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With the majority of its pizzas costing over 2,000 yen (US$20), even in medium size, Domino’s Pizza is positioned a bit more upmarket in Japan than its native U.S. Sure, the convenience of home delivery is worth paying a slight premium for, but with prices stretching beyond what you’d pay in a reasonable Italian restaurant in Tokyo with full table service, Domino’s Japan has to offer something more than just a slab of cheese and sauce.

The pizza giant recently convinced us to open our wallets, though, with a three-pronged attack that’s two parts delicious pork and one part high-tech entertainment.

Let’s start with the analog component of our meal. The constant conundrum of pork lovers is picking how they want their meat from the magical animal prepared. Unable to arrive at a consensus, our staff ordered a Summer Half and Half, consisting of Iberian ham and charcoal-grilled pork shoulder rib (known in Japanese as karubi) staring at each other from across the centerline of our pie.

A cured ham made from free-range pigs, Iberian ham has enjoyed a boom in Japanese culinary circles in the last decade. Ours was seasoned with fresh basil and also olives, which are often a part of the pigs’ diet as well. We paused for a brief moment to reflect on the irony of eating both the start and endpoints of Iberian ham in the same bite, but such deep thoughts were soon pushed away by a simpler message from our taste buds: they taste great together.

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Next we grabbed a slice with shoulder rib, which despite the name, is completely boneless. This is an all-new offering from Domino’s which will only be available until the end of August, and it did not disappoint. The pork itself is juicy and pleasingly salty. Accompanying it are thin slices of potato, a not entirely unusual pizza topping in Japan. The potatoes soak up quite a bit of oil, but the black pepper the pizza is seasoned with keeps the oiliness from being overbearing.

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The level of craftsmanship on display here is really quite impressive. We’d even recommend ordering the shoulder rib pizza the next time you promise to cook dinner for your girlfriend, then realize after she comes over that all you’ve got in the fridge is three cans of beer, two expired eggs, and a half-empty tube of wasabi.

As part of Domino’s continuing tie-up with virtual idol Hastusne Miku, customers who use their iPhone and order through the special Domino’s App feat. Hatsune Miku can have their pizza delivered in one of two special boxes featuring the twin-tailed character. If you’re lucky enough, it might even come courtesy of a deliveryman riding the one-and-only summer-version Miku-themed delivery bike.

▼ You’ll have to spring for a large-size to get the box shown on the left

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The app also snags you wallpaper images and allows you to take photos with Miku. Best of all, the delivery box doubles as an augmented reality stage where the popular vocaloid will perform a mini-concert for you while you have your meal.

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Entertained as we were, we did come away from our meal with one regret. Both the Iberian and shoulder rib were so good that in hindsight it was a waste getting one half-and-half pizza. We now know the only sensible thing to do is to order two whole pizzas, one of each.

Related: Domino’s App feat. Hatsune Miku
Top image: RocketNews24
Insert images: RocketNews24, Domino’s Pizza Japan
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