All Stories by SoraNews24

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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Super Mega Important Debate – Natto: is it nom or vom? 【Poll closed】

Sometimes our modern lives lack conflict. Let’s remedy that today by having a massive fight about something that doesn’t really matter.

This week, we’re talking about the fermented soybeans known as natto, and there’s one question we need you all to answer: is this dish “nom” or is it decidedly “vom”?

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What happens when a guy goes to a Japanese women’s swimsuit store and asks for their best bikini?

Japan has recently seen an increase in merchandise like “men’s bras” and “men’s panties” with designs that are practically the same as women’s versions. Which is all well and good, but it’s left us with one question: Why are we still separating men’s and women’s swimsuits?

While we suppose women probably can’t wear men’s swimsuits without Johnny Law giving them a citation or two, there’s nothing really stopping men from throwing on something like, say, a bikini. And that’s exactly what a writer from our Japanese site did! Take a trip to the beach with us and see how he liked his new swimwear!

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Super Mega Important Debate: Tuna or salmon sushi? 【Poll now closed】

It’s finally the weekend, so what better way to squander our precious time off than by arguing over things that don’t really matter?

This week we’re asking: Which is better? Salmon sushi or tuna sushi?

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Upcoming male “female cosplay” event draws attention online and our interest

Cosplay is, of course, a popular pastime of otaku, and one of the most popular types of cosplay right now is the gender-norm-breaking “otoko no ko.” As we’ve explained previously, otoko no ko are men who identify as male and like wearing women’s clothes…and who often happen to look damn good doing it too!

And it seems that otoko no ko numbers are growing too, if the Internet is any indication. Though otoko no ko cosplay events have been around for a while, a contest coming up this weekend is drawing attention online.

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Did this guy really get his girlfriend to gain 40kg before asking her to marry him?

The Internet is full of stories, some true and some false. Some tales are so bizarre that we’re not sure which end of the spectrum they lie on, such as this one, in which a man in China allegedly met a girl, fell in love, and then got her to nearly double her body weight through massive amounts of food.

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One of the hardest things about cosplaying an anime character has to be the challenge of making cartoon facial and body features look as striking, interesting and attractive in real life as they do in the animated world.

Twitter in Japan has been buzzing with just that dilemma this week after the launch of the anime adaptation of light novel series Danmachi, known in English as Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?  Why? Because one particularly well-endowed female character, Hestia, has a blue ribbon enhancing her cleavage, and Twitter users across Japan decided to try it out in real life. While some fans were disappointed, others seemed to feel they might just be on to something with this ribbon thing!

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Win the chance to have your Japan wish granted by RocketNews24!!

Hello everyone! Thanks as ever for your loyal readership of RocketNews24. Today we have an exciting project that we want to share with you all, and we think it’s one that will make you very happy. Presenting: “Have your Japan wish granted by RocketNews24!

We’re sure that many of you have dreams of visiting Japan and fulfilling long-held wishes. But perhaps you haven’t quite been able to save up the cash for a plane ticket or didn’t know anyone in Japan to help you out once you got here, so you’ve been unable to realize those dreams.

If that sounds like you, then we’d like to help! If you have a wish you’d like to have granted in Japan then we invite you to enter our competition. RocketNews24 will use our funds and knowledge to make your dreams a reality here in Japan.

Join us after the jump for more details!

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Japan’s newest models are all about their busts: Classical statues reimagined as fashion idols

From hyperactive pear fairies to gross mushrooms, it seems that Japanese consumers have an appreciation for the unusual. Of course, it can be hard to predict exactly what will win hearts and minds, but that won’t stop people from trying to kickstart the newest craze.

Kadokawa, a publishing company among other things, Zarigani Works, a toy and merchandise production company, and Holbein, an arts materials company, have teamed up to turn classical statues into the latest hot items. They still haven’t revealed all the items they’ll be producing and it remains to be seen just how many people actually want products with Hermes’s statuesque face emblazoned on it, but you can’t blame them for trying!

