KitKat lets rail passengers in Japan use chocolate bars as tickets

(Nestlé Japan)

(Nestlé Japan)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

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 travelers 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 TĹŤhoku 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.

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 $0.20) 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 symbolize 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 travelers.

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


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