Month: November 2014

Two-Shot from Heaven

Mirin Furukawa from x Rena Matsui from SKE48



Hida Beef Burgers at Lotteria: Tender, Juicy, and Expensive

I’ve been to the Hida (飛騨) area in Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県/Gifu-ken) twice now, and I highly recommended it. Shirakawa-go (白川郷) and Gero Onsen (下呂温泉) are amazing, and if you’re looking for a place to travel in Japan that’s just a little out of the way, you should check them out. But the best thing about Hida is the Hida beef (飛騨牛/Hida gyuu). This is Hida beef:


Hida beef often comes served in the “hooba miso (朴葉味噌)” style, where slices of beef and tofu are laid on top of miso, which is spread over a kind of leaf (you don’t eat the leaf).

So when I saw that Lotteria, home of all the weird burgers, was selling a Hida beef burger with hooba miso sauce, I knew I had to give it a try.

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As you can see, the price is a rather steep ¥1,300. As this includes a drink OR a salad OR french fries, it’s not quite a bargain. Still, my husband and I shelled out for two of them.

As I entered my local Lotteria, I saw a sign above the counter proclaiming that the Hida beef burger was “10食限定 (juushoku gentei/limited to 10 servings).” I was able to take 2 home.


As the box explains, Lotteria is currently in the middle of a campaign where a burger made from a different brand of Japanese beef goes on sale on the 29th of each month (肉の日[niku no hi/meat day]).

Let’s take a look at the Hida beef burger:



Who put this thing together?

Lopsidedness aside, the burger was pretty straightforward. The patty was big and thick, and there was miso sauce on top, and some kind of different sauce on the bottom. There were no vegetables.


The hamburger was a hamburg steak (ハンバーグ), with onions inside it. It was soft and juicy, and really good. The miso was sweet; the bit of bread left after I finished the burger (thanks to the lopsided construction) was soaked in the miso sauce and became a nice dessert. But I don’t know if it was worth ¥1300. Maybe about ¥800 or so. My husband pointed out that hamburg steaks usually contain egg, breadcrumbs, and other ingredients meant to make the patty thick and soft, so we don’t even know how much of this was actually Hida beef.

Like all of Lotteria’s crazy items, it’s something to try just for the sake of trying. I’m thinking of trying the Kobe beef (神戸牛/Kobe gyuu) burger when it comes out in January 2015. But I won’t be eating the Hida beef burger again. I can’t wait to go back to Gifu and eat real Hida beef.

10 things that make Japan female-friendly【Women in Japan Series】



We at RocketNews24 previously told you about 10 Things Japan Gets Awesomely Right. Now we want to tell you about ten more things that are equally awesome, but especially for women in Japan. It doesn’t mean that men don’t also find these things impressive, but we’re betting that some of these have never been noticed by men, because, well, they were designed with women in mind.

Every woman likes to be pampered every now and then, and in Japan it’s just too easy to get used to some of the every day niceties we enjoy! Of course the Japanese are known for being polite, which helps tremendously to get through any stressful day, but Japan goes that extra step sometimes to make things that much nicer. After all, it’s the little things in life that matter, right?

So here’s our list of 10 things that make it so darn…

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Kansai Police Use Mario Kart to Prevent Car-Related Crimes

It’s hard to find topics to blog about, but sometimes things just fall into your lap.

When I came home from the supermarket today, there it was. It was hanging up right in the lobby of my very own apartment building. It was beautiful. Behold:


At first, it looks like an advertisement for a Mario Kart game. But no. No no no no. This is so much better.

Check the bottom:


“Kyoto Prefectural Police, Osaka Prefectural Police, Hyogo Prefectural Police”

This, friends, is an official police-sponsored campaign. Starring Mario.

What are the police telling us, via Mario?


“Prevent car-related crimes! Here are 5 Mario-recommended techniques”

I’m going to stop right here and make an confession before I go any further: I don’t like Mario Kart, or any other racing games. But…car-related crimes are not something you have to worry about in Mario Kart, right? That’s a different game, right?

So what does Mario recommend?


“Always lock your doors after getting out!”


“Keep your car empty!”


“Install an immobiliser!”


“Park in parking lots with good security features!”


“Use anti-theft screws and equipment!”

Okay. Those aren’t bad tips. But read them again, and then look at Mario’s car. Does…does that thing even have doors? Couldn’t thieves (Bowser?) just, like, pick it up and carry it away? Wait, why are the wheels sideways?

Anyway, there you have it. Kansai police using a racing game character to promote crime prevention. (I’m pretty sure that this has to do with the fact that Nintendo company headquarters are in Kyoto.) It’s amazing. And it literally came right to my back door. THANK YOU UNIVERSE.