Japan

Our dreams have come true, a ramen donut exists!

Our dreams have come true, a ramen donut exists!

We love to talk about food. Whether we’re salivating about new food, getting grossed out by weird combinations, or pining away about foods we can’t eat anymore, the topic of food is rarely far from our lips. There are certain foods that we always sit up and take notice for. One is ramen, a wonderful delicacy of Japan, and another is donuts, the staple breakfast food of an office worker. So, what happens when you mash those two worlds together?

A ramen donut, obviously.

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Yahoo! Japan makes thrill-rides out of their trending search topics with “Trend Coaster”

Yahoo! Japan makes thrill-rides out of their trending search topics with “Trend Coaster”

In the month of September at limited locations in Tokyo, the nation’s perennial favorite search engine Yahoo! Japan is offering a one-of-a-kind experience. By stepping into their motion simulator and strapping on a VR headset, you can virtually yet literally ride the waves of popularity of any topic of your choosing as if it were a roller coaster.

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Perfume announce re-release of LEVEL3 in time for world tour in November

Perfume announce re-release of LEVEL3 in time for world tour in November

Perfume have announced an autumn release date for a new bonus edition of their album LEVEL3. The worldwide release in October will come just before the Japanese girl group make their US concert debut in early November. LEVEL3 was released in Japan last year, and the worldwide re-release will be via label Astralwerks.

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Pop idols’ management demands 8 million yen in damages after two members caught dating fans

Pop idols’ management demands 8 million yen in damages after two members caught dating fans

It’s a long-standing rule in the pop idol industry in Japan: performers should never become involved in romantic relationships. Doing so would, apparently, tarnish the reputations carefully designed to make these entertainers appear “accessible,” reducing them to the status of “regular people.” And that’s no life for an idol.

We’ve seen this rule lead to instances of head-shaving and weird YouTubers before in Japan. However, one idol management company is taking this rule to a new level and demanding compensation for damages as a result of performers fraternizing with fans–to the order of US$75,000.

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If Playboy made games consoles: Cute but cumbersome bunny ear covers for Nintendo 3DSLL

If Playboy made games consoles: Cute but cumbersome bunny ear covers for Nintendo 3DSLL

As much as I enjoy its larger screen, I’ve always found the overall design of Nintendo’s 3DSLL (XL in the West) a little off-putting. Compared to its sleeker, smaller brother, the LL somehow looks a little cheap and toy-like to my eyes, and I was disappointed to see that the newer model New 3DSLL would retain the same look as the existing model, albeit with differently coloured face buttons.

Thankfully, a new pair of protective cases has just arrived that will not only hide that chunky little portable’s somewhat awkward exterior, but give the console a giant dose of unnecessary cuteness. Presenting: the Bunny Cover from accessory makers CYBER Gadget.

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Giant floats, handmade structures & penis poking: The many ways to celebrate Hassaku Matsuri

Giant floats, handmade structures & penis poking: The many ways to celebrate Hassaku Matsuri

Hassaku Matsuri is a festival in Japan reserved for asking the gods for a bountiful harvest and happy life. It occurs every year during the first day of the eighth lunar month, usually falling during the beginning of September. Just as dialects and traditional foods vary depending on the region, Hassaku Matsuri is celebrated in vastly contrasting ways, especially in Kumamoto, Fukui, and Ibaraki prefectures. From intricate structures made of natural materials to an extremely inappropriate goblin, join us as we explore a few of the many Hassaku traditions in Japan.

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New patent filed by Nintendo hints at wireless tech-toting Pokémon device

New patent filed by Nintendo hints at wireless tech-toting Pokémon device

A newly uncovered patent filed by The Pokémon Company, the branch of Nintendo responsible for the fantastically popular pocket monster franchise, hints that a new handheld device which brings Pokémon-style battles and contactless technology together may be in the works.

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Culture Clash: China’s “strongest” Shaolin fighter vs Japan’s cosplaying kickboxer!

