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

Attention serious meat lovers: The all-you-can-eat Whoppers from Burger King is back!!

For a country known for its restaurants serving relatively small portions of foods, Japan sure seems to love all-you-can-eat campaigns (although occasionally, things don’t go quite as planned at these events). Well, if you love meat and lots of it, we have good news for you. Burger King Japan’s popular all-you-can eat Whooper campaign is coming back again this year, so get ready to have your fill of big, juicy hamburgers!!

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Disney magic strikes again — Get ready for some serious Frozen sweetness!!

It’s been over seven months since Disney’s Frozen was released here, but love for the hit animated film still seems to be going strong in Japan. Walk into a bookstore around here, and you’re more than likely to find several different Frozen picture or music books, and you can bet that many kids in Japan will be dressing up as Elsa and Anna for Halloween this Friday. Well, it seems the world of pastries here is no exception. Major Japanese confection maker Cozy Corner has announced that they will soon be coming out with lovely offerings inspired by the movie, and yes, we’re thrilled, because these are exactly the kind of goodies we love — delightful to look at and delectably sweet to taste!

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Costco may just have turned your childhood fantasy into reality — with a 93-inch stuffed bear!

Did you as a child ever fantasize about snuggling up to a soft stuffed toy bigger than your wildest dreams? I certainly did! (Heck, a part of me probably still does even now, when I’m old enough to be on the wrong side of … never mind, I really shouldn’t go there, should I?) So, anyway, for anyone who’s ever had an interest in cute stuffed toys, international retailer and warehouse club chain Costco brings you this amazing plush bear that’s larger than life – the 93-inch (2.36m) HugFun Bear! That’s right, he’s absolutely HUGE, and if the idea of a giant teddy bear hasn’t already won you over, they’ve even made a darling video which is guaranteed to melt your heart. Just take a look and see if you don’t fall utterly in love! And lucky for us, the bear happens to be available in Japan too!

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Fully posable “Titan Eren” figure to debut next year, looks just as nude/terrifying as expected

If the thought of being able to have your way, in a manner of speaking, with Attack on Titan‘s Eren — albeit in titan form — is appealing to you, then this item may be for you! That’s right, folks, Japanese toy maker Kotobukiya is set to launch a figure of the series’ protagonist Eren Yeager in gruesome titan form, complete with changeable heads!

Join us after the jump for a closer look at this undeniably creepy, yet expertly crafted figure!

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Yosegi wood craft — amazing in its beautiful simplicity and precision!

There are several traditional crafts that Japan is known for, such as urushi lacquerware or Nishijin weaving. Perhaps not as widely known, but just as impressive, is the craft of yosegi, which uses woods of different color and texture to create exquisite patterns. In fact, the precision and skill involved is such that yosegi is not surprisingly, one of the crafts that has been featured in a series of videos uploaded by luxury fashion brand Gucci Japan on their YouTube channel dedicated to introducing the work of talented Japanese craftsmen, and the video has apparently been noticed around the world. Let’s take a look at a master artisan at work!

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Snoopy to your cleaning rescue — and he even comes with his own doghouse power source!

Now, if Hello Kitty is a candidate for the most famous cat (or cat character … if that’s more accurate) in the world, then we have to say Snoopy certainly has as good a claim as any character out there to the title of world’s most famous dog. And as befits an international canine celebrity, we all know that the lovable beagle has been involved in his share of collaborations. But this Snoopy product, which one of the reporters at our sister site Pouch found, is so unique and utterly adorable that we just couldn’t bear not sharing it with you! It’s the limited edition AQUA Snoopy Robot Cleaner and  Snoopy Doghouse Set, and it’s even smart enough to go back to the doghouse once it finishes cleaning. How cool is that?

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Spoil your pet rotten with this comfy bed and blanket that looks fit for a king!

Ever feel like you could spend the rest of your life in a soft bed tucked under a fluffy blanket? Well, maybe your pet sometimes feels the same way. And if that’s the case, then this may be an item you’ll want to get for your four-legged friends. It’s the “antibacterial and deodorized fluffy bed and blanket” (kokin boshu funnwari blanket-tsuki bed), and it looks so divinely comfortable, you may end up wishing you had one yourself!

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Celebrate New Years in Pokémon style — with a monster ball filled with traditional osechi food!

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!

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It’s BAAAACK! The Tower Cheeseburger from Lotteria — but for ONE DAY only!

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!

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Rain? No Problem! Not even impending typhoon can keep away fans of J-POP singer Nicholas Edwards

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!

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Gudetama the lazy egg now being served as actual dish, looks absolutely adorable!

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!

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Want to change your look? Try this unique hairband that lets you grow instant bangs

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!

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Mister Donut becomes … Mister Cupcake? Not quite, but we can’t wait to try their new offering!

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!

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Disney villains have never been sweeter — they’re now beautiful mini-cakes!

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!

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Honey, granola and soy — a match made in Starbucks Roppongi!

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!

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Create your very own edible Hello Kitty this Christmas with this “Face Cake” set!

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!

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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

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!

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!

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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