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

We try “The Dream,” Asahi’s new, purportedly “perfect” beer【Taste Test】

The beverage giant recently released this canned brew in direct response to consumer surveys asking the Japanese public to name its most desired qualities in a beer…

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Gorgeous Paul Gerber/Arita-yaki pottery watches will catch eyes, leave you seriously broke

The famed Swiss watch maker teams with centuries-old traditional arita-yaki potter Koransha to produce this limited line of stunning handcrafted watches.

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As Microsoft US’s AI chatbot turns racist troll, Japan’s won’t shut up about anime and hay fever

While Tay, Microsoft US’s deep-learning AI chatbot, devolves into a horrifying racist, Microsoft Japan’s Rinna has other things on her mind…

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Music box-powered spinning Lego Laputa is both whimsical and impressive【Video】

Fans of Ghibli works, and especially the studio’s early fantasy adventure Castle in the Sky, will surely be wanting one of these music-enhanced Lego Castle Laputa replicas for themselves.

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New ad for Nissin’s U.F.O. brand of instant yakisoba is all kinds of weird【Video】

Caution: Watching this deliciously bizarre ad may cause your entire head to turn inside out and your knees to violently explode.

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Video explores fencing strikes and rules, looks super badass 【Video】

Dentsu Lab and Japanese fencing master Yuki Ota team up to bring you this dreamlike (and totally badass) video of two fencers in combat, enhanced with practical and digital effects.

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Calbee teams with gourmet French chain for uni and dried roe potato chip flavor

Calbee and the casual-gourmet French chain Ore no French will release an “Uni and Dried Roe Kyokujo Cream Sauce” potato chip flavor on March 21.

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Proposed Seibu Rail express train is 50s futurism meets high-speed love-aid

Seibu Railways is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary with a brand new limited-express train. As innovative and cool as the proposed design is, the concept art is rather unfortunate-looking…

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Did Starbucks Japan forget to translate this important food allergen warning?

Nationwide, Japan Starbucks locations appear to be telling foreign customers to learn Japanese or risk anaphylactic shock.

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Cheapo News: Tokyo Grocer selling “expired” items for pennies on the dollar

Sankei Super doesn’t vouch for the flavor, but the local Tokyo grocer offers select expired items at massive discounts, in addition to an already cheap lineup of other goods.

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Web-based emulator adds cool retro quasi-3D effect to classic NES games 【Video】

Vietnamese hobbyist Trần Vũ Trúc, using mostly undisclosed programming wizardry, introduced this Firefox browser-based emulator that adds a pixelized 3-D effect to many of the NES’s best games.

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Try not to chuckle about this important Japanese discovery regarding great tits (the birds)

Stop us if you’ve heard this one: So a pair of great tits walk into a bar and start chatting…

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We try Nissin’s newest world flavors-inspired cup noodle: Chili Con Carne【Taste Test】

The newest in the instant noodle giant’s world flavors series of cup noodles promises gooey cheese and a spicy kick. It delivers on one of those things…

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How to lady: Fascinating Meiji Era women’s book features hairstyles, history lessons, etiquette

“From birth to death, a woman must never forget to display fondness and affection … a woman will surely experience a life of sorrow without it.”

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Keyboard with light-up, “flying” letters looks like a reverse typing rhythm game【Video】

A Japanese inventor creates a projection mapping-enabled keyboard with letters that fly out into space as you type.

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That Nintendo-themed Universal Studios Japan attraction may actually be pretty fantastic

The first details have emerged about the budget and square-footage for the upcoming Nintendo-themed attraction space in USJ—and it’s much more significant than we anticipated.

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Japanese director alleges that beloved children’s anime Doraemon is “banned” in France

France-based Japanese composer, writer and director Hitonari Suji recently revealed that broadcasts of the much-loved anime Doraemon are “banned” in France for fears it would stunt children’s emotional growth.

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Results of national poll for new flavor Calbee chips turn up “Tuna Corn Curry,” other bizarre flavors

With its “Potato Chips” brand celebrating its 40th anniversary, snack company Calbee decided to poll Japan residents on the flavors they’d like to see next…

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This is what happens when you order US$80 of extra pickles on a Burger King Whopper

We continue our tradition of pushing the limits of our local Burger King staff’s kindness by ordering a double Whopper topped with around 80 bucks worth of pickles.

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Comedian Atsugiri Jason irks Japanese net users with offhand comment

Newly-minted minor celebrity and comedian Atsugiri Jason has raised Japanese hackles with a throwaway tweet that mildly criticized Japanese culture.

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