Japan

Japanese confectionery companies always seem to be on the lookout for the next great combination of tastes, and the shelves in supermarkets and convenience stores are often stocked with the results of these “korabo.”

Words like “suspect” and “amusing” come to mind to describe most of these products, but Morinaga and Pasco have teamed up to create a product that just may give the old peanut butter and chocolate combo a run for its money.

“Morinaga Caramel Shokupan” is exactly what it sounds like: the old-fashioned flavor of Morinaga Caramel baked into fluffy Pasco bread. The packaging is the same gold color as those familiar little rectangular boxes of caramel, and the immediate association with the mouth-watering taste of Morinaga caramel is anything but subtle.

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HAMAMATSU – The Hamamatsu University School of Medicine has partnered with the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute to develop anti-cancer medicine with reduced side effects. The research group announced Tuesday that research and development are progressing and that experiments on animals have yielded positive results.

Cancerous mice were given 1/40 the usual dosage of anti-cancer medicine, and their tumors nearly disappeared by the 19th day of the test. Moreover, the researchers observed no side effects whatsoever.

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Toyota Introduces Increasingly Impressive Cast for Live-Action Doraemon Commercials

Toyota made waves by casting Japanese heartthrob Satoshi Tsumabuki as Nobita-kun in its live-action Doraemon commercials two weeks ago, but fans of the adapation of the popular cartoon were in for an even bigger shock the following week.

Toyota rolled its second wave of live-action Doraemon commercials off the line on November 18 with film star Jean Reno playing the role of Doraemon.

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On November 15, Japanese electronics manufacturer Sanwa Denshi unveiled a radiation-measuring device that can connect to iPhones and serve as an affordable Geiger counter.

It is 14 cm long and five cm wide and displays radiation dosages on the screens of iPhones equipped with GeigerBot and other such applications.

The retail price is 9,800 yen, and it will go on sale in a few days.

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Akihabara Restaurant Serves Up Three Squares in One

Many Japanese restaurants serve a “yama-mori,” or “mountain-sized,” serving of rice and other main dishes, but Adachi’s in Akihabara may boast the biggest one in the country.

Adachi’s claim to fame has always been its large portions. The first Adachi’s operated out of the Kanda Market, and its clientele were people who worked in the fruit and vegetable market. They worked up huge appetites by performing manual labor from the early morning hours, and regular portions would not fill their bellies. It was then that the elder Adachi decided to provide huge portions.

The affable younger Adachi told me all about it during my first visit to the restaurant. The restaurant is famous for letting its patrons eat to their hearts’ content, and anyone who has ever dined there knows that the “regular” portion of rice is five to six times larger than normal. Read More

New Organizer Keeps Devices and Cords Away From Each Other

Smartphone? Check. Digital camera? Check. Electronic dictionary? Check. Chargers and cords for all of the above? Check. Hope of finding them amidst the mess they will undoubtedly become in your handbag? Uncheck.

We are carrying more and more electronic products around with us these days, and it gets tougher and tougher to find them in our bags and untangle them from each other. It’s like untangling Christmas lights, except what used to be reserved for one day a year is now happening almost every day.

The GRID-IT purports to solve this problem with rubber bands arranged horizontally and vertically across its pocket-less surface. Read More

Boy Drowns iPhone4S, Ginza Apple Store Rights Ship

The iPhone4S had been on the market nary a month when I got my hands on mine. I’d had my beloved 16 GB dream machine for nary a week when my three-year-old son got his hands on it and dunked it in the bathtub.

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Add “Night at The Windsor” to List of Things to Do Before You Die

The Windsor Hotel Toya put itself on the map by hosting the G8 Summit in 2008, but the appeal of the Hokkaido resort and spa remains today. The mountaintop hotel offers expansive views of the vast Lake Toya in addition to unparalleled entertainment and amenities.

I had the good fortune to stay at The Windsor this summer, and I’m going to share seven things that show that visiting this resort belongs on everyone’s bucket list. Read More

We Take Cues From Reddit Picture, Attempt The First Japanese “Kubipan”

Recently on our Japanese site, we introduced a picture (above) uploaded to reddit of a young black male who had sits causally with his pants pulled up over his shoulders. The picture was a hit with our Japanese readers, who interpreted it as a herald of the end of koshipan—the Japanese word for ‘saggy pants,’ which is a portmanteau of hips (koshi) and pants (pantsu)—and the beginning of a new age: the age of kubipan (kubi = neck).

Feeling it our mission to keep Japan up to date with the latest hip-hop fashion, we called upon our own Mr. Satoh to model the basics of kubipan for our Japanese readers who are interested in trying it themselves.

However, we soon realized how foolish we were to believe such a challenging new style could be easily manipulated. Read More

If it suits him on a particular day, a spray-painting artist appears underneath the bridge at the Odakyu Department Store at the West Exit of Shinjuku Station. The elusive wizard with the spray cans handles his tools deftly and produces stunning works of art.

