food

Survey ranks Japan’s most popular fast food chains, McDonald’s surprisingly not No. 1

Survey ranks Japan’s most popular fast food chains, McDonald’s surprisingly not No. 1

Despite all the lavish attention RocketNews24 has laid upon the altar of the Golden Arches at the cost of our Adonis-like six packs, it seems there’s a fast food chain Japan loves even more than McDonald’s. According to a recent Niconico News survey of adults, the reigning king of fast food in Japan is the country’s own native Mos Burger – although McDonald’s runs a close second.

Since our diets consist of almost nothing but the lard, chicken goo, sawdust and other mystery substances that go into a fast food meal, a win for any fast food is a win for humanity in our book, but let’s take a moment to look at Niconico‘s ranking and examine some of the possible reasons the results:

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Lotus root: the enlightened way to knock out hay fever

Lotus root: the enlightened way to knock out hay fever

Most of my early trips to Japan involved visiting my brother, back when he was living in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture. One day while waiting for a train at the station, I passed the time by staring out at one of the many lotus farms the town is known for.

“Ah, Japan!” I thought as the plants swayed almost hypnotically in the hot summer breeze. “So appreciative of the beauty of nature!” The lotus must be so highly prized that it’s economically worthwhile to use large tracts of what little arable land the country has to cultivate and sell the flowers, I concluded.

I found out later that I was only half right. While it is true that Japan tends to get more excited about blossoming flora than other nations, all those lotuses weren’t being grown for aesthetic reasons. Lotus root, called renkon in Japanese, is edible, and not only is it delicious, it can also help you cope with one of the absolute worst parts of life in Japan: hay fever.

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We try “Zunda” Kit Kat – it’s confusingly delicious!

We try “Zunda” Kit Kat – it’s confusingly delicious!

It’s no secret the Japan is home to a vast array of flavors for the popular chocolate covered wafer. From Grape, Chili, and Wasbi flavors to bake-able Custard Pudding Kit Kats, there’s a seemingly never-ending stream of possible varieties for the popular sweet snack.

This time we’ve stumbled upon some Zunda Flavored Kit Kats. After a brief explanation on what zunda is for those of us not schooled in Tohoku region cuisine, an attempt will be made at describing how these deceptively deep candies taste.

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Attempt at cute Pokémon cakes fail to win our hearts, may have taken our souls

Attempt at cute Pokémon cakes fail to win our hearts, may have taken our souls

It’s hard to think of something with less potential for terror than cake. It tastes great. It’s soft enough that it can be chewed with no problems, meaning that like diapers and long afternoon naps, it’s something that both the extremely young and extremely old can equally appreciate.

You can even make cake more appealing by shaping it like loveable cartoon characters, like Pokémon’s eternal mascot Pikachu. Surely there’s no way that could result in a terrifying abomination, right?

Wrong.

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Did woman’s love of papayas and Chinese desserts make her breasts dangerously large?

Did woman’s love of papayas and Chinese desserts make her breasts dangerously large?

If we surmise that the existence of breast augmentation surgery proves that at least some women out there want to increase their cup size, then add to this set every man (and zombie) on the planet, we can conclude that at any given moment, slightly over half of the world’s adult population is wishing women had bigger breasts.

However, many women are apprehensive of the risks involved with surgery or shady supplements that promise to increase breast-size. Thankfully, one woman in China may have found a more natural way to make your bust more bounteous. Unfortunately, at least one doctor says it may have been so effective it landed her in the hospital.

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Fish-shaped Japanese sweets: The most appetizing way to swallow a goldfish

Fish-shaped Japanese sweets: The most appetizing way to swallow a goldfish

Whoa, hold on a second here! It’s a well-known fact that the Japanese diet includes lots of fish. The country also has an undeniable sweet tooth, with legions of gourmets constantly searching for the next trendy dessert.

Could this photograph actually be fish gelatin, though?

Don’t worry, no one in Japan is finishing off their meal with a bite of candied fish. Instead, these are just fish candies.

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The hottest thing in Korea now is freezing cold ice cream made by “scientists”

The hottest thing in Korea now is freezing cold ice cream made by “scientists”


There’s probably a scientific explanation for almost everything in the world, and that includes ice cream. Of course we knew there was some science going on in those delicious scoops of frozen creamy goodness, but this laboratory-themed ice cream parlor in Busan, Korea, works the science right in front of your eyes!

If you’ve never had ice cream made straight out of a laboratory flask, topped with syringes and droppers, read on!

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Ironically, this video of a typical Japanese breakfast doesn’t show one

Ironically, this video of a typical Japanese breakfast doesn’t show one

There’s a certain mystery about what different countries have for breakfast. Most people’s contact with the eating habits of other nations comes from dining out, so as long as you’ve got a Japanese restaurant near where you live, you don’t necessarily need to fly to Tokyo to see what a typical lunch or dinner looks like.

Unless you grew up in a culture, though, you might not have had the chance to see what the locals eat for their first meal of the day though. We recently came across a video that aims to shed a little light on the subject, and while we’re intrigued by the premise, they sort of dropped the ball on what Japan eats at breakfast.

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We test the taste of the King’s Dog from Burger King

We test the taste of the King’s Dog from Burger King

And now, due to popular demand, we have the taste test you’ve all been waiting for: the King’s Dog from Burger King. Ever since news of the hot dog offering from the fast food burger chain was released, we’d been anticipating its arrival. Boasting an extra-large sausage 2.5 times the thickness of a regular Burger King hot dog, we bought one of each to really see how the King’s Dog weighs up.

