How about trying this in Hiroshima?

Good morning everyone,

The good news is that Typhoon #9 has turned south and is headed for Taiwan (well, not good news for them, but good news for us). And Typhoon #5 is still slowly moving around east of Honshu, so we have no idea what it's going to do. The bad news is that it isn't going to get any cooler anytime soon...the forecast for highs this weekend are back up to around 34C, so take care out there!

Think these items look appetizing? You’ll have to go to a unique KFC store in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture to get them!

That’s right, Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan will be opening their very first THE TABLE by KFC store on August 5 in the S-PAL Sendai shopping center in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, located in the north of the main island of Honshu.

THE TABLE by KFC will be a new type of outfit for the chain, an exclusively takeaway store offering deli-type foods in convenient commuting and shopping areas. Being connected to Sendai Station, one of the largest train stations in northern Honshu, the S-PAL Sendai location certainly seems to fit the bill.

▼ Here’s what the TABLE by KFC at S-PAL Sendai will look like:

According to the released information, the new store is designed to have a natural look, using plenty of wood-grain material for a “home kitchen” feel. And the foods will be displayed in bowls and dishes of different designs, so that the setup is enjoyable to look at too.

They’ll be offering various foods, including a whole fried chicken “made by the chicken experts” and fried chicken thigh pieces using KFC’s “secret 11 spices”, as well as salads and side dishes that should go well with the chicken. That all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

▼ Here’s the TABLES’s Specialty Whole Fried Chicken, which should appeal hugely to KFC fans!

▼ And here’s another dish that looks and sounds tempting: the Ōshū Herb-fed Chicken Juicy Fried Thigh Pieces with the Secret 11 Spices!

▼ They also have the Chicken Pieces Stewed in Tomato and Miso Sauce. Yum!

▼ As a side dish, you can have the Chunky Pumpkin and Walnut Salad.

▼ And the French-style Carrot Salad with Grapefruit and Ripe Tomato sounds quite refreshing.

If that doesn’t whet your appetite, some of the other menu items that they’ve announced include the Spanish-style (ajillo) Garlic Chicken Gizzard and Oriental Smoked Chicken Caesar Salad. What’s also nice is that all the food will be cooked right at the store.

For KFC fans interested in shopping at the new store, the whole fried chicken will be priced at 3,200 yen (just under US$30) each, while the other dishes will cost around 300yen per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).  And they’ll apparently also have special weekend items that should come in handy for parties and get-togethers as well.

We have to admit, home-cooked style chicken dishes from KFC does sound enticing. Although nothing specific has been announced, they’re calling this the “first” TABLE by KFC store, so hopefully we’ll be seeing some branches in Hiroshima in the future!

What do you think? Does it look tempting?

Have a great day!

Only in Japan...ha ha!

Good morning everyone,

It's still going to be hot and humid all week, but at least they are no longer saying it's going to be around 34C or 35C on the weekend...only 33C...only(?)...ha ha! I had a quick look at the typhoons that are forming near Japan at the moment and I'm no meteorologist, but doesn't it look like Typhoons #5 and #9 are going to meet up somewhere around here at about the same time?

From August 1, the world’s first “karaoke entertainment Ferris wheel” will begin operations in Tokyo.

The Ferris wheel itself has been in existence for over a decade at Tokyo Dome City, an extensive amusement complex in Tokyo’s Bunjyo Ward. 60 meters (200 feet) in diameter, the Big O, as the Ferris wheel is called, was registered as the world’s largest centerless Ferris wheel by the Guinness World Records in 2006. Tokyo’s largest roller coaster, which is also in the park, passes through the center of the Big O.

Now, in collaboration with Tokyo-based karaoke company JOYSOUND, eight of the Ferris wheel’s 40 gondolas will offer karaoke services with a lineup of 50 songs, including songs by artists performing at the Tokyo Dome, current hits, and anime theme songs.

For 820 yen per person, you and up to three others can sing your hearts out while overlooking a fantastic view of the city for a full rotation of the wheel, which lasts about 15 minutes. It's true that standard karaoke prices are a bit cheaper, just keep in mind that you’re enjoying two attractions in one, and that the Big O will offer you sights you won’t get from a standard karaoke room. If you’re planning on spending an extended time at Tokyo Dome City, for a better deal you can opt for the one day pass or the Ride 5 ticket, which will get you rides on five Tokyo Dome City attractions for 2,600 yen.

Do you think there's any chance the ferris wheel at Marina Hop will offer karaoke any time in the near future?

Have a great day!

It's never too late to get in shape...

