In Japan, when you start hearing about Christmas cake promotions, it also means you have to start thinking about New Year’s osechi food as well. Osechi consists of different traditional foods typically prepared for New Year’s to wish for luck in the coming year and are usually items that keep well so that you can have the pre-cooked foods throughout the New Year’s holidays without having to do much cooking during that time. You can, of course, choose to keep it simple and simply buy just a few of the key items like datemaki (sweet rolled omelette) and kuromame (black soy beans) at the supermarket, or go all out on a luxury osechi set from a famous restaurant or department store. Well, this year, it looks like a Pokémon osechi set is also an option, and it even comes in a unique container in a shape that fans will find quite familiar — a Poké Ball!
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
Good news for those of you in Japan who’ve always wanted to see more MEAT in your hamburgers. Yes, the humongous tower of a burger we’ve mentioned several times on our site is back! It’s the Tower Cheeseburger from fast food chain Lotteria! But if you want to get your hands on one of them, you may need to get ready for some quick action, because this time, they’ll be available for just one day!
2 days ago
This past Monday was a holiday in Japan, Sports Day to be specific, which meant many of us had a three-day weekend. Unfortunately, it was also the second weekend in a row that Japan was hit by a huge typhoon, causing torrential rain, flooding and disrupted air and land transportation throughout large parts of the country. And while the Tokyo area was by no means the worst affected part of Japan, we still had huge amounts of rain and our share of canceled flights as the typhoon made its way across Japan.
So, Monday, October 13 really wasn’t ideal timing for a certain J-POP singer to be giving a live mini concert outdoors. Well, the singer scheduled to perform that day just happened to be Nicholas Edwards, the American singer who moved to Japan from Oregon, whom we introduced on our site last year. Apparently, his fans were in no way deterred by the approaching typhoon — they weren’t about to miss a chance to see him perform up-close. And we wanted to share with you just how loyal Japanese fans can be!
Remember Gudetama, the apathetic anthropomorphized egg character from Sanrio with no desire whatsoever to do anything at all? Well, it seems the most unmotivated character we’ve ever seen from Sanrio has actually gotten down to business, if only for a limited time. That’s right, Gudetama now has his very own cafe at the Village Vanguard Diner at the Yokohama Lumine, and he appears in the menu as an edible ingredient, which we guess isn’t so improbable, since he is an egg, after all. And boy, does he look adorable as part of a dish — definitely good enough to eat!
Okay, let’s admit it, hair can be a big deal for girls. How long or short should our hair be? Should we wear it up or down? And another seriously important question is, “Should we have bangs or not?” Yes, that can be a biggie, since it can change your look considerably, and once you cut your hair to get bangs, it can take a long time for it to grow back again. Well, if you’re having a hard time deciding about your bangs, then this could be an item you may want to try. It’s a hairband … with built-in bangs!
Oct 12, 2014
All right, we should have seen this coming, especially after Mister Donut Japan came out with original croissant doughnuts earlier this year. But that doesn’t mean we’re any less thrilled with the news — this coming week, Mister Donut will be releasing their very own cupcakes! And hey, even if “Mister Donut” is selling something that’s not a doughnut, we’re definitely not complaining. In fact, we’ll be waiting in line to get a taste of the colorful cupcakes. Let’s see what tempting flavors will be available!
What’s evil yet sweet and a delight to pop into your mouth? Well the newest tempting items from Japanese confectioner Cozy Corner’s Disney cake collection certainly fit the description. Yes, for Halloween this year, some of Disney’s notable villains have transformed themselves into gorgeous mini-cakes, and by the looks of things, we have to say Disney magic probably doesn’t get much sweeter than this!
We’ve all grown to expect seriously enticing beverage offerings from Starbucks by now, haven’t we? Some of them even had customers forming long lines and selling out by noon, like the fresh banana Frappuccinos that they sold for a limited time earlier this year.
Well, according to buzz on the Japanese Internet, it seems Starbucks has done it again with another sweet-sounding Frappuccino, this one combining two already very popular ingredients: granola and honey. But this time, the tempting drink is only available in one area of Tokyo, the Roppongi Hills complex, which meant only one thing — we had to head off to Roppongi and try their new creation ourselves!
Christmas cakes (yes, it’s already time to start thinking about the holidays) come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s not surprising at all to see our favorite feline character and international celebrity Hello Kitty turn herself into one. But this “Hello Kitty Face Cake” requires just a little bit more artistic creativity from you than the average cake. You see, the cake doesn’t come looking like the picture above — you actually have to make it into its Hello Kitty form!
Oct 3, 2014
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!
Oct 2, 2014
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!
Sep 30, 2014
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!
Sep 27, 2014
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!
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!
Sep 22, 2014
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!
Sep 21, 2014
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!
Sep 18, 2014
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.
Aug 27, 2014
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!
Aug 26, 2014
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!
Aug 24, 2014
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!
- Ten things we learned at USJ: A muggle’s guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter1
- Is it safe to dance yet? Uncertainty continues to reign supreme in Japan’s club scene2
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked3
- 35 fascinating photos of Korea from 100 years ago (before K-dramas took over Asia)4
- It’s BAAAACK! The Tower Cheeseburger from Lotteria — but for ONE DAY only!5
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls6
- Chinese woman’s catty comeback to Korean colleague gets netizens talking7
- This set of stairs at Kitakata Station really cares8
- Worried about McDonald’s chicken in Japan? Don’t be! Free McNuggets ease your fears!9
- Why does Engrish happen in Japan?10
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls1
- Clever font sneaks pronunciation guide for English speakers into Japanese katakana characters2
- Thai schoolgirl uniforms poised to edge out traditional Japanese ones in Japan?3
- Cat man from Kyushu walks nine cats in a stroller, draws crowds in Tokyo4
- Awesome Air Umbrella from China keeps you dry with blasts of air5
- Is the New Nintendo 3DS worth the purchase? Early adopters in Japan share their thoughts6
- The 10 best anime of the fall season, according to Japanese otaku7
- Why does Engrish happen in Japan?8
- Korean activists upset over plans to sew the anuses of river rats shut, make them eat each other9
- Beautiful old footage shows “God of Judo” Kyuzo Mifune gracefully defeat young challengers【Video】10
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】1
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China2
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked3
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea4
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls5
- Watch liquid turn into food at Japanese sample food factory 【Videos】6
- Japanese mothers react to being called by their first names after years of just being “Mama”7
- 10 things foreigners do that Japanese people find amusing8
- “Beautiful foreigner walking a polar bear” spotted at Shibuya’s famous crossing9
- Thai schoolgirl uniforms poised to edge out traditional Japanese ones in Japan?10
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】1
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star2
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls3
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】4
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China5
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later6
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons7
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea8
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady10
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls
- Chinese woman’s catty comeback to Korean colleague gets netizens talking
- This set of stairs at Kitakata Station really cares
- Worried about McDonald’s chicken in Japan? Don’t be! Free McNuggets ease your fears!
- Why does Engrish happen in Japan?
- Fukuoka’s “Wisteria Tunnel” delights visitors with pretty pastel petals
- Election time or erection time? Taiwanese political ad features sexy bicyclist, and that’s about it
- Celebrate New Years in Pokémon style — with a monster ball filled with traditional osechi food!
- The 10 best anime of the fall season, according to Japanese otaku
- Trending on Twitter, girls draw themselves as dashing high school boys【Photos】
- Transform a sushi mat into a stylish makeup tool organizer in just a few steps!
- Irezumi: Getting tattooed in Japan【Photos】
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea