deals

Domino’s Japan offering discounts to customers who pound the wall, show mementos from old flames

While it may not have the hippest image in the U.S., Domino’s Pizza has built a fanbase for itself in Japan with a string of unique promotions and weird humor. So we’re sure plenty of people were sad to hear that on October 26, Domino’s Japan is closing down its online store where you can order pizzas for delivery or pickup.

Luckily, this has turned out to be just another one of the chain’s quirky jokes, since it’s also opening a new online store on October 27. In other words, it’s just a website redesign, but in addition to serving up plenty of tongue-in-cheek drama, Domino’s is also offering discounts for customers who play along with the joke and say goodbye in a variety of ways.

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Beautiful, 100-year-old Japanese guest house is so cheap, for some guests it’s free

For a lot of travelers, staying in a Japanese-style inn is high on their list of things they want to do in the country, and with good reason. The austere elegance of traditional accommodations provides a uniquely soothing atmosphere, giving you a connection to a culture thousands of years old even as it provides the opportunity for a quiet moment of self-reflection.

What’s not nearly so relaxing, though, are the rates many inns charge, which can run to hundreds of dollars per person in mandatory packages that include overly extravagant meals. But if you’re looking for a place to stay that doesn’t go overboard on either the amenities or prices, the hostel K’s House will provide you a 100-year-old roof over your head, friendly service, and even a natural onsen hot spring bath, all for as little as 2,950 yen (US$27) a night, or, if you don’t mind a few hours’ work, nothing at all.

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A year of beer at Tokyo restaurant offering all-you-can-drink Asahi for 12 months

One of the most common questions that comes up about life in Japan is, “Is it expensive?” Often, the answer depends on a number of factors. For example, is beer expensive? Well, if you want to go hopping from bar to bar, where you’ll get charged a separate cover at each, then yeah, you’re probably going to find your wallet hurting before your liver.

On the other hand, at most izakaya, the pub-like restaurants that serve a wide variety of alcohol and food, shelling out an extra 2,000 yen (US $19.80) or so will allow you to upgrade your meal to include unlimited booze. It can save you some serious cash if you’re looking to do some serious drinking, with the only downside being that most come with a two-hour time limit.

That is, unless you sign up for a plan that gives you unlimited beer for an entire year, like one restaurant in Tokyo is offering.

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Great hotel in Hokkaido has hot spring, all you-can-eat seafood for under 10,000 yen a person

With beautiful natural scenery, delicious food, and an unhurried atmosphere, Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido is one of the country’s most popular vacation spots. There’s one big drawback, though, which is that airfare to and from Hokkaido can eat up a big part of your travel budget, leaving you less cash to spend on a hotel with nice amenities or local delicacies like fresh salmon roe and scallops.

Recently, though, we found a hotel in Hokkaido that offers it all, with soft beds, all-you-can-eat seafood, an all-night hot spring, and even a price that makes it a very affordable luxury.

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Get a room, you two, with this love hotel-finding smartphone app and its 2,000-yen discount

In many ways, Japan’s love hotels are a brilliant concept, offering a room with discreet staff, simple amenities, and large beds for couples looking for a place to physically and nakedly express their feelings for one another. There is one sticky point to utilizing them, however.

People generally find themselves in need of a love hotel when overcome by a spontaneous wave of passion, so they don’t usually book ahead. And while a hand-in-hand dash to the love hotel district can be a bit of heady fun, finding a place to do the deed is sort of a time-sensitive objective. Spending too much time walking around searching for a hotel with a vacancy can put a damper on the mood and/or contribute to your sobering up and realizing that maybe it isn’t a good idea to sleep with your boss’ nubile 23-year-old daughter, no matter how willing she says she is.

Such problems may soon come to be a thing of the past, though, with a new smartphone app that can help you find and book a love hotel in as little as 10 seconds, plus, right now, even help you out with the bill.

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All-you-can-eat-fried chicken coming to KFC Japan just in time for the 4th of July

Man, doesn’t that pile of Kentucky Fried Chicken look enticing? Sure, it may not be the most sophisticated meal, and there’s really no way you can twist the nutritional facts to call it particularly healthy, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a purer, simpler gastronomic joy than a bucket of fried chicken.

But you know what makes the above image all the more beautiful? The large-font Japanese text smack dab in the middle of it, the part that says tabehodai, or, in English, “all you can eat.”

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Extreme Japanese bargain hunting – We buy a car for 10 bucks

Japan has an image as an expensive country, but with a little searching, you can find some pretty good deals. For example, the other day I went out and got a haircut, bought a shirt, and had a pretty good sushi lunch, and none of those three expenditures cost me more than a thousand yen (US $9.80).

Still, my bargain hunting skills can’t compete with those of our Japanese-language correspondent Go, who with 980 yen just bought himself a car.

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1,500 yen will get you all the plum wine you can drink, may or may not make you cuter

Japan is a great place to be a drinker, and not just because of the excellent public transportation and lack of social stigma about enjoying a beer in the park. The selection is also fantastic, as the country produces dozens of brands of tasty beer, sake, and shochu.

