Category Archives: FOOD

“Glossy green tea donuts” sound weird, look amazing in Mr. Donut team-up with Kyoto matcha master

Mr. Donut mixes an array of traditional Japanese flavors into a new lineup of irresistible sweets.

They say the only constant in life is change, and if you’re of the perfectly logical opinion that donuts are life, that means change is only constant in donuts as well. So as we bid farewell to one collaboration between Japanese donut chain Mr. Donut and Kyoto matcha merchant Gion Tsujiri, the two companies are already teaming up to deliver a second batch of tempting treats with holes in the middle.

This new selection is dubbed the Tsuya Matcha, or “Glossy Green Tea,” lineup, and the star of the show lives up to the name with a captivatingly beautiful and unique look.

The 180-yen (US$1.75) Fuwamochi Uji Matcha Kuromitsu almost looks like a piece of exquisite ceramic art or lacquerware. The color and luster are thanks to the two-ingredient glaze, which has a matcha chocolate coating around a kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) core topping a soft and chewy donut. Like with all six of the newest donuts, Tsujiri green tea powder is kneaded into the dough before baking.

Similarly stylish is the Fuwamochi Uji Matcha Green Tea and Kinako Whipped Cream (200 yen), with a creamy filling flavored with green tea and kinako (sweet roasted soybean powder) plus a white chocolate/kuromitsu glaze.

There’s also the understated elegance of the Fuwamochi Uji Matcha Azuki Mochi (200 yen) with a filling of mochi and azuki (sweet red bean paste).

Mr. Donut’s always-popular Pon de Ring series is part of the team-up too, starting with the Pon De Ring Uji Matcha (160 yen) which gets straight …continue reading


Diet-friendly Cup Noodle Pro is here, but does it taste as good as the original version?

We taste-test the new high-protein, low-carb version of the instant ramen king.

At its core, what makes dieting difficult is that it usually involves some combination of giving up foods that are convenient and delicious for ones that aren’t. So you’d think that instant ramen would be at the top of the list of natural enemies of people trying to improve their eating habits.

And yet, Cup Noodle maker Nissin has come up with a way it claims will let us have our ramen and eat it too. Its new Cup Noodle Pro doesn’t stand for “professional,” but for “protein,” and the company promises that it delivers the familiar and enticing Cup Noodle flavors with extra protein and far fewer carbs. So to see if they kept that promise, we went out and picked up some Cup Noodle Pro as soon as it went on sale this week, and set up a side-by-side comparison taste test with regular Cup Noodle.

A cup of Cup Noodle Pro is boosted up to 15 grams of protein thanks to an enhanced version of Nissin’s “mystery meat” (as it calls the pork/soy mix) with 1.8 times the protein of the regular Cup Noodle’s. Meanwhile, the Cup Noodle Pro’s noodles are made with a special three-layer frying method that cuts their carbohydrate count roughly in half, for a total of 15.3 grams of carbs in the soy sauce broth/original-flavor Cup Noodle Pro and 18.2 in the Seafood Cup Noodle Pro. On the cost side, there’s a tiny premium for Cup Noodle Pro, which costs 206 yen (US$2) instead of the 193 yen for regular Cup Noodle.

OK, now that we’ve got the numerical data out of the way, let’s get down …continue reading


What are the ten most popular Japanese sake brands? New poll reveals the favorites of sake lovers

Out of hundreds of different sake brands, which ones came out on top?

Japanese sake is renowned worldwide for its richness and complex taste profile. However, despite the all-you-can-drink sake happenings in Tokyo, it can be daunting for first-timers to enter the world of Japanese sake. Maybe you want to try them all or maybe you only want to try the best brands, which leads to the question: what are the best Japanese sake brands?

