Kit Kats in Japan are well-known for their creative designs and flavors, including limited releases for annual events and holidays such as Christmas, Halloween and even the cherry blossom viewing season.
Until now, there was one special holiday that always went unnoticed: Easter. This year, Nestle Japan are releasing their first ever Easter range, with a clever play on words that ties the religious festival to the month of April, the start of the Japanese school and business year.
According to Nestle, Easter is an ii sutaato, which means “good start” in Japanese. And with these gorgeous apple pie and carrot flavored chocolates on the market, it looks like it’s going to be a very good start indeed.
On sale from March 16 for 540 yen (US$4.45), the mini Kit Kats come in a pack of 12 and feature cute bunny packaging.
For the first time in the company’s 42-year history in Japan, bunnies will appear on the chocolates. There will be 13 different designs in total, although it’s not guaranteed that all of them will be in one pack, which means we may have to indulge in a spot of bunny hunting to collect them all…
To top it all off, one in every 30 chocolates will feature this special Lucky Easter design. Unfortunately the only prize for finding this is the actual chocolate itself. When it’s this cute though, we’re not complaining!
We can’t wait to get our hands on these limited edition Kit Kats when they’re released today in Japan. Here’s hoping they give us an ii start to spring!
In the year since it opened in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro, we’ve become big fans of the Kit Kat Chocolatory, the specialty store for the chocolate-covered wafers that’re especially popular in Japan. As a matter of fact, somewhere in the course of our multiple visits to procure the latest and greatest Kit Kat flavors, we’ve forgotten what life was like before the shop opened.
But while we’re living in the land of plenty with two different Chocolatory locations in Tokyo (the second is near Tokyo Station), not all of Japan is so fortunate. Until now, only residents of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagoya could claim their town had its own Kit Kat paradise.
That’s about to change, though, as a new Kit Kat Chocolatory is opening soon in Hokkaido, and bringing a new flavor with it: butter.
Part of the reason Kit Kats have rocketed to popularity in Japan is the way parent company Nestle has wholeheartedly embraced the Japanese practice of making limited-edition sweets that pay tribute to local culinary traditions. As one of the few regions of Japan with ample pasture space, Hokkaido is home to a large number of the country’s dairies. That’s why when the newest Chocolatory opens March 7 in Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital city, shoppers will be able to purchase not only more orthodox chocolate Kit Kats, but also the Chocolatory Special Butter flavor.
The flavor was picked as the winner in a contest organized by the Tsuji Group culinary school, likely beating out other foodstuffs associated with Hokkaido such as milk, cheese, and melon (the region is also famous for its salmon and sea urchin, but we’re assuming no one was quite adventurous enough to seriously propose them as Kit Kat flavors).
The Special Butter flavor will be available in packs of 12 (seen above) for 1,200 yen (US $10.20), or in four-piece boxes (pictured below) for 400 yen.
While the Special Butter Kit Kats will initially be sold only at the Sapporo Chocolatory, located in the Daimaru department store, they’re expected to make their way to other branches in due time. On the other hand, the Sapporo location will remain the only place where you can buy the 1,350-yen Kit Kat Chocolatory Special Sapporo Assortment, a 12-piece collection of four flavors, including Special Butter.
Also, to celebrate the new store’s grand opening, all Chocolatory branches in Japan will once again be selling Chocolatory Special Sakura Green Tea Kit Kats, made with Uji matcha green tea, white chocolate, and edible cherry blossom leaves.
The Sapporo Chocolatory is expected to, as always, draw large crowds, especially on opening day. If you’re hoping to get your hands on some of the buttery goodness the store is offering, we recommend getting to the Sapporo Daimaru no later than 10 a.m., when the doors open, and preferably sooner.
