food

Hiroshima’s crème marche is half cream puff, half custard cone, and all delicious

Hiroshima’s crème marche is half cream puff, half custard cone, and all delicious

Even under normal circumstances, we’ve got nothing against desserts, whether they be in parfait or donut form. So when we got off the train at Hiroshima Station, stepped through the ticket gates, and saw a newly opened pastry shop, we knew a detour was in order before we headed to our hotel.

Of course, we’d just spent two days biking the 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) across the Inland Sea on the Shimanami Kaido cycling course, and no dinky dessert was going to satisfy the appetite we’d built up. Thankfully, the shop had something special in its display case: cream puff custard cones.

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Become MASTER OF NUGGETS with this heavy metal recipe book

Become MASTER OF NUGGETS with this heavy metal recipe book

Have you been looking for a way to combine your love of thrash metal with your enthusiasm for trying new food? As you may know, we at RocketNews24 are always looking for ways to mix up new musical experiences, so we were tickled to discover Metal-Meshi, a tour through headbanging history told through metal-inspired recipes!

The brainchild of Tokyo-based foodie and blogger Yasunario, Metal-Meshi takes its name from “meshi”, a slightly slangy, rough-sounding Japanese word for hearty food.The book offers up over 60 mammoth-sized dishes that put some of Japan’s other Americana offerings to shame! So what kind of gastronomical excitement has Yasunario come up with?

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Day Two of our cycling trip across the Inland Sea on Japan’s amazing Shimanami Kaido

Day Two of our cycling trip across the Inland Sea on Japan’s amazing Shimanami Kaido

Between the mentally satisfying sense of accomplishment and physical exhaustion of spending a whole day crossing three islands by bike, plus the after-dinner beer we treated ourselves to, we slept like babies after covering 30 kilometers of the Shimanami Kaido cycling course on day one. We still had more than half the distance to go before we were back on Japan’s main island of Honshu, though, and between us and our destination in Hiroshima Prefecture lay breathtaking vistas, historical artifacts, delicious food, and even a dinosaur.

We recently journeyed by rental bike across the beautiful Shimanami Kaido, the cycling road that island hops across Japan’s Inland Sea between Ehime and Hiroshima Prefectures. If you missed the first day of our 70-kilometer (45.5-mile) ride you can find it here, or read on for the second and final day of the trip.

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10 things Japan does better than anywhere else, according to the international community

10 things Japan does better than anywhere else, according to the international community

Advertising agency Dentsu recently released the results of its annual Japan Brand Survey, in which it asks people from around the world for their opinion on the country. This year’s study involved 3,600 men and women living in 17 different countries, whose responses were used to compile a list of 10 things they feel Japan does better than anywhere else in the world.

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Island-hopping by rental bike on Japan’s awesome Shimanami Kaido cycling road

Island-hopping by rental bike on Japan’s awesome Shimanami Kaido cycling road

The Setonaikai Inland Sea is wedged between the north coast of the island of Shikoku and the southern edge of Japan’s main island of Honshu. Particularly in the island-dotted strait that separates Ehime and Hiroshima Prefectures, you’ll find some of the country’s most beautiful views and delicious seafood.

Unfortunately, there’s no train line that runs through the area, and bus service is infrequent. Ideally, you’d get around by boat, just like the merchants and pirates who used to sail the Setonaikai did, but sadly, the RocketNews24 company schooner is currently having its hull patched.

Fortunately, there’s one more way to get around the Inland Sea: the island-hopping 70-kilometer (43.5-mile) cycling road called the Shimanami Kaido.

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Bluebeard!?!? Oh, blue BEER? Yeah, that’s still weird…

Bluebeard!?!? Oh, blue BEER? Yeah, that’s still weird…

Green beer is a staple of St. Patrick’s Day, much to the chagrin of the Irish. White beers, amber beers and dark beers are all pretty common, but blue beer? Thought that was just a one-off kind of thing. We’ve got blueberries, blue fins, bluegills, bluegrass, blue balls, blueprints and blue men. Blue beer is not all that common, and unless you live in Hokkaido (or are a curious internet shopper) you probably haven’t tried it either. Fear not! While the Ryuhyo Draft reviews were not all that positive, a Kirin beer garden in Tokyo wants you to sample their blue beer until the end of July!

