how to

How to tie a women’s summer kimono sash 【Video】

It might seem a little odd to hear that yukata, the lightweight kimono worn at summertime festivals, fireworks shows, and bon dances, are in the middle of a revival in popularity in Japan right now, but it’s absolutely true. After several years in which young Japanese found yukata to be too expensive and troublesome to bother with, they’re back in fashion with teens and young adults in a huge way.

Part of this is no doubt due to more and more manufacturers offering reasonably priced yukata, as you can now often find sets that include the robe and sash for around 6,000 yen (US$48). And as for not knowing how to put everything on and tie it properly? That’s also a problem of the past, thanks to online explanations like this pair of videos from fashion and yukata retailer Uniqlo.

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How to make okonomiyaki at home【RocketKitchen】

Okonomiyaki is one of the most popular foods cooked at home in Japan. One of Japan’s Top 10 Comfort Foods, the dish is fun to make with family or friends and best of all, it’s easy! Okonomiyaki is also popular with foreigners who when visiting Japan can sample the dish at any of the myriad specialty restaurants dedicated to this vegetable-rich meal.

So, what exactly is okonomiyaki? And how do you make it? Glad you asked!

Read on to find out more about this simple dish: watch a how-to video showing you how to make it, check out photos that show you some unusual ingredients, and get inside tips from Kazuko who regularly makes the dish for her seven grandchildren.

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How to make the perfect cup of drip coffee

Coffee. It’s the morning drop that most of us like to wake up to. But there’s more to the beloved beverage than just beans and hot water, as there’s a science and art to making good drip coffee, and once you’ve mastered the proper brewing technique for the perfect cup, you’ll never be able to put up with a bad one again.

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Chef and restaurant owner shows how to eat a bowl of ramen like a pro 【Video】

It seems to be a pretty well-known fact nowadays, but in case, you haven’t heard: slurping while eating is totally cool in Japan. One of the most commonly slurped foods is the delicious noodle dish ramen. Lately ramen has started taking off globally too, with restaurants popping up all over the place. So before things get too crazy, one ramen shop owner wants to teach you how to eat a bowl of ramen.

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Japan’s awesome, eco-friendly, old-school water heaters (and how to use them)

Japan may seem like a futuristic wonderland, what with its high-tech toilets and their array of functions that clean your bottom, heat your cheeks, and even provide sound effects to cover the natural ones that accompany your bathroom business. But technology is constantly evolving at a rapid rate, and each new innovation replaces something that used to be cutting-edge.

Case in point; every spring, thousands of young Japanese people leave home and move into their first, low-rent apartment to start school or a new job, and you can expect at least a couple will be shocked when they go to take a shower, discover this giant contraption next to the tub, and have no idea what it does.

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How to armor yourself in the event of a sudden attack: A guide for samurai beginners and pros

An online retailer specializing in ancient Japanese armor, helmets, and horse harnesses has been getting a lot of clicks recently for their detailed, illustrated instructions about how to rapidly equip yourself (and your horse!) with armor in a pinch. Both novice and advanced warriors are sure to learn a thing or two from this handy step-by-step guide–take a look, and you’ll never be unprepared in the event of a stealthy ninja attack again!

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Monjayaki, the popular Tokyo dish you’ve probably never heard of 【RocketKitchen】

When people think of Japanese food, most think of sushi, sashimi or even some of the more popular Japanese comfort foods like okonomiyaki or udon noodles. If you’re a tourist, however, you’ve likely never experienced one of Tokyo’s most popular dishes: monjayaki. But don’t feel bad; even some Japanese people who don’t live in the Tokyo metropolitan area (75 percent of the population) have never tasted it. This is one reason why Tsukishima Monjadori, a street with over 100 monjayaki restaurants, ranks in the top five sight-seeing spots in the capital for Japanese tourists (FYI, the other four are Harajuku, Tokyo Disneyland, Odaiba and Tusukiji Fish Market).

