food

In Japan, the is no more dominant name in the ready-to-eat pickled ginger game than Iwashita New Ginger. Their stalks of sweet and spicy roots soaked in vinegar and sugar are sure to satisfy those looking for an all-natural snack.

But don’t think for a second that Iwashita is resting on those laurels. They are constantly creating innovative promotional ideas to make people aware of just how satisfying their pickled gingers are. Starting on June 20 they will be opening the Iwashita New Ginger Museum, and to commemorate this opening they’ll be selling the exclusive Iwashita New Ginger penlights pictured above!

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Japanese diners are raving about “fish parfait” made with grilled bonito and ginger

People in Japan love parfait. From massive concoctions topped with an entire slice of cake to more inventive creations designed to represent Japanese bonsai, we’ve always been keen to share the best of our frozen dessert finds with our dear readers, and today is no exception.

Because today we bring you the fish parfait. To be specific, this is a lightly grilled sashimi bonito parfait, which combines the rich, succulent flavours of seared fish and garlic with the sweet taste of ice cream. So what is it that makes this such a successful combination?

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Taiwan’s Ice Monster brings monster shaved ice, monster lines, and monster brain freeze to Tokyo

Popular Taiwanese kakigori (shaved ice) chain Ice Monster opened on Omotesando, the main boulevard of Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku neighborhood, at the end of April to five-hour waits. Even now, waits regularly extend over an hour, but the scuttlebutt was that it was worth it for the mountains of delicious, delicious shaved ice.

We braved the lines and the brain freeze to find out the truth for you, dear readers.

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Actor transforms into horses, eats himself in new ad-Can you think of a better way to sell ramen?

When I was first exposed to Japanese commercials, it seemed like every one of them was off-the-rails insane. Filled with breathless rapid-fire speech punctuated by seemingly pointless pauses for some unknown dramatic or comedic effect, each ad seemed to be end as soon as it began, often giving little, if any, mention of its product.

Things seem to have calmed down considerably in recent years, though, with a trend towards a bit more restraint and comprehensibility, under the solid logic that if the audience is left paralyzed from their minds snapping as they try to process what they just saw, they won’t be able to go to the store and buy your products.

Still, every once in a while, a marketing team decides to just go for broke and tries to raise the bar for commercial craziness, and this new Cup Noodle ad, featuring one of Japan’s most popular actors, is about as weird as they come…and that’s before the horses with human faces and ramen on their heads show up.

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Looking for great sushi near Sapporo? Try this hidden restaurant in an airport souvenir shop

Even in a country of unabashedly passionate foodies, Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s major islands, holds a special place in diners’ hearts and appetites. No trip to Hokkaido is complete without sampling some of its famous seafood, but most travelers arrive by plane. That means having to get to the airport ahead of time for your flight home, and between that and taking care of any last-minute souvenir shopping, sometimes you have to make the heart-wrenching decision to give up on one last Hokkaido sushi meal.

Unless, of course, you hit this amazing sushi restaurant that’s not only inside Hokkaido’s principal airport, but also inside a souvenir shop!

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The Ramen Poster, a cute and unique way to show off your love of Japanese cuisine

Who doesn’t love ramen? Not only has this famous Japanese noodle dish won the hearts of many Asian cuisine aficionados, but its instant variety has long been the top pick by college students for satisfying the munchies during late night study binges.

If you, too, consider yourself a ramen lover or know someone who is, we urge you to check out The Ramen Poster by an American artist who has taken her love of hot noodles in broth to the next level.

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Gotta catsup ‘em all! Japanese condiment maker giving away exclusive Pikachus this summer

Ever wonder what type of bait you should use when hunting for your very own Pikachu? Apparently the answer is ketchup, at least if we’re going by what Japanese food and beverage company Kagome is telling us about the preferences of the most famous of all Pokémon.

Kagome just kicked off its Pikachu Loves Ketchup promotion, and shoppers who buy the company’s sauces can redeem proofs of purchase for adorable Pikachu ketchup bottle toppers plus a chance to win an exclusive Pikachu plate or stuffed animal.

