food

Comically Huge Mega Potato is a Gift from the (Obese) Starch Gods

McDonald’s Japan’s returning limited-edition Mega Potato side is so frighteningly large it ought to come with graphic warning photos of what happens to people who make a habit of eating it, like cigarette packs in the West.

The reintroduced Mega Potato is equivalent to two orders of large fries and comes in a container so comically huge you could just stick your face directly into it like a pig at a trough, if that’s your thing. Or you could share it with “friends” or something, like anyone actually has that in mind when ordering one of these.

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Hungry for Justice (and Bento), Alleged Kobe Thief Turns Himself In

Hyogo Prefecture has a bit of a reputation for culinary excellence. Besides being the home of Kobe beef, it’s also famous for French and Chinese cuisine, along with boasting some of Japan’s best octopus. But could Hyogo’s food be so good that alleged criminals would give up their freedom for it?

On May 12, police at the Nagata Ward Precinct in Kobe took a suspected thief into custody. The unemployed 32-year-old man, whose name has been withheld, turned himself in, saying, “I want to eat the tasty food Nagata Precinct serves prisoners in its holding cells.” Read More

Korean High School Cafeteria Has a Bit of a Cleanup Problem

People are pretty good at returning their trays after they’ve finished eating at a self-serve cafeteria. It’s no fun task cleaning up after others, so dumping leftovers in the appropriate bin and separating utensils and trays and returning them to their designated pickup areas is highly appreciated by kitchen staff. Recent photos uploaded to the Korea-Japan Cultural Exchange (KJ Club) website, however, makes one wonder if students and teachers at one Korean high school might be in need of a manners lesson.
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The Mega Potato is Finally Here!!! McDonald’s Potato Party Fans Rejoice!

Earlier this week, we reported on a rumor that suggested McDonald’s Japan would be bringing back the “Mega Potato,” which packs in double the French fries in one container…two large orders of fries in one container to be exact. Well folks, the Mega Potato is finally here (if “here” means Japan for you).

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Who Needs a Cherry on Top? Osaka Café Crowns its Parfaits with Cake

Tokyo’s restaurants may have more Michelin stars, but for many Japanese foodies, the real culinary action is in Osaka. Particularly if your tastes run more towards good honest grub than haute cuisine, Japan’s second largest city is the place to be.

The people of Osaka enjoy a good meal so much that they coined the phrase kuidaore, to eat until you collapse. But even with this image firmly entrenched in our minds, the city has found a new way to surprise us with its gastronomic decadence.

On a recent day out in Osaka, our reporter stopped by a café and ordered a truly hard-core parfait. It wasn’t that the parfait was so big, and no, it didn’t contain any shocking ingredients. What blew our minds about this parfait was its topping.

It was a slice of cake, and it was so big it wasn’t even trying to fit into the glass.

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99-Year-Old Tea Shop Offers Something New: Green Tea Beer

Being in Japan gives you plenty of opportunities to knock back a beer. The country is filled with pubs, and alcohol consumptions is so accepted that should you tell people, flat-out, “My hobby is drinking,” they’re more likely to ask you to recommend a good bar than to stage an intervention. At the same time, Japan has countless places to sip a relaxing cup of tea, whether it’s the strong, frothy variety used in tea ceremonies called matcha, or hojicha, for which the green tea leaves are roasted before steeping. But with two tempting beverage choices to relax with and only so many hours in the day, how can anyone be expected to choose between tea and beer? As it turns out, you don’t have to. Read More

Today’s Reason to Come to Japan: Free Curry Refills

Big eaters in Japan have a saying: “Curry and rice isn’t something you eat. It’s something you drink.” And as with any beverage, nothing’s better than free refills.

We’ve talked about it before, but it’s worth repeating. The Japanese curry chain CoCo Ichibanya (also known as just CoCo Ichi), provides a free refill of curry sauce to any customer one who asks for it. Read More

Run, Forest! Run to your Nearest Bubba Gump Shrimp for Seafood so Tasty Even Japan is Enamored 【3-D Photos】

How many of you are familiar with the restaurant Bubba Gump Shrimp, based on the 1994 Oscar-winning film Forest Gump? Speaking as a sweet ol’ Southern girl, raised in the Heart of Dixie, USA, I’m well acquainted with both the movie and the real-life restaurant that it inspired. Bubba Gump Shrimp, with its American Cajun-style cooking, has branches scattered all across the globe, including three within Japan. As the name would imply, the menu features an abundance of shrimp, making it an irresistible spot for seafood lovers. Read More

Special Edition Ultraman Popsicles May or May Not Melt in Three Minutes

My wife, in her infinite patience, has taught me several things about Japanese culture. Thanks to her, I’m familiar with the proper way to offer incense at a grave, and also how important it is to bring a little present to your neighbors on all sides when moving into a new apartment.

But perhaps the lesson with the biggest impact on my daily life was when she taught me just how good Gari Gari-kun popsicles are. Read More

Beef = Breasts? Model Claims Burgers Ballooned Her Bust

Japanese model Eri Sakurai says she has stumbled across a way to increase her breast size without resorting to cosmetic surgery. The 30-year-old credits a sudden temporary chest inflation in her past to the unlikely superfood of McDonald’s hamburgers. Read More

The Arduous Audition Process to Become a Cold Stone Japan Part-Timer

Among the many myths about Japan is the one that goes, “Japanese people don’t like sweet foods.” The success of Arizona-based ice cream chain Cold Stone here is proof positive that Japan has as big a sweet tooth as any other nation.

