Our roundup of the country’s craziest April Fool’s Day products and services we actually wish were real.

April Fools’ Day has become a day when fake news floods the Internet, with people everywhere playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes online. Here in Japan, where even the craziest ideas can actually be real, it can be hard not to fall for an Internet prank, especially when big-name companies join in the fun and games with tantalising announcements on their official sites.

So now that April’s Day has come and gone, let’s take a look at some of the best prank news that spread around the country here on 1 April. From awesome-looking products to unusual services, we’re actually sad that some of these creative ideas aren’t actually real!

1. See-through Coca-Cola

When it comes to an obvious prank that hardly anyone would fall for, you can’t go past Coca-Cola Japan’s tweet advertising invisible coke. Using plenty of emojis and incredulous exclamation marks, the tweet includes a hashtag for the “never-before experienced transparent Coke“, along with the following message:

“The delicious flavour of Coca-Cola, now with a bottle and liquid that’s totally transparent!! Doesn’t it look as light as air? 100 people will win the transparent Coke. To enter, follow us and retweet this tweet by 11:59 p.m. on 1 April. #OnlyPeopleWithClearHeartsCanViewThis #April Fools'”

With more than 15,000 retweets, we can only assume that people either loved the idea of this and wanted to share it with their followers or they seriously thought they were in with a chance to defy logic by drinking invisible Coke from an invisible bottle.

2. Grand Seiko Ninja Model


Seiko surprised us all with an incredibly cool watch and equally cool video and website dedicated to their April Fools’ Day prank. They had our attention immediately with the tagline, “Ninja of the world, the wait is over“, and then had us drooling over their shuriken throwing-star shaped timepiece.

Add to that a special illustration for the ninja watch by Metal Gear artist Yoji Shinkawa, and we’re left crying tears that this timepiece isn’t actually going into production.

3. Excalibur McFlurry

McDonald’s went all out with their crazy ideas this year, introducing us to several “new” products. The Excalibur McFlurry was one of them, with a spoon in the shape of the legendary sword that only “Brave chosen rulers” would be able to extract from the dessert. Just in case people thought it might be a real product, they added in the ridiculous price point of 9,999 yen (US$94.05).

4. McShake

A play on the word “shake”, which is pronounced differently in Japanese to mean either “salmon” (鮭 / シャケ) or “shake”, as in the abbreviation of “milkshake” (シェイク). This tweet, which reads “It’s not a shake! It’s a salmon!” serves to introduce the salmon slice as a new item on the morning menu. As a staple of traditional Japanese breakfasts, this salmon, with a side of rice and miso soup, would actually be a pretty great option to have at McDonald’s!

5. Half Burger from McDonald’s

Our final McDonald’s prank came in the form of the new “half-sized burger“, which offers customers less instead of more. Given that burger sizes here are generally smaller than their overseas counterparts, we might have been duped by this one if it weren’t for its bizarre appearance.

6. Pizza Hut Pigeon Delivery

The strangely cute “Pizza Hato” campaign is based around a delightful play on words, with “hatto” being the Japanese word for “hut” (in its katakana form) and “hato” meaning “pigeon”. What better way to combine the two incredibly similar words than with a Pizza Hut pigeon delivery service?

▼ Now we’re hankering for a pizza delivered by pigeon courier.

This “industry first” was said to use 10,000 pigeons with 100 hours of training under their wings, flying at a maximum speed of 157 kilometres (97.5 miles) per hour to deliver your pizza anywhere in Japan. The new pigeon service avoids traffic jams to allow faster deliveries, while also reducing CO2 emissions normally used by delivery drivers on the roads. Online members would also be covered by the Pizza Hato Care Plus option, with a delivery driver being dispatched with your order in the event that your pigeon runs into trouble somewhere.

7. Okonomiyaki/Ramen/Tempura Kit Kat

According to the above tweet, Nestlé Japan announced they would be introducing a new takoyaki-flavoured variety to their bakeable Kit Kat range, but the package in the image is emblazoned with the words “sushi flavour“, alongside an image of takoyaki octopus balls. To add to the confusion, it says “fresh sea urchin added” on the left, “Kit Kat Tempura” at the top, and then “Kit Kat Ramen” at the bottom, with “4/1 Halloween” in there as well.  We’re guessing they wanted to make it clear that they were messing with us, but now we’re just left wondering what these strange combinations would taste like on our tastebuds…

So there you have it – our top picks of the best April Fools’ Day news pranks from Japan. Did you fall for any fake news on 1 April? If not, you might just be the type of prankster who’ll enjoy reading stories about Japan’s new breeding visas for foreigners or Nara’s adopt-a-deer initiative. Feel free to share and fool your friends!

Sources: PR Times ( 1, 2)
Featured image: Twitter/@KitKatJapan
Insert images: PR Times ( 1, 2)