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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We try Riedel’s glass which unleashes the true flavor potential of Coca Cola

Coca Cola is such a popular brand that it seems unnecessary to even have to explain the taste. Love it or hate it, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s never tried it. But how many of us have experienced the true essence of Coca Cola’s flavor and aroma?

Apparently, Coca Cola is like our brains in that we only make use of a faction of its true worth. By drinking it out of ordinary plastic cups, bottles made of ice, or gutters, precious flavor is squandered leaving you with a substandard product.

Enter premium wine glass maker Riedel and their glass designed to heighten the Coca Cola experience to new levels. We sent our resident Cokehead Mr. Sato down to the Japanese release of the Coca Cola + Riedel glass for a taste test.

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To handwrite, or not to handwrite? Recruiter lays into ‘laziness’ of young Japanese job hunters

Traditionally, Japanese resumes are handwritten on a special form. Recently, however, typed resumes are becoming more common – and one recruiter is not happy about this. Writing anonymously on Japanese website Hatelabo, the blogger, who works for a chain restaurant in Japan and is involved in recruitment, sets out his reasons for why an applicant who submits a typewritten resume should be the first to find their application on the “no” pile.

“You young people, don’t you have any common sense?” he asks of applicants with the typed resumes. “Are you crazy? In my day, this would have been unimaginable!” Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the handwritten CV.

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Manga fans will probably be familiar with Shonen Jump, the weekly manga publication by Shueisha that has brought to us some of the hottest manga titles of all time, including One Piece, Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star), Slam Dunk, Naruto, and more recent hits such as Kuroko no Basuke (The Basketball that Kuroko Plays) and Haikyuu!!, just to name but a few.

Being the indisputable leader of the manga industry, Shueisha continues to mesmerize manga lovers with new titles, and now, online manga that moves. Ridiculously large, bouncing boobies after the break!

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“Nara Quest”: The perfect parodying souvenirs from Nara Prefecture for all Dragon Quest fans

What would you get if you crossed the ancient capital of Japan with the massively successful Dragon Quest series of video games? Nope, it’s not a silly question, since this collaboration has already been realized in the form of “Nara Quest,” the funny title for a handful of amusing souvenirs from Nara Prefecture that parody the famous game franchise. Read on for a look at the clever goods!

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A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China

The beautiful butterfly, nature’s own lesson about the cycle of life. What starts as a lowly caterpillar, given enough time, transforms into a majestic winged beauty. Everyone loves the butterfly, as they flutter through the air, their brightly colored wings are a feast for the eyes. Which is why it’s so disheartening to hear of a butterfly exhibition going horribly wrong in China.

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Soup not soap: Japanese public bathhouses surviving by converting into retro-chic cafés

Japan has been going through something of a hot spring renaissance over the past decade, but at the same time, things are tough for Japan’s other traditional venues for communal bathing, sento, or public bathhouses. Despite a recent uptick in their number of foreign customers, most Japanese have a pretty lukewarm reaction to the prospect of taking a soak with others if the water isn’t heated by geothermal sources.

For the current generation, a hot bath drawn from the tap is no longer a luxury nor something that necessitates leaving home for, and so sento have been shutting down around the country. But rather than close their doors for good, a few have converted their bathing facilities into dining spaces and been reborn as stylishly retro sento cafes.

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Is your grandpa bad-ass enough for these epic, blade-concealing walking sticks?

Christmas is coming up, and if you are wondering whether you should get gramps another boring old tie pin or golf shirt, may we humbly suggest a skull- or dragon-shaped walking stick of death?!

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Sushi Wine doesn’t pair well with raw fish, but we’re still going to buy another bottle

A few companies in Japan have been trying to pair wine, a traditionally non-Japanese beverage, with favorite foods from around the country. First, we saw Okonomiyaki Wine, meant to be enjoyed with Osaka and Hiroshima’s favorite savory pancake. Recently, one of the staff members over at our sister site YouPouch discovered a bottle of Sushi Wine that is said to go perfectly with the flavors of raw fish. Nihonshu, what is commonly referred to as “sake” outside of Japan is the usual sushi standby, so we were excited to give this new competitor a try.

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New tax exemption system for foreign visitors to Japan starts today!

If you are a regular RocketNews24 reader, you may already know that there have been a lot of changes to Japan’s consumption tax system this year. For those of us who live here, it’s meant an annoying price hike for nearly everything, but for visitors, there is some good news.

Starting today, October 1, new rules regarding consumption tax exemptions for foreign visitors go into effect, and for once, these are actually changes that work in your favor. More details after the jump.