With branches stretching from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south, Cold Stone Japan requires a steady inflow of part-time workers. But as you might expect from a business that makes all of its profits selling a product no one needs but almost everyone enjoys, the interview process is a little different from the one at other workplaces. Read More

Looking for Love? Break the Ice Over Red Meat at this Barbecue Joint Famous for Turning Patrons into Couples

Typically a heaping plate of raw meat isn’t exactly the type of food you’d picture putting people in an amorous mood, but this tiny watering hole-slash-barbecue joint in Kanda (one station over from Tokyo) is famous for bringing patrons together through the magic of a hot grill, cold drinks, and very, very close quarters.

The interior of the restaurant, Rokkakai, is only 6.6 square meters, meaning complete strangers are pretty much forced to crowd around and share a single, rectangular table. We can see where this might result in the odd coupling, but that’s apparently not the only secret behind the location’s uncanny ability to bring people together.

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Finally! Spaghetti and Hotdog Are Now As One!

The science world has been reeling as a photo surfaced demonstrating what might be a successful fusion of hotdog and spaghetti. However, many pasta experts remain skeptical claiming, “Man, ain’t no way you can put a piece of dry spaghetti through a wiener! It’d break!” This photo documentation says otherwise, however, and the end result looks really good too!

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Subway Japan to Offer 290 Yen Bran-Tastic Breakfast Sets

Jumping into an increasingly crowded morning menu market, starting May 15, some Subway’s in Japan will start selling bran muffin sandwiches and breakfast sets for the morning crowd.

Three different types of sandwiches using healthier, high-fiber bran muffins will be offered: soft-boiled egg, tuna and mayo, and ham and cheese.

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Eat Ice Cream from All Over Japan Without Using the Bullet Train

Located just across the northern border from Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture is home to over seven million people. With far more affordable housing than the capital, but yet with relatively easy access to it via numerous train lines, several of Saitama’s residents spend most of their day studying or working in Tokyo. Despite its proximity though, Saitama is still outside Tokyo, earning it something of a stigma among Tokyoites, some of whom have saddled it with the unflattering nickname “Dasaitama,” coming from the word dasai, or “uncool.”

For the beginning of May though, Saitama will be filled with something we can all agree is very cool: ice cream. With the opening of the All Japan Ice Cream Collection festival, Saitama’s Koshigaya City is set to make even the snootiest urban socialites eat a little crow, even if that particular flavor is definitely not on the menu. Read More

Despite often being considered quintessentially Japanese, nyotaimori (lit. “girl body serving”) is in fact little more than an urban myth popularised by those who, perhaps understandably, think the idea is either incredibly cool or just plain sexy. It may look tremendously exciting in comics and movies, but few if any of even the richest, coolest gourmands have ever teased a slice of raw salmon from a woman’s stomach or plucked a piece of blow fish from her bare buttocks. At least not on record, anyway.

For this precise reason, our food-loving reporter Mr. Sato has long been fascinated with the idea of trying nyotaimori for himself. Contrary to the entire team’s prior expectations when they arrived at work this morning, today turned out to be the day that his dream came true…

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So, Carbonated Black Coffee in a Bottle is Apparently a Thing Now

Remember Espressoda? Neither did we until a recent news release from Suntory reminded us.

Suntory’s innovative carbonated coffee drink hit the market under a year ago, and a quick search around town by yours truly revealed that, at time of writing, convenience stores are no longer carrying the item, ostensibly suggesting it was a commercial flop.

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Chocolate Stand Owner Claims ‘Product is Original’, Skillfully Dodges Questions About Pac-Man

This is slowly turning out to be quite a week for sightings of unlicensed use of videogame characters. Just yesterday we brought you news of a smartphone game whose lead character looked so much like Nintendo’s green dinosaur Yoshi that the company stepped in and demanded that changes be made, and now our overseas RocketNews24 representative brings us photos of a food vendor in the Philippines whose stand and wares are plastered with a name and character that bear an uncanny likeness to Japan’s beloved dot-munching arcade hero, Pac-Man!

This boxed chocolates vendor was spotted selling from a small booth in the middle of a shopping center in the Philippines’ capital city of Manila. Unless the vendor is somehow affiliated with Namco, this has got to be brand theft! Smelling a story among all of the tasty-looking sweets, our courageous reporter went forth and confronted the sales clerk. Read More

McDonald’s to Sell McGriddles All Day Long, It’s about Time!

As we have been monitoring the peculiar efforts that make up McDonald’s Japan’s marketing it seemed as if the fast food chain could do no right (with the exception of the spectacular fries holder).  However, their upcoming campaign looks like something everyone can get behind: an all-day breakfast menu!

Well, one sandwich at least.

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Report Detailing Potentially Infected Chinese Poultry Used in Japanese Fast Food Sparks Fears

An article published in a special edition of Japanese weekly Shukan Bunshu has suggested that  potentially hazardous chicken sourced from China may be finding its way into fast food in Japan. The article, composed by writer Shuuji Okuno, begins by posing the following question:

“Would you still be willing to put a chicken nugget in your mouth if you knew the real story? The hazards of China’s domestic chicken meat!”

Our attention well and truly grabbed, we delved inside. Read More

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