Suika Bar vs watermelon: which popsicle will win?

It’s summer in Japan and that means everyone is on the lookout for ways to cool down and cope with the stifling heat. For many Japanese, relief comes in popsicle form, and one of the most popular and refreshing is the Suika Bar, literally “watermelon bar”, which featured in our recent Japanese convenience store ice-cream ranking.

But what happens when you have a craving for the crunchy watermelon treat and the blistering walk to the shops is too much to bear? Our Japanese reporter recently faced this dilemma and tried to recreate the popsicle with just the fruit instead. How will the humble frozen watermelon measure up next to its manufactured cousin? We bring you the answer to this summer’s most pressing question after the break.

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Stuff your pooch in a microwave…Wait, make that air conditioner: Japan’s bizarre heating and cooling system for dogs

It’s the dog days of summer and your poor little poochie is sprawled out on the hardwood floor, trying to suck up as much coolness as possible. She’s looking up at you with those pleading, puppy dog eyes, hoping for some sort of relief from the heat because you’re too cheap to turn on the air conditioner. Sure, humans have handheld fans, fancy cooling sprays, and delicious ice cream, but what does Fido get? If you’re in Japan and have enough extra cash, your dog could be chilling out this summer in its own personal air conditioner box.

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New drink for REAL MEN packs a COOL PUNCH on a hot summer day

Feeling thirsty? MEN’S CIDER COOL PUNCH (official name, no extra emphasis from our side) will cool you down, and reinforce your extreme manliness.

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Beat the heat with cute and cool kakigori!

The best part of summer is, without question, all the delicious frozen foods!

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbert, milkshakes, and, of course, shaved ice, or kakigori in Japanese, are some of the most delectable things to you can gobble down to help keep your cool this summer.

But, since this is Japan, simple kakigori with strawberry syrup just isn’t enough! Here’s some of the cutest shaved ice you’ll see this year!

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Make a paper tuna with free summer craft templates from Scotch Tape Japan

“Mom, I’m bored!” When you’re a kid, you can’t wait for summer vacation to start, but once it’s in full swing and the initial excitement of not having to go to school has worn off, the whining begins. Parents are left to scrounge for every scrap of creativity they have left in order to entertain their idling children. Although I don’t have any kids of my own, I can still remember what a terror I was during those long, hot summer days at home.

But this summer, parents are in luck! Scotch (as in the tape) has created a special “summer vacation family crafts” campaign for their Scotch Japan website. With over 300 unique paper craft templates to choose from and a nifty search engine to find them all, your complaining children will be occupied as long as the tape doesn’t run out.

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Cool down this summer with Ice Cup Noodles

When it’s the middle of summer, what do you reach for to get a little relief? Ice cream? Watermelon? How about Cup Noodles?

For most, boiling hot soup is the last thing you want to eat on a hot day, but the official Nissin website has a solution: Ice Cup Noodles. Last year, they suggested adding ice cubes to their popular instant ramen, but the exact amount of ice was unclear, resulting in unhappy (and sweaty) summer soup eaters. This year, Nissin has an exact recipe for those in need of a summer treat. Hungry and desperate for a little relief from the hot Tokyo afternoon, our reporter set out to make the perfect Ice Cup Noodles.

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Pure Ice Vs. Technology: Which is better to beat the heat?

In the never-ending hunt to find ways to keep cool, many in Japan have been flocking to ‘cool towels’, which miraculously claim to provide a cooling sensation with the mere touch of moisture.

However, do these man-made wonders have the goods to keep people cooler than pure ice in such scorching weather? On this tremendously hot and sweaty day, I was tasked with finding out…

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Burger King has answer to summer heat: copious amounts of meat and garlic

We’re still searching for that perfect way to survive summer, whether it be by eating cow tongue ice cream or tossing water onto the street. However, Burger King claims they have the answer we’ve all been looking for: grilled meat, fried garlic, and lots of both.

Starting on 26 July they will be releasing two sandwiches as part of their Summer Stamina series dubbed the Garlic Meat Monster and Garlic Double Cheese.

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94% of Japanese women don’t feel confident in a bikini – How can we solve this crisis?

With Japan being an island country, even in the heat of summer most of the population thankfully isn’t that far from a beach, and there are numerous public pools that open up during the season to help people stay cool.

But while nothing beats a refreshing dip in the water, there’s also the stressful flipside of being seen in public wearing a lot less fabric than usual. In a recent Internet survey, a whopping 94 percent of Japanese women in their 20s and 30s said they don’t have enough confidence in their figure to feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit. Thankfully, they also passed along their tips for dealing with this problem.

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Nettaiya: The unusual heat keeping you miserable all night long

Is it hot in here or is it just me?

No, it’s definitely hot! Even the Japanese Meteorological Agency agrees with me! And according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, or JMA, while the daytime temperatures might be coming down a little bit, the nighttime temperatures at the Tokyo meteorological observatory are hovering around 27.5 degrees Celsius (81.5 degrees Fahrenheit).

