Lotteria craziness continues with the new okonomiyaki burger

In the crowded Japanese fast food burger industry, a chain has to establish an identity to be successful. McDonald’s is the place to go to fill up as cheaply as possible. MOS Burger is for people willing to spend a little more time and money for a sandwich made from higher-quality ingredients. And Lotteria is the place to go for a side of craziness.

While Lotteria occasionally goes completely nuts and has iconic horror movie characters work its registers, the chain’s eccentricity is primarily confined to the menu, with items such as the side-by-side double-patty twin burger and colossal Evangelion cheese burger with roughly a week’s worth of meat. The chain’s newest offering reimagines the savory Japanese crepe okonomiyaki as a burger.

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Ninja life skills: Do you know the correct way to eat this traditional Japanese sweet?

Shingen mochi – a relatively common wagashi Japanese sweet similar to the more well-known warabi mocha – is a treat made from pounded rice lightly coated in roasted soybean flour (kinako) meant to be drizzled with syrup before consumption.

It comes in a plastic container which is then wrapped in a decorative plastic sheet and sealed with a small, flat spear-like utensil meant to skewer the mochi with while eating. That plastic sheet is also the key to the “proper” way of eating shingen mochi.

Unfortunately for anyone who has consumed shingen mochi until now, the manufacturer’s marketing department decided not to tell even one single person how to properly eat their product. Thankfully, a helpful YouTuber here in Japan has shared a video showing the correct way to eat this traditional sweet. Find out after the break.

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Imuraya brags about the stiffness of their sweet bean bars…“Watch your teeth!”

Imuraya Confectionary is a Japanese sweets company that specializes in the sale of adzuki (sweetened red bean) products. They pride themselves on sticking to traditional Japanese flavors and sticking to their strange marketing strategies just as hard.

Recently, Imuraya made a pair of official Twitter posts cautioning people against the stiffness of their top-selling Adzuki Bar! This frozen slab of bean paste is a summer favorite across Japan, but according to Imuraya’s own assertions, they can crack your teeth!

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We try some Taiwanese dishes to boost our vigor, includes snake venom and turtles

RocketNews24 reporter extraordinaire Kuzo was feeling a little at half-mast recently and was looking for some ways to put some lead in his pencil, and fast.

Luckily he heard about some Taiwanese dishes that promise to boost stamina and went out in search of them. What he found was some snake, softshell turtle, and Asian ginseng soups. Par for the course for our gourmet reporter but these soups were also served with the bodily fluids of the animals such as blood and poison. If that doesn’t get Kuzo up and going we don’t know what will.

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Monsters University pork buns are cute, delicious, and selling out fast!

Pixar’s highly anticipated Monsters University finally opened in Japan on July 6, and to celebrate FamilyMart have launched an edible collaboration of delicious pork buns. We rushed out to buy a few and put them to the taste test, all for the benefit of our dear readers, of course!

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Easy lunch – Man cooks a batch of eggs on his car dashboard in the summer heat

The traditional onsen tamago, not widely consumed outside of Japan, follows a simple recipe of blasting an egg in its shell with hot steam or letting it slow-cook in hot water. It’s basically a poached egg that’s shelled after the poaching.

Seeing as perfectly poaching an egg the traditional western way is a messy and surprisingly complicated affair, it makes a lot of sense to just leave the eggs in their shells and stick them in some hot water for a while, or better yet, just leave them in a hot car, forget about them entirely, and go play some XBox. Next time you go on a beer run, you’ll find delicious onsen tamago waiting for you on your dashboard, like this Japanese Twitter user.

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Ooh la la! MOS Burger’s new premium hamburger packs a sophisticated punch

MOS Burger, the Japanese fast food chain famous for being a fresher, slightly healthier alternative to other hamburger joints, has recently announced that it will release a new hamburger sandwich to go alongside its existing range of plain and cheese “Tobikiri” hamburgers. The exciting twist? This one’s loaded with French demi-glace sauce and aligot, a sumptuous mix of potato and cheese that’s sure to send you to premium burger heaven.

