Kay

Writer / Translator

Kay is a native Japanese who has lived in Honolulu, Hawaii and Los Angeles, California. She currently resides in Tokyo and enjoys writing about a wide range of topics, including all things cute and glamorous. She also loves stories about any type of food, from gourmet cuisine to junk food. Her favorite pastimes include reading, going to the movies, watching American T.V. dramas and shopping. (Yes, she is painfully aware that she owns too many bags and shoes.) She also loves to travel and has visited over 25 different countries. Her favorite place to go on vacation is New York, an amazing city where you can enjoy the best of shopping, dining, art and theater.

All Stories by Kay

Try and guess what’s inside this gorgeous box decorated with a 90-year-old illustration

Try and guess what’s inside this gorgeous box decorated with a 90-year-old illustration

See this two-layered red box decorated with a lovely drawing? Well, this is an item that is currently on sale from major Japanese department store Mitsukoshi, and much to our surprise, the eye-catching illustration on the box is a work that was created nearly 90 years ago!

But as pretty as the drawing is, that’s not the best part about this product, because this isn’t just an ordinary box — it has a very specific use. The box is actually an osechi item that is sold with many types of special New Year’s food inside! (And they really do fill up the box with all sorts of colorful, interesting food, as we’ll show you in the pictures below.) What a stylish way to brighten your New Year’s meal!

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Strawberry and beef? We try Lotteria’s new Tochigi Wagyu Steak Hamburger with Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry and beef? We try Lotteria’s new Tochigi Wagyu Steak Hamburger with Strawberry Sauce

Japan is known for its succulent wagyu beef, but most people familiar with the meat probably wouldn’t expect it to be served as … a hamburger! But that’s exactly what Japanese fast food chain Lotteria is doing. And it’s not just a one-time promotion either; they’re serving a different kind of wagyu hamburger each month as a campaign over a period of about a year. And since the new hamburger they just released at the end of September involved a highly interesting ingredient for a hamburger, we simply had to go out and try it! Yes, it’s the “Tochigi Wagyu Steak Hamburger with Tochiotome Strawberry Sauce” (Tochigi Wagyu Hamburg Steak Burger (Tochiotome Sauce)), and we couldn’t wait to see how strawberries and wagyu mix!

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What, there’s now a specialty burrito shop in Tokyo? Of course, we had to go try it ourselves!

What, there’s now a specialty burrito shop in Tokyo? Of course, we had to go try it ourselves!

Now, Tokyo has more than its share of restaurants offering almost any and all types of cuisine, but truth be told, Mexican food is not one of our fortes. There aren’t very many Mexican restaurants to start with, and in all honesty, I personally have yet to try a truly satisfying burrito (or fajita for that matter) in Japan. Somehow, the stuff just isn’t the same as the satisfying Mexican fare filled with plenty of juicy meat and cheese that I used to have in the U.S.

So when we heard that a specialty burrito shop, apparently the first of its kind in Japan, was going to open in the Marunoichi office district of Tokyo, we knew we had to go try the food there ourselves. We headed to Marunouchi on the opening day of the new “umum good burritos!” shop to get a taste of their burritos. The eatery had been introduced briefly on national TV, and from what he had heard, they even served an interesting dessert burrito, so naturally we were excited to make our visit! 

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Tasty art brought to life — enjoy unique recreations of illustrated food at the Pixiv Festival!

Tasty art brought to life — enjoy unique recreations of illustrated food at the Pixiv Festival!

Some of our readers may be aware of Pixiv, the popular Japanese online community that provides a forum for artists to share and receive feedback on their illustrated works. Well, we certainly think such a community is a meaningful use for the Internet, and now, we’re even more excited to hear that Pixiv will be putting on a real-life festival! It’s the “Pixiv Festival – where drawing is fuuuuuuuuun!!!!!!!!!!!!” scheduled to be held in Roppongi next month, and while the event is sure to provide plenty of opportunity for artistic action, it seems there’ll also be some very interesting food options available as well — yes, you’ll be able to sample dishes that have actually been recreated from illustrations shared on the site, so let’s take a closer look at some of the unique culinary creations that have been brought to life especially for the festival!

