Japan

Father develops simple method to make cranky toddlers into productive little go-getters

Any parent knows that getting children to stick to a basic daily routine can be difficult. Sure you might occasionally find an infant who for some reason just loves brushing their teeth or waxing the car, but for the most part it can be downright impossible to get them to do anything productive except sprint into a wall and laugh hysterically about it.

However, one Japanese dad by the Twitter nickname of Mr. Q believes he has found a simple and effective way to convince a child that brushing teeth and changing clothes are in their best interest.

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Wacky Japanese bathers are taking their half-body bathing techniques to the next level

There’s a new health trend that has been sweeping through bathtubs across Japan since last fall: half-body bathing. Really, all it consists of is filling your bathtub up half-way with hot water, then only soaking your legs and hips for 20-30 minutes. Apparently, it’s supposed to raise your core temperature more than a normal bath, allowing more stress release, detoxing, and pore opening, plus is said to jumpstart your metabolism and blood circulation.

A lot of people have been taking their half-body baths to the next level by trying crazy new versions of half-body bathing. Others have even been utilizing their free upper-bodies to test out their revving metabolisms. Prepare yourself to see things you never expected to see in a bathtub! 

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Japan’s wildest nail art: sushi, pirates, scissors and more 【Photos】

Nail art is pretty big in Japan. For a lot of women (and some men?), getting their nails not just colored, but decorated with gems, 3D flowers and mini-paintings is a monthly routine and fashion must. Usually it’s fairly subtle, but some nail art aficionados think bigger and bolder is better, no matter how hard it makes typing a mail or wiping your bum.

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Otaku husbands and their cardboard, dating simulator waifus share photos of their newlywed bliss

You know how some guys who are anime or game fanatics like to refer to their favorite characters as their waifu? Well, things just got real.

The creators of an erotic game, Golden Marriage Jewel Days, ran a promotional campaign that gave their fans a chance to win life-sized cardboard standees of their favorite in-game heroines, in exchange for photos of their lives as “newlyweds”. Check out the lucky winners and their 2-D blushing brides after the break!

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Bullet hell fans in heaven with shooter series Touhou Project officially coming to the West

With the globalization of the video game business, just about every successful series sees a worldwide release. Sure, niche titles here and there might remain exclusive to Japan, but when you think about long-running franchises, like Nintendo’s Mario, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy, or Konami’s Metal Gear, it’s pretty much a given that each and every installment will make its way to the rest of the world sooner or later.

However, it’s taken almost two decades for one of Japan’s most beloved video game series to secure a release in English-speaking territories. The wait is just about over, though, as the phenomenally popular shooter series Touhou Project is finally making its official overseas debut.

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Nine things that may shatter your dreams of living in Kyoto

Kyoto now welcomes 50 million tourists a year who come to experience Japan’s traditional culture and architecture, plus catch a glimpse of the city’s famed geisha. But, as anyone who lives in a tourist hot spot knows, living there is not the same as a short visit.

As such, the following is a list of some of the things that Kyoto locals probably have the urge to remind tourists of from time to time, so allow us to shatter your illusions with some of the realities that come with living in Japan’s ancient capital.

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25-year-old NEET running for Chiba city council seat, partly on platform of fiscal responsibility

Japan uses the term NEET to describe adult members of the population who are neither working nor going to school (not, in actuality, a special forces-style combat brigade). Broken down into its components, the acronym stands for “not in education, employment, or training.”

Of course, nothing in the label says anything about not being in government, which is why one ambitious Japanese NEET is running for city council.

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Ex-Ghibli animator Yōjirō Arai’s directorial debut to be released by Studio Colorido

While we are always ready to get excited about a new Miyazaki project, we have to admit that we’ll get equally excited about pretty much any announcement connected to Studio Ghibli. So, you’d better believe we’ll be lining up on June 5 to see new film from Studio Colorido called Taifu no Norudathe directorial debut of Yōjirō Arai, an ex-Studio Ghibli animator.

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Forget Tokyo’s giant Gundam statue, we wanna visit this plastic-bottle Gundam in Tochigi!

We’re pretty big fans of Odaiba’s full-scale Gundam statue, which towers over Tokyo Bay at an incredible 18 metres tall. But there’s nothing quite like homespun charm, and we’re equally delighted to discover the existence of a plastic bottle version, built single-handedly by one enthusiastic sake shop owner in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

Our friends over at off-the-beaten-track Japan travel site Another Tokyo went to check it out last month, and this is what they found.

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A room with a (terrifying) view: Visiting the hotel that overlooks Godzilla’s giant head 【Photos】

When we reported a while back about the giant Godzilla head that has taken up residence atop a Shinjuku skyscraper, we also mentioned how a nearby hotel, the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, has been quick to set up special Godzilla Viewing Rooms to cash in on its proximity to the fanged monstrosity. Naturally, we headed over there as soon as we could to get a good look at that ugly ol’ head up close and personal!

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Italians have a helpful hint for Japanese commuters on a busy day

Every society has its cultural niceties, its polite communal behaviors and its social faux pas. In Japan, since public transportation is so prevalent, the rules about how to ride the trains are fairly ingrained into each person.

