After Japan’s hopes of advancing in the World Cup were dashed by a 1-4 defeat to Colombia, Japanese football fans have been looking for something to get them smiling again. And Ivory Coast’s goalie provided just the opportunity.
The convenience store racket in Japan is fierce business with many shops jockeying for the top spot. Perhaps this was only in my local area, but about one or two years ago one of Japan’s biggest chains, FamilyMart, made an impressively bold Micheal Corleone-style house cleaning and began knocking off AM-PM and Sunkus outlets like modern-day Moe Greens and Emilio Barzinis and making them their own with a killer combination of great fried chicken and enthusiastic staff.
Now it’s gotten to the point that seeing FamilyMart’s green, blue and white signage is as common a sight as a traffic light when walking through the streets. It’s become so popular, in fact. that people are beginning to see links to other things – things such as the Republic of Sierra Leone.
Have you ever given up on something you wish you’d persisted with? We’ve all quit something at one point or another in our lives and there are many reasons for giving up. It sounds great to be able to play an instrument effortlessly, master a sport or become fluent in multiple languages, but once the reality of just how much work goes into a skill sinks in, it can often feel impossible.
Meet Ibrahim Hamada of Egypt, a table tennis enthusiast who says, “Nothing is impossible as long as you work hard.” That may sound like the kind of thing that can only be said by the exceptionally naive, but that is not the case here. He was involved in a train accident when he was 10 years old, and he lost most of his arms as a result. At 13, he was determined to find a way to play again.
Apr 16, 2014
Glitzy Ginza is a high-end shopping district in Tokyo that attracts luxury brand flagship stores, ladies who lunch, and businesspeople with cash to burn. But if you happen to be there this week, you might spot something very incongruous in this moneyed mecca: a Maasai tribesman selling shoes.
William hails from Kenya, where he is the head of a Maasai tribe, and the shoes he is here to promote are a Spanish brand called Pikolinos. So how did an African tribesman end up in the Japanese capital selling European shoes?
Despite the frequent complaint in many nations about jobs being moved to China, not everyone in the planet’s most populous country can easily find work domestically. People from the country’s more impoverished regions sometimes see going overseas to be their only means of obtaining gainful employment, and over the last decade more than 500,000 Chinese nationals have moved to Ghana.
However, history is rife with examples of countries taking issue with sudden influxes of foreign workers or capital. In Ghana, it appears tensions are rising between Chinese workers and businesses and their Ghanaian hosts over one of the most historical measures of wealth, gold.
- Casey Baseel
Nov 13, 2013
Along with having a pleasing smell, one of the essential requirements of being part of the RocketNews24 team is a certain measure of eloquence. I can proudly say that the rest of the crew writes really, really good (they also help me out a lot, quite obviously).
But sometimes, words aren’t quite enough. How can mere prose do justice to the subtle hues of a cherry blossom, or the reverberations of a temple bell? Sometimes, in order to properly carry out our mission of spreading the simple joys of Japanese culture, we have to carry it with us and head out into the world, which is just what we did recently while traveling Africa.
Unfortunately cherry blossom season is still about five months away, and we couldn’t fit our cast-iron bell in the overhead bin, so we settled for the next best thing: bringing boxes of the chocolaty snack Pocky to share with the Maasai people of Kenya.
- Casey Baseel
Oct 31, 2013
Japan is, by almost any criteria, an extremely safe country. You can wander most back alleys of Tokyo in the dead of night without any sense of danger, and calmly carry huge amounts of cash secure in the knowledge that you’re about as likely to come across a mugger in downtown as a man riding a horse.
While this bubble of safety is definitely a plus when you’re inside it, the flipside is that Japanese travelers, unaccustomed to street crime, violent or otherwise, tend to be extremely risk averse when going abroad. Driving this point home is the East Africa edition of a popular series of Japanese guidebooks, which is filled with warnings of danger that seem more like something out of a pulp action novel than a travel reference.
Police in Zimbabwe’s eastern province of Manicaland are asking men to stay alert following an increase in rapes perpetrated by one or more groups of women. The announcement was made following a four-day sexual assault of a young male soldier by a gang of four women.
- Philip Kendall
Apr 22, 2013
It was revealed on April 20 that millions of condoms that had been freely distributed in the Republic of Ghana, West Africa, are being recalled after they were found to contain holes or susceptible to tears and bursting.
