Air Yakiniku Offers Virtual Meat For These Hard Times

As we go through this “great recession”, some of us may find that our wallets feel a bit lighter than usual. We can no longer enjoy the pricey cuts of beef we like so much, nor can we splurge on expensive bottles of wine.
Many Japanese people are no doubt feeling the pinch as well. In these cases, a typical response may be to reluctantly downgrade from domestic beef (i.e. safe, delicious, marbled, beer-fed, and massaged) to foreign (i.e. mad-cow ridden, plain, tough, and cow-brain-fed). But, what if your wallet is so light, that even this is not an option?
This is where the Air Yakiniku website comes in. Air Yakiniku is a sizzling visual and auditory web-based substitute for real meat. (For those of you who don’t know what yakiniku is, go here. Or better yet, go to a real yakiniku restaurant.)
Air Yakiniku
Using the Air Yakiniku system is simple (see video on the site). When setting your table, leave enough room for a laptop computer in front of you. Place a bowl of rice and some dipping sauce on the table, get chopsticks ready, and access the website. Focus on the grilled meat on the screen. When you see the chopstick sign, click it and watch a disembodied hand pick up the meat and move it offscreen. Fill your mouth with rice. Can you taste the meat? (I couldn’t. But, maybe you’ll be luckier.)
Is your laptop’s keyboard full of rice and sauce splashes? Dress it up with the optional paper apron. Are you an Air Yakiniku newbie? If so, then practice by chewing on meat substitutes like erasers or blue-green pixelated things (again, see video).
Air Yakiniku might not translate well in western countries. However, the idea has potential if carefully localized. Consider: Air Bacon and Eggs, Air Chicken Wings, or Air TV Dinner.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner. With your girlfriend, or with your family. Enjoy Air Yakiniku any way you like!
Air Yakiniku was produced by Recruit, a publisher of employment, housing, and travel-related books, magazines, and web sites.
(P.S. Some visitors to Japan have scoffed at yakiniku, okonomiyaki, and other such foods which require restaurant customers to more or less cook their own food. However, once the food has been cooked (which is fun), and eaten (delicious), the scoffing typically stops cold.)

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