As you may have heard, the population of Japan is getting older and smaller. While other (smarter) people have debated the problems and complexities of this issue, we do know one thing: It’s left a lot of prefectures without many young people. Some places are celebrating when the community has even a single wedding, but Tsuwano in Shimane Prefecture thinks they’ve hit upon an idea for injecting some new, young blood into their town. They’re giving houses away for (kind of) free! Of course, there are a few stipulations…
Japan is pretty famous for its packed trains that invite occasional chikan (groping incidents). Luckily, in light of improving rights for women in Japan, the law of late tends to come down pretty hard on train gropers. Assuming a victim or a witness to such a crime speaks up about it, a perpetrator typically faces immediate arrest at the next train station and can probably expect to do some jail time.
While this system works pretty well for the most part, it’s not unheard of for some unlucky guys to face career and life-destroying consequences after being falsely accused of groping. One Japanese Twitter user, in fact, posted a series of Tweets detailing a close call he had himself, relating that he was almost certainly destined for the slammer if he hadn’t been saved by the alleged victim herself.
If you’ve been reading RocketNews24 for a while, you’ve probably come across the name Mr. Sato. If not, let us explain. Mr. Sato is a hilarious reporter for our Japanese sister site. But he’s so much more than just a writer; Mr. Sato is a teacher, a foodie and is also very patient.
One thing Mr. Sato is not, however, is married.
At roughly 40 years old, Mr. Sato wants to be impressing the ladies, so he’s tried time and again to transform himself to look like different famous people. But so far, nothing has worked. He has a new model in mind, though, that he thinks is fail-safe…
Have you heard of “gogatsu-byou“? Also known as “May Sickness” this is a Japanese term used to describe the particular malaise that descends upon many people in May, after the excitement of the new school year and hiring period in April.
But what better way to combat a case of the blues than with adorable kitten videos? If you’re feeling low, we reckon these capering Munchkin kittens will cure what ails you!
Some people in Japan have no more than a passing interest in the country’s long and fascinating history, which is at least partly the fault of how the subject is taught in schools. Many history classes place a heavy emphasis on memorization of the exact dates and years of important events, leaving less time for studying the people and motivations behind them.
There’s been a recent surge in history buffs, though, especially in regards to the Sengoku, or Warring States, period which lasted from the mid 15th century until the very start of the 17th century. But it’s not crusty old historians leading this charge, as a recent samurai battle reenactment had women making up some 40 percent of the volunteers, whose ranks were also bolstered by video gamers and foreign residents of Japan.
Moving house in Japan is tough business. Even to find an apartment, you need to go through a real estate agent, and all the upfront fees you have to pay to move in can cost you five times or more what your monthly rent will be.
That’s why choosing a good agency who will work with you to get the best deal is important. But with so many agencies around, how can you choose? Some realtors may offer deals like 50% off their agency fees, but others are taking a more… creative approach to draw in customers, by adding silly, ridiculous, or just plain nonsensical catchphrases on their property ads.
Join us after the jump for such advertising gold as: “You can be a big daddy too” and “Decent of the fashion monster”.
If you’re the doting owner of a dog or cat, odds are you think it feels pretty great when your animal companion saunters over for a snuggle. Still, there are times when you want to keep your hands free for other activities, like reading a book or surfing the Internet, and don’t want to have to worry about knocking your pet off your lap every time you shift in your seat or change your posture.
So even if your animal-loving heart only belongs to your kitty or pooch, consider taking a page from the kangaroo playbook with this hoodie that features an oversized pocket on the front perfect for letting your cat or dog cuddle up against you.
At first glance these might look like some kind of plastic toy, building blocks or a pile of random puzzle pieces, but what you see before you are multi-layered nori (seaweed or laver sheets) and cheese slices, and they’re are making the rounds on Twitter.
According to beer nuts, these savoury little morsels are the perfect accompaniment to beer or wine.
Origami is known worldwide as the art of paper-folding, and while most people associate it with Japanese culture, it also has history in China and Europe as well. We’re not sure what it is, but there is something strangely satisfying about turning a flat piece of paper into a three-dimensional model resembling anything from flowers to animals to vehicles.
One particularly fun shape to make are ninja throwing-stars, like the ones you see above. If you’re in the mood for some crafts and would like to give it a try, follow us after the jump to get started!
If you’ve spent much time in Japan, chances are you’ve eaten at a conveyor belt sushi (kaitenzushi in Japanese) restaurant. One nice thing about these restaurants is that they also offer many child-friendly sushi dishes on their menu. These dishes also double as foreigner-friendly, so that those who aren’t so fond of raw fish and other seafood can enjoy sushi too.
