English hot spring manners poster is so thorough, even Japanese people are learning from it

With the invention of indoor plumbing and bathtubs (not really news to anyone, we’d hope), the traditional public bath houses and hot springs of Japan are now used for relaxing getaways more than actual hygienic necessity. Heck, even capybara soak in hot springs to relax!

Hot springs, known as onsen in Japanese, are also becoming popular with foreign visitors, at least those brave enough to bare it all in front of strangers. For health and safety reasons, there are quite a few rules to pay attention to when soaking in a public bath. A very nicely designed etiquette poster, which recently surfaced on TripAdvisor, is very thorough and is even teaching Japanese people a thing or two about the bathing experience!

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Say “I love you” with seaweed: Message kombu is the tastiest way to tell her you care

As you may have noticed, Japan has pretty much mastered the art of sprucing up food. We’ve already seen a plethora of tools to create bear-shaped rice or smiley face sausages, but we’re particularly excited about a certain product we just discovered up north in Hokkaido. They’re called “message kombu” and the heartfelt messages made out of seaweed are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

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Japanese Twitter user spends three hours knitting an edible scarf out of gummy candy

Mom always told us not to play with our food, but we’ll have to make an exception for this crafty use of candy. Using only a pair of chopsticks and 18.9 meters (62 feet) of gummy string, one intrepid Twitter user from Japan managed to knit herself an edible scarf. The evidence and entire creation process coming at you after the jump!

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Things get awesome (and very strange) when 32 fans re-animate the Pokémon opening scene

You might remember the Moon Animate Make-Up! project that brought over 250 artists together to recreate the opening scene of anime classic, Sailor Moon. It featured a mishmash of artistic styles that gave viewers a visual feast of creative talent. Now Pokémon fans are in luck because a similar project was just released online, featuring Ash, Pikachu, and the rest of the gang as seen by 32 different animators!

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Salute your soy – the designer of Kikkoman’s iconic red-capped soy sauce bottle has died

The next time you sit down to enjoy a meal in a Japanese or Chinese restaurant, or perhaps this very evening when you open your kitchen cupboard at home, be sure to give your red-capped bottle of soy sauce a tiny salute. The designer of the now-iconic Kikkoman soy sauce bottle, Kenji Ekuan, has died at the age of 85.

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Hideous werebeast “attacks” Indonesian palm oil plant workers 【Video】

In what might be the first ever case of one of those viral cryptozoological animal videos actually being real, a bunch of Indonesian palm oil plant workers recently recorded a run-in with some sort of crazy-looking, hairless werebeast that supposedly charged them.

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Tekken 7 intro movie released

Ohhh I can feel it. It’s that time again: time to piss experienced players of the Tekken franchise off by mashing buttons wildly and winning! This will be the seventh time I have done it, and I’ve become exceedingly efficient at it.

That’s right Tekken 7 is about to hit game centers across Japan and to get people into the fighting spirit Bandai Namco Games has uploaded the game’s opening movie to YouTube. Let’s watch!

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Watch these American YouTubers freak out over adorable 100-yen store goods from Daiso

100 yen stores in Japan are amazing treasure troves of cute, functional and useful bits and pieces you never knew you needed. They’re the perfect place to go to when you’re struggling with that “I need to buy something” feeling and don’t want to spend too much money, since everything in the store is the same price of (tax included) 108 yen. Perhaps one of the most successful of Japan’s 100 yen stores is Daiso, which stocks a huge variety of useful household goods and snacks (among some of its more, um, interesting wares).

But did you know that Daiso also exists outside of Japan? Here’s what happened when two YouTubers from California decided to share their haul of goodies from their local Daiso with their followers online!

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Twitter gets a make-over inspired by the movie Summer Wars, but does it live up to its potential?

It’s been quite a few years since director Mamoru Hosoda’s widely acclaimed animated movie Summer Wars was released, but fans of the film can experience it again in a new way – by turning Twitter into the virtual world of OZ from the movie.

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Coffee wizard performs snack alchemy in not-so-secret lair

Last week, we gave you a recipe for the tasty caffeinated treat called coffee jelly. This week, we’d like to introduce a coffee shop that is taking that quotidian treat to the next level of taste and presentation. Behold Coffee Suzuki, where the coffee jelly forms right before your very eyes!

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Manga hit Hana Yori Dango getting sequel series, will be available free and online in English

Although there’s an identically pronounced Japanese proverb espousing the pleasures of the flesh, when many non-Japanese people hear Hana Yori Dango, the first thing they think of is the title of the rags to riches and romance manga penned by Yoko Kamio. Also known as Boys Over Flowers, Kamio’s manga debuted in 1992 and would eventually see animated and live-action adaptations both on TV and in theaters.

Now, 12 years after the conclusion of the comic that started the franchise, Kamio is penning a sequel series. Plus, as if that wasn’t enough to make the day of Hana Yori Dango fans all over the world, it’ll be available to read online, free, and in English simultaneously with its Japanese release.

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Japanese pizza isn’t always weird: Deep-fried pizza enters the ring and it’s delicious

Japan is known for a lot of things, such as its culture, its safety, and its traditional foods, but it is definitely not known for making delicious pizza. In fact, some of the pizza chains have come out with some really wacky creations over the years.

However, there are quite a few independent pizza places throughout Japan, which can, of course, be found in the cities, but sometimes can even be found in small towns or along mountain roads, yet they will still often be equipped with special pizza ovens. If you want good pizza in Japan, you should search for these places, it will be well worth the trouble!

