Preston Phro

Preston Phro (or simply Phro as most know him) is a Coloradoan attempting to fit in in Tokyo. (Surely, he would succeed if not for his unruly hair.) He puts his master's in classical Japanese literature to good use by writing silly stories and articles for the Internet. Having lived in Nara, Osaka, and Yamaguchi before moving to the Kanto area, he's quite happy to finally have a place to call home! When not writing, he enjoys annoying his wife by plucking at his shamisen (a three-stringed Japanese instrument not entirely unlike a banjo) and pestering her with questions about Japanese history. He also occasionally attempts to remember all the stuff he's forgotten since university.

All Stories by Preston Phro

Trouble on the pot? Here are five songs our Japanese writer chose to give you dookie power!

Hemorrhoids are, apparently, a pain in the butt. Your humble writer must confess to a lack of experience in the hemorrhoid department, but I will certainly admit a great deal of sympathy for those with the affliction. However, one of our Japanese writers, a certain Mr. Wasai, is quite experienced in the painful pooping department.

Of course, hemorrhoids aren’t exactly the most glamorous physical malady, and a large number of Japanese people are certainly embarrassed to discuss it. But Wasai is here to provide support for everyone in the form of music! Here are the five songs that best reflect his dookie affliction.

Read More

Steam Garden: Tokyo’s steampunk festival might be better than a Victorian time machine

Though it sometimes feel a bit like bragging, when people ask what we like best about Tokyo, we can’t help answering that it basically has everything. Now, don’t us wrong, there are some things you can’t find in Japan’s capital city, but just about everything we’ve gone looking for, we’ve been able to find. And we’ve even discovered some things without knowing we were looking for them! Case in point, about a week ago, we found out that Tokyo has its very own quarterly steampunk festival!

Dubbed Steam Garden, the first event of the year will be held next month in Harajuku, but we were dying to know more about it, so we reached out to the Tokyo Inventors Society to learn more about steampunk in Japan. Check our exclusive interview and get information about joining the fun below!

Read More

Let’s take a tour of the best sushi in Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market with Mr. Sato! (Part 1)

Obviously, if you love sushi, Tokyo is probably your number one foodie vacation destination, but Tokyo is a big place! There are plenty of excellent sushi restaurants–and plenty of great ones at that. But for seriously fresh sushi, there might be no better place than right off the boat.

And if you want sushi right off the boat, you’ll want to head to Tsukiji-shijo, also known as Tsukiji Fish Market, the “biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.” While that might sound a bit daunting, worry not! Today, we’re going to visit four Tsukiji-shijo sushi restaurants with none other than our very own Mr. Sato!

Read More

The detail on these Japanese dollhouses is amazing!

While dollhouses have been popular in Europe for centuries, they didn’t really develop a strong showing in Japan until the 1970s. However, since they’ve gained a foothold in Japanese society, they’ve gained popularity and a number of domestic craftsmen have appeared. One of the hottest dollhouse makers in Japan (a phrase we never thought we’d write) has gotten a lot of attention online due to the high quality of the miniatures–particularly the dollhouses based on Japanese buildings!

Read More

How many do you know? 12 delicious foods in Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores

When you think of Japanese food, you likely think of sushi, ramen, or udon–all excellent choices! You might even find your mouth watering at thoughts of monjayaki or anko ice cream, but there may be a few that you’re not so familiar with. Today, we’re going to look at 12 lesser-known foods–and what one of our intrepid writers thought about them!

Read More

Japanese men discuss the most embarrassing types of email addresses – Is yours on the list?

Over the last two decades, email has evolved to be one of the primary ways business people communicate. That makes having a good email address all the more necessary. That Hotmail email address you chose when you were in junior high school–something like “Offspring4EVER,” probably–isn’t really what you want on your business card, even if Smash was one of the best albums of 90s. Fortunately, it doesn’t take most of us long to realize that a proper email address is part of growing up, just like deleting all those embarrassing Facebook photos from spring break.

Unfortunately, it looks like not everyone got that memo (maybe it’s in the spam folder), which prompted iResearch to take a poll of 100 Japanese men to find out more about Japan’s embarrassing mail addresses.

