Japan

Nintendo announces Pokkén Tournament for arcades in 2015

Nintendo announces Pokkén Tournament for arcades in 2015

Nintendo announced during the “Monthly Famitsu feat. Pokémon Special” live-streamed program that an action/fighting game titled Pokkén Tournament (Pokkén being a pun on the words Pokémon and ‘fist’) will be released for Japanese arcades in 2015. Bandai Namco Games is collaborating on the development of the project.

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Going Bananas for Bananart on Banana Day! Students create a “bananamation” movie【Video】

Going Bananas for Bananart on Banana Day! Students create a “bananamation” movie【Video】

We know what you are thinking: “Really? There’s a Banana Day?” In Japan there is! It comes from the date “August 7″ and the way you can pronounce “8” (ba) and “7” (nana) in Japanese. The two of them read together become Banana Day, an informal holiday where the amazing powers of bananas are reviewed and admired, which is mostly achieved through nutritional campaigns that teach you fun facts like “bananas are high in potassium” and “they are good for giving you a quick boost of energy”.

In fact, an elementary school in Kanagawa Prefecture took advantage of Banana Day to squeeze in a nutrition class and, surprisingly, the kids didn’t go bananas because they had to go to school during summer vacation. Instead, the students took the day to its most artistic and clever form yet by creating a stunning video that all banana lovers should watch.

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Coca-Cola’s new vending machines don’t need electricity during the day to keep drinks cold

Coca-Cola’s new vending machines don’t need electricity during the day to keep drinks cold

In some ways, the huge amount of vending machines in Japan seems like a win-win situation. In a country that gets incredibly hot and sticky in the summer, it’s nice to never be more than a few minutes’ walk from a cold drink, and for beverage companies like Coca-Cola, the machines are a huge source of income.

That said, all of those vending machines are essentially coin-operated refrigerators, collectively sucking up a huge amount of electricity. In an effort to cut down on their energy consumption, Coca-Cola has developed a new type of unit that spends as much as 16 hours a day not using any electricity at all to keep its products nice and cool.

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Advertising 101: Choose your words carefully, even when selling fish food

Advertising 101: Choose your words carefully, even when selling fish food

Making a succinct sign can be tricky. You want to be economical with your words, but that can lead to the trap of be too vague. A good rule of thumb would be to assume you – the sign maker – is of average intelligence. This means a lot of people are smarter than you but just as many people are stupider than you.

That strategy might have stopped this poor koi pond manager from lowering his “Koi Food 10 Yen” to “Koi Food Free.” The rest of the sign in the following translation tells the sad tale.

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Great hotel in Hokkaido has hot spring, all you-can-eat seafood for under 10,000 yen a person

Great hotel in Hokkaido has hot spring, all you-can-eat seafood for under 10,000 yen a person

With beautiful natural scenery, delicious food, and an unhurried atmosphere, Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido is one of the country’s most popular vacation spots. There’s one big drawback, though, which is that airfare to and from Hokkaido can eat up a big part of your travel budget, leaving you less cash to spend on a hotel with nice amenities or local delicacies like fresh salmon roe and scallops.

Recently, though, we found a hotel in Hokkaido that offers it all, with soft beds, all-you-can-eat seafood, an all-night hot spring, and even a price that makes it a very affordable luxury.

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Life doesn’t have a reset button, and neither does a PlayStation 3 controller come to think of it

Life doesn’t have a reset button, and neither does a PlayStation 3 controller come to think of it

This fire safety poster was tweeted recently and scored a whopping 21,000 retweets in only a couple of days. It’s an impressive feat for a public service announcement by the Nakagyo Ward Fire Department, but why?

The caption reads: “In life and fire, the reset button doesn’t work.” Okay, class, who can tell me why the reset button doesn’t work? Don’t all answer at once now… No, not because the cable’s on fire. This controller clearly has wireless capability. Oh, I see the person who tweeted this image has their hand up.

