Aleisha Riboldi

Aleisha can't seem to escape Japan. Having lived in various parts of Japan from the inaka to the nation's capital, she has spent 10 years eating her way through Japan. A self-confessed gastronomad (foodie, traveler and photographer), she is on a mission to visit all 47 prefectures (with only about 7 left to do). Aleisha is a lover of puns, a chain tea drinker, and prefers being in the water than on land. She is an avid open water swimmer hailing from Down Under who likes to spend her holidays lazing by the beach, snorkeling, swimming and watching reality TV (but only the good stuff not the trashy ones). You can stalk her online by checking our her blog Memoirs of Aleisha.

All Stories by Aleisha Riboldi

Smokers vs. non-smokers: A 50-year health and financial comparison【Video】

We all know that smoking is an unhealthy habit. Each year about 200,000 people in Japan alone die from smoking- (and passive smoking-) related illnesses. On a global scale, about six million die from smoking-related diseases every year.

In an effort to reduce the number of smokers in Japan, Japanese anti-smoking NPO No Smoke holds an annual video contest titled “Tobacco is Harmful to Your Health”, calling for original video submissions that raise awareness of the dangers and harmful effects of smoking.

The first-place winner of the video contest held in 2012 created a movie highlighting the simple differences between smokers and non-smokers in terms of financial cost. As we’re about to see, smoking is not only harmful to your health but a horribly expensive habit.

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Video documentary explores the Essence of Humanity in the film works of Hayao Miyazaki【Video】

Hayao Miyazaki film buffs will appreciate the popular video documentary “Hayao Miyazaki – The Essence of Humanity” created by Lewis Bond, an English film maker. The 16-minute video, featuring a montage of Miyazaki’s much-loved animated films, beautifully explores human nature, Miyazaki’s vision, and the universal appeal of his movies.

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Japanese stir-fried noodles a huge hit in Kenya

Yaki udon, a Japanese stir-fried noodle dish made with thick, flat wheat noodles, is a popular and much-loved staple of Japanese cuisine. Both yaki udon and yakisoba—a similar dish which uses a thinner buckwheat noodle instead—are cheap, tasty, and readily available from many street food stalls and Japanese-style pubs). So when one of our RocketNews24 Japan reporters read that not only had a yaki udon restaurant opened up in Kenya, but that it was that it was a huge hit with the locals, he just had to check it out for himself.

Read on for our Japanese reporter’s restaurant review as he travels halfway across the world for a bowl of noodles.

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Player recreates Pokémon Red video game within Minecraft

It seems that there is nothing you can’t create within Minecraft. For the uninitiated, Minecraft is a video game where players create things out of blocks in a 3D cube world. It is self-described on the game’s website as “a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things.” One genius player has gone to the extreme by recreating the video game Pokémon Red within Minecraft. It doesn’t get any meta than that.

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Handy little Japanese invention removes kernels from your corn cob in seconds

Are you looking for the perfect novelty gift for that special someone who already has everything? Do you hate getting corn stuck in your teeth? Then you’ll be glad to know that the Corn Peeler might just be the item you’ve been looking for, and it just might revolutionise the way you eat corn.

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A photo tour of the JAL “Premium Night” at Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan (USJ), one of Osaka’s most popular tourist attractions, was hired out for an exclusive event on September 24 for an events called JAL Premium Night. As many of you will know, Japan Airlines, or JAL, is the official airline of USJ and was offering the chance for lucky ticket holders to attend this after-hours event.

And, as luck would have it, one of very own RocketNews24 reporters attended the spectacular event and was fortunate enough to enjoy the exclusive JAL Premium Night, snapping a load of photos for the rest of us to enjoy!

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Encounter with Japanese anime changes the life of foreigner

Japanese animation is much-loved around the world. China is no exception, and anime has a massive following in the country. Many young people in China are enamored with anime for its creative story lines and artistic animation. It has the ability to uplift, motivate and entertain us, and allows us to momentarily escape reality, and for many foreigners, it does more than just that. It can shape our lives.

Here is one heartwarming story from China of a life-changing encounter with anime.

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These cute character matches will really “catch on” and “start a fire” in your heart

Most people reach for a lighter when they need to start a fire. It’s rare to see someone pull out a box of good old-fashioned matches, though collecting matchboxes and matchbooks was once a hobby for some! Nowadays, though, the opportunities to use a match and get that satisfaction of striking it against the side of a box are few and far between.

However, these incredibly cute match head character may just be enough to change trends! We definitely hope this is something that catches on.
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Poignant video about inner beauty is an unlikely ad for a beauty clinic 【Video】

At first glance, it looks like a trailer for a new movie or even a documentary about the pressures of beauty, popularity and social media. But in what is one of the most elaborate video commercials we’ve come across in a while, one beauty clinic in Thailand has gone to extreme lengths to advertise its services. Playing on the vulnerability of today’s millennials and modern societal pressures of beauty, they have produced a 14-minute short film which is as compelling as it is a disturbing.
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The trailer for Tearaway Unfolded is the best kind of crazy!【Video】

You might recall the PlayStation Vita release Tearaway, an adventure game in which players control a messenger on a mission to deliver a letter to themselves. The game, set in a world made entirely of paper, was widely praised by critics and won a number of awards.

