Cool watermelon art helps Japan’s Twitter users beat the summer heat

Summer sounds like a great idea in principle, but in practice it can often be a sweaty, uncomfortable slog through weeks upon weeks of slimy humidity, itchy bug bites, and general fatigue. They even have a word for feeling sick from summer in Japan: natsu-bate, which describes the feeling of yucky malaise and sometimes physical illness that can descend on people who just aren’t cut out for constant heat. Natsu-bate can drain your appetite and leave you feeling like the inside of a sweaty sock.

But there are ways to combat summer heat fatigue – and staying hydrated with delicious watermelons is an excellent option. However, many of Japan’s Twitter users are way too busy playing with their melons to actually chow down! Check out this gallery of awesome (and occasionally creepy) watermelon art!

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Special limited-edition watermelon dango look amazing, sell out immediately after release

Although watermelon has always been traditionally associated with summertime in Japan, we’ve seen many more interesting watermelon-flavored summer gifts, or ochuugen, pop up compared to previous years, like this amazing watermelon-shaped mousse cake we taste-tested and raved about just last week.

Ochuugen, which were traditionally gifts presented as a token of gratitude to one’s parents and close family during the summer, are now given to anyone the giver feels indebted to around this time of year. As we’ve mentioned before, Japanese living spaces are sometimes smaller and more cramped than their western counterparts, especially in bigger cities, so the most popular gifts to give and receive are daily necessities, such as laundry detergent or cooking oil, and things that can be quickly consumed, like snacks or sweets. This year, Japanese traditional sweet company Yagumo Dango decided to hop on the watermelon bandwagon and release a limited run of watermelon dango as part of their summer gift set.

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Watermelon mousse cake sounds too good to be true, but it’s real and in our office 【Taste-test】

When we heard about a special dessert called the suika baumkuchen being offered through online retailer Rakuten, we were pretty psyched, since it combines two of the greatest things on the planet: watermelon and cake. As a matter of fact, we were so excited that at first we thought it was only going to be available for one hour on August 1.

But as we spent hours drooling over the watermelon cake’s webpage, which had us so captivated we barely had time to use the Internet to look at pictures of cats and swimsuit models, we noticed something: the suika baumkuchen is actually available right now! We put in our order right away, and now we’re here to bring you our report on this incredible culinary crossover.

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Amazing watermelon cake to be available on Rakuten… for just one hour

Few things are more refreshing on a hot summer day than a nice big slice of a juicy, red watermelon, whether served plain, salted or drizzled with lemon juice. Internet marketplace, Rakuten, however, thinks they have a match for fresh watermelon, and it’s available to order for a discounted price on one day, for one hour.

Welcome back to the scene, Suika (Watermelon) Baumkuchen!

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What do our Japanese writers think about putting lemon juice on watermelon?

Depending on where you’re from, you may have a very specific way of eating watermelon. For example, in Japan, people almost always put salt on their melons. As someone from the U.S., this was a bit of a surprise for me, but it’s not bad by any means!

However, P.K., one of the writers for our Japanese site, recently discovered that people in Italy apparently put lemon juice on their watermelon. We’re not sure how accurate that is, but he decided to give it a try anyway! Will he like it better than salt? Will his fellow writers enjoy it too? Read on to find out!

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Taiwan’s watermelon bread will delight your senses, confuse your tastebuds

Japan loves unusual watermelons. You’ve probably heart of square watermelons before, but what about pyramid and peanut-shaped watermelons? Or heart-shaped ones? It can’t get any crazier than that, right?

Well a new challenger has appeared: watermelon bread. Yes, that’s right, watermelon bread. It’s green on the outside, red on the inside, and even has black “seeds” sprinkled throughout. Your taste buds will never be more confused, or more excited, than when they take a bite of this.

