After our 47 books article, we figured a guide to Japanese KitKats — one flavor for each prefecture — would be a fitting follow-up.
Thanks to KitKat’s willingness to collaborate with prefectures, there are many KitKat flavors designed especially for certain regions. With others — less touristy ones — we took some creative liberties.
We omitted the soy sauce flavor but read on to discover KitKats from strawberry dark chocolate to wasabi as well as salt and lemon.
Many of these were limited edition only, often to benefit causes such as disaster relief funds. A few are still available, though others are merely a dose of nostalgia.
1. Aichi: Azuki Sando
Aichi Prefecture is part of the Tokai Region, which runs along the Pacific Ocean. KitKat collaborated with Tokai to promote its azuki bean paste sandwich. A classic from the jazz cafes that offer a morning set, it’s usually accompanied with a dark, bitter coffee.
2. Akita: Sweet Potato
While Akita Prefecture doesn’t have its own special one, sweet potato flavor contains the same kanji. A perfect match. And delicious to boot.
3. Aomori: Apple
Aomori is known for its big, juicy apples. Two years ago, KitKat partnered with a famous pastry chef for this Aomori apple range.
4. Chiba: Everyday Nuts and Cranberry
Chiba is known for its peanuts. While peanut KitKat is relatively common abroad, it hasn’t taken off in Japan. So instead of peanuts, we have nuts and cranberry.
5. Ehime: Iyokan
The delightful prefecture of Ehime is famous for its abundance of oranges. So here is iyokan flavor, a special orange specific to Japan and widely produced in Ehime.
6. Fukui: Dialect KitKat
Fukui is a little-lauded prefecture, most famous for its dinosaur museum. At the height of the Covid pandemic, KitKat released its ‘dialect’ collection, so prefectures could have a connection with each other. This resulted in 47 KitKat designs for each prefecture, all saying “Have a Break” in different ways. The message from Fukui is: “Hoya, break shiyoosa.”
7. Fukuoka: Amaou Strawberry
Fukuoka, located at the top of Kyushu, is a lovely place, famed for its ramen. Unfortunately, there is no ramen KitKat, but luckily there is a sweet strawberry variety for Kyushu.
8. Fukushima: Cherry Blossom
Fukushima is sadly known for the 2011 nuclear disaster. On its 10-year memorial, KitKat released a cherry blossom flavor, with ¥10 (about seven percent) from each bag going to the ongoing disaster fund.
9. Gifu: New Year Card
Gifu is the seventh largest prefecture in Japan, with a renowned paper and textile-making industry. In 2020, KitKat launched its new year card KitKats.
10. Gunma: Safari Maple
Gunma is home to one of Japan’s only safari parks (the other one is in Shizuoka). What better way to celebrate this Gunma attraction than an animal, maple flavor KitKat.
11. Hiroshima: Momiji Manju
KitKat collaborated with famous Hiroshima sweet maker Takatsudo (located inside Hiroshima Station) for this momiji manju variety. It makes for a perfect souvenir after you’ve visited the area.
12. Hokkaido: Yubari Melon
Hokkaido is one of the most popular prefectures in Japan, with so many collaborations from milk KitKats to red bean that we were spoilt for choice. We went with the Yubari melon flavor as the fruit is incredibly sumptuous, sweet and juicy.
13. Hyogo: Kobe Pudding
Kobe is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture, known for its creamy Japanese pudding. KitKat produced this souvenir to capture that sweet, slightly caramelly flavor.
14. Ibaraki: Hot Spring Manju
Ibaraki, located near Tokyo, is known for its wine. It also has delicious manju.
15. Ishikawa: Cherry Blossom Mochi
Ishikawa is a quaint prefecture, known for its wagashi (Japanese sweets). This cherry blossom flavor fits the bill nicely.
16. Iwate: Iwaizumi Yoghurt
Iwaizumi Yogurt is known for its delicious, creamy flavor. KitKat tried to recreate this back in 2016, with a fundraiser pack for victims of the earthquake the same year.
17. Kagawa: Setouchi Salt and Lemon
Kagawa is known for its art islands and proximity to the Seto Inland Sea. This pack is Seto Inland Sea salt and lemon flavor. Take it away.
18. Kagoshima: Ocean Salt
Kagoshima is known for its beautiful waters. KitKat released this ocean salt flavor for Zero Waste Japan which we felt embodied the spirit of Kagoshima.
19. Kanagawa: Strawberry Cheesecake
Kanagawa is known for Kawasaki motorbikes, Yokohama and the old capital of Kamakura. This strawberry cheesecake flavor is a specialty of Yokohama.
20. Kochi: Yuzu Sake
Aside from having the same name as a major port city in India, Kochi is a large producer of the floral Japanese citrus fruit, yuzu. KitKat produced this yuzu sake flavor back in 2020, with some boxes still around.
21. Kumamoto: Black Sugar Donuts
KitKat produced these in 2022 in conjunction with Kumamoto Castle. They have a rich, black sugared donut flavor coated with white chocolate.
22. Kyoto: Roasted Green Tea
As Japan’s premier tourist destination, it is no surprise that Kyoto has a plethora of KitKat collaborations. We’ve plumped for the Uji roasted green tea variety here. A little different from your standard green tea, this has a deeper flavor.
