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

Beautiful “Blue Chocolate of Happiness” turned into ice cream, available by advance order only!

So, chocolate and ice cream —  a delightful combination any way you look at it, right? And nowhere in the world can you expect the combination to be appreciated more than in Japan, the land of the Valentines’ Day chocolate craze and unbelievable ice cream flavors.

As a matter of fact, the Japanese love both foods so much that we couldn’t be satisfied with just regular chocolate ice cream. We had to create an extra-special version of the combination, and you only have to take one look at the picture of the ice cream to see how unique it is. Available only by advance order, it’s ice cream made from the Quernon d’Ardoise chocolate from France … and it comes in a bright, eye-popping blue!

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A feast for all sushi lovers — the amazing 1,000-yen lunch at Sushi Takehan Wakatsuki!

Sushi, of course, is one of the most popular Japanese foods around, and many visitors to Japan are bound to try it. There’s nothing quite like the rich flavor of fatty tuna melting in your mouth, or the sensation of biting into a sweet, thick piece of fresh scallop, right? Alas, like many of the nice things in life, good sushi tends to be pricey … but is that always necessarily the case?

What if we told you that there’s a restaurant in Tokyo where you can have an authentic sushi lunch for 1,000 yen (US$8.24)? That’s right, an amazing sushi meal for under $10 — of course we had to check it out ourselves!

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Japanese Cigar cookies a big hit in the UAE, we try them to see how good they are! 【Taste Test】

One thing we definitely have plenty of in Japan is sweets, be it cookies, chocolates, ice cream or cakes. From sakura flavored treats to mochi-infused ice cream, you don’t have to look too hard to find a dessert that captures your fancy, whatever your mood happens to be. Interestingly, one trend we seem to be seeing in recent years is the increasing popularity of Japanese confections in the Middle East, the U.A.E. in particular.

Now, it’s quite common these days to see a popular snack or dessert from one country become a huge hit in another part of the world, but one Japanese treat that apparently has been acquiring a growing number of fans in the U.A.E. is not the latest dessert fad to hit Tokyo, nor is it created from a unique and unexpected combination of Japanese ingredients. It’s a conventional, albeit tasty, Western-style cookie, and what’s more, these cookies have been around here in Japan for over four decades!

Naturally, we bought a box and tried them to see what makes them so special!

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Star Wars fever continues — we try out Darth Vader boots from UGG’s Star Wars Collection!

We recently reported on the exciting Star Wars Visions exhibit currently being held at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo and showed you some charming exclusive Star Wars themed goods available there. Today, we thought we’d follow through with an article featuring a plush and comfortable Star Wars fashion item that you may be able to purchase even if you’re not anywhere near Roppongi.

Say hello to the Star Wars Special Edition Collection of shoes from international fashion brand UGG, and they’re inspired by one of our favorite villains of all times, Darth Vader! Yes, that certainly caught our attention, because … well, they’re Darth Vader shoes — how could they not be cool, right?

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We love Star Wars: Checking out the awesome “Star Wars Visions” exhibit at Roppongi Hills!

So, how excited are you about the new Star Wars movie coming out in December this year? Well, it may still be more than six months until the release of the film, but Star Wars fans in Japan have something to be excited about right now! Currently on show at the Tokyo City View observation deck in Roppongi Hills is the intergalactically cool “Star Wars Visions” exhibit.

There’s never been a shortage of Star Wars fans in Japan, and the exhibit promises to attract huge crowds throughout its duration. And we’re not kidding when we say huge crowds — the exhibit drew considerable media attention earlier this month on May 4, which is internationally recognized as Star Wars Day and which also happens to be a public holiday in Japan, when guests were allowed to enjoy the event in cosplay and the waiting time for entry to the exhibit grew to nearly six hours.

Naturally, we had to go and check out this event that was creating enough buzz to cause a disturbance in the force!

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Holes in your clothes? Not a problem for this amazing kaketsugi mending craftsman!

Isn’t it just a bummer when you get a tear or hole in one of your precious clothes? It’s terribly sad when you have to say good-bye to your favorite piece of clothing because of that small hole … or do you really have to?

What if  the hole could be almost magically repaired? Well, one Japanese craftsman who was featured in a Korean television program seems to be able to do exactly that, and his mending technique is amazing — just take a look and see if you can tell where the material was repaired!

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Japan celebrates birth of royal baby, brings Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to shop in Omotesando

We can just imagine how immensely excited all of England must be about the birth of the new princess (and we’ve all swooned over the darling pictures, haven’t we?) … because we’re pretty excited here in Japan too! It seems the Japanese public has always had a fondness for the British royal family, perhaps because we have our own well-respected and loved imperial family, and the new royal baby has received huge attention on the Japanese media.

