All Stories by Jessica
As RocketNews24 readers, you are probably a bit more savvy than most about what Japanese food is, but for many, the concept doesn’t extend far beyond sushi. Despite its recent elevation to UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage status and its potential for international popularity, washoku still lacks global recognition and understanding.
That’s about to change, however, if newly launched project Peace Kitchen has their way, and we might all be better off for it.
Ahh, the internet. It used to be that if you wanted snorgle-worthy pictures of baby animals, you had to go out and take them yourself, risking skinned knees, mozzie bites, and the occasional head cold to do so. Now, we can sit back in the comfort of our own beanbag chairs and have the cute come to us.
Nail art is pretty big in Japan. For a lot of women (and some men?), getting their nails not just colored, but decorated with gems, 3D flowers and mini-paintings is a monthly routine and fashion must. Usually it’s fairly subtle, but some nail art aficionados think bigger and bolder is better, no matter how hard it makes typing a mail or wiping your bum.
His Royal Roundness, Maru, is one of the most famous cats in Japan, a country with no shortage of beloved feline stars, in part because of his extensive oeuvre. We’ve seen his majestic jumping, his moving efforts to squeeze his girth into tiny boxes, his awe-inspiring agility, and even his benevolent patience with lesser beings. Now Maru has taken the fashion world by storm with an upcycled frock and some serious attitude.
Sometimes a story comes across your desk that is so wacko, you just sit and stare at it for ages trying to wrap your brain around it. That happened to me this morning when I saw that an unusual item at the built-to-order site Dwango.jp was selling fast. That item? Hand-blown panty-wearing drinking glasses at a whopping 8,640 yen (US$72.12) a pop.
McDonald’s Japan recently launched a limited time menu option called the teriyaki chicken and egg with Seto lemon sauce. The Seto Inland Sea is famous in Japan for its warm climate and top-notch citrus, so you would think a Seto lemon sauce would put the already popular teriyaki chicken and egg into stratospheric levels of demand.
That doesn’t seem to be the case, though, and the culprit may be McDonald’s own commercial, which viewers are calling “dirty” and “gross”.
Who doesn’t love a cute desk calendar? An adorable picture of a kitten or your favorite cartoon character can really brighten up the place. Plus, lots of companies in Japan give them away as free gifts to customers, so you don’t even need to buy one most of the time.
Of course, if you get it for free, you can’t really complain about the quality, as one net user discovered when he flipped to April earlier this week. Notice anything strange about the illustration of Pooh above?
Ah, the Japanese fan dance. In popular culture, its staid connections to Noh and Kabuki theater are put aside in favor of something more risque. Usually it’s a coy geisha slowly using her fans to seductively cover and reveal her face and body. But just as more businesses are capitalizing on male sex appeal these days, the modern Japanese fan dance has a hot, sweaty man version too.
It’s nice when something invisibly quotidian is tweaked in a way that grabs your full attention. Previously we’ve talked about slightly altered street signs and artistic renderings of subway maps, and now the humble cash machine gets an eye-grabbing makeover in the interest of LGBTQ inclusivity.
You wouldn’t think that bringing up the struggle of caring for a parent with severe dementia would be an effective sales technique, but sushi chain Gin no Sara has decided to go that route with this touching spot about what Alzheimer’s patients do remember.
I’m not sure if it will increase sushi sales, but boxes of tissues will definitely be flying off the shelves.
You generally don’t have to look too hard to find a business capitalizing on the appeal of scantily clad women, but recently there seem to be more and more places using half-naked dudes too. Hooray for gender equality, I guess?
Earlier this week, we told you about the upcoming Macho Cafe in Tokyo and the handsome dentist who cradles patients in his lap while doing a cleaning, but neither of those places have anything on this hair and nail salon in Da Nang, where your beauty comes with a side of beefcake.
After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan, Tokyo-based photographers Brian Scott Peterson and Yuko Yoshikawa were frustrated by the limited impact of volunteer options close to home, so they decided to head up to Tohoku with the vague idea that people in temporary housing might be interested in having family portraits taken.
Clearly, that tapped into an unmet need, because four years later that one-off trip has become Photohoku, a ballooning volunteer organization that takes monthly trips to Tohoku, has gifted over 10,000 instant family portraits, and has even inspired similar groups overseas.
Today, as we remember those who lost their lives in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami four years ago, we take a brief look at how this truly inspired project continues to bring a little bit of extra sunshine into the lives of those who survived one of Japan’s greatest natural disasters.
We’ve spoken many times about the insanely good customer service here in Japan. The latest example comes to us from the branch of Toho Cinemas in Umeda, Osaka. If you visit their webpage right now, you are immediately greeted with an urgent message and fervent apology from the management regarding a terrible mistake: Some customers were given the wrong soda!
It’s already Tuesday here in the Big J, but even though we’ve survived the day whose name shall not be spoken and which many of you are still enduring, the weekend still seems awfully far away. So for all you hardworking salarymen (and women!), here’s a super cute kitty cat to help you ease into the week. Watch him enjoy his prime heater-front real estate and dream of your own warm happy place.
Last week, we gave you a recipe for the tasty caffeinated treat called coffee jelly. This week, we’d like to introduce a coffee shop that is taking that quotidian treat to the next level of taste and presentation. Behold Coffee Suzuki, where the coffee jelly forms right before your very eyes!
On my first trip to Australia, I expected to have lots of new culinary experiences, but to be honest, I expected them to be along the lines of kangaroo sausage and lamingtons. I certainly didn’t expect to come all the way from Japan and discover a new kind of sushi roll, but in the food court of the Cairns airport, there they were: black rice sushi rolls.
Here in Japan, most shops will do gift wrapping for free. It’s a very thoughtful and convenient service, but although they usually do a very nice job of it, it lacks a certain personal touch.
Popular lifestyle goods shop Muji may have the answer: gift bags that you can customize with a set of free and easy-to-use stamps. And the fun doesn’t stop there. Let’s take a look!