23. Mie: Dialect KitKats
Mie is located on the Japanese mainland, within Kansai and known across the country for the famous shrine, Ise Jingu. Alas, there are no shrine-inspired KitKats, so have a dialect one instead.
24. Miyagi: Zunda Shake
The capital of Miyagi is Sendai, a large, picturesque city that’s known for zunda, a type of green, soybean dessert. That evolved into a sweet zunda shake, which is the flavor of this KitKat.
25. Miyazaki: Summer Mango
Miyazaki is located on the southeastern coast of Kyushu. It produces the most incredible mangoes called sun eggs. In ode to the Miyazaki mango, have the summer mango KitKat.
26. Nagano: Kyoho Grape
The beautiful prefecture of Nagano is highly regarded for its nature including its 796 named mountains. It is also well-known for a particular type of deep purple grape, the Kyoho grape.
27. Nagasaki: Ikinari Dango
Nagasaki Prefecture in Kyushu is home to several churches and the dango (Japanese dumpling). Check out this wonderful dango flavor.
28. Nara: Sakura Masamune Daiginjo Sake
This special rice wine KitKat was produced for Kansai Prefecture. The alcohol level is 0.1 percent.
29. Niigata: Le Lectier
The snowy prefecture of Niigata is well regarded for its skiing. It also produces great pears in the fall. This Le Lectier flavor was subsequently developed for the prefecture.
30. Oita: Summer Ice Cream
Oita is known for its gelato and fluffy soft serve. Step forward, summer ice cream flavor.
31. Okayama: Raspberry
Okayama is known as the “city of fruits” with its local fruit parfait said to be the best in Japan. We’ve never seen a raspberry KitKat flavor, and raspberries in Japan are comparatively rare. But, if raspberries are to be found, we bet Okayama will have them.
32. Okinawa: Purple Potato
Aside from Kyoto and Hokkaido, Okinawa must be up there with the most KitKat collaborations, most famously the purple sweet potato variety.
33. Osaka: Uji Matcha
Osaka Prefecture is Kyoto Prefecture’s grumpy uncle, known for its wild, friendly locals and okonomiyaki, which alas do not lend themselves to KitKat flavor pairings. Instead, we’ve chosen Uji matcha, the most famous type of Japanese matcha.
34. Saga: Amaou Strawberry
35. Saitama: Mint
Saitama Prefecture is known for its proximity to Tokyo and is a great destination for cherry blossom viewing in less crowded areas than the capital. It’s also home to the Moomin Museum. Can you spot the tiny Moomin-like character on the front of this mint flavored pack?
36. Shiga: Yoghurt Sake
Shiga Prefecture is the location of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. The prefecture is so proud of the blue color of the lake, it sells many things in blue including blue curry and blue rice. Well, here’s a yogurt alcohol flavored, blue KitKat.
37. Shimane: (Baked) Cheesecake
Shimane Prefecture is known for its yaki-manju, a baked version of the traditional manju snack. So, we have KitKat’s bake-able version for Shimane. In this one from 2015, you can heat it up and eat it hot.
38. Shizuoka: Wasabi
Shizuoka Prefecture is known for its wasabi. Say no more.
39. Tochigi: Tochiotome Strawberry
Japan is very particular about the region its fruit comes from. To this end, many people will have their own favorite areas for each type of fruit. Grapes from Nagano, Melon from Hokkaido, etc. While these are relatively balanced, an overwhelming number agree that strawberries from Tochigi Prefecture are the finest.
40. Tokushima: Peach
Tokushima Prefecture is best known for its Awa-dori dance, which attracts hundreds of thousands of dancers during the obon holiday in mid-August. This period also happens to be peach season.
41. Tokyo: Tokyo Banana
Of course, the area with the most collaborations is Tokyo. From rum and raisin through to all types of alcohol, Tokyo is popular with tourists and KitKat lovers alike. Its most enduring collaboration must be with Tokyo Banana, to produce a banana custard flavor.
42. Tottori: Whisky Barrel Aged
We’ve taken a little creative licensing with this one. The whisky barrel aged edition was available in limited places, including Tottori.
43. Toyama: Nihonshu
Toyama is known as the ‘city of wakame’ because they consume so much, yet alas there is no wakame flavor. So, have a rice wine KitKat instead.
44. Wakayama: Umeshu
Wakayama produces delicious plums that are perfect for Japanese plum wine. Luckily, KitKat brought out a Japanese plum wine flavor this year.
45. Yamagata: Cherry
Yamagata Prefecture is said to have the best cherries. A few years back, KitKat produced this cherry version, especially for Yamagata.
46. Yamaguchi: Citrus
Yamaguchi is famed for its mikan nabe (satsuma hotpot) so we’ve flexed our guidelines to include this limited edition citrus version which was available in 2018.
47. Yamanashi: Mount Fuji Strawberry Cheesecake
Nothing says Japan like Mount Fuji. And it just so happens that Mount Fuji is (partly) in Yamanashi Prefecture. So take a Mount Fuji-shaped box. This is currently on sale in many stores in Japan as of October 2022, so go fill your boots.