Kick back with a glass of Godzilla shochu alcohol

Godzilla wants to pour you his own variety of shochu alcohol to celebrate his latest film’s worldwide success. To date, Godzilla has brought in US$477.6 million at the box office worldwide. Japan’s Konishi Brewing Company is marking the occasion by re-releasing its Choujugura shochu in a special collector’s edition Godzilla porcelain bottle.

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No console? No problem! Sony tests streaming video games direct to TV sets

Those of you who don’t immediately catch fire the second you step outdoors may not yet have heard of PlayStation Now. Essentially the video game equivalent of Netflix, the service is due to be rolled out on July 31 and will, in theory, allow PlayStation 4 owners to pay to stream and play a selection of PlayStation 1, 2 and 3 games without having to download them first, with all the processing being done in the cloud.

But Sony is not content with going after just existing PlayStation owners, oh no. As promised at the beginning of the year, the company is now starting beta trials of the game rental service for certain high-end Sony TVs. That’s right, even if you don’t own an actual PlayStation console you’ll soon be able to play PlayStation games.

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Adorable napping otters in Mie Prefecture school humanity in how to relax

Last winter, we were all saddened to hear about the passing of Giant Isopod No.1, the most famous crustacean at the Toba Aquarium in Mie Prefecture. Life must go on, though, and perhaps it’s now finally time to turn the page at Toba, as the isopod era comes to an end and is replaced by something much cuter: the age of adorable napping otters.

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Artist Takashi Murakami immortalises heckled Tokyo assembleywoman in dot-art portraits

Sexism and discrimination have been rather hot topics here in Japan following an unpleasant incident at a Tokyo political assembly on June 18, during which female politician Ayaka Shiomura was taunted and mocked by assembleymen while giving a speech about pregnant women and working mothers.

In response, world-famous Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has taken the unusual step of creating and hanging a series of portraits of the politician in his Tokyo cafe.

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Date that deity! Japan picks the top 5 most dateable Buddhas

With the popularity of Saint Young Men, a story about Buddha and Jesus living together in Japan, readers have had the chance to imagine how a god would react to everyday life. Do they live up to their holy ideals? Or are they a little more human? Some avid readers have gone beyond those basics to imagining themselves dating one of these divine deities!

And why limit yourself to the Jesus or Buddha of Saint Young Men, when there is a directory full of other Buddhas to pursue?! We took to the streets of Nara and Kamakura, famous hot spots for Buddhist temples, and polled women on which Buddha they would want to date! 

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Uruguayan soccer star can’t stop biting, but can open your beer with this crazy bottle opener

The most distinctive aspect of soccer is that use of the hands is prohibited. But did you know players aren’t allowed to use their teeth either?

This minor detail of the rule book seems to have slipped the mind of Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, who currently stands accused of biting an opponent for the third time in his career during the country’s recent match against Italy at the World Cup. For his part, Suarez doesn’t seem to get what all the fuss is about, brushing off the incident with the declaration that “these things happen on the pitch.”

But it’s not just the 27-year-old striker who isn’t taking the incident seriously, as novelty goods manufacturers in China have apparently already started producing bottle openers that will help you crack open a cold one using Suarez’s now infamous teeth.

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Photos of Gollum-like creature spotted in China turn out to be a sci-fi actor taking a pee

The good thing about being out in the woods when nature calls is that, short of letting rip on a nest of angry fire ants, nature usually doesn’t mind where you go.

It’s probably a good idea not to take a bathroom break while dressed like a creature from The Lord of the Rings, though, or chances are you’ll scare the life out of passing tourists and end up with photos of your peeing self all over the internet.

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Uruguay midfielder harnesses the power of DBZ to protect his shins

While the soccer-watching world has been keeping an eye on Uruguay forward Luis Suárez, whose hunger for victory has earned him a nine match, four month suspension, teammate Walter Gargano has been dazzling the otakusphere in other ways. Namely, the proud display of his Dragon Ball Z shinguards.

Midfielder Gargano posted a photo to his Instagram account two days ago, prompting a flurry of excited reactions to his equipment choice.

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This picture book of Taiwanese high school girls – what’s that about then?

“Hang on a second,” I hear you cry. “An illustrated book of pretty girls in school uniforms? Who’s buying this? And why?”

Let’s take your questions one by one.

“What is the ‘Collection of Taiwan High School Uniforms, exactly?”

It’s the latest book of illustrations from artist Wang Chong-ju. Right down to the number of pleats in the skirt and the stitching of the school crest, he’s illustrated and explained the girls’ uniforms of 51 schools in northern Taiwan.

“So they’re sexy schoolgirls?”

Well…the girls in this book aren’t depicted as sexy – in fact, Wang drew them to a strict six-point checklist:

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“Excuse me miss, you forgot your ice cream’s cone…” Over 52,900 shares on Facebook! 【Video】

I’m not entirely sure if this applies to all the McDonald’s outlets in the world, but the ones I’ve been to usually have soft serve ice cream (they call it a Vanilla Cone in Singapore) on the menu. It’s a simple, inexpensive sweet treat that hits the spot after a savory serving of burgers and fries.

It’s just vanilla ice cream served on a wafer cone, something so simple that almost nothing can go wrong… almost. We shan’t spoil it for you. Check out the video clip after the break!

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Otsukare-sama deshita: A look back at Team Japan’s time at the World Cup

It’s over. With their 1-4 defeat against Colombia, Team Japan is officially out of the World Cup tournament after just three matches. The boys in blue put up a good fight, but arguably left a lot on the pitch in Group C, in what many say was Japan’s best chance to make a big impact on the world stage. But despite the disappointing losses (and one unbelievable tie), there were some truly great moments that came out of the tournament for Samurai Blue. So before we all move on and choose a different team to support, let us take a moment to look back at the matches, the players, and those crazy fans who came together to root on NIPPON!

