Enjoy the Height of Japanese Desserts With The Tallest Matcha Parfait in Japan

2017-09-20 08:18

Matcha is probably one of the most recognized of Japanese flavors, even beyond Japanese borders. While it is a delight to sip matcha in the traditional style, sweets containing matcha are a more accessible way to enjoy the rich and concentrated powder. And while cakes, cookies, donuts, macarons and other varieties of sweets containing matcha continue to appear on Japanese store shelves, one combination stands out among all others as a perennial favorite with matcha lovers: matcha ice cream! For example, ice cream giant Haagen Dazs created a bittersweet matcha crumble ice cream bar, Shizuoka-based gelato shop Nanaya prides itself on offering the darkest (and most intense) matcha ice cream…


Japanese Sweets Maker Combines Pudding and Pancakes In Super Convenient Packaging

2017-09-20 03:19

When it comes to nostalgic taste in Japan, you won’t find many bigger names than sweets and snacks maker Morinaga. Their popular caramels were a childhood favorite of those in the Showa era, so much that they were turned into McShakes for a vintage success. One of the company’s most well-known products, however, is their pancake mix, which has even inspired a maple syrup pancake hot spring in Japan. Now Morinaga is delivering their popular pancake mix flavor in two forms sure to be a sweet success: pancake flavored pudding and pancake flavored ice cream bars. Source: PR Times Japanese-style pudding is often compared to Flan or creme caramel, made…


The Mystery of Cup Noodle’s Mystery Meat is Finally Cleared

2017-09-20 01:31

When Cup Noodle released its Mystery Meat Festival noodles last year to celebrate its 45th anniversary, fans of the ubiquitous instant noodles were surprised by Nissin’s bold move. After all, for the past 45 years since it first appeared on store shelves, all it took for customers was a cursory glance at the ingredients list to realize that Cup Noodles original flavor contained pork. And yet, the tasty pieces of protein floating in their cups clearly contained other ingredients which were not yet identified. For the company to embrace the “mystery factor” and make it into a selling point created a renewed interest in the true identity of this “mystery…


Fullmetal Alchemist Anime Director Criticizes Live Action Film’s All Japanese Cast

2017-09-20 01:48

Takes on the all-Japanese cast of the upcoming live action Fullmetal Alchemist film seem to cover the spectrum of reservation, optimism, and apathy, but original anime director Seiji Mizushima has at least made his opinion known. During a roundtable discussion at Tokyo’s 2017 Nikufes (Meat Festival–which may seem random, but the festival has been promoting itself with idol and anime song performances) the director of the popular anime series stated that “It was a bad idea to only use Japanese actors”, reports Anime News Network. The comments were made during an open discussion with Hiroshi Kanemaru (Popin Q) and Tomoki Misawa (Urawa no Usagi-chan), while talking about anime as a…


Set Sail on Yokohama Bay for a Pirate-Themed Anime Song DJ Party

2017-09-19 06:39

Since the mid-2000s, Japan has developed and refined a unique spin on club culture called anikura (a term combining “anime songs” and “club”), in which DJs play anime songs or other genres within the Akiba-kei, or Akihabara style spectrum (namely, anime songs, songs from tokusatsu and action hero shows, video game and PC game music, idol songs, songs by anime voice actors, dempa songs, chiptune, etc.) — either in their original form or as remixes with EDM — and VJs plays clips from anime or other media matching the tunes. At first limited to clubs like MOGRA Akihabara and Club Tsukiakari Yumeterasu in Kawasaki, anime song DJ parties can now…


Japanese Slit Drum Inspired By Traditional Garden Ornament Makes Beautiful Otherworldly Sounds

2017-09-19 02:16

When you think of Japanese instruments, you may be familiar mostly with the koto, shakuhachi, and shamisen, as well as how they can be used to give popular music a beautiful and traditional Japanese twist. Thanks to Twitter user @wyrm06, many even in Japan are now discovering an otherworldly rippling instrument that they had never heard of before called the Hamon Slit Drum. With 70,000 tweets, many are surprised to find out that the pings and echoes of the Hamon Slit Drum actually come from a Japanese instrument. 日本にもヤバい金属楽器はある!という事で「波紋音」です。あまりにも豊かな倍音成分がヤバくて無限。Rav drumと同じ金属製のスリットドラムですが作品ごとにランダムな切れ込みになっており、完全に自分だけの楽器になります。この個体はオーナーが中に鎖を仕込んでいてビビり音が出ます。 pic.twitter.com/0gW0R3gvsz — サカン@世界の打楽器 (@wyrm06) 2017年9月17日 Of course, the Hamon is very similar to the Russian RAV Drum (seen below), along…


It’s a Fukui Sharknado! Or is it?

2017-09-19 01:49

Sometimes, certain less populated prefectures of Japan which are less commonly frequented by tourists and less commonly known by average city-dwellers are characterized in popular culture as wild and dangerous. For the most part, such characterizations are tongue-in-cheek, and even the locals enjoy playing it up. This seems to be the case with Fukui, located in the central Chubu region of the Honshu island facing the Sea of Japan, and one of the least populated prefectures. This picture posted on Twitter last Saturday by @oyayubi_814, along with the caption: “Fukui…dangerous!” caused quite a stir. It would seem to be a hammerhead shark lying on a street gutter, clearly far removed…


Absolutely Stunning Photos Of Hokkaido’s Fire Walking Festival Bring Japanese Folklore To Life

