Tokyo has some of the most considerate public transit passengers in the world and I have witnessed this first hand when we visited the Land of The Rising Sun a couple years ago.
People simply ride quietly and everybody watching their cellphones (which is pretty much everyone under the age of 90) uses an ear piece to avoid noise pollution.
Well now KFC Japan is doing something about odor pollution on the subway!
Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station will have a temporary KFC location serving their new “Low-Odor Fried Chicken Home Type.”
Passengers will now be able to eat on the train without nauseating the passengers around them! When you get home and nuke your meal in the microwave however, it’s different story.
The fact the KFC is selling this new revolution in fast food solely at this busy train station may be a signal that many Tokyo train passengers don’t actually enjoy the smell of fried chicken on their way home. Who knew. Especially in the nation that developed KFC Fried Chicken-Scented Bath Bombs!
As I sit here all congested with a head cold, one thought keeps going through my head:
“How awesome would it be to turn the hot tub into a huge vat of chicken soup and just immerse myself in it?”
The minds of the mad scientists of Japan’s fast food industry apparently think the same way I do because they invented this very thing!
KFC Japan partnered with Japanese retailer Village Vanguard to bring the people what they (well, at least some of them) wanted! Enter the drumstick-shaped KFC Chicken-Scented Bath Bomb!
The limited edition explosive soap bombs were even scented with KFC’s signature “eleven secret herbs and spices.”
This Japan exclusive was extremely limited to just 100 units however. To even be eligible, you needed to follow KFC Japan on Twitter and have retweeted their special promotional post of the bath bomb between Nov. 1 and Nov. 15.
Nestle Kit Kat is consistently releasing new unique and creative limited time flavors in Japan, such as Butter, Grilled Potato and Soybean. They have even tried some more gimmicky flavors such as Frozen which was cooled to minus 196 degrees Celsius by use of liquid Nitrogen (I guess that makes the wafer “crisper”).
I remember trying Pineapple, Strawberry, Brandy & Orange (which was awesome!), Green Tea and Yellow Cake flavors on our trip to Tokyo a couple years ago. Some flavors were more memorable than others…
This November, exclusively at Tokyo Station, Nestle Kit Kat released their latest concoction: Tokyo Banana flavor!
The Tokyo Banana is an extremely popular Japanese souvenir sweet. Made from banana puree baked into a sponge cake and then steamed, the soft sweet flavored piece goodness is just heavenly.
So, understandably, the crowds were lined up and ready to pay handsomely for this new Kit Kat golden delight when it was released on November 15th!
The Tokyo Banana Kit Kats are sold in packs of 8 for 702 Yen (approx $6.25 USD) or 15 for 1296 Yen (Approx $11.60 USD).
If any of our readers will be near Tokyo Station in the near future and could pick us up a pack, it would be greatly appreciated!
Our friends at RocketNews (now SoraNews) always have the best tidbits from Japan!
We are all familiar with chocolate fondu fountains that we often seen on the dessert tables of fancy shindigs (or moderately priced buffets).
Heck, if you really want to class up an event, there is the ranch dressing fondu I wrote about previously.
Well Kirin Beer has decided to up the ante in the competitive world of fondu’s by giving away 1,000 curry fondus!
Part of a Summer promotion kicking off this month and running till the end of August, you can collect stickers off specially marked Nodogoshi beers, which are brewed to be compatible with the Japanese curry dishes.
If you have never had Japanese curry, it is a much different taste than Indian or other kinds. Japanese curry is more of a stew-like blend of onions, carrots, potatoes and sometimes a form of meat and is usually served over rice.
To earn the awesome curry fondu (complete with 4 plates, 4 forks & 4 aprons because curry can be messy) and become the envy of all your fondu loving friends, you only need to collect 12 stickers! Just 12 beers or as some of the contractors I used to work with would call it, “a Thursday night”.
If you can’t pack away 12 beers in 3 months, there are other prizes available for 6 or even 3 stickers. But seriously, if a curry fondu is not enough incentive to pack away at least a beer a week over 3 months, you don’t like beer or curry dishes as much as you thought you did…
For me, nothing like a few beers and a good can of Unicorn meat to satisfy my hunger!
Have you ever been so hungry that you could polish off nearly, but not quite, 3 McDonald’s Big Macs?
Well McDonald’s Japan thinks you will be!
Beginning June 7th, McDonald’s in Japan will be bringing back the Giga Big Mac and the Grand Big Mac for a limited time.
The Giga Big Mac is 2.8 times the size of a normal Big Mac because obviously 3 times the size would just be ridiculous. The Grand Big Mac comes in at a more modest 1.3 times the size of the standard Big Mac.
Good news for all the accountants, engineers or other mathematicians out there that are curious, even though the Giga weighs in at 2.8 times the size of a Big Mac, at 700 yen ($6.30 USD) it only costs 1.84 times the price of a 380 yen Big Mac! Yep, Micky D’s believes in bulk discounts I guess. Big thanks to our friends at RocketNews for handling the math for us.
This is the first we have seen of the Giga Big Mac since the Spring of 2016, which does make you question how long McDonald’s thinks it takes to fully digest a Giga Big Mac…
While the Giga was unavailable last time we visited Japan, my biggest fast food regret of last trip to “the land of the rising sun” remains missing out on the McChoco Potato! Otherwise known as Chocolate glazed McDonald’s golden french fries.
That’s right! I said it! “Chocolate glazed McDonald’s golden french fries.”