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Anime store cancels plans to sell Love Live! noodles at midnight because of “safety” concerns

Idol anime Love Live! and instant noodles? We’re not sure if that’s exactly a match made in heaven, but we imagine there are plenty of fans ready to get their hands on these instant noodles, especially since snagging a box of the instant noodles gets you a limited edition clear file!

So, sensing that they were going to have a hit on their hands, the Akihabara branch of anime and manga merchandise store Animate initially decided to offer their truckload of instant noodles at the stroke of midnight. They were drumming up buzz on Twitter…until there was a last-minute change of plans!

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Looking for a great meal in Tokyo? Try this cigarette stand

When starting a restaurant, creating a good appearance is important. In a way, the look of an eatery reflects the quality of food that it serves. Looks can be deceptive, however, as just like people, the beauty of a restaurant might be limited to the surface.

The opposite also holds true, though, as our own Mr. Sato learned during an excursion to the Dogenzaka area of Tokyo. Inside this unassuming cigarette stand that you wouldn’t even realize was a restaurant, he found one of the best meals he ever had.

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Japan’s 10 weirdest ice cream flavors

Temperatures are shooting up all around the archipelago and that means soft serve season has come to Japan! For some baffling reason, vanilla remains far and away the most popular flavor for Japanese, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get creative with their frozen treats too. Flavors like green tea and ume plum are easy to find (and delicious), but don’t stop there if you want to try some really out there local flavors.

Here are our choices for the 10 weirdest soft serve flavors Japan has to offer.

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Denim ice cream, burgers and steamed buns now on sale from Japan’s jeans capital

About three hours from Tokyo on the bullet train is a beautifully preserved area in Okayama Prefecture’s Kurashiki known as the Kurashiki Bikan historical quarter. Set alongside a picturesque canal, the district has long been known for its traditional storehouses and shops, but now it’s looking to celebrate one of its most profitable exports – denim.

With more than 100 family-run indigo and dyeing factories operating throughout the prefecture, denim has long been an important part of area’s economy. And what better way to celebrate the locally made textile than with a selection of special foods? Come with us as we show you what burgers, ice cream and steamed buns look like when crafted in a denim blue hue.

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Can you make butter using a bottle of cream and a sports car? Mr. Sato’s Wild Ride 【Video】

Last fall, we looked at an issue very close to our hearts (and arteries): the continuing butter shortage in Japan. In times of crisis, it goes without saying that the Japanese people look to RocketNews24 for leadership and guidance, and we came up with a solution.

While it’s getting harder to find butter in Japan, milk and cream are still easy to come by, and if you shake cream hard enough for an extended time you end up with butter. But while our athletically toned staff would ordinarily be up to such a task, we have to keep our arms’ musculature in prime, rested condition for the hours of typing that go into our articles. That’s why we turned to something just as powerful as a team of Internet writers, as automaker Nissan supplied us with a high-powered sports car.

Lacking hands, though, it’s not like a car can grip the handle of a butter churner. So instead, we grabbed a bottle of cream, hopped in the car, and tore off for several laps around one of Japan’s most famous racing circuits, with the goal of subjecting the cream to enough g-forces to turn it into butter. Did our plan work? Read on and find out!

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All-you-can-eat buffet for 500 yen?! Mr. Sato investigates

Swedish furniture store Ikea has made a name for itself worldwide, not only for the size of its stores and decently priced, assemble-it-yourself furnishings, but also for the extremely cheap fare found in their food courts.

Now, they’re really putting the icing on the cake: For a limited time, Ikeas across Japan are having an hour-long all-you-can-eat “Oriental Buffet” for the insane price of only 500 yen (US$4)! But what will only 500 yen get you, you ask? Actually quite the spread, it seems!

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Our Japanese reporter gets a heaping helping of American Denny’s

Our Japanese writers are certainly no strangers to American cuisine or at least the lower echelons of it. Whenever in the USA they tend to try places unheard of in Japan or compare easy-to-order fast food fare like McDonald’s.

