Some of our readers are undoubtedly aware that we here at RocketNews24 are quite fond of Kit Kats. And while we’re used to seeing the popular chocolate snack in an array of interesting flavors, we have to say we were genuinely intrigued when we heard about “bakeable” Kit Kats last year, as were many other Kit Kat fans across Japan, judging from the fact that the unique sweet attracted enough attention to be turned into pizzas. Now, the bakeabke Kit Kats have returned, and in a new flavor to boot! Of course, we weren’t about to be kept away from such sweetness. Join us as we try the new “Bake ‘N Tasty Mini Kit Kats Cheesecake Flavor” (Kit Kat Mini Yaite Oishi Cheesecake Aji)!
If you love sweets — chocolate in particular — Japan in the weeks before Valentine’s Day is definitely a great place to be. Ever since chocolate makers in Japan managed to make it a widespread tradition for women to give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day, it’s become an annual event to see chocolates being sold at shops everywhere starting in late January, with numerous special promotions and appearances by “celebrity chocolatiers” to heighten the excitement leading up to the big V-day.
Yes, for chocolate lovers, it’s a blissful time of year — there’s nothing quite like stepping into a department store and seeing a huge space filled with chocolates of all shapes and sizes while being surrounded by the rich, earthy scent of cacao. But now that Valentine’s Day is over, we may be developing a case of the post-Valentine’s blues, so to console ourselves, we’ve put together a collection of photos showcasing some of the most memorable chocolate items we saw this Valentine’s season in Japan.
Feb 16, 2015
In a country where girls traditionally give chocolate to boys on Valentine’s Day and the boys returning the favor exactly one month later on White Day, February 14 in Japan has got to be a pretty lonely day for the young men who attend all-boys schools.
But it turns out that those boys may not suffer through such a bleak holiday after all. Take a look at these pictures and see how some students at Japanese boys’ schools celebrated Valentine’s Day this year, minus the girls!
Feb 13, 2015
When we first saw this tweet from Twitter user kotekote_mk, we got all excited imagining the possibilities of re-using boring old chocolate boxes as handy storage boxes for our game cartridges and consoles. Just look at how neatly those cards fit into the little spaces for the chocolates! It really speaks to our love of organisation. And video games. And, okay, chocolate. And we’re not the only ones – the response to the tweet practically broke poor kotekote_mk’s Twitter page…
Ramen, understandably, is one of the Japanese foods that foreign visitors (and locals too, for that matter) find hugely appealing, and there’s certainly no shortage of ramen shops or unique ramen flavors to be tried in Japan. Now, you may recall that back in November last year, we brought you news of the very interesting matcha green tea ramen from Menya Musashi. Well, this month, it looked like it was time to make a repeat visit to Menya Musashi, to have some… chocolate ramen!
Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day week and everything is chocolate themed in Japan at the moment, so why not ramen too, right? We definitely weren’t about to miss this dish that combined two of our favorite foods!
Feb 9, 2015
Leading up to Valentine’s Day in Japan, there’s one thing that’s impossible to escape – and it’s not swarthy, rose-touting Lotharios. It’s chocolate. In pretty packaging and delicious displays, store counters come alive with the sweet stuff at this time of year, and one of the more luxurious and decadent types is the rich, creamy nama choco (fresh chocolates).
The only problem with this type of chocolate is the fact that it blends an already creamy chocolate with even more cream and butter, making it heavy on the calories. Net users in Japan, though, have discovered an unusual way to cut out the extra fat – by replacing it with tofu! Using just three ingredients, we’ll let you in on the latest diet tip from Japan and show you how to make delicious, creamy nama choco with only half the calories.
Feb 7, 2015
With Valentine’s Day coming soon, and Japan valuing presentation almost as much as flavor when it comes to food, chocolate-lovers are always on the lookout for sweets that are as eye-catching as they are delicious. Sometimes, confectioners’ quest for a new look takes them to bold and intriguing new places. Others though, such as this chocolate heart that looks more like the kind you’d see in a cardiology journal than on a Valentine’s card, aren’t quite so appealing.
So if you’d like your chocolates to look not just unique, but also appetizing (or at least like something people regularly eat), maybe these chocolate pigs from Tokyo candy maker tutto bene are just what you’re looking for.
Feb 6, 2015
Walk into any Japanese convenience store during the colder part of the year, and along with such welcome refreshments as heated cans of coffee and bottles of tea you’ll find a case of steamed buns. The orthodox version is stuffed with minced pork and vegetables, but curry and pizza sauce steamed buns are pretty easy to find, too.
Some convenience stores even offer sweet varieties, like 7-Eleven is doing now with its chocolate cream steamed buns. Since they’ve been released just in time for Valentine ’s Day, they’re even shaped like little pink hearts. Or, that was the plan at least, but to some people, they look more like little pink butts.
