Japan

Japanese Construction Company To Build Space Elevator By 2050

Major Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation announced it is planning to build the world’s first space elevator by 2050.

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Japanese Artist Grows Gardens From Old Comic Books

Most Japanese manga are serialized and published in weekly or monthly anthologies, usually thick paper magazines that are often discarded by subscribers after reading as few have the space at home to store them.

While most manga end up in second hand bookstores or the paper recycling bin, Japanese artist Koshi Kawachi has thought of a way to literally fill the faded pages of these comic books with new life by turning them into colorful seedbeds, a process which he had dubbed MANGA Farming.

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The Dodeca-Whopper: 12 Patties of Burger King Greatness Stacked Between Two Buns Because We Can

So by now you’re probably thinking, “Those RocketNews24 guys must really love fast food hamburgers.”

Well, you’re right.

It’s our policy here at RocketNews24 to leave no hamburger un-tasted, no chain un-visited and, where there is the opportunity, enlighten the masses to unorthodox and innovative ways to enjoy their favorite fast food meal.

Most recently, when we learned that Burger King lets you stack on as many hamburger patties as you have the stomach to support, we decided to test the claim by ordering a Double Whopper with 10 extra patties.

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McDonald’s “Broadway Burger” Is More “Off-Broadway” Yet Delicious Nonetheless

The newest in McDonald’s Big America Series of US themed hamburgers, the Broadway Burger has been released amid much confusion over its name.  No one can really understand what’s so “Broadway” about this thing.

Anyone who has been to Manhattan knows it’s the home of some of the finest restaurants in the world.  Only on Broadway can you see a world-class play and then walk up the street to a plethora of restaurants for your choice of international cuisine. Read More

Around the world women often turn to bizarre-looking contraptions in the quest to look more beautiful and Japan is perhaps home to some of the strangest.  Sometimes it even seems like beauty product makers are playing a huge joke on their customers by making them look more ridiculous than beautiful.

The latest of such products is Hana-Tsun (Pointy Nose), produced by Glim Inc., who are no strangers to thinking outside the box when it comes to beauty products.

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Suspected Serial Train Toilet Saboteur Snagged in Shiga

For nearly four months morning commuters have been terrorized by a serial toilet clogger.  However, finally, Otsukita Prefectural Police currently have a suspect in custody; a 61 year-old auto-mechanic from Takashima City.  They believe the man was disgruntled and acting out frustrations with his work. Read More

Japanese Egg Vending Machine Vends Eggs

Japanese economic theory states that when the supply of a good fails to meet demand due to inadequate distribution infrastructure, that deficiency will be compensated for with a vending machine.

This can be seen in practice in areas of rural Japan where there may not be 24-hour convenience stores on every block like in larger towns and cities.

For example, your reporter is from a small town in Shimane prefecture known as Higashiizumo (or at least it was known as that until it was dissolved in a merger with Matsue city last year). Here, there is an egg vending machine that has been lovingly used by the locals since time immemorial.

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Osaka is a city known for tasty traditional foods like okonomiyaki and takoyaki, the neon lights and mechanical signs of Dotonbori and a populace with the best sense of humor in Japan.

It’s only in a city like this that you could find something as in-your-face ridiculous as a series of statues we recently stumbled across outside of the Dotonbori Hotel Namba.

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Bidet-Using Japanese Cat Years Ahead in Feline Hygiene

Come on rest-of-the world, we really think it’s time for you to embrace the washlete—you know, that bidet function common in Japanese toilets that sprays water and cleans important parts with the push of a button.

Really, once your go washlet, you never go back. We personally couldn’t imagine a world without the washlet. Even our cats use the washlete.

That’s right, our cats know how to keep potty time clean and proper. Take a look at the video posted below for proof!

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Japanese Shoppers Buying Tomato Juice Like There’s No Tomorrow, Or Like There’s A Fat Tomorrow

Supermarkets all across Japan have been struggling to keep up with demand for that barely-tolerated gritty beverage known as tomato juice.  This is the latest in an ongoing series of food fads many in the country believe to be effective in reducing weight like cabbage and bananas.

At the beginning of February one supermarket in Osaka had a well-stocked shelf of tomato juice daily, most likely catering to the odd person avoiding blood clots or making Bloody Marys.  However, on the weekend of February 10, hordes of shoppers descended on their supply of juice like so many locusts on a farm.  By the 14th, the staff was turning desperate dieters away as new shipments could not reach them in time.
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Shinjuku restaurant serves fried scorpion, “Crispy and more delicious than you can imagine”

Believe it or not, your reporter (Chie Nomura, pictured above & below) has always had a taste for insect cuisine and it’s been a long-held dream of mine to try scorpion. After all, while you sometimes see variety shows with some talent scowling as he reluctantly lowers a giant black scorpion into his mouth, here in Japan, they’re not the kind of bugs we can try everyday.

Well, after doing some searching, I found a Chinese restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo that serves scorpion! Who knew that the key to realizing my long-cherished dream was so close at hand!

I wasted no time in scuttling on over to try the dish myself!

