Fermented sushi? Two restaurants where you can get a same-day seat to try this gourmet treat

This year fermented sushi is in vogue among Tokyo’s gourmet crowd, with people raving about how the maturation of the fish brings out the elusive umami of the meatAs the name suggests, the creation of these dishes involves fermenting the ingredients to enhance the flavours and then using them to make regular sushi. This might sound strange since sushi is usually about having the freshest raw fish, but it’s actually an ancient form of sushi preparation from which the sushi we know today developed, and it’s apparently quite delicious.

However, as it requires great skill to properly ferment fish, there are currently few restaurants in the Tokyo area that specialise in this kind of food, and they’re already booked up by gourmet types leaving you to wait months before you can get a place. However, we’ve found two particular restaurants where you should be able to get a same-day reservation.

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The biggest “natural” hot spring spa in Tokyo is being built now, but what is its “secret?”

Do you love hot springs and spas? How about Tokyo? If so, we have good news for you! A new onsen (hot spring) spa, the largest in Tokyo, is currently under construction right here in beautiful Shinjuku! Even better, it’s set to open at the end of July.

We were so excited about this ginormous new relaxation spot, we sent a writer to check out the new spa, called Thermae-yu, to see how it’s looking these days. Along the way we learned a certain secret that’s not actually a secret, but may disappoint die-hard onsen fans.

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Artist’s amazing colored pencil drawings of Tokyo scenes look like actual photographs

Remember the joy of getting a fresh new pack of coloured pencils when you were a kid? The artistic possibilities! You were going to make masterpieces with those things, weren’t you? Unfortunately, coloured pencils are kind of a difficult tool to wield. For one thing, they’re hard to erase, meaning that whatever mistakes you make wind up lasting forever.

But this Japanese artist can make serious magic with nothing but paper and those same humble art supplies. In fact, his artwork depicting Tokyo street scenes looks so photo-realistic, we were almost fooled at first…

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All-you-can-eat stinky fermented soybeans come to Ginza, if that’s your thing

Spend a while in Japan, and at some point you’ll no doubt encounter natto, sticky, stinky fermented soybeans that often get served over rice for breakfast. This polarizing food has its superfans and impassioned detractors among Japanese and foreigners alike, but if you happen to be in the former camp, you should know there is an all-you-can-eat premium natto pop-up bar in Tokyo’s Ginza this weekend.

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Who needs fast food? Tokyo tempura totaling less than 10 bucks

Here at RocketNews24, two of the things we love most are delicious foods in our bellies and cash in our wallets. Unfortunately, those two things don’t always go hand-in-hand, especially in the Michelin star-studded culinary landscape of Tokyo.

But in a city as big as Tokyo, you can find just about anything with a little searching. Even if you’re totally bereft of folding money, you can still get a great meal in Japan’s capital, and you don’t have to settle for eating at a fast food chain either. On the menu today: a nine-piece tempura meal in the heart of Tokyo for less than 1,000 yen (US$8).

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Shibuya Station 2019: one step closer to the Neo-Tokyo of our dreams

If you’ve been to Shibuya Station recently, you’ll have seen one area in particular that’s filled with crowds, noise and trucks; and it’s not the meeting place around the famous statue of Hachiko.

It’s the massive redevelopment project currently underway to revitalise the district and deliver a completely new-looking Shibuya by 2027. Latest pictures of the next high-rise in the pipeline reveal just how amazing life in Neo-Tokyo will be.

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Gorgeous stop-motion animation depicts Tokyo’s Shibuya crossing using tiny paper models

When the lights change at Shibuya’s scramble intersection, 10 lanes of traffic draw to a halt and thousands of people surge into the street to cross in multiple directions. It’s one of Japan’s iconic urban sites, and often features on the big screen as a symbol of Tokyo. Of course, Shibuya’s scramble is crowded – it may be the busiest crossing in the world – but underneath the chaos there is a kind of fluid order, as people weave in and out of the oncoming crowd.

