Japan

Spooky shots of the abandoned Fukushima disaster area taken with a drone

Spooky shots of the abandoned Fukushima disaster area taken with a drone

Japanese aerial photography company HEXaMedia flew a drone equipped with cameras through Tomioka, Japan, the largely abandoned town that played host to the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.

It edited together a number of spooky shots into a 7-minute video that you can watch here. Check out the most stunning shots in the gallery below.

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Arina Tanemura finishes Sailor Moon drawings with Sailor Saturn

Arina Tanemura finishes Sailor Moon drawings with Sailor Saturn

Arina Tanemura (Full Moon O SagashiteKamikaze Kaitō Jeanne) is on a roll recently, showcasing her impressive fanart for Sailor MoonMars and Mercury, and most of the others. It seems she’s finally completed the cast with Sailor Saturn.

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“We’ve got nice breasts!” – Osaka’s eye-catching ads for chicken, pickles, and more

“We’ve got nice breasts!” – Osaka’s eye-catching ads for chicken, pickles, and more

Two things the residents of Osaka are known for are their sense of humor and acute business acumen. This is, after all, the city that produces far more comedians than any other in Japan, and also a town where the local greeting translates to “Are you making any money?”

Just a few blocks west of Osaka Castle you can find a place where these two characteristics mix together. The merchants of the Fuminosato shopping arcade are well aware that passersby are much more likely to put cash in your hand if you can put a smile on their face first, which is just what the local businesses do with their sometimes funny, sometime quirky, always eye-catching posters.

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Aliens attend baseball game, thrown out, never heard from again

Aliens attend baseball game, thrown out, never heard from again

“Could there be life somewhere else in the universe?” The recent discovery of the Earth-sized planet (Kepler 186f) is about the same distance to its sun as the Earth is to ours. Is it possible that life does exist outside our planet?

A recent picture from Twitter only helps to increase our hopes while also dragging them away as the aliens are seemingly escorted from “America’s favorite pastime”.

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Tour alleged yakuza hideouts on Google Maps

Tour alleged yakuza hideouts on Google Maps

As Google Maps expands its reach across the globe, netizens are finding more and more hidden treasures amongst the usual images of street signs and roadways. Sure, we catch a flock of human pigeons every now and then, but this next photo gallery is a little subtler than mobs of masked people purposely trying to live on forever in Google Maps. No, this is a different kind of mob…the mob. The yakuza, rumored to number in the hundred-thousands in Japan, have landed themselves on Google Maps more than a few times and we’re not quite sure they appreciate being photographed.

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Kyoto Sanga F.C. takes the cheekiest free kick ever with long line of dummies

Kyoto Sanga F.C. takes the cheekiest free kick ever with long line of dummies

Football, or soccer if you will, is sometimes accused of being a dull spectator sport on account of the limited number of goals that are often scored in games and its propensity to end in stalemate.

But for every 10 minutes of dull passing, frustrating off-sides and tedious throw-ins, there’s usually at least one moment of heart-racing sporting magic to be had, and this amazingly cheeky goal scored yesterday by J-League team Kyoto Sanga FC against Yokohama FC undoubtedly provided plenty of entertainment value for supporters of both sides.

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Sharp’s Ocha-presso brings traditional Japanese flavor to your kitchen

Sharp’s Ocha-presso brings traditional Japanese flavor to your kitchen

Coffee and espresso drinks are quite common in Japan, but green tea will always have a special place in Japanese hearts, as evidenced by the availability of green tea flavored doughnuts, ice bars, beer and even curry. Now, Sharp has announced a new machine for home use that makes perfect matcha (green tea made from powdered tea leaves). They are calling it the Healsio Ocha-presso (or Healthy-o Tea-presso, if you prefer).

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Real, functional Attack on Titan swords: This man’s year-long project will blow your mind

Real, functional Attack on Titan swords: This man’s year-long project will blow your mind

As popular as Attack on Titan is, it’s hardly surprising how many great cosplay outfits have been made by fans. And with a live action movie in the works, we wouldn’t be surprised if the level of pure awesome of AoT cosplay explodes a few hundredfold.