There are so many different chains in Japan, it’s often hard to figure out which one to go to, but anyone who sees the sign for Sushiro best head there soon as the chain has a new dish that is oddly satisfying.
Since Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli fame announced his retirement in September 2013, many fans worldwide were left wondering what the prolific director – known to be a notoriously hard-worker – would be doing with all his free time. If you’re one of those people, listen up, because we’ve got some good news and bad news.
First, the bad news–one of Miyazaki’s first new projects post-retirement, a manga series titled Teppō Samurai (鉄砲侍/”Matchlock Samurai”), is currently stuck in indefinite limbo. But here’s the good news–a plastic figure modeled on the titular character has already been released, even without the manga being completed.
Right next to Tokyo’s Shibiya Station, there’s a plaza that sits between the railway hub, the statue of faithful dog Hachiko that’s one of the city’s most popular meeting spots, and the Scramble Intersection that’s become famous as one of the busiest crosswalks in the world. While empty space in the plaza is scarce, it’s still a coveted spot for street performers, vendors, and politicians to stake out a spot, since there’s a steady flow of people passing by more or less around the clock.
Often, you’ll find people with those “free hugs” signs hanging out there, but really, when you stop and think about it, isn’t it kind of weird to embrace a complete stranger? Maybe that’s why a Tokyo-based comedy troupe decided to offer an alternative in this video where they’re not giving out hugs, but instead allowing anyone who feels like it to slap them in the face as hard as they can.
Riding the Shinkansen in Japan is always a fun experience. Not only does it go super-fast (you can totally feel those G-forces!), it’s also guaranteed to be quiet and incredibly clean. But with 323 Shinkansen trains departing from Tokyo every day, how do they find the time to clean all those trains?
Well, it turns out that it takes a highly synchronised team of mega-efficient cleaners only seven minutes to clean each train – since that’s all the time they have!. And here’s an incredible video of how they do it!
You can rent pretty much anything in Japan. Even people, it would seem.
With so many people working long hours and not having the time to devote to cultivating real relationships, it’s just easier to hand over some cash and pay someone to act as your boyfriend, girlfriend, or just a friend to hang out with for the day.
But what about when you’re looking for something different? What if you’re in need of life advice that only a middle-aged Japanese man can provide? Well that’s where the ossan (middle-aged/old) rental service comes in!
Many Japanese idol groups, such as the mega-popular AKB48, package incentives in with their CDs to get fans to buy multiple copies of the same exact thing. In AKB48’s case, the group occasionally includes voting ballots within special “election singles” that allow fans to vote for the member that will be featured most prominently on a new song.
Like AKB48, up-and-coming rock idol unit DEEP GIRL is using a system of incentives to encourage fans to buy their debut single, which will be released this summer. However, the group is taking an even more drastic approach by using a tiered system of prizes–along with the very real threat that the group will be instantly disbanded if their song doesn’t make it into the Oricon Weekly Top Ten.
We’re super excited for the impending release of the new Digimon. Fans and artists are all speculating about the story and design for this new six-part movie series. Details suggest the original cast of “digi-destined” will be back, which means our favorite original Digimon will be back too.
Toy makers are fueling the hype machine, too, as Mega House is releasing a set of figures of your favorite season-one Digimon. These little guys are so cute, you won’t be able to stop yourself from singing that catchy theme song!
When you head out for a night on the town, you encounter all kinds of interesting characters. There are the people who have traveled to unimaginable places, those who know some famous person or have some incredible anecdotes to reel off, and then there are those who, without anything funny or interesting to say, can fall back on have naturally occurring weird stuff on their body.
One Twitter user’s night at a bar led to the discovery that there were three of these such things his brand new drinking buddy’s chest, and it left him totally speechless.
If you’re reading this and were born after 1995, we strongly encourage you to make sure your diaper is firmly in place. What’s that? You say you outgrew diapers long ago? You might want to double-check anyway, because right now we’re not so sure we didn’t somehow slip back in time two decades or so.
After all, these days anime fans are being blessed with about as much new Dragon Ball content as they were during the previous peak of the martial arts franchise’s popularity in the mid ‘90s. This year has already seen the release of a new Dragon Ball Z movie, Resurrection ‘F’, which was followed by the announcement of a brand-new TV series, Dragon Ball Super.
Now, the franchise is going back to its roots by returning to the format where it all started: manga, with a new Dragon Ball serial starting in just a month!
Somewhere around the 500th step on the long approach to Kompira-san shrine in Kagawa Prefecture, you’ll find a small stable housing two special horses. They are pretty as a picture, but don’t get any ideas about hopping on for a ride, feeding them a little carrot, or even giving them a friendly pat.
These thoroughbreds are shinme, the steeds of the gods, and they are not for mere mortals like us.