Japan

Mitsubishi’s Newest Line of Cars Asks: Guys, Just How Comfortable Are You With Your Sexuality?  Hello Kitty Comfortable?

What ever happened to the days of cars that weighed several tons, burned obscene amounts of fuel and had some style and personality to them.  Most cars these days look like blandly colored Tylenol gelcaps devoid of any of the raw machismo of their forefathers.

That’s why Mitsubishi’s third annual My i-MiEV Design Wrapping line of i-MiEV electric cars deserves applause for bringing some personality and more importantly testosterone automobiles once again.

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A&G Diner’s “Best Burger in Tokyo” Hijacks Taste Buds, Takes Them for a Wild Ride

Everyone seems to agree that the best burger joint in Tokyo is A&G Diner in fancy-schmancy Jingumae. It tops the lists on Gourmet and B Gourmet blogs and gossip sites and is the first name out of the mouths of my restaurant critic friends.

I decided to check it out for myself to see if the taste lived up to the hype and glam of Jingumae. I went in to attack an A&G Diner burger with abandon, but, as it turns out, the burger attacked me . . .

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Get a Load of Those Melons! Rabid Bidders Paid Up To US$12,000 For a Pair Yubari Kings

For the first time this season the legendary Yubari King melons have gone to market and the bidding was fierce to get a taste.  Yubari Kings are sometimes referred to as the “Cadillac of melons” for their beautiful design, sweet taste, and exorbitant prices. In this instance one pair of melons fetched a winning bid of 1,000,000 yen (US$12,500).

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Life-sized Anime Figure Draws Criticism for Price, Creepy Face

A life-sized figure of manga and anime character Fujiko
Mine has been drawing criticism from fans on the Web.
Comments have ranged from “Why did they make her like that?” to the more succinct, “Who the hell is that?” Apparently, she’s looking a bit off-color. Read More

“Whirlpool Pot” Uses Good ‘ol Fashioned Science to Keep Pasta From Sticking to the Bottom

When I was a kid, the fifteen minutes or so it took to make a box of macaroni and cheese felt like an eternity. Not only did I have to wait for the water to boil, I had to stand there even after dumping the noodles in and stir occasionally so they wouldn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. And exactly how much is “occasionally” anyway?

No matter now! Thanks to Kurukuru Nabe, a pot that causes water to create a whirlpool as it boils, we never have to worry about food sticking to the bottom of the pot again!

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Lakeside Resort Accentuates their Scenic Beauty with Some Freakishly Huge Funhouses

A lot of older people complain that the younger generation spends far too much time on their Z-Boxes and Nintendo Wee-Wees.  It’s not hard to imagine why when younger people are presented with fantasy worlds full of castles and dungeons they aren’t too keen to go to the farmer’s market.

Finally, Sagami Lake Resort is doing something about it by adding two colossal real world attractions to tempt kids to give their thumbs a rest and take their legs out for a spin instead.

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Get ready to rock ‘n’ roll with the new line of alcoholic drinks from Suntory!

Okay, so the economy may be down, it may be a drag go to work each morning on the murderously crowded trains (or the impossibly jammed highways), and you may be feeling tired of everyday life in general, but you can’t let things like that kill the rock ‘n’ roll spirit inside you, can you? Well, now there’s a new line of alcoholic beverages from Suntory Holdings Limited that will help you get back into the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll – in Rolling Stones fashion! Read More

Your Face on a 10000 yen bill! Bolster Your Delusions of Grandeur, Anyway

Whether you’re needing to boost your self-esteem, or you’re just awesome thank you and want some more proof of the fact, you can now get your lovely mug on some snazzy-looking cash. At Otona Ginko (“grown-ups’ bank”), you can order 10,000 yen bills with your portrait printed on them. You send in your picture and it gets converted to the kind of line-based monochrome graphic you see on real currency. (For those living outside of Japan, 10,000 yen is about 85 US dollars, though realistically speaking you use them like $20 bills here.)

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Extreme Sashimi: Frog Edition

When we hear “sashimi”, usually what comes to mind is fish. But there are actually a wide variety of sashimi, such as horse sashimi and chicken sashimi. And, since ancient times in Japan, there is frog sashimi. (Here is where we try it out so you don’t have to.) We went to a Tokyo restaurant that we heard serves frog sashimi, “Asadachi” (which means morning wood, you know), about 3 minutes walk from Shinjuku station in ‘Piss Alley‘.

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Breakthrough Dieting Technology Puts Virtual Nutritionist In Your Smartphone

You’re on a diet, and you’re watching calories like a hawk. You check every label at the supermarket and stay away from fast food, but what do you do at restaurants that don’t offer detailed nutritional information on their menus?

It seems like your only two options are to put your diet in jeopardy and take a leap of faith, or avoid the restaurant and miss out on a delicious meal.

A third option is in the works. In the near future, you will be able to take a picture of the food with your smartphone and consult your virtual nutritionist.

