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Chef and restaurant owner shows how to eat a bowl of ramen like a pro 【Video】

It seems to be a pretty well-known fact nowadays, but in case, you haven’t heard: slurping while eating is totally cool in Japan. One of the most commonly slurped foods is the delicious noodle dish ramen. Lately ramen has started taking off globally too, with restaurants popping up all over the place. So before things get too crazy, one ramen shop owner wants to teach you how to eat a bowl of ramen.

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Bacon-fried Oreos make a greasily delicious appearance in Japanese kitchens

Where Japan has taken Kit Kats (originally an English treat) to a whole ‘nother level with seasonal flavors, regional flavors, even “adult sweetness” varieties, America has taken a similar road with another chocolate goody: Oreo cookies.

Intrigued by America’s fascination with Oreos, one Japanese cook took her chances at making a fantastically American concoction: Bacon Fried Oreos. But how does the Japanese palate react? Find out after the jump.

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Hooray! Taco Bell opens in Japan and we’re there to get the commemorative T-shirt and free taco!

While you can certainly find countless restaurants offering a seemingly endless range of cuisines in Japan, if you’ve spent some time in the country, you may have noticed that options for Mexican food (or at least American-Mexican food) can be somewhat limited. So when news went around that American fast food chain Taco Bell was going to re-open in Japan, the response on the Japanese Internet was huge. And while we understand that not everyone is a fan of Taco Bell, there certainly seemed to be enough people overjoyed that the chain was finally returning to Japan after having opened shop here once for just a short time in the 1980s.

All of this meant that the opening of the new Taco Bell shop in Shibuya, Tokyo was bound to attract lots of attention as well as a good crowd, and not to miss out on the excitement and tacos, our very own Mr. Sato from the Japanese arm of RocketNews24 was there on opening day to bring you the following report!

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(Not so) cool beans! Watch these horrified US kids try natto for the first time!

Despite being slimy and smelly and stringy, fermented soybeans, or natto, are actually really good for you. We’ve spoken before about how even lots of Japanese people have to resort to special measures in order to stomach swallowing down a bowl of these stinky beans. So it’s no surprise that these US kids have such a hard time when they were presented with a bowl of natto for the first time.

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e.l.f. Cosmetics delights Frozen fans with an Elsa makeover in a book

I subscribe to a handful of beauty gurus on YouTube, and the moment Frozen turned out to be such a mega hit, I knew I had to brace myself for a rush of Elsa-inspired makeovers taking over my subscription list. True enough, the Elsa-themed tutorial videos came in like a wrecking ball and suddenly my YouTube feed was flooded with women sporting blonde braids and smokey purple eyelids.

The thing about these makeup tutorials is that many of these YouTube beauty gurus have a rather extensive collection of makeup palettes and tools, so they can easily create different looks, but the average person might not own products in all the colors required to replicate Elsa’s look. That, was until e.l.f. launched their Disney Elsa makeup series that provided the full package at affordable prices. Check out the lineup after the break!

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Chinese company Ninebot buys out Segway

It’s hard to imagine life before 2002 when the Segway standing scooter thing hit the scene completely revolutionized the way we get about, just like everyone predicted it would.

Its staggering success has made it an American institution. Like many of you, I have fond memories of making out with that special someone in the back of my Segway at the Segway-in movies during those hot summer nights.

But now, the vehicle we have all welcomed into our lives is entering a new chapter having been bought out by Beijing-based Ninebot Inc. I guess we won’t be able to use the old cliché “it’s as American as a Segway” anymore.

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Divination will never be the same with these gorgeous fan-illustrated Sailor Moon Tarot cards!

Some believe that our fate is written in the stars. Do you believe in things such as astrology and divination? We have no idea in what way the celestial bodies influence our fate, but we do know of something related to stars and planets and moons… the Sailor Moon series!

All right, that eas sort of corny, but hey, check out these awesome fan-created tarot card designs inspired by Sailor Moon and company!

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Ninja rat spotted in New York City

There are few places on this planet as diverse and international as New York City. Whether it’s a fair estimation or not, the Big Apple also has a common image that is a little less appealing, however: one of being a little bit dirty and home to a veritable army of rodents.

Questions of their cleanliness aside, apparently the New York City rats are just as diverse and talented as their human cohabiters. Take for example this little guy who looks like he may be training for some kind of Ninja Warrior competition for rodents. 

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The most magical images we’ve ever seen on Instagram, created with only an iPhone!【Photos】

Do you use Instagram? If so, who, apart from your friends and family, do you follow? Celebrities, famous YouTube personalities, artists, or perhaps adorable cats and dogs? If you’re into the artsy stuff, or simply like looking at beautiful, whimsical pictures, here’s one Instagram account you shouldn’t miss.

Ali Jardine, a mom and an artist, creates some absolutely breath-taking pieces of digital art with just her iPhone and her very own brand of artistic flare. Check them out after the jump!

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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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Haisu Tian paints gorgeous rolling hills and streams with rolling skates

Haisu Tian is a Chinese artist based in the USA where she studies for her master’s degree in fine art. Originally from a strict background in Chinese traditional painting, she has since begun to branch out into several other techniques. The most unique of these is a pair of inline skates fitted with some ink cans which she uses to craft large and elegant landscapes. It’s a technique that she calls “landskating,” and we find absolutely intoxicating.

