New garlic cola from Aomori, Japan’s garlic capital

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RocketNews 24:

Garlic flavored cola. Just let that sink in for a moment. Fizzy sweet cola with a pungent garlic taste. Yum? Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of weird food and drink come out of Japan, and as of January 9, there has been a new addition to that list.

Hailing from Aomori, the garlic capital of Japan, which has previously produced such delectables as garlic ice cream and garlic beer, “Jats Takkola,” is brought to us from the garlic center of the garlic capital of Japan, also known as “Garlic Town,” Sannohe DistrictsTakko Town.

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The town got its charming nickname from the fact that every July, so much garlic is harvested that the entire town, home to almost 6,000 people, smells of the pungent bulb. We have a feeling they don’t suffer from vampire attacks very often.

The town offers pretty much any form of garlic you could ever imagine, but the creation of the Takkola (get it? Takko + cola = takkola), took some trial and error experimentation. The real issue, apparently, was breaking through the stereotype that garlic should be used exclusively for food.

▼ Don’t you just want to plop a bulb of garlic in your next cup of Coke?

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The drink is just cola mixed with some finely ground garlic, pretty simple. It’s just as bubbly and tasty as normal cola, but you get the pleasant aftertaste of garlic. Who wouldn’t love that?! Really, if you think about it, it’s probably not much different than washing down some garlicky gyoza with cola and then burping. You just don’t have to eat the gyoza first.

Since the name of the drink doesn’t mention garlic at all, this could easily be used to play some tricks on unassuming friends who don’t know that Takko is the garlic center of Japan. Then there is also the fact that “Jats!” is local dialect for what you say when you are surprised, an odd feature for the name of a cola. That is, unless the creators of this drink had some tomfoolery in mind when they made it!

▼ The garlic clove on the label could go unnoticed to the unobservant.

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In reality, they chose the name because they want this item to leave a lasting impression and to “stimulate the heart” of whoever sips it. They advise that before you drink, turn it slowly to remix the garlic, open the cap carefully and then take a sip. According to the creators, there is no way that you won’t shout in surprise after tasting it.

So, if you’re itching to play tricks on friends, are just really scared of vampires, or are looking for a health-boosting cola, you can order a case of 24 bottles from the town’s merchandise website, for 7,200 yen (US$60) or if you’re in the area, head to the store itself where you can get single bottles for 299 yen (US$2.50) each, until the end of February. Also, please, if you do use it to play tricks on your friends, sneak a video and share it with us!

Around Japan in 22 days…on a bus!

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RocketNews 24:

One of the hardest parts about visiting Japan is deciding where to go, especially if you have only a limited time. Obviously, everyone wants to hit up Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, but that often means missing out on places like Nara and Aomori. If only there were a way you could get on a bus and just let someone take to every prefecture in the country…

Well, if you have about US$5,000 and 22 days, pack your bags, because that’s exactly what Club Tourism is offering this year!

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Exactly 22 days on a bus might sound like hell–and as someone who’s taken Greyhound from LA to Atlanta and from Miami to Colorado, I can say that it most definitely has the potential to be just that–but it looks like Club Tourism might have a way to make this work.

To begin with, the bus looks quite a bit nicer than your average Greyhound bus–or even the regular night buses in Japan. For one thing, the bathroom even has flowers in it!

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For another thing, the package comes with the greatest amenity ever: Hotel rooms! While most folks traveling by bus usually also find themselves sleeping all night on the bus as well, it looks like Club Tourism will be setting everyone up with a clean bed–and laundry service! That makes the price tag, which is between 500,000 and 700,000 yen (between about US$4,300 and $6,020) depending on the plan, seem a lot more reasonable.

But what exactly does the trip entail? Well, for the first tour, the bus leaves from Kyoto on May 9, right after everyone pops over to Jonan Shrine to pray for a safe trip. From there, the bus travels towards the Sea of Japan and heads up to Hokkaido, and then back down towards Osaka. Touring through every prefecture in Japan, the bus will stop at famous sightseeing places with guides offering explanations along the way. Of course, that also means listening to historical explanations about every major sightseeing spot in Japan for 22 days straight, so you may have to seriously consider how much patience you have!

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Of course, there is one prefecture that you can only get to by plane–Okinawa–but after that, it’s back to the Kansai area, where the bus makes its final stop. On the last night, it looks like the tour finishes with a giant party and in the morning all the passengers get a certificate stating that they’ve been to every one of Japan’s prefectures. No word on whether or not they offer massages for sore butts though…

Club Tourism has posted a full itinerary covering every day of the trip, though it looks like the itinerary and tour are both Japanese only. But if you’re studying Japanese, this would certainly be a great way to get a history lesson and some really intense Japanese practice!

If you’re interested in learning more about the tour, be sure to check out Club Tourism’s website. And once you’ve finished seeing all of Japan, maybe you’ll also want to book a seat on their space tour as well!

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Designer Takahiro Miyashita’s grocerystore opens boutiques in Aomori & Kyoto

 

Image of grocerystore Aomori & Kyoto Opening

Renowned Japanese designer Takahiro Miyashita expands on his retail presence with the opening of two new brick and mortars to his grocerystore franchise. The first since launching in September of 2011, the two Japanese storefronts can be found in Aomori and Kyoto – both North and South of Tokyo.

Much like its Aoyama location in Tokyo, each store will house Miyashita’s epnoymous label –TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloIst – as well as some additional brand’s that share a similar passion for the great outdoors.

Both opening today, January 9, grocerystore Aomori and Kyoto will also release an exclusive commemorative graphic T-shirt with the designs featured above.

grocerystoreaomori. 
1 Chome-21-20 Furukawa,
Aomori
Japan

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1F OKUDEN BLDG , No.590 Takamiyachō,
Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Japan

Check out this link:

Designer Takahiro Miyashita’s grocerystore opens boutiques in Aomori & Kyoto

Link

15 Insane Works Of Japanese Rice Field Art

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Every summer, a quarter million tourists board trains for sightseeing trips to the rice art festival in Aomori, Northern Honshu, Japan. The tradition started in Inakadate, a village of 8,000 hoping to revitalize its town in the early 1990’s. Hundreds of volunteers rope off patches of rice paddies, and plant different-colored rice strains, creating works of art ranging from traditional folklore and historical figures, to anime characters and J-pop culture.

Check out this link:

15 Insane Works Of Japanese Rice Field Art

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