alcohol

Burger King has apple burgers (and cocktails) in Japan, and we’ve got them in our bellies

Even as someone who can always appreciate a tasty hamburger, there’s a quandary I face whenever I go out to satisfy my beef-based sandwich needs. Your standard burger gives you plenty of protein from the meat, some nice carbs from the bread, and even a scattering of veggies between the buns, but it’s hard to get your fruit fix at a burger emporium.

Or, more accurately, it was, until Burger King Japan started offering two hamburgers with slices of grilled apple. We traveled to one of Burger King’s branches in Yokohama to try both on the day of their release, but they weren’t the only discoveries waiting for us. So come along with us as we present the ABCs (apples, booze, and couches) that make Burger King different in Japan.

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Japanese alcohol company accused of advertising to children, pulls commercial off the air

It seems Japanese companies can’t keep themselves out of trouble this week. First, an ANA commercial starring a Japanese man wearing a long nose and blonde wig had some groups offended, prompting the company to issue an official apology. Now, an advertisement from Kirin, one of the largest producers of alcohol in Japan, has parents crying foul over the use of a friendly green frog that could appeal to children.

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We live the high life with wine aged in the depths of Japan’s seas

While Japan’s most iconic alcoholic beverage is the indigenous brew known abroad as sake (and as nihonshu at home), there are Japanese winemakers as well. Many are located in Yamanashi Prefecture, where local wineries hold an annual festival which we visited this past fall.

However, the last bottle of vino we enjoyed didn’t age in the mountains of Yamanashi, or the highlands of any other Japanese prefecture for that matter. Instead, our most recently purchased wine spent seven months aging at the bottom of the sea.

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Forget coffee, this Tokyo Starbucks now sells booze!

Normally known for a spot to get a sugar-fueled caffeine fix, Starbucks recently opened a new outlet in Tokyo that is serving alcohol. The new coffee shop is part of a concept line of cafés the company is establishing in Japan to offer customers something a little different from the usual Starbucks experience. In addition to serving upscale coffee drinks and homemade desserts, this shop will be selling wine and beer after noon in the fashionable Shimokitazawa neighborhood.

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Study in China determines Sprite to be the best drink to relieve a hangover

So you hit the bottle a little too hard last night and have now awoken in a state of gut-rotting, head-pounding, agony. Standing before the fridge you pretend to be a doctor and judge which drink would be chemically most efficient to chug your way out of this stupor. Water? Coffee? Wheat tea?

Surprisingly, if you chose Sprite, you’d be correct. At least, that’s what a team of researchers at Zhongshan University decided after studying the effects of 57 different drinks against hangovers.

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She doesn’t need beer goggles to look cute, but we try Hello Kitty Beer anyway

As Japan’s most prodigious celebrity endorser, Hello Kitty certainly keeps busy. In this month alone, we’ve seen her grace Toshiba’s SD cards, and even transform herself into a cute, cuddly dislocated tooth to hawk toothpaste.

With such a hectic work schedule, it’s understandable that Kitty-chan should want to relax the same way many of us do after coming home from a long, hard day at the office: by cracking open a cold beer. Even then though, the hard-working feline is on the clock, with a new line of Hello Kitty Beer.

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Snake being pickled to create healing liquor awakens after 3 months and bites woman

Shejiu is a traditional type of liquor that is made by pickling a venomous snake in a bottle of alcohol such as baijiu. The venom of the snake is neutralized by the liquor and, thanks to the essences of the serpent, is said to have energizing and healing properties.

It is widely drunk in various parts of Asia to treat problems or maintain health, but for one unlucky woman in one of China’s most northeastern cities, brewing the drink ended in a trip to the hospital when the snake awoke after three months and attacked.

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We visit sake brewer Yamanashi Meijo and our mouths fall in love!

When people think of Japanese alcohol, they almost inevitably think of sake, and with good reason! More accurately known as nihonshu, or “Japanese alcohol,” the rice-wine drink has played an essential role in Japanese culture for centuries.

But as delicious as some may find it, it’s not for everyone, even if drinking it would make you healthy, wealthy, and wise… or at least healthier. The taste can take a little getting used to, so it’s hardly surprising to find someone who’d rather just have a nice cold beer. But maybe they’re just drinking the wrong sake!

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Cold beer – less smelly than fermented soybeans, and by one criteria, healthier too

Earlier this week, we talked about the purported beauty benefits of Japanese rice wine. Today, we’ve got good news for health-conscious beer lovers.

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Mr. Sato participates in beer company’s mysterious “escape game”

On July 16th, the Japanese beer company, Kirin, released an all-new brand of gin-based alcohol called Kirin Dry Rickey. To build up hype for their new product, Kirin ran a very unique sort of promotional event on Tokyo’s Yamanote train line. When most companies would have thrown their entire advertisement budget into posters, billboards, and commercials, Kirin organized a special event known as nothing more than an “escape game.” Our very own Mr. Sato, lured in by the mystery and the smell of booze, decided to take part in this very special game and discover what it takes to “escape” from a train on the Yamanote Line.

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Bruce Lee brought to life again by CGI

Technology is a powerful tool. Think of the outstanding level of computer graphics created solely for the sake of our entertainment. Skilled 3-D artists can create entire worlds and bring impossible creatures to life if given the right imaging software. Now, the advertising industry is using those same tools to play necromancer and revive the dearly departed kung-fu legend, Bruce Lee.

That’s right; the image of Bruce Lee is back at work, but not on action films. This Chinese TV commercial uses the words and life-like image of our most beloved action movie legend to motivate you… into buying whiskey.

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Mr. Sato goes on a date with an idol, unleashes his secret weapon: canned rum

Summer is almost here, and in Japan that means two things. First, high humidity and the profuse sweating that comes with it. But second, summer is also the season of hot, passionate, romance.

