Japan

Check out these luxury restrooms – you’ll want to visit Shibuya Hikarie just to use the ladies’ room!

So, everyone has been talking about the Shibuya Hikarie, the new shopping and entertainment complex that opened in Shibuya on April 26. The large building includes not only shopping facilities but offices, 2 floors of restaurants, event halls and even a theater as well. But did you know that the shopping facility in the building, called “ShinQs“, may be worth visiting for something other than the shops – their restrooms, to be exact? Read More

How about some fish flavored gum – to boost your intelligence?

It’s widely known that Japanese people love to eat fish (although in recent years, hamburgers and pizza have become increasingly a part of our diet). But even in a country where fish is treasured – so much so that a single tuna can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at the fish market – you normally wouldn’t expect to see a product this “fishy” – fish flavored chewing gum! Read More

This Automatic Door Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Electricity!

Since the big tsunami and nuclear plant disaster in Japan last year, the term, “conserve electricity” (“setsuden”) has been in the forefront of everyone’s lexicon. It’s in this context that Yuki Corp. brings us “Auto Door Zero”, a door that opens and closes automatically without electric power.

You walk up to the door like usual, step on a plate in front of the door, and voila, the door opens! You may notice that while you’re on the plate, you sink about 2 cm before the door opens. Yes, this door is powered by people’s body weight.

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Japanese Foam Jockey Gives Drinkers Beer Heads That Cause Westerners to Froth at the Mouth

Recently we ran a report on how Japanese netizens expressed their outrage over the way a Korean pop star chooses to eat her instant noodles.  Now it seems that the international outrage shoe is on the other foot as Japan has drawn the western stink eye over how they like to enjoy their beer.

At the center of this controversy is an innocent advert for Jokki Hour (a punny mistranslation of “Foam Jockey”).  Jokki Hour is actually a cleverly designed beer mug that has a lever attatched.  When you push the lever the cup creates a head on the beer.  Not a bad idea in itself, but I think it’s the advertisement that turns westerners off.  Let’s take a look.

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Beautiful White Girl Fronts Japanese Rock Band, Is Actually a Swedish Boy

I was watching television here in Japan the other day when something caught my eye. A TV program was featuring a beautiful young white girl with adorable curly blonde hair singing in fluent Japanese.

This in itself is nothing special: Japanese people love seeing foreigners who can speak their language, and variety shows here make stories out of them all the time. What dropped my jaw, though, is when I looked closer and realized that this beautiful young girl is actually a boy.

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Oh La La! McDonald’s Looks to Add a Touch of Class with Professional Baristas Brewing Custom Cups of Joe

Having recently opened a location in the ultra-trendy Harajuku-Omotesando shopping area of Tokyo, McDonald’s Japan is brewing a new strategy with an extra shot of sophistication.

Don’t worry; it’s not the rebirth of that lame Mac Tonight moon man who played cheesy lounge music on the piano in the 80’s.  This time McDonald’s will be serving up freshly made custom cups of coffee by real baristas.

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ZecOO Glimpses a Brighter Future of Killer Akira-Style Electric Bikes Rather than the Wussy Ones We Have to Choose From Now

Few can disagree that electric scooters are a sensible way to get around.  They’re convenient, clean, cheaper, and above all else mercifully more quiet than their gas guzzling counterparts.

However these bikes always seem to fall short in the testosterone department.  Even though I realize an electric bike would make my life 1000% easier I could never reconcile that with the fact that I’d look like the foppish lead in some lame European romantic comedy.

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It’s hard making it as an idol group in Japan.  In this business thousands of girls and boys are struggling to find their niche be it with snaggleteeth, clean towels, or chainsaws.

This time RocketNews would like to present a girl group who have taken a more fishy road to success, by pitching in at their local sushi shop.  Every Sunday you can catch up-and-coming Idol Class do a free concert then sell you some octopus after the show, in what they call Sushidols.

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【Brain Teaser Time】  Can You Guess What These Cute Little Guys Are Used For?

**SPOILER ALERT**
If you are not ready to see the answer then scroll gently, the answer is at the bottom.

Our modern world is so full of useful products that we are often very cynical of new inventions. In simpler times, when whoopee cushions, pogo sticks, and pet rocks could be considered “cool” much maligned developments like spray-on hair and Mr. T’s Flavor Wave Turbo Oven may have found their place.

However now they are simply lost amidst a sea of gadgets that never took off.  As Ron Popiel might say; they were set, and they were forgotten.  Such is the case of these little items in the photo above.  Though they’ve been around for over a decade we at RocketNews dare you to guess what they do.