If you’re still looking for more variety, Japan also makes a plum wine called umeshu, which has a uniquely rich sweetness. Umeshu isn’t as quite as prevalent as other kinds of alcohol, though, so if you’re in need of a primer, we found a restaurant in Tokyo that’ll let you sample as many varieties of the drink as you like during a two-hour stay for just 1,500 yen (US$14.70).

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Dirt cheap all-you-can-drink sake sampler in Tokyo saves us money plus a trip to Akita

Sake is often referred to as “rice wine.” Some would argue the term is misleading, since unlike wine, sake is brewed, but Japan’s traditional spirit does have something in common with the world’s favorite grape-based alcoholic beverage. As with wine, depending on the ingredients and exact production process, two different types of sake can have very different flavors.

This can make searching for one that suits your palate a complex, if not unpleasant, task. There’s also the fact that most of Japan’s best-tasting sake is produced far outside of its major urban centers, which is why we were surprised and thrilled to find a restaurant in downtown Tokyo offering a sampler of sake from distant Akita Prefecture for just 500 yen (US$4.90). Our excitement only grew when we found out that the deal is also all you can drink.

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Beyond sushi: We choose the best non-seafood items at Japan’s biggest conveyor-belt sushi chains

Conveyor-belt sushi is equally popular among tourists and residents of Japan alike. I mean, little plates of food that trundle by, with everything up for grabs? It’s brilliant! And cheap. Chains like Sushiro, Kurasushi, Kappasushi and Hamasushi offer a large selection of items starting at just 100 yen (about US$1)!

But what if you aren’t so big on the whole raw fish thing? Are you forced to forgo the cheap and childlike pleasure of stalking your next course as it makes its way around the counter? Of course not! After extensive research, we’ve got the very best of conveyor-belt non-sushi all picked out for you.

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Mr. Sato celebrates Japan’s Good Meat Day by taking on Burger King’s all-you-can-eat Whopper deal

There may not have been any Thanksgiving festivities in Japan this past week, but the Japanese language’s ample opportunities for puns gave us two special days to celebrate. Coming on the heels of Knee-High Socks Day was the equally pun-tastic Good Meat Day on November 29.

Good Meat Day gets its name by breaking the date into its individual digits of 1-1-2-9, which can be read as ii niku, literally “good meat.” We decided the best way to commemorate our carnivorous cravings was by hitting Burger King to catch the tail-end of their all-you-can-eat burger promotion.

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City of Yokohama offering 14 days of free Wi-Fi to overseas tourists

Yokohama, being Japan’s second-largest city, has a little something for everyone. Its romantic harbor is lined with parks and backed by a breathtaking skyline. History buffs can see numerous centuries-old structures inside Sankeien Garden. The Ramen Museum and Chinatown are great foodie destinations, and the Noge and Kannai districts are filled with enough cocktail bars and brewpubs give your liver a serious workout.

Unfortunately, many overseas travelers are unaware of all Yokohama has to offer, and skip right by the city on their way between Tokyo and Kyoto. In an effort to help get the word out on Yokohama’s numerous attractions, the city has teamed up with telecommunications giant NTT to provide free Internet access to foreign tourists.

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We go fishing for scallops 30 seconds after stepping out of Aomori Station

Located on the northern tip of Japan’s main island of Honshu, Aomori Prefecture is known for its great seafood. Aomori scallops are especially prized, and any shellfish fan visiting the area should definitely make time to have a few.

But how can you be sure you’re eating the freshest scallops possible? Easy: catch them yourself. Even if you don’t have the time to venture out onto the open seas, there’s a restaurant right across the street from Aomori Station that lets you do just that.

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Road trip! All-you-can-eat tempura for just 700 yen in Kumamoto Prefecture

Over the last few years, more and more restaurants have been offering what people in Japan call “one coin meals,” costing less than 500 yen (US $5), the highest denomination coin here.

We recently found a restaurant in Kumamoto Prefecture, on the southern island of Kyushu, that just barely misses the cut with its 700 yen tempura set. That extra 200 yen is totally worth it though, because it gets you all-you-can-eat tempura. And when we say all-you-can-eat, we mean that literally; there’s no time limit for how long your meal can last.

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Unlimited refills of limited availability beer at Park Hyatt Tokyo

The five-star Park Hyatt Tokyo, known to many as one of the locations used in the movie Lost in Translation, has plenty of things going for it, including luxuriously appointed rooms, ample business facilities, and a full array of spa services. But we already live in the area and have an office nearby in Shinjuku. Plus, the natural stunning good looks of the RocketNews24 team preclude the need for any beauty treatments. So what can the Park Hyatt do to get us through their door?

How abut offering two types of beer you can’t get anywhere else, and free refills to boot?

Yeah, that’ll do it.

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Pray for rain – Six great wet weather deals in and around Tokyo

I love summer. Cold beer! Warm sunshine! Cold Beer! Hot sand between my toes on the beach! And how can I forget lukewarm beer left in my glass after waking up from an impromptu nap brought on by all the cold beer proceeding it?

Unfortunately, summer in Japan also means plenty of rainy days, as humidity levels are at their highest across the country. Thankfully, it’s not all bad news on rainy days, and as long as you’re willing to take an umbrella with you when you go out, you can score some great deals in the Tokyo area.

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