Read More

New video “Ikusa” from Wagakki Band mixes rock, traditional instruments, and swords!

Since the release of Wagakki Band‘s first original song “Hanabi” last year, we’ve been holding our breath waiting for more. Okay, that’s not completely true–we’ ve been sneaking little gasps since then–but we were definitely excited to hear the the group was recording both the opening and closing song for the new anime Sengoku Musou, based on the game of the same name. But unless you actually tuned in to watch the show you’d be hard pressed to find the songs–until now!

Today, the band released a music video for “Ikusa,” the show’s opening theme song. Check it out below but be careful that you’ve cleared your room of pointy objects first so you don’t hurt yourself headbanging.

Read More

My Neighbor Baymax: Big Hero 6 character designer’s homage to Ghibli blows up Twitter

While I’m not exactly a huge Disney fan, I have to say that Big Hero 6 was easily one of my favorite movies of 2014, and I’ve fast become a big fan of the bubble-like Baymax. There’s probably a mathematical formula to prove how adorable his head is, but it looks like Jin Kim, character designer for the movie, has found a way to up the awesome level by combining Hiro and Baymax with a certain iconic Japanese film

Read More

Around Japan in 22 days…on a bus! (Yes, it has a toilet.)

One of the hardest parts about visiting Japan is deciding where to go, especially if you have only a limited time. Obviously, everyone wants to hit up Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, but that often means missing out on places like Nara and Aomori. If only there were a way you could get on a bus and just let someone take to every prefecture in the country…

Well, if you have about US$5,000 and 22 days, pack your bags, because that’s exactly what Club Tourism is offering this year!

Read More

Sonus Antiquitatum, Sonata for Two Game Boys in F Minor: Chiptunes for the sophisticate

While the popularity of retrogaming can sometimes be difficult to understand or accurately gauge, one of the more interesting aspects of its resurgence is the following that has developed around chiptunes. Though it would be a bit of a stretch to say that chiptunes music is massively popular, there’s no doubt that the genre holds a strong appeal for many gamers, especially those who grew up playing on older systems.

But the current chiptunes scene is hardly limited to old game soundtracks–thanks to software like Little Sound DJ, producers can make complex music that manages to be both old and new. And the best example might be a new release titled Sonus Antiquitatum, a sonata for two Game Boys in F minor, that not only sounds good for a chiptunes album but is actually a really enjoyable musical experience!

Read More

Mr. Sato goes to Tokyo Auto Salon 2015, forgets to take photos of the cars…

While Japan makes some rather unique cars, itasha aren’t the only custom cars in the country. From oni-kyan wheels for drifting to Chibatman, it sometimes seems like half of the vehicles in the country have been modified to extremes. But to get an idea of just how popular custom cars are in Japan, you’d need to head to Tokyo Auto Salon, which saw nearly 300,000 attendees last year!

This year, not wanting to miss out on all the fun, our brave Mr. Sato donned his most garish, chinpira outfit and headed down to look at some cars…and the women who get paid to stand next to them.

Read More

Video of Thai soccer team’s gorgeous passing play leaves us amazed

I’ll be completely honest with you here–I don’t know much of anything about soccer. I hate to fit the dumb American stereotype, but when it comes to sports, soccer is one that I definitely never got into.

I have nothing against it, of course! Partly, it’s just exhausting watching the ball bounce back and forth between players, changing directions like a whip. But on the other hand, I have to admit that it’s easy to see why some call it a “beautiful” game, and this video of a Thailand soccer team ably slipping through a Malaysian team’s defenses is nothing less than amazing.

Read More

How do Japanese cats stay warm and accessorize during winter? With tail scarves, of course!

Though spring is only a few months away, Tokyo is still downright cold these days. Of course, if you’re from a colder climate, you probably annoy your friends by running around in shorts asking why they’re shivering, but for many people here, it’s still pretty cold. Whether it’s the sea breeze zipping through the streets or some sort of reverse heat island effect, we’re not sure, but it is enough to make mornings downright brutal.

And people aren’t the only ones cursing the cold–our furry feline friends are none too fond of winter either! But unlike humans, they come with built-in scarves. Check out some of Japan’s cutest cats wrapping themselves up nice and warm with their tails.