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Someone’s mother carved this Love Live! watermelon art, left the Internet applauding

There is, obviously, an unending supply of anime available for your viewing pleasure in Japan. Whether you want giants, cyborgs, or balls from dragons, there’s something for everyone. But one of the most popular shows right now is the high-school-idol series Love Live!. The anime has proven so popular, it even inspired a bizarre recruiting tweet from the Japan Self-Defense Forces last year and this massive back-piece tattoo earlier this summer.

Recently, a main character of the show, Honoka, had her birthday, and a dedicated Japanese Twitter user’s mother carved this surprisingly detailed piece of watermelon art in celebration.

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This watermelon might be the most disappointing thing you see today

Summer means watermelons–particularly in Japan, where beating watermelons with a stick is not only common, but actively encouraged. See, you knew there was a reason you loved Japan!

Of course, even if you’re not into beating up poor defenseless fruit, you might still enjoy the succulent taste of some chilly watermelon. If so, hopefully your melon won’t be a massive disappointment like this one!

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Watermelon bagels arrive in Japan, then in our bellies【Taste test】

There’s a lot that I love about summer. The additional hours of daylight, awesome fireworks festivals, and the chance to wear a summer kimono are all big plusses in my book.

Still, even I have to admit Japan can get uncomfortably hot at this time of year. A cold beer or cup of sake are both refreshing ways of beating the heat, but there are times when chilled alcohol isn’t an option, such as when I have non-drinking related work to do and/or am already hung-over.

So in order to stay both sober and cool, I eat as much watermelon as I can every summer. And while I don’t think Japanese chain Bagel & Bagel designed their new watermelon bagel just for me, I figured I’m still in the target demographic, and decided to try it out.

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Japanese farmer creates the world’s first heart-shaped watermelon

We’re sure you’ve heard of square watermelons from Japan, but how about heart-shaped ones? After many years of research, Hiroichi Kimura, a farmer from Kumamoto Prefecture, has finally done it! But it was no easy task shaping the originally round fruits into the symbol of love. Let’s take a closer look at the fruits of this farmer’s labor.

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When fruit meets cute: China’s watermelon babies battle the summer heat

In case you’ve been in cryosleep for the last month and somehow missed us moaning about it, Japan and a number of Asian countries are currently experiencing one of the hottest summers on record and are a horrible sweaty mess. Like a bunch of restless pets wandering around the bedroom at night looking for a cool place to sleep, people are crowding into air-conditioned public areas, crashing out on treadmills in otherwise respectable department stores, and even wedging themselves into ice-cream cases.

In China, though, some clever parents have solved the heat problem for their little ones by dressing them up in the coolest, most thirst-quenching fruit of them all, with adorable results. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the watermelon babies.

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Grand theft watermelon: 700 hundred fruit snatched from Ibaraki farm

To pull off the perfect crime one has to minimize risk while maximizing the yields. If you’re going to rob a bank you’ll have to put up with safes, cameras, random customers, polite staff and a quick police response.

So who is sitting on a goldmine but least expecting to get robbed? While not as expensive as more authentic melons, watermelons go for a rather high price in Japan. However, you’d have to be crazy to try and steal a bunch of watermelons… Right?

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The Portable Watermelon Fridge — Could It Be The Perfect Gift For The Person Who Has It All?

We all love coolers, don’t we? They keep our drinks nice and cold, wherever we go. Well, here’s a gadget that does the job even better! This little guy on wheels, believe it or not, is a portable mini-refrigerator/heater and goes by the cute product name of “Tama-chan”. But why is Tama-chan shown with a watermelon inside? Read More

Pepsi Highlights Underground Worldwide Fruit Trend with Their Newest Designer Flavor, “Salty Watermelon”

The newest in a line of seasonal limited edition Pepsi flavors has been announced by Japanese distributor Suntory.  Set to debut on 24 July is the red-colored Pepsi: Salty Watermelon.  Hopefully this is as awesome as Pepsi: Pink was.

But after reading the announcement I had to do a double-take.  The watermelon’s salty?

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