One such independent place is Amici in Ibaraki Prefecture, where they serve pizza and the lesser known Italian pie, the pizza fritta, or deep-fried pizza. Our reporter visited Amici, but not just to try the delicious fried pizza pockets, he went to experience the cooking process too!

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The amazing papercraft model from the Ghibli Museum — see the museum in intricate miniature detail!

For Ghibli fans, the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo could be considered a holy Mecca of sorts,  a place to make a pilgrimage to. The museum offers delightful entertainment filled with creative fun, which we guess is something you would expect from Ghibli, and it’s bound to be a hugely enjoyable place to visit, even if you’re not a die-hard Ghibli fan.

And one of the attractions at the museum has to be its gift shop, full of original Ghibli goods that can only be purchased there. In fact, we think that the shop alone could be reason enough to visit the museum, and we’ve even brought to you a previous article featuring 10 cools items from the shop that we thoroughly recommend. And now, we have another special item to share with you, also from the museum shop, that one of our Japanese reporters Yoshio found absolutely fascinating. It’s the Ghibli Museum original “Minituart”, a detailed miniature replica of the museum, and we just had to see for ourselves how exact a replica it was!

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Despite their hardworking image, are the Japanese really just as lazy as the rest of us?

Workers in Japan are often perceived by the rest of the world as possessing an extremely strong work ethic, which drives them to daily acts of unpaid overtime, selfless sacrifice of rightfully accrued holiday time, and occasionally even to karoushi, or death by overwork. So pervasive is this perception that the image of the exhausted salaryman splayed out across train carriage floors after a hard day’s work has become a sort of unofficial symbol of Japanese working life.

But what people who have actually worked in Japanese offices will tell you is that, while simply existing in the strict hierarchical system of a Japanese workplace can be an exhausting feat in and of itself, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody’s getting loads of work done. In fact, Japanese workers may be just as lazy as the rest of us. So how come everybody still thinks they work so hard?

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Frozen marshmallow cream: Just two ingredients, at least as good as ice cream 【RocketKitchen】

Every now and again, we stumble across a dessert recipe that’s so simple and tasty, it almost feels like we’ve discovered some sort of hidden secret that man wasn’t meant to know. Last year, we found out that instead of making pancakes one at a time, we could just make one huge one in a rice cooker, sprinkle in some green tea powder, and have a dessert that looks and tastes great with no fuss at all.

But what if you prefer chilled desserts to hotcakes? No problem. We recently tried a recipe for a frozen marshmallow dessert that may or may not technically be ice cream, but amazingly creates something that tastes even better from just two ingredients, and takes almost as few steps to make.

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As foreign tourists come streaming in, Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport nears breaking point

World-class skiing; Japan’s largest national park; even ice hotels. For those who are looking to experience Japan outside of Tokyo or Kyoto, Hokkaido remains a prime destination. Indeed, as the last major island to be settled by the Japanese, Hokkaido arguably stands out from the rest of the nation in everything from topography to daily life.

It seems the secret is out of the bag. Taking advantage of a weak yen, travelers from Southeast Asia are flying en masse to the island of Hokkaido. However, this influx has proved to be a double-edged sword. While the tourist boom is certainly bringing money into local economies, it is also straining transportation resources–perhaps nowhere more than at New Chitose Airport.

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Ever wanted to take a trip to Ghibli’s Laputa? Tokyo Bay island might just be the next best thing

If I told you there’s a place in Tokyo Bay called Sarushima, and that its name means Monkey Island, how many of you would be ready to get on the boat right now? And how many of you would then be crushingly disappointed you made the trip when you found out there aren’t actually any monkeys living there?

I’m guessing the answer to the first question would be “most of you.” As for the second? Only as many of you who, heartbroken at a lack of monkeys, didn’t walk far enough into the island’s interior to see that what Sarushima lacks in monkeys it makes up for with a mix of natural beauty and preserved architecture that makes it look like it’d be a suitable filming location for a live-action version of Studio Ghibli’s classic anime Castle in the Sky Laputa.

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Set your alarm! Limited time maid breakfast cafe coming to Tokyo’s Akihabara

For most of their patrons, a visit to one of Japan’s maid cafes comes after a tough day at the office, or maybe as a special reward at the end of a busy week. But if enjoying the cafes’ light fare and frilly costumes can come as a pick-me-up after some hard work, can’t it also provide the energy boost to kick-start your workday?

That’s the theory behind a new, limited-time maid cafe that’s opening up in Tokyo, where customers can bolster their spirits with a maid-made breakfast before heading out to tackle the day’s challenges.

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26-year-old arrested for murdering elderly woman admits to second murder

Last week, a 26-year-old who was arrested last year for murder was charged in another killing, both of which targeted elderly people. He was apparently broke and owed a significant amount of money as a result of billings for online games..

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Tokyo Disneyland getting a new area dedicated to the Junior Woodchucks of the World

The Tokyo Disney Resort recently announced it’ll be raising admission prices to its two immensely popular amusement parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. However, not all of that extra cash is going to be going straight into Mickey and Pooh Bear’s retirement funds.

Some of that new revenue will also be going towards new attractions at the parks, such as the three-billion yen (US $25.4-million) construction of a new character meet and greet area and restaurant with a theme that might be familiar to long-time Disney Comic readers or fans of the TV series DuckTales with particularly sharp memories.

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