sweets

Crepe made with Kyoto sweets and green tea is the perfect treat after a day of temple hopping

Crepe made with Kyoto sweets and green tea is the perfect treat after a day of temple hopping

With its quiet gardens and tranquil temples, you might think that Kyoto is strictly the domain of serious ascetics. Japan’s former capital is a city with well over a million residents, and attracts visitors from all over the world. With so many people milling about, there are plenty of people looking for a little indulgence, and while for some that means a stiff drink served by a monk, others are looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Japan has a long-standing love affair with crepes, and during our recent visit to Kyoto we found a uniquely tantalizing version of the rolled pastry that incorporates both green tea powder and Kyoto’s most famous traditional Japanese sweet, yatsuhashi.

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Honey-sweet Winnie the Pooh cakes now on sale — and you’ll love the packaging! 【Taste Test】

Honey-sweet Winnie the Pooh cakes now on sale — and you’ll love the packaging! 【Taste Test】

Winnie the Pooh definitely loves his honey, doesn’t he? Well, here in Japan, August 3 is apparently “Honey Day” (Hachimitsu no Hi),  based on the fact that the numbers eight (hachi) and three (san, or sometimes pronounced mittsu when counting objects), sounds like honey in Japanese (hachimitsu) when combined. And in honor of the day that celebrates his favorite food, Pooh bear has teamed up with Japanese confection maker Ginza Cozy Corner to offer the sweets-loving Japanese public some  honey-flavored goodness this summer. It’s the Honey Lemon Madeleine featuring adorable Winnie the Pooh packaging,  and of course, we had to try some ourselves!

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Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!

Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!

Famous Japanese confectioner Glico has been bringing us iconic Japanese sweets like Pretz and Pocky for decades. Now they have a real treat in store for us, thanks to an extra-special line-up to celebrate the upcoming 3-D movie, Stand By Me Doraemon.

The new specially marked packs include a hidden secret: 3-D moving images of Doraemon that come to life in your home. But these aren’t just any images. They’re created by you, with your very own colours and designs transformed into unbelievable, moving images, each with Doraemon acting out a fun scene before your very eyes! Check out all the different designs after the jump.

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We wait almost two hours for a rum parfait in Hokkaido, and it’s totally worth it

We wait almost two hours for a rum parfait in Hokkaido, and it’s totally worth it

Running a restaurant is tough work, as anyone who’s ever worked as a server, cook, or manager can tell you. Especially in Japan, a country where a good meal is considered one of the best things that can happen during your day, we try to give the staff the benefit of the doubt that they’re preparing our food as quickly as they can, while still maintaining the levels of flavor and presentation customers expect.

Still, we have to admit our patience was tested when we walked into a restaurant in Sapporo and ordered a single parfait. We were pretty surprised when well over an hour later, it still hadn’t come.

Then we were even more shocked when we finally got to eat our dessert and found out it was well worth the wait.

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The top 10 sweet souvenirs in Tokyo

The top 10 sweet souvenirs in Tokyo

If you’re lucky enough to take a trip over to Tokyo, it’s best to bring a little slice of Japan’s capital back home for those who missed out on your trip. But with all the delectable sweets and beautifully packaged treats, it can be a little overwhelming to choose the right one. So before you leave, be sure to take a look at this list of the top 10 omiyage you can only buy at Tokyo Station.

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Celebrate the Tanabata star festival with beautiful Milky Way red bean gelatin

Celebrate the Tanabata star festival with beautiful Milky Way red bean gelatin

Recently we talked about a shop in Kanagawa Prefecture that sells styish kamaboko fish cakes decorated to look like the beautiful hydrangeas that bloom during Japan’s rainy season. But what if your palate runs more towards the sweet than the fishy, or your ideal of natural beauty isn’t the flowers growing from the soil, but the stars above?

In that case, one Kyoto confectioner has just the thing: sweet bean gelatin modeled after the Milky Way.

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Our recipe for green tea rice-cooker pancakes: amazingly tasty, ridiculously easy

Our recipe for green tea rice-cooker pancakes: amazingly tasty, ridiculously easy

We recently found out that you can use a rice cooker to make awesome, gigantic pancakes. Our first reaction was surprise, as we’d honestly never even thought to try. Soon enough, though, our surprise faded and was replaced by something even stronger: hunger.

So we decided to get off the culinary sidelines and whip up a batch for ourselves. Since we were using Japan’s most beloved kitchen appliance, we decided to take another cue from our adopted country and spruce things up a bit by making matcha green tea pancakes.

We’re going to spoil the ending right now and tell you that they taste amazing. Want to make them yourself? Read on and we’ll give you the whole incredibly easy recipe.

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15 beautiful Japanese sweets to cool you down this summer

15 beautiful Japanese sweets to cool you down this summer

Japanese summers are hard to bear. With high humidity levels, the energy-sapping heat has such an overwhelming effect on the body there’s even a word for summer lethargy in the Japanese lexicon: natsubate.

Luckily for us, Japan has developed a number of unique ways to fight the summer heat. One of the best ways to cool down is in the sensory pleasure of traditional Japanese sweets featuring watery wonderlands, night skies and gorgeous hues of blue. We’ve found 15 of the best summer sweets that are so amazing they’re more like edible works of art.