Voice Note, a polling site, recently held a survey on which brand of sake folks like to drink the most. Votes were tallied and in-depth opinions were collected from 945 individuals who drink habitually. Without further ado, here’s the top 10 most popular Japanese sake brands:

10. Maru (Hakutsuru Sake Brewery)

9. Nihon Sakari (Nihon Sakari Co.)

8. Sho Chiku Bai (Takara Shuzo)

7. Koshi no Kanbai (Ishimoto Sake Brewery)

6. Gekkeikan (Gekkeikan Sake Company)

5. Kiku-Masamune (Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewery)

Starting in more detail from spot number five we have Kiku-Masamune, a sake from Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewery based in Hyogo Prefecture. Brewed with locally grown rice and spring water from Hyogo Prefecture’s iconic Mount Rokko, Kiku-Masamune sake has an overall well-rounded taste with undertones of Yoshino cedar. Neither too sharp nor light, one of the sake’s appeal points is also how well it complements the lighter dishes of Japanese cuisine, such as soba or sashimi.

4. Kenbishi (Kenbishi Sake Brewery)

With a striking sword-like motif emblazoned on its bottles, the appeal points of Kenbishi sake lie in its unique coloration and long history. Compared to …continue reading


What happens in the kitchen of a conveyor belt sushi restaurant? Let’s find out at Sushiro!

The mega popular kaitenzushi chain has a new branch in downtown Tokyo, and they let us into the back room.

Sushiro is one of Japan’s favorite kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) chains, but many of their restaurants are located in the suburbs. So imagine our joy when a new branch recently opened up in Tokyo’s downtown Shinjuku Sanchome neighborhood, just a short walk from SoraNews24 headquarters!

It wasn’t long until our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa dashed out the door to check the place out for himself. Rather than taking a seat in the dining area, though, on this day Sushiro was letting him into the back room for a close-up look at how they make their palate-pleasing, wallet-friendly sushi.

But before Seiji was allowed into the inner sanctum, he had some hygiene hurdles to clear. Anyone entering the kitchen is required to thoroughly wash their hands (following an eight-step process), change into an apron and hair net, remove any dust or debris from other exposed pieces of clothing, wash their hands once again, and put on a pair of gloves.

The procedure felt a little like he was purifying himself for some sort of religious ritual, and in a way he was, since for Sushiro, its kitchen is a sacred place.

Obviously, the use of technology is what separates conveyor belt sushi restaurants from regular sushi restaurants. Seiji quickly learned that the techno-culinary equipment doesn’t stop at mere conveyance, though. One of the first sights he saw inside the kitchen was a bank of multiple rice-cooking robots, since …continue reading


6 Sakura Flavored Sweets in Japan

Source: Gaijin Pot

Another year, another beautiful sakura (cherry blossom) season. The flowers are in full bloom and so is my appetite for all the abundant sakura-themed foods currently flooding the market in Japan.

From fizzy, creamy drinks to donuts and sweets—plus foods you wouldn’t consider for a sakura infusion—I’m on a mission to savor some of this year’s newest cherry blossom-flavored treats.

What do cherry blossoms even taste like? If you were to pluck a few petals off a tree, it would taste pretty gross. Trust me. I tried it. However, they are edible and have been used in sweets and teas for centuries. Cherry blossoms have a sweet and fruity rose flavor, almost like regular cherries, and sometimes sour depending on how genuine the taste is.

1. Starbucks ‘Sakura Fuwari Berry Frappuccino’

I can’t feel my teeth.

Starbucks and its brand of melted ice cream they’ve tricked the world into believing is coffee has become the poster child for sakura-themed drinks in Japan. I was not a fan of last year’s concoction and can’t say this year’s Sakura Fuwari (soft) Berry Frappuccino fairs much better.

It’s still unforgivably sweet.

The milky frappuccino uses sakura-strawberry sauce, sweet and sour raspberry panna cotta and vanilla-and-sakura crumble—none of which I can differentiate from the taste of sugar. At least this time they blend in chunks of freeze-dried strawberries and not last season’s blobs of phlegm-like jelly.

I also got a sakura brick—I mean donut. The heavy cake donut is coated with fruity sakura glaze and salty-sweet sakura powder.