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Tokyo heat melting food samples, you could be next

If it isn’t already clear from the sudden influx of summer heat-themed RocketNews24 articles over the past few days, summer is officially upon Tokyo and this year she’s out for blood.

At time of writing, the temperature is expected to reach a high of 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), the streets empty as the oppressive heat drives everyone indoors like so many ants scrambling from a magnifying glass beam.

Don’t believe it? No worries, we’ve brought photographic evidence:

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Hot steamed buns are a great way to cool down in summer, says our slightly crazy Japanese reporter

I used to have a co-worker who, on the hottest of summer days, would drink a pint of hot water through a straw and claim it helped cool her down. Naturally, everyone thought she was insane or belonged to some weird religion, or both, and would try to avoid working a shift alone with her.

But it looks like her weird sect of Scientology or whatever it was may have been onto something, as our Japanese reporter swears by eating microwaved steam buns to cool off in the summer.

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10 tips to help you survive the Japanese summer

Hot enough for ya!? Despite having enjoyed an extremely mild spring, summer in Japan has kicked off with the ferocity of a right-wing tiger with a bad case of hemorrhoids and a stinging mouth ulcer. If you’re from more tropical climes and currently living in Japan you’re likely wondering why everyone keeps moaning “atsuiiiii” (“It’s hoooot!”) and dabbing their faces with handkerchiefs like politicians struggling to explain cross-dressing photos published online. For the rest of us, though, summer is a sweaty nightmare than can not so much be beaten as endured.

Thankfully, we’re here today to help you out with 10 tips for getting through summer without melting into a sad little puddle. Read on, my sweaty friends.

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Just when he thought it was safe to go back in the water – a girl’s guide to gettin’ a guy at the beach

Summer’s the perfect time for romance. You’ll catch couples snuggling on the train, at the department store, in the corner of the café where they think nobody can see them – newsflash, we can. There’s so much sweaty, bare flesh on show, people just can’t keep their hands off each other. And the absolute worst place for sickening displays of “get a room” is at the beach. What is it about the swelling waves and blazing sun that makes people stick together like sand to your bikini bottoms.

But no matter how much you might have the urge to cling, it’s no good if you don’t have a partner to endure your affections. For anyone looking for some summer lovin’, this guide–penned by our very own sister-site writer and native Japanese, Kanako–is for you.

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There’s something about Bubi: Japan can’t get enough of water bottles that collapse to a third of their size

Since being released in April 2013 in Japan, the American-produced Bubi brand of foldable water bottles had become a hit with the public. Despite it not being the first collapsible bottle on the market, as well as it being considerably more expensive, and while it isn’t even the dog days of summer in Japan, online shoppers here have been scooping up Bubis faster than they can be made.

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Subway Japan solves Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) pudding dilemma

Head on over to your nearest Subway the next time you’re wondering, “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?” Starting May 29, the purveyor of those fresh, delicious, made-to-order subs is offering double meat portions on selected sandwiches.
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Bottles? We Don’t Need No Stinking Bottles! In China Everyone Carries Cucumbers to Beat the Heat

In these dog days of summer it’s a pretty good idea to carry around a bottle of water or sports drink to stay safe from heat stroke.  However, in China, home of the melt-proof ice pop, people are into a much more low tech way to keep cool.

One of our reporters was standing at a traffic signal in Shanghai when he spotted an attractive businesswoman rummaging through her purse.  Finding what she was looking for, she pulled out a huge cucumber and started munching on it as nonchalantly as one would drink a cup of coffee from Starbuck’s.  Mildly aroused, he decided to investigate this spontaneous act more deeply.

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Breathtaking Nagaoka Fireworks Will Make You Want to Spend a Summer in Japan

Summer in Japan is all about matsuri, or festivals. Young people dressed in yukata walking through streets lined with food stalls and game booths, the rowdy, drunken group of local men carrying a giant mikoshi shrine through the crowd while yelling “Washoi! Washoi!” and, of course, the fireworks.

The Japanese take fireworks very seriously, which is why Japan is home to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays in the world. To see what we mean, the fireworks show at this year’s Nagaoka Matsuri in Niigata prefecture has been generating buzz on the net thanks to some amazing video footage posted to YouTube. Check it out below!

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Mutant Fish with Transparent Scales Discovered at Japanese Fishery…Among 300,000 Regular Opaque Fish

The ayu, or sweetfish, is a summer delicacy in Japan. Usually coated in salt and grilled over a charcoal fire, the fish is known for its refreshingly sweet taste and is consumed widely by Japanese people every year.

While a typical specimen is similar to a small trout in appearance, an ayu with translucent scales was discovered at a fishery in Gifu prefecture late last month.

We think the issue here isn’t why this happened, but how on earth were they able to spot the little guy…

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