Okay, a chocolate a day may not actually keep the doctor away, but it’s a surefire way to boost your mood! Sometimes you just have to treat yourself, and nothing beats indulging in chocolate after a long day.
Like anywhere else, Japanese people enjoy chocolate. It took a while for chocolate to be introduced to Japan, though, since it isn’t a native plant. Cacao, the fruit used to make chocolate, comes from South America, and the Mayans and Aztecs were enjoying chocolate drinks as far back as the 1500s. It is believed that then chocolate was introduced to Europe through Spanish conquistadores who brought cacao back as gifts to their royal benefactors.
Chocolate is thought to have been introduced to Japan by the Dutch and thanks to Meiji and other chocolate manufacturers in Japan, chocolate became widely available across the country, where it was simply adopted into the Japanese language as chokoreto (チョコレート).
Nowadays, chocolate of all varieties can be found everywhere in Japan, from convenience stores to high-end shopping malls. Well, most of the time. In some cases, there are Japanese chocolates you can only buy in specific prefectures. Additionally, as with many Japanese sweets, there are limited edition chocolates crafted with seasonally available ingredients, like the spring-exclusive Strawberry Daifuku Kit Kats!
Searching for something special to sweeten your day? Look no further with a list of our favorite Japanese chocolates!