New York gets its first cupcake vending machine

New York gets its first cupcake vending machine

Japan has always had the market cornered on weird vending machines, so it’s going to take a lot to impress the people in a country where you can buy anything from fresh eggs to crepes from a metal box. But this new cupcake vending machine has been turning heads, not for how bizarre it is (by Japan’s standards), but how cute it is.

Sprinkles, the popular cupcake chain in the US, has just opened a “Cupcake ATM” at its New York store, the first of its kind in the area. It opened just 24 hours ago and the lines have been unbelievably long. Let’s take a closer look at the opening day.

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Never fear, Uterus Man is here: Video featuring anthropomorphic lady parts turns heads

Never fear, Uterus Man is here: Video featuring anthropomorphic lady parts turns heads

We’ve seen a lot of anthropomorphic characters coming out of Asia, such as smiling Japanese salmon fillets and Chinese “map girls.” There have been some really strange ones, but we never thought we’d see anthropomorphic lady parts rocketing across our computer screens. But here it is, Uterus Man, directed and edited by Taiwanese artist, Lu Yang.

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Crimean attorney general responds to the Internet’s attempts to turn her into an anime character

Crimean attorney general responds to the Internet’s attempts to turn her into an anime character

Japan’s infatuation with Natalia Poklonskaya, Crimea’s newly appointed and unusually photogenic attorney general, is still going strong. In the week since we first reported on it, fan art based on Eastern Europe’s comeliest stateswoman has continued to proliferate.

But how do Poklonskaya, and for that matter her anime-loving daughter, feel about the unique sort of attention she’s been getting?

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Cosplay panties bring photographers to their knees, but maybe not why you’d expect

Cosplay panties bring photographers to their knees, but maybe not why you’d expect

Recently, we came two stories of trains decorated with pictures of anime girls, and also hardcore fans who fantasize about peeking at their panties. Really, this is pretty disturbing. I mean, these are 2-D pieces of promotional art we’re talking about here. Are there no anime fans out there who would rather peer into the pleated folds of a real girl’s skirt?

Actually, yes, there are many.

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Need gyoza right now? Great dumpling restaurant is just 20 seconds from Yoyogi Station

Need gyoza right now? Great dumpling restaurant is just 20 seconds from Yoyogi Station

Although the juicy pork dumplings called gyoza originated in China, they’re a favorite of both students and expats in Japan. Filling and cheap, they make a great hot meal, and are also a popular way to fortify yourself for a night of drinking, or to satisfy the alcohol-induced bout of the munchies that follows one.

While Japan is filled with gyoza joints, some of the most popular develop an almost cult following, so when we got wind of a tasty pot sticker depository called Sosan no Mise at the next station over from the RocketNews24 office, we decided to check it out.

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There’s something about sakura: It’s hard not to fall in love with Japan’s cherry blossom【Videos】

There’s something about sakura: It’s hard not to fall in love with Japan’s cherry blossom【Videos】

Spring has arrived in Japan, and that can mean only one thing: Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing parties! But what is it about hanami, and those pretty pink petals in general for that matter, that manages to capture the hearts and minds of so many?

Let’s take a look at a handful of videos that capture the mood of hanami season perfectly and see if we can pinpoint exactly what it is that makes the season so special!

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We try pork nigiri sushi at a ramen shop in Tokyo

We try pork nigiri sushi at a ramen shop in Tokyo

Tokyo Ramen Marion, a small ramen shop in the Kita Ward of Tokyo, has a menu item that outshines its namesake dish. That item is the chashu pork nigiri sushi, made to resemble the sushi that is almost always made with fish. Our reporter took a trip out to see what this unusual food was all about and came back with a full belly and a completely new view of Japan’s most famous dish.

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Gunma Prefecture’s adorable mascot dances into our hearts and travel plans 【Video】

Gunma Prefecture’s adorable mascot dances into our hearts and travel plans 【Video】

At first glance, Gunma may not seem to have a whole lot going for it. It’s one of Japan’s few landlocked prefectures, which means less access to Japan’s legendarily fresh seafood. The lack of a coastline also means Gunma doesn’t have a vibrant urban heart like Japan’s largest cities which grew out of its busiest ports, so economic and modern entertainment opportunities are limited compared to Tokyo, Osaka, or Fukuoka.

