We thought that the Kit Kat Chocolatory in Japan would be like touring the See’s Candies Factory in San Francisco, California or the Maison Cailler Chocolaterie in Broc, Switzerland. We thought it would be a great place to take the kids and let them sample all the chocolate, see how it is made, and discover it doesn’t just magically appear on the shelves at the grocery store.
But we were mistaken. This is just a tiny boutique. In the basement. Of a mall. Albeit they have a large selection of flavors, but at ludicrous prices. I’m talking $50 for a small single digit ounce box.
► Ranking: #stinkydiaper
Kit Kat Chocolatory
1 Chome-28-1 Minamiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 171-8569, Japan
Hours: 10am – 9pm
By now you might think that we are some Kit Kat crazed lunatics, but the reality is that Kit Kats are a huge part of the culture in Japan. Japanese love collecting items, and the Kit Kat specialty flavors fill that niche market. In the past 15 years, Kit Kat has created more than 300 special edition flavors that can be found during various seasons, for limited periods of time, and only in certain areas of Japan. It’s a bit of a treasure hunt to experience them all.
The Japanese name for Kit Kat is kitto katto which sounds remarkably like the phrase kitto katsu, which means “You surely will win!” Once this connection was made, the candy became a good luck charm. Even the Japanese postal service got in on it and began selling edible good luck charm Kit Kat postcards to mail to students for exams.
During our trip we found flavors such as soy sauce, bean curd, dark chocolate almond and cranberry, wasabi, green tea, strawberry, raspberry and, the worst of them all, sake. If none of these sound appetizing, you can find different flavors unique to regions all over the world, such as cookie dough Kit Kat’s in Canada and red velvet Kit Kat’s in the US.
The Kit Kat Chocolatory is located at Seibu Ikebukuro. You can take the JR to the station of the same name to get there. The chocolatory is located in the basement of the shopping plaza, in the middle of the floor. It’s difficult to find on Google maps, like everything in Japan, so don’t rely on GPS navigation to get you there.
► For Kids: Nothing special to see here, but if you don’t want to pony up for purchasing an entire bag of different flavors, you can try a single bite of one here.
If you want to find the largest variety of Kit Kats and at a decent price, head to Don Quijote in Shinjuku. But, fair warning: buyer beware. Read about our experience getting pick pocketed in Japan.
► Nap Time Version: A small store selling specialty flavored Kit Kats only found in Japan at ludicrous prices.