Japan

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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This new kabuki face pack design will add a little color to your beauty routine

This new kabuki face pack design will add a little color to your beauty routine

Face packs haven’t quite caught on in the global market, but those moist face-shaped towelettes packed with vitamins and other skin-enhancing goodies are particularly popular in Japan. The most standard versions come in plain white, making you look like something out of The Grudge, but beauty product makers have recently been getting creative, bringing us face packs that turn its user into a cat, a panda, or a kabuki actor.

The newest fancy face pack is another one for kabuki fans, but this time it adds an extra splash of color and was created by international makeup artist and leader of Japanese contemporary fashion, Kansai Yamamoto.

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Japan already has an Apple Watch and it’s even cooler than Tim Cook’s version

Japan already has an Apple Watch and it’s even cooler than Tim Cook’s version

Apple just announced its new generation of gadgets, including a smartwatch called the Apple Watch. Not wanting to wait for its 2015 release, Japanese Twitter user Shoji Hiromichi decided to make his own…out of a real apple.

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Japan’s other famous cat gets her own photobook and stationery

Japan’s other famous cat gets her own photobook and stationery

Mako, also known as “the cat with the strange face,” may not be as globally recognized as Maru, but we have a feeling she’s going to start gaining a few fans after the release of her very own book of pictures and set of stationary. Mako is the star of a Japanese photoblog, but the site also includes her three brothers and sisters, all of whom are also featured on a few of these adorable products. Let’s take a closer look!

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Harvest moon brings harvest sweets in Japan, here are a few you can try!

Harvest moon brings harvest sweets in Japan, here are a few you can try!

This week in Japan, people around the country are celebrating a special event known as tsukimi, literally “moon-viewing”. Celebrated on the 15th day of the lunar calendar (which lands sometime between September and October) it is the best time to look at the moon because the position of the earth, sun and moon make it appear especially big and bright. Just as with cherry blossom viewing, it’s a time to honor the beauty of nature with food, drink and friends.

One of the most traditional foods to celebrate with is called tsukimi dango which are sweets made of mochi (Japanese rice cake). But just as the Japanese dialect isn’t the same from Hokkaido to Okinawa, the look and taste of tsukimi dango vary from region to region. Here are three of the most interesting versions from across Japan!

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Vroom-vroom, meow-meow! Driver mods his taillights into awesome “Toro” cat patterns

Vroom-vroom, meow-meow! Driver mods his taillights into awesome “Toro” cat patterns

In Japan, all cars have to undergo a vehicle inspection called shaken every two years. The ostensible reason is to make sure each part of the car is in safe, working condition, but some motorists suspect the real reasons are to bilk additional streams of revenue from owners, as well as encourage them to trade in their current cars for new models, which can go three years before their first shaken.

The system does have one upside for enthusiasts. Since cars get officially inspected every other year, traffic cops in Japan aren’t nearly as zealous as their U.S. counterparts about issuing fix-up tickets for questionable modifications they spot on the street. This means that during the two-year period between shaken checks, you have a decent chance of getting away with illegal engine mods, non-compliant body kits, or awesome grey-area cat tail lights.

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When cycling and cosplay collide: Introducing the Good Smile Racing Cup

When cycling and cosplay collide: Introducing the Good Smile Racing Cup

Who ever knew this was actually a thing? Then again, it’s Japan we’re talking about here, so we probably shouldn’t be surprised.

The cycling race known as the Good Smile Racing (GSR) Cup, took place this past Saturday (9/6) at the New Tokyo Circuit in Chiba Prefecture. As the official website for the event proclaims, “Bike racing while listening to anime songs, eating food, then back to racing! It’s an event for anyone who loves characters and bikes.” That sounds like a fun time to us! Check out pictures of a bike-riding Hatsune Miku and other costumes from the race after the jump.

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Disney fans in Japan show love for their favorite characters in an eye-popping way

Disney fans in Japan show love for their favorite characters in an eye-popping way

We’re sure there are more than a few Disney fans amongst our readership, but we’re not certain any of you have ever shown your love of Mickey and his friends in quite this way. Spotted at Tokyo Disneyland in (you guessed it!) Tokyo (just kidding, the park is technically in Chiba. Nice try.), this pair of plushy pals seem to have an extreme appreciation for their favorite characters and they want everyone to know it!

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Gear up for Halloween parties, epic adventures with official Dragon Quest costume

Gear up for Halloween parties, epic adventures with official Dragon Quest costume

Back in May, cosplay manufacturer Cospa released a real-life version of the eye-catching Hawaiian shirt worn by Dragon Ball’s martial arts master, Kame Sennin. But while that was perfect for the warm months of summer, it’s now time for fans of Dragon Ball to put away their beachwear. With the harsher temperatures of autumn coming, the only sensible thing to do is to change into warmer attire, like the soon-to-be-available outfit of the hero of the fifth installment of Dragon Quest, the other hit franchise artist Akira Toriyama serves as character designer for.