What Gunma does have is mountains, hot springs, and shrines, though. It’s also got Gunma-chan, its lovable horse mascot who shows off the prefecture’s attractions and some adorable dance moves in this new video.

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Beauty Tip: See how to get instant double eyelids【Video】

Beauty Tip: See how to get instant double eyelids【Video】

Who doesn’t want to look as good as possible — and if a little bit of make-up helps, so much the better, right? Well, the staff at our sister site Pouch found an interesting video from what appears to be a Korean TV program containing some potentially useful beauty tips. And if there’s one thing we know, it’s that women, regardless of age and nationality, are always up for some beauty advice, especially if it doesn’t involve surgery or some other drastic measure (like having a bunch of snails crawl over your face), which is why we thought we’d share this with you. In this case, the video offers advice on how to achieve a double eyelid look using just make-up. So, let’s see how effective the make-up technique is.

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Man sues police after being locked in with a member of yakuza group he was trying to leave

Man sues police after being locked in with a member of yakuza group he was trying to leave

Little kids sometimes get into trouble with bullies, and when they do, they feel reluctant to go to their parents, imagining that they’ll only offer some mature advice to deal with the situation like openly asking the bully to stop. While the direct approach works well in adult situations like break-ups and quitting your job at Fabricland, it doesn’t quite transfer over to the Lord of the Flies mentality that goes on in school playgrounds every day.

And apparently for some people these problems even stick around into adulthood. For example, a man recently went to Yamanashi police looking for protection when he decided to quit his organized crime group. However, according to reports it seemed as if the officers thought he just needed to talk it out and locked him in a room with a member of the gang he was trying to leave, resulting in the gang member demanding a finger as compensation.

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“Siri, my champagne’s getting warm!” Stunning Thai villa combines technology and beach living

“Siri, my champagne’s getting warm!” Stunning Thai villa combines technology and beach living

Recent studies have warned that, for all their convenience and the social interaction they allow, our mobile devices and anywhere, any time wireless internet access could potentially be hazardous to our health. But what if you just can’t bear to power down your iPhone, tablet, laptop or games console?

If you’re in need of a getaway, and want to assure yourself that the negative effects of your array of gadgetry will be entirely offset by your relaxing surroundings, there’s probably no better place than this luxurious beach villa on the Thai island resort of Ko Samui, which is fitted with pretty much every modern convenience from iPad-controlled shutters to remote-operated pool thermostats and top-of-the-range cooking equipment – available to rent for a cool US$650 a night.

Join us after the break for a photo tour.

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Japanese violinist whose face and music are equally beautiful causes a stir online

Japanese violinist whose face and music are equally beautiful causes a stir online

Meet Machi Okabe, the gorgeous violinist whose music is just as beautiful as her face (or is it the other way around?). Her exceptional musical talents combined with her breathtaking beauty have been attracting a lot of attention from netizens around the world this week.

Watch the following videos to see for yourself what’s everyone’s been talking about!

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Find your Finnish name with the Finn generator

Find your Finnish name with the Finn generator

When it comes to Finland, there’s no shortage of opportunities for getting acquainted in Japan’s capital of Tokyo. From cafes where you can chow down with cute, stuffed Moomin characters created by a famous Swede-Finn, to Finland’s top doughnut chain, Arnold’s, and Karhhu, Finland’s number one beer, it’s easy for Tokyoites to take their taste buds for a dip in Nordic cuisine.

Now, people in Japan have found a new way to get acquainted with Finnish culture with the introduction of a clever little name generator from VisitFinland.com. Simply enter your name and within seconds you’re bestowed with the Finnish version, complete with a full explanation of the meaning behind your new name. We translated some well-known names and found they were connected to the wild nature of Lapland and mysterious tales of forest kings. 

