Japan

Mimi-kaki: We let a total stranger stick things inside us at an ear-cleaning salon【Video】

Akihabara is considered by many to be a holy land of otaku culture, and with good reason. From anime to electronics to maid cafes, there’s not much you can’t find here. You can even pay someone to clean your ears! Which, to this writer, sounds absolutely horrifying. The idea of a total stranger getting inside my ear canal and scraping out all the gunk is both gross and horrifying, mainly because I can’t stop imagining the ear cleaner slipping and driving the ear-pick deep into my brain.

And that’s probably exactly why the RocketNews24 editors chose me to try it out! If you’ve ever wanted to have a young woman lay your head in her lap and then scrape the wax out of your ears, here’s your chance to see what it’s like.

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There’s something hiding beneath this mountain of ramen toppings, but it’s not ramen

Ramen is pretty well-known around the world as a hearty soup of plentiful ingredients. Sure there are variations from country to country, but at the end of the day, it’s all just noodles and broth with the necessary toppings to add character.

At least that’s how it used to be, before one ramen restaurant felt bold enough to reinvent the wheel and take the “men” (as noodles are called in Japanese) out of ramen. But what did they put in place of the lovely noodles that traditionally define ramen?

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36 more humorous glimpses of Asia 【Pics】

Need a little laugh to help ease yourself into the week?

In the past, we’ve featured some photo fun from Asia35 signs you might be in Asia, as well as 39 looks at the lighter side of Asia. This time, we’re bringing you 36 more bizarre, comical, and downright nonsensical scenes from around Asia!

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Recently discovered Japanese pufferfish included in list of top ten new species

The ocean is full of a massive array of undiscovered species, so scientists are always finding new types of creatures lurking offshore. The circle-making pufferfish discovered in 2013 are one great example of a species mankind only recently encountered for the first time.

But you don’t have to take our word for it — the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE) even included it in their 2015 Top Ten New Species list!

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We brave fastballs from the world’s fastest (and most terrifying) pitching machine

If there were ever going to be some kind of cheesy, baseball-themed horror movie, we’re almost certain the mechanical antagonist would be this Shizuoka Prefecture pitching machine – the world’s fastest at a pitching speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) – which would probably be depicted firing a fastball directly through the torso of some cocky coed.

Record-setting and somewhat terrifying? You bet we had to go and take a shot at hitting one of those blazingly fast pitches. Well, like, not us. We’re too young and handsome to die. We sent one of our Japanese-language writers, instead.

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Never miss an important call again at the office with our bra lifehack!

For those of us working in high-tech societies, connection and communication can be as valuable as any resource. A single missed call can turn into a missed business chance, so making sure you can be reached no matter how furiously you’re typing is important. But at the office, no one wants to be that jerk that just leaves their ringer on. And it’s pretty easy to miss a call with just vibration mode.

However, the writers for the Japanese-language side of RocketNews24 may have come up with a solution for you. All you need to do is keep your phone in range of view while you’re using the computer. There are, obviously, a number of ways to do this, but our writer P.K. thinks he’s found the best way: With a bra!

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A feast for all sushi lovers — the amazing 1,000-yen lunch at Sushi Takehan Wakatsuki!

Sushi, of course, is one of the most popular Japanese foods around, and many visitors to Japan are bound to try it. There’s nothing quite like the rich flavor of fatty tuna melting in your mouth, or the sensation of biting into a sweet, thick piece of fresh scallop, right? Alas, like many of the nice things in life, good sushi tends to be pricey … but is that always necessarily the case?

What if we told you that there’s a restaurant in Tokyo where you can have an authentic sushi lunch for 1,000 yen (US$8.24)? That’s right, an amazing sushi meal for under $10 — of course we had to check it out ourselves!

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Famed art director Nizo Yamamoto exhibition open in Tokyo – but you’ll need to be quick

If six exhibitions weren’t enough for your Studio Ghibli pilgrimage around Japan, RocketNews24 has another one to add to the list. If you’re a fan of Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke and The Girl Who Leapt through Time then you better pack your bags and head to Tokyo quick, because this exhibition is only open for 10 days.

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Live-action Bakuman trailer released, first glimpse of stars playing against type

On 20 May a trailer for the live-action Bakuman movie was posted online. Before you go groaning at another potentially lame manga/anime adaptation, this one appears to have the goods. Luckily, since the story is mostly grounded in reality it shouldn’t suffer from cheesy effects. Actually, even despite the slice-of-life storyline it does appear to have some decent CGI work.

But more impressive are the films two main characters Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi played by Takeru Sato and Ryunosuke Kamiki respectively. Can Sato pull off the meek charm of Mashiro while Takagi casts aside his more bookish image for Takagi?

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The secret, sudden sport Japanese cat owners play with their pets

Considering how much easier it is to get a dogs to play Fetch than cats, you might assume that a pet pooch gives you more ample opportunities to play together than a kitty companion. However, as one Japanese Twitter user has reminded us, there’s one game, or maybe we should call it a competitive sport, that any cat would be thrilled to play with its owner.

Similar to Fetch, it requires a stick to play. Well, actually two sticks, plus just one other item.

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McDonald’s Japan to return “free smiles” to menu

In my more formative years I worked the counter at McDonald’s. It was an okay job for someone with no prior work experience and helped to support my SNES habit. However, the one thing I hated was when a customer approached the counter and would ask for a “free smile” because it was written on the menu.