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We make chocolate-covered potato chips

We make chocolate-covered potato chips

Potato chips and chocolate aren’t as obvious of a choice as chips and salsa, but the Royce Confectionary Company in Japan has had a impressive amount of success with their Potato Chip Chocolate snacks. With their sweet and salty flavor combination, these little treats are uncommonly satisfying. And even if you don’t live in Japan, you’re in luck, we have a super simple recipe just for you!
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Super cute Rilakkuma homemade treats revealed in GIF form look sweet both inside and out!

Super cute Rilakkuma homemade treats revealed in GIF form look sweet both inside and out!

Now, one thing we can tell you for sure is that we here at RocketNews24 never get tired of appreciating cute sweets, whether they’re Totoro macaroons or cat paw marshmallows. This time, we’ve found a series of delightful GIF images that show adorable Rilakkuma treats actually being created. And what makes it particularly fun is that the sweets aren’t made in a fancy pastry shop or cafe; they’re made with what looks like a relatively simple kit that anyone can use at home! The results, nonetheless, are certainly cute enough to brighten your day. Just take a look for yourself!

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Desserts in Wonderland – Our lesson in decorating storybook sweets

Desserts in Wonderland – Our lesson in decorating storybook sweets

The relatively small size of Japanese kitchens, and ovens for that matter, mean the average person doesn’t get many opportunities to bake desserts. Sure, once a year a lot of women will whip up a batch of chocolate or some other sweets, but February 15 is usually the beginning of a 364-day streak of no homemade goodies.

Looking to break this cycle was our Japanese-language correspondent Momo. But how would someone who charred all of her attempts at Valentine’s Day sweets to a crisp as a schoolgirl, fare at her Alice in Wonderland cookie and cake decorating class?

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Tokyo and Osaka girls become yabai friends with world’s first long-distance purikura

Tokyo and Osaka girls become yabai friends with world’s first long-distance purikura

Do you remember the first time you stepped inside a puri-kura booth? Short for “Print Club”, these booths that produce small photo stickers seemed like a passing fad to me when the machines first came out in 1995, but fast forward 19 years and the club is still going strong. And why not? Just hop in with your friends or special someone, make goofy faces, doodle some nicknames or hearts, then presto! Out comes a sheet of colorful stickers.

The booths themselves have come a long way during that time, incorporating a vast amount of technological wizardry, but now M&M’S Japan has unleashed an altogether different kind of beast. For a special event held on May 24, the confection giant installed a pair of booths, one in Tokyo and one in Osaka, collectively dubbed the “Friends Maker”, the world’s first puri-kura machine that allows total strangers in separate booths to make photo stickers together.

Video coverage of the event was released on May 30 and it looks like so much fun, we wish for the candy company would set up these machines in every city!

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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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Kit Kat aims to bring train travelers back to Tōhoku with ticket biscuit

Kit Kat aims to bring train travelers back to Tōhoku with ticket biscuit

Japan probably has the world’s largest and most bizarre selection of Kit Kat flavours on offer, but this latest release is about more than just tickling your tastebuds. Nestle Japan is offering a specially-packaged version of their classic biscuit to help recovery in areas destroyed by the devastating tsunami of March 2011.

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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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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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Five places to get awesome limited-edition matcha sweets right now

Five places to get awesome limited-edition matcha sweets right now

For many in Japan, the bright green hues and bitter tones of powdered green tea partners perfectly with all things sweet, making for an irresistible dessert flavour. Now, as springtime brings the first tea of the new season, convenience stores and sweet purveyors are releasing limited-edition matcha, or powdered green tea, desserts. We take a look at five of the most popular finds that Twitter users in Japan can’t wait to get their hands on. Read More

McDonald’s Japan’s eight-nation World Cup menu kicks off next week

McDonald’s Japan’s eight-nation World Cup menu kicks off next week

Japan loves cheering on its sports teams in international competitions, and with the World Cup just a few weeks away, soccer is set to dominate TV programming, advertising, and the national consciousness in general.

If you’re not personally a fan of the Beautiful Game, you might feel a little left out of the conversation for the next couple weeks. So since you won’t be using your mouth for talking, why not stuff it with some of the 14 new World Cup-themed menu items McDonald’s is rolling out in Japan?

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Adorable panda cakes back to steal our hearts with a lovely combination of cream and chocolate!

Adorable panda cakes back to steal our hearts with a lovely combination of cream and chocolate!

Sure, we’re crazy about cats and otters and penguins here at RocketNews24, but we’ve got to admit, pandas are pretty darn cute too, whatever form they come in (even when they’re not actual pandas but an entirely different animal in disguise) . This time, the pandas come in an edible form that’s sweet to both look at and eat. They’re the “Fluffy Panda Rolls” (Funwari Panda Roll), and like the countless other panda products out there, they’re utterly adorable!

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Miffy x Mister Donut collaboration doesn’t actually involve doughnuts, but is still super cute

Miffy x Mister Donut collaboration doesn’t actually involve doughnuts, but is still super cute

Heads up everyone, Mister Donut Japan is launching yet another cute collaboration that will have you stuffing your face with donuts in order to get your hands on some exclusive and limited merch.

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