japan

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New Year holidays are a big deal in Japan with the whole country closing up shop so everyone can gather with their families. They also eat something called osechi which is stacked in bento-like boxes and eaten over the course of several days so no one has to cook.

The food even has meaning, like shrimp to represent the elderly and beans to represent health or loyalty. It can even be had in a Pokéball-themed container that includes traditional foods along with stuff like hamburgers to make the kids happy. Each one contains a whopping 26 dishes and costs $136.

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Japanese fast food chain Lotteria is known for its monstrous burgers and huge tubs of fries, and now they’ve turned their creations into equally ridiculous 5-patty cheeseburger and shrimp burger USB sticks.  They’re 18.5cm tall and have 4 GB of memory, but you can’t actually buy them. Instead, Lotteria is giving them away to two followers on Twitter in order to commemorate the 7th anniversary of their “zeppin” (superior) line of burgers.

(Weekly ASCII via Kotaku)

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The Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft hits in November and Blizzard is doing a huge tie-in to promote the game in several McDonald’s locations in Japan. Three restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou were given World of Warcraft makeovers with posters and banners for the game. Even employee uniforms were changed to either Horde or Alliance t-shirts. The front entrances also got cool pillars and some locations even had Thrall’s hammer at the ready for photo ops.

Those ordering delivery will also get a points card to redeem for stuff in the game. The promotion runs through November 4th at which time McDonald’s will once again return to its non-WoW ways.

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Generally speaking, censorship isn’t a good thing…unless it’s clever and funny. A prime example is a new Attack on Titan exhibition that’s being held at the Ueno Royal Museum in Tokyo in late November.

According to Livedoor News, in order to promote the exhibit, the museum put up posters like the one above at the Roppongi Station in Tokyo. AoT is all about giants eating people (and yeah, it can get bloody). So the museum went with some funny self-censorship by making it appear as if the Titans in the posters are eating fast food items instead of people.

The exhibit starts on November 28 and will run until January 25, and it will feature unique art from Hajime Isayama, the creator of AoT, an Oculus Rift 3D movie, a “realistic” Titan (yikes!) a specialized “sound and light” presentation and much, much more.

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Minoo City in Japan is famous for its Japanese Maple trees called momiji, and each year when the leaves change, they celebrate by creating momiji tempura. These fried leaves are first soaked in salt barrels for more than a year before being dipped in batter and fried up into a snack. This is a very old tradition with some saying it’s been around for 1000 years!

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Can you ever have too much ice cream? Well, a doctor might say yes, but I say, “check out this giant tower of ice cream! Eat it all right now! Ice cream is all you need in life!” Cue maniacal laughter and end scene.

The Daily Chico restaurant in the basement of the Nakano Broadway shopping mall in Tokyo makes this epic ice cream monster, which features eight different soft-serve ice creams on a single extra-large sugar cone. The cost isn’t too bad either: 390 yen ($3.60 US). The flavors are as follows, starting from the tippy top: Tochi Otome strawberry, chocolate, mocha, vanilla, melon, grape, matcha green tea and something called ramune (which is a sort of Japanese cider).

If you stop by the restaurant, mind picking me up one? Maybe you can FedEx it or something?

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There’s a little coffee stand in a Japan shipping harbor that serves the best tasting bugs around. Why’s that? Because Akai Tento no Koohii Ten (The Red Tent Coffee Shop) is famous for making bugs that are actually gummy candy.

Gummy on the outside, blueberry jam guts on the inside, these insect larvae come in a variety of species and sizes for ever palate.

Plus, when you squeeze them, goo comes out. Yummy!

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We’ve already seen a burger with black buns, and that was weird enough. But this time Burger King went even further with black cheese.

According to NariNari, the Kuro (Black) burgers will be available in two varieties they’re calling Kuro Pearl and Kuro Diamond. They have buns and cheese made with bamboo charcoal, an onion and garlic sauce made with squid ink and beef patties made with black pepper.

You can get these limited edition burgers beginning later this month. Black cheese though? Yuck.

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McDonald’s Japan locations will start serving up a special and colorful autumn treat on September 10th: purple sweet potato milkshakes. While it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea, it doesn’t seem any more weird to me than Shamrock Shakes. I’d be willing to give it a try!

(Entabe via Kotaku)

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I love fried chicken as much as the next girl, but I’m not so sure I’d be up for the challenge of the fried chicken keyboard. It’s part of a promotion currently being run by KFC in Japan to encourage people to follow the chain on twitter and tweet out their love of all things fried chicken.

There’s also a matching chicken leg mouse and USB stick. None of this is for sale, but they’ll be picking one winner for each of these chicken accessories from among those who follow and tweet with the appropriate hashtags.

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