Unmanned roadside stores in Japan

One of the things I've always really liked about Japan is that once you get out of the big cities, you start coming across these things called mujin hanbai, literally "unmanned selling." Mujin hanbais are simply small, open-faced huts with shelves and a roof. Owned by a nearby local farmer, more often than not, they're […]

Don't eat this iPhone case!

You know those super real-looking food samples on display – sampuru – in front of restaurants all over Japan? Now, imagine a mashup between those and your phone case. Here's Rakuten's nice line up of delicious-looking coverings for your phone. There is everything from sushi to pizza toast to curry and tacos, from bacon and […]

Einstein's Theory of Relativity Tested at Tokyo Skytree

On October 3rd, two high-accuracy clocks were placed in Tokyo Skytree. One was installed on a ground floor meeting room, while the other went all the way to the observation deck, 634 meters up. They were put there by a group of scientists from The University of Tokyo. Why? To test Einstein's theory of relativity, […]

Booze in a 'juice' box

In Japan, you don't have to drink your sake from a cup or a glass or even a bottle. If you're in the mood for a little imbibing on your walk home from work and don't want to worry about having to recycle a bottle or a can, or maybe you would just rather sip […]

Ooey gooey DIY candies

These candies have been around for awhile in Japan, but I can't help but think that with the slime craze that's been all over Youtube for the last few years, kids in other countries might truly appreciate the ooey gooey goodness of Japanese Nerunerunerune candies. The company Kracie was established in Japan in 1887 as […]

Flavored eel bones: a crunchy yummy snack

I'm no stranger to eating bones. As a child I was like a cat hearing the lid being peeled off a can and flying into the kitchen to see what's for dinner. Every time my mother opened some canned salmon, there I'd be, standing by her side waiting for her to drop some of those […]

Senko hanabi: Japanese sparklers light the summer nights

Summer in Japan isn't summer in Japan unless there are fireworks—and lots of them. Cities and towns, temples and ports; somewhere near you, on one of these hot and outrageously humid summer nights, there will be a fireworks show. It will be loud, and it will be incredible. The quiet side of summer pyrotechnics, though, […]

Lactic acid bacteria chocolate, another delicious treat from Japan

It's not like I need another reason to eat chocolate. But if I were looking for one, I think the South Korean company Lotte might have found it. Probiotic chocolate. Or more specifically, Lactic acid bacteria – (lactobacillales) fortified chocolate. In Japanese it's called nyuusankin, and I've seen the characters written on all kinds of […]

"U.S.A." music video, by Da Pump, is all the rage in Japan

Why?

Chaos Soup: Japanese tomato smoothie with cream cheese

Kirin Sekai no Kitchen has recently started selling a product they call Melting Chaos Soup. It's sold beside the bottled water and teas. Now, I'm not a fan of tomato soup or juice, but I liked the label so picked one up. I noticed the small pictures of tomatoes, cheese, and what I thought was […]

Bee spit is the special sauce in this Japanese Voice Care Candy

Are you one of those people who use your voice a lot? Work, home, a side hustle like a podcast perhaps? If you are, then I've got the candy for you. While searching for chocolate one day, I ran across these Voice Care Throat Lozenges (by the Japanese company Kanro). The Japanese is fine, but […]

Warabi Mochi: a gooey Japanese summer dessert, now in chocolate mint

There's a gelatinous, slightly chewy, delicious-when-served-chilled dessert in Japan called warabi mochi. It is made from starch, water, and sugar. Simple. The usual way it's served is generously covered in soybean flour and then squirted with some brown sugar syrup. It's interesting to note that the original starch used for making warabi mochi was derived […]

Five dead after air conditioners break down in Japanese hospital

Five octogenarian patients died after air conditioning units at the Fujikake Y&M Daiichi Hospital in Gifu City failed. While some patients were moved to the cooler second floor, others were left in the hot floors for a week. Four of those who remained died between August 26 and 27, with the fifth dying on August […]

Review: Blendy Black Lemon Coffee from Japan

In Japan when I see the name Blendy, I imagine coffee. Usually I think instant coffee, or some kind of stick thats contents can be stirred into hot water to make a cup of joe in various flavors. Normal flavors like latte, espresso, or farm latte (there really is a farm latte.) Farm latte aside, […]

Moon Viewing Burger: a McDonald's meal you can only get in Japan

Every fall in Japan, McDonald's releases a Moon Viewing Burger (Tsukimi Burger). Basically, it's a burger with a perfectly round fried egg in the middle somewhere. This year added to the regular lineup is a new Golden Tsukimi Burger. Not only do you get a golden bun (that smells like butter!), but also a thick […]

Have you ever heard of the superstition "Don't Pee on the Worm"?

One of the most baffling superstitions I've ever heard while living in Japan came from my mother-in-law. One day we were walking on a trail with my kindergarten-aged son when we looked down to see there was an earthworm crossing our path. We stopped, but before I could find a stick to nudge him out […]

Zombear: adorable undead mascot for blue curry

Bears live in Japan, especially Hokkaido. So it's no surprise that people hunt and eat them from time to time. It's also no shock that one of these animals might end up in a pot of curry. Bear curry isn't so entirely surprising. But what is surprising, though, is this new thing I found from […]

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