We’ve been so delighted with the birth of Princess Charlotte, in fact, that a British themed boutique in Omotesando, Tokyo, has welcomed to their store the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — well, their very life-like figures, actually, and we visited the shop to join in the celebration!

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Beautiful hiragana jewelry now available — express yourself by wearing Japanese letters!

If you’ve ever studied Japanese, you’ll know that the written Japanese language is basically made up of three types of characters: hiragana, the original Japanese phonetic alphabet, katakana, a variation of the same alphabet mainly used to write out foreign names and words (including foreign words that have been imported into the Japanese language) and Chinese characters referred to as kanji.

Now, calligraphy turns these letters into works of art on pieces of paper, but how would you like to be able to wear some Japanese characters as stylish jewelry? Well, that’s exactly what you can do with these beautifully formed earrings crafted by designer and calligrapher Saori Kunihro.

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Check out cool artwork of monsters that could have been in the Godzilla 2014 movie!

Godzilla, the gargantuan dinosaur-like creature that has starred in roughly 30 movies to date, has to be one of the most famous characters to ever come out of Japan. Since its first appearance on the screen in 1954, Godzilla has captured the fascination of fans around the world and has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Japan. Yes, there just seems to be something about Godzilla that we can’t get enough of, and even if you’re not a hard-core kaiju fan, we’re guessing that many of you saw the Hollywood movie that was released last year.

Now, the monster action in that movie was certainly spectacular to look at, but don’t you think it would be interesting to see some ideas for monsters that didn’t appear in the film? Well, that’s exactly what we’re sharing with you here today!

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New developments at Tokyo Disney Resort announced, plans include Frozen port in Tokyo Disney Sea!

© Disney

If you’ve been waiting for Disney to come up with new ideas to make their parks at Tokyo Disney Resort even more awesome than they already are, then your wish has just been answered! That’s right, Disney fans will have something big to look forward to as several new themes for the redevelopment of both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea were announced this week. And not surprisingly, part of the plans include a new area with a Frozen theme (we were wondering when that was coming). So, let’s see what Disney has in store for us.

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Stunning in cosplay — photographer gives us beautiful look at cosplayers in Russia

We’ve certainly grown accustomed to seeing people in cosplay at various anime and game-themed events in Japan. Cosplayers have been known to go to great lengths to get their costumes and make-up just right, not to mention the care and planning that goes into taking truly awesome looking cosplay pictures.

But of course, cosplay isn’t just limited to Japan. A series of photos taken by Russian photographer Mariya Kozhanova has recently been introduced on the Japanese Internet, giving us a stunning glimpse into the world of cosplayers in Russia.

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Hollywood version of Death Note making progress, gets Adam Wingard as new director

Followers of Japanese manga and anime will no doubt be aware that Death Note has been a highly successful franchise. The story has been made into a series of movies that were big hits here in Japan as well as a musical that was performed at the Nissei Theater in Tokyo this month, and there’s also a TV drama scheduled for broadcast in July this year.

But that’s not all. We still have the Hollywood live action film of Death Note to look forward to, and the recent news is that the movie now has a new director!

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What’s so special about Japanese swords? We interview master katana maker Norihiro Miyairi!

You could say that the traditional Japanese sword, or katana, symbolizes the strength and beauty of the Japanese spirit. We see these swords quite often in comics, anime and movies, but how well do we really know the spiritual and cultural elements they embody?

To find out, we went to a true expert to learn about the fascinating and mysterious world of Japanese swords. Join us for an in-depth interview with master katana maker Norihiro Miyairi!

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We love Gudetama so much, we turn him into adorable okonomiyaki pancakes and eat him!

Remeber Gudetama, the lazy egg character from Hello Kitty owner Sanrio? Well, it turns out that the unmotivated egg with an extremely unmascot-like personality has gained quite a following in Japan. Apparently, his soft appearance and to an even greater extent, his lazy disposition, which prompts him to mutter phrases like “I have no strength” and “I can’t feel motivated enough to do anything” have earned him considerable popularity. In fact, he’s popular enough to have had his very own character cafe for a limited time in the past, and recently, he’s been collaborating with Dotonbori, a chain of restaurants that serves okonomiyaki, which are Japanese pancakes containing various ingredients such as cabbage, meat and seafood.

That’s right, at Dotonbori, you can use actual eggs to add realistic Gudetama faces to your food. Now, that sounded like too much fun to pass up, so our reporters from our Japanese sister site went to one of the Dotobori shops and actually tried it!  Read More

Love Ghibli? Meet Kurosuke, the man who just might have the most amazing Ghibli collection in the world!