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On the 16th of this month, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department announced the results of a bicycle safety enforcement campaign they implemented on the 10th. In those six days, 1571 people were issued warnings for illegal behavior, and over half of those were to people wearing earphones or headphones while riding. An additional 27 people were issued tickets. Read More

Square Enix Looking For Able Young Adventurers To Lead Its Foray Into The Indian Game Market

Allow us to compare the state of the world economy to a Tonberry, clumsily trudging ever forward and unpredictably deadly to those who dare to intervene in its path.

We can then liken the Indian video game industry to a Chocobo, a radiant yellow bird that, with enough time and experience, will able to run swiftly through even the most rugged terrain while the rest of us get stabbed by freaky little green guys with knives.

It is then only natural that Japanese video game publishing firm Square Enix has decided to establish a new subsidary office in India and is looking for able, Hindi-speaking people to help them orient themselves in the fledgling market.

The job responsibilities and requirements follow below.

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Ramen Shop Serves Mountains of Meat, Gets Customers and Laughs

There is a ramen shop in Japan that will pile the sliced pork higher than anything you’ve ever seen. It’s name, fittingly enough, is Niku-ya (Butcher Shop), and according to their sign, “We’re not a ramen restaurant, we’re meat specialists.” It definitely seems like they want to emphasize that end of the business rather than the noodles.

While it does look like a ramen shop and their customers are there to order ramen, their main selling point is definitely their meat. It’s said that their pork ramen has the largest portion of roasted pork slices of any shop in Japan! Well, we had to go check that out. Read More

Japanese Pub That Lets You Fish For Your Own Meal Is Off The Hook

Many Tokyoites caught up in the hustle and bustle of the city life would like nothing more than to kick back and spend the day fishing. Yet while fishing can be a very rejuvenating sport, preparation and travelling can require a lot of effort, especially for city-slickers exhausted by long work weeks.

Well don’t cut your line just! It just so happens that there is an Izakaya (Japanese pub) in the heart of Tokyo where customers can fish for their own dinner!

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A Must-See Visual of Japan’s 2011 Earthquakes

On March 11, an unprecedentedly large earthquake struck northern Japan, marking 2011 as a disastrous year for the Japanese. This video shows the fierce power of that quake and the cascade of aftershocks that came in the months to follow as nothing less than horrific. Read More

What Do Pickup Artists Around The World Think Of Japanese Girls? “Easy Targets”

For a single Japanese girl like myself, nothing is better than a trip overseas. Those unreal moments in an unknown land that provide an escape from the daily grind or, better yet, those romantic encounters with local men!

I mean, foreign guys are just so kind and gentlemanlike, yet so passionate and sexy!

Okay, but wait. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There are obviously some foreign guys in the mix who are just looking to pick up a girl for an easy lay. And there are many of my fellow Japanese girls who have been fooled by good looks and a smooth tongue only to regret it later.

So what exactly do these foreign guys think of us?

I recently spoke with a male Japanese backpacker who, in his travels around the world, has infiltrated the ranks of foreign pick-up artists and had them divulge their true feelings about macking on Japanese girls.

What he revealed may (or may not) be common knowledge to our readers abroad, but it came as a shock to me: “I’m sorry to say it, but most foreign pick-up artists see Japanese girls as easy targets.”

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Ubiregi is a point-of-sale application for the iPad that turns the device into a fully-functional and intuitive cash register.

The app is offered by Tokyo-based developed Ubiregi Inc. on a pay-as-you-go plan of 5000 yen per month and includes no initial expenses or installation costs – all you need is an iPad. Additionally, sales data can be stored on Ubiregi’s servers for convenient management and receipts can be printed using the iOS AirPrint function.

While the app has only been around for a little over a year, Ubiregi promises to provide a lucrative alternative to small businesses that normally rent cash registers at a monthly fee on top of installation and maintenance costs.

Perhaps as a testament to this, Ubiregi has recently made the news in Japan after it helped one business owner lift himself from the brink of ruin after last years’ tsunami.

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Pop Quiz: Is This A Gigantic Camera Or A Tiny Cart?

Looking at this picture closely you can probably tell it’s a tiny cart, although it seems an equally odd idea to make a huge camera.

I bought this from Tokyu Hans the other day on a whim after hearing about it from the internet. Before you think I’m crazy I should mention, it’s remote controlled!

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Owing to Akihabara’s pop juggernaut, AKB48, localities all over Japan have been rushing to create their own homespun idol groups. Some places, however, should have probably not rushed as much.

A group in Kashiwa City, Chiba released a casting-call for an all-girl pop group through a local information website called Maipure on 16 January. Things soon turned ugly as people began taking offence to the name of the group, Hot☆Spots.

At first you might think this is a simple poor choice of words in an area that must deal with the issue of nuclear radiation daily. The English phrase “hot spot” is often used in Japanese to refer to isolated spaces that have very high levels of radiation following the Fukushima incident. Kashiwa city has been rumored to be dealing with an unusually large number of hotspots recently considering their location.

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