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Japan weird news!!

“No ball games” & “No practicing comedy routines”: City Parks in Japan let you do less and less

“No ball games” & “No practicing comedy routines”: City Parks in Japan let you do less and less

If you’re like me and enjoy riding a bike while smoking a cigar, kicking a soccer ball around, with a group of friends and your dog while also shooting off a bottle rocket or two when going to the park, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that will accept you.

But you don’t even have to be nearly as obnoxious as I am to be denied entry into some of the thousands of municipal parks across Japan. In recent years, the number of bans on a vast range of activities ordinarily done it parks from riding bikes to walking dogs have been getting banned at an alarming rate.

At least, they would be, but alarms are also probably banned in many parks.

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Awesome Halloween Krispy Kreme donuts will make you a treat-giving hero

Awesome Halloween Krispy Kreme donuts will make you a treat-giving hero

For years, the conventional wisdom was that Japan was only interested in dainty, mild desserts with Japanese roots. That myth was shattered, though, when companies like Krispy Kreme came into the market and found instant success selling sweets that are unabashedly, well, sweet.

There’s more to Krispy Kreme’s popularity in Japan than the universal appeal of a flavorful donut, though. The North Carolina-based donut company has adapted to the local practice of special seasonal treats, and is getting ready for Halloween early with the release this month of its Krispy Skremes lineup.

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When cosplay meets computer graphics, all we can do is gawk in awe【Photos】

When cosplay meets computer graphics, all we can do is gawk in awe【Photos】

Kantai Collection (艦隊これくしょん) is a Japanese online card game that gained explosive popularity with its one-of-a-kind characters: personified battleships. Kantai (艦隊) means “fleet” in Japanese, and the motive of the game is to collect and sail into battle with the various battleships that are represented in the form of cute girls, collectively known as Kanmusu (艦娘; fleet girls).

Kantai Collection has not only gained a huge following among gamers, but among cosplayers as well thanks to its eye-catching character designs. Japanese cosplayer Nonomy is one of the many who have done a rendition of one of the Kanmusu, but what makes his cosplay photos stand out among the sea of cosplayers is the impressive combination of photography techniques and computer graphics, which have resulted in these stunning shots!

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Stay safe on the cheap with a disaster preparedness kit put together at the 100-yen shop

Stay safe on the cheap with a disaster preparedness kit put together at the 100-yen shop

We recently celebrated Instant Ramen Day, marking 56 years since the very first packs of easy-to-cook noodles appeared in Japan. Not every anniversary that comes at this time of year is so lighthearted though. On September 1, 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake struck the Tokyo area, resulting in the death or disappearance of some 140,000 people.

Out of respect to the fallen and concern for the living, in 1960 the Japanese government designated September 1 as Disaster Preparedness Day, and this year we put together a disaster kit assembled from items you can easily procure at the 100-yen store.

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30 Okayama schools get postcards threatening to kidnap students

30 Okayama schools get postcards threatening to kidnap students

Police in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, said Saturday that at least 30 elementary schools received postcards this week, in which the sender threatened to kidnap a child.

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With autumn nearly here, we skip the beach and head to Starbucks for new caramel beverages

With autumn nearly here, we skip the beach and head to Starbucks for new caramel beverages

With the calendar now flipped to September, we’ve got to sadly admit that summer is winding down. Japanese society is always in tune with the changing of the seasons, and as autumn starts you’ll see fashionable Tokyoites sporting their fall coats, nature lovers heading for the mountains to appreciate the changing leaves, and Starbucks rolling out seasonal drinks like its new Caramel and Pudding Frappuccino and Shaken Caramel Custard and Espresso.

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Photo feature: Space Brothers exhibition in Kyoto

Photo feature: Space Brothers exhibition in Kyoto

The Museum of Kyoto is hosting an exhibition for Chūya Koyama‘s Space Brothers franchise until September 23. The exhibit, which takes up two floors of the museum, features more than 200 pieces of original art from the manga as well as story summaries, anime storyboards, information about JAXA and space exploration, models of spacecraft, and of course, a very large inflatable Apo. ANN had a chance to go to the museum and take some pictures of the exhibition.

