Japan

We visited Fukui Station to see the dinosaurs! No Chris Pratt, but the Dino Doctor was in!

We’ve talked about Fukui Station, located in Fukui Prefecture, and its Jurassic Park of animatronic dinosaurs before, but today we have a ton more photos and a video of them in motion as the station draws closer to completion. Check out our photos of the rampaging dinosaurs at Fukui Station and call Chris Pratt, because we might need backup!

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No dinner plans for Wednesday night? Why not eat a camel hump in Tottori, like we just did?

Here at RocketNews24, every now and again we come across a restaurant or snack maker offering something that doesn’t sound at all appetizing, but is just too unique to pass up. In the past, my coworkers Steve and Amy have sampled wasp-filled rice crackers and bee larvae, and my own stomach and psyche are only now recovering from a dessert of not one, but two types of cakes made with chunks of tuna.

Now, it’s out intrepid Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato’s turn to pull up a chair to the crazy dining table, and camel hump is on the menu.

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No, we didn’t stutter. New Sailor Moon gachapon toys really are compact compacts

Gachapon, the capsule toys sold by vending machines in Japan, are always released in a series, usually with five or six different versions that are dispensed at random. But while that element of chance adds a moment of excitement, sometimes it’s a little hard to imagine anyone really needs a half-dozen different styles of miniature folding chair, sausage/isopod hybrid, or crow chowing down on some delicious garbage.

Every now and again, though, we can easily see how someone would keep coming back for each and every model in the lineup, such as with these compact Sailor Moon compacts.

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Just when you thought anime marketing couldn’t be any more bust-focused: character breast weights

You may not have noticed, but a lot of advertising for anime and video games revolves around boobs, almost as if the marketing plan is trying to build up escape velocity to break free of the gravitational pull of the female cast’s breasts. And since nitty-gritty bits of numerical data regarding a series’ world and characters are the icing on the cake for super fans, you can usually expect the producers to release official statistics regarding the bust measurement and also often the cup size of the more top-heavy characters.

One new anime, though, has decided to raise the bar, and twice actually, since not only do its official character bios reveal the cast’s underwire measurements, but in perhaps the most bizarre bit of trivia ever, the weight, in kilograms, of the characters’ breasts.

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Attack on Titan hot dogs! Because the best way to celebrate is with an extra-large sausage

The only thing better than the upcoming live-action Attack on Titan movie is all the related merchandise that’s slowly being pumped out ahead of its release.

The latest offering from the giants is coming to us from Aeon cinemas, who’ll be bringing us two gigantic hot dogs as part of the celebrations. Netizens, however, are pondering why they’ve chosen to use extra-long sausages to promote the film when a similar-looking appendage is so obviously missing from between the Titans’ legs.

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Talking with Chuck Johnson, Japan’s first full-time foreign stuntman, about working your butt off

When it comes to working in Japan as a foreign resident, it can often feel as if there aren’t many options — but that’s not necessarily the case. And for Chuck Johnson, the very opposite is true! After well over a decade in the country, Chuck has done everything from teaching English, to acting, to directing, to working as a bodyguard. He’s also an accomplished martial artist and stuntman — in fact, Chuck is the first non-Japanese person in the country to make a career out of doing stunt work. It’s a niche so small, he basically had to create an industry for himself!

After years of hard work and barely scraping by, Chuck has now made quite a name for himself, and this summer will see the release of a short action film in collaboration with big names such as Toei Studio, Adidas, and YouTube.

We recently stopped by the “fight action class” he teaches for aspiring and working stuntmen and discussed his experiences in Japan. If you want to get paid to kick people on film in Japan, Chuck is the man you want to talk to.

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Creepy abandoned Japanese amusement park is open and waiting to devour your soul 【Pics】

We’ve seen pictures of creepy abandoned places in Japan before, but what about creepy abandoned places that are still open for business?

Wonderland is an amusement park in Fukui Prefecture that by all accounts should not exist. There’re no cars in the overgrown parking lot, locks on all the condemned buildings, and all the signs are rusted and discolored. And yet, they’re still open, pretending as if nothing is wrong.

Oh and did we mention they’re hiring?

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Our Japanese reporter offers up some safety advice for anyone traveling to Southeast Asia

‘The other day, I felt a tap on my back while at a Japanese-style shopping mall in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I turned around and there was a beautiful, wide-eyed woman smiling at me. She asked me a favor in broken English: “I don’t have any friends in this city, and I’d like to hear more about Japan. Won’t you get dinner with me?”

I was surprised at myself by my cold reaction–“Ah, not another one.” Despite my efforts to ignore her, she continued pestering me, this time asking how long I was planning to stay in Cambodia. When I responded, “I’ve lived here for over 15 years, she promptly disappeared with a creepy cackling noise.’

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This owl and kitten duo napping is the most adorable thing you will see today 【Photos】

When things aren’t going right in your life, there is bound to be something on the Internet that will make yoy feel better. Well, look no further. This is a public service announcement: The following pictures are so cute that they will melt your heart, no matter how cold or frozen it might be. See if you can make it to the bottom of this article without going “d’aww…”

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Disney’s lovable mascot flies high — Duffy takes to the air on JAL Happy Journey Express planes!

Duffy, Disney’s lovable stuffed bear character, has a huge following in Japan. Just step inside Tokyo Disney Resort, and the bear’s popularity is abundantly clear as you see the large number of guests carrying their own Duffy toy in adorable and sometimes exquisitely hand-made costumes.