Architect and artist Naoki Terada has constructed Shibuya at 1/100th its real size, with the crossing’s cars, people, motorbikes (and even dogs!) made out of hand-cut paper. This beautiful stop-motion animation is the result.

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Japan’s 10 best restaurants, as chosen by foreign travelers

People travel to Japan for all sorts of different reasons. Many are seeking a taste of tradition and history, and plan visits to the country’s most important shrines and castles. Some are drawn by Japan’s natural beauty, heading for its mountains and forests, while still others come to throw themselves into its neon-soaked urban entertainment centers.

But no matter what’s on your itinerary, at some point you’re going to need to get something to eat, and when your stomach starts growling, you can rely on the experience of those who made the trip before you with TripAdvisor’s list of the 10 best restaurants in Japan.

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Japan is full of ghosts: Visiting the grave of Taira no Masakado’s head

Summer in Japan means heat and humidity — enough such that people will try to cool down by any means necessary, including enjoying a few hair-raising ghost stories. From haunted houses to horror films, there are plenty of ways to get goosebumps in Japan, but today we’ll be taking you to the location of one of Tokyo’s most famous angry spirit!

Though it’s not exactly a shinrei spot (a place where ghosts have allegedly appeared), Taira no Masakada Kubizuka is one of the most famous “ghost” spots in Japan. It’s where Taira no Masakada’s head was enshrined in order to quell his spirit…because people believed it was wrecking havoc on the capital!

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Does how you dress affect what a sushi restaurant serves you? We experiment in Ginza

Take a stroll down the streets of Ginza and you’ll have no trouble realizing it’s Tokyo’s epicenter of everything posh and luxurious. The neighborhood is packed with shop after shop boasting high-end fashion, jewelry, and dining, so it’s only natural to think that any sushi restaurants in the area cater to an upscale clientele.

That being said, three reporters from our Japanese-language sister site began to wonder what would happen if they went to a Ginza sushi restaurant dressed to varying degrees of formality and ordered a special o-makase (“leave it to the chef”) course.

Would they each be offered different menu items depending on how they were dressed? Would their bills come out to be significantly different? With these burning questions in mind (and the prospect of eating sushi in the guise of journalism), they decided to conduct a little experiment to find out for themselves!

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Want to shake hands with an adorable otter? You can right now at this Tokyo aquarium

Tokyo’s Ikebukuro is an archetypical part of the concrete jungle of Japan’s capital. The neighborhood is even home to Sunshine 60, one of the tallest buildings in a city that’s already packed with massive skyscrapers.

With so much space to work with, Sunshine 60 houses a shopping center, restaurants, planetarium, museum, and even a parlor for playing the Japanese board game go. But what convinced us to visit recently was the complex’s aquarium, which right now is offering a chance to shake hands with its adorable river otters!

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Celebrate Usagi-chan’s birthday at the Sailor Moon Crystal café that’s open for four days only!

Every year on June 30 there’s one particular girl who receives birthday messages from thousands of people around the world. Rather than respond to them all personally on Facebook like most of us would, this young lady gives back the love by protecting the planet in the form of Sailor Moon.

This year, a special cafe will be opened in her honour for a four-day long birthday party featuring themed drinks, desserts and even a special birthday cake for visitors to enjoy. We take a look at what’s in store for Usagi-chan’s birthday party after the break.

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Attack on illicit substances! Colossal Titan stars in Tokyo Government anti-drug campaign 【Video】

Anti-drug posters and commercials usually have a way of getting us down. Dark images of despair, death and homelessness rely on realism to get the message across, leaving us with tiny mental scars as a warning to stay away from the dark side and walk on the right side of life.

Here in Japan, though, anti-drug tactics are very different. Instead of scaring citizens, animated images are used to inform and empower people. And when the Tokyo Metropolitan Government enlists the help of the Survey Corps and Colossal Titan to fight the war on drugs, you’ve got a campaign that catches everyone’s interest.