Anybody that has been following my blog for a while knows of my love for Japanese cuisine and candies, especially their pastries! (Remember the article we had about Japanese sliced chocolate!) Japan is also home to 2017’s World’s Best Pastry chef: Dominique Ansel!
Internationally famous chef Dominique Ansel has an incredible culinary resume.
He was recently named World’s Best Pastry Chef in the 2017 edition of World’s Best 50 Restaurants awards which were announced in Melbourne Australia. Also his Cronut (a croissant-doughnut hybrid pastry) was selected as one of TIME Magazine’s best inventions of 2013.
RocketNews was invited to the opening of his new store in the high end Ginza Mitsukoshi department store. In Japan, it is common for high end department stores to have high end sweets stores (without eating areas) inside.
Japanese desserts and sweets are known for their level of precise detail and cuteness. When my wife and I visited Japan last year, one of the unforeseen difficulties we found (other than navigating the Tokyo subway system) was my wife’s inability to eat many of the desserts because “they were just too cute!”
Here are just some of the stand-outs from the new store opening!
Mr. Kabuki Melon Bread is filled with both sweet red bean paste (which is better than it sounds) and custard cream and obviously a tribute to traditional Japanese Kabuki.
The Orange Hazelnut Pinwheel is made of brioche, containing chocolate cream and caramelized hazelnuts, topped with orange confit.
The Roasted Tomato Hot Dog Bun is adorable and tasty with soft dough, chocolate ears, eyes and nose, but my wife would not be able to enjoy them…
These yummy Apple Marshmallows are marshmallows covered in caramel and coated with white chocolate. The six-piece set comes in a lovely wooden box, making it perfect as a gift.
The Strawberry and Sake Daruma cake are made in the shape of a traditional Japanese daruma doll and absolutely stunning to look at. The cake is made of strawberry gelée and lime-infused sake mousse covered with chocolate.
Of course pull apart Flower cookies
And last but not least, a Zero Gravity Chiffon Cake that is served in a balloon. Forget a fork as a utensil, this cake comes with a pin to pop the balloon.
Congrats to Chef Dominique for the honor and we look forward to what you dream up next!
Dominique Ansel Bakery Ginza
Address: Tokyo-to Chuo-ku Ginza 4-6-16 Ginza Mitsukoshi Department Store B2F
The popular Manga and Anime series Fullmetal Alchemist is getting a live action version late this year…and it looks good!
I think fans of live action fantasy films, such as the Harry Potter franchise, will really enjoy Fullmetal Alchemist. Similar special effects, magic spells and monsters blended with live action adolescent heroes learning to control their powers should be very reminiscent to the Harry Potter fans…or at least hold them over till the next Harry Potter film comes along.
The story follows the Elric brothers and takes place in an Edwardian-style world where alchemy is a science mostly controlled by the government. The brothers attempt to use forbidden magic to resurrect their dead mother but the experiment goes horribly wrong resulting in one of the brother’s soul being bound to a suit of armour.
Director Fumihiko Sori (who was one of the head special effects leads on James Cameron’s Titanic) has vowed to make this live-action movie as close to the anime as possible. The movie has been filmed entirely in the beautiful nation of Italy with an completely Japanese cast, but Sori has said that nothing in the film will reference anything Japanese. This is a cool technique to create a unique world and will hopefully help this film succeed where other Anime to Live Action films (Dragonball Z) have failed.
Here is the original teaser trailer (with English subtitles)
But one thing that takes a Ph.D to figure out their is their mass transit rail system. There are three different lines that all use their own stations, their own pay cards and their own rails. On top of that, many trains shut down after evening rush hour.
Now imagine trying to keep this all straight after you have been out with your pals slamming back some Asahi (my favorite Japanese Beer) or some Sake. Talk about a Kobayashi Mauru!
Well Rocket News reports that software developer Val Labratory has developed a “Drunk Mode” for their Ekisupaato (from the Japanese word eki for“station”) railway navigation app. Simply enter in your home station (preferably while sober) then party on!
When you have had enough (or the bartender tells you that you have) simply hit home and the app navigates you home utilizing the best railways (including their schedules and last trains of the night).
Rocketnews reports that a 67-year-old Singaporean man died of a heart attack after finally catching a rare Pokémon that he’d been after for a long time: Lapras.
When Pokemon Go first launched, there were numerous reports of injuries (and even rare deaths) of players wrapped up in the game, so unaware of their surroundings, that they walked right into traffic, off cliffs or possibly onto Clint Eastwood’s lawn!
It even got to the point that the Japanese government created a safety campaign for Pokemon Go players.
This latest incident does not involve poor situational awareness but is still sad and tragic.
Liang Weiming was playing Pokémon GO at the Marina Bay Sands high-rise resort hotel in Singapore on February 26 when the people he was with say he caught a Lapras and then suffered a heart attack. Witnesses say it happened immediately after he realized he caught the Lapras.
His wife says that her husband suffered from heart disease, and that he had been a fan of Pokémon GO since the day of its release. He had caught over 200 different species and made it to level 28 in the game. The fact that she even knows how many species and what level he was shows how often they must have spoken about Pokemon Go and that, when it comes to gaming, age is just another number.
It is important to note that Pokemon Go has gotten kids healthier as well by getting them to go outside and exercise. But parents: make sure you are teaching your kids about situational awareness at all times.
Sidenote: My wife plays Clash of Clans a lot and I have no idea what her stats are or even her clan name. Does that make me a poor spouse?