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Harley Davidson Restore Project Stirs Respect, Admiration in Japanese Internet Community

The heartwarming, true story about a disaster-stricken man being reunited with his long lost Harley Davidson has made the rounds on the Internet and tugged at the heartstrings of Japanese Internet users in particular.

“They’ve started writing the movie already,” posted one enthusiastic reader on the Topsy.com comments section.

Man loses three family members and nearly all of his possessions in a horrific earthquake and tsunami and spends over a year in temporary housing before hearing one day that someone found his treasured motorcycle 4,000 miles across the ocean, reasonably intact considering the beating it took at the hands of the Pacific Ocean?  We may have something here, Mr. DeMille. Read More

‘Call of Duty’ Secret Bargain. “Long Live the Emperor! Banzai!”

‘Call of Duty’ is a popular video game series, with new releases selling out, even in Japan. But did you know there’s a ‘Call of Duty’ that they won’t ever sell a localized Japanese version of, despite high acclaim everywhere else? We’re talking about ‘Call of Duty: World at War’. Read More

It’s Hello Kitty galore! Ms. Kitty takes over food department at Tokyu Toyoko Department Store

You may have read our previous report about Ms. Kitty taking on the tough job of being baked into small golden brown cakes. Well, it appears she was just getting warmed up for a huge number of engagements in the Shibuya area this week. When yours truly, a humble Hello Kitty fan, found out that Ms. Kitty would be appearing in various edible forms at the food department of the Tokyu Toyoko Department Store in Shibuya, I knew I just had to go and see Ms. Kitty hard at work. And wow, has she been keeping herself busy! Read More

You can now have “best breakfast in the world” in central Tokyo! Australian restaurant Bills opens shop in Omotesando/Harajuku area

Okay, we admit it, we are seriously thrilled about the restaurant “billsopening in central Tokyo. The Australian restaurant based in Sydney is known to serve the “best breakfast in the world”, and apparently their food is so good that  celebrities from around the world travel to Sydney  to have a meal there. So, naturally we had to have one of our reporters check the new restaurant – and our verdict? Their amazing soft scrambled eggs are to die for! Read More

The Super Rice Ball – get four flavors in one ball!

If you’ve lived in Japan, you know that we Japanese love our rice balls, or omusubi as they’re called in Japanese. At every convenience store in Japan, you can find rice balls in every flavor imaginable, from the standard grilled salmon flake omusubi  to more quirky flavors like tempura shrimp or bacon and cheese. But the variety can sometimes make it difficult to choose a flavor from all the options. Well now, you won’t have to settle for just one flavor. Read More

Starbucks Japan Chocolate Cookie Crumble Frappuccino with White Chocolate Pudding is a Big Sweet Mouthful

When it comes to sweets, Japan doesn’t pull any punches and Starbucks is no exception: their newest Japan-only drink, the Chocolate Cookie Crumble Frappuccino with White Chocolate Pudding, is one of the sweetest things you could suck through a straw.

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Sega’s Urine-Controlled Game Console “ToiLETS” Out Now! Launch Title Videos Included!

Pull down your pants and get ready for game night: Sega’s urine-controlled game console “ToiLETS” is now available for purchase online!

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Custom-Made Canine “Cake Meals” Abandon Milk and Eggs for Chicken and Peas and Feature Your Dog’s Likeness

What do you get for that dog in your life that has everything?  Dog Diner has the answer with custom made cakes featuring your prized pooch’s puss.  And beyond just a special treat these cakes will help keep your pet healthy.

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Have a Thing for Shaved Heads? This Cute Monk Guide May Be Up Your Alley

Available at a bookstore near you! (In Japan, anyway… of course …) “Bibouzu Zukan” (“Beautiful Monk Encyclopedia”) features 41 monks who may change the way you think about robes, shaved heads, and monotonous chanting. Read More

The Ultimate Camping Chair Capable of Holding Over 700 Times Its Own Weight

As the warm weather has finally started to kick in, most of us are looking to get reacquainted with the great outdoors.  But for many camping is a new experience and getting the right equipment can make or break their overall enjoyment.  Sure you can buy a bulky trailer full of equipment but who want to use the time, money, and muscle power for all that.

Camping equipment brand Doppelganger Outdoor has released a series of lightweight chairs and tables ideally portable and durable for outdoor use.  The pièce de résistance of this collection is the Ultra Light Micro Chair, more affectionately known as C1-54.

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Talk on the Phone but Still Feeling Lonely? Check Out These Vibrating Snuggle Dolls

Remember the boyfriend arm pillow? And the lap pillow in the shape of a woman’s lower body? (Or perhaps you actually have them?) Read More

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