sweets

Can’t decide between oyster and eel ice cream? Try both at once at this Tokyo amusement park

Opened in 1996, Namja Town is an indoor amusement park in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district. The park has a variety of participatory attractions, including ghost hunts, mysteries to solve, and a romantic compatibility test for couples. Unfortunately, these are all pretty inaccessible without at least some level of Japanese language skill.

Thankfully, language barriers present little problem for two sections of Namja Town: the Gyoza (pot sticker) Stadium, which lets you sample dumplings from various restaurants all in one handy dining area, and the newly renovated Fukubukuro Dessert Street, with a variety of sweet indulgences.

But since Namja Town charges admission, it needs something a little different than the everyday ice cream found in a convenience store freezer to draw customers. Something like miso ramen ice cream.

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Hot steamed buns are a great way to cool down in summer, says our slightly crazy Japanese reporter

I used to have a co-worker who, on the hottest of summer days, would drink a pint of hot water through a straw and claim it helped cool her down. Naturally, everyone thought she was insane or belonged to some weird religion, or both, and would try to avoid working a shift alone with her.

But it looks like her weird sect of Scientology or whatever it was may have been onto something, as our Japanese reporter swears by eating microwaved steam buns to cool off in the summer.

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Croissant doughnuts, the perfect afternoon snack

From July 1st, bakery chain Banderole will be the first company to start selling New York’s popular “croissant doughnuts” here in Japan. Croissnuts? Donants? I’m not sure what you’d call them, but they certainly sound delicious!

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To live and dine in L.A.: we find marshmallow ramen in the City of Angels

Among the extensive pantheon of ramen varieties is tsukemen, in which the noodles are served on a dish with a bowl of dipping sauce on the side. My first experience with the dish was in college, when a buddy took me to a tsukemen place that had opened up near our campus in Tokyo that was famous for their sauce made with fish stock. At the time it seemed like a wildly exotic concoction, but little did I know that years later my hometown of Los Angeles would produce an even more outlandish version of the dish: marshmallow ramen.

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Are you man enough for Family Mart’s line of masculine sweets?

So here’s a tricky question: do desserts count as masculine or feminine food? On the one hand, a slice of chocolate cake is just as bold a statement of your culinary decadence as a nice fried pork cutlet. In either case, it’s at least a little wild and macho to eat something with such shaky nutritional value yet unquestionable deliciousness, similar to how I rationalize eating a pack of ham out of the fridge when I’m too lazy to go buy bread for a sandwich as being a natural result of my raging testosterone.

On the other hand, sweets are, well, sweet. Truly red-blooded males can’t even bring themselves to utter the word “sweet” unless they add “taste of revenge” after it while clenching a fist and glaring at the horizon.

Thankfully, Japanese convenience store chain Family Mart is here to help end this confusion with a line of desserts tailor-made for everybody born with a Y chromosome.

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Silly Pun Leads to Great Dessert – Special Strawberry Shortcake Available Just Once a Month at Japanese Convenience Store

In almost every company in Japan, payday is on the 25th of the month. While this means every month feels a little like Christmas, it also means that if you’ve been partying a little too hard for the last 30-odd days, around the 22nd, your bank balance might be looking pretty dismal.

But no matter how much you try to cut back, man can’t live on bread alone. Looking to treat yourself to the most meager luxury possible, you might stumble into a branch of the Japanese convenience store Lawson, where there’s a special treat to brighten your day that’s available only on the 22nd of each month. Read More

Who Needs a Cherry on Top? Osaka Café Crowns its Parfaits with Cake

Tokyo’s restaurants may have more Michelin stars, but for many Japanese foodies, the real culinary action is in Osaka. Particularly if your tastes run more towards good honest grub than haute cuisine, Japan’s second largest city is the place to be.

The people of Osaka enjoy a good meal so much that they coined the phrase kuidaore, to eat until you collapse. But even with this image firmly entrenched in our minds, the city has found a new way to surprise us with its gastronomic decadence.

On a recent day out in Osaka, our reporter stopped by a café and ordered a truly hard-core parfait. It wasn’t that the parfait was so big, and no, it didn’t contain any shocking ingredients. What blew our minds about this parfait was its topping.

It was a slice of cake, and it was so big it wasn’t even trying to fit into the glass.

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99-Year-Old Tea Shop Offers Something New: Green Tea Beer

Being in Japan gives you plenty of opportunities to knock back a beer. The country is filled with pubs, and alcohol consumptions is so accepted that should you tell people, flat-out, “My hobby is drinking,” they’re more likely to ask you to recommend a good bar than to stage an intervention. At the same time, Japan has countless places to sip a relaxing cup of tea, whether it’s the strong, frothy variety used in tea ceremonies called matcha, or hojicha, for which the green tea leaves are roasted before steeping. But with two tempting beverage choices to relax with and only so many hours in the day, how can anyone be expected to choose between tea and beer? As it turns out, you don’t have to. Read More

Cute Kyoto! We Taste Hidden Delights From a Traditional Sweet House in Pontocho

Pontocho is one of Kyoto’s most beautiful geisha districts. With traditional tea houses, restaurants and bars all crowded together along atmospheric, stone-paved narrow lanes, this area breathes the air of an old, timeless Kyoto. Within its maze of weaving, intersecting alleyways, there are plenty of secrets to discover and hidden areas to explore. Walking through Pontocho, you might notice one of its many mysteries: the area is dotted with Japanese paper lanterns, all bearing the mark of the chidori, the plover bird. They’re incredibly beautiful, but why would a cute chidori design come to be on such traditional products?