Unfortunately, this spring has again found our intrepid reporter Mr. Sato unable to find a girlfriend, but he’s ready to wipe the slate clean and give it his all this summer. We decided it was best to get Mr. Sato a little practice, so he’d have a good running start before the season of love gets fully underway. To that end, he asked out idol singer Sayaka Shiotani from vocal unit Pureful. Like all women, she is powerless to resist the charms of a RocketNews24 writer, and so of course said yes.

“Honestly though, I don’t have much experience with girls, and I’m not even really sure how to talk to them,” he tells us. Well, as a wise man once said, when you’re trying to pick up girls, use humor. And if you’re not funny, use alcohol. Read More

Drunk Man in Taiwan Severs Own Genitals with Pair of Scissors, Regrets It the Day After

Ever have one of those nights where you knock back one too many and wake up not remembering what happened the night before?  Then as you fumble around for clues like a matchbook or photos on your phone, you discover that you’ve cut off your own privates with a pair of kitchen scissors?

If so, I’m terribly sorry for your loss, but, as this truly sobering tale of self-mutilation reveals, you’re not alone…

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Sixth-Grader and Friends Served Beer and Other Alcoholic Drinks at Local Pub

On April 24, Kanagawa prefectural police sent papers to prosecutors concerning a pub operator in Yokohama city on suspicion that two of its female staff members violated the Entertainment Business Act by serving beer and other alcoholic drinks to a group of young girls, including a 6th grade elementary school student.
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Beer Pong Becoming Increasingly Popular in the Philippines

Booze lovers, come on! It’s time for a news update regarding beer pong, the world’s most wobbly sport! In case you’ve never heard of it, beer pong sees two teams stand against each other and take turns tossing ping-pong balls into their opponent’s cups of beer while getting increasingly intoxicated. The game originated in the United States, where in fact its popularity has grown so large that it spawned the World Series of Beer Pong in Las Vegas! With all of the drunken mayhem that this game encourages, it’s hard to find a sport more silly and unhinged than beer pong.

Our Japanese RocketNews24 reporter had his first introduction to beer pong near a college campus in the Philippines, where the popularity of this tipsy tournament has really started to take off! Read More

Alcohol Made with Fermented Wasps Gives New Meaning to the Phrase “Get Your Buzz On”

By all accounts Japan’s giant wasps are dangerous creatures. And yet, our team recently learned of one huntsman from Kumamoto Prefecture who has a hobby of fermenting these monstrous bugs in batches of shouchuu (Japanese liquor similar to vodka). It merits saying that even in Kumamoto, selling this kind of alcohol is not a common practice. If you do happen to come across some wasp-infused booze in a souvenir shop, it’s safe to say that you’ve strayed quite far from the mainstream marketplace.

Hearing about this peculiar home brew, we at RocketNews24 couldn’t help wondering what kind of a man would make shouchuu containing wasps. Our very own field journalist took a trip to Kumamoto to meet the man in his home and find out more. Read More

The Top 10 Things Middle-Aged Japanese Men Say While Out Drinking That Make Their Coworkers Hate Them

After a hard day at work, many middle-aged Japanese salarymen love to go out for drinks at the local bar or izakaya. “But it’s no fun to go alone!” thinks the 45-year-old section chief. “Why not invite those young hotshots that entered the company earlier this year? Surely they’d love the chance to loosen neckties and enjoy some laid-back conversation with one of their seniors outside the workplace!”

Meanwhile, the young hotshots are thinking about how they can’t wait to go home and relax after another consecutive day of (unpaid) overtime—but oh wait, section chief wants to go out drinking again and turning his invitation down would show that I’m not a team player.

Such are the troubles of 20 and 30-year-old working men and women who are roped out to drinking with their middle-aged colleagues time and time again.

This generation gap was a popular enough topic for Nikkan Spa to conduct a survey of 200 20 and 30-year-old men and women as to what they found most irritating about drinking with their superiors in their 40s. 

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Men Who Disappoint at Goukon (Group Blind Date), Nine Types That Shouldn’t Even Bother Showing up!

In Japan, goukon, are mixers meant to set the stage for finding a mate.  They are designed to help young adults find at least a relationship, if not a suitable marriage partner, and are often organized by businesses like in the ad above.

The average goukon brings together around three to five people of each gender and takes place at a restaurant or izakaya (Japanese-style bar). Groups are seated randomly, usually with seats alternating by gender so everyone can get to know each other better.

Business organizational skills aside, most women know that the chance of a relationship forming from a goukon depends on the efforts of the participants.  A certain protocol must be followed if a man wants a woman to give him the time of day.  If he is too out-of-place, then it could cause embarrassment all around.

Japanese website Otome Sugoren surveyed their female readers to find out what kind of guy they think shouldn’t even bother showing up to the goukon party.  Men: be sure to pay attention so you know what not to do at your next goukon.  After all, while you may be there to play the field, women are serious about finding someone!   Read More

Even Non-Alcoholic Drinks Should be Limited to 20 Years Old and Up According to Survey

To all our under-age readers, I feel for you.  Understandably, alcoholic drinks are off-limits as they can be harmful to your growth at a young age.  But now, it seems the adults want to take away your non-alcoholic drinks as well according to a recent survey.

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Tomato Juice is Scientifically Proven to Kill Your Buzz

We all know that tomato juice with its frosty phlegm-like consistency can really bring down the best of days.  Even the much needed boost it received as a diet fad appears to be quickly waning due to its general crappiness.

Now, researchers on the dime of beverage companies Asahi and Kagome have discovered that it can also bust up anyone’s party by reversing the effects of alcohol.

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