Nutritional information web service Asken is using the latest Sony technology to give dieters a handy tool for managing caloric intake. The technology analyzes images of full meals and picks apart the various components, displaying the name and caloric value of each part as well as the total nutritional value of the entire meal. Read More

A gadget that turns your iPhone into a martial arts weapon? Well, not quite, but you’ll be able to swing your phone around like a nunchaku!

Have you ever had the urge to flip and swing around your iPhone and make it look cool like you’re a martial arts expert using a nunchaku? Well, this little gadget called the “iPhone Trick Cover” let’s you do just that, and judging from the manufacturer’s demonstration video, it looks like it may be a lot of fun! Read More

Bevy of New Social Media Creators Hoping the Betterment of Humanity Goes Viral

We’ve all gotten very familiar with the concept of social media to the point that even my grandmother has a vague awareness of it.  However, its detractors are quick to point that social networks, microblogs, podcasts, and what have you all amount to an ocean of pointless drivel.

It response to this harsh attack of new media comes a growing trend of web users and developers who are looking to harness the power of the internet for what they call “social good.”

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Afraid You’d Look Ridiculous Singing Around Other People?  Here, Put This Big Plastic Cup Over Your Mouth

Everyone likes to sing, at least a little bit.  What most of us don’t realize though is that about 0.01% of the population can actually do it well.  The rest of us end up bugging the hell out of anyone within earshot.

So for all the neighbors and roommates of people who live life like a cast member of Glee we present Noiseless KaraOK!

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Sneak Peek Into Japanese All-Boys High Schools: 50 Surprising and Unsurprising Things You’d See

It’s hard to imagine what goes on inside Japanese high schools without setting foot inside of one, and even if you’re able to do that, sometimes it’s hard to decipher what’s happening in front of your eyes.

Nonetheless, high school is high school, right? Playing with abandon on the field or court with your sports team, teen romances that run hot and cold, and a host of other universal events unfold at your typical co-ed secondary school.

Within the gates of the Japanese all-boys high school, however, lies a world beyond comprehension. It can be both humorous and painful, proper and vulgar. Let’s take a look at 50 things you would find in the typical Japanese all-boys high school. Read More

Cat Massage Techniques Promise Happy Endings

How tough is it to be a pet animal?  Free shelter, free food at dependable intervals, an abundance of toys and attention, nudity encouraged in most cases . . . what are they lacking, and which of us wouldn’t sign up for that kind of life?

Pet massages have become a hot topic, and it appears that Fido and Fluffy enjoy muscle stimulation and relaxation at the end of a long day just as much as their pet owners do.

Dr. Takashi Ishino combines the latest approaches of Western and Eastern medicine to stimulate feline pressure points with gentle massages at the Kamakura Genki Animal Hospital in the Tebiro neighborhood of Kamakura City. Here are three easy cat massages from Dr. Ishino’s repertoire: Read More

Bus Button Lovers Get Off at Tokyu Hands During Golden Week

“Next stop, Shibuya Tokyu Hands!”

That’s what one might have expected to hear at the department store that hosted the quirky Tsugi Tomarimasu Bus Button Exhibit on May 3 and 4. A private collector put his collection of over 100 bus signal buttons on display for the Golden Week shopping crowds.

Anyone who has ever ridden a bus is familiar with the buttons you push to signal that you want to disembark, and we all have a relationship with these buttons. Aggressive people want to initiate action and get where they’re going. Passive people want someone to push the button and take care of their needs. Kids just want to be big enough to reach the buttons! Read More

If a superflare, which is an explosion up to millions or even a billion times more powerful than a typical solar flare, were to happen on our sun, it would release incredible amounts of electromagnetic energy that would likely fry the world’s all-important electrical grids and send society spiraling into chaos. A large enough one could even burn up our protective ozone layer and turn all life on Earth extra-crispy.

So, what are the chances of that happening? Are we all doomed!? Well, depends on who you ask, apparently. Read More

Tokyo Disneyland (TDL) has recently announced that they will offer weddings for same-sex couples, including the option to hold the ceremony at the iconic Cinderella’s castle. It seems that Disney really does make dreams come true, at least for one gay couple. Read More

Japan Builds 13-Foot Kinect-Operated Robot You Can Ride, On Sale Later This Year

Just when we were starting to fear that the best and brightest of Japan were squandering their talent on robotic butts and squeezing milk from 2D images, along comes Suidobashi Heavy Industry with KURATAS, a 3.8 meter (about 13 feet) tall boardable and semi-operational mecha controlled with Kinect.

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Another new cola to hit Japanese market – “brown sugar cola” from Okinawa!

Yes, people all over the world love cola, and once again, we can look forward to a new cola beverage coming onto the market in Japan. We’ve already told you about the fat-busting cola which came out in April. This time, the new cola has an exotic twist with ingredients from the tropical islands of Okinawa Prefecture. Read More

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