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Pizza Hut Japan’s caramel marshmallow pizza tastes great, but does it need hot sauce? We find out

Pizza Hut Japan’s caramel marshmallow pizza tastes great, but does it need hot sauce? We find out

Japanese candy maker Morinaga’s Milk Caramel line has been around for 100 years, which is essentially an eternity in the fiercely competitive, constantly evolving Japanese snack food arena. To celebrate the milestone, Morinaga is partnering with a number of restaurants to bring caramel to bold, baffling new worlds.

We recently talked about the caramel banana and caramel mayonnaise corn sushi that started the ball rolling, and now Morinaga has teamed up with Pizza Hut to create a caramel pizza. Not unique enough? Don’t worry, it also has marshmallows. Still not weird enough for you? You’ll be happy to know it also comes with chili sauce.

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20 bizarre fast food items from Japan

20 bizarre fast food items from Japan

Japan has always had a knack for taking Western ideas and turning them on their head, churning out some weird and wonderful gems in the process. So it’s not surprising that the fast food world in Japan is an absolute goldmine of unusual creations and bizarre taste sensations. From towering burgers to chocolate sauces, we take a look at some of the most mind-boggling limited edition releases we’ve seen in Japan over recent years.

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Video proves how much Japan loves its pastries

Video proves how much Japan loves its pastries

Few who have not visited the country would ever imagine that Japan is practically overrun with bakeries. When people think of food in Japan, they usually think of things like rice, sushi and ramen, but the truth is, while Japanese supermarkets may not carry anywhere near as many varieties of bread as those in the West, dedicated bakeries can be found all over city centres, with pretty much every station, shopping mall and supermarket having its own shop or dedicated corner offering up freshly baked pastries, and the variety is astounding.

Check out this video to see 30 typical pastries available at Japanese bakeries.

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Doubly-cool anime character made out of chilled noodles perfect for beating the heat

Doubly-cool anime character made out of chilled noodles perfect for beating the heat

Japan’s currently in the middle of a heat wave, with temperatures about eight degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than usual for this time of year. The heat’s supposed to stick around for a few more days, after which we’ll be right into the extremely humid rainy season, swiftly followed by the soaring temperatures of midsummer.

In other words, a lot of people are looking to stay cool right now, and one of the best ways to do that is with a bowl of chilled noodles. One amateur chef, though, figured out a way to add a little escapist entertainment to her escape from the heat by arranging her meal into an amazing recreation of one of the characters from cycling anime Yowamushi Pedal.

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New traditional rice topping selling well, but at 10,000 yen a pop it doesn’t take much

New traditional rice topping selling well, but at 10,000 yen a pop it doesn’t take much

Toppings and seasonings have an often overlooked power to completely make or break the overall taste of a dish. And yet, many of them can be found at prices under 100 yen (US$1). Why is something so important to your meal’s flavor made and sold so cheaply?

Back in 2013 Kobayashi Shokuin, decided to buck that trend and came out with a luxury furikake (dried condiment) that sells for the premium price of two 30g (1oz) cans for 10,000 yen ($100). Much to their delight, the response has been great and people have been buying up this Kuchi Doke at an increasing rate despite its exorbitant price.

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Chaozu-kun joins the ranks of unsettling Japanese mascots

Chaozu-kun joins the ranks of unsettling Japanese mascots

Move over Marimokkori, there’s a new creepy mascot in town! The Japan Gyoza Association (because apparently that’s a thing) has just introduced a new character that’s making people vaguely queasy: Chaozu-kun. While he may not be rocking Marimokkori’s round green chubby, he does make us uneasily aware of his sexuality.

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Crazy towering parfaits of cafe Strawberry live up to the restaurant’s name

Crazy towering parfaits of cafe Strawberry live up to the restaurant’s name

With relatively little farmable land, fruit is on the pricey side in Japan. In keeping with its status as a special treat, it shows up pretty often as a desert topping, but again, prices being what they are, usually not in such large quantities.

Shortcake lovers, for example, have been known to get excited about the one day a month convenience store chain Lawson adds a single slice of strawberry to its cakes. And while we suppose that’s better than nothing, it still can’t hold a candle to one Japanese cafe that tops its parfaits with what looks like an entire strawberry patch.

