By Chris Glenn
Japan is certainly a sweets-lovers paradise. But there are so many confections to choose from that the average visitor might miss the wonder of Black Thunder – Japan's own miniature chocolate bar. With 2019 being the brand's 25th anniversary, it's a great time for fans and newcomers alike to seek out the home of Black Thunder in central Japan.
What is Black Thunder?
Black Thunder is a popular bite-sized, low-cost chocolate bar made by Yuraku Confectionery in Toyohashi, Japan.
Black Thunder chocolate bars are made using dark cocoa cookie chunks combined with white biscuit pieces and coated in dark milk chocolate. Add to this winning formula a low price of just 30 yen (before tax), and you have a much-loved combination that has helped spurn dozens of spin-offs and limited editions, from Black Thunder ice-cream to a McFlurry tie-up with McDonalds in 2017.
It’s not hard to see why Black Thunder is such a popular treat among Japanese people – which is now available in practically all of Japan's convenience stores nationwide! Positioned as an ideal treat during Valentine's giri-choco / 'obligation chocolate' ritual, the chocolate's limited edition versions—like Green Tea Black Thunder—have helped boost appeal in Asian markets.
The result is one mouthwatering confectionery treat. If you’re keen on the crisp crunchiness of cookies and the smooth, creamy taste of chocolate this is the candy bar for you.
The chocolate bars are often sold individually at convenience and food stores across Japan, while you can find them in fun-size bags at grocery stores and retail shops, such as Don Quijote.
Where can I get unlimited Black Thunder?
Yuraku Confectionery's Toyohashi Yume Factory in Aichi produces over 700,000 Black Thunder bars a day, making it a mecca for Black Thunder fans to visit the home of this fabled chocolate bar.
While the factory itself cannot be toured, there are plenty of reasons to make a pilgrimage here.
Inside the Chocolate Factory Store here, guests will find rare or seasonal Black Thunder bars that can be otherwise difficult to get. For example, the White Thunder from Hokkaido, Black Thunder an-maki (soft Black Thunder rolled up in a pancake-like wrapping), strawberry-, melon- and other fruit-flavored Black Thunder, may be available for purchase depending on the season.
But the real deal here is the chance to grab unlimited Black Thunder chocolate bars in a special campaign deal. First of all, you want to get there early because this deal is limited to the first 80 customers each day—the factory shop opens at 10am and closes at 5pm.
For just 1,000 yen, you’ll receive a plastic bag that you’re allowed to stuff with all the Black Thunder bars you can possibly fit!
Aside from the basic version, there’s also one special flavor a day—which changes daily. You’ll be in for a treat as you try to stuff your bag without overflowing or breaking it. Some people have managed to fit over 1,500-yen worth in their bag – how much can you fit?
Once you’ve finished with your Black Thunder bag of goodness, take a look around the rest of the shop. Word is, if you spend more than 1,000 yen on treats and goods, you’ll receive a small gift. Take advantage of this fun service and visit Yuraku Confectionery's Chocolate Factory Store in Toyohashi as soon as you can!
A 7-minute taxi ride from Shinjohara Station on the Tokaido Main Line.
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