Kit Kat Chocolatory Daimaru Sappor Branch / キットカット ショコラトリー大丸札幌店
Address: Sapporo-shi, Chuo-ku, Kita 5-jo, Nishi 4-chome, 7 Banchi Daimary Sapporo basement level 1 (inside Hoppe Town section)
Open 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Chocolate lovers around Japan were understandably thrilled when the Kit Kat Chocolatery, the world’s first Kit Kat specialty store, opened in the Seibu Ikebukuro Department Store about a year ago. Of course, we were pretty excited too, and when we visited the shop on opening day, we could see from the crowd that plenty of people felt the same way.
After a year, it seems the Kit Kat Chocolatery has been a success so far, as they’ve just opened their fourth shop in Japan, this time in Kyoto. And what’s even better, this Kit Kat Chocolatery comes with a cafe attached! Plus, they’ve released some new Chocolatery products as well, so we thought we’d share the news with all our sweets-loving readers!
As we’ve previously reported, the Kit Kat Chocolatery features items produced by renowned pastry chef Yasumasa Takagi, and his special creations exclusively for the Chocolatery were certain to attract attention, particularly as Kit Kats have always been popular in Japan. But just how successful has the Kit Kat Chocolatery been since its launch a year ago?
Well, according to Nestle Japan’s recent press release, the two Chocolatery shops in Tokyo (the Seibu Ikebukuro and Daimaru Tokyo stores) and the third shop in Nagoya (the Matsuzakaya Nagoya store) so far have welcomed over 400,000 customers and generated roughly 900 million yen (approx. US$7.6 million) in sales. No wonder they decided to open a fourth shop! And the historic city of Kyoto, which attracts a huge number of tourists from both within Japan and abroad, certainly seems an excellent choice of location.
As a matter of fact, Kit Kat actually already has ties with Kyoto, as one of its products, the “Kit Kat Matcha Green Tea for Grown-ups (Kit Kat Otonano Amasa Matcha),” has been designated a “PR Partner” by the Prefecture of Kyoto for promoting the Uji Matcha green tea, which Kyoto is known for.
▼Here’s an image of what the new shop in Kyoto looks like. It just recently opened on January 28 on the B1 floor of the Daimaru Kyoto Department Store.
Now, as we’ve already mentioned, this is the first Chocolatery shop with an eat-in cafe, and their menu definitely sounds tempting. On offer at the cafe are: the “Kit Kat Sablé” and “Kit Kat Sablé Matcha Flavor” cookies, both baked with rich dough containing crushed Kit Kat crumbs (350 yen [US$2.96] a piece); the “Kit Kat Parfait” consisting of chocolate flavored soft serve ice cream made with chef Takagi’s original chocolate topped with Kit Kats (600 yen [$5.08]); the “Café Affogato (Affogato al Caffè) Chocolat” made with NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Espresso poured over chef Takagi’s original soft serve chocolate ice cream (300 yen [$2.54]); and the “Café Mélange,” a beverage consisting of NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®’s Lungo regular blend coffee topped with whipped cream (350 yen [$2.96]). Goodness, just introducing the menu makes us seriously crave sweets and coffee! And if you just want something simpler, they also have regular NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®’s line of Lungo coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino, Tea Latte and Uji Matcha Green Tea Latte available for approximately $2 to $3.
And now, let’s take a look at the new Chocolatery items that have just recently been released.
● The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Kyoto Assort” (1,350 yen [$11.43]/12 pieces)This package containing 3 pieces each of the “Strawberry Maple,” “Plum,” “Matcha Greent Tea and Kinako Soy Bean Powder” and “Ginger” flavors, comes in an original package decorated with an illustration of Kyoto’s famous five-story pagoda and is available only at the Kyoto Daimaru Store.
● The “Kit Kat x DISH Special Collaboration Kit Kat with CD” (Special Kyoto Package Version)” (600 yen [$5.08])These Kit Kats come with a CD of the tie-in song “Kit” featured in the short musical film “Your Story” which stars the four-man rock band DISH. The box has a blank space on the bottom where you can write a personalized message if you’re giving it to someone as a present. The package pictured above is a special edition box sold only at the Kyoto Daimaru store, but a regular version will be available at all Chocolatery shops from February 2.