Culture Clash: China’s “strongest” Shaolin fighter vs Japan’s cosplaying kickboxer!

On 9 September China’s popular fighting program Wulin Feng held a mixed martial arts special program. In this particular edition the main event was between Yi-long, a star of Shaolin kung fu in China and Yuichiro “Jienotsu” Nagashima, a Japanese K1 fighter with a penchant for dressing up like pretty girls and other anime characters.

Although the circumstances of this match are surrounded by controversies and a dark past, the aftermath has perhaps shown us the best in both Chinese and Japanese fighting cultures.

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Sanrio launches Hello Kitty Men, wants to break stereotypes

Sanrio launches Hello Kitty Men, wants to break stereotypes

Sanrio aims to break this stereotype with the introduction of the HELLO KITTY MEN Project, a new venture that will tell guys that it’s okay for them to like Hello Kitty, too. Their tag line? “Sorry to keep you waiting, boys.”

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Kamikiri, the amazing Japanese art of paper cutting mastered by Akira Nagaya【Photos】

Kamikiri, the amazing Japanese art of paper cutting mastered by Akira Nagaya【Photos】

Earlier this month, we talked about Japanese artist Akira Nagaya. An expert in kamikiri, the art of crafting intricate paper cutouts, Nagaya first caught our eye with his takes on classic anime icons such as Totoro, Son Goku, and Pikachu.

Japanese animation isn’t Nagaya’s only inspiration, as we can see in his other creations that capture the delicate beauty of nature and the changing of the seasons.

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A tiny coffee stand in Japan is selling some of the most lifelike gummy bugs we’ve ever seen

A tiny coffee stand in Japan is selling some of the most lifelike gummy bugs we’ve ever seen

The Japanese have long been known for their dexterousness. From origami to bonsai to precision engineering, Japan does small and detailed incredibly well. One thing we had no idea they were so good at, however, was gross.

What you see in the above photo, dear reader, is not in fact a trio of insect larvae but delicious, blueberry-filled gummy bugs. And they’re making one little coffee stand in northwest Japan very famous.

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Japanese university student uses first place win to show off his otaku pride

Japanese university student uses first place win to show off his otaku pride

While most people might assume that otaku aren’t a particularly sporty group of people, we should know by now that generalizations are about as accurate as a blind sniper. And if you don’t believe us, just ask the anime-loving wrestler!

So, we’re sure that there are a ton of sportsmen who love 2-D women, but not many of them care to share their passion with the world…at least as publicly and visibly as this Nihon University sprinter!

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“The best ryokan I’ve ever visited” – A photo tour of Akita Prefecture’s Miyakowasure inn

“The best ryokan I’ve ever visited” – A photo tour of Akita Prefecture’s Miyakowasure inn

The ryokan [traditional Japanese-style inn] in Akita Prefecture called Miyakowasure (都わすれ; “forget the city”), also known as Natsuse Onsen, is unquestionably the best in all of Japan–at least according to our Japanese correspondent Yoshio. Out of all of the ryokan that he has ever visited, he can confidently say that this is his number-one pick.

Yoshio has stayed at literally hundreds of hotels and ryokan across the country for both business and pleasure, but he recently experienced an unparalleled level of hospitality and overall quality during his stay at this particular inn. He even thinks that hotel managers from across Japan and the world should spend a night there to learn a thing or two! That’s how enthusiastically he praises his most recent visit.

Join Yoshio for an in-depth look at this spectacular ryokan in northern Japan after the jump!

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These goofy Japanese pro dancers sure know how to ‘Let it go’!【Video】

These goofy Japanese pro dancers sure know how to ‘Let it go’!【Video】

Just when we thought Japan might possibly have had enough of Disney’s Frozen, what with the balloon art and the convenience store snacks and the limited edition PlayStation 4 and darn it, it might as well be winter seeing as how EVERYTHING IS FROZEN ALREADY –  along comes an adorable, androgynous cosplaying dancer to breathe new life into our movie-spinoff-weary existence.