- Master Blaster
Jan 26, 2013
During a press conference on 25 January, Takeshi Endo, a representative for, JGC Corp, the construction firm working at the ill-fated Tigantourine natural gas plant told the story of one lucky survivor who was rescued by the Algerian workers there.
Had enough turkey and chicken over the holidays? Or if you’re in Japan, maybe you’re tired of the traditional osechi food that you’ve had to eat the first few days of the New Year.
If so, here’s something a bit different you may want to try to spice things up a little — a curry recipe from the African island of Mauritius. Our reporter from our Japanese sister site Pouch gives us the following lesson in “curry à la Mauritius” (taught by a native Mauritian no less), and the resulting dish certainly looks good enough to feature in your next meal! Read More
Man Tries his Attempts at Evading Excess Luggage Charges at the Airport by Wearing Over 60 Layers of Clothing!
- Andrew Miller
Dec 31, 2012
As with many trips abroad, the purchasing of souvenirs for your friends and family and admittedly, the occasional gift for yourself is a routine common to most. The time and effort invested in making sure you have something for everyone can take its toll not only mentally, but also on the weight of your luggage upon arrival at the airport. “Just how can I get all this stuff through without being charged a fortune?” is I’m sure a fear that goes through the minds of many. When it comes to airport excess luggage costs, the excess cost itself can sometimes even exceed the actual value of the goods being brought back. Whatever is the case, nobody wants be charged excessively for something they’ve already paid for. Whether it be disposing of the gift’s packaging and then diligently placing it in your hand luggage, or if it happen to be a fashion accessory or item of clothing, wearing it as if it were your own, having some form of strategy is arguably better than being completely defenseless against the wrath that is the custom and excise department.
The other day, a man passing though China’s Kantan airport took this idea of ‘wearing your luggage’ to the extreme. Admittedly wrapping yourself in a couple of extra layers isn’t really any reason to warrant criticism and I’m sure it’s something many of us have considered at some point. What we’re talking about here is the act of piling on countless number of layers of clothing at once! Without question, such outrageousness cannot help but raise the suspicion of the airport staff.
While all those spines may make the hedgehog look like one of the last animals you’d want to let run around in your house, certain species of the animal are actually fairly popular pets in certain parts of the world.
The African pygmy hedgehog, for example, is one of the most popular domesticated species and have been known to cozy up to their owners quite nicely.
Koutaro Maeno, a Japanese entomology researcher living in the West African country of Mauritania and proud owner of two African pygmy hedgehogs, has uploaded some rather bizarre video showing just how…tolerant the beasts can be of humans.
Cyclopia is one of the rarest forms of birth defect in which the baby is born with one or two eyes on the mid-forehead and the nose and mouth often either missing or nonfunctional. Because most babies born with Cyclopia lack the ability to breathe outside the womb, they usually pass away before birth or shortly after.
While most documented cases of Cyclopia have occurred in animals, there have been a few cases of human fetuses being affected.
Recently, photos of a cycloptic baby born in Cameroon earlier this year have been making headlines on the Japanese internet.
We’ve shared the photos below, but be warned that they are graphic in nature and may be disturbing to some viewers. Please click the link below at your own discretion.
Awhile back, we traveled to the desert planet Tatooine from the Star Wars universe—well, the set of it, at least. Scenes from several of the Star Wars movies were filmed on location in Tunisia and many of the sets and landscapes seen in the movie, such as the port city of Mos Espa and Luke Skywalker’s house, can still be visited today.
This time we’d like to share our travel report of Ksar Hadada, one of three traditional fortified granaries scattered about southern Tunisia that were used in the filming of the Slave Quarters Row of Mos Espa in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.
Jul 10, 2012
The hippopotamus is said to be the deadliest animal in Africa, killing more people per year than any other animal on the continent. But while the hippo may be deadly, it certainly isn’t silent. Just take a look at the video above, posted to YouTube late last year (old video is old, we know).
Star Wars. Arguably the greatest space opera ever and undoubtedly the exemplar of science fiction in the minds of many.
One of the most memorable locations of the series is Tatooine, the rugged desert planet home to both Luke and Anakin Skywalker. As we shared yesterday, much of Tatooine was filmed in Tunisia and you can even still visit the set of Mos Espa, Anakin Skywalker’s hometown in Start Wars: The Phantom Menace.
