Company Develops Bread With White Crust to Decrease Food Waste

A Japanese company recently released a white crust milk bread that it hopes will curb the practice of removing the crust when making sandwiches.

Did you know that the vast majority of milk bread sandwiches made daily in Japan have their crusts removed? While crusted sandwiches do exist, the general perception is that the fluffy, white part of Japanese shokupan milk bread is tastier than the brown crust. This perception dates back to a time long ago when the crust was harder to chew through, but things are definitely a lot different today. The crust is nice and soft, but people still seem to prefer crusted sandwiches. That results in a lot of food waste, but one company hopes to change that with an innovative white crust shokupan bread.

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Spoons and Bowls That Use Electricity to Make Food Taste Saltier Go on Sale Next Year

Japanese researchers have created smart kitchenware that relies on electricity to make food saltier and tastier without adding any extra salt.

Salt makes food taste so much better, but it’s also a very dangerous ingredient that, consumed in excess, can cause serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. But what if we could make food taste salty without using any salt? That’s what scientists at Meiji University and developers Kirin Holdings have been working on for several years now. Back in April, we featured their first breakthrough creation – a pair of smart chopsticks – but now they have a couple of commercial products ready to hit the shelves.

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Japanese “Sacred” Noodles Have Religious Sutra Printed on Them

A Japanese restaurant in the city of Ota, Gunma Prefecture, has gone viral for selling a unique type of noodles with a complete Buddhist Sutra printed on them.

Nittanosho Kanzantei, a small eatery in Ota, has been getting a lot of attention for a product that is not even on the menu. Its so-called “sacred noodles” are only available as a souvenir, for cooking at home or giving away as a gift, but they’re so eye-catching that people can’t seem to stop talking about them. Cut into thick, rectangular sheets, these unique noodles feature large, caligraphy-like characters printed on them with edible ingredients that remain visible even after cooking. So you can actually read your food as you’re eating it!

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Dumpling-Flavored Soda – Probably Japan’s Worst-Tasting Soft Drink

A Japanese beverage company launched a controversial dumpling-flavored soda that many are calling the worst soft drink ever created.

Gyoza traditional pan-fried dumplings are a staple of Japanese cuisine, but they are also the inspiration for one of the world’s most bizarre refreshments. “Gyoza cider”, or “Gyoza soda”, as some Japanese news outlets have been calling this abomination, is the creation of Nagai Garden, a refreshments company based in the city of Nikko, Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture. Originally launched in 2019, gyoza cider has been making news headlines and going viral on social media ever since, due to its unusually faithful dumpling taste.

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This Mobile Video Game Actually Improves Your Eyesight

METEOR BLASTER is a mobile space shooting video game designed to gauge users’ field of vision and help detect glaucoma, a serious condition that can lead to blindness.

Scientists at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine teamed up with Japanese television company Sendai Broadcasting Co., Ltd. to create a special video game that they say can help improve users’ vision. METEOR BLASTER doesn’t have some miraculous effect on their eyesight like these special myopia-curing eyeglasses, but it can detect early symptoms of glaucoma and thus help prevent potential blindness. And all you need to do is play it for at least five minutes.

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Unco Shop – Japan’s Unique Poop-Themed Shop

Located in Yokohama, Japan, Unco Shop specializes in producing and selling poop-themed apparel like T-shirts and sneakers, jewelry, accessories and more.

Poop-themed apparel and accessories are not that uncommon in souvenir shops, but did you there is a Japanese shop that only sells this kind of product? Named after the Japanese word for poop, ‘unco’, this unique venue is located in Seya Ward, an industrial district in Yokohama. Unco Inc., the company behind Unco Shop sells over 400 poop-themed products, and is popular with influencers and celebrities in the Asian country, but few know that the project began as a simple hobby.

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Mysterious Geyser in Japan Has Been Gushing Out Water for Two Weeks

A mysterious geyser that erupted in the middle of a forest on the Japanese island of Hokkaido has been shooting up columns of water up to 40-meters-high for the past couple of weeks.

Every year, on August 9, the small Japanese town of Oshamambe holds an annual summer festival complete with a traditional procession at the local Shinto shrine. However, this year’s festival has been overshadowed by an unusual occurrence a day before the event, when a huge geyser erupted in the middle of the shrine grounds’ forest. Locals woke up to a steady roar, a column of water shooting up above the tree canopy, and the unmistakable smell of sulfur in the air. The mysterious geyser has been shooting up water for the past couple of weeks and is showing no signs of slowing down.

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Japanese Convenience Stores Introduce AI-Powered Shelf-Stocking Robots

Family Mart, Japan’s second-largest convenience store chain, recently started using AI-powered robots to restock shelves, as a way to deal with the country’s fast-shrinking workforce.

The decline in labor population is one of the biggest threats to businesses operating in Japan, and some have already started looking for ways to replace human workers. Case in point, major convenience store chain Family Mart, a company has recently teamed up with Tokyo-based robotics company Telexistence to introduce AI-powered robots in hundreds of its stores across the country. The new “employees” will be in charge of replenishing drinks in refrigerators and are expected to make human workers’ jobs easier and, in some cases, replace them completely.