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Get all powered up with these adorable Disney butts!

Get all powered up with these adorable Disney butts!

Nowadays, it seems everyone is surrounded by multiple electronic gadgets that need constant managing and charging. And we all know it can be a drag remembering to keep all those devices juiced up. Well, you might as well do the charging in style, right? In that case, these adorable USB power adapters may be just what you need to get the job done. Yes, our favorite friends from Disney have turned themselves into power adapters for your precious gadgets, but in this case, they’re keeping their faces hidden — and displaying their cute bottoms instead!

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Soft, squidgy and irresistible — these beautiful jelly soap balls have to be popped open to use

Soft, squidgy and irresistible — these beautiful jelly soap balls have to be popped open to use

Who doesn’t love brightly colored and irresistibly soft objects that you can jiggle, poke and burst, right?  Well, once again, the lovely ladies at our Japanese sister site Pouch have found a delightful item to share with you, and this time, it’s something that’s not only fun to look at and touch, but cleansing as well — quite literally.

It’s the colorful Hiruan-dama soap ball that comes packaged in a small balloon which you have to burst to take out the soap, and the jelly-like texture is as hard to resist as the softness of a newborn baby’s cheek!

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Häagen-Dazs creates winter wonderland that’s both gorgeous to look at and sweet to taste!

Häagen-Dazs creates winter wonderland that’s both gorgeous to look at and sweet to taste!

It seems only a short while ago that we were battling the unrelenting summer heat here in Tokyo, but now that autumn is on its way, apparently it’s already time to start hearing news about Christmas — heavens, it’s hard to keep up with the passing of the seasons!

Well, for those of you who like to start thinking early about the Holiday Season, one of the reporters from our sister site Pouch has a very special Christmas cake to introduce to you. It’s an absolutely gorgeous creation by gourmet ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs — which is more than enough to catch our attention and make our mouths water. And even though they’ll only be available in one shop in France, the cakes look so exquisite that we just had to share the pictures with you!

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The ultimate in kawaii cookware — Mickey and friends turn themselves into adorable pots!

The ultimate in kawaii cookware — Mickey and friends turn themselves into adorable pots!

Here in Japan, we love hot pots, or nabe, especially during the cold winter months. Nabe can be cooked using a wide range of ingredients, from delicate seafood like pufferfish (fugu) to succulent wagyu beef, and they’re often served with plenty of vegetables too, so the dishes are filling and relatively healthy as well.

Now, these hot pots are usually all about savoring the various ingredients, but a reporter from our sister site Pouch found some nabe pots that are so adorable that just looking at them is bound to put a smile on your face. Yes, our favorite friends from Disney have turned themselves into pots for our dining and viewing pleasure! Even if you’re not a die-hard Disney fan, these pots are guaranteed to add some extra fun to your meal.

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We check out the new Rose of Versailles comic — the first one to come out in forty years!

We check out the new Rose of Versailles comic — the first one to come out in forty years!

Earlier this month, we reported to you about how a new volume of the popular girls’ manga The Rose of Versailles was coming out, after more than 40 years since the last volume was published in May of 1974. Now, that’s certainly a long time to wait for a comic, and just as promised at the end of our previous article, we were at the front of the line to get our hands on the new volume when it was released this Monday. We didn’t want to be kept waiting any longer than necessary, after all, to take a look at the newest addition to the series. And how was the new volume? See our impressions and pictures below to find out. Oh, and we’ll also take a look at a collaboration between the manga and a fashion magazine as well!

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Cooking magic — Take a look at this beautiful water cake turned into Dragon Quest slime!

Cooking magic — Take a look at this beautiful water cake turned into Dragon Quest slime!