But it’s going to be tough to top these real, functional swords one university student made in his free time over the course of a year. The best part is, he might even make a pair for you!

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Tohoku man honors brother killed in tsunami with hundreds of blue carp streamers

Tohoku man honors brother killed in tsunami with hundreds of blue carp streamers

In an empty field in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, where many homes stood before a tsunami swept them away, there are hundreds of blue carp streamers floating in the breeze. Kento Itoh, 21 years old, has collected them from all over the country in honor of his brother Ritsu, killed in the March 11 disaster when he was just five years old.

On that day, Kento was in Sendai, his middle brother was at school and his father was in the hospital, so none of them were at home when the tsunami struck their small town. Ritsu, his mother and his grandparents were carried off by the surging waters. Only Ritsu’s body was ever found. The rest are still officially missing.

With his father ill, it fell to Kento as the oldest son to identify his brother’s corpse at the morgue and to search among the ruins for his missing family. He did not find them, but among the mud and muck, he did find something: Ritsu’s beloved blue carp streamer.

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“If I don’t download free music, I’ll get bullied!” – IT worker’s experience with net-using kids

“If I don’t download free music, I’ll get bullied!” – IT worker’s experience with net-using kids

The internet has completely changed the way we work and live, but for those of us having children it can be hard to understand how different life has become for them as information technology natives.

Having some shoes that could be pumped full of air was the deciding factor of our social status in school at one time, but what are kids thinking about today? Kakurega Komyo is an IT worker in Japan who caught a glimpse of this life while setting up the internet in someone’s house.

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How to win at rock-paper-scissors: A three-step guide

How to win at rock-paper-scissors: A three-step guide

Rock-paper-scissors. Scissors-paper-stone. Roshambo. Elephant-man-ant. Whatever you call it, chances are you’ve played it at some point. In Japan, the game is known as janken, and is used to settle any kind of dispute or awkward situation, from who gets the last cookie to which parents have to sit on the PTA that year.

It’s not hard to see why janken is so popular in Japan: it’s simple, and everyone knows how to play. It’s also efficient (particularly if the thing being decided is trivial anyway). Decisions made by janken are stuck to religiously: in three years teaching Japanese schoolkids I never once saw a student complain about the result or demand a rematch. It’s seen as a fair way to make decisions, because the game is based on luck.

Or is it? A group of researchers from Chinese universities has published a paper that shows sure-fire ways to win at rock-paper-scissors. Join us after the jump as we explore how to outsmart small children at their own game!

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Saitama man robs 7-Eleven with knives, steals 3 onigiri

Saitama man robs 7-Eleven with knives, steals 3 onigiri

A 7-Eleven convenience store in Kasukabe City, Saitama Prefecture was the scene of a daring late-night armed robbery earlier this week as an unidentified young man held clerks at knife-point and made off with a total of three onigiri rice balls, whose combined value came to approximately 300 yen (US$2.94).

He’d have gotten away with too, if it hadn’t been for the bread delivery guy…

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Ultra-cute moe pilgrims embark on Shikoku’s 88-temple journey in new TV show

Ultra-cute moe pilgrims embark on Shikoku’s 88-temple journey in new TV show

2014 marks the 1,200th year since Buddhist monk Kukai made his holy journey to 88 temples on the southern Japanese island of Shikoku. The Shikoku Pilgrimage now attracts people from all over Japan as well as the world to visit the same temples along the 1,200 km-route.

Now, a new TV series, Ohenro, is out to appeal to a new generation of religious travelers and features three female pilgrims stylized in the ever popular moe fashion of super-cute anime characters.

But Japanese netizens, eager to soak up all things moe, are wondering if they will have to make their own “holy trip” since only four broadcasters are airing the show!

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Newsflash: Attack on Titan 3DS game to get North American release?

Newsflash: Attack on Titan 3DS game to get North American release?

