Okay, so you may have grown up being told not to play with your food. But now, there’s a gadget that takes the concept of being creative with your food to a whole new level, making it in fact quite irresistible even if you’re not as artistically inclined as food artist Tisha Cherry. It’s the TP-101E Direct Food Printer sold by ink and printing material maker Creative Print.com, and … you guessed it, it prints letters and pictures directly onto food! Now who wouldn’t want to play with a machine like that?
Despite having visited the town of Kichijoji in Tokyo on a near daily basis for over a year, it wasn’t until I sat down with video game developer James Kay and started chatting about our mutual love of pixels and coffee that I learned about Pico Pico Cafe, a cosy corner perched at the top of a eight-storey building just minutes from Kichijoji station.
After dropping the staff a line, RocketNews24 headed over for a coffee and a chat. We hadn’t gone two steps inside, however, before we found ourselves completely enamoured with the unique cafe’s warm, homely interior and – perhaps most of all for this life-long gamer – the subtle dashes of video game culture in every other nook and cranny.
Tons of cool photos after the jump.
Long ago, fast food chain Wendy’s poked fun at the meager size of some restaurants’ hamburgers with a series of commercials asking “Where’s the beef?” Whoever came up with that advertising slogan would be proud of the chefs at a new restaurant in Tokyo’s Shibuya, which serves a cheeseburger so massive we had to ask, “Where’s the bun?”
After a grueling nine year wait, the two dozen or so hardcore fans of Lemon Coke can finally triumphantly shrug their shoulders and go, “Meh,”, as the company has announced it’s bringing back the mildly tolerated legend after a long hiatus.
The new Lemon Coke, now with slick new packaging that includes a spiffy yellow cap, will be re-introduced to 16,622 7-Elevens throughout Japan, probably to the glorious, collective nonchalant grunts of thousands. Based on promotional photos, the Coke seems a little more transparent than usual, indicating that there must be a whole lot of lemon juice in there.
- Casey Baseel
Jul 2, 2014
Recently we talked about a shop in Kanagawa Prefecture that sells styish kamaboko fish cakes decorated to look like the beautiful hydrangeas that bloom during Japan’s rainy season. But what if your palate runs more towards the sweet than the fishy, or your ideal of natural beauty isn’t the flowers growing from the soil, but the stars above?
In that case, one Kyoto confectioner has just the thing: sweet bean gelatin modeled after the Milky Way.
- Casey Baseel
Jul 1, 2014
We recently found out that you can use a rice cooker to make awesome, gigantic pancakes. Our first reaction was surprise, as we’d honestly never even thought to try. Soon enough, though, our surprise faded and was replaced by something even stronger: hunger.
So we decided to get off the culinary sidelines and whip up a batch for ourselves. Since we were using Japan’s most beloved kitchen appliance, we decided to take another cue from our adopted country and spruce things up a bit by making matcha green tea pancakes.
We’re going to spoil the ending right now and tell you that they taste amazing. Want to make them yourself? Read on and we’ll give you the whole incredibly easy recipe.
- Oona McGee
Jun 29, 2014
Sushi was once a strange delicacy confined to the shores of Japan. Thanks to its health benefits, the humble sushi has since travelled the world, popping up in all sorts of remote and obscure locations from Iceland to the Middle East.
Now sushi is on the move again, this time coming with you on your travels and hugging your luggage in the form of clever suitcase covers. With four designs to choose from, baggage claim carousels are set to look like giant sushi train conveyor belts this summer!
- Cara Clegg
Jun 29, 2014
Japanese people love their cup noodles, there’s now doubt about it. You can see endless varieties on sale at the conbini or supermarket, from the ordinary to the weird and wonderful. Recently Nissin Foods has released two limited edition cup noodle flavours to be sold at AEON which are definitely at the weirder end of the scale: Cheeseburger Noodles and Hot Dog Noodles.
For fans of animation and video games who’ve formed a particularly strong attachment to their favorite fictional characters, there’s nothing quite like the escapist fun of cosplaying as one of the hobbies’ heroes or heroines. In the past we’ve seen college students, toddlers, and even dogs sporting creative getups, but what if you’re an adult human with a busy life?
Past a certain age, work and family start taking up the bulk of your time, and your schedule might not be able to accommodate a day of showing off your costuming skills at the local anime convention. Not to mention that if that’s the case, you’re probably too old to just dress up in costume at home without feeling silly. If only there was a practical cosplay outfit that you could wear around the house.
Actually, there is, in the form of the Sailor Moon apron.