Remember the beautiful transparent water cakes we told you about back in June that we went all the way to Yamanashi Prefecture to try? Well, we might have expected it, but someone has come up with a fun, creative take on the water cake that has been delighting Japanese Internet users. And we have to say, we too are hugely impressed by the creation — Dragon Quest slime in a clear, jelly-like form!

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Amazing real-time projection mapping technology blurs line between fantasy and reality 【Video】

Amazing real-time projection mapping technology blurs line between fantasy and reality 【Video】

Projection mapping is a technology we seem to be hearing about quite often these days, and you may have seen it being used at various events or amusement park shows. But the video that we’re sharing with you today makes use of a highly unexpected and unusual surface to create a series of projection mapped images quite unlike anything we’ve seen before. In fact, the technology used in the video is so visually convincing that it seems to blur the line between reality and fantasy, and once you see it, we think you’ll be impressed by it too!

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For kids only — Mister Donut and Miffy collaboration gives you cute doughnuts on wheels!

For kids only — Mister Donut and Miffy collaboration gives you cute doughnuts on wheels!

Now, we’re sure that kids (and adults too for that matter) are perfectly happy to have tasty doughnuts even without the promise of a bonus toy. But this summer, Mister Donut Japan has made sure that kids have an extra incentive to visit the doughnut chain —  in the form of original toys featuring the internationally popular rabbit character Miffy! Yes, starting this week while supplies last, Mister Donut is offering two types of adorable Miffy donut toys as a bonus item that comes with a Kid’s Set. The only catch is, well, it’s a Kid’s Set, so you have to be a kid to order one …

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Want bread? You’re sure to find something you like in this wide and unique selection!【Video】

Want bread? You’re sure to find something you like in this wide and unique selection!【Video】

Now, we may be passionate about rice here in Japan, but we’re also quite fond of bread too. Indeed, breads of all shapes and sizes can be found, from the utterly adorable to the disturbingly realistic, and it seems the various types and flavors of bread available here are a subject of interest for foreigners as well. A YouTube video posted earlier this year by Osaka resident Ryan Boundless, which features a tantalizing selection of  unique breads has apparently attracted attention online recently, and we thought we’d take a look at the video with you to see what the buzz is about. So be prepared, because the video is bound to make you hungry for some good wholesome bread!

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A gourmet family restaurant? Six reasons why you should go to a Denny’s in Japan

A gourmet family restaurant? Six reasons why you should go to a Denny’s in Japan

Have you ever been to a Denny’s in Japan? If not, Yoshio, one of the reporters from our Japanese site, thinks it would be worth your while to make a visit to the family restaurant when you’re in Japan. Why? Well, Denny’s in Japan has quite a varied and tasty menu that’s quite different from what you can get in the United States. In fact, Yoshio says that one of his American friends even calls Denny’s in Japan the “gourmet Denny’s”! So, today we bring you six reasons from Yoshio why Denny’s in Japan is a great eatery that you should visit if you have the chance, and may even be the first restaurant you should go to in Japan.

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Stay at the unique Artist in Hotel and absorb some Japanese culture — through your hotel room!

Stay at the unique Artist in Hotel and absorb some Japanese culture — through your hotel room!

Tired of staying at nondescript, ordinary-looking hotels? If that’s the case, and you’re traveling to Tokyo, you may want to check out this highly unique hotel located in the Higashi-shimbashi area. In fact, when you stay at this hotel, you may not want to leave your room, because the rooms there have practically been turned into works of art, and not just any kind of art — each room is filled with elements of Japanese culture. So, why don’t we take a look at the stylish rooms at the Artist In Hotel, where the interior is not only stunningly artistic, but can be a cultural lesson as well!

