candy

These candy-inspired chairs look good enough to eat

These candy-inspired chairs look good enough to eat

If you ever wished you could visit the infamous candy house from Hansel and Gretel, then have we got the chair for you! Looking absolutely delectable and fairytale-ready, this “Hard Candy Stool” from Taiwanese designer, Jojo Chuang is the perfect combination of function and fantasy.

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What does this Japanese candy have to do with the Red Sox? Quite a lot, actually

What does this Japanese candy have to do with the Red Sox? Quite a lot, actually

The Boston Red Sox have consistently had Japanese players since 2007, when they signed Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima. There’s one thing Japanese players bring to the team that’s been overlooked until now, though: delicious imported Japanese candy.

People around the world love Japanese candy, be it endless varieties of Kit Kat flavours, or do-it-yourself candy sushi. There are even companies that will mail it to you monthly for a small fee (or a hefty fee – choose wisely, readers!). And it seems that recently, Red Sox players and staff have been going crazy over Japan’s long-standing fruit chew top-sellers, Hi-Chew.

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Noodles for candy lovers: Gummy Udon arrives just in time for White Day

Noodles for candy lovers: Gummy Udon arrives just in time for White Day

I have a minor confession to make: I’m really not a fan of udon noodles. When asked to rank the big three – namely ramen, soba and udon – I’ll give my answer from most to least liked in that exact order. Ramen is quite frankly the man and hard to go wrong with, and soba is, although far simpler, nearly always delicious even hot or cold. But udon I just can’t seem to make friends with. Far heavier than its other noodle brethren, I find myself tiring of udon’s flavour even halfway through a meal, and those thick, heavy wheat-flour noodles slip from my chopsticks and splash into my soup. Every. Single. Time.

But these awesome new gelatinous “gummy” udon noodles, I think I could handle.

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No grown-ups allowed! Chef with a very sweet motive opens a kids-only sweets shop

No grown-ups allowed! Chef with a very sweet motive opens a kids-only sweets shop

Children in Sanda City, Hyogo Prefecture currently have good reason to celebrate, as a huge new sweets shop officially opened in their town on December 7. But the news gets even sweeter: only kids in sixth grade or younger are allowed inside! Sounds like any child’s wildest fantasy come true, right? Parents must wait outside (and no doubt prepare themselves for the inevitable sugar-high antics to come) while their children explore the hidden wonders within.

Join us after the jump for a rare glimpse inside the shop and read what inspired the owner to open it in the first place.

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Five special edition snacks for entrance exam prep in Japan

Five special edition snacks for entrance exam prep in Japan

Exam season in Japan is brutal. Not only do college hopefuls have to study in order to get into the university of their dreams, those hoping to go to high school also have to endure a rigorous examination process as compulsory education in Japan ends with junior high. As thousands of anxious students slave away at their desks until late at night, only to wake up, go to school, then study all over again, many companies in Japan have released special edition examination season versions of popular snacks in order to ease the torture of studying, if not for a brief moment. Let’s take a look at —- new packages, flavors, and designs of these exam season snacks.

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We celebrate Pocky Day by sharing Japanese candy with the Maasai people of Kenya

We celebrate Pocky Day by sharing Japanese candy with the Maasai people of Kenya

Along with having a pleasing smell, one of the essential requirements of being part of the RocketNews24 team is a certain measure of eloquence. I can proudly say that the rest of the crew writes really, really good (they also help me out a lot, quite obviously).

But sometimes, words aren’t quite enough. How can mere prose do justice to the subtle hues of a cherry blossom, or the reverberations of a temple bell? Sometimes, in order to properly carry out our mission of spreading the simple joys of Japanese culture, we have to carry it with us and head out into the world, which is just what we did recently while traveling Africa.

Unfortunately cherry blossom season is still about five months away, and we couldn’t fit our cast-iron bell in the overhead bin, so we settled for the next best thing: bringing boxes of the chocolaty snack Pocky to share with the Maasai people of Kenya.

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Special Halloween treats from familiar companies in Japan

Special Halloween treats from familiar companies in Japan

Every year, new products and special creations are announced in honor of Halloween and Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, black cats, and a number of other spooky symbols can be seen on familiar products. Even in Japan, Halloween is celebrated (although sometimes misunderstood), giving rise to cute and scary limited edition items. Let’s take a look at the sweeter side of Halloween in Japan with menu items from Baskin Robbins, Krispy Kreme, Cold Stone, and Mister Donut.

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This summer, Nestlé Japan bets the only thing better than chocolate is cold chocolate

This summer, Nestlé Japan bets the only thing better than chocolate is cold chocolate

The Japanese are crazy for all things limited edition. This often manifests in seasonal specialties, like McDonalds’ fall Tsukimi burger, pre-summer unagi-don grilled eel rice bowls and deep summer cold noodle dishes like hiyashi chuuka. Last summer – amidst a notoriously hot year – Nestlé found they’d hit a home run with its “Delicious Cold Chocolate” series of chocolate goodies designed to be frozen before consumption.

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Turn Your Favorite Lollipops into Ice Candies!

Turn Your Favorite Lollipops into Ice Candies!

Love lollipops? Love ice-cream? You can now make your own Chupa Chups flavored ice candy! Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy A.R.T.S will be releasing an ice candy making kit this coming 18 April.With the candy kit, making the lollipop flavored ice candy is simple and fun.

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High-Speed Chocolate: A Look at the New Shinkansen Kit Kat and Other Cool Japanese Kit Kat Packages

High-Speed Chocolate: A Look at the New Shinkansen Kit Kat and Other Cool Japanese Kit Kat Packages

Japan gets all the cool Kit Kats. Since 2000, Nestlé has introduced over 200 flavors and varieties of the chocolate bar to Japan, from chestnut and espresso to baked corn and soy sauce.

Some flavors come and go with the seasons and others are exclusive to certain regions; at the souvenir shops of my home prefecture Nagano you can find the tasty Shinshu Apple flavor and the questionable Ichimi Ground Red Pepper flavor.

One of our Japanese reporters recently came across a new variety of Kit Kat at Nagoya Station that we thought was pretty cool. While the Kit Kat bars themselves are the regular milk chocolate flavor—which, mind you, differs from country to countrythe box art is inspired by the Tokaido Shinkansen line and should be familiar to anyone who has ridden the bullet train in Japan.

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