Saturday, 14 June 2014 | MYT 12:00 AM

KitKat lets rail passengers in Japan use chocolate bars as tickets

Sanriku railways. – Nestlé Japan

Sanriku railways. – Nestlé Japan

Wouldn’t train travel be more fun if you could pay in chocolate rather than buying a ticket?

If that sounds like your thing then head to Japan, where travellers using the Sanriku Railway network can now use KitKats as train passes.

The concept is part of an innovative scheme by confectionery brand Nestlé to rejuvenate tourism in the northern province, following the devastating effects of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake.

Customers can buy special packs of KitKat for less than the cost of a standard ticket as part of the initiative, which is the first time a Japanese rail company has allowed confectionery packaging to be used as a method of payment.

A KitKat bar. – Nestlé Japan

The move isn’t the first time Nestlé has helped the Sanriku railway get back on track following the natural disaster.

In 2011 the brand discovered that members of the reconstruction team were gifting one another KitKat treats as messages of encouragement, due to the similarity between the its name and the Japanese phrase “Kitto-Katsu”, meaning “you will surely win.”

Consequently, the brand began donating 20 yen (around 65 sen) to the rebuilding project for each bar exchanged.

KitKat has also decorated two of the trains and two of the rebuilt stations with cherry blossom motifs, which symbolise hope in Japan.

The move comes as the Japanese government recently announced plans to offer free Wi-Fi to tourists who register their passport details upon arriving in the country, in a bid to boost visits from foreign travellers.

KitKat train tickets will be available this month and will be valid on Sanriku Railway trains through May 2015. – AFP Relaxnews

Japan has quite a number of different flavours of KitKat:

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , Japan railways , KitKat , 2011 tsunami


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