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Expat’s video “Our Japan” beautifully captures why we love it here

What’s great about Japan? Glad you asked, since we’ve got the answer in long form right here.

But if you’re pressed for time, this amazing video, in a little under four and a half minutes, will give you a beautifully condensed version of what makes Japan so special.

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We try bright blue Dragon Quest slime curry, live to tell the tale

A few weeks ago, we told you about Village Vanguard’s launch of Slime Curry, a rather curious blue foodstuff inspired by the bad-guy blobs of the Dragon Quest series. Not content with just informing you of its existence, one of the Japanese reporters at our sister site Pouch bravely volunteered to try the curry for herself and report back if she survived. Here’s what she had to say.

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Amid ongoing protests in Hong Kong, Chinese officials look for terrorists… in bird rectums

It doesn’t get much weirder than this, folks. Yesterday, the People’s Daily, the largest newspaper group in China, reported on their English Twitter feed that “10,000 pigeons go through anal security check for suspicious objects Tue, ready to be released on National Day on Wed.”

That’s right, kids: avian cavity searches.

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The awesome Soccer Samurai is back, and this time he’s fighting ninjas in Manchester 【Video】

Back at the start of summer, our jaws dropped to the floor as we watched what might be the coolest commercial for Nissin Cup Noodle instant ramen ever, in which a man dressed in samurai armor travelled to Brazil and wowed the people of the World Cup host country with his amazing freestyle football skills.

The Japanese national team turned in a less than impressive performance in the contest, though, failing to advance past group play. Would the disappointment over his countrymen’s early exit lead the soccer samurai to retire?

Not at all, as his second video finds the samurai with a new set of armor, new, European surroundings, and now a group of adversaries: ninjas!

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Not all of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime accessory line is metallic, but it’s all awesome

One of the recurring themes in hit anime Fullmetal Alchemist is the law of Equivalent Exchange. The principal holds that protagonist Edward Elric can only use his magical abilities to create an item by first offering something else of equal value. For example, given a pile of scrap metal, he could instantly conjure a spear, or even a working radio.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to exactly duplicate Ed’s mystic powers in real life. There is a close substitute, though, as you can now exchange money for a set of awesome Fullmetal Alchemist accessories.

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Chinese writer thinks Doraemon is a sinister affront to China

An editorial published by the Chengdu Daily News is claiming that Doraemon, the popular franchise based on the manga by duo Fujiko F. Fujio, and the recent exhibitions in China that showcase it, are merely attempts by Japan to subvert Chinese culture.

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New “kiss eyeglasses” can be worn by two smooch-loving people at once

Ever been so enamoured with someone that you simply couldn’t stop kissing them? Of course you have; you read RocketNews24! But what if both you and your fellow face-munching lover are glasses wearers? Isn’t it annoying when your frames keep clacking and bumping together?

Thankfully, Tokyo-based glasses maker Blinc Vase has the solution!

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Teen job hunter learns: Do not screw around at an interview with McDonald’s Japan

Most of us have probably heard of the weird questions people get at top-paying tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and, whatever, Chia Pet or something. You know what we’re talking about: “How many toilets do you think are in San Francisco?,” “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?,” “Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?,” and, of course, “Why did you sleep with my sister and did you really think you’d get away with it?” (Just me?)

But we bet the last place you’d probably expect to get one of these abstract, no-right-answer kind of logic puzzle questions would be, say, an interview for a part-time job flipping burgers at McDonald’s, right?

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Time zone quirk lets expat in Japan share opposite side of the sunset with parents in U.S.

For expats in Japan, one thing that takes some serious getting used to is the time difference. With several time zones’ worth of ocean separating Japan and the U.S., for example, a quick calculation of the local time is always a necessity before calling home. Even then, there’s often a twinge of sadness that comes from that vague disconnect of knowing that it might be afternoon where you are, but the middle of the night where the rest of your family is.

But while the times on the clock might never match between Japan and Florida, an American in Japan discovered that there’s one time a day when things are close enough.

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Three reasons to sleep with a huggy pillow (that have nothing to do with an anime crush)

So today, we’re going to talk about something that has a sizeable cult following in Japan: dakimakura, also known as huggy pillows.

Hey, where’s everybody going? Come back! This isn’t about pillows with covers depicting anime girls in various state of undress (not that such things don’t exist in awkwardly huge quantities in Japan). Instead, we’re taking a look at ordinary, undecorated pillows with an extra-large size that’re designed to be embraced as you fall asleep. Not only won’t you have to hide them when you’ve got company coming over, they’ve actually got a number of health benefits, say fans of non-anime dakimakura.

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