Originally released on the PlayStation Vita, Sony’s handheld game system, Tearaway has received a remake for the PlayStation 4, titled Tearaway Unfolded. In the lead up to the October Japanese release date (the game is available in the US now), Sony has produced an absurd-but-awesome commercial to foster excitement among fans. The unusual trailer, which breaks away from many of the typical tropes of game launch videos, has received significant attention online. And we have a feeling it’ll put a smile on your face, too!
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Soaking in the sun: the latest diet craze in Hong Kong

Fad diets are a dime a dozen, and some people will go to extreme lengths to lose weight, but would you ever consider turning to the sun for help losing weight?

Apparently, some women in Hong Kong have recently taken to standing and staring at the sun for about half an hour a day in an effort to shed the pounds. We have to admit, as far as weight-loss methods go, it’s definitely a cheaper option. But are followers of this latest diet trend working their way towards blindness rather than thinness?

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The top 10 drinking districts in Tokyo, as recommended by Japanese locals

The number of foreign visitors visiting Japan has increased recently, and with Tokyo set to host the 2020 Olympic Games that trend is likely to continue. Now is the perfect opportunity for the city to show off its offerings as a must-see destination.

In an effort to appeal to and satisfy more tourists, a recent survey of Japanese Tokyoites ranked the top 10 drinking districts that they think tourists to Japan should visit to see and experience the “real” Tokyo.

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Worried about a jealous wife? Nude photographer’s solution is to take her to work

For most guys, being a lingerie photographer must sound like one of the most enviable jobs around. After all, being surrounded by beautiful women parading about in next to nothing is not a bad way to earn a living. But most freelance photographers will tell you the profession is not all it’s cracked up to be. Find out some of the behind-the-lens details of the profession after the jump.

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Responding to a public appeal for help, netizens crack deceased grandfather’s cryptic code

We love a good mystery here at RocketNews24 but this recently discovered cryptic contract had us scratching our heads.

A Japanese net user recently shared a photo of a contract of some sort written in secret code on a piece of notebook paper. The document was discovered amongst a number of articles left behind by their grandfather, who passed away last year from a sudden heart attack. Unable to solve the secret message the poster put out a call to fellow netizens to see if anyone could help decipher the code.

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Time to ham it up at this chain of Japanese wine bars with all-you-can-eat prosciutto for 500 yen

Freshness Burger is a well-known fast food burger chain in Japan. A lesser-known fact would be that they’ve gone a little gourmet and also have a chain of cheap tapas-like wine bars called FreBar, which offers arguably even better value than Freshness Burger.

For just 500 yen (US$4) you can have as much cured ham (prosciutto) as you like in an hour courtesy of their current promotion, called nama hamu tabehodai in Japanese. Mr Sato, RocketNews24 Japan writer and food adventurer, couldn’t pass up this offer, but just how many plates could he get through?

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Starbucks Coffee Korea celebrates 16 years with color-changing tumbler

Who doesn’t love a birthday? And while usually the best thing about birthdays is all the cool stuff you get, Starbucks Coffee is instead celebrating 16 years in Korea by giving things away.

To mark this special occasion, the coffee house chain has released a special range of merchandise including an anniversary mug, thermos and, very cool glass tumbler which changes colour as the temperature drops. The color-changing tumbler takes us back to when we were kids and Hypercolor T-shirts were all the rage.

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Why did the cat cross the road? To help an old lady out! 【Video】

At RocketNews24, we love anything cat related. We’ve brought you cute cats, crazy cats, clever cats, chunky cats and cuddly cats. Today we bring you a considerate cat because nothing makes us feel more warm and fuzzy than a cat doing a good deed! A video camera installed inside a car captured on film the most thoughtful cat we’ve ever seen as it guides an old lady across a road. Check out the car cam footage after the jump.

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Things are just peachy at Freshness Burger: Peach burger added to special menu

One of the simple pleasures of summer is all the amazing sweet fruit in season, like watermelon, cherries, apricots, berries and peaches. Now Freshness Burger have come up with a way to combine one of your favourite summer fruits with the humble hamburger. The latest item on their special menu is a peach burger, which went on sale August 14. If you can’t decide whether you want something sweet or savoury to snack on, this burger should do the trick!

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Chinese residents are parking themselves in subways and public spaces in an effort to keep cool

With the mercury reaching 39 degrees celsius in the city of Hangzhou in southern China, residents are trying to keep cool in the most unusual of places. Citizens without residential air conditioning have turned to parking themselves in subways, libraries and other public spaces to escape the summer heat wave.

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Tokyu Bus alight button is yours to own, pushing all the right buttons

Japanese people take their public transportation very seriously. Millions commute to work either by train, subway or bus on a daily basis. When spending so much time on buses and trains, one tries to find joy in the small things in life, like the sound and satisfaction from pressing the alight button on a bus to indicate you want to get off at the next bus stop.

That thrill can soon be yours to hold and enjoy to your heart’s content. Tokyu Bus Corporation, which operates multiple lines in and around Tokyo, will be releasing a Tokyu Bus alight button kit, which allows transportation nerds to press away all day long.

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