New rum raisin-flavored chocolate Oreo bars to go on sale in Japan

Despite the popularity of goodies like Kit Kats and Oreos around the world, most countries sell only the original flavors of such snacks with perhaps one or two flavor variations on the side. This area, however, is where Japan goes totally nuts with novel and often downright bizarre marketing campaigns to introduce the latest flavors of ordinary snacks—just ask anyone who’s ever had the courage to try wasabi Kit Kats or strawberry chocolate-covered shrimp chips!

Case in point, confectionery and baked goods company Yamazaki Nabisco has unveiled its newest flavor of the popular Oreo cookie: rum raisin.

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Restaurant raises the bar for customer service in Japan, will help you name your baby

In Japan, customer service tends to pretty amazing across the board, but perhaps nowhere more so than in the restaurant industry. Some restaurants may be boisterously friendly and others may be quietly courteous, but you can just about always be assured that everyone on the staff, from your server to the owner, is working hard to ensure an enjoyable dining experience.

But even by those standards, this yakiniku restaurant goes above and beyond the call of duty, with an extensive list of extra special services they’re willing to provide. Of course, courteousness is a two-way street, so the restaurant also has 10 unique requests it in turn makes to its customers.

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Are Japanese rice cookers really better than Chinese ones? We test it out and get some surprises

Whether rightfully or not, Chinese products are much maligned for their supposed lack of quality. Even the Chinese people themselves are often critical of their own country’s products, criticizing everything from Chinese news to rice cookers.

But are they really that bad? Our Japanese reporter Meg recently went on a trip to China and brought back a Chinese rice cooker to test it out. She had a couple of surprises along the way, involving everything from getting the rice cooker to even work, to the taste of the final product, so read on to see how it all turned out!

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New citrus-yuzu-salt-flavored Jagariko potato sticks are delicious, cheap, and ultra-limited

Calbee’s Jagariko is among the tastiest snacks in Japan, if you ask us. The little cups of potato sticks come in a variety of flavors, including cheese, butter, and salad. There are also some seasonal flavors, like yuzu-shio, or yuzu and salt, available now! If you haven’t tried Jagariko yet, this is definitely a great introduction to one of the best snacks in Japan!

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Nine treats you can only get (and should get!) at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport

In Japan, going on a trip often means you’ll be coming back with about twice as much luggage as you left with, as you are almost always expected to bring back souvenirs for your friends, family, coworkers, teachers, neighbors…pretty much everyone you’ll run into at some point after returning from your trip, even if it’s just a weekend getaway.

The plus side of this? Pretty much anywhere you go in the country, you can find local treats available only in that specific area, and sometimes also limited to the seasons as well. Tokyo is no exception, and today we’re going to be taking a look at some rare, special eats that you’ll only find within the terminals of Haneda Airport.

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Bread, noodles, and rice. We try ALL THE CARBS together with interesting results 【Rocket Kitchen】

Carbs have long gotten a bad rap for their supposed “unhealthiness”, which in turn has spurred a number of fad diets, from the Atkin’s to the gluten-free, that urge their followers to shun the grains. But most nutritionists will still argue that, unless you have specific allergies, your body needs carbohydrates to function at its best.

Of course, as with all things, moderation is the key. But sometimes it’s okay to give yourself a little treat, and what could be better than a big old bowl of all of the carbs. We’re talking rice, pasta, ramen, and bread combined together in one heavenly bowl. Couldn’t get any better than that. Or, you may be saying to yourself, it couldn’t get any worse. Either way, we decided to give it a try and find out!

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Deer Burger returning to Japanese burger chain Becker’s for a limited time!

Here at RocketNews, we’ve loved and lost time and time again. There have been black burgers, berry burgers, potato chip burgers and tomato bun burgers, and despite our treasured moments with them, they all eventually rode off into the sunset, leaving us with just a glimmer of hope that we might someday cross paths with them again.

Now one of our past loves is making its way into our hearts again: the Becker’s Deer Burger. Limited to just 15,000 sales from October 1, this is one re-encounter we’re looking forward to!

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Sailor Moon Crystal menu at Namja Town features adorable drinks, meals and desserts

Namja Town, an indoor theme park in Tokyo operated by Namco, is putting  out a special spread to celebrate Sailor Moon’s 20th anniversary year. With a selection of five beverages and a whopping fourteen types of cute meals and desserts to choose from, this is the most extensive list of Sailor Moon-themed edibles we’ve ever seen!

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All You Can Eat salmon for 999 yen at IKEA’s Salmon Festival!

Fans of the famously delicious fish salmon in Japan should grab your bibs because the Salmon Festival is rolling into IKEA stores all over the country. On this joyous occasion we may dine on 16 different kinds of salmon dishes.

Of course it wouldn’t be a festival if it weren’t all-you-can-eat as well, so IKEA is making that happen for the attractive price of only 999 yen (US$8.30) for a limited time.

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Official Sailor Jupiter bento boxed lunches being served now at Tokyo anime-themed cafe 【Photos】

Maybe we’re just predisposed to thinking with our stomachs, but even with all the brightly colored pleated skirts and magical monster battles in Sailor Moon, we always find our attention drawn to the food that shows up in the hit anime series. So when we heard that the official Sailor Jupiter bento boxed lunch is now being offered by a Tokyo cafe, took a break from marathoning episodes of the magical girl saga to go and try it for ourselves.

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Japan’s ideas for easy meals that rely on one wonder ingredient: cheese!

At RocketNews24, we understand the struggle of having to prepare meals that are both delicious and easy to make. It’s so difficult to find the time in the day to cook something yummy, especially when Chefs 7-Eleven and Lawson are always close by and ready to provide a variety of ready-to-eat meals. Unfortunately, time and time again it has been shown that home cooking is usually better for your health and also better for your wallet, so it’s time to roll up our sleeves and find our way into the kitchen.