Nissin Cup Noodles are outrageously popular in Japan and have a firm following worldwide. Now, to keep the love flowing throughout the hot summer months, they’ve released a new special version designed to be eaten icy cold. For the first time, the company will be releasing somen, the thinnest of traditional Japanese noodles, for a meal so light and tasty you’ll be wanting to eat them all year!
Summer has a way of creeping up on us before we can shed those extra pounds in this, the season of skimpier clothing. As such many people take up diets including our own reporter, Hotaru. At one point during her weight management, Hotaru had decided to go to a vegan restaurant thinking it wouldn’t be as high in calories as other establishments.
However, when her curry arrived she noticed that there were little bits of what looked like cheese on top. They tasted kind of like cheese too. Confused by this non-vegan and diet-bending food, Hotaru asked the staff what it was. “Tofu pickles” they replied.
Hotaru also learned from them how to make this delectable topping and found it was actually incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that she also developed her own “advanced tofu pickles” recipe. We’d now like to share these recipes with you so that you many enjoy some tofu pickles in your own home.
- Casey Baseel
Jun 27, 2014
Although Mt. Fuji has been around for thousands of years, and the subject of countless paintings and photographs for hundreds, Japan has taken a new interest in its most famous mountain following its 2013 designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Filled with pride, designers have spent the past year churning out Mt. Fuji merchandise, with everything from umbrellas to masking tape on offer.
But if you can’t find the time to go to the mountain, now the mountain can come to you, or your dinner table, at least, with one hotel’s special Mt. Fuji menu items.
- Casey Baseel
Jun 26, 2014
Certain types of Japanese food, like tempura or grilled yakitori chicken skewers, are pretty agreeable to Western palates. In recent years, sushi has made inroads into the international dining scene, too.
Many non-Japanese diners, though, still feel a little hesitant about kamaboko, or fish cake. Despite its mild flavor, there’s just something incongruous about it in many people’s minds. It’s actually pretty tasty stuff, though, and if you’re on the fence about trying it, we should point out that it has a surprisingly mild flavor.
Or, perhaps we could entice you with this special variety of kamaboko that, when cut, reveals an elegant hydrangea pattern.
- Megumi Matsuki
Jun 25, 2014
Back in April, we ran an article on mind-bogglingly tiny kitchens in a bottle. Now, Japanese beverage giant Kirin has gone a step further in another animated short that promotes their soft-drink line, “Sekai no Kitchen Kara” (“From the World’s Kitchens”). Though the multi-brand company is best known for their beers, this yummy non-alcoholic collection emerged after test-kitchen staff visited numerous countries’ bustling kitchens, which are undoubtedly a treasure trove of family traditions and culinary wisdom.
So before you write this off as mere marketing, check out the company’s imaginative stop-motion creation, which amazingly combines 1:48-scale miniature figures with video footage playing on a smartphone screen! Along the way, learn a bit more about this line of libations and the Moroccan tradition that inspired Kirin’s latest drink, “Sparkling Water.”
Since his first appearance back in 1954, Godzilla has cut his teeth on dozens of films and taken down a number of enemies in the process. When it comes to the battle of the batter, however, it seems Godzilla and his mate Mothra have walked away defeated, as there’s no shaking off a coat of oil and Japanese breadcrumbs.
Is there anything better than breakfast for dinner? Well, okay, that’s a silly question. Obviously nothing is better than night-time breakfast–pretty much everyone would agree that sitting down to a plate full of pancakes drenched in syrup at 7 pm is simply awesome. And the best thing about breakfast-as-dinner is that it’s easy to make! Pancakes, eggs, bacon–all easy to throw together without much culinary skill needed.
But sometimes even flipping a pancake is just too much work. Thankfully, Roky – a machine that produces pancakes in the shape of popsicles - ensure that you needn’t lift a finger when ignoring basic dietary advice.
- Master Blaster
Jun 22, 2014
Although Italian in origin, the words pasta and spaghetti are now everyday words in English. Thanks to the foods’ proliferation around the world these words can also be found in Japanese, pronounced pasuta and supagettī respectively.
But in recent years, it seems as if the word “spaghetti” has been falling out of favor in Japan, being replaced by the word “pasta.” Although in English the distinction between “spaghetti” and “pasta” is pretty clear (pasta being the foodstuff, spaghetti one of its many varieties), it seems there is a whole other world of nuances when the words cross over into Japanese.
Taiwanese websites have been swirling with a new food fad that has taken the nation by storm. We’re not sure exactly where it started, but it probably had something to do with two people shouting, “Hey! You got your pudding in my ramen!” and “Hey! You got your ramen in my pudding!” And thus pudding ramen was born.
