Kobe Chocolate Guide: Best Chocolate in Japan?

5/5 - (1 vote)

When I found out that one of the things that Kobe, Japan is famous for all across Japan is chocolate, I was really taken aback and simply astounded. Given the reputation that Kobe beef has earned, I, too, was apprehensive, but after trying a significant portion of the Kobe chocolate assortment, I am now a firm believer in the quality of this product.

We came across some amazing chocolate in Japan, even in the city of Kobe itself; but, none of it was produced by any of the chocolate companies that are responsible for Kobe’s international reputation. It began about the same time as the rest of the culture around chocolate in Japan, around the beginning of the twentieth century. During that time period in Kobe, two Russian immigrants named Goncharoff and Morozoff opened different chocolate businesses, which led to the creation of both a positive reputation and a great deal of misunderstanding.

On the other hand, none of those chocolate businesses left an impression on me throughout my trip.

The most current cycle of local Japanese chocolatiers, many of whom spent years honing their craft in Europe, has more successfully captured my attention. Kobe’s status as the chocolate capital of Japan is well-deserved, despite the fact that Tokyo’s chocolate has gained greater notoriety in recent years. But I must warn you once more: for every truffle that was so delicious that I will never forget it, there were three that I nearly spat out in an attempt to reduce the number of calories I consumed. These are the accounts of their lives (and their stores).

Check out our Guide to Kyoto Chocolate Shops if you’re looking for even more chocolate in the area!

Downtown Kobe

L’avenue Chocolatier

Shigeo Hirai is one of the few Japanese chocolatiers whose store is renowned all over the globe. His name is synonymous with the highest quality chocolate. Mr. Hirai is one of the few chocolatiers whose confections are so much more than mere hype, and this distinction earned him in 2009 the title of World Chocolate Master. When we went there on a Sunday afternoon, there was a big line of people waiting on the other side of the street, which eventually moved to the other side of the street and finally entered the building. Join this queue as soon as possible; you won’t be sorry you did.

The bonbons are offered for sale in sets of predetermined tastes, each of which may be explained to you in English by a member of staff. Although the Yuzu Caramel and Rose Lychee Framboise were my personal favorites among the half dozen bonbons that we sampled, there was not a single one of them that was anything less than breathtaking. You’ll have to go through several pastries and confections that have been elegantly put together as well as a wall of cookies before you reach the counter. Everything is made in the French way, but you won’t have to spend any money on plane tickets to go there.

Address: 3 7 3丁目, 3 Chome-7 Yamamotodōri, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 650-0003, Japan (see map below)

Metro Stop: Sannomiya

Hours & Prices: 10:30am-6pm, daily; closes 5pm Sun./Holidays (¥300 per truffle)


This little Italian import currently has two locations in Kobe, and it is most renowned for its melty guianduja, which is a chocolate confection created with toasted hazelnuts and almonds that have been mixed till smooth. It is the Italian chocolate spread that Nutella attempts to emulate, and any chocolate fan who is going to Kobe should bring some with them.

The cozy little cafe area, which has enough for ten people, is ideal for taking a seat with a cup of cappuccino and a bite-sized dessert, either by yourself or with a buddy. The wait staff can communicate in English, but I think you’ll find that the sweets really speak for themselves. All of their sweets are prepared using imported chocolates that are crafted in the traditional manner of Italy and include a lot of sugar and nuts.

Address: Japan, 〒650-0003 Hyōgo-ken, Kōbe-shi, Chūō-ku, Yamamotodōri, 3 Chome−7, 兵庫県神戸市中央区山本通3丁目7-29 (see map below)

Metro Stop: Sannomiya

Hours & Prices: 11am-7pm, Wed.-Mon. (¥200 per guianduja bonbon)

Joice Chocolate (open 2019)

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting a chocolatier who’s spent nearly half his life creating tasteful chocolates for the Japanese public; not only that, but I got to try them, too…

A post shared by Max Gandy | ??? (@damecacao) on Feb 25, 2018 at 7:16pm PST

I had the opportunity to speak with Takeshi Joike personally in the year leading up to the launch of his store, and I consider myself quite fortunate to have done so. After working as a chocolatier for more than a decade, he came to the conclusion that it was now time to go out on his own and launch his own company. He was a kind and kind guy. Takeshi’s shop is scheduled to debut in 2019, and it will include an extensive variety of the handmade truffles that he creates. These truffles are prepared using regional ingredients and bean-to-bar chocolate that is produced in Nha Trang, Vietnam.

