in japan kit kats are sort of a big deal because it sounds like "kitto katsu" which means "you will surely win" and you know asians are superstitious and look for things that sound like this or that to guide them. or maybe that's just an American talking them up because she spent loads of vacation time searching and seeking these little guys out. there are supposed to be at least 200 flavors that have been produced in limited edition or seasonally. i was lucky enough to find twenty-five flavors on my quest throughout different regions of Japan. you hear that? TWENTY-FIVE!!! that's a LOT of kitter katters (what i started calling them for no good reason). that's a ton of weight to carry from place to place. thank goodness for me my awesome boyfriend was willing to lug them around in his extra carry-on luggage. what a trooper! not to mention putting up with me the excessive number of times i stopped abruptly and said "lemme check this spot too." i would consider twenty-five flavors a super success. check them out! and for those of you who were lucky enough for me to share with, use this as your guide!
this, my friends, is where you find special versions of Kit Kats that you wouldn't find in grocery stores nor souvenir shops. to my knowledge there are two Kit Kat Chocolatorys (Chocolatories?) in Tokyo and the flavors offered are exclusive to these little stands found inside of department stores. one is located in the basement level of Seibu department store in the district of Ikebukuro. the other (and the one that i went to) is located in the basement level of Daimaru department store at Tokyo Station (where i happened to be staying for four nights at the Tokyo Station Hotel right upstairs).
i scored six of the seven flavors that were showcased (the other flavor, sublime dark chocolate was sold out by the time i got there....twice!). the 'special' flavored Kit Kats are collaborations with recognized pastry chefs from Japan but i don't know who they are.
cream cheese. creamy and sort of fragrant the way cheese can be sometimes. i thought this was going to be weird but the flavor was subtle enough and it was sort of like eating cheese and crackers.
ginger. definitely gingery. i'm not a fan of ginger anything (except for ale, which is odd, yeah?) but i didn't mind these so much. if you like ginger you'd definitely like this.
green tea & kinako. i ate this before i researched what kinako was. initially it had an odd taste but after finding out that kinako is soy bean flour, it made a lot of sense. i didn't love this and i didn't hate this.
strawberry maple. sweet and a little weird. not like inedible or anything. the maple didn't read as maple so much as it sort of just seemed like an extra sweet strawberry and tasted sort of artificial.
orange cocktail. this tasted a lot like those orange chocolate balls (you know, the ones you slam so that the orange slices split apart). if you're a fan of orange and chocolate then this is your kit kat.
sublime raspberry. the flavor between the wafers is raspberry and the chocolate is dark. loves it.
i found the next four flavors at souvenir shops in the Narita Airport. there are a couple of shops that have more flavors than others before you enter the security checkpoints. so if you're like me, a neurotic freak when you're on a mission, then make sure not to pass up the stores outside of security. these small boxes each carry three individually wrapped kit kats.
sakura matcha. i thought this was going to taste like any other green tea but it wasn't at all. because i'm unfamiliar with most japanese words, i just assumed Sakura was a place in japan but it is actually cherry blossoms. sooo this kit kat tasted a little floral and was probably one of my least favorite flavors. still, it's fun that they make all of these flavors.
wa-ichigo. made with Tochiotome strawberries which are apparently a special breed of strawberry known to be a little sour and very sweet. 'twas a good kitter katter but i can't say it tasted very different from any other strawberry based kit kat i've encountered.
uji matcha. supposedly the finest of matcha coming from the Uji area of Kyoto. this was my faaaaaaavorite of the green tea/matcha flavors and probably my favorite of the 25 flavors i found as well. so rich in bitter matcha flavor with a hint of sweetness to balance it out.
red bean. it forreal tastes like red bean. fun stuff.
the next set of kit kats were found in various places. most were found in a food/confectionary souvenir shop located on B1 (basement level 1) of Tokyo Station right across from Ramen Street as well as the famous spot to get tsukemen, Rokurinsha. a beautiful display of easily accessible kit kats were sitting pretty right in front of the store to lure me in. others were found in food/confectionary souvenir stores in Osaka on Shinsaibashi (famous covered shopping street) as well as the Narita Airport.
wasabi. totally tastes like wasabi! it doesn't give you that kick or quickly clear your sinuses but you can't deny that flavor.
red bean sandwich. tastes a lot like the other red bean one. i digs it.
itohkyeumon uji matcha. to my knowledge this is the same or verrrry similar to the uji matcha and it tasted so too.
itohkyuemon hojicha. roasted tea flavor. aside from the matcha flavors this definitely tasted the most distincly japanese. roasting of tea makes it pretty strong and this was no different. super tea flavored but not in a subtle milk tea way. just in a straight up bitter tea way. i liked this a lot.
kobe pudding. i've never heard of kobe pudding. it's like a rich creamy pudding topped with citrus caramelish sauce and it tasted so. i didn't love this as it was pretty sweet but it was interesting for sure.
yawatayaisogoro ichimi. hot japanese chili flavor. sort of like mexican chocolate, you get a little kick on the end notes of this flavor. me likey.
shinshu apple. apples from the Shinshu region are supposed to be luscious, sweet red apples. definitely tasted like apple. slightly artificial flavored but it was awesome.
kankitsu ogon blend. citrus golden blend. tastes like a creamsicle!!!
strawberry cheesecake. yep. it does.
beni-imo. purple sweet potato. like taro! if you're familiar with this flavor then you'll love this!
rum raisin. hmmm not my favorite. definitely tastes like rummy raisins but i don't love rum or raisins sooo.....
the four green tea flavors i got. my favorite were the two uji matcha flavors because they were so strong and distinct in flavor. you can see the small flecks of actual tea in them too.
dark chocolate. what's not to love?
strawberry. sure is. i think this is pretty easily found in the US as well.
i'm not sure if this is soy bean flour or peanut flour because i haven't tried it yet but it had to join it's cousins in this blog because it, too, is a kitter katter.
these yums are going to last me a looooong while.