When I Said I Wanted Cheese Pizza, I Didn’t Mean THAT Kind Of Cheese!

I thought I’d seen the pinnacle of Unclear On The Concept when wedges of Camembert started showing up on Japanese pizza, but that was before I spotted this one topped with, yes, blue cheese. Mmm, mmm, little veins of smelly melted moldy bits, paired with tomatoes and that perennial Italian favorite, broccoli. •

Salad Pizza

Now that we’re deep into the dog days of summer, doesn’t the very idea of nomming down a hot slice heaped with stomach-bombing meats kind of make you shudder? Enter…the Salad Pizza! Sure to please the ever-dieting bikini wearers as well as the lone vegetarian throwing a wrench into the Friday night beer fest, thisContinue reading “Salad Pizza”

Pizza of Christmas

Why not take a break from the typical Christmas feast of fried chicken* and order a festive pizza instead? This beauty from Pizza Hut delivers something for everyone on your list! Korean BBQ! Squid! Hot dogs! Bacon! Mayo! And in case you’ve got some die-hard traditionalists, note that Pizza Hut has wisely done a distributionContinue reading “Pizza of Christmas”

Cabbage and Ginger Pickle Pizza

What’s round and topped with cabbage, ginger pickles, bean sprouts, mayonnaise, otafuku sauce and dried fish shavings? Okonomiyaki pizza, of course! The beloved Osaka “omelet” is traditionally made with an eggy batter that includes shredded slimy yams, but Shakeys gives it a Western-style twist by piling all the ingredients onto a pizza crust instead. Pass theContinue reading “Cabbage and Ginger Pickle Pizza”

And Today’s Japanese Pizza Mystery Ingredient Is…?

Blue Cheese? blaaat. Camembert? blaaat. Gouda? blaaat. Maple Syrup? BING-BONG! Yes, this month, Domino’s Japan will ship you a pizza bursting with four cheeses never before melted together on a crust, and some of Quebec’s finest pancake condiment to pour over the top! A taste treat to…remember. •

Curry Cheese Pizza Chips?! Nooooo!

Nevermind that putting cheese on top of Japanese curry sounds about as appealing as stirring a spoonful of peanut butter into my coffee, the idea of serving that flavor mashup on a pizza-flavored potato chip has me running for my stash of purloined air discomfort bags. And in case I want to make this aContinue reading “Curry Cheese Pizza Chips?! Nooooo!”

Fruity Pizza

No your eyes do not deceive you: those are adorable – if un-pizza-like – miniature marshmallows joining the pineapple and kiwi goodness of this summer offering at the Shakey’s all-you-can-eat bar. Topped off with festive multicolored sprinkles, the “slightly acidic flavored sweetness” of this dessert pizza will definitely rustle your jimmies. •

Burger Pizza

What all-beef manhandler’s got lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions, all topped off with two kinds of cheese and a special sauce? Yes, it’s Burger Pizza! The all-you-can-eat lunch buffet at the Shakeys in Takadanobaba is featuring this fast food mash-up as their summer special. Pass the Ketchup Gun! •

Fish Egg Mayo Pizza Chips

Can’t decide whether to go for pizza or sushi? Now you don’t have to, thanks to this revolutionary new potato chip flavor from Calbee. It’s bursting with the goodness of cod roe, mayonnaise, seaweed, cheddar and swiss cheese! But there’s more! On the back, there’s a special offer! I was extremely disappointed to discover IContinue reading “Fish Egg Mayo Pizza Chips”

Hot Dog Pizza

And you thought pizza couldn’t be improved as the perfect junk food! In honor of spring, Pizza-LA comes through with the Buttered Potato & Sausage Pizza In addition to that ring of delightful little hot dogs, it’s got corn, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and bacon, all topped off with that oh-so-Italian favorite, lemon butter sauce. AlsoContinue reading “Hot Dog Pizza”

Pizza of…France?

And what could be more French than a pizza topped with five types of cheese, broccoli, red peppers, demiglace sauce and beef stew? You won’t need a glass of red to wash it down with, because apparently, wine has already been liberally added. The decorative squirts of cream cheese were a nice coup de grâce,Continue reading “Pizza of…France?”