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Love sushi? Now you can date it, with this romance simulator available in English!

Love sushi? Now you can date it, with this romance simulator available in English!

Since most sushi is served raw, the flavor can vary wildly depending on the freshness of the fish and even the season in which you eat it. Granted, most of what’s available in Japan is reasonably tasty, but when all the factors line up just right, the mix of surprise, joy, and satisfaction that come from popping a really good piece of sushi into your mouth can be a borderline emotional experience, almost like falling in love.

If you’re a sushi-loving lady looking to take your relationship with the dish to an even deeper level, there’s now a dating simulator that lets you romance handsome anthropomorphized pieces of sushi.

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We try Denny’s Japan’s Massaman curry: The world’s most delicious food

We try Denny’s Japan’s Massaman curry: The world’s most delicious food

In Japan, you’re never very far from a plate of tasty curry. You can find the Japanese version of the dish in casual restaurants, convenience stores, and train station lunch counters across the country, and any sizeable city will have at least one good Indian restaurant.

After domestic and Indian, Japan’s favorite type of curry is the Thai style, usually in ultra spicy green or red varieties. Thailand’s got one more variant, though, called Massaman curry, which ranked by CNN as the world’s most delicious food a while back.

With an endorsement like that, we were eager to try it for ourselves. Unfortunately, a trip to Thailand for dinner is a little beyond our budget, no matter how good the food may be. So instead, we hit up our local Denny’s branch, where you can get a plate of Massaman curry right now.

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Vegetables are smarter than fruits: Three high IQ Japanese veggies

Vegetables are smarter than fruits: Three high IQ Japanese veggies

I’ve lived among Japanese fruits and vegetables for 17 years and one thing I can say for sure is that vegetables are waaay smarter than fruits.

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“Brazilian” coffee cola released in Japan

“Brazilian” coffee cola released in Japan

From the country that brought you carbonated espresso comes a coffee and cola drink claiming to be Brazilian that’s described as a “delicious Carnival.” Wait, what?

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Japanese netizen teaches us how to make awesome sausage isopods for bento lunches

Japanese netizen teaches us how to make awesome sausage isopods for bento lunches

Packed lunches in Japan, or bento, are arguably more exciting than an anywhere else in the world. While such delicacies as cheese sandwiches, chips, and so-not-real-food-it’s-scary “snack packs” reign supreme in the West, typical bento lunches in Japan almost always involve things like rice, vegetables, fish, fried chicken, and potato salad. You name it, if it’s decent food it’s in there, and very often crafted into some cute character or artistic arrangement by a loving parent or spouse.

Today, thanks to a Twitter user in Japan, we’re going to learn how to turn the humble wiener or cocktail sausage into something far cooler: a mini version of a giant isopod.

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Nissin hopes to score a World Cup GOOOOAAAALLLL! with Brazilian flavored noodles

Nissin hopes to score a World Cup GOOOOAAAALLLL! with Brazilian flavored noodles

Japan loves limited time offers. There must be a department in every company in Japan with people whose purpose is to think of items they can sell for a limited time. Don’t believe us? Walk into a convenience store weekly and see the multitude of new drinks and new foods that appear and suddenly disappear when their time is up. The limited time offer, is nothing new, but it seems that Japan embraces the concept more than anyone else. It’s a handy way to get customers to continue to visit your store, or buy your products if every month or few months your products change.

With the World Cup just around the corner, companies in Japan are rolling out their limited time World Cup products and today we have a few that try to capture the flavor of Brazilian food.

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Doughnuts meet sandwiches — with both sweet and salty results! 【Taste Test】

Doughnuts meet sandwiches — with both sweet and salty results! 【Taste Test】

If you’ve been visiting our site for any length of time, you’re probably aware by now that we love stories about unique snacks, and we’re particularly delighted when they’re treats we can actually go buy and try ourselves. So, when we heard that special “doughnut sandwiches were being sold at Tokyo Station, we naturally had to get our hands on them and see how they taste.

We’ve already told you about how croissant doughnuts were making their presence known here in Japan, but could these doughnut sandwiches be the next big thing? Well, there was only one way to find out!

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