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We hope Ishigaki Island’s specialty snack food goes viral in Japan… Uh, we mean that in the “popular” sense not the “virus” one

Ishigaki Island has a few well known specialty foods such as Ishigaki beef and Yaeyama soba noodle, but aside from these delicacies a little-known snack food has been making waves across the nation. They call it onisasa.

Onisasa should be mistaken for some gimmicky new flavor the city of Ishigaki has concocted just to drum up tourism. This little hidden gem had been around for a long time in the region before getting the attention of greater Japan. So just what is onisasa?

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Nestle Bennana to come to Japan minus rumors of being melt-proof

It feels like yesterday when our reporter Kuzo travelled deep into China for find the fabled “melt-proof ice pop” named Banana – a vanilla ice cream encased in a protective gummy sheath. However, this year Banana has come to the world (under a variety of names such as Bennana in Japan), and this October it will reach the shores of Japan.

To celebrate, Banana’s maker Nestle held a “Banana Day” event in Harajuku, Tokyo on 7 August. Yet another punny Japanese holiday on a Japanese reading of “8/7”, it involved the giving away of free monkey ears, T-shirts, and of course Bennanas.

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This could be the most macho 80-year-old we’ve ever seen

It’s come to that time of the year again when many of us will be thinking about getting in shape (or wishing we already had!) as our garments become skimpier and the amount of flesh on show sees an increase. For some, this means planning well ahead of the summer season and going through heavy exercise or muscle training sessions at the gym. However, I’m sure that if you came across the 80-year-old Japanese man in the photo above, you’d find it hard to believe that he was a professional bodybuilder. Perhaps the most natural response would be, “An old man keeping himself active.” But wait until you see the body that he’s hiding under that tracksuit.

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Remote tea shop serving up deep fried leaves as a summer treat

Japan is a rich country when it comes to specialty treats and dishes. Small towns all over the nation can offer up unique foods and drinks you’ll never find anywhere else.

Shigenobu Matsuzawa who has uncovered Japan’s hidden treasures such as Digital Kowloon City, The Life and Sex Museum, and Gunma Cycle Sports Center now has found one such snack in Mie Prefecture that you’re unlikely to find in most places: Maple Tempura.

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Coffee mascot event with cosplaying idols proves to be too much for some fans to handle

Tea is the first beverage that comes to mind for most people when they think of Japan, followed closely by sake, beer, chu-hi, and a plethora of other alcoholic beverages for those who spent time at a Japanese university. There are plenty of coffee drinkers in the country too though, with Yuki Jirushi (“Snow Mark”) Coffee’s café au lait being a steady seller in supermarkets and convenience stores for 50 years.

With such a long history, however, the company thought the product’s image could use an updating, and they asked artists to submit their designs for a new mascot to be called Yukiko-tan (-tan being an even cuter version of the already cute Japanese name suffix –chan). Six finalists remain in the contest, and Yuki Jirushi recently held a promotional event to help the undecided pick a favorite by utilizing the tentpole that seemingly all major Japanese marketing campaigns are built around: cute girls.

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Shocking noodles: One company turns udon into electricity

Today, ladies and gentlemen, we have for you the future of electricity production. No more mining, no more worries about radiation, no more oil. And it’s as simple as throwing your leftover noodles in a giant pot!

Wait, noodles?

That’s right! Your tasty, leftover udon may soon be producing enough electricity for fifty households!

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New York-style Japanese ramen! We try Totto Ramen in Midtown Manhattan

So, you’re a loyal RocketNews24 reader. You’ve seen us posting about ramen, possibly the greatest food ever, and always wanted a nice big bowl of your own to scarf down. But an international flight to Japan is both expensive and exhausting, so it’s remained little more than a dream for you. You lie awake at night, tossing and turning, as thoughts of hot noodles, thick, delicious broth, and perfectly sliced pork dash through your head. Well, now you can finally put an end to your torture! If you live in New York that is. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep saving for that flight.