It had gotten to the point that I could tell the look on a customer’s face before they even opened their mouth to ask for my worthless grin. And so, I’d give them that “oh you” smile as if I hadn’t heard the joke a thousand times before and a little bit of myself would die inside.

Now a whole new generation of Japanese youngsters will get to have that same experience as McDonald’s Japan announced the return of zero-yen smiles to their menus at all stores all day long.

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The top 20 anime series fans want to be watching at the moment they die

Some hardcore anime fans try to spend as much of their lives as possible watching Japanese animation. But what if it’s not enough to eat, sleep, and breathe anime? What if you were going to die anime, too?

That’s the question Japanese website Charapedia posed when it asked “What anime do you want to be watching during the final moment of the last day of your life?” The results are in, and here are the 20 shows respondents consider the truly ultimate anime.

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Legend of Zelda robe is perfect for relaxing after you step out of your master bath

For decades, Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series has stayed more or less faithful to its original character design for its hero, Link. In each game, the silent protagonist has long bangs, pointed ears, and green clothing.

In his very first adventure, though, Link didn’t wear any pants. Instead, he sported a thigh-length tunic-like garment. It was a bit of an odd choice, considering that his bare legs sticking out kind of made it look like a dress.

But hey, maybe the fabric used for Hyrulian underwear doesn’t breathe well, and Link needed all the cooling ventilation he could get while running through those eight dungeons. Or perhaps the reason he went pantless is because that was neither a tunic nor a dress, but a comfortable Legend of Zelda bathrobe, like this one you can now buy for yourself.

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Someone help this poor, dying cat! Oh, wait, never mind 【Trollcats】

A Japanese Twitter user was in for a gruesome surprise on Thursday when, while out getting some fresh air, he stumbled across an exceedingly unfortunate cat that appeared to have been heinously murdered in the streets (perhaps by some Bad Rats).

The doomed feline was lying on its side near what appears to be a parking lot, with copious amounts of “blood spatter” forming a grisly trail to the poor kitty.

But, there’s more to this crime scene than meets the eye.

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If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed over the course of human history, it’s humans. Sure, we like to pretend that we’re above nature and instincts by carrying around fancy phones and sending people into space, but when it really comes down to it, we’re all still mostly interested in the same exact same thing that humans thousands of years ago were interested in.

If you need further proof, then check out the upcoming Shunga Exhibit in Tokyo of erotic Edo Period woodblock prints. The pictures on display there aren’t too far off from what the Japanese adult media world produces today. Just be sure your boss isn’t looking over your shoulder while you get your Japanese history lesson, because these pictures are not safe for work!

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I don’t know about you, but eating fruit as a kid was kind of a chore. Sure, fruit tasted good, but candy tasted so much better. Now that I’m a fully-functioning adult, though, I eat fruit for fun and candy isn’t all that appealing any more.

But this handy device might help to make a lot of people’s childhoods much sweeter since it enables you to combine fruit and sweet, sweet candy into one treat. Behold: the banana-stuffer, aka “Sonna Choco Banana!”

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Super Mega Important Debate: Tokyo or Osaka? 【Poll Closed】

You knew it had to happen at some point. Sooner or later we were bound to ask you to choose which of Japan’s biggest and most famous cities is best. That’s right, folks, it’s Tokyo versus Osaka; Kanto versus Kansai; east versus west.

Click the link, make your choice, argue about it in the comments section. No biting, hair-pulling or bringing our mothers into it.

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Can you spot the Self-Defense Force personnel shown here? Oh, and their amazing jeep too [Video]

The other day, we decided to sneak out of the office and grab some coffee. And when we say sneak, we mean literally, as we made our Starbucks run slinking through the streets of Shinjuku while hiding under a cardboard box.

But while our Metal Gear-style tactics did get us to Outer Coffee Heaven safely and stealthily, there are two problems with our method. First, our crawling speed is pretty slow, even with the caffeine boost we enjoyed on the way back. Second, the cardboard box wouldn’t help us blend in with a more natural environment, which is why we now find ourselves wanting this amazing, perfectly camouflaged Japan Ground Self-Defense Force jeep.

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Watching Japanese people try Marmite for the first time will brighten your day [Video]

Pretty much every culture has at least one food or drink that, unless you grew up eating it, you probably don’t like. For example, the first time most foreigners try natto, Japan’s infamous fermented soy beans, the pure disgust may also make it the last time they ever try it. In the opposite direction, America’s root beer doesn’t have the best track record in Japan either.

YouTuber Chris Broad, from Abroadin Japan, has brought another such food to Japan: a traditional condiment from his homeland of the UK that is not even loved by all Brits: Marmite. As he puts it, “people tend to either love it or hate it.” With this in mind, Broad set up a camera so we could watch the reaction of Japanese people trying the polarizing food for the first time.

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The mysterious ways of Japanese mums that never fail to mess with our heads and funny bones

Mothers. They’re the amazing beings who carried us in their tummies and brought us into this world. Some of us live with one, some of us can’t wait to move away from one. Some mums are fashionable and love parties, some can’t send a text message without messing up a few words every time, some tend to nag too much, and some bake the best cookies in the world.

The bottom line is, every mum is unique in her own way, and they’re lovable for all their strengths and flaws…especially when they have their own hilarious methods of doing things, like the mums of these Japanese Twitter users!

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