● The “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Plum (Ume)” (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)The slightly sour flavor of plum makes a refreshing combination with the sweetness of chocolate in these KitKats. They’re currently available only at the Kyoto Daimaru store but will be sold at the rest of the Chocolatery shops too from February 2.
●The “Kit Kat Sublime White” (300 yen [$2.54]/piece)These Kit Kats made with quality white couverture chocolate are rich, yet not too sweet. They’re now available at all Chocolatery shops, but only 300 are sold each day, and each customer is limited to a purchase of three pieces.
And for your reference and enjoyment, here’s a recap of the other choco-licious items available at the Chocolatery shops:
▼The ever popular “Kit Kat Sublime Bitter” made with bitter couverture chocolate containing 66% cacao (300 yen [$2.54]/piece)
▼The ”Kit Kat Sublime Raspberry,” which also contains couverture chocolate with 66% cacao combined with the refreshing flavor of raspberry (300 yen [$2.54]/piece)
▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Ginger,” made using cream containing ginger powder (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)
▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Cream Cheese,” which contains powdered cheese in between the wafers (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)
▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Matcha Green Tea and Kinako Soy Bean Powder,” which uses quality Uji Matcha green tea (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)
▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Strawberry Maple“, made from white chocolate containing strawberries, with a touch of maple flavoring added (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)
▼The “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Special Orange Cocktail” with a refreshing orange flavor (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces, 1,200 yen [$10.19]/12 pieces, available only in Tokyo)
Well, the folks at Nestle Japan must have a ball thinking up special Kit Kat flavors to drive chocolate lovers mad with craving. Not that we’re complaining, as long as they continue coming up with delectable looking treats for us! We can never have too many choices of chocolates, after all, can we?
[Details for Kit Kat Chocolatery Daimaru Kyoto Shop]
Business Hours: 10am to 8pm
(Closed when Daimaru Kyoto is closed)
Address: 79 Shijo Street Takakura Nishiiri Tachiurinishimachi, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi
Daimaru Kyoto Department Store B1 Floor
Access: 1 min from Hankyu Kyoto Line Karasuma Station
2 min walk from Karasuma Subway Line Shijo Station
When we saw the title to one of Buzzfeed‘s latest videos, we admit, we were a bit apprehensive. You can’t blame us though. Their new video “Americans Try Exotic Japanese Kit Kats” sounds awfully familiar to another video they made earlier this year titled “Americans Taste Exotic Asian Food.”
Although exposure to Asian food is always appreciated, we were definitely left feeling uncomfortable with the reactions to Asian food. We basically watched four minutes of gagging and food spitting.
In their defense, these taste testers were given dishes such as chicken feet and developing duck embryo. Many commenters angrily pointed out that Buzzfeed chose Asia’s scariest dishes just to get a bad reaction.
Well, it seems Buzzfeed definitely listened to their viewers! Instead of scavenging Asia for the most unpleasant looking food, they instead turned to something many of us are familiar with and even love: Kit Kats.
Of course, these are no ordinary Kit Kats. We’re accustomed to a Kit Kat’s crunchy wafer covered in milk chocolate, but Japanese Kit Kats come in countless flavors. The taste testers tried everything from apple to tea-flavored Kit Kats.
Sure enough, the taste-testers had no hesitation when it came to trying the sweets. They reacted with absolute delight and proved that yes, Asian food and snacks can be delicious.
Remember the Kit Kat Chocolaterie, the world’s first Kit Kat specialty store that opened in the Ikebukuro Seibu Department Store back in January this year? The shop sells limited edition Kit Kats produced by celebrity patissier Yasumasa Takagi, so it’s not surprising that huge crowds of Kit Kat fans have been making their pilgrimage to the store in search of unique Kit Kat products.
Since then, the Kit Kat bandwagon has apparently been going strong, as two more Chocolaterie shops have opened in Japan, one in the Daimaru Department Store at Tokyo Station and another at the Matsuya Department Store in Nagoya. And now, they’ve announced that they’ll be coming out with a special “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Patissier Gift” set for Christmas, and we can’t wait to see what goodies it contains. Plus, there’s even a Kit Kat inspired Christmas cake created by chef Takagi that they’re now taking orders for — who knew that Christmas could be so much fun for Kit Kat lovers?