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Craving cheese but on a diet? Try our “advanced tofu pickles!” 【Recipe】

Summer has a way of creeping up on us before we can shed those extra pounds in this, the season of skimpier clothing. As such many people take up diets including our own reporter, Hotaru. At one point during her weight management, Hotaru had decided to go to a vegan restaurant thinking it wouldn’t be as high in calories as other establishments.

However, when her curry arrived she noticed that there were little bits of what looked like cheese on top. They tasted kind of like cheese too. Confused by this non-vegan and diet-bending food, Hotaru asked the staff what it was. “Tofu pickles” they replied.

Hotaru also learned from them how to make this delectable topping and found it was actually incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that she also developed her own “advanced tofu pickles” recipe. We’d now like to share these recipes with you so that you many enjoy some tofu pickles in your own home.

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Give your smartphone the rest it deserves with its very own Japanese futon

Your smartphone has a busy day, what with being called on to make phone calls, take pictures, play strange fashion-based touchscreen games, and surf the Internet in order to access mankind’s greatest font of knowledge. Doesn’t it deserve some rest? And we don’t mean a short little nap while you’re eating dinner, but a good night’s sleep, snug and comfy inside a Japanese futon.

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Why climb Mt. Fuji when you can eat it with these special Fuji foods in Yamanashi?

Although Mt. Fuji has been around for thousands of years, and the subject of countless paintings and photographs for hundreds, Japan has taken a new interest in its most famous mountain following its 2013 designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Filled with pride, designers have spent the past year churning out Mt. Fuji merchandise, with everything from umbrellas to masking tape on offer.

But if you can’t find the time to go to the mountain, now the mountain can come to you, or your dinner table, at least, with one hotel’s special Mt. Fuji menu items.

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Japan’s pit toilets: An in-depth look

Like the aroma of fresh-baked bread or the sweet fragrance of a flower shop, the stench of a toilet can be just as memorable, albeit not in as nice a way.

Despite Japan’s reputation for high-tech toilets and Washlets that do everything except brush your teeth (thank God), a surprising number of households in Japan still have the old-style “pit toilets.” These toilets have a porcelain bowl, but no running water to flush in or out. You just squat over the hole and drop your goods into a cement pit waiting at the bottom. It’s basically an in-house outhouse.

Almost all the houses are this style on the islands in the Seto Inland Sea as well as many dwellings in Japan’s countryside. Our toilet reporter takes an in-depth look at how these pit toilet systems work. We bet you’re just dying to know!

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16 facts about India that will blow your mind

India is one of the world’s largest economies, and it has the second largest population. This means things in India tend to be fairly large-scaled — consider its network of roads, consumer spending, or its youth population. But it also experiences some problems on a large scale like suicides and road accidents. We pulled together some staggering statistics from the sub-continent.
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Philippine transgender group fights for rights with handsome posterboy

Even as the gay and lesbian communities experience something of a global revolution in terms of being granted more rights and protection from discrimination, transgender people may be facing a significantly steeper uphill battle. While many of even the most conservative people have come to accept that they may have to share intimate spaces like locker rooms and bathrooms with gays and lesbians, we’re all still squabbling over which bathrooms transgender people should use and which pronoun to call them by.

Discrimination against transgender individuals is particularly fierce in devoutly Catholic Philippines, where hormones – and presumably also surgeries – that are essential to the transgender “transformation” process are routinely denied to those who want them. But the transgender rights group Pinoy Female-to-Male (Pinoy MTF) – composed of naturally born women who identify as male – may have found an ideal spokesmen to help in their fight.

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We try Häagen-Dazs Japanese-style — and the rich sweetness makes us swoon!【Taste Test】

Now, we may have a fondness for unique Kit Kat flavors here in Japan, but we also love original Häagen-Dazs flavors as well, from rose and sakura flower to vegetable flavors featuring carrots and tomatoes. Well, once again, Häagen-Dazs tempts us with an offering of cold, sweet goodness, and this time it’s the Häagen-Dazs Japonais “Vanilla and kinako soybean powder with brown sugar syrup”. That’s quite a name for an ice cream flavor, isn’t it?

It so happens they’re only available from the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, and naturally we had to try one when they came out earlier this week. So, how was the ice cream? Sweet, syrupy heaven!

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Man buys and remodels trashed home, astounds us with before and after pictures

There was a point in time when you could turn on the TV at any time of day and find at least three home remodeling shows playing. I personally had no idea why they were so freaking popular…but I think I’m finally starting to get it after seeing these photos.

One ambitious Japanese man, named Makoto, bought an old, junked-out house with rotten floorboards, clogged pipes, and filled with trash for 1,950,000 yen–about US$19,500–and over the course of six months turned into one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Japanese Internet users were amazed by the transformation–and you will be too!

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Final Fantasy Tactics concert is coming to Tokyo, completely free, and needs volunteers

Even though the numbered sequels in the Final Fantasy video game series stretch all the way up to 14, there are actually far more titles than that in the franchise. One of the most popular spinoffs to Square Enix’s massively successful role-playing game is Final Fantasy Tactics, thanks to its deep customization, complex and unpredictable plot, and stirring soundtrack.

The strategy role-playing game has been entertaining fans for the past 17 years, and as testament to its lasting appeal, this summer a symphony orchestra concert will be held dedicated to the music of Final Fantasy Tactics. And best of all, it’s free.

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