Over 300 flavors of Kit Kat have been released in Japan since 200. Yes, you heard that right — over 300. Why? Well, part of the reason why Kit Kats are so popular in Japan is that its Japanese pronunciation, kitto katto, sounds like kitto katsu, which means “to surely win”, thus making it a good-luck charm of sorts for exam takers.
That aside, Nestle was clever enough to tap into the Japanese fondness for seasonal flavors and regional specialties, leading to a proliferation of different flavors. These different flavors make for excellent souvenirs — and even better midnight snacks — but here’s the thing, the more unique flavors can be tricky to get your hands on. Don’t worry though, we’ve done the groundwork for you so know exactly where to head to pick up some of these chocolate-y wonders.
1. Supermarkets, drug stores and discount candy shops
The first stops on your Kit Kat hunt might not be the most exciting, but they’re reliable. Supermarkets and drug stores will almost always carry the standard (for Japan) flavors, including dark chocolate and matcha that are part of the otona no amasa (adult flavor) line, which means subtler, less sweet tastes. You might also luck out in a bigger supermarket or drugstore and stumble across some seasonal or other special edition offerings, like sparkling wine flavor a few years ago. Kit Kats at these places are sold in packs of 9-12 pieces, usually for ¥198–¥400 a pack.
Discount candy shops sell the same kind of packs, but are less prevalent than supermarkets and drug stores. They are known as dagashiya, and — as you might expect — they also sell a whole bunch of other candy too. If you’re passing by, it’s worth stopping to check what they have in stock. Even if they don’t have interestingly flavored Kit Kats, you’ll find plenty of souvenir-worthy snacks to stock up on. One prominent chain is called Okashi no Machioka, which we’ve written about before.
2. Convenience stores
Convenience stores are a good place to find cheapo deals on thin boxes of Kit Kats, usually for no more than ¥200. Most of the time, all they have are regular flavors and variations on chocolate (e.g. white or dark). But from time to time they have more interesting flavors like cookies&cream or choc mint, and seasonal/regional offerings. There can be a lot of variation between what the different convenience stores have in stock, and even between stores of the same chain, so a rule of thumb is to always swing by the chocolate aisle just in case.
3. Souvenir sweets shops and Don Quijote
During your travels in Japan you may have noticed how many souvenir shops tend to sell sweets and snacks — in fact some souvenir shops only sell those, no postcards or fridge magnets in sight. These souvenir sweet shops are a good place to start your search for more unique Kit Kat flavors, like Tokyo Banana (Tokyo Banana is another popular souvenir sweet) and sake, as well as regional variations. The Daiba in the Diver City shopping mall (Odaiba) is 1 example and First Avenue Tokyo Station, (Tokyo Station) has an entire zone devoted to sweets.
Best Value Flights To Tokyo
Don Quijote tends to carry a similar range of Kit Kat flavors to these souvenir shops. These shops tend to be huge, but the food section is usually on the basement floor. But be sure to check out the other floors too, shopping Donki (as it’s affectionately called by locals) is a whole experience in its own right.
4. Kit Kat Chocolatory
You know how some fancy chocolate brands have their own shops? This is the Kit Kat version, which made the headlines before it even opened. But be warned — if you’re expecting something like a shop with flavors from Hokkaido all the way to Okinawa, you’re in for some major disappointment. Sure, you can find matcha, sakura, passion fruit, pistachio, and seasonal Kit Kats here, but this is more of a boutique candy store than a collection of Kit Kats from all over Japan. The packaging is classier, and the ingredients are said to be of higher quality. The prices are indicative of this, a single, regular-sized bar costs ¥324, or a mini bar from the ‘Pick to mix’ range costs ¥130.
There are 3 locations in Tokyo and 1 in Osaka.
If you weren’t able to shop for Kit Kats while touring Japan, you can always do some last-minute shopping at Narita and Haneda airports, where the souvenir shops sell matcha, sake, and strawberry cheesecake Kit Kats, among others. These are sold in thin boxes like the ones you can get at convenience stores, or if you’re feeling fancy the sake ones come in a box that’s shaped like Mt. Fuji.
Getting Japanese Kit Kats Shipped Outside Of Japan
If you’re not in Japan, then fear not, there is a solution! Check out the Kit Kat section on the Doko Demo shopping site.
Buying Kit Kats Online From Inside Japan
Like Pokemon, Kit Kats can be addictive — you just gotta catch ’em all. Sadly, Tokyo’s souvenir candy shops are never quite complete. When all else fails, you can order online from Amazon Japan. Without having to travel to every region of Japan, you can try some yubari melon Kit Kats from Hokkaidō, hojicha (roasted tea)-flavored ones from Kyoto, Amaou strawberry Kit Kats from Kyushu (Amaou being a kind of strawberry unique to the region), and purple yam-flavored ones from Okinawa, among others.
While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. First published in March 2015, last updated in September 2022 by Maria Danuco.