Artist JR Coffron III has finally answered the question of what happens if you leave a Pokémon in its pokeball too long: they come out as undead ravening monsters.
Jessica Kozuka is a freelance writer and editor living in the exciting, interesting and sometimes perplexing city of Tokyo. Her work has appeared in Wine Spectator, CNN Travel, and The Japan Times, as well as numerous other print and online media outlets. She writes a column on NPO/NGOs and volunteer work for Metropolis, the largest English-language magazine in Japan, and specializes in EFL educational materials and travel writing. Kozuka is rarely to be found without a book or two within arm’s reach, though there's no telling if they will be serious literature or frivolous guilty pleasures, and she runs a monthly book club for other bibliophiles in the Tokyo area. She's also an enthusiastic if mediocre cook and daily laments the smallness of Japanese kitchens.
All Stories by Jessica
I think most Japanese are completely fascinated by the nexus of beauty and horror. How else can you explain something like Kyari Pyamu Pyamu?
This week, that particular itch is being scratched by a YouTube video making the media rounds. In it, a pretty Russian spectator cheers her handball team by unleashing what can only be described as bestial hell yowling. Or the vocals for Gwar.
Even without adornment, a well-done bonsai is a sight to see. It’s amazing how something as massive and powerful as a tree can be hemmed and trimmed to create a delicate, miniature version of itself. But for some, that level of artistry doesn’t go far enough.
Now bonsai artists are adding fantastical tree houses and other structures around their vegetative creations, resulting in multi-level, gravity-defying feats of architecture that still fit under a garden cloche.
4 days ago
Remember when you were in school and had to do that dreaded health and fitness check in PE class? Turns out those trials aren’t just for little homo sapiens.
A few days ago, workers at the Pu’er Sun River national park were checking the health of their endangered charges ahead of some research projects and got some pretty adorable snaps in the process.
5 days ago
In 1974, some farmers in Xi’an, China, stumbled upon a funerary army buried with the first Qin emperor comprised of more than 8,000 terracotta soldiers. Their fierce, noble faces belied their intent to protect the emperor even in death, while their military dress and kit, all recreated in detail, gave them the means to do so.
Now an artist in San Francisco is herself recreating some of these World Heritage statues, but there’s something just a bit off about the faces…
With the aggressive pick-up tactics of Julien “the most hated man in the world” Blanc all over the news this week, it only makes sense that we here at RocketNews24 do our part in educating readers about self-defense. And being as this is Japan, we thought we should start with a method for dealing with that particularly Japanese act of violence-infused wooing: the kabe-don.
In the mountains of Nikko, just a short train trip from the modern, glittering megacity of Tokyo, a handful of monks still practice a millennia-old tradition known as shugendo, a form of meditation via endurance-testing communion with nature.
These are the yamabushi, mountain monks for whom a dip in a thundering, ice-cold waterfall and a sopping-wet stroll up a mountain are just another day’s work.
We posted earlier this week about how Japanese cats survive the cold winter months by bogarting the sweet, sweet warmth of the space heater, but this cold little fellow is lucky enough not to have to share his oasis of warmth with any other felines or even a pesky human. How happy does that make him? Photos of kitty bliss after the jump.
Nov 12, 2014
Japan is a country with a whole lot of volcanoes of all shapes, sizes and persuasions. From the iconic Mt. Fuji to the recently erupted Mt. Ontake, you really can’t swing a koto around here without hitting a geological pressure cooker. And nowhere is that truer than the Aso-Kuju National Park in Kyushu, where they literally have volcanoes on top of volcanoes.
Part of the excitement of traveling is trying foods that you have never seen, heard of, or even contemplated before. So when our lodging in the wilds of Nikko offered roasted salamander for dinner, I had to give it a try. Not just to satisfy my curiosity and my pride, but to report back to you, dear reader, about what amphibi-lizard on a stick tastes like.