This is IG, and he’s the frontman of our new favourite thing: a kooky rendition of Ari no mama de (the Japanese version of ‘Let it go’) choreographed by CRE8BOY. Join us for a video delight that’ll melt even the most cynical icy heart.

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The Boobie Squeezing Simulator: Oculus Rift at its creepiest

The Boobie Squeezing Simulator: Oculus Rift at its creepiest

Virtual reality pornography is basically a reality at this point. Oculus Rift plus Tenga equals the end of humanity. Oculus Rift plus a pillow equals hugs as real as your virtual girlfriend. Oculus Rift plus a straw equals a surprisingly pleasant date with your anime girlfriend sitting on the other side of the uncanny valley. We’re now convince that when aliens discover the remains of human civilization centuries from now, they’ll conclude that it was a magic device known as the “Oculus Rift” that brought civilization screeching to a halt.

And now, an Oculus Rift plus a novelty mouse pad with “breasts” is…actually really, really creepy. And while it probably won’t result in us all withering away to empty husks, this Boobie Squeezing Simulator is almost certainly the beginning of the end.

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Invasion of the moon rabbits: the delicious tradition of otsukimi 【Photos】

Invasion of the moon rabbits: the delicious tradition of otsukimi 【Photos】

If you happened to be in Japan this week, you may have noticed rather a lot of rabbit-themed goods, particularly sweets. Not to worry, the Japanese haven’t gotten their dates for Easter spectacularly wrong, these lapine lovelies are part of otsukimi, a tradition celebrating the harvest moon.

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【TBT】The five Japanese streets that people of Japan most want to visit

【TBT】The five Japanese streets that people of Japan most want to visit

If you’ve ever longed to go back to an old Japan, where samurai stayed at old ramshackle inns and merchants filled the air with the scent of food, then some of these traditional streets will be right up your alley. We take you to five of Japan’s most-loved streets, from well-worn paths in secluded valleys to bustling pilgrimage routes in scenic villages, all with an amazing history and atmosphere. Let’s take a stroll together and see what they have to offer.

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“The meanest dog in Japan” returns with all new rejections 【Video】

“The meanest dog in Japan” returns with all new rejections 【Video】

They say dogs are a man’s best friend. Loyal, obedient and loving, dogs provide everlasting friendship no matter what sticky situations you find yourself in. But they also say that smothering anything with too much affection can cause it to want to break free from you. We’ve seen the effects produce comedy gold when Mari, the adorable Shiba-Inu has just gotten one too many kisses from her adoring master. And enough is enough! A compilation video of Mari rejecting her owner has surfaced on YouTube and it has all been subtitled for us in English.

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Latest souvenirs from Japan: Wear the city with adorable Japanese road sign jewelry

Latest souvenirs from Japan: Wear the city with adorable Japanese road sign jewelry

From Paris to New York to Tokyo, a city is nothing without its street signs. Leave a place for too long and the special little signifiers we take for granted everyday will make a beeline for our hearts and strike nostalgia in even the most hardened city dweller when we see them again.

If you’ve walked the streets, been on a road trip or taken a license test in Japan, you’ll love this special collection of earrings from the land of the rising sun.

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Burger King Japan has two new burgers with jet-black buns…oh, and BLACK CHEESE!

Burger King Japan has two new burgers with jet-black buns…oh, and BLACK CHEESE!

Regular RocketNews24 readers will no doubt already be aware that fast food chains in Japan like to mix things up every so often by giving their buns a splash of colour. In the past 12 months alone, we’ve seen McDonald’s present a Sakura Pink teriyaki egg burger in time for the cherry blossom, and last October Burger King rocked a Black Ninja Burger which sported charcoal-black buns and a huge tongue-like slab of bacon.

This week, Burger King has taken its worship of the darkness a step further with two more jet-black offerings: the Kuro Diamond and Kuro Pearl, which feature not just black buns, but slices of cheese and a tangy sauce that look dark enough to swallow any would-be diners whole.

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