As the news hit the shores of Japan, we felt this was a combination that needed to be tested. It turns out that pudding ramen is not only tasty, it’s really cheap and easy too. Well played, Taiwan!
Now that the World Cup is well and truly underway, fans in Japan have found themselves in the full-blown throes of soccer fever. While some would remedy the malady with a set of earplugs and a good lie-down, others look to the food world, with World Cup menus popping up all over the country offering all sorts of surprises. One place in Osaka has put together a creative curry and cocktail set that represents the Japanese soccer team, Samurai Blue, and the host country of Brazil. Can you see the two countries in the image above?
- Philip Kendall
Jun 19, 2014
You know how you sometimes sit at home watching TV and find yourself thinking, “Man, I wish I could eat a Denny’s meal right now. But, like, from a cup…”? Neither have we, but apparently that product is a real thing and is coming to stores in Japan very soon.
- This awful woman stealing a little kid’s foul ball will ruin your day1
- Five amazing Japanese Starbucks locations that let you keep sightseeing as you take a break2
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker3
- Chinese mall’s large pink parking spaces for women seen as sexist by some, wonderful by others4
- Cats transform into bears, bats, and more, impress and enchant Japanese Internet users5
- Looking for a unique job environment? This could be as unique (and isolated) as it gets in Japan!6
- No peripheral vision – Japan’s gamers sound off on hardware add-on nightmares7
- Pikachu’s dramatic decline in popularity captured in photos8
- Pikachu, we eat you! – A visit to Tokyo’s Pokémon restaurant9
- Man kidnaps, imprisons 11-year-old to raise her to be his “ideal girl”10
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!1
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker2
- This man’s face left Chinese internet users in amazement, agony and confusion 【Photos】3
- Creative pet “haircuts”: Funky or funny? You decide.4
- Middle-aged Chinese man’s “stomach pains” turn out to be his first period as a woman5
- Man kidnaps, imprisons 11-year-old to raise her to be his “ideal girl”6
- More than one way to skin a cat? Japanese YouTuber shows how to “open” a cat with belly rubs7
- Is Attack on Titan a documentary? Mikasa spotted in Russia!8
- “Retweet if you thought I was a girl”: This beautiful young man, in his own words【Photos】9
- 5 amazingly cute cosplayers who you’ll run into at anime conventions10
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!1
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker2
- Life’s not perfect? Says who? This woman’s life is too perfect to be true!3
- Japanese politician screams and cries at press conference as he defends expenses claims【Video】4
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!5
- 16 photos that show why Singapore has the world’s best airline6
- “Retweet if you thought I was a girl”: This beautiful young man, in his own words【Photos】7
- Japanese giant salamander caught taking a stroll on land8
- German team hero Mario Gotze wins World Cup, later loses dignity thanks to gross pic9
- These anime mascots are just what the World Cup has been missing!10
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker1
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!2
- Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup3
- Doggy gets upset over his new haircut, walks around on hind legs like a boss for two days4
- Russian crocodile hospitalized after woman falls on it5
- Internet falls in love with Chinese cosplaying beauty, disappointed to hear she’s a guy 【Updated】6
- Not your average Bulbasaur: Mayan-style Pokemon7
- Chinese student asks for cooked sushi at Sukibayashi Jiro, gets flamed by Chinese netizens8
- What if Sailor Moon characters were lingerie models? They’d look stunning like this 【Photos】9
- The official Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist trailer just made our day【Video】10
- Looking for a unique job environment? This could be as unique (and isolated) as it gets in Japan!
- No peripheral vision – Japan’s gamers sound off on hardware add-on nightmares
- Pikachu’s dramatic decline in popularity captured in photos
- Pikachu, we eat you! – A visit to Tokyo’s Pokémon restaurant
- Man kidnaps, imprisons 11-year-old to raise her to be his “ideal girl”
- Beautiful 400-year-old garden in Okayama about to be replaced with condominium complex
- Chinese bus gets lined with artificial turf for World Cup, may never go back
- J-Pop group Tokio suspected in the sudden construction of a super-long noodle slide
- Teacher accidentally supports the armament of Japan with flawed cartoon reference
- Touching Final Fantasy X cover on the violin takes you “To Zanarkand”【Video】
- The top 20 most eagerly anticipated anime of summer 2014, as chosen by fans!
- Grandpa makes Totoro for grandkids after move
- Our take on Studio Ghibli’s newest anime, When Marnie Was There【Impressions】