Well, we’ve already seen the well-loved bear tuned into an amazing furry bus that made a special tour from Tokyo to Shizuoka Prefecture a little over a year ago, and now it seems the mascot will be embarking on a whole new journey — into the big blue sky!   Read More

Classic shojo manga Kodomo no Omocha getting first new chapter in 17 years

We recently found out that the upcoming Dragon Ball Super is getting a manga version to go along with the new anime, but it’s not just the classic Japanese comic for boys that’s back in the spotlight. Kodomo no Omocha (also known as Kodocha and Child’s Toy) was one of the early shojo manga franchises to score a hit with English-reading audiences, and 17 years after the series wrapped up, it’s getting a new chapter next month.

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World’s smallest dinosaur egg just discovered in Hyogo Prefecture

Everyone has got dinosaurs on their mind at the moment since most of the world is going crazy for Jurassic World. The exception to this is of course, Japan who can’t watch the movie until August 5. (Why Japanese movie people? Why?!?!) Not to be left out of the giant lizard game, officials in Hyogo Prefecture have confirmed the discovery of a brand new dinosaur egg. By analyzing the fossil, it is estimated that this new egg is the world’s smallest dinosaur egg ever. That’s a gigantic discovery of the tiniest kind.

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People in Japan are tearing up over these two cram school commercials【Videos】

Love it or hate it, cram school, or juku in Japanese, is one part of Asian academic culture that looks like it’s here to stay.

Although most cram schools tend to advertise before entrance exam season begins and towards the end of the Japanese school year in March, recently more and more children are starting to attend summer study courses as well.

Gearing up for summer vacation, Waseda Academy put out two promotional commercials highlighting the determination of spirited youth, which have left Japanese viewers so moved they couldn’t help but shed a few tears while watching.

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Game with schoolgirls and pheromones goes pervy to innocent with the Mom Just Walked In button

Video games designed to provide some titillation are nothing new in Japan. As a matter of fact, developers have been trying to include a little naughty excitement in titles for so long that the feature has begun to evolve and become streamlined in response to players’ needs and desires. For example, we recently looked at a game in which the designers thought to include a cycle by which the female characters change their panties to a new pair daily, much to the joy of realist perverts (and the chagrin of dirty underwear fetishists).

But while Japanese gamers have proven receptive to titles with a decidedly sexy angle, that doesn’t mean their parents are so accepting of their hobby. That’s why the upcoming PlayStation 4 game Gal Gun Double Peace includes not only more panty flashes than you can shake a stick at, but something called the Mom Just Walked In Screen to help spare players from getting caught in an embarrassing moment.

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This amazing sand sculpture museum is tiny Tottori Prefecture’s hidden tourist gem

Remember when Tottori Prefecture finally got a Starbucks after all these years of being one of the few places in the world without one? Oh man, that was crazy.

Tottori is just one of those places. The kind of area that’s so quiet and uneventful that not even Starbucks, the corporate giant that’s more than happy to smother historic cultural heritage sites with their over-roasted beans and pricey lattes for a quick buck, spent decades more or less pretending it didn’t even exist. The Prefecture’s population of just over half a million is shockingly small by densely-populated Japan’s standards, and it’s just generally ignored by the rest of Japan as a place that, well… doesn’t have much to see, to put it kindly.

But wait a second! What’s this?! Tottori has been sitting on an amazing tourist draw in the form of a sand sculpture museum that features mind-boggling, award-winning and massive sand sculptures and they basically haven’t even really told anybody about it.

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Karan Koron Shokudo proves meat-free doesn’t mean taste-free【Veg’n in Tokyo】

Unlike in some countries, where even a steak restaurant will offer at least one vegetarian option, it can be difficult to find meat-free meals in Japan. There are, however, some vegetarian restaurants to be found in the capital, and I’m making it my mission to go around trying them all.

Today I’d like to introduce Karan Koron Shokudo, located right next to Yoyogi Uehara Station.

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Traveling with Totoro (and Kiki too)! Official Studio Ghibli suitcases go on sale

Last week, we took a look at an ad for West Japan Railways that was produced by animators affiliated with Studio Ghibli. If its images of a happy family enjoying the great outdoors had you ready to pack your bags, why not make said bags anime-style too, with these My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service suitcases?

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Tired of fearing for your life while clipping your cat’s claws? Cat mask offers an easy solution

“Whenever I try to clip my cat’s claws, it goes ballistic. What on earth can I do so that it will let me?”

The above thought has probably crossed the mind of anyone who has ever had the distinct pleasure of caring for a cat. So how should you deal with a long-clawed, ferocious feline? Well, you can always purchase one of these unique masks made exclusively for kitties in need of a trim…and watch it transform into a weird-looking alien in the process!

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Japan’s 10 best restaurants, as chosen by foreign travelers

People travel to Japan for all sorts of different reasons. Many are seeking a taste of tradition and history, and plan visits to the country’s most important shrines and castles. Some are drawn by Japan’s natural beauty, heading for its mountains and forests, while still others come to throw themselves into its neon-soaked urban entertainment centers.

But no matter what’s on your itinerary, at some point you’re going to need to get something to eat, and when your stomach starts growling, you can rely on the experience of those who made the trip before you with TripAdvisor’s list of the 10 best restaurants in Japan.

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Upcoming announcement for a Moomin theme park has fans clamoring for info 【Update: Confirmed!】

Over two years ago, the Finnish Ambassador to Japan announced that a Moomin theme park was being developed in Japan with the expected opening date in 2015. Some of our readers might be asking, “What the heck is a Moomin?” but these hippo-like fairies who originated in Finland have a very strong following and fan base in Japan. You might not be familiar with Moomin before you come to Japan, but once you get here, you grow to welcome them at your dining table.

Well, it’s already halfway through 2015, and there is still no Moomin theme park ready to take our money. Or is there? There might be a forthcoming announcement that has us all in a tizzy.

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