The gift set, which contains special Kit Kat Chocolaterie products and chef Takagi’s original baked confections, is a dream collaboration for any sweets fan.
For 4,500 yen (US$37.92), the set contains one piece each of the “Kit Kat Sublime Bitter” and “Kit Kat Sublime Raspberry“, a box of the “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Special Strawberry Maple” and also the “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Special Ginger“, plus five madeleines and four cookies from chef Takagi. A delightful added touch is that the madeleines have a whole Kit Kat baked into them, giving them a crunchy texture, and the cookies also contain crunched Kit Kat bits — they definitely aren’t your ordinary baked treats!
You can now also pre-order this delectable looking “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Noel” cake covered in shiny chocolate, available for 5,000 yen ($42.13).
The cake too is the work of chef Takagi and was created as an homage to the well-loved Kit Kat snack. The cake, made from layers of caramel butter cream, crispy fiantine cookie and biscuit, is designed to recreate the look and texture of Kit Kats without actually using the snack as an ingredient. Now, that certainly makes for a unique Christmas cake!
Chef Takagi commented that he wanted to include items in the gift package that would offer a sense of genuine surprise, which is why he came up with the idea of baking an entire Kit Kat into the madeleines, and as for the cake, he made an effort to create his own rendition of a Kit Kat using original ingredients, resulting in what he hopes is a delightfully surprising and fulling cake.
The “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Patissier Gift” will be available at all three Kit Kat Chocolaterie stores for just one week from December 19 to 25, but they’ll be selling only 20 sets each day, so they may very well sell out. You can also place orders now for the “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Noel” cake at the Ikebukuro Seibu store and the Tokyo Daimaru Store until December 20 for pick-up on December 24, but these are also limited to a total of 75 cakes, so anyone intending to order one may want to hurry.
So, if you’re celebrating the Holiday Season this year in Japan with someone with a fondness for Kit Kats, these could be the perfect treat. Here’s to a chocolatey, crunchy Christmas!
Japan probably has the world’s largest and most bizarre selection of Kit Kat flavours on offer, but this latest release is about more than just tickling your tastebuds. Nestle Japan is offering a specially-packaged version of their classic biscuit to help recovery in areas destroyed by the devastating tsunami of March 2011.
On June 16 Nestle Japan will release the ‘Kit Kat Mini Kippu Kat’. In Japanese ‘kippu‘ means ‘ticket‘, and according to Nestle PR, ‘these are the first sweets in the world that function as train tickets.’
The box containing the biscuits will serve as a rail ticket for the Sanriku Railway line in Iwate Prefecture which was damaged during the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake, losing 5.8km of line, and finally reopened this March.
Hand over the box at the ticket booth or when you alight from the train, and you can get 190 yen (US $1.90) off your fare. That’s how much it costs to travel the distance between Shimanokoshi and Tanohata stations, the last part of the track to reopen. If your fare is going to be more than 190 yen then you have to foot the difference yourself. It’s all for a good cause though, aiming to bring people back to a region that was devastated by the tsunami three years ago, so go on and treat yourself to the knowledge that you’re doing a charitable deed (yummy chocolate is just a bonus).
One box costs just 108 yen (US$1.05) and contains three plain chocolate mini kit kat bars. They’ll be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores around the Tōhoku area, and the ticket is valid until the end of May 2015.
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Source: Tokyo Shinbun
Earlier this week, we found out that bakeable Kit Kats exist. The delicious DIY novelty from Japan made us all want to throw our Kit Kats in the toaster oven whilst wiping the drool from our chins. Now, it looks like the Japanese restaurant Napoli no Kama is capitalizing on the idea with pizzas topped with those very same Kit Kats.
