Japan

Give your cat a sleek Egyptian makeover with the help of a piece of everyday packaging

Earlier this month, cat owners in Japan stumbled across affordable, adorable beds for their pets at IKEA, of all places. But while repurposing the furniture megastore’s doll beds will make your cat look incredibly cute while it’s sleeping, what about when it’s awake?

Actually, we just picked up a collar with a design so elegant it wouldn’t be out of place on an exalted feline in ancient Egypt. Not only was it incredibly cheap, we found it at yet another unlikely place: the grocery store.

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Check out this amazing Princess Mononoke digital fan art from China

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love Studio Ghibli movies. From the spellbinding storytelling to the fantastic art, it seems there’s something for everyone when it comes to Japan’s most beloved animation studio. Today, we’d like to share with you this fantastic digital art by Tianhua Xu, a concept artist and art director for Chinese studio Chiyan Workshop. Join us after the jump as we compare this work to the original still from the film Princess Mononoke.

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Finally! Attack on Titan director says TV anime’s second season will start production in 2016

I recently compared Attack on Titan to an 800-pound gorilla, since the smash hit anime has become so big and powerful it can do whatever it wants, such as actively forming partnerships with both Universal Studios and rival Marvel/Disney. But maybe the better analogy is to a cow.

Since the end of its broadcast run in September of 2013, the franchise has been spun off into side-story manga, novels, compilation movies, and live-action adaptations. For the most part, fans have happily lapped up the comparatively delicious offerings of all this milking, but what everyone has really been waiting for is some sort of timetable for a continuation of the anime TV series itself.

Thanks to its director, we finally have one.

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Pawsitively ameowzing! Japan’s crazy cat people create cute crafts with kitty fur

Kitty owners out there will know that the struggle is real when it comes to battling shedding, especially if you have a long-haired cat. But what to do with all those clumps of fur that accumulate after a brushing? Well, netizens in Japan have begun recycling unwanted feline detritus by utilizing an innovative method of crafting to create beautiful works of furry art, meaning that not a whisker needs to be wasted! Join us after the jump for more on these critter creations!

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100 Days of Tele and His Red Ride – One cute little boy’s Action Cam adventure 【Videos】

We know that readers of RocketNews24 are big fans of “teh cute,” so today we’d like to share with you a very special project of our own. A series of episodes shot with Sony’s Action Cam about a two-year-old boy’s 100 days with his STRIDER balance bike, 100 Days of Tele and His Red Ride documents little Tele’s first ever two-wheeled adventure, and the results are super cute.

Essential viewing for moms, dads, and fans of cuteness alike, join us after the jump as we cheer for this adorable tyke on his tiny red bike.

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Rare ghost-white tuna caught off Bali — we go to see it on display in Shibuya!

It’s no secret that we Japanese love tuna. Whether grilled or marinated in soy sauce or served fresh as sashimi and sushi, there’s no denying that tuna, called maguro in Japan, is one of the most popular ingredients in Japanese cuisine. We’re so fond of tuna, in fact, that we have different Japanese names for the fish depending on how fatty the specific piece of tuna is (toro for the fatty part of tuna in general, chu-toro for medium fatty tuna, and ō-toro for the extra-fatty, extra-delicious tuna).

But recently, a rare tuna with an appearance so unusual that has left even experienced fishermen agog with surprise was sold at the famous Tsukiji fish market, causing quite a buzz online in Japan. What made the tuna so special? It was magnificently white, from head to tail! And not to miss the rare opportunity, we went to see the fish on display at a department store in Shibuya.

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Yokohama restaurant serves fried axolotl, along with giant isopod, camel, and crocodile

It’s no secret that there are a lot of unusual food choices available in Japan–some of which have upset quite a few people. There’s a good chance that this offering by a Yokohama restaurant will be no different and will likely divide people between the “gotta have some” and the “WTF?!” crowd. In addition to offering crocodile, ostrich, and camel meat, Chinjuya in Yokohama also provides customers with the opportunity to munch on fried axolotl grown in captivity.

You can even order giant isopods!

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What’s that on the ground? Ad for Japanese TV drama wows us with its clever use of space!

In today’s age, advertisements in all shapes and form — from posters to TV commercials to internet ads — are a part of life, whether we like it or not. Indeed, they surround us to such an extent that it’s hard for any single ad to stand out. But ad agencies try to grab our attention anyway, using ever changing techniques, don’t they? And sometimes, it seems they do a pretty good job, as in the case of this interesting ad that we happened to stumble upon recently. And when we say “stumble upon”, we mean it quite literally. We nearly stepped all over the ad — because part of it extended onto the floor!

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Hatsune Miku transforming race car robot is actually pretty awesome

Thought the market was already oversaturated with Miku products? Think again! Good Smile Company is here with something that was still missing - a Hatsune Miku-inspired transforming race car robot!

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Neko Montage! The most fun you can have with a cat and a sharpie【Photos】

It’s often the simple things that bring us most pleasure in life – like these giggle-inducing ‘neko montage’ photos making waves on Twitter in Japan.

Join us after the jump for delightful paper-augmented cats looking cute, angry, surprised, and plain old baffled!

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Adorable chicken traveller actually headed to nauseating final destination in series of promo pics

“Go forth, young one,” the adorable fowl’s equally adorable parents probably said. “It is time for you to strike out on your own. You are destined to do great things.”

