All Stories by SoraNews24

Super Mega Important Debate:  Capsule hotels – crazy cool or just too coffin-like? 【Poll】

It’s time for another Super Mega Important Debate, folks! This week we’re talking about Japan’s famous capsule hotels. The question is, are they cool, cheap ‘n’ cheerful places to stay, or is slipping into one like spending the night in a morgue drawer, albeit while being serenaded by an overweight businessman snoring through the night?

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RocketLaboratory: Bubblicious is as hard as a nipple? Our Japanese writers find out!

It cannot be said enough that as much as we love our fellow writers from RocketNews24 Japan, sometimes we have absolutely no idea what the hell they’re thinking. Of course, that’s part of the appeal! They’re like Riggs in Lethal Weapon or, actually, a less ranty Mel Gibson on any day of the week.

This time, they decided to test if Bubblicious is as hard as a nipple, as some have claimed…by comparing it to our globetrotting Go’s own chest ornaments. The video presented below is technically 100 percent safe for work, but also probably not at all safe for work.

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Super Mega Important Debate: Fried gyoza or boiled gyoza? 【Poll Closed】

They may have come from China originally, but Japan has made gyouza – those little parcels of deliciousness that go perfectly with a cold beer – their own just as much as they did ramen. Tasty and moreish whether made fresh at home or bought in bulk at the supermarket, gyouza are one of the simpler foods you’re likely to encounter on a trip to Japan, but one that you’d be a fool to miss out on.

But while we may all agree that these things are delicious, one issue divides us on the gyouza front: namely, are they better 焼き yaki (fried on one side before being steamed in the pan), or 水 sui (gently boiled and often served with, or sometimes even containing, tasty soup)? Some argue that sui is the purer, not to mention healthier, form of gyouza, but others will tell you that yaki is infinitely better.

Let’s find out what you good people have to say on the matter!

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Japan is full of ghosts: Visiting the grave of Taira no Masakado’s head

Summer in Japan means heat and humidity — enough such that people will try to cool down by any means necessary, including enjoying a few hair-raising ghost stories. From haunted houses to horror films, there are plenty of ways to get goosebumps in Japan, but today we’ll be taking you to the location of one of Tokyo’s most famous angry spirit!

Though it’s not exactly a shinrei spot (a place where ghosts have allegedly appeared), Taira no Masakada Kubizuka is one of the most famous “ghost” spots in Japan. It’s where Taira no Masakada’s head was enshrined in order to quell his spirit…because people believed it was wrecking havoc on the capital!

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Super Mega Important Debate: Are Japan’s futons awesome or simply awful? 【Poll closed】

Happy weekend, everyone! Congratulations on surviving another week!

But before you run off to smother yourself with butter and startle donkeys by shouting the names of under-appreciated actors from the 1980s (hey, we don’t know what you do with your spare time), we have one little question to ask you: are Japanese futons awesome, or are they awful?

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93-year-old Chiba man on trial for killing wife at her request

A somber case is currently making its way through the Japanese legal system as a 93-year-old man goes on trial for killing his wife, apparently at her request. This heartbreaking case has made headlines in Japan and evoked a gut-wrenching testimony from their eldest daughter.

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Video shows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heckled by angry Okinawans at ceremony

June 23 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa, a bloody, 82-day battle which left thousands of people dead. In commemoration of this gruesome chapter of Japanese history, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared in Okinawa at the Cornerstone of Peace, a memorial to those who died in the battle, to deliver a speech.

However, it turned out that not everyone was happy to see the leader, who faced heckling by some attendees.

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Announcing the winners of our Anime Encyclopedia 3rd Revised Edition giveaway!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s finally time to announce the winners of our Anime Encyclopedia 3rd Revised Edition giveaway!

Click the link below to find out if you’re one of the four lucky people who won a copy of this gargantuan guide to all things anime!

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Super Mega Important Debate: Do you shower before work or before bed? 【Poll closed】

In Japan, the majority of people bathe at night before going to bed. Even if they don’t stick to the traditional routine of rinsing off before soaking in a hot bath, most Japanese find the idea of climbing into bed without having at least hopped in the shower first supremely icky – almost as icky as walking around your home while wearing your outdoor shoes.

In the west, however, many of us prefer to shower before leaving the house in the morning. No matter how well you slept the night before, the thought of not washing prior to putting on work clothes and heading out for the day seems pretty gross to most of us.

So for this week’s Super Mega Important Debate, we’re asking you to answer this one simple question: Do you bathe before bed or before work each morning?

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No more earphones while cycling in Japan? Well, how about nipplephones?

As you probably know, bicycles are an incredibly common method of transportation in Japan. They’ve also been a source of many accidents in the country, and police have taken an increasingly strict approach to dealing with law-breaking cyclists. New rules have recently been implemented to keep the country’s streets from turning into a crazy, Mad Max-esque bicycle dystopia, and one that’s really got people’s attention is a prohibition on earphones/headphones while cycling.

The exact rule and punishment seems to vary from location to location, but wearing earphones in both ears is sure to get you at least a warning, and in some places, Tokyo included, even just one ear is now against the law. But, one of our intrepid RocketNews24 Japan writers thought, what about earphones on your nipples?

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Executives arrested from scam dating sites that had 2.7 million users and only one female member

Dating is never easy, is it? Going out and meeting strangers and talking to them can be painful, awkward, and downright terrifying. Fortunately, Internet dating sites have helped us cut through the trial-and-error process to find people we have deep, personal connections with — or, at least, who swiped right.