What made the bakeable snack, dubbed “Bake ‘N Tasty Mini Kit Kats Custard Pudding Flavor,” so awesome was that they would caramelize the chocolate into a crystal-like substance before the surface chocolate melted. Napoli no Kama is offering what they call a Kit Kat and Mango Dolce Pizza. The pie is made with Gorgonzola cheese sauce, honey maple sauce, mango slices, mixed nuts and topped with pudding-flavored bakeable Kit Kats.
The Mango Dolce Pizza, medium-sized, is available at 1,630 yen ($16 US) for a limited time only. Excuse us while we book our flights.
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Exam season in Japan is brutal. Not only do college hopefuls have to study in order to get into the university of their dreams, those hoping to go to high school also have to endure a rigorous examination process as compulsory education in Japan ends with junior high. As thousands of anxious students slave away at their desks until late at night, only to wake up, go to school, then study all over again, many companies in Japan have released special edition examination season versions of popular snacks in order to ease the torture of studying, if not for a brief moment. Let’s take a look at —- new packages, flavors, and designs of these exam season snacks.
Koala no Machi
The adorable little koalas in Lotte’s Koala no Machi chocolate snacks have some new friends in honor of entrance exam season…14 of them to be exact.
Each koala in the “Aim for Success” special edition packaging represents a different aspect of exam season. You may be confused as to why a sleeping koala holding on to a tree branch symbolizes studying for a test, but the makers of Koala no Machi claim, “A koala doesn’t fall from the tree even when it’s sleeping,” encouraging students to eat, sleep, and breathe their exam prep. Other symbols include a koala dressed as a daruma, a traditional Japanese good luck charm, a “new student” koala, and various koalas holding signs of encouragement. The back of the package also has a picture of an Omamori, or good luck charm, which is often bought at temples to help students prepare for and pass their exam.
▼ Here you can see the Omamori on the left and four images of the actual “Aim for Success” koalas.
Kameda Kaki no Tane
A favorite bar snack among many beer enthusiasts in Japan, Kameda Kaki no Tane have been given a coffee infusion and name change in honor of exam season. The kaki of Kaki no Tane has been changed to kachi, the Japanese word for victory and the usually plain peanuts have been given a crunchy coffee coating to better help students stay focused while studying.
▼ Mmmm, crunchy.
The package was also changed to be able to stand straight up on a student’s desk and doesn’t fall over easily, just like the daruma good luck charm.
There are some snacks that are simply destined to become good luck charms for students studying for a big test. Yukimi Daifuku, with the word fuku, the Japanese word for “good fortune,” tucked right at the end, is one of those snacks. Although not intended specifically for students, the bold yellow “fuku” on the package was originally meant as a way to bring good fortune to all people in Japan. However, with their entire futures on the line, students studying for the entrance exam have adopted this delicious ice cream snack as a small way to get an edge on the competition. Yukimi Daifuku is also only available during winter time around the New Year, the same time students start to seriously study for the entrance exam, making it a natural choice for hungry studiers across Japan.
Perhaps the original good luck food for entrance exam students in Japan, Kit Kats are eaten and given as gifts by the thousands this time of year. The snack is pronounced kitto katsu in Japanese, which also means “you will surely win,” making it a favorite of superstitious test takers. This year, Nestle Japan is selling a 14 pack of mini Kit Kat bars with various good luck saying printed on them such as “Cherry blossoms bloom in your future” and helpful facts such as “Columbus discovered America in 1492″ and “100°C=373K”.
Popular cracker, Happy Turn, sprinkled with secret “Happy Powder” has been turned into a good luck charm for test takers in a pink cherry blossom bag with phrases such as “You’re going to pass!” and “Happy examination episode.” Special heart-shaped crackers are also hidden in some packages, giving some lucky snackers an extra happy boost.
When it comes down to it, no matter how many good luck snacks a test taker consumes, no additional knowledge is going to be imprinted in their brain. But at least these sweet, savory and otherwise cute snacks will serve as a morale booster for students across Japan who have been studying nonstop for months in hopes for a passing grade.
Source: Naver Matome
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