Kansai and Kanto prove again that they are each distinct regions when it comes to food

Tokyo and Osaka are only about 2.5 hours away by bullet train, so perhaps you wouldn’t think they’d be that different. But while Kanto (Tokyo, Yokohama, Chiba) holds the image of a glittering metropolis, Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara) is full of the old, historical aspects of Japan. The most commonly cited difference is the dialects of the two regions. For example, dame in Kanto-ben is akan in Kansai-ben, both meaning something like “wrong, no good.”

So when Japanese people were polled about their food habits, it wasn’t so surprising that the two regions answered very differently.

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This little bear just popped up from your toast to say good morning!

Breakfast has never looked this cute! With the help of a clever little cutter and mold from Japan, you can make your toast smile every morning. Details on exactly how and where you can buy this meal-enhancing device after the break!

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Awesome melon bread with ice cream comes to Shibuya, so we do too!

Last spring, we spent an afternoon drooling over photos from a bakery in the city of Kanazawa that came up with the ingenious idea of combining melon bread with ice cream. Unfortunately, the four-and-a-half hour train journey from Tokyo to Ishikawa kept us from picking up some samples of the tasty-looking treats.

But now our dairy-based prayers have been answered, as the same bakery has opened a new location in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward. Since that’s just three stops away from the RocketNews24 offices in Shinjuku, as soon as we found out about the new branch, we were on the next train.

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Want bread? You’re sure to find something you like in this wide and unique selection!【Video】

Now, we may be passionate about rice here in Japan, but we’re also quite fond of bread too. Indeed, breads of all shapes and sizes can be found, from the utterly adorable to the disturbingly realistic, and it seems the various types and flavors of bread available here are a subject of interest for foreigners as well. A YouTube video posted earlier this year by Osaka resident Ryan Boundless, which features a tantalizing selection of  unique breads has apparently attracted attention online recently, and we thought we’d take a look at the video with you to see what the buzz is about. So be prepared, because the video is bound to make you hungry for some good wholesome bread!

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Lupin III comes full circle as live-action cast turns into anime characters for bread line

Since I am in no way a gentleman thief, I can only guess as to what that lifestyle must be like. I imagine though, that staying one step ahead of the law means a lot of meals on the run, so it makes sense that Japan Railway stations are rolling out a new batch of baked goods endorsed by anime’s most roguish criminal mastermind, Lupin III.

The timing no doubt has something to do with the upcoming release of the live-action Lupin III movie. Even purists who scoff at the shift away from animation might want to check out the Lupin breads though, as their packages feature redone anime designs for the cast based on the actors portraying them in the new film.

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Realistic stag beetle bread repulses and fascinates us

For a country where rice is eaten at almost every meal, Japan has a surprising number of bakeries and pâtisseries. One stroll down the street of any city and eventually you’re likely to pass by the drifting aroma of freshly-baked bread and other sweet treats. Japanese bakeries aren’t afraid to have a little fun with their pan, either–just check out this Hello Kitty bread, Suica penguin bread, and these, well, rather unfortunate but hilarious attempts at capturing the essence of Doraemon, Totoro, and other popular characters!

Of course, you may want to stay clear of the bread in the above picture unless you’re an aspiring coleopterist (yes, that’s a word) or looking to gross out your younger siblings!

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Soft and sweet — adorable Hello Kitty bread now available in western Japan for limited time!

What’s cute, sweet, soft and golden brown? Why, Hello Kitty bread, of course! Yes, we’ve seen the internationally famous cat transform into numerous forms, including many delectably edible ones, and once again, we get to be treated to another example of Ms. Kitty doing a bit of business while filling our stomachs with sweet goodness.

Now, we know Hello Kitty’s been busy with her 40th anniversary celebrations, coming up with collaborative products like the special edition Super Alloy Kitty and even helping out with charity, but we always love to see her transformed into tasty treats, whatever the occasion. Let’s take a look at what she has in store for us this time!

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Video proves how much Japan loves its pastries

Few who have not visited the country would ever imagine that Japan is practically overrun with bakeries. When people think of food in Japan, they usually think of things like rice, sushi and ramen, but the truth is, while Japanese supermarkets may not carry anywhere near as many varieties of bread as those in the West, dedicated bakeries can be found all over city centres, with pretty much every station, shopping mall and supermarket having its own shop or dedicated corner offering up freshly baked pastries, and the variety is astounding.