The tastes that stand out the most among his creations are the chestnut flower honey and the tonka bean, both of which are traditional Kobe specialties that I was unable to get anyplace else in the city.

I can’t help but feel envious of those of you who have had the opportunity to visit his business before I have!

Address: coming soon (location forthcoming)

Metro Stop: coming soon

Hours & Prices: TBD

Yasuhiro Seno Chocolatier

When I entered this teeny-tiny shop, the proprietors immediately pulled a young lady out from the back to practice her English with me. This chocolatier exclusively offers his products in pre-packaged boxes and bags; customers are unable to select and choose from the available options. Having a choice, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to make much of a difference when the quality of your products is as excellent as it is.

While the crispy Rocher sneaks up on you with bits of candied fruit, the Yuzu makes its presence known in a ferocious manner. However, the Vanilla Caramel was my favorite because of its velvety texture and sweet flavor as it melted in my lips. I really regret not purchasing several boxes from Yasuhiro earlier on. Who could possibly need a taste chart? The business is a little bit out of the way and somewhat unremarkable, but it is simple enough to locate and absolutely worth the extra effort to get there.

Address: Japan, 〒651-0087 兵庫県神戸市中央区Chūō-ku, Gokōdōri, 2 Chome−1, 御幸通2-1-26 M&Cビル 1階 (see map below)

Metro Stop: Sannomiya

Hours & Prices: 11am-7pm, Tue.-Sun.; closes 6pm Sun. (¥250 per chocolate)

The Outskirts of Kobe

Ichiji Chocolate

The person who makes the chocolate personally pointed us in the direction of the samples and discussed the history of the cacaos as well as their flavor profiles with us. These bars are not inexpensive by any means, but they are definitely something you should try if you’re a fan of premium Japanese handmade chocolate. In addition to that, the store stocks butter as well as a selection of sweet treats. It’s not a typo, butter. You read that accurately. Oh, Japan.

When you consider that it is located in one of the major cities in Japan, the expansive dining space and lofty ceilings give it a sense of opulence. But even if you just want a cup of cocoa while you’re in Kobe, this is the place to go since the magnificent decor and elegant atmosphere of a huge chocolate store is impossible to surpass.

Address: 1-20 Narihiracho, Ashiya-shi, Hyogo, Japan (see map below)

Metro Stop: JR Ashiya Station South Exit

Hours & Prices: 11am-8pm, Wed.-Mon. (~¥1400 per bar)

BeBeBe Chocolatier

Because BeBeBe Chocolatier provides an outlet for three Belgian chocolatiers—namely, Goossens, Van Hecke, and Manon—the name “BeBeBe” is really an abbreviation for Belgium, written three times. The shop’s owner went to great lengths in order to choose out the three of them when they were on vacation in Belgium in 2006. They fell in love with the tastes and style of chocolate from Belgium and wanted to introduce it straight to Japan after making that decision.

In a conscientious manner, they stock around a dozen varieties crafted by each chocolatier, in addition to a wide variety of chocolate bars, confections, and couverture disks. Allow yourself to be enticed by the samples, and keep an eye out for the Belgian flag that flies over the entrance to direct people in the right direction.

Address:4 Chome-1-15-111 Tamondōri, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 650-0015, Japan(see map below)

Metro Stop: Kosoku Kobe

Hours & Prices: 11am-7pm, Tue.-Sat. (¥220-¥400 per truffle)

Nakamura Chocolate

These bonbons from @nakamurachocolates japan are incredible; they are certainly among the nicest chocolate candies I have ever tasted. I really need to go down to #perth one of these days so I can sample some of these in the city where they were first created! In general, I have a negative attitude toward foreign chocolates; nonetheless, these are just wonderful. From the salted caramel to the finger lime with coconut, everything about this experience has left a huge impression on me. I still have a couple more collections from local Japanese chocolatiers to try, but as of right now, Nakamura is the one to beat.??❤

A post shared by Max Gandy | ??? (@damecacao) on Feb 21, 2018 at 7:06am PST

Nakamura is a lot more than it seems to be from the outside, despite the fact that it is somewhat out of the way and nondescript. Ice cream and a large variety of colorful chocolates that are handcrafted with one-of-a-kind tastes are both available for purchase at this retail location, which is an outlet for a chocolatier situated in Perth, Australia. There is soothing music playing in the background at all times, most likely in an effort to calm your racing heart as it takes in the diverse array of tastes that are distinctly Australian.

