KitKat Lets Japanese Train Riders Pay With Chocolate Bars Instead Of Tickets

KitKat Lets Japanese Train Riders Pay With Chocolate Bars Instead Of Tickets

People can buy special packs of the chocolate bar to ride the Sanriku Railway.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 17 june 2014

As part of an initiative to rejuvenate tourism in the northern part of Japan, train travelers going on the Sanriku Railway can use KitKat as their train ticket.

The initiative is the first time that a Japanese rail company has allowed the use of chocolate bar packaging as a train ticket, but it isn’t the first project that the Nestle confectionery brand has done to support the reconstruction projects of the Sanriku Railway.

The Sanriku region was devastated by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami three years ago. The tsunami destroyed parts of the railway network and large areas of that part of the country.

Nestlé found out that team working on the reconstruction of the railway were being given KitKat goodies as a form of encouragement. In Japan, people often give each other KitKat as a message of good luck or encouragement since the name of the brand is similar to the Japanese phrase “Kitto-Katsu,” which roughly translates into “you will surely win.”


The KitKat brand started working with the Sanriku Railway and donating 20 yen — around 20 cents in USD — per bar to the rebuilding efforts. KitKat has also decorated two train stations and two trains with images of cherry blossoms, which symbolize hope in Japan. The Sanriku Railway Co. has already resumed full operations earlier this year, but the company continues to expect challenges when it comes to generating passengers because some areas in the region are still rebuilding.

The KitKat train tickets will be available starting this month and will be valid on the Sanriku Railway until May of next year.

The KitKat train ticket initiative shows how the brand continues to be involved in social projects and also shows how it stays strong in the Japanese market. According to the brand’s page, 150 KitKat bars are consumed worldwide every second. In Japan, it is the country’s favorite chocolate which is probably why the chocolate treat comes in a variety of special edition flavors like Wasabi, Purple Potato, European Cheese, Bean Cake, Kobe Pudding. These are only available in certain regions of Japan and include ingredients and flavors linked to a particular local area.


[h/t] Daily News

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