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Totally metal newborn shows off hardcore cuteness for approving musician dad

Totally metal newborn shows off hardcore cuteness for approving musician dad

From looking at his Twitter profile, you might conclude that Hazuki, singer for the Osaka-based Grollschwert, is a pretty metal dude. He describes the unit as a “melodic deathrash metal band,” and his own vocal style as guttural, growling, and screeching.

Still, even the most dedicated musicians can’t be hardcore all the time, and the vocalist has recently been sharing pictures of his adorable newborn baby daughter with his Twitter followers. It looks like metal is in the family genes, though, as the baby has already executed a perfect double devil horn salute.

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Hiroshima begins recovery projects following tragic, deadly landslides

Hiroshima begins recovery projects following tragic, deadly landslides

In the early hours of the morning on August 20, Hiroshima City was hit by severe thunderstorms. As the downpour continued, the ground gave way in the Asanami and Asakita Wards, triggering landslides that have caused the deaths of dozens of residents.

With the storm finally passed and clean-up projects beginning, we visited the disaster site where we saw just how long the road to recovery is going to be.

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These scarecrows look so human, they belong in an art museum【Photos】

These scarecrows look so human, they belong in an art museum【Photos】

There’s no doubt that crows are some of the smartest animals on the planet, so we have to admit that we’ve always found it kind of funny that they’re fooled by something like a scarecrow. Silly birds, those things look nothing like real humans! Unless you’re out driving around Japan’s Shiga Prefecture and happen upon Nobuou Onishi’s farm. Then even careful humans might be fooled by his incredible scarecrows.

In fact, Onishi’s scarecrows are so realistic–and have captured so much attention–that he’s been requested to create an installation for the Borderless Art Museum NO-MA in Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture. Check out some of the photos from Onishi’s farm below to see if you can believe your eyes!

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Gaming culture takes a hit as Sony demos its virtual reality headset with schoolgirl leering sim

Gaming culture takes a hit as Sony demos its virtual reality headset with schoolgirl leering sim

If, like me, you’ve dreamed of the day when the world comes to realise that video games are so much more than the pastime of Call of Duty-obsessed teens and neck-bearded basement dwellers, the arrival of mature, genuinely evocative titles such as last year’s Gone Home and The Last of Us will no doubt have sparked excitement that the dream is almost a reality. With games that are no longer afraid to broach any number of mature themes and issues, and in some cases even have the power to make players cry, non-gamers may one day soon–instead of scoffing at the images displayed our on screens as they pass by–actually want to sit down and watch, caught up in the scenes unfolding before them.

Unless, of course, the images on that screen are anything like those from the newest tech demo for Sony’s virtual reality headset, Summer Lesson, which looks to be mostly about leering at a schoolgirl in her bedroom while pretending to study.

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This ice cream spoon uses your body heat to get the perfect scoop, costs more than most desserts

This ice cream spoon uses your body heat to get the perfect scoop, costs more than most desserts

You may remember the limited edition “ice cream shovels” produced last year to solve the problem of too-hard-to-eat frozen treats found at convenience stores. Well now there’s another spoon that’s specially engineered to use the heat from your hands to get you closer to the perfect scoop. An item that’s this well-thought-out is going to have a hefty price tag, but you’ll probably be surprised at just how expensive this ice cream spoon actually is.

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“Women who attract chikan, and women who don’t”: The illustrated guide that’s provoking debate

“Women who attract chikan, and women who don’t”: The illustrated guide that’s provoking debate

Chikan: men who grope women in public in Japan. Also refers to the act itself.