The Murray Salted Caramel and the Finger Lime with Coconut were our two top picks out of the half dozen other flavors that we sampled, but there is no denying the amazing craftsmanship of the chocolatier. Every one of the tastes is robust and delectable, and any and all texture components have been managed for effect, such as ground cardamom tickling the top of your tongue. If you get a box of Nakamura Chocolates, you could find yourself wishing you lived there.

Address:2 Chome-5-16 Okamoto, Higashinada-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 658-0072, Japan (see map below)

Metro Stop: Settsyu Motoyama Exit 1

Hours & Prices: 11am-6:30pm, Tue.-Sun. (~¥360 per truffle)

Kobe Sogo Department Store

Mon Loire Chocolate House

The easiest way to think about Mon Loire is as a Japanese version of a quick chocolate store that sells a little bit of everything that’s already wrapped up. There are also biscuits, truffles, chocolate-covered orange peels, and pieces of molded chocolates among their offerings. The ganaches are cut fresh daily.

The selection is not very impressive, but the quality is quite high, particularly with regard to the orange peels; there is a solid reason why they have four sites in Kobe alone. The bonbons are only available in pre-packaged sets with a “you get what you get” approach, but the employees are very kind and happy to see you.

Address: 8 Chome-1-8 Onoedōri, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 651-8511, Japan (see map below)

Metro Stop: Kobe-Sannomiya

Hours & Prices: 10am-8pm, daily (¥250-¥300 per truffle)


This Kobe chocolate manufacturer has opened up reasonably priced kiosks in a number of department shops located around Japan. They provide an extensive variety of miniature candies that may be added on to gifts that are purchased in the mall, and all of these items seem to be popular purchases. They also sell their chocolates at low prices.

They have bright red-wrapped boxes of bonbons, much like the Whitman’s samplers that I used to get when I was little, and they also offer some chocolate bars. Cookies, puddings, and molded plain chocolates are some of the other options, but I didn’t see anything that really stood out as being unusual.

Address: 8 Chome-1-8 Onoedōri, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 651-8511, Japan (see map below)

Metro Stop: Kobe-Sannomiya

Hours & Prices: 10am-8pm, daily (¥50-100 per truffle)

Saison de Setsuko

Not only is there very little English to be found at the basement of a Japanese department store to identify the things that are for sale, but there are also no individual truffles for you to select and choose from. They simplify the process by providing you with boxes that include pre-determined groups of items, in addition to cookies and truffle pops.

After sampling a box of 10 truffles, I found that several of the truffles had flavors that were so overpowering that it was practically hard to appreciate them (picture having a mouthful of almond essence), but the vanilla truffle was enjoyable. Despite the fact that the package is rather lovely, I would not suggest purchasing this item. They also seem to be owned by Mary’s chocolate, which is another another chocolate brand in Japan that is rather inexpensive.

Address: 8 Chome-1-8 Onoedōri, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 651-8511, Japan (see map below)

Metro Stop: Kobe-Sannomiya

Hours & Prices: 10am-8pm, daily (~¥200 per truffle)


The second chocolatier on our list is located in Kobe, and my first impression was that it was of a poorer quality than the first. I attribute this to the adorable animal-shaped bonbons that they sell, which are quite popular with the locals. The extensive product selection that includes cookies, truffles, and desserts that are only available at the café is the main attraction here.

In spite of the fact that their offers are on the more affordable and sugary end of the spectrum, those who attend a dinner party with even a moderate level of sophistication would be impressed by them. Despite the fact that they are really affordable, if you were interested in purchasing a one-of-a-kind collection of tastes inspired by Japan I would point you in the direction of a different store down the aisle.