Monjayaki is simple but complicated: it has just a few easy ingredients and can be made in under three minutes yet it requires instructions to make, and even eat, properly. It helps to know, for example, that monja is not usually eaten with chopsticks, and that there’s a good reason why.

Read on to learn more about this unexpectedly delicious fare: watch a how-to video showing you how to make it, check out photos that show you how to eat it, and get tips from a master monjayaki chef.

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Seven facts about Japanese chopsticks to help you win friends and influence people

We’ve been seeing a lot of articles recently about how to use Japanese chopsticks correctly. For those of us who grew up using forks and knives, it may seem a bit silly to obsess over holding two sticks at the correct angles. If you plan on visiting, living in, or especially working in Japan at some point, though, it may be a good idea to get out a protractor and practice those angles to save yourself a lot of embarrassing moments with friends and coworkers later.

To help you out, we here at RocketNews24 have compiled seven facts about chopsticks to help you along in your quest for perfect Japanese table manners. Even if you’re a seasoned chopstick expert, you may learn a thing or two from our advanced-level tips.

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Want to copy Sailor Moon’s hairstyle? This video will show you how

Whether you got into Sailor Moon through its English-language TV broadcast version and think of the main character as “Meatball Head” or you’re a Japanese original purist who calls them odango, there’s no denying that anime’s most famous magical girl has an instantly recognizable hairstyle. Not only is it iconic, it’s actually pretty cute too.

Even better, unlike many of anime’s most well-known looks, it’s pretty easy look to achieve in real life, as shown by this short instructional video of how to give yourself the Sailor Moon hairdo.

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Are you holding your chopsticks correctly? Chopstick Man will show you how 【Video】

For many of us born outside of Asia, eating with chopsticks is not a skill we’re taught from a young age, and is something many people may go their whole lives without mastering. In Japan, however, kids are started on chopsticks from as early as a year old, and whether or not a person holds their chopsticks correctly reflects on that person’s upbringing (because only a lazy, incompetent parent would allow their child to hold chopsticks like a heathen!).

Not to worry though–foreigners in Japan are given a lot of slack in the chopstick department, since it’s generally assumed that chopsticks are pretty much non-existent in the west. But even if you don’t know how to use chopsticks doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn how, and if you can use them, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re doing it correctly. That’s where Chopstick Man comes in, with his tutorial on the proper way to hold your hold your chopsticks!

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The madness ends now: How to conqueror impossible-to-open Japanese convenience store snacks

Oh Japanese convenience stores. Those bright, white-glowing oases that have everything you could ever possibly need inside of them, all wrapped up with a pair of chopsticks and a warm smile from the clerk.

Except for when you want an onigiri (rice ball) or sushi roll. Anyone who buys one of the items pictured above typically finds themselves suddenly engaged in a battle of wits matching human against plastic wrap. And the plastic wrap usually wins, resulting in a mess of rice, seaweed and tears of frustration.

But fear not! We here at RocketNews24 are here to help with step-by-step instructions so you will never lose to another conbini snack again.

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From characters to skies, anime tutorial YouTube channel makes an artist out of anyone 【Videos】

Like us, you’ve probably wondered from time to time what life as a badass anime illustrator might be like.

If a life of awesomely detailed backgrounds, fluidly animated characters, chain smoking, and endless cups of instant noodles is something you long for, Japanese anime tutorial YouTube channel, Palmie, is just for you.

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We made world-famous French toast in our office, and so can you! 【RocketKitchen】

Have you heard of the Hotel Okura in Tokyo? It’s recognized as one of the top hotels in the world, often housing rich business travelers and foreign heads of state visiting Japan. Every U.S. president since Richard Nixon has stayed there, and even James Bond has been a guest!

But despite all that, the Hotel Okura is best known among us mortals as “the home of the most delicious French toast in the world.” It’s been praised by innumerable websites and reviews, turning the small, simple breakfast dish into a 1,840-yen (US$15.50) delicacy. With a price and reputation like that, you wouldn’t expect us to be able to make the exact same thing in our office kitchen. Right?

Well, we did. And so can you!