To put it bluntly, the way he paints is crude, and it seems as though he is cooking without a cookbook. His hands are sticky with multiple colors of paint as he manipulates the paper, cans and various props.

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Attention, gluttons on holiday in Japan: RocketNews24 has compiled a list of five restaurants that feature signature dishes with gut-busting, imagination-defying, comically-oversized portions.

First, some vocabulary to help you enjoy your eating spree. You probably already know to ask for o-mori when you want a large portion of rice and an extra helping of the main dish, but there’s still one level to go: deka-mori.

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Free Admission – Twelve of Tokyo’s Best Kept Secrets

Expensive Tokyo living got you down? Are you staring another three-day weekend in the face and wondering what havoc it will wreak on your wallet?

There are places to enjoy yourself for free all over Tokyo, if you know where to look. RocketNews24 has sifted through the many options and has come up with 12 suggestions that will not disappoint. Try them next time you have a last-minute date or cobwebs in your billfold! Read More

Timeless Fukuoka Ramen Shop Serves Up Good Memories, Cheap Eats

Part the curtains at the simple storefront of Shoryuken, wrestle the creaky, swollen sliding door open, and step back in time to 1972.

A worn, handmade menu at the Fukuoka City ramen shop advertises ramen bowls for 100 yen, and it is clear that that price has persisted through the restaurant’s 39 years of existence. Read More

Beer. Shochu. All-You-Can-Drink. 299 yen. Yakitori Marukin. Shimbashi. Now.

Tired from a long day at work? No money in your wallet? You’re headed straight for Yoshinoya for a beer the beef bowl and salmon set, aren’t you? That’s about 1,000 yen out of your pocket right there.

Fear not, we’ve found a better way for you to stretch that thinnest of Japanese bills. Yakitori Marukin in Shimbashi offers an all-you-can-drink special you can’t afford to pass up – 30 minutes for 299 yen! Marukin rolls out Kirin Ichiban Shibori as well as “Kuro Kirishima” imo shochu, “Kumeshima no Kumesen” awamori and a host of other popular shochu drinks. It’s possible to get pretty plastered in just one half-hour session. Read More

Noboribetsu Onsen is a veritable department store for hot springs lovers, with many different kinds of springs bubbling forth from one of the best onsen regions in Hokkaido. Located in Noboribetsu City, Hokkaido, it is overflowing with sights to see, from Jigokudani (“Hell Valley”) with its spouting gas and high-temperature onsen to the century-old hot spring pond “Taisho Jigoku” and the giant hot spring pond “Oyunuma.”

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The goldfish booth is a favorite pastime at Japanese summer festivals. Kids plop down a couple coins and get a flimsy paper net with which to catch goldfish out of an inflatable pool. The object is to catch as many fish as possible before the net breaks.

For one day in Akihabara, grown men had the chance to fish for something far more exotic than some fish that will go belly-up in a few days. On August 28, grown men plopped down single 500-yen coins and got a string fixed with a metal hook with which to catch plastic balls out of an inflatable pool.

The fantastic prize? Striped panties wadded up and stuffed inside the balls.  Oh, Japan.

The event took place at adult superstore “m’s” in Akihabara. Overwhelmingly popular Akihabara information site Akiba Blog reports that the women’s underwear came in blue, pink, and green striped patterns.

Some would call this event nothing more than a chance for perverts to snatch women’s underwear in broad daylight with their dignity intact. Perhaps it’s better to believe that the men who lined up to go fishing for panties were looking for presents for their girlfriends and wives.

Source: Akiba Blog

Ensky Co., Ltd. has fashioned a set of playing cards based on the famous lines of Takeshi “Gian” Goda, a bully character from the hit anime and manga “Doraemon.” In the series, Gian spends most of his time making outrageous demands of other children and bullying main character Nobita, but there are times when he shows his courage and displays true friendship.

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A Day in the Life of a Cosplay Photo Buff

I slung my camera over my shoulder, ready to invade the world of cosplay for the first time at this year’s summer Comic Market 80 at Tokyo Big Sight.

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When Mr. Satoh needs to get his heart pumping, he walks. He runs. He jogs, and he does a wealth of other physical activities.

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Everyone knows JAL and ANA, but have you heard the name “StarFlyer” while strolling through Haneda Airport? StarFlyer boasts a fleet of fashionable aircraft featuring all-black exteriors and cabin interiors. The first sight of a bitchin’ all-black airplane zooming down the runway will take anyone’s breath away.

StarFlyer planes travel most between Tokyo and Kita-Kyushu, but the airline added flights between Tokyo and Fukuoka on July 1. I flew to Fukuoka on business last month, so I figured I’d give StarFlyer a try. Other than the stunning black of the body and interior, I took note of six features of StarFlyer planes:

 

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