However, just because it’s home cooking doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. There is a wonder ingredient that is fairly good for your health and pretty much compliments everything it is served with. So without further ado, we’d like to introduce Cheesy Meals with Cheese: A Japanese guide to home cooking with cheese that requires very little effort!

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We check out another all-you-can-eat yakiniku deal in Shinjuku, just 1,080 yen!

In short order, it seems we at RocketNews24 have found ourselves not only unwitting experts in fast foodology – what, with our near-constant coverage of McDonald’s new pie flavors and Lotteria’s most recent forays into madness – but we’ve also added quite a few notches into our cheap, all-you-can-eat yakiniku deals belt (which doesn’t even fit us anymore, if we’re being honest).

But, recently, our resident yakiniku fiend, Mr. Sato, reported he may just have found the cheap all-you-can-eat yakiniku restaurant to rule them all.

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Conveyor belt restaurant chain Kappa Sushi set to offer vegetable sushi at swanky new restaurants

Popular conveyor belt sushi chain Kappa Sushi (pronounced Kappa Zushi) is known around Japan for its tasty morsels, starting at 108 yen (US$0.90) per plate, and its family-friendly setting, with cosy booths and a cute logo featuring an animated kappa, or water sprite (think Sandy from the TV series Monkey Magic, only tinier, rounder and a thousand times cuter).

Now the well-known chain is moving things up a notch, with the September 18 opening of a new type of conveyor belt restaurant called Sushi Nova. Featuring fashionable, modern interiors and a salad sushi menu that uses seasonal vegetables in place of fish, the company plans to open 100 of these new restaurants in Japan by 2019.

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“I can’t believe I ate this!” American kids try nigiri sushi for the first time 【Video】

Believe it or not, sushi has been available in the US since the 1960s. In fact, the first American sushi restaurant opened in 1966 in Los Angeles. But while sushi is booming now, it took some time to really take off in the States and still isn’t necessarily a family-friendly dining option, with many kids (and adults) not so keen on eating the raw fish delicacy.

REACT, a light-hearted YouTube channel featuring kids, teens, and older adults reacting to a variety of things, recently released Kids vs. Food – SUSHI, a video showing a few American kids trying some popular nigiri sushi and some of these Japanese favorites didn’t all sit well with the kiddos.

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This is how a Japanese pro wrestler’s breakfast looks: Huge! 【Photos】

If you’ve grown up eating bacon and sausage for breakfast, a Japanese morning meal can be refreshingly light. Generally consisting of a slice of grilled fish, small bowl of white rice, miso soup, and some vegetables, Japan’s take on the most important meal of the day will give you enough energy and nutrients to kick-start your body while leaving out excess fat and calories that can have you ready to crawl back into bed for a nap.

But not everyone in Japan has such a modestly sized breakfast. In fact, pro wrestler Manabu Nakanishi’s breakfast looks more like dinner…for a family of four!

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How to make one of the most complicated but awesome themed sushi rolls【Video】

Many of us are willing to toss around the word “cook” when we are messing about in the kitchen. Food shows, Internet recipes and even the paper cookbook provide us with a ton of ideas about what to prepare for dinner. So while some of us are pretty handy in the kitchen, it takes a whole different class of cook to take on the name “chef”. These food artists take seemingly common (or uncommon) ingredients and turn them into some crazy dishes that they claim you can do yourself at home!

Let’s take a look at your next contribution to the Japanese pot-luck dinner, the Tiger Sushi Roll!

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Osaka river turns into giant floating sushi train complete with oversized sushi 【Pics & Video】

Osaka is known throughout Japan for being a foodie’s paradise. The area has such a focus on food and dining and has given birth to so many well-known dishes that there’s even a famous saying: Kyo no kidaore, Osaka no kuidaore, meaning “Dress up till you drop in Kyoto, eat till you drop in Osaka”.

This October, the city will be showing us just how much their food culture means to them, with a giant floating sushi train carrying plates of gigantic sushi up and down the river, and we’re taking a sneak peek at video and photos of the trial run!

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McDonald’s Japan to sell Anko Pies this autumn

As a leading purveyor of fatty fast food, McDonald’s is certain to have its share of detractors. It seems every time we run a story about the golden arches, commenters are all too quick to point out how the fast food restaurant’s offerings tend to be on the less healthy side (to put it diplomatically).

But even among McDonald’s more ardent opponents are those who would admit that its fried apple pies were pretty darn good. It’s perhaps that crowd that a beleaguered McDonald’s Japan is trying to appeal to with their new anko bean paste pies.

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Ice cream for breakfast? Japanese ice cream company makes sure everyone gets their just desserts

Takeshita Seika, an ice cream and confectioner based in Kyushu, Japan, has been around for more than a century. They make all sorts of delectable edibles, from ice cream to cake, but are most famous for their “black mon blanc” ice cream bar. Now, the company is taking the most important meal of the day and turning it into the most delicious meal of the day too, with their new granola “breakfast ice cream” bar!

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7-Eleven sells grapes with skins you can actually eat! We kid you not

Back where I come from, it wasn’t uncommon to pick a grape off its stem and pop it right into your mouth without a second’s thought. The very idea of peeling a grape was something along the lines of a diva demanding a bottled-milk bath while dining on a bowl of only red-colored Skittles.

However, in Japan, where many varieties of grape have thick or rubbery skins, peeling them is pretty much standard. In fact, whenever I eat a grape with its skin intact, I’m stared at as if I had just plucked a live spider off the wall and ate it.

That’s probably why 7-Eleven can get away with marketing their frozen bags of grapes as having “edible skins” here.

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