2. Convenience store lattes

Better and cheaper than Starbucks.

Starbucks isn’t the only place in Japan selling sakura-themed coffee drinks. Almost every café …continue reading


The best and worst Japanese food for foreigners

After catering to people from over 15 countries at events, there are some clear winners and losers in the world of Japanese cuisine.

When you take your taste buds on a journey into the world of foreign cuisine, you’re bound to discover some dishes that are easy on the palate while others may take a bit more getting used to.

That’s what our Japanese-language reporter Miho Kazuki found when she moved to Ireland to study. Not only did she learn about her own likes and dislikes; after preparing traditional Japanese dishes for numerous cultural exchange activities she discovered some things about how foreigners respond to food from her home country as well.

During her time overseas, Miho has served Japanese food to foreigners from over 15 countries across Europe, Asia and America, and after repeated trial and error to cater to their palates, she’s found the top five dishes that foreigners want to eat. So let’s get to it and look at the results below!

5. Nikujaga

This dish of simmered potatoes, carrots, onions and meat is a combination people from a lot of countries are familiar with, so there’s nothing that stands out as too unusual here. Even the salty sweet seasoning of soy sauce and sugar is one that’s pleasing to a wide range of palates, so if you’re looking for somewhere safe to begin your journey into Japanese food that’s slightly less well-known, this is a great place to start.

▼ The warm and homely flavours of nikujaga.

4. Ramen

Noodles exist pretty much everywhere, but Japanese ramen is particularly loved for its tasty broth, the most popular of which is soy, miso or tonkotsu (pork bone). …continue reading







今日はワインはこちらのスペインでしか取れない珍しい品種のブドウ ヴェルデホのワインと一緒にいただきました。
コドーニュという長い歴史のあるスペインのワイナリーのもので、 豊潤な香りが高く、なんとなく月桂樹を思わせるハーブの香りがありながら、 程よい果実味とドライフルーツのような風味。さっぱりとした辛口で香り豊か。









dプログラム エッセンスインクレンジングフォーム


dプログラム トライアルセット


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Mos Burger releases new teriyaki burger-flavored snack fries with a slight identity crisis

Is it a burger, fries, or something else entirely? We may have stumbled upon the first recognized case of burger-ception.

Mos Burger has been known to play around with people’s perceptions of what constitutes a burger on occasion. However, this time they’ve taken things a step further by releasing what essentially boils down to be the taste of a burger in potato form.

The new Mos Burger Potatoes–Teriyaki Burger-Flavored snack fries are the first collaborative venture between the burger chain and food supplier Ajigen. As alluded to in their somewhat confusing name, the flavor of these fully snackable fries is based on the popular Mos teriyaki burger which is also displayed on the front of the pouch packaging. Our Japanese-language foodie correspondent Saya Togashi was intrigued by this new release and vowed to unpack its mystery by comparing it to regular Mos Burger fries.

The burger-flavored fries have been on sale at limited Mos Burger locations throughout Japan since March 25. A 50-gram (1.76-ounce) pack currently retails for 220 yen (US$2.00).

Regular Mos Burger fries are of the straight, medium-thick, and entirely delicious variety. Saya was curious how the new snack fries would stack up to the real thing.

▼ Regular Mos Burger fries

Upon opening the bag, fragrant seasoning immediately drifted up to her nose. According to the packaging, “hidden” flavors included both white and red fine miso powder.

Here’s some fun trivia. As noted on the back of the pouch, Mos Burger actually originated the teriyaki burger in …continue reading


Insider tip leads us to one of the best obento lunchbox finds in Japan!

Value-for-money bentos so good we were tempted to keep the secret to ourselves.

Walk into any supermarket in Japan and you’ll find ready-made obento lunchboxes filled with rice and a variety of different morsels to provide you with a filling, well-balanced meal.