Unfortunately, online dating is also ripe for abuse, exploitation, and scams. If ever you needed a cautionary tale for being careful about who you give your money to, this group of dating site executives who ran multiple scam sites should suffice. Of the 2.7 millions users on the site, only one was a woman. The rest of the “women” the male members were chatting with online were all paid fakes!

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Airline pilot flies with broken door handle, tells crew member to hold it in place during flight

As much as we love travelling the world and seeing all the awesome that is out there, we have to admit that the price of plane tickets can end up being an insurmountable obstacle to globetrotting adventures. Fortunately, the rise of low-cost carriers (LCC) has helped alleviate some of burden of flight.

Of course, you may wonder if such airlines offer the standards and safety that we expect when being hurled through the sky in a giant metal cylinder. Well, if you’re afraid of flying and you want to see the world on a budget, you probably won’t want to read this story about a pilot who knowingly flew a plane with a faulty door handle…TWICE!

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Announcing the winner of the RocketNews24 Japan Wish competition!

We know you’ve kept you waiting, but it’s finally time to announce the winner of the RocketNews24 competition!

Join us after the jump to find out who we’ll be flying over to Japan to fulfil their Japan dream experience!

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It’s huge!! Win a copy of The Anime Encyclopedia 3rd Revised Edition! 【Contest closed】

Calling all anime enthusiasts and obsessive collectors! Today we have a very special announcement that will put a big smile on your face and have you doing flappy hands like a sugar-rushing toddler in a toy shop. Thanks to the good people at Stone Bridge Press, we have one hardback and three electronic copies of the incredible The Anime Encyclopedia 3rd Revised Edition to give away!

Join us after the jump to find out how to make this book your own.

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Put the razor down! Survey reveals 2 out of 3 Japanese women prefer their men with hairy armpits

Personal tastes are just that: Personal. What gets one person going is likely to leave someone else bored — and there’s nothing wrong with that of course. I’d be awfully sad if everyone liked strawberry ice cream as much as I do because then there’d be none left for me.

And nothing shows this quite as much as men and their body hair. More specifically, how Japanese women feel about body hair on certain parts of the male anatomy. We are, of course, talking about shins and armpits! (Why? What were you thinking?)

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Super Mega Important Debate – Japanese squat toilets: Great or gross? 【Poll closed】

Picture the scene: you’re waiting for your number to be called at City Hall or some other municipal building in rural Japan, when suddenly your stomach starts growling and your gut begins to twitch and spasm as that super-greasy kimchi ramen you had for lunch is pushed at top speed through your digestive tract. If you don’t go now – right now – things could get messy fast, so you make a beeline for the restroom and hope that there’s a stall free. Inside the restroom, you charge towards the half-open door on the end, a layer of sweat forming on your brow as your body starts counting down, T-minus 10 seconds to total evacuation.

Then it hits you: the stall you’re standing in is fitted not with a luxurious, bidet-equipped, warms your backside and plays music at you Washlet brand of toilet, but an old-school, upside-down urinal built into the floor Japanese squat toilet.

There’s no backing out now. The deed must be done. The question is, how traumatised will you be after using it?

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This guy claims he’s never had any cosmetic surgery done, but the internet isn’t convinced

Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site, is full of people of all walks of life, just like Facebook or Twitter, we suppose. Everyone from your average Joes to 15-year-olds with more plastic surgery than Hollywood can get together, share pictures, and argue ad nauseam. The last Weibo user we saw with a ton of work done certainly hit a nerve with Internet users across the world, though she apparently did not give a crap what we thought. And good for her! Listening to the haters is a sure way to ruin a good day.

But now, a new angular face has appeared on the scene, and it looks like he’s not bowing to the Weibo hate either. Though we’re not sure his “deny, deny, deny” tactic is going to work out quite as well as he’s hoping.

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Mimi-kaki: We let a total stranger stick things inside us at an ear-cleaning salon【Video】

Akihabara is considered by many to be a holy land of otaku culture, and with good reason. From anime to electronics to maid cafes, there’s not much you can’t find here. You can even pay someone to clean your ears! Which, to this writer, sounds absolutely horrifying. The idea of a total stranger getting inside my ear canal and scraping out all the gunk is both gross and horrifying, mainly because I can’t stop imagining the ear cleaner slipping and driving the ear-pick deep into my brain.

And that’s probably exactly why the RocketNews24 editors chose me to try it out! If you’ve ever wanted to have a young woman lay your head in her lap and then scrape the wax out of your ears, here’s your chance to see what it’s like.

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Super Mega Important Debate: Tokyo or Osaka? 【Poll Closed】

You knew it had to happen at some point. Sooner or later we were bound to ask you to choose which of Japan’s biggest and most famous cities is best. That’s right, folks, it’s Tokyo versus Osaka; Kanto versus Kansai; east versus west.

Click the link, make your choice, argue about it in the comments section. No biting, hair-pulling or bringing our mothers into it.

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Super Mega Important Debate: Soy sauce-based ramen or miso-based ramen? 【Poll closed】

Happy Saturday, everyone! We hope you got through the week with all your bits and pieces still connected and without getting fired. But before you go off and start being nice to people now that you have a day off, let’s argue about food.

This week we’re talking about soy sauce-based ramen and miso-based ramen – two firm favourites in the world of delicious, soupy noodles and each with legions of fans. But of course, as Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert told us in the 1986 film Highlander, there can be only one, so pick a side and make your click count.

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