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J-pop group “Chubbiness” releases first music video, possibly look even less chubby than before

J-pop group “Chubbiness” releases first music video, possibly look even less chubby than before

Back in January this year, we brought you news of an emerging J-pop group going by the name of Chubbiness. The idea behind the outfit was that, as well as being accomplished singers, the members were all “puniko“, or slightly chubby girls. Compared to most J-pop groups, which are very often populated with girls who are all pointy elbows and shoulder blades, Chubbiness just about lived up to their name, but few Westerners especially would ever think to call them “chubby”.

Eight months later, Chubbiness have launched their first official song, complete with an accompanying music video which shows them tucking in to a table full of sugary treats while singing about how there’s nothing wrong with being a bit on the big side.

The only thing is, after watching the video a handful of times, we can’t help thinking that if anything the Chubbiness girls actually look even slimmer now than when they were first introduced to us…

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Online shop will make cute, custom-crafted cat earrings from a photo of your pet

Online shop will make cute, custom-crafted cat earrings from a photo of your pet

For serious cat lovers, it’s hard to be apart from their beloved animals for even a moment, but there are some places, like offices or restaurants, where you just can’t take your pet with you. If you’re looking for a way to always feel connected to your kitty, we suppose you could make a sweater out of its fallen hair, but before you grab those knitting needles, there’s an alternative that’s a little less labor-intensive (not to mention a bit less crazy).

All you need to do is snap a photo of your cat, and have it made into a pair of custom-crafted earrings from this Japanese online store.

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2nd Sailor Moon stage musical footage shown in digest video

2nd Sailor Moon stage musical footage shown in digest video

The official Sailor Moon YouTube channel began streaming a digest video on Sunday from the opening night of the stage musical Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère. The video features clips from the live show.

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Man creates bizarre “HeartCap” helmet to wordlessly convey feelings of love and admiration

Man creates bizarre “HeartCap” helmet to wordlessly convey feelings of love and admiration

I’m sure we’ve all been there: knowing that you’re bound to bump into your crush at some point during the day, you prepare a few witticisms in advance, make sure to brush your teeth extra well and pick out an outfit that strikes the perfect balance between casual and “holy crap I’m sexy”. And then, when the object of your affections comes within a few feet of you, you blurt out some nonsense about having seen a really big pigeon on the way there and manage to spit all over yourself. Oh, just me?

Thankfully, for those who find themselves completely tongue-tied when faced with their dream guy or gal, there’s a new…invention that enables the wearer to express their feelings of admiration without saying a word. And it looks wonderfully ridiculous.

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The Kabuki Face Pack: Being beautiful is kind of gross…

The Kabuki Face Pack: Being beautiful is kind of gross…

Until last night, I had never used a face pack. In fact, aside from the fact that they go on your face, the only thing I knew about face packs is that many women use them because…skin. Or something.

But all that changed when I discovered my wife grinning at me and waving a white cardboard envelope around. “It’s time!” she told me. Pure panic hit me before I’d remembered I’d agreed to do…something. What was it? Oh, right, put on a kabuki face pack. “But first, let me get the camera,” she said…

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Cooking magic — Take a look at this beautiful water cake turned into Dragon Quest slime!

Cooking magic — Take a look at this beautiful water cake turned into Dragon Quest slime!

Remember the beautiful transparent water cakes we told you about back in June that we went all the way to Yamanashi Prefecture to try? Well, we might have expected it, but someone has come up with a fun, creative take on the water cake that has been delighting Japanese Internet users. And we have to say, we too are hugely impressed by the creation — Dragon Quest slime in a clear, jelly-like form!

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Say goodbye to carved pumpkins because fruit faces will scare your socks off this Halloween

Say goodbye to carved pumpkins because fruit faces will scare your socks off this Halloween

What do you think the face above is made from? It might look like a carefully carved wooden sculpture but the truth is, it’s not made from wood at all. It’s made from something a lot greener and sweeter; something that once fell to the ground and inspired a man called Isaac. And got two people banished from the Garden of Eden.

Yes, it’s the humble apple, and this year it’s more scary than sweet. Soon you’ll be swapping your pumpkins for apples because this easy-to-create work of art will be the best way to keep people off your porch this Halloween!

