Move over pumpkin, it’s time for some frothy apple cinnamon goodness … in a bottle!

It was only a short while ago that we were being inundated with all manner of pumpkin flavored foods and drinks in honor of Halloween. But now that October 31—and all the wild partying surrounding it—has come and gone, people in Japan seem eager to rush into Holiday Season mode, with Christmas displays and illuminations already popping up across town.

Alcoholic beverages are no exception to the trend, and today we thought we’d share with you a beer with a distinctly Christmassy flavor that sounds absolutely delightful. It’s the Apple Cinnamon Ale from Japanese brewery Sankt Gallen, and, for a limited time, the drink even comes in a special bottle with a beautiful Christmas label!

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Living in Japan: 10 “normal” things you won’t find here

Living abroad is fun and exciting; hardly a day goes by when something doesn’t surprise, humor, or baffle you. Living in another country also gives you a chance to understand your own native nation and evaluate the good and the bad from an outsider’s perspective.

So today we want to share with you some things that we miss from our own countries—that is to say mainly the US and UK—that we never realized we’d miss! Because, you know, they just seemed so normal, we thought Japan would have them too.

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Introducing eight nuggets of life wisdom to up your random trivia game

You know that one person who could definitely win Jeopardy because he/she just seems to know everything? RocketNews24 is happy (and a bit smug) to announce that today we’re going to be that person and share with you some tokens of life wisdom that were originally offered up on the Japanese internet. Want to find out the luckiest day of the year, an early warning sign for cancer, and a subconscious way to boost productivity at work? Let us enlighten you!

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Catbus from Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro found in Finland!

Out of all the things we wish would spring to life from Studio Ghibli’s animated films, the catbus from My Neighbor Totoro would have to be at the top of the list. Who wouldn’t want to ride an enormous, fluffy, bright orange cat over hills and through forests on their daily commute?

As with all great things, if it can’t exist in real life, it can at least exist in the imagination. And there’s one imaginative lad who’s found a way to bring the catbus to life in the cutest way possible. All it takes is two ingredients: a fluffy, compliant cat and some Finnish beer.

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Exclusive Amazon beer coming to Lawson convenience stores in limited quantities

You can get practically anything via online retail giant Amazon, and there are even some products that you can only get via the website. Ordinarily one such product is a special beer from popular Japanese craft brewery Yoho Brewing, but beer drinkers will soon be able to pick up a can at their local Lawson convenience store. You’ll have to hurry, though, because the number available is limited, and once they’re gone, they’re gone.

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Sea Squirt Ale: Beer made from marine invertebrates hits the market in Japan

The latest craft beer to hit the market in Japan is so unusual that its release has been limited to 3,000 bottles. Called Hoya Ale, the beer itself sounds innocent enough, but when you find out that Hoya is an edible marine animal commonly known as the sea squirt, you might actually need some liquid courage before guzzling it down.

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Exquisitely blown Japanese beer glasses create serene landscapes while you drink

Everyone knows that the best way to drink beer is either from a bottle or poured into a glass, yet more often than not you will find beer packaged in a can at the store. Cans make economic sense since they are cheap, can be crushed down to save space and they float in water if you happen to drop them while you are out having fun. However, all beer drinkers know that drinking from the can tastes horrible compared to drinking from the glass.

There are plenty of beer glasses to choose from, but a beautiful glass strangely makes the beer taste even better, and one Japanese crystal company has some of the greatest glasses for your summer drinking. Fired by the Joetsu Crystal Glass Company, the Tsukiyono Kobo line features fantastic glasses that cast your beer drinking in a much more beautiful light.

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We scarf down all-you-can-eat fried chicken at a Tokyo pub

Let it never again be said that America is the only country that has an unhealthy relationship with fried foods.

While you may not find such cynically, blatantly unhealthy fare as fried butter and fried Oreos  here in Japan, you will find that many square meals consumed in Japan are going to come with some kind of fried food. A lot of times the default is karaage, a dish that is basically the Japanese analogue to American fried chicken, and an item that Japanophiles the world over desperately, vainly argue is somehow healthier than American fried chicken by virtue of its, uh… Japanese-ness or something?

The truth is, karaage is every bit as unhealthy as fried chicken from anywhere else and the Japanese are just as prone to gorging on it to the point of discomfort. Don’t believe us? Exhibit A: This all-you-can-eat fried chicken restaurant we went to for, uh… “research purposes.”

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Kirin Beer to begin service delivering kegs directly to your door, kegstands discouraged

Kirin Beer, the Kirin Beverage Company subsidiary unsurprisingly in charge of manufacturing and selling the company’s signature lines of beer, announced yesterday that it will begin offering a service starting from August that will see a beer server and kegs delivered to individual households in the Tokyo area on demand. 

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Beautiful Japanese singer is still hot at 46: It must be all the Pocari Sweat!

We know how much you love reading about super-hot women in their forties who look like they’re in their twenties despite being busy mothers, or in some cases even grandmothers. So we thought you’d be interested in hearing about Japanese singer Chisato Moritaka, who is just as beautiful today at the age of 46 as she was way back in 1986 when she became the poster girl for the Pocari Sweat electrolyte drink.

But what’s her secret?