A few months ago, we brought you news that Japanese developer Spike Chunsoft was bringing manga and anime smash Attack on Titan to Nintendo’s popular portable, 3DS. Up until now, the game seemed destined to remain a Japan-only affair, but rumour has it that its makers are searching for a publisher to bring the game to Western audiences. Get hype, kids!

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Smooching survey: Finding out what age Japanese women had their first kiss

Smooching survey: Finding out what age Japanese women had their first kiss

Your fist kiss is sure to be a memorable event. It might even be the most memorable event in your life for decades if all goes well…or if it turns into a proper disaster. At least, that’s what we learned from teenage comedies–and Hollywood never lies, right? But even though it’s such a big event in any young person’s life, everyone’s first kiss seems to come at different ages.

We’ve discussed kissing in Japan before, but a new survey reveals the average first-kiss age of Japanese folks broken down by prefecture, showing which prefecture’s women were the fastest and kissiest in the country! Who do you think came in first place? And who’s bringing up the rear as the “slowest to their first kiss?” Find out below!

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We know the human names of Dragon Ball’s Androids 17 & 18!

We know the human names of Dragon Ball’s Androids 17 & 18!

When I was in middle school, I used to watch Dragon Ball Z every single day. I’ve seen all 291 episodes of the series and without a doubt can say that my favorite story arc begins with the arrival of future Trunks until the end of the Cell Games. Why? Because the villains are awesome, of course (sorry, Frieza)! Everyone loves Cell and the attractive-but-deadly android siblings, known as Numbers 17 and 18.

Speaking of the androids, Akira Toriyama, the author of Dragon Ball, has recently released an interesting bit of trivia for the first time ever – Number 17 and 18’s true names! Even cooler is how their names combine to create something new. Do you have any guesses?

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We try out the upcoming R2-D2 virtual keyboard projector!

We try out the upcoming R2-D2 virtual keyboard projector!

A couple of months ago, we wrote about a set of Star Wars-themed notebooks sold over at the online shopping website Run@town. Much to everyone’s surprise, the fandom those little books stirred up caused a massive run that led them to being sold out within an single hour.

Now, Run@town is hoping that the force with strike twice with a new product that could tickle the fancy of Star Wars fans everywhere even harder. It’s an R2-D2 virtual keyboard projector! You read that right–a tiny droid beams a keyboard onto any flat surface for you to actually type on.

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Create your dream share house and win a chance to live there rent-free for two years

Create your dream share house and win a chance to live there rent-free for two years

In these cash-strapped times, wouldn’t it be great to move into a brand-new house and not have to pay security fees or rent for two years? Wouldn’t be even better if it were a house built entirely to your specification and tastes?

Home building agency SuMiKa and employment website Wantedly are working to make that a reality for three lucky people with a unique promotional event. Anyone who enters could win a chance to design a house and live in it rent-free for two years.

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Makers of bizarre new “My Dome” sleep hoods stress health and beauty benefits

Makers of bizarre new “My Dome” sleep hoods stress health and beauty benefits

If you’ve ever been to Japan, you’ll have probably seen first-hand just how well the people here manage to make any time nap time. Whether it’s on public transport, in the office, or even in the classroom, there’s certainly no holding back when it comes to getting in a bit of shut-eye.

Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd. is tapping into the huge market of public sleepers with a new product for those who want to save face while shutting out the rest of the world at the same time. While it’s an efficient way to hide your gaping mouth and nap-time dribble, the company is actually claiming there are many unique beauty and health benefits to wearing this dome on your head.

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Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to release photo books, make us all jealous of their hot bods

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to release photo books, make us all jealous of their hot bods

Any military force in the world is sure to be filled with young, healthy, fit men and women, which also happens to be the perfect recipe for creating super sexy humans–especially if you happen to have a thing for uniforms. So, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that this month will see the release of two photo books and a pair of DVDs from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force: One pair dedicated to their sexy men and the other dedicated to their beautiful women.

And unlike the JSDF’s 2014 photo calendar, you can expect to find nothing but real enlisted men and women in these books–including the JSDF’s only professional singer Yukari Miyake.

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