Lone German supporter celebrates with victory lap of Shibuya Crossing

Lone German supporter celebrates with victory lap of Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing is the busiest scramble crossing in the world, with 3,000 pedestrians crossing at once during peak times and recognized internationally thanks to prominent shots in films such as Lost in Translation. So what better place to celebrate your team’s win in the World Cup? You’re sure to attract some attention, even if it’s literally just you and a flag…

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Why do Japanese cleaning crews bow at trains? Foreigners and Japanese sound off

Why do Japanese cleaning crews bow at trains? Foreigners and Japanese sound off

The cleaning crews who maintain Japan’s high-speed bullet trains have a mere seven minutes to make the interior of the train spotlessly clean for its next journey. Those seven minutes are carefully divided into different tasks to make sure everything gets done in the allotted time.

Another curious detail people often notice about these cleaners is the way they bow as trains are entering and exiting the station. While this act is generally thought to be a respectful gesture, the intended recipient of the bowing seems to be a matter of great debate, with plenty of conflicting opinions out there, even among the Japanese!

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Shopping for sadness: Soccer-themed merch going cheap following Japan’s early World Cup loss

Shopping for sadness: Soccer-themed merch going cheap following Japan’s early World Cup loss

Just a few weeks ago, as the World Cup got underway, expectations were running high for Japan’s national soccer team, which played impressively on its way to making the Group of 16 four years ago in South Africa. Seemingly the whole country was pumped up, with both long-time soccer nuts and people who ordinarily have little interest in sports getting behind the men in blue.

Sadly, though, Japan’s shot in Brazil came to a close after just three games, with its best outing being a 0-0 draw with Greece. It’s safe to say fans are disappointed, and there’s another group of people that acutely shares their pain: retailers stuck with boxes of unsold Japanese soccer team merchandise.

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Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!

Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!

Famous Japanese confectioner Glico has been bringing us iconic Japanese sweets like Pretz and Pocky for decades. Now they have a real treat in store for us, thanks to an extra-special line-up to celebrate the upcoming 3-D movie, Stand By Me Doraemon.

The new specially marked packs include a hidden secret: 3-D moving images of Doraemon that come to life in your home. But these aren’t just any images. They’re created by you, with your very own colours and designs transformed into unbelievable, moving images, each with Doraemon acting out a fun scene before your very eyes! Check out all the different designs after the jump.

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Is there a correlation between sex and World Cup success?

Is there a correlation between sex and World Cup success?

Another World Cup has come and gone, and diehard soccer fans will have to wait another four years until their national teams will have another chance for glory. While many of the successful teams in the tournament depended heavily on star players such as Argentina’s Messi or Portugal’s Ronaldo, it’s undeniable that the all-around teamwork of Germany was instrumental in their first-place finish. Another possible contributing factor to their victory was…sex?!

As both English and Japanese-language news agencies have reported, all the teams participating in the Cup had different policies regarding their players and sexual intercourse during the tournament. Furthermore, all of the teams that advanced to the quarterfinals had policies that allowed sex, while all of the teams which specifically forbade sex during the tournament were eliminated in the group stage or the round of 16.

Funnily enough, the German team was one of the groups that allowed its players to engage in some adult fun during down time…

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Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There previewed 30 seconds in aired footage

Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There previewed 30 seconds in aired footage

Japan’s NTV television network aired a special 30-second preview of Studio Ghibli‘s When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marniefilm on Friday. Sara Takatsuki (GTODaily Lives of High School BoysHaganai) and Kasumi Arimura (Amachan, Hagane no Onna, Clover), actresses who star as Anna and Marnie, introduce the clip.

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Sneak attack English! Expat in Japan gets a nice surprise at the McDonald’s drive-thru

Sneak attack English! Expat in Japan gets a nice surprise at the McDonald’s drive-thru

Despite every student in Japan being required to take English language courses, it may be difficult to find everyday people who enjoy and feel comfortable speaking the language. Sure, there are some former compulsory school students who are completely fluent in English, but overall, finding a native-level speaker or even someone confident enough to speak with can be difficult. That’s why we were surprised and pleased to watch this video of an Australian expat and his English language encounter at the McDonald’s drive-thru in Japan.

