The only thing better than a box of Japanese Kit Kats is one you’ve made yourself.
For many visitors to Japan, souvenir shopping means stocking up on some of the country’s many exclusive Kit Kat flavours. From Hiroshima’s Maple Leaf-shaped Red Bean Cake variety to the melon-and-cheese treat from Hokkaido, Nestlé Japan has created so many exclusive limited-edition flavours that it’s never an easy task to decide which Kit Kats to stuff your luggage with on your way home.
Starting from today, there’s a new way to make shopping for your selection a little easier, with a unique product called the “Travel Memories Kit Kat” being unveiled in Kyoto. This new product, which will be available for a limited time, can only be purchased from a special machine located in the “Omiyage Kaido” (Souvenir Highway) inside the JR Kyoto Station building, near the west entrance.
▼ The setup looks like a fancy vending machine.
While it looks similar to a vending machine, this setup does a whole lot more, as it allows customers to print one of their favourite images onto a pack of Uji Matcha green tea Kit Kats, using digital photos from their mobile phone. Kit Kat began offering a customised package service called Choco Labo to their customers back in 2010, but this is the first time they’ve released the technology via a quick and easy-to-use self-service machine.
With tourists set to flood the city during Kyoto’s popular autumn foliage viewing season, this service is intended to be used as a way for travellers to create a personal memento of their time in the ancient capital. It’s incredibly fast to use, taking just five minutes to create your own box of Kit Kats, which means you can make your own original souvenir while you’re waiting to catch the train back home.
And in case you want to send a pack to your friends and family as a gift, all you have to do is write their address on the back of the box, put a stamp on it and send it off at the post office as it is. Your personal Kit Kat box can be displayed beautifully as well, as each pack contains a special stand inside for display purposes.
It costs just 400 yen (US$ 3.51) to use the service, which includes the box of matcha Kit Kats, and the service will only be available for a limited time until mid-April next year. Whether or not Nestlé will expand the service to include more flavours and more locations around the country in future depends on the popularity of the initial test run in Kyoto, so be sure to give it a try next time you’re there!
images: Nestlé Japan