Tochigi

We can’t believe it’s edible! Pink curry has surprising single coloring ingredient

You’ll never believe the food item used to create this pink color. Can you spot it?

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Tochigi hot spring pyramid first in the world to let you bathe in cosmic energy as well as water

The Egyptian pyramids stand strong in the scorching heat of the desert, as they have for over 4,500 years. It is said that the techniques that went into building them were well beyond those of human civilization at the time. They are mysteries wrapped inside of enigmas that continue to fascinate us from afar.

And apparently there is also a pyramid in Tochigi Prefecture, which really cuts down on the travel expenses for those of us in Japan wanting to bask in their wonder. One such spendthrift adventurer was RocketNews24’s own Masanuki Sunakoma, who went to investigate.

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Roadside Station Ranking for 2015 is in, find out where you will be driving to in Japan

When traveling in Japan, there are a number of quick and easy ways to see the whole country. You can take the Shinkansen, Japan’s bullet train that excels at speed and comfort. There are also a number of budget airlines including Peach, Air Asia, and Skymark Airlines that can make your trip quicker, but force you to sacrifice some amenities for a lower cost.

But if you have the time, there is no better way to travel around Japan than by hitting the open roads. Just like the US, there are many quirky best-kept secrets accessible only by car that are worth visiting. Some of the best places that really connect you with the locals are the roadside rest stops called Michi no Eki (literally “roadside stations“) that are perfect for taking a toilet or sleeping break, but are also hubs for local food, crafts and history.

Want to find the best roadside stations to visit? The travel website Trip Advisor has assembled a list of the best Michi no Eki for 2015, so gas up the car, it’s time for a road trip.

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This wedding hall in Japan will provide an alpaca to witness you exchange your vows

Weddings are a sacred ritual that take place across all cultures and lifestyles. They are typically extravagant, expensive affairs, with many in attendance. They often adhere to strict observance of certain religious and/or traditional rituals, whether it be the reading of certain Christian Bible passages, the breaking of a wine glass at Jewish weddings, or the ubiquitous “kissing of the bride.”

These ceremonies are held for myriad purposes, but primarily, weddings are held to see two individuals come together as a family unit in the eyes of the law and the participants’ chosen religion.

And, in Tochigi Prefecture, also in the eyes of this alpaca.

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3 unusual gyoza creations from Tochigi Prefecture, the Japanese capital of dumplings 【Taste Test】

Every place in Japan wants to be famous for something or other; to have one specific dish or product that nowhere else has as much of or does quite as well. And while the port city of Yokohama might be known for its vast and varied Chinese cuisine, when it comes to gyoza – those bitesized Chinese dumplings that have been so tweaked by the Japanese that they’re often considered home-grown – Tochigi Prefeture’s Utsunomiya City is undoubtedly the place to be, with its residents proud to call their prefecture the Japanese capital of gyoza.

After taking a trip to the prefecture, we think they might just be right. Along with the dozens of delicious gyoza stalls and restaurants we encountered, we quickly stumbled upon a number of unusual gyoza-infused offerings, three of which we just had to try for ourselves. Join us after the jump for our taste test of Tochigi Prefecutre’s Gyoza Burger, Gyoza Chips and Gyoza Bread!

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Fruity wieners spotted in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture! Available in “lemon” and “strawberry milk” flavors

The heartland of Japan is certainly becoming the envy of the nation with their recent offerings of unusual foods. First the crunchy sweet mushrooms of Chubu region turned heads on Twitter. Now out of Tochigi Prefecture, emerges fruit-flavored hotdogs!

What chemical witchcraft went into making these sticks of pork(?) colored and flavored like lemon and strawberry milk is a mystery, but they do look intriguing, and dare I say delicious?

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Time to head north: Tochigi Prefecture’s gyoza-flavored rice topping is nothing short of divine

Tochigi Prefecture doesn’t pop-up in the news often, but when it does it usually involves food. You might remember the “First Love” flavored gyoza or the tomato-milk-lemon drink. I totally understand if you didn’t jump out of your seat to go to Tochigi just to taste those… unique… goods for yourself, but there is a new product in Tochigi that is flying off of the shelves and just might be worth that trip: “Kekeru gyoza.”

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Strawberry and beef? We try Lotteria’s new Tochigi Wagyu Steak Hamburger with Strawberry Sauce

Japan is known for its succulent wagyu beef, but most people familiar with the meat probably wouldn’t expect it to be served as … a hamburger! But that’s exactly what Japanese fast food chain Lotteria is doing. And it’s not just a one-time promotion either; they’re serving a different kind of wagyu hamburger each month as a campaign over a period of about a year. And since the new hamburger they just released at the end of September involved a highly interesting ingredient for a hamburger, we simply had to go out and try it! Yes, it’s the “Tochigi Wagyu Steak Hamburger with Tochiotome Strawberry Sauce” (Tochigi Wagyu Hamburg Steak Burger (Tochiotome Sauce)), and we couldn’t wait to see how strawberries and wagyu mix!

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We try some “First Love” flavored gyoza in Tochigi’s “Gyoza Town”

Utsunomiya City in Tochigi Prefecture is famous nation-wide for its Chinese fried dumplings known as gyoza in Japan. The capital city boasts over 200 gyoza shops many of which are densely located near Utsunomiya Station in what is known as “Gyoza Town.”

Our reporter, Usagi, braved the imminent threat of deliciousness and boarded a Tochigi-bound train. Next stop: Gyoza Town!

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TripAdvisor Ranks Top 20 Japanese Travel Destinations For Foreign Visitors, Hiroshima Edges Kyoto For Top Spot

The Japanese arm of tourism website TripAdvisor gathered user comments and evaluations from the past year and used them to rank the Top 20 travel destinations in Japan over that time. Hiroshima Prefecture maintained its popularity with two destinations in the Top 5 while five Kyoto sightseeing spots made the list.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and A-Bomb Dome moved to the top of the list after coming in second last year. Read More

Japan’s World Heritages Fly Well Under Radar

Did you know that Japan has 16 locations on the list of UNESCO World Heritages? Could you name them all with any sum of money on the line?

Survey Research Center, Co. Ltd. conducted a survey that showed that most people could not. When asked whether they were interested in Japan’s world heritages, 67.8% of those surveyed responded affirmatively. However, only 4% of respondents knew all 16 Japanese sites.

See how many you can name before looking at the list below:

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