

Basic Kit Kats can be found in almost any convenience store, supermarket, drug store or souvenir shop. However, limited or regional edition Kit Kats are much harder to find.

You can tell a flavour is limited edition by looking for the Japanese characters 期間限定 on the packaging. Regional flavours can be found in the following areas: Tochigi, Tokyo, Yokohama, Shizuoka, Kanto, Shinsu, Kyoto, Kobe, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu. There’s also a chance you’ll find these flavours in some major international airports throughout Japan. For more information about regional flavours, check out Nestle’s official website.

KitKat Chocolatory

In 2014, Nestle launched several Kit Kat speciality stores (KitKat Chocolatory) in collaboration with pastry chef Yasumasa Takagi. Due to overwhelming popularity, there are now over 200 stores in major locations such as Tokyo (Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Marunouchi), Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka and Sapporo. Typically located in department stores, these confectionery stores are often accompanied by Kit Kat cafes. For more detailed information on each store, check out Nestle’s list of stores.

If you’re in Japan for a while, you can purchase a wide variety of Kit Kat goods, limited and regional editions included, from Nestle’s online shop or Amazon Japan.

Outside of Japan

Basic Kit Kats are easily found in shops and supermarkets throughout the world. Limited and regional editions are harder to find, but for good measure, try White Rabit Japan or Amazon.

Top 23 Unique Japanese Flavors

Japanese Kit Kat Flavors

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Japan has over 300 limited, seasonal and regional Kit Kat flavours! Plus, with each passing year, more and more unique flavours are being created.

1. Matcha (Green Tea)

Matcha (Green Tea)

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An everyday staple in Japan, matcha (green tea) is so popular that it was turned into a Kit Kat flavour. With a smooth texture, a mellow flavour and a slightly bitter aftertaste, this wafer bar is sure to not disappoint green tea enthusiasts. 

Matcha Kit Kats can be purchased online at Amazon.

2. Kinako Ohagi (Roasted Soybean Rice Ball)

Kinako Ohagi (Roasted Soybean Rice Ball)

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With a hint of earthiness and a sweet aftertaste, Kinako Ohagi is definitely an acquired taste. This flavour combines the taste of roasted soybean flour (kinako), rice ball (ohagi) and red bean paste. Another thing that sets this Kit Kat apart is its crunchy puffed rice coating. Kinako Ohagi Kit Kat was first sold in autumn of 2009 but is sadly no longer available. 

3. Adult Sweetness – Raspberry 

Adult Sweetness - Raspberry

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Not your ordinary raspberry flavour, Raspberry Kit Kat is creamy, crispy and has a slight tartness to it. Despite being marketed as an “adult flavour,” it’s loved and enjoyed by all.

Available for purchase at Amazon.

4. Ginger Ale

Ginger Ale

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Ginger Ale Kit Kat may sound odd, but it’s not the first beverage inspired Kit Kat. Light yellow in colour, this white chocolate bar smells exactly like ginger ale with a twist of lemon. Released in 2009, it has since been decommissioned. 

5. Baked Pudding 

Baked Pudding

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Photo Credit: KniBaron via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: KniBaron via Flickr cc

A huge hit, this Kit Kat is truly one of a kind. These wafer bars are meant to be baked. With the chocolate lightly caramelised, this crispy yet creamy delight is a mind blowing experience. 

Available for purchase at Amazon.

6. Yawataya Isogoro Ichimi – Red Chili  

Yawataya Isogoro Ichimi - Red Chili

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Since the Edo era, Nagano Prefecture has been famous for its roasted ground red pepper. Nestle – always quick to capitalise on regional differences – decided to combine these special peppers with dark chocolate for this distinct Kit Kat variety. Sadly, this spicy yet bitter delight is no longer available.

7. Tamaruya Honten Wasabi 

Tamaruya Honten Wasabi

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Differing from the Red Chili Kit Kat, the Wasabi Kit Kat lacks any real spiciness. Perhaps a disappointment to wasabi fans, this Kit Kat, however, is a safe bet for people who can’t handle too much heat. Sweet with a subtle hint of wasabi. 

To purchase Wasabi Kit Kats, check out Amazon.