A few months back, one of our esteemed Japanese writers found himself in New York and decided to check out one of the city’s finest ramen shops: Totto Ramen. Here’s his thoughts on the Japanese restaurant! Does it measure up??

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Chiharu Hatakeyama and self-sufficiency in the 21st century【People we love】

“Forgive me for asking so abruptly,” Chiharu Hatakeyama begins as she stands on a stage decked out in the familiar TED colours of black, white and red, “but who among you thinks they could wring the neck of a chicken before they ate it?”

After the events of March 11, 2011, when the largest recorded earthquake in Japanese history tore the northeast to pieces and brought with it a wall of water that smashed through everything in its path, Chiharu decided that she had to change. Realising that her entire world could be turned completely upside down in the blink of an eye and that she relied on others–most often people that she had never nor would ever meet–in almost every facet of her life, she set out to achieve a life of complete self-sufficiency. Growing her own vegetables, butchering her own meat, making accessories and clothes for herself, she is now sharing her newly acquired knowledge with as many people as she can via her blog, Facebook page, and more recently a TEDxTokyo talk. This is her story.

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Salted fish dog is popular Kyoto snack that looks about as appetizing as you’d expect

The Kyoto Aquarium is offering a limited summer snack officially dubbed the “ayu salt-cooked hot dog.”

To the uninitiated, this probably sounds like a hot dog topped with some exotic, delicious spice called ayu, but adventurous expats will recognize ayu as a native Japanese fish species often served grilled whole on a stick.

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Show solidarity with fellow runny egg lovers with “over easy” smartphone case

How one prefers their fried eggs cooked is about as divisive an issue as whether Batman or Wolverine would win in a fight. Many a surprise anniversary breakfast in bed has no doubt ended in bitter tears due to fried eggs being prepared in the incorrect way.

But you can avoid this unnecessary situation and show solidarity with fellow runny egg lovers with this new “egg in a basket” iPhone 5 case. Just snap your iPhone inside and share the other half with your runny egg soul mate; then, by clicking the two halves together as a secret greeting, you can baffle and enrage all those cretinous fully cooked yolk lovers at the diner.

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Cute, occasionally terrifying images appear in Japanese produce

People often say that cuteness is a religion in Japan, and really they’re only half-joking. Fashion magazines have even broken the faith into sects such as adult cute (otona kawaii), sexy cute (ero kawaii), elegant cute (eleganto kawaii), and the somewhat redundant “cute cute” (kyuuto kawaii).

Just as some of the faithful hold that Jesus’ image at times appears on potato chips and tortillas to remind mankind of his existence, so too do the gods of cuteness occasionally manifest themselves on foodstuffs in Japan.

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The 10 convenience store candies that are perfect for summer (we hope you like salt)

We’re pretty sure the last time someone went out of their way to eat hard candies when perfectly good ice cream and chocolate bars were available nearby was the 1930s or those tin candy scenes from that heartbreaking anime, Grave of the Fireflies.

But in Japan, candy comes in so many crazy flavors, colors and varieties, you’d be remiss not to at least try the convenience store greatest hits. Unfortunately, doing so would probably give you adult onset diabetes, so we’ve gone ahead and tried all the candy on offer because we’re already gross and diseased anyway. Here are our top 10 picks for the greatest hard candies on offer at Japanese convenience stores.

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How to make café-caliber coffee and snacks with your toilet

Starbuck’s remains a hugely successful coffee chain in Japan drawing droves of workers on a daily basis. Of course, their drinks don’t come cheap, which is why the guys at Omocoro are constantly looking for ways to recreate the Starbucks experience at home and on the cheap like their homemade Frappuccino.

In another experiment they sent writer Kisho into a back room, locked the door, and told him not to come out until he could surpass the Starbucks formula.

It’s been four months, and everyone at Omocoro has forgotten about Kisho’s existence. However, some startling news out of Hong Kong has him racing against the clock to complete his mission or die trying. Here is his story.

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