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The Internet has a new crush again, and she just happens to be a golf caddie?!

Sometimes it seems like the collective Internet has the attention span of about five minutes. Though, to be fair, that’s longer than a Vine video, so we guess things aren’t completely hopeless. However, it also means that the Internet’s collective id develops (and loses) crushes faster than a mayfly.

And this week, the Japanese Internet masses have apparently developed a crush on a golf caddie.

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Haters gonna hate: Japanese RN24 writer claims Mr. Sato is trash, but we’re not buying it

While the advent of social media and the 24-hour news cycle has certainly made us more connected and increased our awareness of…stuff, it also seems to have resulted in a bit of an epidemic of shade-throwing. Whether it’s celebrities putting each other on blast or random Twitter eggs flaming each other, it can often feel like the Internet has drunk deep from the well of haterade.

For the most part, we here at RocketNews24 have stayed out of the fray, but it looks like all that’s about to change. While you may think that our ace reporter Mr. Sato is the coolest, sexist guy in the world, Nakano, another writer for the Japanese side, is going public with why our hero is a total jerk. But the real question is: Should we believe Nakano or is he just jealous? Read on and decide for yourself!

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Saga Prefecture targets foreign tourists with weirdly unimpressive commercial 【Video】

Marketing is often billed as a creative job. Agencies are paid to come up with the most eye-catching, unique advertising possible in order to better capture the attention of potential customers. Nevertheless, all too often it seems commercial producers can’t resist the low-hanging fruit of lukewarm, gimmicky gags that anyone would get without too much trouble. Obviously, this isn’t always the case, but when something works once for one company, you can expect to see others adopt similar tactics over and over. Dead horses and whips and all that.

Now, I have to admit, it can’t be easy to make a hit commercial every time, but after watching this tourism ad, I think Saga Prefecture needs to go back to the drawing board.

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Buyer keepers? Photos of returned mail being sold on the street go viral in China

Ordering things online or through the mail always has an element of uncertainty to it. If you walk into a store to buy a new computer, you can be fairly certain that the package you walk out with is actually a new computer. But when ordering online, there’s always a chance that it’s a scam or that the post office will simply never get it to you. We’re not trying to disparage our beleaguered postal workers, but it’s inevitable that something will fall through the cracks in any large organization.

But have you ever wondered what happens when your mail doesn’t get to you? Where the heck does it all go? Well, if you’re really unlucky, it might end up being sold in the street.

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Now you can experience getting stopped by the Japanese police on Google Streetview

Google Maps has been a great boon to me in my time in Japan. In fact, GPS maps were the biggest reason I got my first smartphone in 2009, followed closely by the ability to write unfamiliar kanji by hand into a dictionary I’d always have with me. But Google Maps was definitely the biggest draw.

In the interceding six years, Google Maps has grown from something useful to something indispensable to many people. It’s not just good for helping you find a tiny store in Shibuya, either, since the maps can open up a whole world of digital sightseeing for people. And where there are bored people on computers, there are also bound to be Easter Eggs and creepy pranks to be discovered.

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What are Japan’s Twitter users talking about today? Llamas? Dresses? Nope! Cups of urine! (Kinda)

This week has been a busy one for the Internet. We suppose the Internet is always busy, but it seems like we’ve reached peak Internet wackiness what with all the rampaging llamas, baffling dresses, superpowered fishes, and Sesame Street parodying House of Cards. So, by now, you might be thinking that it’s time to give the Internet a break and maybe settle down with a good book.

But before you do, you might want to see the hilarious tweet that’s taken Twitter by storm in JapanUrine for a real treat!

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Woman drying underwear in airport lobby deals blow to Asian relations

On 1 February, 2015 the often contentious relations between Asian countries were further inflamed when a woman of uncertain nationality spread out her pink bra and black panties to dry on the back of a bench in the lobby of Chiang Mai International Airport in Thailand.

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