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Frozen marshmallow cream: Just two ingredients, at least as good as ice cream 【RocketKitchen】

Every now and again, we stumble across a dessert recipe that’s so simple and tasty, it almost feels like we’ve discovered some sort of hidden secret that man wasn’t meant to know. Last year, we found out that instead of making pancakes one at a time, we could just make one huge one in a rice cooker, sprinkle in some green tea powder, and have a dessert that looks and tastes great with no fuss at all.

But what if you prefer chilled desserts to hotcakes? No problem. We recently tried a recipe for a frozen marshmallow dessert that may or may not technically be ice cream, but amazingly creates something that tastes even better from just two ingredients, and takes almost as few steps to make.

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Minimal effort, loads of flavor: Make juicy roast beef in your rice cooker with vacuum cooking!

Our Japanese sister site Pouch would like to let our English-speaking readers in on a simple, time and effort-conserving way to cook a flavorful roast beef. This method also allows the meat to retain all of its natural juices, so you can impress your friends with an incredibly tender home-cooked meal.

But get ready for the best part of all–you get to let your rice cooker do all the hard work!

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Too busy to wrap Christmas presents? Not if you’ve got 12 seconds, Japanese store shows【Video】

I honestly don’t remember the last time I wrapped a Christmas present. Due to a lack of time during the busy period at the end of the year, plus a lack of manual dexterity during…my life in general…I usually just put everyone’s presents into a gift bag.

However, if you want to give someone the gift of satisfaction that can only come from tearing through some festively patterned paper, and you’re got more aptitude for arts and crafts than me (trust me, you do), there’s no need to let your hectic schedule stop you, as this video shows you how to wrap a present in just 12 seconds.

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Who knew frozen apples could taste so good!: Simple dessert recipe for the diet-conscious

If you’ve been on an apple diet, you know the pain of having to munch on nothing but apples all day long. Sure, they are sweet and juicy, but the same old apple can get boring. Just when you’re getting sick of the fruit, it’s time to start exploring more delicious ways of enjoying apples to spice things up a little. We have come up with a super easy way of making delicious apple compote that will satisfy your sweet tooth and not ruin your diet! I personally think this is one of the best discoveries we’ve made so far!

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Celebrate Halloween with our recipe for jack-o’-lantern nikuman steamed buns【RocketKitchen】

Growing up, every year as Halloween approached, I could feel a sense of dread creeping up on me. It wasn’t the prospect of being hunted by werewolves or getting lost in a haunted house that frightened me, though.

I was terrified that someone would give me raisins when I went trick-or-treating.

Honestly, I understand that some people don’t approve of eating nothing but candy on Halloween, and there’s a valid point in trying to balance out your diet on All Hallows’ Eve. Do you have to do it with something as soulless as raisins, though, especially when you could use our recipe to whip up some tasty and jack-‘o-lantern steamed buns instead?

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How to properly wrap a ninja hood – Now available in English!

Every once in a while we at RocketNews24 like to bring you some instructional pieces on how to perform traditional Japanese practices such as drinking green tea, eating sushi, butchering a wild boar and seppuku. However, even with handy instructions some of these practices require rigid discipline and considerable practice. Interestingly enough, we get the fewest complaints of failure from the seppuku piece, but the ones we do get seemed to be the most angry.

This time however, we have a traditional Japanese guide that not only is easy to perform but is perfect for Halloween, which is fast approaching. So get ready to learn how to properly wrap a ninja hood around your head!

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How to make your own Pikachu Burgers!【RocketKitchen】

We recently paid a visit to the Pikachu Café in Roppongi, where we dined on, among other dishes, a hamburger shaped like the electrically charged Pokémon mascot. But while we found ourselves craving seconds, we weren’t sure we felt like waiting in the restaurant’s long line again.

So instead, we decided to make our own Pikachu Burger by reverse engineering and remixing what we ate in Roppongi, and today we’re sharing our recipe with you. So join us after the break for this easy recipe and a step-by-step guide to building your own pika-tastic burgers!

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