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Room to swing a hamster: This share house in Roppongi is the cheapest and teeniest we’ve seen

Don’t believe people when they tell you that everyone in Tokyo lives in expensive shoeboxes. Compared to, say, London, where you could literally find yourself living on a pull-out bed in some stranger’s kitchen for £700 (US$1,000) a month, Japan’s accommodation isn’t TOO bad. In fact, if you don’t mind a little bit of a commute, it can be downright comfy.

Having said that, we were totally shocked when we discovered a room in a Roppongi share house going for only 29,000 yen ($235) a month. Wow, that’s cheap! So, what’s the catch? Oh, nothing… as long as you’re under 5’5″ and don’t suffer from claustrophobia

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Gigantic girls take over your favourite Tokyo tourist spots 【Videos】

As a tiny island packed with millions of people, Japan knows all about the small things. From compact serving sizes to tiny houses on narrow streets, everything here is designed for convenience to help cope with the stress of overcrowding and the real possibility of stepping on someone else’s toes.

Now, as Japan throws itself into the 21st century, it’s looking towards the bigger things: its place in the wider context of Asia and the Pacific Region; the 2020 Olympics and, why not; gigantic girls.

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Horse meat sushi restaurant opens up in Tokyo, becomes sushi’s latest craze 【Photos】

Those of you familiar with Japanese cuisine might have heard that horse meat, called basashi or sakura niku (cherry meat) due to its pink color, is a popular delicacy in Japan. Horse meat has been praised time and time again by many in the country for being low in calories and fat but also high in protein, all on top of a great taste.

Considering the meat’s popularity, and how more and more conveyor belt sushi, or kaitenzushi, restaurants have been adding non-traditional items like hamburger and roast beef sushi to their menus, you could say it was only matter of time before a horse meat option appeared.

Kagurazaka Nikusushi, a new trendy sushi restaurant between Shibuya and Ebisu in Tokyo, is now offering this new sushi sensation, and one of our Japanese writers, P.K., has the scoop!

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Who needs fast food? Tokyo restaurant has awesome cutlet lunch sets for less than five bucks

Given Tokyo’s reputation as one of the most expensive cities on the planet, you might think that dining out in Japan’s capital requires either a large fistful of yen or the fortitude to put up with a growling stomach after an undersized meal that leaves you only half-full. That’s not always the case, though, and it’s not like budget dining restricts your options to Yoshinoya or 7-Eleven, either.

We recently found a restaurant right in the heart of Tokyo that has filling, delicious lunches that are so cheap, we sort of felt guilty eating there.

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The changing face of Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo and the decline of Japan’s biggest Korea Town

If you are looking for some Korean food while in Tokyo, the place to go is Shin-Okubo. The famed “Korea Town” in the middle of the metropolitan Tokyo area has served as a gathering place for fans of Korean TV dramas, K-pop music and Korean cuisine. Sadly, though, what was once was a bustling consumer zone for people who loved all things Korean, though, has seen its fortunes decline in recent years, and there are a number of theories as to why.

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Salon ZOOM in Tokyo offers crossdressing transformations for both men and women

Perhaps you’re getting ready to cosplay as your favorite opposite-gendered character or you’re on your way to one of the dedicated crossdressing bars in Tokyo or Osaka. Maybe you just want to experience what it feels like to dress as a member of the opposite sex. Whatever your reasons for wanting to make a few cosmetic changes, there’s a beauty salon in Tokyo that would be more than happy to help you out, and promises to give you the full cross-dressing treatment you require.

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No plans for the weekend? Free CG animation festival is going on in Tokyo 【Videos】

If you were just looking at the clock and smiling because you’ve reached the end of your workweek, but have since switched to frowning and looking at the Tokyo weather report (clouds or rain all week long), cheer up, because it just so happens there’s a great indoor event going on.

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2015 kicked off earlier this week, and until June 14 will be showcasing the works of talented short film makers from around the globe at venues in Tokyo and Yokohama. Best of all, admission is free, and today we’re taking a peek at some of the festival’s amazing computer animated shorts that are screening this weekend.

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