Why the Kitkat is big in Japan

Kit Kat in Japan

Would you believe, Nestle introduced more than 200 KitKat varieties in Japan? Why the fad, you ask?

The term ‘Kit Kat’ has become a part of the Japanese exam-preparation time lexicon. High school and university students across Japan have been buying up the chocolate bar like there’s no tomorrow. The reason? The word ‘Kit-Kat’ in Japanese sounds ‘kitto-katto’, morphed into ‘kitto katsu’, which can be translated as ‘definite win’, or, in classroom lingo, ‘I will pass my exams’.

Kit Kats have thus become edible lucky charms and are very popular during exam season.

Basic flavors include the original chocolate, strawberry, white chocolate and green tea. And then there are these Mind blowing flavors such as  apple cider vinegar, sweet corn, blood orange, soy sauce (!) and wasabi (!!), among others. Actually, there are many different Kit Kat flavors available all across Japan – some are only available for a limited time and each region has their own specialties like Fuji Apple flavor from Nagano Prefecture and purple yam flavor from Okinawa, just to name a few.

Region specific Kit Kat

I thought there’d be shop somewhere in Tokyo that sells these limited regional Kit Kats so I have made it my mission to try and find as many varieties as I can while there. Because yeah, me and my addiction to chocolate + my despicable self-control or the lack of it!

Well, I was surprised to find out that local convenient stores do not stock Kit Kats other than the usual chocolate and I was told in souvenir shop stores around train stations that they are not stocking it because it is summer – when Japan gets too hot and air condition setting is limited due to the Cool Biz Campaign to conserve energy (and more so after the Fukushima Nuclear Plant failure).

I only found 4 varieties at the Duty Free shop at Narita airport: Green tea, Strawberry, Cherry blossom + green tea and Blueberry Cheesecake, a limited edition Kit Kat to celebrate Mt. Fuji being accepted as one of UNESCO’s heritage sites.


Lame, hey if you consider there are more than 200 varieties. I was aiming to get the region-specific ones but alas, it seems I have to travel all over Japan to get it or watch out for that special time when Nestle sells these on a limited time, I bet, during the exam season?

Here’s a Pinterest board dedicated to Japanese Kit Kats

Top Photo Credit


Anyway, I hope you aren’t tired of my travel feature about Japan yet. I still have so many stories to tell! I’ll spend the next few days writing about it since not so much is happening in my life here in Dubai right now except for the usual work and then home and then watching Glee and Dr. Who episodes with the children after dinner. We’re late to jump into the Dr. Who bandwagon but we’re surely glad we found it! Pristine is too excited to watch the next episode after the current one ends.

Also, I’m going to wrap up each week of our stay there with a photos-only post, mostly photos – I know I can’t help but throw in a descriptive line here and there!


  1. I recently went to a local Japanese market where they had a few varieties of Kit Kats available. I just bought a dark chocolate variety – but my mom was really eyeing the green tea one. I wish they would bring all of these flavors to America!



  2. I was not aware of this fact till now and it seems Japanese love Kit Kat more than anything else. I also love Kit Kat and I can understand their feelings, you cannot simply resist when you have so many varieties to choose from.



  3. So loving your Japan feature.. Makes we want to go back.. Sigh.. heavy heart. I miss Japan! I think partly because we stay a week and its so relaxing lang. Walang problema sa office it’s just me, my Panget and Kailee..

    Really really missing Japan.

    Ibang klaseng hangover and meron ako sa Japan..

    (sorry if i’m hogging and mega commenting ha.. i can’t help it!!!)



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