One of these unwritten rules loftily floats above all others though, and it’s that you give up your seat for someone who needs it more. Many people are happy to do so, but there are times you wish you could be seated as well. In those situations, there is nothing you can do but suck it up through the rest of the train ride, that is, unless you are riding on a train in Italy.

This short comic illustrates what had happened when a couple of students were faced with giving up their seat on the train, and, spoiler alert, everyone got to sit down!

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YouTubers introduce five words you didn’t know were Japanese, we come up with five more!

I’m addicted to following the Instagram and YouTube accounts of foreigners in Japan. Not only can it be really cool to see a different perspective on the country, you can also learn some great stuff, too. Take this video by Rachel of “Rachel & Jun” fame, together with “Texan in Tokyo” (aka Grace) as they explain five words you didn’t know were Japanese!

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Sweet Sailor Moon jewellery makes our souls yearn, wallets weep

There’s never been a better time to be a Sailor Moon fan than right now. With the release of Sailor Moon Crystal, there’s just so many cute and adorable Sailor Moon tie-in goodies up for grabs. And most of it’s really good stuff, too!

But with good stuff comes a hefty price tag, as we discovered when we got all excited about these Sailor Moon sweet dessert-inspired necklaces, rings and trinkets, only to discover that all that cuteness doesn’t come cheap…

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Five ways to piss off your older Japanese coworkers at a new job

Going out to see cherry blossoms, regardless of the weather, is by far Japan’s favorite springtime activity. But there’s another tradition that’s almost as enthusiastically followed: veteran employees complaining about the new hires at their company.

The business year starts in April in Japan, which means that right now at companies across Japan older employees are grumbling about how the younger generation just doesn’t get it. But with Japanese homes not having lawns for their upset elders to yell at them to get off of, just what are young professionals in Japan doing that’s rubbing their coworkers the wrong way?

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Proof that booze makes you more beautiful: Suntory releases new beer full of collagen

Japanese women have been nomming on collagen for quite a while now. Collagen is the main structural protein of the various connective tissues of animals, and advocates believe that chowing down on plenty of the stuff leads to beautiful skin. This belief is so pervasive in Japan that store shelves are practically groaning under the weight of products with added collagen.

Dumping spoonfuls of the powdered stuff into our protein shakes and slurping down hotpots with balls of the stuff floating in isn’t enough, though! Now we can get drunk AND beautiful at the same time with this new collagen-infused happoshu beer from Suntory!

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How to armor yourself in the event of a sudden attack: A guide for samurai beginners and pros

An online retailer specializing in ancient Japanese armor, helmets, and horse harnesses has been getting a lot of clicks recently for their detailed, illustrated instructions about how to rapidly equip yourself (and your horse!) with armor in a pinch. Both novice and advanced warriors are sure to learn a thing or two from this handy step-by-step guide–take a look, and you’ll never be unprepared in the event of a stealthy ninja attack again!

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Three foreign tourists arrested for molestation in Japan after thinking it was normal behavior

Given the size and longevity of the adult entertainment industry, it’s safe to say that such products serve a purpose in societies everywhere. However, one purpose for which adult videos should never be used is as travel guides for visiting other countries.

You might think that would be common sense but apparently we can’t stress the point enough after there has been a recent spate of molestation committed by foreign tourists who claim to have thought it was normal behavior in Japan after watching Japanese adult videos.

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So, who wants a free house by the sea in Japan?

We like to think of ourselves as pretty capable bargain hunters. After all, we still think back fondly on the day we got a car for 980 yen (US$8.25) and the night we got liquored up with unlimited sake for 3,000 yen (thankfully that wasn’t all within the same 24-hour period).

But as attractive as those deals were, we think we’ve found something even more enticing: a house in a coastal town in Japan that’s completely free.

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Ronald McDonald is coming to Yoyogi Park to celebrate spring, because…marketing?

In case you hadn’t heard, McDonald’s hasn’t been doing too well in Japan recently. After the drubbing it took in sales last year, it seems that no one here likes their commercials or even their new products. It’s almost enough to make you feel bad for the multinational fast-food chain! Almost.

So, what do you do when no one wants what you’re selling and they openly mock your commercials? Well, we’re not sure what most companies would do, but it looks like McDonald’s Japan has decided to send their emissary of heart disease to try to cultivate some good will in Yoyogi Park. We’re not sure a clown will be enough to get anyone to eat a Big Mac, but at least you’ll get the opportunity to take a picture with the creepy fellow.

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Boy entering all-girls high school creates real-life harem anime

Any guy who’s watched a harem anime before – one where a single male is surrounded by many women – has probably giggled to himself about what it would be like to be in a similar situation himself. Would it be nonstop abuse like in Love Hina? Would there be crazy love-triangles like in Tenchi Muyo?

Well one boy gets to find out for real! A former women’s high school in Yamagata Prefecture recently opened its doors to non-female students, and this month at the start of the new school year welcomed its first male student for the first time in its 118 year existence.

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