Aside from a really catchy song, there's not a whole not memorable about Kit Kat bars in the west. If the branding is anything to believed, Kit Kat's are our last resort when we're working too hard and need to gorge ourselves in candy to relieve all that stress.
But in Japan, the Kit Kat has developed diverse and thriving customs of its own. In fact, "Kitto Katsu," which is how it's pronounced phonetically, also has a coincidental meaning to it. "Kitto Katsu!" means "You'll certainly win!" What great luck the Kit Kat brand has. With a name like that, marketing the product effectively was a piece of cake, and locals began developing their own custom around the candy.
Now Kit Kat bars are given to students before taking their entrance exams. There are even message spaces provided to write your "Kitto Katsu" message. "Dear Takeshi-san! You'll definitely Kitto Katsu this time! Go out there and pass that test!!!" That's what I imagine most people are writing in their messages, at least.
In honor of this noble tradition, we thought we'd show you just some of the wide varieties of Kit Kat's available in Japan. You see, not only is there a specific custom dedicated to the Kit Kat bar, in true Japanese sweets' tradition, there are tons of special limited time only flavors, which you'll likely never find in the rest of the world. Let's take a look…
Green Tea Kit Kat
This is usually the first thing tourists gawk at when they go to the convenience store.
Zunda Kit Kat
Zunda is an edamame-based treat from Tohoku… now in Kit Kat form
Rum Raisin Kit Kat
Houjicha Kit Kat
Note the note space on the back!
Pudding Kit Kat
Wasabi Kit Kat
Grilled Corn Kit Kat
This one's only available in Hokkaido!
Red Bean Sandwich Kit Kat
This one's limited to the Tohoku region.
Yawatawa Ichimi Hot Pepper Kit Kat
A pepper company called Yawatawa produced this spicy limited-time-only Kit Kat. Bitter dark chocolate and hot pepper.
Believe it or not, there's much more where this came from. New flavors are out all the time, many of them only for a few months, or only in a specific region. That just means you'll have to travel every prefecture of Japan for months at a time, and before you know it, you too will be an expert in the vast world of Kit Kat. I'm sure you can definitely do it! "Kitto Katsu!"