“Have a break, have a KitKat.”
But when in Japan, you can have many breaks, because the world-favourite chocolate bar comes in a gigantic array of flavours and each one will take your taste buds by surprise. It is no secret by now that the Land of Rising Sun houses exclusive flavours that gets the world excited, and they have fast become collectibles and the perfect souvenirs.
For the uninitiated, these KitKats are scattered all over Japan, and every city has their own editions. They come in an assortment of surprises, with flavours you’d never imagine – purple sweet potato, Hokkaido red bean, cayenne pepper, sakura matcha, wasabi…
We are on an never-ending quest to conquer every single one, but for now, here are 19 Japanese KitKats you have to try before you die:
#1 AMAOU STRAWBERRY KITKAT (KYUSHU)
On your quest to find ‘em all, you might chance upon many types of strawberry-flavoured ones, and Amaou Strawberry is one of them
#2 AZUKI SANDWICH KITKAT (TOKAI AND HOKURIKU)
This is the classic take on Japanese’s favourite red bean.
#3 BENI IMO KITKAT (KYUSHU AND OKINAWA)
Or otherwise known as the purple sweet potato KitKat. This tastes as good as it looks.
#4 HOKKAIDO RED BEAN KITKAT (HOKKAIDO)
Another version of red bean, but this one is made with red beans from the Northern part of Japan.
#5 HOUJICHA KITKAT (KYOTO)
Houjicha is a well-loved roasted green tea that originates from Kyoto, so this flavour is elegantly fragrant and so iconic of the ancient capital of Japan.
#6 ICHIMI KITKAT (SHINSHU)
Don’t be taken aback, because cayenne pepper actually tastes really good on chocolate.
#7 KOBE PUDDING KITKAT (KOBE)
Something like white chocolate, this is one really sweet and custardy treat.
#8 KANKITSU OGON BLEND KITKAT (CHUGOKU SHIGOKU)
Lime, lemon and orange – all in one exhilarating bar.
#9 MATCHA KITKAT (KYOTO)
The classic take on Japanese green tea is the matcha-flavoured ones from Kyoto, but they are usually readily available at other cities (and in Singapore) too.
#10 RASPBERRY KITKAT (OSAKA)
No one says no to these pretty pink bars. They are among our favourite flavours, and the slight tartness never fail to leave us lingering for more.
#11 RUM & RAISIN KITKAT (TOKYO)
Notably one of the most popular flavours, the Rum & Raisin from Tokyo is a decadent treat that has taken the world by storm.
#12 SAKURA MATCHA KITKAT
A spring-time treat that is easily available throughout Japan, this flavour is a blend of green tea, cherry blossom and white chocolate.
#13 SHINSHU APPLE KITKAT (NAGANO)
Nagano produces the finest apples, so there is no reason to say no to these Shinshu apple-flavoured KitKats.
#14 SHOGOIN YATSUHASHI KITKAT (KYOTO)
Or otherwise known as cinnamon cookie KitKat. Mildly sweet, mildly rustic; oishii!
#15 STRAWBERRY KITKAT (KYUSHU)
These Kyushu-styled strawberry KitKats are the classic ichigo ones that can be commonly found in many parts of Japan.
#16 STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE KITKAT (YOKOHAMA)
We can’t get enough of all these cake-turned-chocolate treats. All hail the Strawberry Cheesecake bars from Yokohama!
#17 WA-ICHIGO KITKAT (TOKYO)
Another ichigo variation are these Wa-ichigo ones that are made with the sweetest Tochiotome strawberries. They are more tart than the usual strawberry ones.
#18 WASABI KITKAT (SHIZUOKA)
Who says wasabi is only for sushi and sashimi? The Japanese say you can put them in a bar of KitKat and enjoy the green delicacy, and so, they are hooked to the sweet-hot kick.
#19 ZUNDA KITKAT
There is something so addictive about these edamame and soybeans one that you definitely cannot stop at one.
So the common question is: Where to find these Japanese KitKats?
They are commonly available in gift shops and snacks stores, sometimes in convenience stores too. Airports’ snacks stores are your best bets. But they tend to hide at inconspicuous corners and racks, so do keep your eyes peeled or you might just miss them!