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Sprint takes a cue from popular Japanese ad campaign in bizarre “Framily” commercial

Sprint takes a cue from popular Japanese ad campaign in bizarre “Framily” commercial

Sprint’s new commercial featuring a “framily” that includes a father who is a talking hamster and daughter who only speaks French is definitely weird. If you live in the US, you may have caught the 30 second clip during prime time Monday evening and were left with an upturned eyebrow and slight frown. But this strange commercial isn’t quite an original creation. The Sprint framily was actually inspired by a long-running marketing campaign over in, you guessed it, Japan.

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Chinese census finds hard facts about the differences between Chinese, Japanese and Koreans

Chinese census finds hard facts about the differences between Chinese, Japanese and Koreans

Despite tons of cultural similarities, the people of East Asia’s top three superpowers – Japan, China and Korea – are a wildly different bunch. Not only on a superficial level like clothing choices and which David Bowie song they prefer to sing at karaoke, but also on a deeper and more fundamental level; people in all three countries vary wildly in things like height, education levels and even sexual satisfaction.

According to a new census conducted by a Chinese newsgroup recently, anyway. Here are some of their findings:

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Inspirations for April Fools’ pranks (you can thank us later)【Photos】

Inspirations for April Fools’ pranks (you can thank us later)【Photos】

Time flies, doesn’t it? It felt like we just stepped into 2014 last week, and all of a sudden March is coming to an end. If you haven’t started preparing for the most “dangerous” day of the year, it’s about time you put your thinking caps on. But don’t worry, we’re not talking about the zombie apocalypse, so keep your guns locked up. We’re talking about April Fools’ Day, of course!

If you can’t find your thinking cap, no worries about that too. We’ve got some prank inspirations here for you!

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Unknown person leaves thousands in cash and gift certificates in dozens of mailboxes in Japan

Unknown person leaves thousands in cash and gift certificates in dozens of mailboxes in Japan

What if you found an unmarked envelope full of money in your mailbox? Would you keep it?

On March 20 and 21, exactly 30 households were faced with this very dilemma as an unknown person deposited a total of 760,000 yen (US$7,420) in the mailboxes of an apartment complex in Ikoma City, Nara Prefecture. The largest sum found in a single mailbox was 137,000 yen (US$1,339). Just 10 days earlier, mysterious envelopes were deposited at an additional 30 homes in Kawasaki City, 486 km (300 mi) away. This time, the envelopes contained gift certificates with monetary values ranging from 5,000 yen (US$48) to tens of thousands of yen (hundreds of US dollars).

If this sounds like easy money to you, you might be surprised to learn what half of the residents chose to do with the cash.

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New music video from World Order helps you have a nice day, see the sights in Akihabara

New music video from World Order helps you have a nice day, see the sights in Akihabara

Japan has long been a hotbed of musical experimentation, with everything for J-pop metal to folk music to bizarre rap available to anyone willing to look. Some experiments have worked out better than others, but one of our favorite success stories is the appropriately named Genki Sudo and his music/dance group World Order. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve surely seen the videos of sexy young men dancing like robots through the streets of cities around the world.

This time, Genki and the gang are back in Tokyo–Akihabara, to be precise–and they’re not alone, thanks to a special guest appearance by…AKB48?! Check the madness out below!

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Japan now has so many 30-year-old virgins its language needs a new slang term for them

Japan now has so many 30-year-old virgins its language needs a new slang term for them

Japan’s birth rate has been dropping for decades now, and while it’s possible the demographic shift is a result of couples just getting that much better at using contraceptives, you have to allow for the possibility that fewer babies is due to fewer couples doing the deed.

Lending further credibility to this explanation is the fact that the proportion of Japanese men in their 30s who still have their virginity has gotten so high that society has coined a new slang term to describe them: yaramiso.

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Indian restaurant’s unique interior appointment: corpse-containing coffins 【Video】

Indian restaurant’s unique interior appointment: corpse-containing coffins 【Video】

As with any business venture, the key to running a successful restaurant is to differentiate your establishment from its competitors. Earlier this month, for example, we talked about a pub in Kyushu called Sacrifice that accomplished this by filling its interior with creepy mannequins and props that would be right at home in any horror movie.

But for those of you who take issue with the inauthenticity of Sacrifice’s fake corpses and skeletons, might we offer this alternative: a restaurant in India where diners sit among coffins with centuries-old bodies inside.

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