Go to hell: Unzen Hot Springs invites visitors to take an infernal stroll through a field of deadly hell-mouths
Oct 31, 2014
Welcome to Unzen, Kyushu, a sulphurous field of geothermal activity so inhospitable to life that its boiling hot springs and gas jets go by the name of jigoku or hells. This Halloween, allow us to be your Virgil and guide you through this strange world where eerie noises drift from hellish craters, clouds of foul-smelling gas confuse the mind and Christian martyrs were once boiled to death!
Kirishima Geopark is a spooky place, I thought to myself, separated from my hiking group by a thick, soupy fog that dampened both sound and clothes. Despite the well-marked trails, there was something about the twisty trees and shivery sound of water drops pushed loose by the wind that suggested you might walk around a bend and disappear forever. I loved it.
Cat lovers will tell you there is something deeply satisfying about the soft squishy feel of a cat’s toe pads, particularly as we don’t get to touch them for very long before getting swatted across the face for our presumption. But imagine how nice it would feel to get a back massage from some big kitty toe beans!
Proving that you really can find anything at a Japanese supermarket, we spotted just such a massager on a recent trip.
Oct 14, 2014
You really never know who you are going to meet when traveling. That’s one of the things that makes it so enjoyable. But imagine our surprise when we ran into the leader of the free world in an isolated hot spring town in Kyushu! It might have something to do with the name of the place though…
Usually, Jesus limits his food-based appearances to grilled cheese and Cheetos in certain—shall we say—conservative areas of North America, but it seems like he is making inroads to Asian pastries with an appearance in a dessert offered by Japan’s popular Komeda Coffee chain. And not just that, he decided to present as a famous recent incarnation: the monkey-faced botched restoration of Ecce Homo!
Christmas is coming up, and if you are wondering whether you should get gramps another boring old tie pin or golf shirt, may we humbly suggest a skull- or dragon-shaped walking stick of death?!
If you are a regular RocketNews24 reader, you may already know that there have been a lot of changes to Japan’s consumption tax system this year. For those of us who live here, it’s meant an annoying price hike for nearly everything, but for visitors, there is some good news.
Starting today, October 1, new rules regarding consumption tax exemptions for foreign visitors go into effect, and for once, these are actually changes that work in your favor. More details after the jump.
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】1
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!2
- Tokyo adding free Wi-Fi to 143 subway stations for foreign travelers3
- Scope out which love hotel to take your next date to right now in Google Street View4
- Super generous Japanese megastore keeps boxes of change at register for you to use5
- Japanese model builder wins at Gundam, makes a 3D model look like a flat drawing6
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so7
- Love curry? Why not wear it around your neck? Plastic food neckpieces get netizens talking8
- Artist creates “PokeMonstrosities” that are the stuff of nightmares9
- The newer, cheaper Kakureya II: The perfect secret fort/box for studying, drinking, or napping10
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours1
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】2
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer3
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!4
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute5
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters6
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick7
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world8
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so9
- Can you spot the problem that led to the recall of this otherwise cute Japanese New Year’s card?10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises5
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit6
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make7
- One Piece manga sends off Naruto with a classy secret message8
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】9
- Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】10
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher3
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”4
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】5
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China6
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later7
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons8
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea10
- Japanese model builder wins at Gundam, makes a 3D model look like a flat drawing
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so
- Love curry? Why not wear it around your neck? Plastic food neckpieces get netizens talking
- Artist creates “PokeMonstrosities” that are the stuff of nightmares
- The newer, cheaper Kakureya II: The perfect secret fort/box for studying, drinking, or napping
- This old Nintendo game quadrupled in price in just a week
- Make sure to visit this historical onsen once before you die, or just do it right now with Google
- Creepy or cute? Feel the Panda Train’s intense gaze before sightseeing in resort town Shirahama
- Mr. Hanko is here! Bringing life to your name stamp and joy to your office
- Visit Japan without ever leaving home with these eight beautiful videos
- Press as hard as you like, these new mechanical pencils just refuse to break
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick
- Jibanyan, Japan chooses you! Pikachu trampled beneath paws of Youkai Watch mascot