Address: 8 Chome-1-8 Onoedōri, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 651-8511, Japan (see map below)

Metro Stop: Kobe-Sannomiya

Hours & Prices: 10am-8pm, daily (¥50 per truffle)

Bel Amer

This establishment is just a little outlet of the main branch in Tokyo; nonetheless, it does provide a more limited range of their madeleines, as well as an array of their circular chocolates and set boxes of truffles. It’s the same candies that you can get at their main shop, so unless you’re desperate for a hit of it, I’d go elsewhere, preferably by leaving the basement. Unless you’re dying for a hit of it, I’d head somewhere, preferably by leaving the basement.

However, given that they are among the most aesthetically pleasing selections available in the shop, I would choose this particular option for a box of truffles from the Sogo Kobe Department Store.

8 Chome-1-8 Onoedōri, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 651-8511, Japan (see map below)

Metro Stop: Kobe-Sannomiya

Hours & Prices: 10am-8pm, daily (~¥300 per truffle)


Godiva follows me about like the sole of your shoe, and it always appears to be just one step behind me everywhere I go. The truffles that cost $2.50 USD are sold for between 400 and 450 in Japan, making these truffles, which are of a lower quality, some of the most costly in the shopping center.

Due to the fact that it is an outlet, the only thing that they sell are boxes of bonbons; nonetheless, if you are only willing to consume Belgian chocolates, this may be an alternative for you. Godiva is ubiquitous across Japan and the rest of Asia, and its presence there and elsewhere throughout the region seems to be permanent. During the warm months, its ice cream has an incredible level of demand.

Address: 8 Chome-1-8 Onoedōri, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 651-8511, Japan (see map below)

Metro Stop: Kobe-Sannomiya

Hours & Prices: 10am-8pm, daily (~¥400 per truffle)


My attention was drawn to Wittamer as a result of the artistic molding and bigger bonbons that they produce (bumpy raspberry top for the framboise, a glittery top for passion fruit). I took advantage of the fact that the staff was able to communicate in some English by treating myself to a couple items. In a more unusual twist, they also sell enormous chocolate bunnies and high heels that have been sculpted, in addition to a wide variety of freshly baked pastries and madeleines.

However, at a price of 300 yen for both the over-sized and conventional truffles, these imports from Belgium are not the finest deal in the establishment. I noticed that both the gigantic raspberry and the passion fruit had an odd industrial aftertaste, similar to that of a chemical preservation of some type, and very little flavor associated with the fruit itself. In this scenario, it’s possible that I could fit inside one of Godiva’s Belgian masterpieces.

8 Chome-1-8 Onoedōri, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 651-8511, Japan (see map below)

Metro Stop: Kobe-Sannomiya

Hours & Prices: 10am-8pm, daily (¥280-¥350 per truffle)


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What is the best chocolate brand in Japan?

Meiji chocolate and Japanese Royce chocolate are two of the most well-known brands of chocolate produced in Japan. Both firms are based in Japan.

What kind of chocolate do people eat in Japan?

chocolate with milk

Where can one get chocolate in Japan and what varieties are available? On the Japanese market, the most popular option is milk chocolate with a taste similar to sugar. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, has a flavor that is unmistakably more astringent and has seen a surge in demand in recent years.

Does Japan produce chocolate?

The quantity of chocolate that was produced in Japan reached around 244.1 thousand tons in 2021, which was an increase from the approximately 208.8 thousand tons that was produced in 2012.

Which is the best quality chocolate?

Here are the best chocolates in 2022

  • Vosges Haut-Chocolat is widely regarded as the producer of the world’s finest chocolates.
  • The finest ganaches and truffles come from Bon Bon Bon….
  • Fran’s Chocolates are widely regarded as the world’s finest caramel-flavored chocolates…
  • See’s Candies is where you should go if you have a sweet tooth for nuts…
  • Dandelion Chocolate Factory is home to the finest chocolates made from bean to bar….
  • EHChocolatier is home to some of the finest vegan chocolates.

What is the number 1 chocolate in the world?

Ferrero Rocher is without a doubt the most often given chocolate throughout the holiday season. It is widely considered to be the chocolate with the highest rate of sales everywhere in the globe. That may be attested to by anybody who has sampled this pleasure that will make your mouth swim.