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Welcome to the Japanese Candy Land

11 Jul

I moved to Japan in the summer of 2007.  I was totally green, totally impressionable, and … totally hungry.  My first instinct upon arriving at my hotel in Shinjuku, Tokyo, was to find a convenience store and grab a chocolate bar.  Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Finding a 7-11 (Ooh!, I thought, a 7-11 … we don’t have those where I’m from!), I happened to find a peculiar flavour of Kit Kat: Kiwifruit.  I’m from Canada, and in Canada I’ve become accustomed to specialty flavours like Peanut Butter and Cinnamon, but Kiwifruit looked, well, weird.  How would kiwifruit and chocolate mix? I had to find out.

What I found out was that Kiwifruit tasted great.  What I also found out was that in Japan, Nestle (the manufacturers of Kit Kat) liked to distribute limited edition flavours (referred to as “gentei”) every month or so.  Often they were based on seasonal foods or other themes and events (e.g., Halloween, “Setsubun”, and so on).  Since that first Kiwifruit Kit Kat three years ago, I’ve seen (and photographed!) around 100 different varities of Kit Kat chocolates, and there seems to be no sign that Nestle is running out of flavours to simulate.

This blog is going to be a document of Japan’s crazy love affair with Kit Kat chocolates.  Come and see for yourself just what the rest of the world is missing out on!