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They made anime back then? (Part 2): Five old-school anime theme songs that still rock today

They made anime back then? (Part 2): Five old-school anime theme songs that still rock today

You may recall that we recently brought to you an article introducing five old-school anime that we thought were cool even today. While writing that story, we were reminded of how many awesome anime theme songs there are from over 20 years ago — so much so that we decided we just had to share some of the songs with you! So, join us for another trip back in time, this time a musical one, as we present you with videos of five old-time anime theme songs that still rock today even though they’ve been around for over two decades. Hopefully, you’ll agree with us that these songs are worthy of having withstood the test of time!

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They made anime back then? Five old-school anime that we still love today

They made anime back then? Five old-school anime that we still love today

Do you have a favorite anime? Nowadays, especially with so much information and videos available on the Internet, we’re surrounded by so much anime of every genre conceivable that it’s easy to forget works that haven’t had significant recent exposure. But as you may well be aware, Japanese anime has been around for a long time. So today, we thought we’d take you on a trip back in time to share with you five of our favorite anime from more than 20 years ago, which we still think are awesome even today.

Whether you’re a long-time anime fan or a relative newcomer, come take a look at our selection and see what you think. (And by the way, the anime are listed in no particular order, since it was too hard to decide which anime we like the best!)

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Sailor Moon tribute art show now on in California — come join the masquerade this weekend!

Sailor Moon tribute art show now on in California — come join the masquerade this weekend!

With the Sailor Moon series currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, we’ve heard plenty of news about special events and products commemorating the occasion here in Japan. But what about fans who are outside of Japan? Well, if you’re a fan of the lovely sailor uniform clad ladies and you’re going to be in California during this month, you may want to check out the exhibit Moon Crisis: A Sailor Moon Tribute Art Show now going on at the Rothick Art Haus in Anaheim, California — because what can be more fun than an art show bringing together fans and artwork of your favorite manga/anime, right? And what’s even better, this Saturday on August 9, they’ll even be having a masquerade at the exhibit where participants will be treated to some delicious Pocky chocolate snacks! Dressing up in honor of your favorite warrior princess and getting a taste of some chocolate treats at the same time — now that sounds like our idea of fun!

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Godzilla turns fuzzy for his 60th birthday with adorable results, we stop by to say hi

Godzilla turns fuzzy for his 60th birthday with adorable results, we stop by to say hi

Now, we’re pretty sure that the mighty and terrible Godzilla hardly needs an introduction — he’s probably one of the most famous creations to come out of Japan. And the new Hollywood movie featuring a larger than ever before seen version of the monster, which was released late last month in Japan, seems to have gotten off to a good start here, having secured the number-one spot in the box office in its opening week.

It also happens that 2014 is quite a special year for Godzilla, as it marks the 60th anniversary since his very first movie came out from Toho in 1954. And now, to commemorate the  celebrity monster’s 60th birthday, Toho has collaborated with renowned German stuffed toy maker Steiff to create a version of Godzilla quite unlike anything we’ve seen before — Yes, it’s the special edition 60th anniversary stuffed Steiff Godzilla, and what’s more, we got to take a look at the actual doll in advance of its sale!

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In the mood for a little meat? We try “manga meat” chicken from Family Mart!【Taste Test】

In the mood for a little meat? We try “manga meat” chicken from Family Mart!【Taste Test】

One of the manga/anime items that has long caught the fancy of the Japanese public is, interestingly, a kind of meat that has come to be known as “manga meat” (manga niku), or sometimes also as “primeval meat” (genshi niku). From the mammoth meat that appeared in the 1970’s anime First Human Giatrus (yes, the story was set in the stone age and it was supposed to be actual mammoth meat!) to meats appearing in more recent anime such as Dragon Ball and One Piece,  the image of the manga niku has captivated us, making us fantasize about taking a chewy bite of the fictional fare.

Well, Japanese convenience chain Mini Stop is currently offering a product that to a certain degree lets you fulfill that fantasy. It’s the Hammer Chicken Primeval-style Meat with Bone  (Hone-tsuki Genshi Niku fu Hammer Chicken) which went on sale just this week, and as you might expect, we hurried over to a Mini Stop to get a taste.

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