An illustrator who posted a cartoon claiming to show the difference between those who easily attract sexual harassment or assault and those who don’t has, as you might expect, sparked a heated debate in online and offline communities. Critics assert that focusing on a woman’s appearance and clothing amount to blaming the victim, not the attacker. The artist on the other hand says the work is based on statistical evidence. But no matter which side of the debate you stand, the illustration itself is worth a second look…

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Blue-eyed cat has the best reaction after spotting something strange in the backyard

Blue-eyed cat has the best reaction after spotting something strange in the backyard

Sometimes a single glance says it all, and in this particular case, the startled face of this cute cat screams, “Hurry, mom!!! Something’s not right!” But what exactly has this little kitty all in a tizzy?

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50 items you can buy in Japan to spruce up your bento lunchbox

50 items you can buy in Japan to spruce up your bento lunchbox

Bento is a big deal in Japan and competitive mothers are always trying to out-do each other, striving to create the cutest lunchbox. Lucky for them, Japanese companies have come up with a plethora of tools to add smiley faces, shapes, or words of encouragement to any food. Let’s take a look at just a few of the many items you can buy to spruce up your bento!

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Mobile Suit Gundam game unveiled for PS4

Mobile Suit Gundam game unveiled for PS4

Bandai Namco Games unveiled a teaser trailer at the SCEJA press conference on Monday for a new Mobile Suit Gundam game for PlayStation 4. The game is slated for 2015.

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Smash & Eat: We try a playful Korean sweet you have to hit with a hammer to enjoy

Smash & Eat: We try a playful Korean sweet you have to hit with a hammer to enjoy

They say girls love sweets because the endorphins released when eating them help to get rid of bad moods and make everything better. But if we’re being honest, most people of any gender want their foul moods to be whisked away by the delightful taste of sugary sweets! However, sometimes your problems can’t be solved with just cakes and ice cream and you still have so much pent-up frustration that can only be released by DESTROYING something. If you run into this kind of situation, we have the perfect solution for you: a popular sweet from Korea that must first be smashed with a hammer before you can enjoy it.

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Artist creates awesome anime artwork by carefully cutting a single Post-it note 【Photos】

Artist creates awesome anime artwork by carefully cutting a single Post-it note 【Photos】

While origami is Japan’s best known paper craft, its less famous relative, kamikiri, has been around since the 19th century. In contrast to the intricate folding techniques of origami, kamikiri, literally “paper cutting,” involves creating an unbroken cutout from a sheet of paper.

Chiba-born artist Akira Nagaya is a kamikiri master, and many of his designs are inspired by centuries-old imagery such as the phoenix, fuujin wind spirits, or the Seven Gods of Fortune. Occasionally, though, Nagaya turns to more modern muses, as with these amazing kamikiri versions of some of anime’s biggest stars.

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Doggy Bread figures are back, still so cute we could eat them up (if they weren’t plastic)

Doggy Bread figures are back, still so cute we could eat them up (if they weren’t plastic)

Last year, on one of our many Tokyo foraging expeditions for weird and cute toys, we picked up a selection of Doggy Bread straps. At least, we think we did. Honestly, the idea of little figures of cute dogs wrapped in baked goods is so simultaneously appealing and weird that we’re not sure it wasn’t some bizarre dream caused by falling asleep while fighting off a hot dog craving.

Not only is Doggy Bread real, though, it’s back! We recently stumbled across the newest series of these adorably strange toys and came away with two new plastic pets: a sweet bean bread pug and a Pomeranian cutlet sandwich.

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From Ponyo to Italy: Four delicious ways to improve instant ramen while your water’s boiling

From Ponyo to Italy: Four delicious ways to improve instant ramen while your water’s boiling

August 25 is Instant Ramen Day in Japan, in commemoration of the day back in 1958 when Nissin unveiled Chicken Ramen, the very first instant version of the country’s favorite noodle dish. In celebration, we were going to chow down on some instant ramen, but since we do that all the time anyway, somehow a bowl of plain ramen didn’t seem quite special enough.

So instead, we drew on our love of anime, world travel, and the simple joy of not sweating profusely to come up with four recipes to spruce up instant ramen, specially tailored to be simple enough for anyone whose cooking skills mean their home is always well-stocked with the stuff.

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