Valentine’s Day is approaching with the speed of a runaway freight train, which for all those out there who are currently unattached can be a cause of sweaty palms and lips curled up in sneers of derision. In the west, Valentine’s Day is a totally commercialised flurry of unoriginal gifts and saccharine sappiness, but in Japan it’s kinda different. The chocolate companies have managed to turn it into a sort of one-day nation-wide chocolate-making fest, wherein lovestruck women take up their wooden spoons and mixing bowls in hopes of creating sweet treats to win the hearts of their beloved (or, alternatively, earn points with male colleagues).
But for those who are sick of Valentine’s Day and its traditional hearts and flowers, this collection of disgusting chocs is sure to raise a few evil chuckles.
Feb 2, 2015
We may be in the middle of a cold winter in Japan, with Tokyo even seeing some light snow last Friday, but things are definitely starting to look bright and spring-like at Lindt stores here! Yes, early spring for us is the time for cherry blossoms, or sakura, and while spring hasn’t quite yet arrived, international chocolate maker Lindt has announced two new sakura-themed items to be sold at their cafes here in Japan. And as you might well expect, the sakura treats look pink, sweet and utterly gorgeous!
Jan 29, 2015
Chocolate lovers around Japan were understandably thrilled when the Kit Kat Chocolatery, the world’s first Kit Kat specialty store, opened in the Seibu Ikebukuro Department Store about a year ago. Of course, we were pretty excited too, and when we visited the shop on opening day, we could see from the crowd that plenty of people felt the same way.
After a year, it seems the Kit Kat Chocolatery has been a success so far, as they’ve just opened their fourth shop in Japan, this time in Kyoto. And what’s even better, this Kit Kat Chocolatery comes with a cafe attached! Plus, they’ve released some new Chocolatery products as well, so we thought we’d share the news with all our sweets-loving readers!
Jan 27, 2015
When it comes to food, I’ve always placed a higher emphasis on texture rather than the actual taste of it. While I love peanut butter or finely chopped almonds, for example, the nuts themselves in their natural form usually make me gag.
So it was with great excitement that I learned about ChocolaTexture, which is a range of nine chocolates all using the exact same recipe but crafted in different shapes and textures. As a result each chocolate is said to have a distinct “taste” despite being made from the exact same ingredients.
Jan 26, 2015
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, stores across Japan are sure to be painted chocolate-brown in the coming weeks. Yes, chocolate makers here can count on doing brisk business in the days leading up to February 14, as Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day in Japan when women give gifts of chocolate to men, and shops will typically have whole areas devoted to chocolates of every shape, flavor and price range imaginable. Isetan Department Store is no exception, and one of the chocolates they’ll have on offer this year is … a beautiful creation from popular Italian chocolate manufacturer BABBI that features Sailor Moon and her guardian soldiers!
At a glance, these lipsticks look like any other you can find at your local drugstore. However, this Valentine’s Day, you can buy a whole set of them for your loved one and watch them chomp down on these deliciously colorful lipstick-shaped chocolates!
Chilly January is drawing to a close and that means that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Here in Japan, Valentine chocolates are big business, which means shops pull out all the stops to create delicacies as easy on the eyes as they are sweet in your mouth. We’ve picked our favorites for this year, so whether you are buying for your lover or yourself, check out these dainty nibbles!
Jan 10, 2015
Tirol chocolate has been around in Japan for as long as any of us can remember. Super tasty, available in dozens of flavours, and cheap enough even for elementary school kids to buy with their pocket-money, you’ll find these tiny squares of goodness in pretty much any convenience store or supermarket up and down the country. Occasionally, Tirol (or chiroru as it’s pronounced in Japanese) will release a handful of limited-edition flavours, fusing sweets like custard pudding and tiramisu together with their tasty choco to create unusual, moreish combinations.
But every now and then, they’ll try something really, really strange. Like Cheese & Pizza chocolate.
New Year in Japan means family time, food with very specific meanings, and of course shopping. And one of our favourite things about this time of year is the opportunity to buy Lucky Bags (fukubukuro). As the name implies, these are bags containing a lucky dip of items from your store of choice – so you don’t know what loot you’ve got until after you’ve parted with your cash.
Sometimes, you can hit the jackpot with fukubukuro – last year, for example, our very own Mr. Sato was ecstatic to get his hands on a MacBook Air. But here at RocketNews24 we like our tech to come with a side order of luxury chocolate, so when we heard that upmarket chocolatier Godiva were selling Lucky Bags for 5,400 yen (US$45), we sent our reporter P.K. Sanjun down to buy one. Here’s what he got!