Good morning everyone,

We got some rain overnight, but it has cleared up and today is looking hot, hazy and humid. Tomorrow and the rest of the week will be pretty much the same except it's going to get even hotter for the weekend...Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are all expecting highs of 34C or 35C. Hopefully it'll cool down a little for next week.

At 80 years old, Wang Deshun is redefining what it means to get older - one catwalk at a time.

In China, most men retire at age 60, and people as young as 50 are often referred to as "grandma" or "grandpa" - even if they don't have grandchildren. But Wang isn't interested in embodying that sentimental nickname. An actor and artist, he's spent the last few decades combatting stereotypical ideas of aging and working on keeping both his mind and body super strong and energetic. He's taught modeling classes at a Beijing fashion school, and he even walked a high-fashion runway for the first time last year, at age 79. 

80-Year-Old Runway Model Shares His Secrets for Healthy Aging

With all his hard work, he's managed to steer clear of taking on the traditional title of "yeye," or "grandpa." Instead, he's earned himself a slightly different moniker - in China, he's known as the country's "hottest grandpa."

Of course, maintaining his title takes lots of hard work: In a recent interview, Deshun explains that he spends three hours every day working out, and his daily routine includes a half-mile-long swim. He also works on keeping his mind sharp by spending his mornings learning and reading.

Wang admits to small dietary changes such as drinking less alcohol, but what he says keeps him feeling truly strong and energetic is his youthful mindset - he's always open to trying new things, and he always has a new goal for his future in mind. "Being mentally healthy means you know what you're going to do," he explained to the Times. "For example, a vegetable vendor, when he wakes up, he has a goal, he works hard. And when he finishes, he feels fulfilled." And as long as he's got something to work toward and something to keep him busy (he tells the Times that parachuting is one of the next things on his list), he also feels fulfilled.

"Nature determines age, but you determine your state of mind," according to Deshun. Sounds like a good philosophy to me. What do you think?

Have a great day!

Help clean up Peace Park this week

Good morning everyone,

It looks like today and tomorrow will be hot, humid and cloudy. The bad news is that it's only going to get hotter and more humid as the week goes on-by the time we get to Friday, it'll be up to 35C.

Play your part in getting Hiroshima ready to welcome the world on August 6.

At the end of July every year, around 3000 volunteers get up early to spend an hour cleaning up Peace Memorial Park ahead of the August 6 peace ceremony. It’s a great way to contribute to the important event even for those who will not be in Hiroshima on August 6.

Do you feel like joining the EARTH Hiroshima team on Thursday, July 27 to help with the clean up? If you’d like to join them, head to the parking lot on the south side (Peace Boulevard side) of the Peace Museum at 7am and look for the group wearing T-shirts with the EARTH Hiroshima logo on them (the first 7 volunteers will get their own T-shirt). They’ll be cleaning from 7:15am to 8:15am.

EARTH Hiroshima logo

The clean up will go ahead even if it rains, but if the weather is particularly bad a cancellation notice will be posted on the city homepage between 5:30am and 6am.

Have a great day!

Wanna' give this a try?

Good morning everyone,
It's looking like...yep, you guessed it...the weather is going to be hot and humid. And it's going to be hot and humid tomorrow too...
While the “men” part of the word “ramen” means “noodles,” it’s really the broth that makes ramen special. The noodles themselves don’t really have much flavor, after all.

Soy, miso, and pork are the most popular choices of stock, and each imparts its own unique flavor. Regardless of the stock, though, most ramen broth tends to be a shade of brown, which makes the latest offering from Cup Noodle maker Nissin shocking to behold.

Set to go on sale at the end of the month, the Squid Ink Black Seafood Cup Noodle is part of the jumbo-sized Cup Noodle Big series. Based on the mixed pork/fish stock broth of Nissin’s long-selling Seafood Cup Noodle, this unique instant ramen comes with a packet of squid ink paste that you add to the broth, resulting in the jet-black broth seen in the photo below.

The splashes of color on the packaging are either there to provide some contrast or to make us think they've found some glow in the dark squid and added to the ramen.

This isn’t the first time for black ramen to appear in Japan. However, the unorthodox variant is usually something you have to go to a restaurant with a cook who’s willing to experiment if you want to try, as opposed to something you can make for yourself at home in three minutes.

Each cup offers a double-helping of squid savoriness, as there are also pieces of squid mixed in among the noodles, along with cabbage, egg, kamaboko fish sausage, and green onions.

While all of that sounds plenty tasty, Nissin is boasting that the Squid Ink Black Seafood is “photogenic” in addition to delicious, so we can probably expect plenty of snapshots of the dish showing up on social media once it goes on sale, priced at 205 yen on July 31 at convenience stores and supermarkets across Japan.

What do you think? Will you give it a try? I think I'll give it a pass...

Have a great day!