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Proof that booze makes you more beautiful: Suntory releases new beer full of collagen

Japanese women have been nomming on collagen for quite a while now. Collagen is the main structural protein of the various connective tissues of animals, and advocates believe that chowing down on plenty of the stuff leads to beautiful skin. This belief is so pervasive in Japan that store shelves are practically groaning under the weight of products with added collagen.

Dumping spoonfuls of the powdered stuff into our protein shakes and slurping down hotpots with balls of the stuff floating in isn’t enough, though! Now we can get drunk AND beautiful at the same time with this new collagen-infused happoshu beer from Suntory!

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New Sizzler will first remove your beer cap…and then become the cap!

Here’s a situation that I’m sure all of our readers can relate to. You’ve just finished a hard day’s work and sit down for a nice cold bottle of beer. You pop off the cap to release its sweet aroma.

However, just then you realize it’s actually 5:00am and you’ve completely lost track of the time and day. This happened because you’re a part of an elite team of scientists investigating a UFO crash deep in Antarctica where the sun never sets.

With only 90 minutes until the alien autopsy there’s no way you can properly enjoy the beer, but you can’t close the metal cap properly anymore without the drink losing precious carbonation. What a waste!

I believe it’s exactly these kinds of mishaps that the makers of the New Sizzler had in mind when they developed a bottle opener that’s also a bottle closer.

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Abashiri: Home of Japan’s Prison Museum, Prison Cafeteria, and Prison Beer

Hokkaido, Japan’s rural, northernmost island, has a wealth of tourist attractions. But while most travelers spend their time enjoying the natural beauty of the region’s mountains, forests, and oceans, visitors to the city of Abashiri often spend their time in a very different way.

That’s because in contrast to the sense of freedom Hokkaido’s wide-open vistas are so evocative of, Abashiri is home to the Abashiri Prison Museum. Aside from exhibits on the history of incarceration, the museum also has a cafeteria, where diners can eat a recreation of modern Japanese prison food, and even knock back a bottle of Abashiri Prison Stout beer.

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At last, the solution to a warm can of beer: A cup that chills its contents instantly

With all it does for us, it’s hard to find fault with beer. If you wanted to be nitpicky, though, you could point to the opinion held by many that its flavor rapidly worsens as the beverage gets warmer.

At the same time, most beer drinkers are averse to dilute their beer by tossing ice cubes into it. So what do you do when you’ve got a rogue can of beer you forgot to stick in the fridge or cooler? Simple, you pour it into this new cup that instantly chills any liquid inside of it.

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Sonic Hour series returns with new portable device to make your beer foamy no matter where you go

Remember Takara Tomy A.R.T.S’ punnily-named product, the Sonic Hour (“hour” sounds similar to awa, or “bubbles” in Japanese) that we introduced you to two years ago? That device created a foamy head on a glass of beer in seconds, making it the perfect present for any beer lover in Japan.

Those same beer lovers now have cause to rejoice again because this time around, the Sonic Hour is back with a handy new portable version! 

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Cherry blossom beer. Taste test. Need we say more?

After three months of cold weather, I’m ready for spring. Coincidentally, after a long week of work, I’m ready for a beer.

Lucky me, these two desires have dovetailed perfectly in the form of Kanagawa Prefecture microbrewer Sankt Gallen’s newest offering, made with the petals of the harbinger of Japanese spring, cherry blossoms. So strap on your drinking caps, because it’s time for the sakura beer taste test!

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Craft brewer releases beer made with cherry blossoms, just in time for sakura season

Japan’s cherry blossoms are beautiful enough to enjoy without any alcoholic accompaniments, but it’s a fact of life that for many people the drinks are the real draw of a sakura-viewing party. Yet while there’s definitely a certain charm to knocking back a few cold ones in the park with a group of good friends, it does seem like a waste to take the focus off the flowers, since they bloom for such a short time.

That doesn’t mean you need to slow down your drinking to maximize your appreciation of the cherry blossoms, though. It just means you’ll need to pick up a few bottles of this special beer that’s made with sakura petals.

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What’s this pink fluff in my beer?! Top 10 exotic beers you can find in South Korea

Leave it to the Koreans to come up with innovative and sometimes bizarre food and beverage combinations. Have you tried the whipped cream and beer combination that we introduced previously? If that hit the spot for you, there’s more where that came from, so read on and find your next drinking experiment!

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For grown-ups only! Ghibli Museum’s Straw Hat Cafe is offering “Valley of the Wind” beer

While adults visiting the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo may have fun reliving their childhood memories, there’s no doubt that the majority of the exhibits are geared towards the younger crowd. But did you know that the museum’s cafe offers a special something that only the grown-ups can enjoy? 

We’ve got all the inside info about the cafe’s “Valley of the Wind” beer–a perfect treat for anyone who loves both beer and Ghibli!

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We try beer with whipped cream on top…because we’re fancy

It’s been said that younger generations of drinkers in Japan just aren’t that into beer anymore. With them opting instead for cheaper and sweeter cocktails, good old ale (or ale-flavored stuff) is gradually being pushed aside.

However, our intrepid reporter Meg has found a way to reinvent beer to younger folks appealing to their sweet-tooths. It comes from South Korea where it’s called “Saengkeulim Maegju” or “Cream Beer” and is basically beer with some whipped cream on top. It’s so easy you can make it at home…so we did!

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