2017-09-19 11:33

Japanese festivals seem to put a priority on spectacle, whether they be magical lantern festivals that seem like they came right out of Spirited Away, or penis festivals with giant marching phalluses, guests always walk away with a sight to remember. Japan’s most northern prefecture of Hokkaido is home to a many regional festivals, but it’s dramatic fire-walking festival held in the town of Furubira may be one of its most spectacular. Source: @katuka2 While not the only fire-walking (hi no watari) event in Japan, Furubira’s festival adds a theatrical flair by having a Tengu cross a barrier of towering wall of flames. Tengu (“Heavenly Dog”) are somewhat disruptive spirits…


“Blackface Potato Chips” Leave Questionable Aftertaste

2017-09-15 05:03

One of the features characterizing the Japanese commercial food and beverage industry is that new variations of products, whether in flavor, packaging, or size, continually appear on the market, some lasting a whole season, others only lasting a few weeks. In other words, consumers can expect to see something new at all times. A stroll through the aisles of a Japanese convenience store is never boring. Right now, this is what you’re likely to see in the potato chips section of your local store: source: Grape Inc. “Wait a second? What’s a Japanese man in blackface doing on the cover of that bag of chips?” you may wonder. It turns…


Cowboy Bebop Director Shinichiro Watanabe Is Directing A Blade Runner Anime Short

2017-09-15 05:06

Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo director Shinichiro Watanabe will have his hands full in collaborating on the U.S. live-action TV series of Cowboy Bebop, but in the mean time he will be keeping himself busy as he directs and writes the script for an upcoming short Blade Runner anime. Titled Blade Runner Black Out 2022, the anime short is set in the year 2022, between the original Blade Runner film and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049. According to Cinema Pia, the story will revolve around massive blackouts on the West Coast of the United States, which leads to a food shortage crisis. A scientist develops a new artificial farming method…


Japan’s Scariest Haunted House Experience Has Guests Wander Through An Abandoned Hospital

2017-09-15 04:49

Japan’s fascinating lore of vengeful spirits and abundance of spooky abandoned spots has resulted in some particularly interesting horror-themed services (as well as Instagram accounts), such as a taxi cab tour that drops you off at a series of haunted spots. Sometimes it’s the basics that are most terrifying, and that can be seen at Fuji-Q Highland’s Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear, an abandoned hospital-themed maze that claims to be the longest and scariest house of horrors in the world. Located in Yamanashi prefecture, the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park is most known for its adventurous roller coasters, it’s 900 meter long labyrinth of terror is one of its most sought-after…


New and Improved Shrine Maiden Loungewear is Back by Popular Demand

2017-09-14 07:16

The miko, or shrine maidens, who assist in various capacities in Shinto shrines, are probably one of the more iconic images of traditional Japan with their simple red and white robes. The miko is also a favorite and recurring character type in manga and anime, from Rei Hino / “Sailor Mars” in Sailor Moon, Kaho Mizuki in Cardcaptor Sakura, the Hiiragi siblings in Lucky Star or Nozomi Tojo in Love Live! This popularity has made miko or miko-inspired outfits a common sight in the cosplaying community. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way you could indulge in the miko fantasy within the comfort of your own home? The…


Japanese Nerd And Fetish Brand Releases Gakuran School Uniform Swimsuit

2017-09-14 05:54

While by no means a booming fashion trend, in recent years Japan has seen a growing interest in the colorful niche of themed swimsuits. While they are obviously attention-getters at any beach or poolside gathering, they also function as valuable pieces for cosplayers and models, as seen with the Shrine Maiden Bikini. Japanese fetish and design brand School Fiction has been leading the way with a fashion lineup of “sexy” swimsuits with the aesthetic of traditional Japanese school uniforms. The latest in their series takes another classic Japanese school uniform, the gakuran, and transforms it into a stylish and very convincing swimsuit. Source: School Fiction The gakuran is a stand-up…


Beautiful Mirror Landscape Rivaling Bolivia’s Salt Flats Found in Niigata Prefecture

2017-09-14 11:53

One of the most beautiful and otherworldly landscapes on our planet, the Salar de Uyuni in the Bolivian Altiplano is on the list of places to visit for many tourists headed to South America. When covered with a thin layer of rainwater, the largest salt flats in the world famously create perfectly smooth mirror-like vistas which are a favorite among photographers. However, as it turns out, Japan also has its own mirror landscape providing a breathtakingly beautiful scene. Niigata Prefecture-based photographer and Twitter user Shin Uehara posted these amazing shots of the Sasagawa Nagare coastline. source: @fuehrsn source: @fuehrsn source: @fuehrsn 新潟のウユニ 新潟県村上市の笹川流れで撮影した写真です! 岩場に囲まれた場所があり、とても美しくリフレクションしていました😆 #美しき新潟の風景 #写真好きと繋がりたい #ファインダー越しの私の世界 pic.twitter.com/zK0paecKw1 — uehara shin (@fuehrsn) 2017年9月11日…


Universal Studios Japan Is Opening Up Final Fantasy And Sailor Moon Attractions

2017-09-14 10:18

As part of their Universal Cool Japan initiative (an effort to promote popular Japanese entertainment around the world), Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan has often tapped into the appeal of popular Japanese video game and anime fiction, building attractions inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion and even offering up a Super Nintendo World complete with Mario Kart racing. Now the park has announced that it will be introducing attractions inspired by two mega-popular franchises in Final Fantasy and Sailor Moon. 【更新】ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン®の大人気イベント『ユニバーサル・クールジャパン 2018』にセーラームーンの参加が決定しました!世界観をリアルに体感できるイベントです。https://t.co/DhSpGfeoMC pic.twitter.com/hcbYhSlMRu — セーラームーン25th公式 (@sailormoon_25th) 2017年9月13日 Starting on January 19th of 2018, USJ will offer a variety of Universal Cool Japan 2018 attractions inspired by Final Fantasy, Great Detective Conan, and…


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