Not all bento meals are made the same however, and locals often know where the best ones are hiding, so when we heard whispers of a bento range so good the locals want to keep the secret to themselves, we knew we had to set out to find it, and the trail led us to a supermarket chain in Okinawa called Union.

Union’s 24-hour supermarkets are beloved by locals for their cheap prices and convenience, but not many people outside the prefecture know about them. Locals are happy for the chain to remain under the radar, though, because that means there’s less competition for their goods, especially their prized bentos, which come wrapped in eye-catching paper that advertises what’s inside, with a humorous nod to the Union logo and catchphrase.

▼ “Union Desu Kara!” (“Because it’s Union!”) is the chain’s catchphrase, so their “Nori Ben” (seaweed bento) is sold as “Nori Ben Desu Kara!

There’s not just one type of Union bento available here, though, as there’s also the “Buta Hire Katsudon Desu Kara!” (Pork Tenderloin Katsudon)…

…the “Gorogoro Yakitori Noukou Goma Ninniku Desu kara!” (Rumbling Stomach Grilled Chicken Rich Sesame Garlic) and the “Ebi Fry Tamagotojidon Desu Kara!” (Deep Fried Prawn Raw-egg-topped Bowl)…

…and “Za Uchinaa Bento” (The …continue reading


Japan’s favourite conveyor belt sushi chain

Whenever (if ever…) tourism opens back up again, one must-visit place for many foreigners is a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant, so this survey from goo Ranking into Japan’s most favourite conveyor-belt sushi chain may be useful for ideas of where to go. This video might also give you tips on how to behave whilst there:

Note that in Japanese, the “conveyor belt” part of the name is pronunced as “kaiten” (or sometimes “mawashi” or “mawaru”), so I have kept the original Japanese rendering in this translation.

Despite having been in Japan more years than I care to remember, I’ve only once been to a sushi place and I stayed clear of the whole raw fish section…

Ranking result

Rank Sushi chain Votes
1 Sushiro 340
2 Kura Sushi 238
3 Hamazushi 165
4 Kappa Sushi 81
5 Gatten sushi 51
6 Kaiten Sushi Triton 33
7 Sushi Choushimaru 32
8 Morimori Sushi 16
9 Kaisen Misakiko 14
10 Himi Kitokito Sushi 13
10 Kaiten Sushi Nemuro Hanamaru 13
12 Nigiri Tokubei 11
12 Kaiten Sushi Nagoyakatei 11
14 Umai Sushi Kan 10
14 Kanazawa Maimon Sushi 10
14 Daiki Suisan Kaiten Sushi 10
17 Nigiri Chojiro 9
18 Mawashi Sushi Katsu Katsumi Tori 7
18 Kaiten Sushi Yamato 7
18 Kaiten Sushi Hokkaido 7
18 Kaisen Atom 7
22 Gourmet Kaiten Zushi Hakotaro 6
22 Maguro Wholesaler Miura Misaki Port 6
24 Dokuraku Sushi 5
24 Edomae Sushi Totomaru 5
24 Kaiten Sushi Matsuriya 5
27 Heiroku Sushi 4
27 Kaiten Sushi Numazuko 4
29 Magurobito 3
29 Mawaru Sushi Zanmai 3
29 Tomizushi 3
29 Gansozushi 3
29 Tenka Sushi 3
29 Sushi Tora 3
35 Kaito 2
35 Nihonkai 2
35 Sushi Daijin 2
35 Edo-mae Kaiten Sushi Moriichi 2
35 Edo-mae Kaiten Sushi Gyoshin 2
40 Kaiten Sushi Taisei 1
40 Sushi Ikkan 1
40 Shijakku 1
40 Kaiten Sushi Kaneki 1
40 Oedo 1
40 Kaiten Sushi Sushiemon 1


Between the 25th of November and the 9th of December 2020 1,154 visitors to goo Ranking services completed a public questionnaire. No further demographics were given.

The post Japan’s favourite conveyor belt sushi chain first appeared on 世論 What Japan Thinks.

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