8. Hokkaido Yubari Melon 

Hokkaido Yubari Melon

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Combining Hokkaido’s famous Yubari melons and Kit Kat was a no brainer for Nestle. Going one step further, in 2016 Nestle decided to add Mascarpone cheese! This Kit Kat can be found throughout Hokkaido. 

9. Apple Vinegar

Apple Vinegar

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Apple vinegar cider is a popular drink to combat the heat of the Japanese summer and a popular Kit Kat flavor as well. Although 1.4% of the Kit Kat is comprised of apple vinegar powder, don’t let the subtle sourness detract from the overall experience. It’s a well-balanced wafer bar with just the right amount of sweetness and sourness.

10. Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

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Similar to the Baked Pudding Kit Kat, this Kit Kat is also designed to be baked, enhancing the sweet potato flavour wonderfully!

Available for purchase at Amazon.

11. Rum Raisin 

Rum Raisin

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Unfortunately, you’d be hard pressed to get drunk on this Kit Kat. Nevertheless, this Tokyo speciality is delicious!

Rum Raisin Kit Kats can be purchased at Amazon.

12. Hokkaido Red Bean 

Hokkaido Red Bean

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Another special Hokkaido edition, this Kit Kat gets its flavour from the popular Japanese dessert red bean (also known as Azuki bean).

Buy them at Amazon.

13. Cola and Lemon Squash 

Cola and Lemon Squash

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Cola and lemon, but not together. If you want to find out what the combination tastes like, perhaps try eating two at once. 

14. Yuzu

Yuzu

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Similar in taste and appearance to lemon, yuzu is a special type of citrus fruit that is often used as a seasoning in Japanese cooking. This limited edition Kit Kat boasts a creamy citrus chocolate with a slight hint of zesty bitterness. It is sadly no longer available.

15. Chestnut

Chestnut

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Chestnut Kit Kat is another limited edition variant which unfortunately is no longer available. Beige in color, this wafer bar resembles a real chestnut with its nutty scent. However, the chocolate can sometimes overwhelm the taste of chestnut. 

16. Shinshu Apple

Shinshu Apple

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Another regional specialty of Nagano Prefecture, shinshu apples make for the perfect Kit Kat. This fruity chocolate does a remarkable job of imitating real apples. It’s so delicious that many people regard it as the ultimate Kit Kat experience. 

Buy them at Amazon.

17. Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit

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For all passion fruit lovers out there, this Kit Kat is for you. 

Available for purchase at Amazon.

18. Nihonshu (Japanese Sake)

Nihonshu (Japanese Sake)

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Shaped like a real 1.8 liter bottle of sake and even containing 0.8% alcohol, this Kit Kat makes for the perfect Japanese souvenir. Additionally, it doesn’t taste half bad.

Japanese Sake Kit Kats can be purchased at Amazon.

19. Strawbery Cheesecake

Strawbery Cheesecake

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Strawberry cheesecake is a limited edition Kit Kat that can be picked up in Yokohama. Not only does it taste like real cheesecake but it smells like it too! The strawberry is also a nice touch. It also comes in a Mount Fuji-shaped box – making it the perfect gift from Japan.

Available for purchase at Amazon.

20. When You Wish Upon The Star – Triple Berry

When You Wish Upon The Star - Triple Berry

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As the name suggests, this Kit Kat is a mix of strawberry, blueberry and cranberry flavours. This combination led to one of the sweetest Kit Kats on the market. It does, however, have a hint of sourness. Triple Berry Kit Kats were only sold in 2008.

21. Chocobanana

Who doesn’t like a good chocolate banana sundae? Now available in Kit Kat form. 

22. Cherry Blossom (Sakura)

Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Kit Kat

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Cherry Blossom season in Japan draws in millions of tourists each year. Nestle capitalized on this popular phenomenon by coming up with Cherry Blossom Kit Kats which proved to be a big hit.

23. Amaou Strawberry

Amaou Strawberry Kit Kat

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Why Amaou strawberries? Because these strawberries, hailing from Kyushu, are regarded as some of the best in the country. 

For a comprehensive list of Japanese KitKats, check out Kit Kat Flavors.

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Linh Duong

Hello from Compathy Magazine! I'm Linh Duong. We truly hope we can be your most trusted travel companion :)



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