Pizza Taco

Sometimes “foreign food” is REALLY foreign in Japan. Like “Mayo Con Beef Tacos.” Or, even more mysterious, “Egg Feeling Tacos.” Basically: Anything in a folded tortilla? It’s a taco! A first I was puzzled by why “pizza” was mentioned – since it seems to be missing from the menu altogether – but I bet they’reContinue reading “Pizza Taco”

Santa Blasphemy returns

Don’t let the name of this Santa costume fool you—there’s nothing sacrosanct about Santa when it comes to dressing up like the jolly old elf in Japan! Even the most stalwart child might hesitate before climbing into the lap of a Holy Basic Santa who looks like he might demand a confession before hearing aboutContinue reading “Santa Blasphemy returns”

One Fried Noodle Sandwich, Please

From the land that junk food shame forgot, this. A yakisoba sandwich is basically the Japanese equivalent of cold pizza for breakfast, on a bun. This is what frugal Japanese fry up for breakfast if one of their fridge leftovers happens to be noodles, so it was rare to find this homely item for saleContinue reading “One Fried Noodle Sandwich, Please”

Poppins-san

In the land where nannies are nearly as scarce as chimney sweeps, this all-Japanese celebration of bygone British privilege is about to hit the stage. It’s too bad they don’t adapt these things for the local audience the same way they “improve” pizza, because I would pay good money to hear someone sing such hitsContinue reading “Poppins-san”

The Slippery Slope, Illustrated

See, this is where tolerance will get you. Let them get away with putting ginger pickles and fish shavings on pizza, say nothing when your spaghetti comes topped with sea urchin eggs, and next thing you know, you’ll be waking up to every child’s worst nightmare: SPINACH PANCAKES. •

Potatosaurus Rex

A few days ago I was climbing the escalators in the hated Skytree* in search of the Sumidagawa Aquarium, and was stopped in my tracks by this. An exhibition of fake food art! Best. Idea. Ever. All the art in this exhibit was made by the veteran food model experts at the Iwasaki Bei company. Apparently, they have a contest each year,Continue reading “Potatosaurus Rex”

Spicy Tomato Filled Doughnuts?

Aieeeee, when I saw this on the menu at Krispy Kreme, I knew I’d have to strap on my Try Anything Once Cojones and take one for the team! So I bit into it and it was…odd. Not bad, exactly, but it definitely didn’t trigger the usual Step Away From That Bag O’Doughnuts warning sirens either. The doughnutty partContinue reading “Spicy Tomato Filled Doughnuts?”

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Host Fashion

One of the first things you notice about hosts is that they don’t dress like Western guys who are out on the prowl. Hosts aim to deliver the Japanese version of a customer’s secret fantasy, and being swept away by a handsome prince or Wild One on his motorcycle is what makes many Japanese ladies’ heartsContinue reading “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Host Fashion”

Tokyo Steampunk!

Alice In Wonderland X Jules Verne! Gothic Lolita X Victorian Mourning! Manga X Edwardian Gentleman! In the land where costume is king (and often queen, even if you’re not a woman!), steampunk does not disappoint. The Tokyo Steampunk Society has adopted a time travel motif, which allows anybody who already cosplays to reimagine themselves inContinue reading “Tokyo Steampunk!”

Our Lady Of Glow In The Dark

I’m still trying to figure out the pop fascination with Catholic symbols here in Japan. Totally divorced from religious tradition (Christianity never got much of a toehold here, thanks to serious banning of outsiders before 1868), for some reason stylish tough guys wear Our Lady Of Rude Kustoms on the back of their motorcycle jacketsContinue reading “Our Lady Of Glow In The Dark”

Getting Carded, Japanese Style

The average Japanese teenager may have it rough when it comes to taking entrance exams that will determine his whole future, but he never has to spend hours in front of the mirror, practicing intoning the words, ” rum and coke” in a deep voice and desperately trying to look 21. All the underage drinkerContinue reading “Getting Carded, Japanese Style”

Squid Ink Popcorn

Watching  celebs dressed in puffy animal costumes battle it out on TV can give you a powerful craving for just the right snack, but it’s near-impossible to whip up a plate of squid ink pasta before the commercials are over. With this handy kit, you can satisfy all your snack cravings (including some you didn’tContinue reading “Squid Ink Popcorn”

No Seaweed, Extra Chili Peppers

In the battle for the hearts and minds of Japanese midnight noshers, Pizza Hut fights back with the Gorgeous Four, the Melting Camembert and the Super Korean Purokoki! This flyer landed in my mailbox yesterday, promising that with a single phone call, I could be dining on a pie topped with Korean BBQ beef andContinue reading “No Seaweed, Extra Chili Peppers”