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Pint-sized string quartet Joyous String does an awesome Smooth Criminal

Tiny, adorable, and blessed with bags of musical talent – meet Joyous String, a four-kid string quartet with musical aptitude way beyond their years. They’ve been playing together since they were just four years old, and have progressed to the point where they can produce a flawless rendition of the Michael Jackson classic “Smooth Criminal” without even breaking a sweat. These are some seriously talented kids!

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Ultimate Transformers pop-up book perfectly captures the magic of TV show 【Video & GIFs】

In 1984, a group of transforming metal robots from Japan took the world by storm and spawned a global franchise of comic books, TV shows and blockbuster Hollywood movies. Recently, they added another notch to their post by celebrating 30 years of cool, shape-shifting abilities in the form of a mesmerising 3-D pop-up book, created by Matthew Reinhart.

Japanese netizens are currently swooning over the book for a number of reasons, and the big drawcard is Optimus Prime, whose massive form appears at the pull of a tab, towering over the book in all his glory. See the big guy with his pals and foes in action after the jump.

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J-pop unit Perfume’s innovative projection mapping at US performance creates worldwide buzz

Perfume, the three-member electro-pop group from Hiroshima, Japan, took to the stage for a special performance at the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. The annual event, held this year from March 13-22, always includes a unique lineup of musical artists, independent films, conference panels, and technological exhibitions, all carefully selected to showcase the highest levels of creativity in the current industry.

Even in that environment, Perfume’s musical and dance performance seems to have blown away the crowd with its ground-breaking use of projected visuals. Is their performance really happening in the physical world? Folks from around the world who’ve seen the video online say it’s enough to give them goosebumps!

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New Sizzler will first remove your beer cap…and then become the cap!

Here’s a situation that I’m sure all of our readers can relate to. You’ve just finished a hard day’s work and sit down for a nice cold bottle of beer. You pop off the cap to release its sweet aroma.

However, just then you realize it’s actually 5:00am and you’ve completely lost track of the time and day. This happened because you’re a part of an elite team of scientists investigating a UFO crash deep in Antarctica where the sun never sets.

With only 90 minutes until the alien autopsy there’s no way you can properly enjoy the beer, but you can’t close the metal cap properly anymore without the drink losing precious carbonation. What a waste!

I believe it’s exactly these kinds of mishaps that the makers of the New Sizzler had in mind when they developed a bottle opener that’s also a bottle closer.

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Enjoy your sushi with a dash of Star Trek flare with a U.S.S. Enterprise sushi set!

With the recent and unfortunate passing of the wonderful Leonard Nimoy and Harve Bennett (rest in peace you two), I’m sure Star Trek fans out there could use a lift right about now. So, we’d like to introduce to you this awesome sushi set designed after the U.S.S Enterprise, complete with warp-trail chopsticks!

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Japanese Netizens (and the rest of the world) confused by America’s imperial measurement system

Last year, one of our Japanese reporters went on an extended visit to the United States. While he had plenty of nice things to say about the country, he also had some complaints, and, as an American myself, I can’t really say that I blame the guy. Having to drive literally everywhere unless you live in one of maybe three specific cities is a major hassle and a huge drain on your budget, certain services seem staffed entirely by people who are barely even aware of your existence or what’s going on more than a few inches on either side of their smartphone, and yes, the police are a little on the brutal side and drunk on their own power a lot of the time no matter how you slice it (annnnnd… now I’m on an NSA watchlist. Hi, guys!).

But, there’s one complaint our reporter had that I just can’t relate to: how crazy America’s systems of measurement are.

I mean, I grew up with feet, inches, pounds and whatnot, so I can’t really speak to our reporter’s profound confusion. Is it really so bad? We had to find out, so we donned our troll-proof vests and dove deep into the smelly, dark recesses of 2chan to see what other Japanese Netizens thought of America’s wacky measurement systems:

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Food over Flowers! Magnolia Bakery’s cherry blossom cupcakes have arrived in time for spring!

Cherry blossom time in Japan is all about appreciating nature and the transitive beauty of life, right? Wrong. It’s totally an excuse to stuff your face with delicious food during “cherry blossom viewing parties”, aka Japan’s über-picnics! Onigiri are usually a popular food to consume under those canopies of candy-pink petals, but cherry blossom-flavoured food and drinks are also unsurprisingly popular around this time of year.

Luckily, mega-popular chain Magnolia Bakery has a store in Japan, and they’re rolling out special cherry blossom cupcakes for spring!

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Four Los Angeles “schools” closed for fraud, arranged visas for fake exchange students

It’s no joke that living and studying in the US costs a pretty penny. So, instead of paying the hefty tuitions of universities on top of living expenses, some young foreigners have been taking a sneakier route to staying in the States.

Recently some “students” have been opting for “institutions” like the four schools recently closed down for fraud in Los Angeles, which function under a “pay-to-stay” program, where the “students” basically pay for a student visa with no expectations of attending classes, wishing only to stay and work in the U.S.

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University students perform 8-minute dance medley of the ‘Evolution of K-Pop’ [Video]

Believe it or not, Korean music hasn’t always been as upbeat, stylish and danceable as the K-Pop we now know so well. It wasn’t until after a revolutionary artist brought R&B and hip-hop to Korea in the early 1990s, K-Pop became the wildly popular world-wide sensation it is today.

With the desire to share their culture with their non-Korean peers, a group of students from American university Wheaton College put together a dance medley showcasing the “Evolution of K-Pop” spanning the years 1994-2014.

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