Read More

The secret ingredient to miso soup? Rock music!

Let’s get this out of the way first: Miso soup is delicious. It’s a great addition to nearly any meal, but we have to admit that it is pretty…basic, in every sense of the word. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that! Basic doesn’t mean bad, though we imagine it presents a bit of a marketing problem–how do you differentiate one brand of miso soup from another? If you deviate from the tried-and-true recipe too much, it’s just not miso soup anymore!

Well, it looks like Marukome, one of Japan’s top miso paste producers, has found a way: They’ve played loud, fast, and raw rock music for their newest instant miso soup–right in the miso paste factory !

Read More

This video of Manila’s New Year’s Eve fireworks will drive your dog crazy, look good doing it

New Year’s Eve is done and now long gone. We’ve pretty much wrapped up our coverage of the best and worst fukubukuro in Japan, so you may be ready to move on to Valentine’s Day, but we have one more piece of awesomeness left over from December 31, 2014: explosions!

While there were plenty of great fireworks displays around the world, we think this video of the Philippines’ Manila going crazy might be the best of the year. Check out below!

Read More

Haneto Izakaya: Enjoy Aomori food and music from the comfort of Tokyo

Tokyo is a wonderful city; there’s no denying that. But sometimes you might want to get out into the country and experience some of the different cultural areas of Japan. Of course, if you’re busy working all week or only in the country for a brief time, you may not be able to get out to a place like Aomori Prefecture.

Recently, however, we were in the mood for some tsugaru-jamisen and a few glasses of Aomori Prefecture’s distinguished sake. We didn’t have time to jump on a train to the northern prefecture, but, fortunately, Tokyo is home to Haneto Izakaya, an establishment featuring food and music from Aomori Prefecture. Check out the food, drinks, and a video of their amazing shamisen player rocking the joint!

Read More

BABYMETAL release trailer for new song “Road of Resistance” featuring guitars by DragonForce

Stop what you’re doing and get ready to lose your…ummm…stuff. Kawaii-meets-coffins idol group BABYMETAL just released a trailer for a new song featuring guitars by Herman Li and Sam Totman, the semi-legendary guitarists from DragonForce. The song is called “Road of Resistance” and our only complaint is that the trailer is too short…despite being over three minutes long.

Read More

Got back pain? These manga-inspired stretches might help!

It’s a new year, so time to get to work on your resolutions! Whether it’s hitting the gym, studying a language, or taking more time to sit down and play video games, here’s to accomplishing all your goals. Of course, when you’re in pursuit of a big goal, you may find yourself working overly hard and feeling exhausted when you hit the hay–which may result in sleeping in the wrong position. Who hasn’t woken up with a sore neck or back and wished they could call in sick and spend the day with a few dozen massage therapists?

If you’re feeling a bit of pain, we may have just the cure–and it’s inspired by none other than the manga GodHand Teru. That means it has to be effective, right?

Read More

Famikoto celebrates Nintendo with medley of game music played on traditional instruments【J-Tunes】

It should be no secret that we at RocketNews24 love traditional Japanese music. Whether its Ki&Ki with their tsugaru-jamisen songs or the Wagakki Band with their fusion of vocaloid-inspired rock and traditional instruments, we simply adore the sound. Of course, we’re also fans of Nintendo’s old video games–which is what makes Famikoto one of our favorite discoveries this season!

Check out this group’s music and get ready to take a walk down memory lane with some of Nintendo’s best theme songs!

Read More

This month’s slightly bizarre Japanese Twitter trend is showing off overly full Subway sandwiches

Subway may be as popular in Japan as it is in the US–which isn’t really surprising, since the company advertises itself as a healthy meal option. We’re not sure how healthy the sandwiches actually are, but that’s marketing for you. Nevertheless, it is true that a Subway sandwich certainly contains a lot more vegetables than, say, a Big Mac and fries.

And if you’re one of these Japanese Twitter users, your sandwich is literally bursting with vegetables! We’re not sure if this really a lifehack or not, but it is a way to get a sub sandwich and a salad all for price of the just the former.

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. ...
  9. 32
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,765 other followers