Mike

With nothing better to do in his native Ohio, Mike took a leave of absence from all responsibilities in life and came to Japan for the first time in 2006. After several years of what amounted to an extended vacation with occasional Japanese lessons, circumstances led Mike to finally settle down in Tokyo and get serious about life in 2009. He’s worked at magazines, a Japanese ad agency, and currently works in the entertainment industry. He also co-founded and writes for the humorous Japan news website Tokyodesu.com.

All Stories by Mike

Nissin sends Square Enix employees congratulatory instant ramen, possible collab on the way

With Nissin’s cup noodles featured heavily in the latest Final Fantasy game, the company decided to gift Square Enix employees with a ramen donation.

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More Japanese are marrying friends and acquaintances because they don’t want to bother with dating

Japan’s latest buzzword, “Marriage sans dating,” sheds some light on new Japanese romantic customs.

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City that inspired settings in hit anime “Your Name” sees unbelievable boost in tourist dollars

Hida City, Gifu Prefecture rakes in a whopping 18.5 billion yen in tourist dollars as fans of the film make pilgrimages to the region.

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This is what a Yoshinoya beef bowl looks like with US$100 in extra meat topping

As is our longstanding tradition, we took a 10,000 yen bill to another Japanese fast food joint to see what kind of culinary monstrosity we could make.

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Fukuoka town builds enormous Godzilla replica out of… straw?

After hearing about it last week, you bet we went to check out Japan’s gigantic straw Godzilla for ourselves, and it’s way more imposing than we’d anticipated.

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Our reporter heads to an all-male crossplay event, and the results are gorgeous

We sent one of our Japanese reporters, “Rei-chan,” to the “RAAR’s Night” crossplaying event in Shinjuku. Here’s his story.

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Tokyo’s Shibuya celebrates Halloween with awesome cosplay crowds, and we’ve got photos right here

We spent a night out on the town in Tokyo’s Shibuya this Halloween weekend to grab some incredible photos of cosplaying revelers.

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Cheapo News: The top 100-yen sushi plates at Shibuya’s Uobei Sushi

We visit the Uobei Sushi conveyor belt sushi restaurant and choose our top picks to save you time, money and potentially wasted calories.

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Web search reveals dark (and kinky) habits of beloved mythical Japanese spirit

The Kappa is generally known as a clownish, mostly friendly water spirit in Japanese mythology, but a cursory web search recently revealed the creature’s darker nature.

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Unique men’s clothing line lets you wear some of Japan’s most iconic woodblock prints

The menswear line is inspired by kimono designs and features (tasteful) recreations of famous erotic woodblock prints.

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This jellyfish may only exist in Japanese aquariums, remains undiscovered in the wild

A handful of photos making the rounds on Japanese blogs purport to show a species of jellyfish only found in Japanese aquariums.

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Cheapo News: We discover a Tokyo sushi shop with unlimited inari-zushi

Sushi Mamire, in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district, offers up all-you-can-eat sides of inari-zushi with every lunch.

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Clever AT-AT multipurpose stand helps organize your desk, recreate iconic Star Wars moment

Premium Bandai set to release this nifty Star Wars-themed desk organizing stand.

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Finding a half decent gym in Japan: A survival guide

Here’s a guide to finding the right gym for you in Japan, a surprisingly difficult endeavor.

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Animal caricatures from classic Japanese scroll art enter the modern world as cute, funny figures

The anthropomorphized frog and rabbit from the famous 12th century Choju-jinbutsu-giga acquaint themselves with computers, selfie sticks and more in this cute line of miniature figures.

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Cheapo News: Dine on a great-tasting tempura rice bowl for just 130 yen at this Tokyo chain

Marugame Udon, a ubiquitous Tokyo noodle shop, serves this delicious “hidden” menu item for just 130 yen.

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This ornate Super Mario Bros. watch can be yours for just, oh, US$27,000

This Romain Jerome watch with a classic pixelated Mario face is available for a limited time for Mario super fans with a lot of cash to blow.

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Korean man wins lottery, family stages City Hall protest demanding he split the money

The 58 year-old winner’s mother and daughter say they’re entitled to part of his winnings and went as far as to stage a protest at the local city office.

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We check out Kawaichi, a crazy good soba shop in Akihabara

The shop is a bit of a walk from the station, but the superb soba at this Akihabara eatery is worth the trip.

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Korean mobile game featured eerily similar gameplay to Pokémon Go…in 2011

Korean netizens unearth a Korean mobile game that seems to be a blatant ripoff of the wildly popular Pokémon Go, except it predates Niantic’s megahit by five years.

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