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Potato Chip Maker Launches Hilarious Finger Washing Machine

Lays, the world’s bestselling potato chip brand, recently launched a limited edition miniature washing machine for oily fingertips.

Let’s face it, there are few things in the world more addictive than potato chips, but if there’s one thing everyone hates about them – apart from getting us fat – it’s the grease they leave on our fingertips. You need to have napkins on hand, lick your fingertips (yuck!), or get up from that comfortable sofa and wash up when you’re done stuffing your face. Well, thanks to a rather ingenious marketing campaign, potato chip enthusiasts now have another option – a miniature washing machine designed specifically to clean oily fingertips.

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Innovative Myopia-Curing Glasses Go On Sale for a Mere $5,700

Kubota Glass, an allegedly revolutionary pair of glasses capable of curing people of myopia, aka nearsightedness, has recently gone on sale in Japan for a whopping $5,700.

We originally wrote about Kubota Glass in January of 2021, when Kubota Pharmaceutical first announced that it had come up with a non-invasive way of reversing the effects of an ophthalmological condition expected to affect half of the world’s population by 2050. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is an eye disorder where light focuses in front of, instead of on, the retina, making objects in the distance appear blurry, while close ones appear normal. Apart from genetic factors, myopia has been associated with environmental causes, such as the lack of exposure to normal visual stimuli normally found outdoors, in daylight conditions. With so many of us spending more and more time indoors in front of our TVs, monitors and computer screens, it’s no wonder that myopia cases are increasing at an alarming rate.

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DIY Master Creates His Own Glow-in-the Dark Magic Book on the Cheap

A Japanese DIY prop enthusiast recently shared his latest creation – an otherworldly-looking magic book with glow-in-the dark text – along with instructions on how to do it yourself.

Last month, Twitter user @mikel_cresson, a steampunk and fantasy enthusiast from Japan, went viral on the popular social network with a very intriguing prop – a vintage-looking book featuring mysterious text that glowed a vivid green in the dark. He called it a magic book, and it certainly looked the part; so much so that people started asking how much he wanted to sell it for and if he took commissions. However, the young DIY master did something even better – he shared exactly how he did it using only simple stuff anyone can buy on Amazon.

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Self-Taught Mom Creates Exquisite Anime-Inspired Lunchbox Art

Classic bento box arrangement can be considered an art form in itself, but there are some artistically gifted people that can take it to a whole other level.

Bento box art, aka kyaraben, is a big deal in Japan, so big in fact that it has its own social media platform where professional and amateur artists alike can share their creations. But even on there, some talents stand out, and that is definitely the case with Riyu Yuda, a young mother-of-one who started making bento box art as a way to make her four-year-old son enjoy the healthy treats she made for him. She specializes in anime-inspired edible compositions, creating detailed edible portraits of popular characters.

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Japanese Robotics Company Creates Humanoid Heavy Machinery

A Japanese robotics company has been getting a lot of attention for its unique heavy machinery – a humanoid industrial robot that can be remote controlled by a human.

With so much focus on artificial intelligence and concepts like ‘the singularity’, we sometimes forget that robots have been around for a long time and that they can be pretty valuable tools even without advanced machine learning or even the possibility to move around on their own. Think about the industrial robots in modern automated car factories, or those mine-clearing robots that help human lives, just to name a couple of examples. Now, one Japanese company is trying to bring attention back to these humble creations with an ingenious humanoid heavy-duty robot capable of performing all kinds of useful chores while also appealing to fans of mecha manga and anime.

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Sing Like a Pro With Japan’s Weirdest Karaoke Training Device Yet

If you love karaoke, but can never hit the right notes of your favorite songs, don’t despair! Apparently, all you need to do is use a weird karaoke training device for just three minutes per day, and you’re all set.

Karaoke is really big in Japan. Few people know that the pastime enjoyed internationally by millions originated in the Asian country, so it’s really no surprise that so many people of all ages still love it here. But just because you love singing your favorite songs doesn’t mean you’re good at it, and that can be an issue, especially if you prefer doing it in public karaoke establishments, of which there are many in Japan. Sure, you can take singing lessons, but that requires time and money that most karaoke enthusiasts don’t have. Luckily, there is apparently a simple, albeit more bizarre alternative…

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Japanese Craftsman Creates Animal-Inspired Mechanical Transformers

Yuki Tsuboshima, a metalworking artist from Japan, specializes in ingeniously-designed, mechanical sculptures that turn into different shapes, like little Transformers.

As a child, Yuki Tsuboshima was fascinated by puzzle-like toys with movable parts and intricate mechanisms, and he never really outgrew this passion. He majored in metalworking, specializing in uchidashi, a traditional Japanese metalworking technique used to manipulate metals like copper, brass and silver. He then completed a master’s course in industrial design at Musashino Art University Graduate School in Tokyo, where he learned to use software like 3DCAD to create all sorts of shapes and mechanical parts.

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