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Kobe woman’s cleaning interrupted by discovery of enormous artillery shell in her closet

Kobe woman’s cleaning interrupted by discovery of enormous artillery shell in her closet

If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned out your cabinets and closets, you can be surprised at what you find inside them. Sometimes, you’ll uncover good things, like the time I was straightening up and came across an envelope with 5,000 yen (US$49.50) which I’d earmarked for some purpose, then forgotten about. Other times, the surprises aren’t so pleasant, like the time in my old, first-floor apartment where I lifted up a box and found a scurrying cockroach underneath.

As disgusting as the creepy critter was, though, in pure shock value it pales in comparison to what a woman in Japan found in her home: an artillery shell.

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Sip your tea like an anime villain with high-class Gundam porcelain cups and vases

Sip your tea like an anime villain with high-class Gundam porcelain cups and vases

In the past, we’ve seen multiple cars decked out with special paint jobs and accessories honoring Mobile Suit Gundam. But what if you want to show your love for anime’s longest-running mecha series, in a slightly more elegant kind of way? Is there any way for you to drop a large sum of cash on Gundam merchandise not to park in your garage, but to place on your living room mantle or dining room table?

There is now, with high-quality Gundam porcelain.

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Batman spotted cruising the Japanese expressways as he trades Gotham City for Chiba Prefecture

Batman spotted cruising the Japanese expressways as he trades Gotham City for Chiba Prefecture

As a car-loving foreigner living in Japan, for me, any cruise around Tokyo can suddenly turn into an automotive photo safari. Japan has tons of cool domestic cars which were never exported to the U.S., and whenever I come across one in the wild, I feel the need to whip out my camera for a few photos.

But while I’m happy my photo collection includes snapshots of Mazda AZ-1s and Subaru 22B Imprezas, motorists in Chiba Prefecture recently spotted something even rarer, in the form of a street-legal trike being ridden by none other than Batman!

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Train groper escapes along tracks at Ebisu station in Tokyo

Train groper escapes along tracks at Ebisu station in Tokyo

A man suspected of groping a woman on the JR Yamanote line escaped by jumping onto the tracks at JR Ebisu station in Tokyo on Thursday night. His actions delayed trains along the Yamanote line for about 30 minutes, TBS reported Friday.

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Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art forced to cover up “obscene” photos following complaint

Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art forced to cover up “obscene” photos following complaint

When police arrested Japanese artist Rokudenashiko last month for distributing 3-D printer plans for models of her vagina, the world was at once baffled and outraged. But despite all the fuss that was raised over the artist’s arrest, it looks like the Japanese police are at it again, this time targeting the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art for an exhibition featuring nude photography by the Japanese photographer Ryudai Takano.

Though no one has been arrested, the museum made headlines after it partially covered some of Ryudai’s photographs with cloth after local police deemed the images “obscene.” However, many in Japan are questioning the legitimacy of the cops’ actions.

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Tohoku aid charity Knit For Japan attempts world record blanket

Tohoku aid charity Knit For Japan attempts world record blanket

More than three years on from the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, there are still roughly 260,000 people living in temporary housing facilities. Since Tohoku gets mighty cold in the winter, sending these evacuees some lovely hand-made afghans is a woolly hug that lets them know they are not forgotten.

But that didn’t go far enough for Yokohama-based knitting teacher Bernd Kestler, who wanted to send them the biggest blanket the world has ever seen!

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“Again with the ninjas…” Japan reacts to the American Yoshinoya commercial online

“Again with the ninjas…” Japan reacts to the American Yoshinoya commercial online

One of the great joys of RocketNews24 editors and writers is getting to see how fast food chains operate in different countries. The sometimes slight and sometime huge changes to the menu can really give us more insight into the local cultures than you might expect. However, for the most part these multinational restaurants originate from the USA, so it’s really a special treat to see how the huge gyudon (beef bowl) chain Yoshinoya looks when localized for American customers’ tastes.

Recently a commercial for the salaryman’s favorite restaurant was posted on YouTube and drew some curious opinions from those back in its home country. The response was largely positive, especially regarding the American take on Yoshinoya food, but some wished the US would stop with the whole Japan = ninjas thing already.

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