Esther

Writer / Translator

Esther comes from the little red dot Singapore and has been an international student in Tokyo since 2009. While her friends are relatively hardworking people, she usually spends more time belting out songs at karaoke, trying to stuff new clothes into her exploding wardrobe, watching silly TV dramas and doing basically everything other than studying. She also enjoys music and plays a variety of instruments, including the electone, guitar, Chinese violin, and percussion, but unfortunately, you can also say she’s a jack of all traits and master of none. Her favorite Japanese thing is the bento, since she cannot really cook.

All Stories by Esther

Turn Your Favorite Lollipops into Ice Candies!

Turn Your Favorite Lollipops into Ice Candies!

Love lollipops? Love ice-cream? You can now make your own Chupa Chups flavored ice candy! Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy A.R.T.S will be releasing an ice candy making kit this coming 18 April.With the candy kit, making the lollipop flavored ice candy is simple and fun.

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Korean Boyband BIGBANG Cited for Plagiarism in High School Textbook

Korean Boyband BIGBANG Cited for Plagiarism in High School Textbook

Korea’s chart-topping boyband BIGBANG has been cited in Korean high school music textbooks as an example of plagiarism.

The above image was taken by a second year high school student moments after she received the book. She then uploaded it to Twitter where it has since shocked many Korean Internet users.

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Pork Cutlets with Fermented Soybeans? All-You-Can-Eat Natto Part 2!

Pork Cutlets with Fermented Soybeans? All-You-Can-Eat Natto Part 2!

Natto, which is also known as fermented soybeans, is a dish well-loved by the Japanese for its high nutritious value. Recently, we introduced a restaurant which served all-you-can-eat natto, and this time we’re back with another great natto dining experience!

Ibaraki prefecture has opened a local goods retail store and restaurant, named Ibaraki Marche, in Tokyo’s Ginza. Natto is widely used in many of the local dishes of Ibaraki, so one can expect Ibaraki Marche to serve the best tasting natto.

Ms. Rinko, a reporter over at our Japanese sister site Pouch, headed over to the restaurant to try out their natto lunch.

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Rental Boyfriends a Big Hit During Chinese New Year

Rental Boyfriends a Big Hit During Chinese New Year

The most dreadful day of the year for single guys and girls is approaching in a few weeks. No, it’s not the Valentine’s Day. In China, there is a day that can be a hundred times worse than the Valentine’s Day: the Lunar New Year.

On New Year’s day (which falls on 10 February this year), families gather, feast and catch up with one another, and young men and women working in the cities take a break and return to their hometowns to pay their respects to the elders. During this once-in-a-year family gathering, there is one inevitable question that always comes up and that young adults cannot hope to avoid being asked by their relatives: “So… when are you getting married?” For those who are already attached, this may be a good conversation starter or nice way to segue into the topic of their new significant other. But for the singles – especially the ladies – being asked the same old question each year is just a never-ending nightmare.

Enter the rental boyfriend.

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China: Fast Food too Slow? Throw it on the Ground!…err, Counter

China: Fast Food too Slow? Throw it on the Ground!…err, Counter

Let’s face it. We have all complained about fast food chains at least once in our lives – whether it’s about the lack of menus, not serving you the cheeseburger you want, or a burger made too spicy. And the most common complaint out there has got to be “fast food not fast enough!”

Due to the low pay at fast food restaurants, it is not unusual to have a shortage of workers behind the counters and long queues of customers waiting to be served. When that happens, most of us would just mumble a few words of dissatisfaction to ourselves.

But when six out of seven counters are closed, and you are made to queue for 15 minutes without any proper explanations, even the most patient man can start to lose his temper.

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Chinese man sold his own child away to bring up someone else’s child

Chinese man sold his own child away to bring up someone else’s child

We’ve all heard the stories of Chinese parents selling away their babies. Some do so because the government allows only one child per family, and they would rather have a son than a daughter. Some do so because they are too poor to support a child. Some do so in order to fund their online gaming habits.

But this 72-year-old Chinese man from Chongqing, he sold away his daughter in order to bring up someone else’s daughter.

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Gangnam Style Literally Rocks the Stage at Peking University

Gangnam Style Literally Rocks the Stage at Peking University

A group of international students at Peking University had come together to put up a Gangnam Style performance during the annual Peking University International Cultural Festival held in late October. One of the guys even parodied PSY by dressing himself up in the classic suit-with-sunglasses look.

It was such an enjoyable performance, that the chart topping hit was repeated again for the encore segment, and the students all gathered again on the main stage, waved their respective country flags and swayed along.

And of course, as the catchy phrase “Oppa Gangnam Style!” came on, everybody could no longer resist the urge to bring together their two hands and start trotting along to the beats.

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84-year-old Chinese Man Bears His Skin For Art, Shunned by His Children

84-year-old Chinese Man Bears His Skin For Art, Shunned by His Children

How would you like to spend the golden years of your life? Join a volunteer group? Or perhaps travel the world?

This 84-year-old man in China has decided that he would do something that most of us would probably never find the courage to do in our life: he poses nude in front of strangers.

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Chinese Man Sells His Legs for $60,000 in Guangzhou

Chinese Man Sells His Legs for $60,000 in Guangzhou

Would you buy a pair of legs at US$60,000?

Last Tuesday morning, a man was spotted in Tianhe District of Guangzhou selling his legs. While sitting in the middle of an overhead bridge, the man wore on his legs a cardboard sign that read: “Legs for Sale! $30,000 each!”

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26 Amazing Things About Japanese Budget Hotels

26 Amazing Things About Japanese Budget Hotels

Having a hard time deciding the accommodation for your holiday in Japan? Tight on budget, but don’t want to sacrifice comfort? Don’t worry, because Japanese budget hotels are cheap (usually about 3000yen or US$38 per person, per night) and yet provide top-notch service! You probably won’t find anything that is more value for money than this in other countries.

Here we bring you 26 reasons why Japanese budget hotels are so amazing!

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