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You’re not seeing things, that’s a cat selling roasted sweet potatoes

You’re not seeing things, that’s a cat selling roasted sweet potatoes

It’s a common sight to see hot dog stands in America. In Singapore, ice cream stands are a lifesaver in the sweltering hot weather. In Japan, however, you’re more likely to find a yaki-imo (roasted sweet potato) stand on the streets, especially during winter. If you’re lucky enough, you might even meet the legendary cat that sells stone roasted sweet potatoes in Kurayoshi City, Tottori Prefecture!

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Never agonize over your fast food decisions again – Pizza-Burger is here!

Never agonize over your fast food decisions again – Pizza-Burger is here!

Ever had that terrible indecision between pizza and hamburger? Japan’s got your problem solved! It’s not quite as out-there as the bizarre creations we’ve become used to – in fact, maybe this time they’ve actually got things right.

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Ultraman pub lets you get ultra-full and ultra-drunk while having ultra fun

Ultraman pub lets you get ultra-full and ultra-drunk while having ultra fun

Among the many Japanese tales of heroes of justice battling giant monsters, Ultraman may just be the most popular. Since its television debut in 1966, hardly a year has gone by without a new Ultraman TV series or motion picture.

The franchise’s longevity means that many long-time fans who started watching when they were young kids are now full-grown adults. On the one hand, growing up means more responsibility, but it also means more freedom, including the freedom to knock back a few cold beers at a new dining and drinking establishment where Ultraman’s monstrous foes take center stage.

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3D KFC: Using a 3D printer to copy fried chicken for fun and fashion

3D KFC: Using a 3D printer to copy fried chicken for fun and fashion

While 3D printing techniques have been around for 30 years, it’s only recently that technology has advanced to the point where the process is economically feasible. The ability to quickly and accurately duplicate three dimensional objects is set to revolutionize the engineering and medical fields, leading to easier creation of both prototypes and production versions of precision components and prosthetics.

But in mankind’s heady rush into this exciting new field, many have overlooked a potentially life-altering application of 3D printing: reproducing Kentucky Fried Chicken.

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Burger King Japan hits back at the competition with enormous sausage

Burger King Japan hits back at the competition with enormous sausage

Hot on the heels of McDonald’s Japan’s announcement of its spring-themed Sakura Teriyaki Burger, Burger King Japan has just revealed a new product of its own, and it looks to be quite the mouthful. This, ladies and gentlemen of the cholesterol-loving world, is the King’s Dog (and yes, that’s “dog” without an “n”, boys at the back), which packs in roughly five times the meaty goodness of a regular Burger King hot dog.

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Pasta-flavored popsicle with tomato gelatin coming soon to Japan

Pasta-flavored popsicle with tomato gelatin coming soon to Japan

Gari-Gari Kun, arguably the best popsicle on the face of the earth, is no stranger to strange. The shaved ice-filled frozen treat from Japan has been served in a variety of weird flavors ranging from potato stew to Ultraman. Of course, Gari-Gari Kun also comes in more conventional flavors like kiwi and cola, but Akagi, makers of this fine dessert, never cease to provide wild new versions for those tired of normal. Just take a look at the company’s latest Gari-Gari Kun, which takes a cue from a savory italian dish: spaghetti napolitana.

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Tokyo restaurant says its lunch set has too much sashimi, as if such a thing were possible

Tokyo restaurant says its lunch set has too much sashimi, as if such a thing were possible

One of the biggest restaurant trends in Japan over the last two decades has been a steady erosion of the image that delicious food equals high prices, and vice-versa. These days, there are some real bargains to be found for those willing to do a little searching, particularly at lunch.

The afternoon dining market has gotten so competitive that often you can get an amazing meal plus change for the 1,000-yen bill you use to pay for it, which is exactly what you get with this gigantic tuna sashimi bowl.

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Would you buy potatoes from this car?

Would you buy potatoes from this car?

If the answer to that question is yes, then you might want to get down to the Namba area of Osaka where this yaki imo mobile was spotted selling freshly baked sweet potatoes for all to enjoy. As our one-sweater-wearing friend, Sebuyama, showed us the other day, a yaki imo is a great way to stave off the cold of this now-waning winter season. And what better way to enjoy one of these starchy snacks than out of the trunk of this decked-out luxury sedan.

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Tokyo café says the best ice cream topping is two more ice cream cones

Tokyo café says the best ice cream topping is two more ice cream cones

Today, let’s take a moment to ponder a serious question: what’s the best sundae topping? The old stand-by of a dash of sprinkles? A handful of chopped nuts for a little crunch and texture? Or do you find the idea of all that empty-calorie decadence troubling enough that it threatens to ruin the fun, so your vote goes to a few pieces of fruit?

We say the correct answer is none of the above. For our money, the best way to crown your parfait is with a whole ice cream cone. Of course, some of our more sarcastic readers may ask, “Yeah, smart guy? Well then what do you put on top of the ice cream cone?”

Another ice cream cone, obviously. Did you even have to ask?

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Chicken Ramen mascot grows to giant size, runs rampant on the highways of Japan

Chicken Ramen mascot grows to giant size, runs rampant on the highways of Japan

Two of the things Japan is best at making are cars and cute characters. Sometimes these two worlds combine with itasha, cars slathered with painfully geeky anime graphics.

But itasha rely largely on decals, making them a literally shallow way of mashing up automotive engineering and cuteness. Isn’t there a more dynamic way to fuse the two?

Why yes, there is.

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Had a bad day? Here’s a Cheeto that looks like a man doing “you-know-what”

Had a bad day? Here’s a Cheeto that looks like a man doing “you-know-what”

Some people believe that everything happens for a reason, but there are certainly times when things happen for no reason. When things go wrong, they just do. Sometimes it even happens to non-living things!

Take this Cheeto for example. It’s not a big deal and no one was harmed, but it sure looks wrong! If you don’t get the drift, you might want to take a look at the GIF after the jump!

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