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

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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We try out McDonald’s Japan’s new Banana Tart McFlurry on Japan’s unofficial “Banana Day”

Marking Japan’s unofficial “Banana Day” celebration of bananas, McDonald’s Japan offers us a sneak preview of its upcoming summer exclusive McFlurry flavor.

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Singapore food stall is declared the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world

Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, an unassuming street vendor in a Singapore open-air food court, has officially been crowned the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant.

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Image of Godzilla designs past and present show newest Japanese film’s monster is the tallest yet

A new graphic shows that Godzilla has been on some serious nuclear-infused ‘roids the last 60 years.

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Former Ghibli producer has (somewhat) harsh words about the Ghibli working environment

Former Ghibli producer Hirokatsu Kihara gave an interview with Dazed magazine, and some of his insights paint the famous studio in a negative light.

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“Long Live China!”: Chinese players hijack Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine Pokémon Go gym

Some Chinese Pokémon Go players have apparently teamed up to conquer the in-game gym located in Tokyo’s infamous Yasukuni Shrine.

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Nagasaki’s Peace Park asks Pokémon Go developer to remove game functionality on park grounds

Nagasaki’s Peace Park, a memorial to victims of the atomic bomb attack, has requested that Pokémon Go developer Niantic stop items and monsters from appearing on park grounds.

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Love hot springs and tattoos? You won’t want to miss this onsen paradise near Tokyo!

Tattooed guests are often turned away at the door at many Japanese hot springs, but a Chiba-area hot spring location is explicitly allowing guests with tattoos, and it’s a multi-floor relaxation paradise to boot!

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The inevitable march of Pokemon Go clones continues as Korean publisher announces “Pororo Go”

The production house behind Korea’s hit kid’s show Pororo the Little Penguin recently announced a partnership with a developer to release an augmented reality game called Pororo Go.

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The simple beauty of Japan’s “rock-paper-scissors” culture

Whether resolving a dispute, deciding who pays the check for lunch, or simply passing the time, Japan’s “Jan-ken” culture is simple, surprisingly elegant, and a lot of fun.

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Is Pokémon Go just a fad?

Pokémon Go has dominated the news cycle since its release, and surely has many, many development houses scrambling to come up with something similar. But will the wildly popular game fade into obscurity before we know it?

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Watch an 80-year-old toymaker handcraft beautiful, retro wooden toys

80-year-old Masaaki Hiroi has dedicated his life to handcrafting gorgeous wooden toys the old-fashioned way.

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Confusion as Imperial official denies rumors that Japan’s Emperor Akihito plans to step down

It’s been a whirlwind day in the Japanese media amidst rumors that Emperor Akihito plans to abdicate in the near future, but an Imperial official is now denying these claims.

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Hollywood reportedly wants to make a Pokémon live action film because of, you know, that one game

Thanks to Pokémon GO, Hollywood executives are reportedly super-interested (again) in the idea of a live-action Pokémon movie.

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Feast your eyes on this incredibly detailed US$300 Venom Snake statue complete with cute puppy

Boutique figure maker Gecco introduces an ultra-detailed statue of Venom Snake from Metal Gear Solid V that will lighten your wallet and make you weep tears of nerd joy.

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