Enjoy earth-conscious treats and whimsical animal doughnuts at Japan’s “nature doughnut” shop

Floresta isn’t as well known as the big chain stores in Japan like Mister Donut or Krispy Kreme, but their “nature doughnuts” deserve all the attention they can get. As a company, Floresta strives to provide customers with healthy, yet satisfying snacks, using organic local ingredients with no additives or preservatives. They are also careful to reduce waste that can have a negative impact on the environment. You would think a healthy doughnut might taste like cardboard, but Floresta manages to serve up delicious rings of environmentally friendly goodness. They also make animal doughnuts that will make you want to buy out the store.

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How to make your own McDonald’s Japan-only gratin croquette burger

There are a few telltale signs that winter is coming. The sunset starts to come a little earlier in the day. Christmas lights go up around town. And, as sure as Santa making his rounds, McDonald’s Japan starts selling one of its most popular seasonal menu items, the gratin croquette burger.

We realize, though, that many of our loyal readers live outside of Japan. We don’t want anyone to feel left out, so we’re explaining how you can duplicate the sandwich, mostly with ingredients you’ve probably already got in your pantry. Be warned though. The gratin croquette burger is almost entirely made out of flour, and this delicious cocktail of carbs is in no way a feasible choice for anyone following the Atkins diet, no matter how delicious it is.

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More than two years on, many in Japan still uncertain about food from around Fukushima

When the announcement was made that Tokyo would host the 2020 Olympic Games, there was much reason for celebration in Japan. Leading up to the decision, the Japanese leader for the Olympic bid emphatically stressed that the Fukushima disaster would have no impact on life in Tokyo–a claim that was reiterated after the bid was won.

Around that time, a cartoon appeared in a French newspaper depicting mutating sumo wrestlers in front of radiation suit wearing spectators. The Japanese government took issue with it and angrily reaffirmed the safety of the rest of Japan. Still, among many of the citizens, there is sneaking yet widespread suspicion over how safe the Tohoku and Kanto regions actually are, especially with regards to their food products.

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10 crazy pizzas from Japan

Whether you love it or hate it, Japanese pizza exists. McDonald’s manages to provide homesick foreigners in Japan with a similar (and arguably better) product from back home, but somewhere along the line, chain pizza stores in Japan got it all wrong. We’re sure there are those who enjoy the typical Japanese-style pizza, but after reading through internet forums of hungry foreigners, those who joyfully eat a slice from Japan are in the minority.

Let’s take a look at 10 pizzas that can be purchased in Japan, some sprinkled with corn, others topped with seaweed and many of them drenched in mayonnaise, so much mayonnaise!

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Uber-complicated foreigner-friendly guide to conveyor belt sushi will make your eyes pop out

Oh boy, look at that thing. Just, wow. What is even happening here? There are so many colors, and this Escher-esque perspective trick where you’re looking down at the sushi conveyor belt but seeing the customers head-on all at the same time…

As the title of this bizarro infographic suggests, this is ostensibly a guide to using a kaiten conveyor belt sushi establishment. We’re actually very appreciative someone took the effort to make this since it’s pretty easy to accidentally commit a crime if you don’t follow the kaiten sushi rules perfectly.

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Adorable miniature doughnuts from Mister Donut Japan!

Look at those little guys! They’re so small, you have to carry them all together in a bucket!

If you’re looking for a miniature treat, look no further than Mister Donut’s winter offering of bite-sized doughnuts. With six new flavors and three shareable container sizes, they’re perfect for snacking with friends and family while snuggling up under the kotatsu…or eat them all yourself, we won’t judge.

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Scallop flavored ice cream: it’s magically delicious!

Rumor has it that in Aomori Prefecture there exists a soft-served ice cream made with the flavor of hotate (Yesso scallop), a widely eaten shellfish in Japan. While hotate goes great with a little dab of wasabi, it’s hard to image the scallop’s taste blending well with ice cream.

Without hesitating, our reporter and food lover Usagi caught the next northbound train to the Aomori Prefecture Tourist Center ASPM to see what scallop ice cream had to offer.

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“Ramen Cake” dessert looks just like the real thing, is probably just as bad for you

An advance word of warning: this recipe seems both extremely difficult and extremely time consuming, so we’d advise you only try it if you’re a master chef or incredibly bored. Or if you need to consume a disgusting amount of calories in a short space of time.

Still, in the spirit of Halloween, this sweet cake and gelatin “Ramen Cake” masquerading almost perfectly as real ramen, is a clever, cute substitute for the usual chocolate eyeballs, brain Jell-o and other grotesqueries of the season.

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The airport that’s practically a theme park — Shop, eat, play at the New Chitose Airport!

If you’ve ever visited the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, there’s a good chance that you went through New Chitose Airport. Being the largest airport on the island, it serves as the gateway to Hokkaido for the numerous tourists that visit both from within and outside of Japan. Yes, when it comes to Hokkaido, we Japanese are just as enthusiastic about the beautiful snow, fresh seafood, tasty ramen, delectable sweets, relaxing hot springs and scenes of vast natural beauty as visitors from abroad.

But did you know that New Chitose Airport, which you may only briefly pass through as a traveler on a tour, could be a destination all on its own? After undergoing some expansion work in recent years between 2010 to 2012, the airport is now a seriously impressive shopping, dining and entertainment complex. Here’s a look at just some of the things you can enjoy at this airport that looks and feels like a theme park. If you thought that airports were nightmarish places where you want to spend as little time as possible, this may change your mind!

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Denny’s Japan to serve up burgers with added microorganisms… for your health!