Dec 19, 2014
Krispy Kreme Japan is shooting Cupid’s arrows again this year. Apparently the 2014 limited edition Valentine’s Day donuts were a hit because they are not only coming back, they’ll be better than ever. The donut powerhouse has created four new delectable, chocolatey selections and as V-Day tends to be a girl-confessing-her-love-to-boy-by-giving-chocolates kind of holiday in Japan, there are inevitably going to be a lot of guys with happy tummies this coming February 14. Luckily for all the singles and ladies out there, we don’t have to wait for our suitors to give us delicious chocolate donuts, we can start enjoying them starting January 7, 2015.
Nov 13, 2014
The vagaries of reading in Japanese mean that often the same text or numbers can be said a variety of ways. For example, some of the many readings for 2 and 9 and “ni” and “ku,” which combine to form niku, the Japanese word for “meat,” which is how November 29 became known in some circles as Meat Day. Going from the carnivorous to the carnal, 8 can be read as “hai,” making both November 28 and February 8 observed as Knee-High Socks Days.
Sometimes, though, you don’t need pun-filled pronunciations for an excuse to start a pseudo-holiday. Writing November 11 all in numerals gets you 11-11, and all those vertical lines look to some like a handful of enticing Pocky sticks. And so, this week Japan celebrated Pocky Day by not only devouring boxes of the stuff, but by turning the chocolate-covered treats into works of physical and photographic art.
- Resort in the Philippines decides to stop ripping off Gundam, rip off another robot instead1
- We visit a reasonably-priced sushi shop so good you’ll forget all about that “Jiro” guy2
- Japan’s newest idol group, KBG84, hails from Okinawa, has an average age of 843
- Taiwanese Tsunade cosplayer sparks debate about public decency at events4
- Why do most concerts held in Japan prohibit taking pictures?5
- Watch out for slang: 10 outdated words to make you sound like a “hoddypeak” in Japanese6
- Clever kitchen tool adds paws-itively adorable cat paws to your meal7
- Miso soup anime ads are so touching they’ll warm your heart as the soup warms your tummy8
- Here’s what happens if you buy all the drinks in the combini and mix them together 【Video】9
- New game lets you save the world with your vacuum and toaster…who are also beautiful anime girls!10
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby1
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens2
- ISIS-inspired gang kills middle school boy: “We’ll cut off your head while you’re still alive!”3
- Fan film ‘Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope’ – two years in the making, but well worth the wait【Video】4
- Japanese netizens rediscover “Full Armor Game Boy,” question how the ’90s defined portability5
- “Hell on Earth” as Tokyo subway station floods with sewage6
- The 11 Cat Islands of Japan 【Photos】7
- Creepy news: Estimate a complete stranger’s breast size with this new plastic folder!8
- Revenge bento show us it’s a dish best served cold (and boxed) with insults and hidden chilies9
- Online seller pulls cruel trick, sells pencil lead photographed alongside Nintendo 3DS XL10
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo1
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby2
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】3
- English hot spring manners poster is so thorough, even Japanese people are learning from it4
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens5
- Meet Asuna, the hyperreal android that will leave your jaw hanging 【Video】6
- Keanu Reeves tries to be a tourist in Akihabara, gets mobbed by fans instead7
- Man beats up woman for not looking like “goddess” he spent thousands of dollars to meet8
- The number one thing that foreign men find “not so kawaii” about Japanese women9
- Someone finally built the massive, room-filling Dragon Ball Z diorama the world deserved10
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby3
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】4
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”5
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing6
- Historic Kyoto temple first in Japan to offer gay weddings7
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】8
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones9
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】10
- Watch out for slang: 10 outdated words to make you sound like a “hoddypeak” in Japanese
- Clever kitchen tool adds paws-itively adorable cat paws to your meal
- Miso soup anime ads are so touching they’ll warm your heart as the soup warms your tummy
- Here’s what happens if you buy all the drinks in the combini and mix them together 【Video】
- New game lets you save the world with your vacuum and toaster…who are also beautiful anime girls!
- Godzilla appears in the Tokyo skyline atop new Shinjuku skyscraper! 【Photos】
- Prince William meets Domokun and has other fun adventures during his first visit to Japan
- After 30 years, mother of Dragon Ball’s Goku finally set to appear in new comic chapter
- The 11 Cat Islands of Japan 【Photos】
- ISIS-inspired gang kills middle school boy: “We’ll cut off your head while you’re still alive!”
- Everyone’s favorite blue-black-white-gold dress, now available in fanart!
- Staggering servings of salmon roe are waiting for you at these four Tokyo restaurants
- Boys’ turn: The top 10 most common shonen manga scenarios, according to Japanese fans