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Gorgeous female Cambridge student unsurprisingly makes Chinese heads explode

Gorgeous female Cambridge student unsurprisingly makes Chinese heads explode

Well, as we’ve seen time and time again, it seems the Chinese Interwebs simply cannot handle (or, in the parlance of teens today, “Cannot even”) the idea of an attractive woman who’s doing something other than sitting around being attractive all day.

Our newest recipient of the dubious “Beautiful woman doing things” distinction – which the Chinese Internet media seems to be giving away like an unplanned litter of kittens these days – is this Asian doctoral student, which the Japanese media and creepy Internet commentators haven’t even bothered to name – presumably because they were too busy breathing heavily for an uncomfortably long time and mopping sweat from their brows.

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South Korean ferry disaster to be turned into low-budget documentary next year

South Korean ferry disaster to be turned into low-budget documentary next year

After a tragedy like the April 16 sinking of the South Korean ferry Sewol, many are left wondering how to appropriately commemorate the lives lost without forgetting the awful truth of the actual incident. Last week a South Korean newspaper revealed that a two-hour documentary about the accident is being planned to be released next year to coincide with the one-year anniversary. The film’s backers are relying solely on donations and are seeking just 400 million won (US$392,000) to finance the low-budget project. And with the entire country paying extremely close attention to every tragic detail to come out of the investigations surrounding the accident, this film is destined to be an instant hit in Korean movie theaters.

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Photo Feature: Japan Expo 2014

Photo Feature: Japan Expo 2014

With more than 200,000 attendees visiting from all around the world, Japan Expo, the biggest anime convention in Europe, took place from July 2-6 at the Parc des Exposition in Paris. For its 15th Anniversary, Japan Expo invited numerous well-known and prestigious guests, including musicians Yoshiki and Kalafina, and character designer Daigo Ikeno. Other events included the European Cosplay Gathering finale, and the world premieres of Sword Art Online II and K: Missing Kings.

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Your feet work hard for you, it’s time for them to dress the part with Shirt-Type Socks

Your feet work hard for you, it’s time for them to dress the part with Shirt-Type Socks

With summer kicking into full gear, it’s time to shed as many layers as possible to stay ahead of the heat. This leads to a lot of fashion dilemmas though, such as keeping your feet cool. Barefoot seems to be the obvious choice, but you all know how it is when you’re just about to strap on some sandals and you suddenly get a call to meet with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Itsuro Terada.

It’s just these kinds of everyday annoyances that we assume footware brand Erimaki Sox is addressing when they came up with Shirt-Type Socks: socks that button up and have snazzy collars.

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Trapped bunny is utterly adorable and now Twitter-famous!

Trapped bunny is utterly adorable and now Twitter-famous!

The top three pets are probably cats, dogs, and hamsters. They all have their pros and cons, but when it comes to keeping little furry creatures in your home, those three are probably the most common–and certainly some of the cutest. The number four spot is a bit harder to pin down, but if we had to guess, we’d say it belongs to the noble bunnies. After all, while they might take a bite out of your finger if you’re not careful, there’s not much in this world that is as docile as a bunny, is there?

But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep an eye on the long-eared critters. If you’re not careful, you never know what kind of mischief your pet rabbit and its twitchy nose will get into! One Japanese Twitter user learned this the hard (and cute) way…

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Totoro airs on TV … and Japanese Twitter users have a blast sharing fan parody art!

Totoro airs on TV … and Japanese Twitter users have a blast sharing fan parody art!

If you’ve spent some time in Japan, you’re probably aware that there are several things you can count on in Japanese TV — that there’ll be tons of crazy-looking commercials, there’s more than likely to be at least one channel showing footage of a reporter or celebrity eating some gourmet dish and exclaiming “Oishi! (Delicious!)”  and that broadcasts of Studio Ghibli movies constantly seem to do relatively well, with a certain percentage of the population always eager to see a Ghibli film at any time. Last Friday was no exception when My Neighbor Totoro, the hit Ghibli classic loved by kids around the world, was aired on TV, and it looks like Japanese Twitter users had a great time sharing some silly parody Totoro images. Here are a few we thought we’d share with you!