It would appear that Japan is getting more and more firmly entrenched in the euglena craze. These little algae (particularly those from Ishigaki Island) have been determined to pack a nutritious punch carrying around 59 different kinds of nutrients from vitamins and minerals to amino acids.

We recently sampled these little guys in a cup of delicious yogurt, which was creepy at first but not a big leap since yogurt is all bacteria-y anyway. But would the public also go for these little microorganisms being added to a patty of grilled red meat? American diner chain Denny’s is wagering “yes” with their euglena hamburgs only available in Japan from the end of this month.

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Snoopy & Woodstock join the party at Mister Donut Japan this Christmas

The Japanese have a strange love for sinking their teeth into their favorite characters. We’ve seen Rilakkuma cakes and Hello Kitty doughnuts, next in line appears to be good-old Snoopy and his little yellow friend, Woodstock.

Mister Donut (or Misdo for short), the confectionary maker who brought us the jack-o’-lantern Hello Kitty doughnuts for Halloween, is already in the midst of preparing for the Christmas season, and boy does it look tasty!

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We try milk yaki, a treat from Japan’s chilly north that tastes great but somehow contains no milk

As one of Japan’s northernmost prefectures, the majority of regional delicacies in Akita are things to warm the body up. For example, Akita’s most famous dish is kiritampo, a hot-pot with chicken, vegetables, and unique cylindrical rice cakes. In recent years the prefecture’s inaniwa udon noodles, thinner than those common in other parts of Japan, have also been steadily gaining fans, as well.

But while there’s nothing wrong with some piping hot chow to fortify yourself with on a snowy night, what about dessert? Sure, you could make do with a plain old pack of cookies from the convenience store, but if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth like the locals do in Akita, you need to get your hands on the pastry known as milk yaki.

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Pitch black sesame garlic ramen at craft brewer’s restaurant stirs our hearts while filling our bellies

When dining out in Japan, there is a commonly accepted truism that you get the tastiest example of a particular type of food by eating it in a restaurant that specializes in it. For example, if you want good ramen, you go to a place that serves that and little, if anything, else.

Speaking of Japan’s favorite noodle dish, popular wisdom also holds that the dingier the ramen restaurant, the better-tasting the food.

So imagine our surprise when we discovered that the Yona Yona Beer Kitchen, a classy restaurant with a full menu in Tokyo’s swanky Nagata-cho neighborhood, can also whip up a bowl of ramen that’s as delicious as it is visually striking.

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Two restaurants in China accused of adding poppy seeds to food hoping to get customers hooked

Reports out of China have revealed that two restaurants in the Guangzhou area were found to be using ground up poppy seeds in some of their dishes. The reports allege that the businesses were “using the seeds of addictive poppies in an underhanded way to get repeat business.”

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Foreign visitors pick the 20 coolest places in Japan

The users of travel website Trip Advisor recently ranked Japan’s best free sightseeing spots. Of course, if you’re visiting Japan from abroad and in a position to spring for airfare, odds are you’re not so strapped for cash you can’t afford to spend a little bit to enjoy yourself, since you came all the way here.

With that in mind, the site has now compiled the 20 coolest places in Japan, as chosen by overseas visitors, regardless of whether or not they charge admission.

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North Koreans unsure how to handle 560 kg of potatoes in sudden ration flip-flop

North Korean potato farmers breathed a sigh of relief this month when they found out their monthly ration of the crop would be restored and not canceled as earlier reported. The announcement was soon met with confusion however when the workers in the northern Ryanggang Province found out that each of them would receive 560 kg—eight monthly rations-worth—of potatoes at once. Even a notorious eater like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might find it difficult to stomach that many carbs.

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Japanese snack company gives us portable mashed potatoes with a soft inside, crunchy outside

Ah mashed potatoes. Hot and fluffy peaks of spuds; what a simple dish consisting of a bunch of potatoes all smashed together to create a bowl of dense, delicious goodness. But somewhere along the line, Calbee, a major Japanese snack food maker, made an awesome breakthrough in potato technology. The traditional western side dish has received a bizarre snack twist, being transformed into “Mashed Potato Consomme Punch” chips that are said to be the perfect balance of crunchy and fluffy.

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Limited edition Gundam cake up for preorder, comes with Char’s custom plate and fork!

Some of the lesser-known joys of Japan are the occasional anime/video game and cake collaborations. Sure, taking your favorite hobby and injecting it with some cake is a no-brainer, but these limited offers always bring some very unique collectables with them. Monster Hunter fans who pre-ordered their Rathalos cakes should be getting them next month.

Now we present to you the Char Zaku Cake Set. It’s a cake in the shape of Char Aznable’s custom MS-06S Zaku II Commander Type served on Char’s custom cake dish and fork.

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Japan’s first black cat café feels appropriate for the season 【Photos】

Halloween is just around the bend, and Japan has us up to our eyeballs in ghosts, skeletons, spider webs, and black cats. Especially black cats, much to our delight!

In the city of Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture, our RocketNews24 sister site Pouch has discovered what has to be Japan’s first exclusively black cat café. It’s called Cat Café Nekobayaka -black cat centimeter-, and in the spirit of Halloween, how about dropping in for coffee and a bit of playtime with their jet black beauties?

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We try yogurt which contains euglena… yeah, we had to look it up too

Euglena is a microorganism, in some ways similar to algae. However, it is truly unique in that it exhibits feeding habits of both animals and plants. Such a fascinating biological specimen has left us all wondering: What does it taste like?

To answer that, convenience stores all over Japan have begun selling Euglena Yogurt from 15 October. Our brave reporter Usagi went to try some out.

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