Needless to say, the magical animated works of Studio Ghibli have long enchanted fans around the world. But today, we’d like to introduce to you one very special Ghibli fan in particular.

Meet Kurosuke, who at first glance may not seem like an exceptional Ghibli enthusiast. In fact, we’d say he looks like an average 40-year-old man who happens to work as a production operator. But take one step inside his apartment, and you’ll immediately see that his home and the way he lives is far from ordinary. You see, his entire home is filled with countless Ghibli memorabilia, and what’s more, most of them are rare, not-for-sale items. RocketNews24 visited him for a personal interview, and of course, to see his amazing Ghibli collection!

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Hooray! Taco Bell opens in Japan and we’re there to get the commemorative T-shirt and free taco!

While you can certainly find countless restaurants offering a seemingly endless range of cuisines in Japan, if you’ve spent some time in the country, you may have noticed that options for Mexican food (or at least American-Mexican food) can be somewhat limited. So when news went around that American fast food chain Taco Bell was going to re-open in Japan, the response on the Japanese Internet was huge. And while we understand that not everyone is a fan of Taco Bell, there certainly seemed to be enough people overjoyed that the chain was finally returning to Japan after having opened shop here once for just a short time in the 1980s.

All of this meant that the opening of the new Taco Bell shop in Shibuya, Tokyo was bound to attract lots of attention as well as a good crowd, and not to miss out on the excitement and tacos, our very own Mr. Sato from the Japanese arm of RocketNews24 was there on opening day to bring you the following report!

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We spend a morning with an expert wagashi chef creating no-bake traditional Japanese sweets!

If you’re someone who enjoys making treats like cakes and pastries, then perhaps you have first hand knowledge of how baking can sometimes be a tricky affair. Well, in Japan, we have a whole category of wagashi, or traditional Japanese sweets, that aren’t baked at all, called namagashi (literally, “raw confectionaries”). Namagashi are typically made from various colorful bean pastes and often crafted into delicate seasonal-themed shapes.

Earlier this month, we participated in a seminar to experience what namagashi-making is like. Join us as we see how a master chef creates beautiful flowers from bean paste, and then try our not-so-expert hand at creating our own confections!

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Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ opens – We attended screening with voice actors, Momoiro Clover Z

Okay, folks! Remember what day this past April 18 was? Well, here in Japan, April 18 may be Invention Day, but this year, it was also the opening day of the movie Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’! Since we’d already reported a fair bit of information about the new Dragon Ball movie, we thought it was only appropriate that we go see it on opening day and give you our impressions.

This time, fortunately, we didn’t have to wait 17 years for a new Dragon Ball movie like we did for the previous film, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. What’s more, we managed to get a ticket to a screening with special appearances by voice actors and idol group Momoiro Clover Z! Join us for our take on the movie and a report on all the excitement on opening day.

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Introducing…instant Matcha Green Tea Curry (and yes, it’s green)! 【Taste Test】

It’s well-known that people in Japan are fond of green tea, especially the precious matcha green tea made from tea leaves grown in the shade. Matcha flavored Kit Kats have grown popular in Japan as well as overseas, and celebrity pastry chefs like Sadaharu Aoki have turned matcha confection making into an art. We’ve even tasted matcha-flavored ramen, so it’s not just sweets we’re talking about either.

Well, we recently found another fascinating matcha product that once again shows how much the Japanese love the green stuff…matcha green tea curry! What’s more, it’s instant curry that comes in a heatable pouch, so you can have it right at home in less than 10 minutes. A quick and easy, green-colored curry? Of course we had to try it ourselves!

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Members of idol Group Momoiro Clover Z turn into Frieza! But wait, what exactly happened here?

Dragon Ball’s über cool villain Frieza has been in the news quite a bit lately, owing to the upcoming release of the new Dragon Ball movie Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, in which he plays the lead antagonist. But then, Frieza has always had a bit of a following with his quirky personality and ruthless yet polite ways, and we’re sure plenty of fans are thrilled that he will be making a huge come back in a feature-length film.

So, it wouldn’t really be surprising if popular idol group Momoiro Clover Z, who performs the theme song for Resurrection ‘F’, was involved in a promotional tie-in with the movie, and one with Frieza in particular. And that’s exactly what seems to have happened earlier this week when  the group’s official site was filled with … images of the idols as Frieza!

It looks like they’ve really gone all out with their promotion. But wait, is that what really happened here? We’ll give you a hint — the Frieza collaboration image was released this past Wednesday.

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