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Beautiful Japanese Christmas Confectioneries if You’re Tired of Regular Christmas Cake

With Christmas now just a few short days away, I’m sure many of us are still frantically trying to get some last-minute Christmas shopping done. There’s also Christmas dinner to think about, right? And of course, the Christmas cake, which the children (and yes, adults too) are all looking forward to. But wait, who said you have to have cake for Christmas? Japanese wagashi creators, Japan’s version of patissiers,  offer a choice of delectable looking Christmas treats that should be just as sweet as cake.  Read More

Our Reporter Heads to Barcelona, Eats Delicious Dragon Quest Bubble Slime

During her recent trip to the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain, RocketNews24 Japan writer Megumi stumbled upon something that, to her videogame-tuned eyes, could look like only one thing.

The above image is one taken by Megumi when she visited the fantastic Brunells patisserie, or Pastisseria i salode te Brunells to be more exact, showing what is known as a “melonmelon” sweet. Although you and I see little more than a piece of rich, sugary confection, when Megumi first laid eyes on this delightful little green tongue pleaser, she could only think of one thing: a Bubble Slime from the hugely popular Dragon Quest role-playing games.

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Capcom Ōkami Collaboration Helping Restore Tsunami-Struck Town, and So Can You

Playstation 2 and Wii owners will likely be familiar with Ōkami, the adventure game set in ancient Japan that features an absolutely gorgeous wood-cut, cell-shaded graphic design.

The game puts players in control of the wolf incarnation of Shintō goddess Amaterasu, and quests them with using a magical, life-giving paintbrush to transform a dark, cursed world into one of plants, trees and flowers, as well as battling a few demons and evil spirits along the way.

On the same theme of restoration, a local website based in Rikuzentakata, a coastal town in Iwate prefecture severely damaged by the March 11 tsunami, has launched a special range of products officially backed by Capcom, the makers of Ōkami, with profits from their sale going to towards rebuilding the town and, much like the game, “restoring nature to its once beautiful state.”

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Our Team Sample a New Strawberry Rice-Cake Flavoured Milk Drink: “Tastes Like Green Peppers…”

Japan is no stranger to exciting, original or downright odd beverages. Just 20 feet from this writer’s apartment, in fact, there’s a vending machine that sells cans of grape jelly or caramel pudding flavoured “drinks”, and convenience stores stock an enormous array of beverages from green tea or chilled coffee to butterscotch milk and melon soda.

Still, it’s better than row after row of tremor-inducing caffeine-packed cola and the illegitimate offspring of child’s cough syrup and lemonade that is Dr Pepper, I suppose…

On the 15th of this month, however, dairy experts Meito brought Japanese consumers something altogether more challenging- a milk-based drink that’s designed to taste not just like strawberries, but classic Japanese favourite strawberry daifuku mochi rice cakes!

But no sooner had the delicious-sounding beverage found its way into stores than internet users starting leaving rather odd comments on message boards about the drink’s taste…

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Cut Into the Face of an Angel This Christmas with Fourth Limited Edition Evangelion Cake

Japanese anime production studio Khara wants to make sure you’re excited for the upcoming Evangelion: 3.0 movie and they’re proving their sincerity by serving you the Third Angel Sachiel’s head on a platter.

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A Nagoya Sweet, “Pyorin”,Too Cute to Eat!

Fall version of pyorin on sale at Nagoya Station.

“Pyorin”, the cutest sweet in Nagoya, is rising in the ranks of local Nagoya specialties.  Take the sound a baby chick makes,  “piiiii piiiii piiiii” , and the word pudding, or purin in Japanese, put them together with a darling baby chick face in the shape of a pudding-like dessert, and you have pyorin!   Read More

The Cakes at Seoul’s Hello Kitty Cafe Are So Cute, You’ll Feel Bad Mutilating the Face of the World’s Most Beloved Cat

Just about everyone knows Hello Kitty.  The Japanese born cat of Sanrio, with her simple expression and cute little bow, has reached the far corners of the world.  Hello Kitty, known as Kitty-chan in Japan, has made appearances on lunch boxes, debit cards, $5,000 necklaces, electric guitars, and even airplanes.

The expressionless white cat’s overwhelming popularity has spread throughout the world, prompting the creation of the Hello Kitty Cafe franchise in South Korea with locations in Seoul, Incheon, and Sinchon.  One of our reporters, enamored by the cuteness that Japan’s most famous cat exudes, decided to pay a visit to Hello Kitty Cafe’s Seoul location.

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Jewelry You Can Eat! Q-Pot Cafe: The Sweetest Most Adorable Cafe in Tokyo!

Are you familiar with the Q-pot brand of jewelry?  It could get a bit sticky if your tried wearing it on your next night out on the town, but it certainly is attractive, and tasty!

That is because Q-pot Cafe arranges chocolates, cupcakes and macaroons into delightful rings, bracelets, and necklaces!  Never before has there ever been such delectable mouth-watering jewelry, something that is served up in the most appealing manner at the Q-pot cafe. Read More

The Very Bitter Gourd ‘Goya’ Ripens into a Sweet Treat!

The goya represents summer in Japan in many ways.  This bitter gourd is a staple of Okinawa cuisine with a tropical image, its bitterness is celebrated as one of the healthiest foods around.  If you can stand the bitterness then it is excellent for the skin, a beauty aide for women!

The ever popular ‘green curtain’, which is a vine plant grown on netting over windows to keep out the heat, often consists of goya plants.  The leaves grow thick and can keep direct sunlight out considerably saving on cooling costs!

Goya growers and super markets throw out the over-ripe goya when it yellows, I suppose because it stops being the well-loved summer vegetable we all know.

But wait!  If you let it ripen, it turns into a bright yellow sweet fruit!  WOW!  Where did that bitterness go?
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