We picture a bittersweet farewell, tears running down the proud parents’ beaks, each pecking nervously at the ground in turn, their prodigal son equipped with nothing but the knapsack ‘round his neck and a meager meal of two leeks.

If only the proud parents had known their young son’s final destination…

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Nagoya store’s lanky mannequin gets Naruto makeover

The Meitetsu Department Store in Nagoya, Japan has a distinctive mannequin outside its men’s department. Nana-chan is a popular meeting spot because she’s easy to spot in the shopping district — she’s 20 feet tall. The staff change her outfits monthly, but recently she’s wearing an orange jumpsuit that fans of a certain ninja will recognize.

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Turn into Hello Kitty with these adorable face masks!

In celebration of Hello Kitty’s 40th birthday, a set of Hello Kitty face masks has been released. Turning you into your favorite feline while moisturizing your skin all at the same time, we foresee these masks being a big hit with Hello Kitty’s large female following all over the world.

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Ladybeard x Sailor Suit Old Man star in “dream collaboration” at school!

Frequent readers of our site should by now be familiar with Ladybeard, the eccentric jack-of-all-trades whose amusing antics we’ve covered multiple times, and “Sailor Suit Old Man,” the affectionate nickname of an infamous cross-dressing Japanese man.

You may remember the duo’s previous epic collaboration on the streets of Harajuku in Tokyo, but for fans of the unusual duo we’ve got good news–the pair have teamed up once again and are ready to share their latest round of funny photos! We proudly present the “Ladybeard x Sailor Suit Old Man dream collaboration at school.”  

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Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick

If you’ve just spent an exorbitant amount of money on a new smartphone, chances are you’re also going to want to buy a case to keep it scratch-free for as long as possible.

But why waste your hard-earned money on a flimsy bit of plastic that you just know won’t fit the next model when it comes out and society demands that you upgrade? With this simple–and kind of hypnotic–trick, you can turn any old balloon into your next smartphone case!

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How to cook miso soup (the right way) in a few simple steps【RocketKitchen】

Miso is a fermented mixture of soybeans, barley, and rice that’s high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals. The salty condiment is eaten daily by many people in Japan, leading some to believe that it is the secret behind their longevity. Others have dubbed it “one of the healthiest foods in the world.” It’s also extremely delicious (as if you needed another reason to add miso to your diet), and the easiest way to cook with this wonder food is by making miso soup.

Contrary to what I had originally assumed, the Japanese classic does not consist of only miso paste and hot water (please tell me I’m not the only one who thought this). After trying my original “recipe” for miso soup, I could tell something was off and enlisted the help of a 15-year-old high school student who laughed at my naivety. She was gracious enough to teach me the recipe her grandmother taught her and was happy to share it with all of you lovely RocketNews24 readers. So without further ado, here are a few simple steps to making delicious, authentic miso soup.

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Tokyo train delayed due to the strangest of reasons

The JR East Musashino Line sure has an impressive track record when it comes to trains being delayed due to unusual circumstances. And after a most bizarre early morning collision on Friday last week, the rail line can add another reason to that list. 

Although the details of the incident are still murky, one thing is for certain–no one ever expected this to happen in the middle of Tokyo!

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Make sure to visit this historical onsen once before you die, or just do it right now with Google

Nestled in the mountains of Nagano sits the Ryokan Kanaguya. It’s an inn with over two and a half centuries of history and seems to walk that fine line between quaint and extravagant. It’s also a part of the ever-growing list of bathhouses said to be the inspiration for the Ghibli classic Spirited Away.

Simply by tweeting some promotional photos of Kanaguya from its website, one user managed to net over 24,000 retweets. Needless to say, it’s an attractive holiday destination. But before you go booking a room, why not take a brief virtual tour of Kanaguya via Google Street View which appears to be well on its way to mapping the entire world inside and out.

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Want to make music, but can’t play an instrument? Casio app turns your hums into full tracks!

Music is pretty much one of the best things in life–some people might even say it is the best thing in life. Playing an instrument is supposed to do all sort of great things for us, but most would agree that getting started with music can be pretty difficult. While DAWs like FL Studio exist to help us produce whatever we hear in our heads without strumming a single chord, digital production is quite a bit more difficult than most people realize. From programming drums to synthesizing new sounds, it can be just as time-consuming as learning to play guitar. “Why can’t I just whip out my smartphone, hum a little ditty, and let it do all the hard work of producing a track?” you might be thinking.

Well, soon you will be able to, thanks to a new app from Casio. You won’t even need to hum all the way through–it’ll generate a whole song from one section!

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Plow the town red with Yanmar’s sleek and stylish line of tractors

About a year and half ago we brought word of Yanmar’s concept tractor the Y-Concept YTO1 Advanced Tractor. Boasting the sleekest design to grace any tractor and other high-tech features, the Osaka company aimed for a whole new way to look at farming. However, like many concept vehicles, no one was holding their breath for it to actually materialize on the market.

However, this spring Yanmar came through on their promise of futuristic farm-wear for sale in limited quantities to the public, but still no tractor. Then, out of the blue on 19 November it came. The first models of the YT Series tractor were announced for sale in May of 2015.

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