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7 Reasons the iPhone 6 is a piece of junk (according to Japanese otaku)

7 Reasons the iPhone 6 is a piece of junk (according to Japanese otaku)

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 6, and also its big-screen sibling, the iPhone 6 Plus. This is great news for technophiles who’d already started lining up for the new device before it was officially unveiled, but there’s one slice of the Japanese population that’s completely unimpressed: hard-core fans of idol singer video game and anime franchise Aikatsu! The otaku subset has compiled a list of seven reasons why, compared to one piece of Aikatsu! merchandise, the iPhone 6 is a piece of junk.

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Video showing convenience store workers being forced to kowtow to thugs leads to one arrest

Video showing convenience store workers being forced to kowtow to thugs leads to one arrest

In Japan, particularly online, you may come across the term DQN (dokyun). It’s a label reserved for those at the lowest order of intelligence and social graces and those who rank in the highest percentile for violence and general douchebag behavior.

Catching one of these creatures in their natural habitat of the streets is a rare but obnoxious treat. That’s why it’s awfully nice of them to record their own anti-social behavior so that we may study their ways in the comfort of our own home, and so the authorities can arrest and prosecute them all the more easily.

Take alleged DQN Tsuyoshi Nakamura for example, who along with some associates stands accused of harassing, threatening, and extorting from the entire staff of a FamilyMart convenience store in Ibaraki, Osaka. Nakamura is also under suspicion of forcing them to get on their knees and bow in apology, with the entire scene being uploaded to YouTube for all to see.

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Anime all-stars combine in fan-crafted Mobile Suit Yo-Kai Watch 【Photos】

Anime all-stars combine in fan-crafted Mobile Suit Yo-Kai Watch 【Photos】

In recent months, there’s been no video game or anime franchise more popular among Japanese kids than Yo-Kai Watch. The story of kids teaming up with traditional youkai spirits (some of whom look like adorable kitty-cats), seems to have landed right in the sweet spot between adventurous, cute, and traditional, making it a huge hit for creator Level-5 (and promotional partner McDonald’s).

As a matter of fact, Yo-Kai Watch has even been gaining traction against Pokémon, the reigning champion of kids’ entertainment in Japan for the last decade-plus. Now, one fan seems to be turning Yo-Kai Watch’s towards another anime institution, by combining its characters with the giant robots of Gundam.

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Kamen Rider stuntman applies skills to thievery

Kamen Rider stuntman applies skills to thievery

Yasutomo Ihara, a former stuntman known for his participation in the Kamen Rider franchise, has since turned his training to nefarious ends. In a story seemingly grafted from a J-drama, he was arrested on September 8 by Saitama Prefecture’s Criminal Investigations Unit for 43 separate counts of theft. His method involved scaling walls by slipping his fingers into tiny indentations and entering houses through their second-floor windows, earning him the nickname “Spiderman” from the investigators. His targets were in the neighboring Saitama Prefecture cities of Warabi and Toda.

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Konami wants videos of you playing horror title P.T. for this year’s Tokyo Game Show

Konami wants videos of you playing horror title P.T. for this year’s Tokyo Game Show

Calling all scaredy-cat exhibitionists! If you’re easily frightened and love broadcasting yourself to the world, you’re just the kind of person Japanese video game developer Konami is looking for!

Following on from its video series of sample-group players reacting to forthcoming horror title Silent Hills, Konami is looking for footage of everyday people playing the game and their reactions to it. Better yet, the best videos will be shown at next week’s Tokyo Game Show.

Details on how to submit your own reaction video after the jump.

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Sailor Moon lingerie sets are back, and this time they brought all their friends!

Sailor Moon lingerie sets are back, and this time they brought all their friends!

The currently streaming Sailor Moon reboot, Sailor Moon Crystal, has sort of an unusual schedule. Rather than showing a new episode every week, like most anime series, a new installment of Crystal is released on the first and third Saturday of every month.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean viewers get a new episode every other week. This year, August had five Saturdays, meaning that at one point there was a three-week gap between episodes. We’re sure hard-core fans were miffed, but we think sponsor Bandai will be able to smooth things over and make everyone forget about the inconvenience by opening preorders for its newest batch of merchandise, the second round of Sailor Moon lingerie sets, featuring colors for every member of the main cast.

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Blind high school girl injured after being kicked from behind in Saitama Prefecture station

Blind high school girl injured after being kicked from behind in Saitama Prefecture station

Net users in Japan are in shock today after reading the news of how a blind high school girl in Saitama Prefecture was injured after being viciously kicked by an unknown assailant while making her way to school. This news comes just weeks after it was learned that a guide dog was stabbed three times by a passenger on a crowded train in the same prefecture.

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