As the weather starts to warm up, Japan goes in to a mint chocolate craze, where you’ll find this 'seasonal' flavour in everything from ice cream and chocolate to ice-blended drinks and cookies. Perhaps it’s the feeling that mint is refreshing and can thus help cool you down from the heat; nevertheless, mint chocolate is a summer highlight in Tokyo that you can’t miss. Here are some of the lip-smacking mint chocolate treats we’ve discovered at our local snack shops and convenience stores to get us through the season.
Mint Chocolate Tea Frappuccino
Starbucks in Japan sure loves to show off its creativity in the form of Frappuccinos, and this tongue-tingling special is no exception. The Mint Chocolate Tea Frappuccino is not just seasonal, but also exclusive only to the Starbucks in Roppongi Hills. The mint flavour is subtle, while the drink is laced with chocolate bits for that extra bite and sweetness. ¥570 for a tall size
Mint Chocolate Gari Gari Kun
A classic Tokyo treat, Gari Gari Kun ice pops always come out with seasonal offerings, and we can’t get enough of the mint chocolate variety that's made a comeback to our konbini freezers. The phrase ‘gari gari’ is actually an onomatopoeia, translating to a hard, firm crunch; it's a fitting name as this popsicle has that exact texture once you bite in. The centre of this popsicle is filled with small ice bits – kind of like the ice you’d find in a snow cone – laced with chocolate pieces. Expect a refreshing mouth feel from the mint. ¥140
Canoble Chocolate Mint Butter
If you think the snack market is already oversaturated with mint chocolate items, why not go for a mint chocolate-infused butter instead? It could be used in a multitude of ways, as a baking ingredient or slather it on your morning toast. This unique flavoured butter contains chopped fresh peppermint for a natural taste, as well as plenty of bitter chocolate to make for a nice herb to chocolate ratio. Snag this one online here. ¥1,240
Mint Kit Kats
We’ve always got Kit Kat’s latest and greatest flavours on our radar, and it’s no surprise that it’s come up with a few minty varieties for the season. This year, we’ve spotted classic mint chocolate, mint yoghurt, and rum-infused peach mint. The ‘premium' peach mint Kit Kat is considered an ‘adult’ treat as it contains a scant trace of alcohol. From ¥398
Mint Chocolate Pocky
Another classic snack to get the mint choco treatment is good ol’ Pocky. The thin, pretzel-like sticks are flavoured with cacao and then dipped in minty glaze that packs a refreshing punch. You’ll find this special flavour at most convenience stores, as well as grocery and snack shops around town. ¥138
Mint Chocolate Mochi
No confectionery is more Japanese than mochi, and these sticky rice cakes from Lawson have outdone themselves with a mint chocolate option. One pack contains six bite-sized mochi balls, which are basically mint cream mixed with pieces of chocolate all wrapped up in a nice chewy exterior. We dare you to eat just one. ¥168 from Lawson
Mint Chocolate cookies and candies
Don’t know where to begin your mint chocolate adventure? Here's a tip: walk into any convenience store at this time of year and you're bound to come across a small section of snacks dedicated to this popular flavour. Take your pick from numerous candies, chocolates and cookies, and don’t forget to check out the konbini’s house brand for more minty, chocolatey goodness.