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Little Texas: The Tokyo country bar for all of Japan’s cowboys【Photos】

Little Texas: The Tokyo country bar for all of Japan’s cowboys【Photos】

You can find just about anything you want in Tokyo. The city is a wonderful melting pot of new and old, domestic and foreign, low and high brow. With everything from a vibrant French quarter to gorgeous temple gardens, it’s hard to imagine anyone getting bored in Japan’s capital. Even so, we have to admit that we were a bit surprised to find a country bar–let alone a country bar with such authentic shows and delicious food! But that’s exactly what Meguro’s oldest country bar, Little Texas, has. With everything from license plates covering the walls to amazing bands on stage, you are guaranteed to have a great time–even if you don’t know the difference between a steer and a bull!

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Japan’s 10 best singing voices as chosen by people in the industry

Japan’s 10 best singing voices as chosen by people in the industry

Japanese music has a wide variety of artists, and like any country’s music scene it too is full of gimmicky sounds or imagery. Such music can be great and a lot of fun too, but there’s something about a naturally talented vocalist that demands our attention and respect.

But who in Japan is the greatest pure singer? Some of you may have already pulled up an image of your favorite Japanese singer while others like me are drawing a blank, still unable to shake the image of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu dancing with candy skeletons.

Luckily, the TV show Suiyobi No Downtown held their own ranking survey asking 200 people in the Japanese music industry from vocal trainers to studio engineers “Who is really good at singing?” Here are the results.

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World Cup humiliation for Brazil inspires Internet memes

World Cup humiliation for Brazil inspires Internet memes

Brazil’s loss to Germany in the World Cup was, without a doubt, some of the biggest news of the week. Even non-soccer fans have heard about–and thrived on the Schadenfreude of–the massive blow out. It’s probably fair to say that, while not the biggest loss in World Cup history, it will likely be the most memorable of this tournament, and after losing to the Netherlands earlier today there’s even less for the country to celebrate.

And here to make sure that no one will ever forget about the horrible beating that Brazil faced is the Internet and tons of memes to make you laugh and cry simultaneously!

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Navigate Tokyo with the help of augmented reality penguins!

Navigate Tokyo with the help of augmented reality penguins!

An aquarium in Tokyo has created a new app that’ll help you find your way, with the help of…penguins!

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Readers rank the best anime series to watch on your day off

Readers rank the best anime series to watch on your day off

When the stress of work has gotten to be too much, we all like to take some time off and just enjoy ourselves for a while. But the question remains, what to do? The weather is great outside, but going out sounds so tiring right now. You could read a book, but right now that feels too close to studying. That’s when the idea hits you – the idea to watch anime. But what should you watch? Well never fear, because goo Ranking has taken a survey asking fans what they think is the best anime to watch on their day off.

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Perfect rainbow appears over Tokyo like an interdimensional portal, no spirits spotted (yet)

Perfect rainbow appears over Tokyo like an interdimensional portal, no spirits spotted (yet)

While we rarely think about it, the way our atmosphere works is pretty amazing–filtering out all that cosmic radiation and keeping us alive. It also has tons of moisture in it, which, in addition to giving some nifty lightning shows, is also what gives us really cool stuff like sun dogs and rainbows. While it’s nothing special to see a piece of a rainbow or even half of one in the sky after a rainshower, it’s quite another thing to see a full rainbow shimmering in the sky.

But that’s exactly what appeared over Tokyo on Friday, setting Twitter ablaze with photos of the beautiful phenomenon. And because we’re ready for some uplifting fun this weekend, here’s all the photos we could find! Guaranteed to make your day 200% more magical or your leprechaun back.

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Japan’s top 3 rock “power spots”

Japan’s top 3 rock “power spots”

The Japanese have long had a fascination with rocks. In fact, rock worship is an integral part of Shinto, Japan’s original religion. Iwakura (sacred rocks) can be found all over Japan. Rocks can be found in any Japanese garden, whether as stepping stones or objects of admiration themselves in dry landscape gardens or Zen rock gardens. One thing is for sure: Rocks are an integral part of the Japanese psyche.

So it’s no wonder that sacred rocks are popular among the Japanese as power spots. By harnessing the energy of these rocks, the Japanese are rediscovering their roots and the power of nature. But before we tell you about the three top rock power spots in Japan, we investigate how these monoliths and boulders gained their rock star status. Our rockin’ reporter uncovers the history and folklore of iwakura in Japan and gives suggestions on how to access the power of these rocks!

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