But when speaking of Tatooine, surely most people think not of Anakin and Mos Espa, but of the Lars homestead, the home of Luke Skywalker before he became a Jedi Knight.
Well it turns out that’s still there too and you can actually stay the night at Luke Skywalker’s home. Needless to say, we did just that.
Coca-Cola is probably the most popular brand name beverage on Earth, and as a result it pops up seemingly everywhere you go. A fun side effect of this level of popularity is to see the metamorphoses the product goes through as it crosses borders around the world.
Our correspondent has traveled to the birthplace of the Arab Spring end unearthed such a treasure. Behold the Tunisian can of Coca-Cola Zero (the calorie-free version of Coke).
On March 20, Japan signed a deal with Egypt agreeing to finance the development of a new metro rapid transit line from Cairo to the Pyramids of Giza with a loan of 33 billion yen ($395 million).
So the next time you’re on vacation in Egypt marveling at how convenient public transportation access is to the Pyramids, remember that you have Japan to thank.
- Basement Jaxx’s bizarre Japan-based music video freaks us out, makes us want to dance1
- That awkward moment when your phone rings on live TV… and then you make it worse 【Video】2
- Hairy armpit selfies have invaded China’s biggest social networking platform【Photos】3
- From Sailor Moon to Freddy Krueger – The lovely cosplayers of Wonder Festival4
- Blogger’s silly video of types of dancers at Singapore clubs is trending in Japan5
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker6
- New video from Wagakki Band “Hanabi” is an original, awesome song【J-Tunes】7
- Chiro the corgi talks, shakes hands, wiggles her bootie, and wins our hearts8
- Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】9
- Live-action Attack on Titan confirmed for 2 films10
- Little kid causes a stink after parents tell him to poop in his seat during Delta Airlines flight1
- 16-year-old girl arrested for beheading classmate in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture2
- This watermelon might be the most disappointing thing you see today3
- Gamer discovers his deceased father’s ghost on an old Xbox game, challenges it to a race4
- Internet survey sheds light on how Japanese women deal with the hair ‘down there’5
- Vietnamese man, angry at wife, hatches bizarre revenge scheme: Cut off his own penis6
- What turned Tokyo Disneyland into the Loneliest Place on Earth last weekend?7
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker8
- These four Siberian Huskies probably have more followers than you on Instagram!9
- 10 obscure Japanese vending machine drinks that fly under the beverage radar10
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!1
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker2
- Life’s not perfect? Says who? This woman’s life is too perfect to be true!3
- Japanese politician screams and cries at press conference as he defends expenses claims【Video】4
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!5
- “Retweet if you thought I was a girl”: This beautiful young man, in his own words【Photos】6
- Little kid causes a stink after parents tell him to poop in his seat during Delta Airlines flight7
- Japanese giant salamander caught taking a stroll on land8
- German team hero Mario Gotze wins World Cup, later loses dignity thanks to gross pic9
- These anime mascots are just what the World Cup has been missing!10
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker1
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!2
- Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup3
- Doggy gets upset over his new haircut, walks around on hind legs like a boss for two days4
- Russian crocodile hospitalized after woman falls on it5
- Internet falls in love with Chinese cosplaying beauty, disappointed to hear she’s a guy 【Updated】6
- Not your average Bulbasaur: Mayan-style Pokemon7
- Chinese student asks for cooked sushi at Sukibayashi Jiro, gets flamed by Chinese netizens8
- The official Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist trailer just made our day【Video】9
- This amazing water cake just may be the most delicate sweet ever created!10
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker
- New video from Wagakki Band “Hanabi” is an original, awesome song【J-Tunes】
- Chiro the corgi talks, shakes hands, wiggles her bootie, and wins our hearts
- Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】
- Live-action Attack on Titan confirmed for 2 films
- Whiskey shaved ice: A frozen treat for adults in Kyoto
- Man in China steps into “royal rumble” to save the day, maybe goes a bit too far【Video】
- Ryokan etiquette: What not to do when staying at a traditional Japanese inn
- Sumida River Fireworks Festival aftermath: Not everyone in Japan has perfect manners after all
- How to make your own Pikachu Burgers!【RocketKitchen】
- What turned Tokyo Disneyland into the Loneliest Place on Earth last weekend?
- Amazing Game Boy smartphone wallpaper brings out the Nintendo fanboy in us all
- Are you a solo dining expert? Rank yourself with this Korean “lone diner guide”!