One place that’s often overlooked on these trips is Denny’s. Already a well-established “family restaurant” (low-priced restaurant with waiting staff) in Japan they just assumed it was more of the same in America too.

However, after his close encounter with an empty gate at Area 51, our reporter Go Hatori was cruising across the vastness of the US and began feeling a little fatigued. He suddenly spotted that familiar yellow sign of a Denny’s and thought it would be a good place to catch a quick little bite.

Little did he know what lay in store…

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Japanese sweets lovers soon to be in their blue heaven with beautiful aqua-color Ramune dorayaki

Earlier this week, we took a look at some very gourmet blue chocolate ice cream. But what if you like your snacks sweet, blue, and Japanese in origin? Then you, adventurous/hard-to-please eater, need to get your hands on one of these aqua-colored sweet bean dorayaki cakes, with a flavor as unique as their vibrant hue.

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How to make a mouth-watering Japanese beef bowl in just five minutes 【RocketKitchen】

The beef bowl is essentially Japan’s equivalent to the American hamburger. Offered by inexpensive restaurants across the nation, the beef bowl, or gyudon, as it’s called in Japanese, is a tasty, hot meal that’ll give you all the protein and carbs you’re craving without costing you much money or time.

But while you’re usually never far from a beef bowl joint in Japan, what if you live in a town or country that doesn’t have a Yoshinoya, Matsuya, or, most tragically of all, a mouth-watering Sukiya? No problem, because with this amazingly simple recipe, you can make your own Japanese-style beef bowl in just five minutes!

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Step aside, Goku! Vegeta protects Earth from giant vegetables in new Dragon Ball ramen ad 【Video】

Even though spikey-haired Goku is undeniably the protagonist of classic (and soon to be new) anime Dragon Ball, we’re not sure it’s entirely accurate to call fellow Saiyajin Vegeta a “supporting character.” That’s because the widow’s peak-sporting martial artist would tell you that he’s actually the strongest fighter in the Dragon Ball universe, and his prideful insistence on doing things his way means that “supporting” others isn’t something he’s particularly amicable to doing.

Maybe that’s the reason that while Goku and the villainous Frieza are hawking cola, Vegeta is instead endorsing Cup Noodle’s new vegetable-packed variety of instant ramen, and starring in an action-packed, cabbage-crushing commercial while he’s at it.

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Limited-edition Hello Kitty pastries make a trip to Yurakucho totally worth your while

Hello Kitty may have a few too many jobs for any other gijinka cat to handle at once, but we have to say that the pastry chef hat is probably the one that looks best on her adorable head. Kitty no Sanpomichi (“Kitty’s Promenade”) is certainly proof of that!

If you’re sad about missing out on Kitty’s delightful pastries in the Kansai area last year, you’re in luck, if you happen to be Tokyo this week. The temporary pastry-selling stand is open for business in Yurakucho Marui right now. But you better hurry, because they close this Wednesday!

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We mix banana and peach potato chips with toast, yoghurt and granola for a new Japanese breakfast

If you thought traditional Japanese breakfasts were unusual, with their servings of fish, pickles, rice and soup, you’ll be in for a surprise when you see the new offering that’s coming to the table to greet you in the morning.

It’s time to say hello to the morning potato chip. Especially designed for breakfast consumption, these bags of fruity – yes, fruity – goodness are said to combine the energy-giving health benefits of the humble potato with two popular fruit flavours: peach and banana.

So how could these chips possibly fare as breakfast meals? Come with us as we head out into unchartered territory, pairing potato crisps with yoghurt, toast, and a bowl of granola and milk. Will the results be delicious? Read on to find out!

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There’s something hiding beneath this mountain of ramen toppings, but it’s not ramen

Ramen is pretty well-known around the world as a hearty soup of plentiful ingredients. Sure there are variations from country to country, but at the end of the day, it’s all just noodles and broth with the necessary toppings to add character.

At least that’s how it used to be, before one ramen restaurant felt bold enough to reinvent the wheel and take the “men” (as noodles are called in Japanese) out of ramen. But what did they put in place of the lovely noodles that traditionally define ramen?

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