Check out this video to see 30 typical pastries available at Japanese bakeries.

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10 house points to the boy or girl who can correctly identify this bizarre bread beast

Twitter user Zarame25 shared the above photo on earlier this week along with the comment: “My mother bought this bread, but I have no idea what it’s supposed to be. Is it a character or something? It’s some kind of weird animal.” Having spent the best part of this morning staring at it and throwing suggestions around, we have to admit we’re not sure what it’s supposed to be ether.

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It’s the year of the horse, so let’s… eat a horse!?

2014 is the year of the horse, according to the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac animals play an important role in Japanese new year traditions, even though they no longer follow the Chinese lunar calendar. Themed goods featuring the zodiac animal of the year can be seen almost everywhere you go when the new year comes around. Yokohama originated bakery Pompadour created this adorable horse character bun for the occasion!

Wait, what? There’s real horse meat in it?!

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Doggy bread, the newest, cutest gachapon to win our hearts!

It’s fairly common knowledge that Japan is overrun with vending machines. If they ever gained sentience and decided to go on the offensive, the country would be pretty much screwed as far as we can tell. Fortunately, maniacal wizards don’t seem to be real, so we can keep them around to serve us drinks and snacks without having to worry about being attacked by vicious Coke machines.

Of course, there are tons of different vending machines in Japan, but the most popular must be the gachapon ones. The toy dispensing machines are fun for everyone with an addiction to collecting, from children to adults. The recent trend for gachapon machines seems to be dogs, but today we found an utterly bizarre–and adorable–take on the theme: “Inupan” or “Doggy Bread!”

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Luxury hotel cooks up adorable melon bread based on JR West’s platypus mascot

As part of our quest to get paid for eating as many desserts as possible, we recently shared our impressions of the Suica Penguin cake, modeled after the popular mascot for JR East’s prepaid IC card train pass system, Suica.

But sometimes loveable mass transit mascots are like hardcore gangster rappers, and it turns out the Suica Penguin has a cross-country rival, in the form of Ico-chan, the spokes-platypus for JR West’s ICOCA train pass system. Not wanting to be shown up by the Suica Penguin’s foray into the world of cake, the only thing for Ico-chan to do was to transform himself into a tasty treat, too.

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The adorable Suica penguin bread —  Too cute to eat but too good not to

If you’ve ever used public transport in Japan, you may have seen the Suica card, the smart card you can use to pay the fare on Japanese transport systems, named after the onomatopoeic phrase “sui-sui“, meaning to swim or glide smoothly. You may even have noticed that they come adorned with an adorable mascot penguin character, known simply as the “Suica Penguin“. But did you know that the Suica Penguin has now been transformed into a form of delicious confection?

Apparently, the Suica Penguin is irresistibly cute in edible form as well, and the penguin bread is selling like crazy! Naturally, we had to get our hands on a couple and see for ourselves what made it so special.

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Someone Call an Exorcist! We Have a Serious Case of Demon Bread Here!

I’m sure there are many of you who like to bake your own bread. (I, unfortunately, lack the culinary skills to do so and have to resort to store-bought goods.) But bread doesn’t always turn out the way you intended, does it? It certainly didn’t when Twitter user korpi baked a batch of what was supposed to be harmless, wholesome cheese bread, and the pictures she shared on her account have apparently caught the attention of Japanese Internet users — with their shock value. But what could be so alarming about some pieces of bread? Read More

Japan Makes POS System That Scans Bread Terminator Style

Ah, Japanese bakeries. Rows and rows of delicious, fresh-baked treats ready for you to harvest—if you can decide among all the variety. And if you think choosing which bread to place on your tray is hard (I usually spend at least 5 minutes walking in circles with hungry tongs in hand), imagine how stressful it must be for part-time bakery staff who need to remember the names of every baked good in the store.

Luckily, Japanese web development company Brain Corporation has teamed up with the University of Hyogo to develop a POS system that uses a camera to instantly identify the kind of baked good customers have on their tray.

Check out the video below, it looks a lot more impressive than it sounds.

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