Leg up, take aim and shoot… a photo! China’s latest viral photo trend involves “leg guns”!

How flexible are you? Touching our toes without bending our knees was easy peasy for most of us as kids, but as we grew, we started to lose our flexibility as our body stiffened. Ever experienced the feeling of belatedly realizing that you can no longer make your body bend the way you want it to without substantial effort? If you’re one of those people, you’re not going to enjoy China’s latest photo craze, which involves posing with one leg held up like a gun. Are you flexible enough to join the photo-snapping fun?

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You (only) live twice! Repair work begins on priceless Toyota 2000GT crushed by falling tree

The world’s car fans wept in unison earlier this month when a freak accident caused a 30-metre beech tree to fall on an eye-wateringly expensive Toyota 2000GT. Widely recognised as the first Japanese supercar, the 2000GT has been known to sell for over 1 million dollars, and although we were relieved to hear that the driver escaped with only minor cuts and bruises, the photos of his trashed car brought tears to car-lovers’ eyes.

The 2000GT’s regular production run in the late 1960s was so limited that only 351 were ever built, and when these photos emerged of the flattened vehicle, many assumed that the number left in existence had just got that little bit smaller – and the car, therefore, a little rarer. However, Japanese website Nostalgic Car TV reported June 14th that the car in question is to be repaired and restored, promising regular updates as it is brought back to its former glory.

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World Cup players swap shorts after match

The World Cup, an event that brings thousands of people from all over the world together, has some beautiful moments – Neymar, of Team Brazil (who many are calling “the face of the World Cup”) busting into tears of pride at the climax of his nation’s anthem, Japanese fans cleaning their area after a losing game, and the always heartwarming tradition of exchanging jerseys after the match – to name a few.

But we’re not quite sure what to make of Ivan Rakitic of Croatia and Stephane M’Bia of Cameroon exchanging shorts after Wednesday night’s match. But we suppose we can count this as another one of those “beautiful moments.” After all, nothing says “good game, mate” like having your opponent’s ball sweat up in your nether regions. (Soccer ball sweat, you pervs!)

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Despite the draw with Greece, Japan’s World Cup team still has a glimmer of hope

Japan has had a bit of a rough start at the 2014 World Cup. After losing to 2-1 against the Ivory Coast, the team came back strong against Greece and got an amazing…0-0 tie. Well, it’s better than losing right?

Though you may be ready to throw in the towel for the Japanese soccer team, we’re here to tell you that things aren’t quite as bleak as they may seem. While having lost the first game of the tournament certainly isn’t a good sign, there are teams who’ve made it to the next round in similar circumstances!

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Extreme vacationing: How to enjoy a trip to Hong Kong in just 12 hours

Now, it’s something of an accepted fact that Japanese companies expect their staff to work hard and put in a lot of overtime. Long hours are the norm, and it can be difficult to get time off from work when resources are already stretched thin and doing so could very well mean making your coworkers’ lives harder. The truth is, with the exception of the New Year’s holiday and the obon period in summer, the majority of Japanese workers don’t take time off unless they absolutely have to. So it can be a bit tricky if you want to take an overseas vacation.

But how far would you be willing to go to take a trip abroad? Would you be prepared to take a trip so short that you’re at your destination for just 12 hours? Well, that’s exactly what our reporter Meg from our Japanese sister site did. Read on to find out what it was like to travel to, enjoy, and fly back from a foreign destination in the space of 24 hours, and whether she thought it was worth making the trip!

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Hyotan Onsen – Japan’s only hot spring with three Michelin stars

Even though the prefecture is home to barely a million residents, Oita has not one, but two famous hot spring resorts. Yufuin is generally held to be the more refined and tastefully restrained of the pair, while Beppu, despite having some of the most popular hot springs in Japan, gets saddled with the reputation as the more touristy town.

While there may be some truth to the labels, there’s one thing Beppu has that you won’t find in Yufuin, or anywhere else in the country for that matter: Japan’s only hot spring with three Michelin stars.

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Himeji City preparing to crack down on nuisance “walking biker gangs” (Yes, you read that right)

It’s June again, and that means it’s time for Himeji City in Hyogo Prefecture to hold its annual Himeji Yukata Festival! The three-day event incorporates around 800 businesses and draws in around 200,000 attendees, many of whom are dressed in traditional Japanese summer wear yukata.

It’s a festive time for the whole family, but the Himeji Yukata Festival also has a dark side that city officials and police are looking to stop once and for all. This problem comes in the form of biker gangs known in Japan as bōsōzoku. But these are not just any biker gangs; they’re biker gangs… without bikes.

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Cheaters beware – 30 percent of Japanese women have checked their boyfriend’s cell phone

What are the requirements of a happy romantic relationship? A set of shared values is important if you’re looking for anything more substantial than a fun fling. On the other end of the scale, common interests are good to have too, for those lighter dates when you and your partner want to do something other than discuss your life philosophies.

Many people would say the most critical element, though, is trust. After all, no matter how attracted you might be to a person, without the ability to trust one another, your collective jealousy and insecurity will eventually poison any potential you have to be happy together. Of course, building that trust can be a long, difficult, and sometimes scary process, but it’s something you eventually have to do, right?

Not if you’re one of the roughly 30 percent of Japanese women who’ve secretly checked the messages on their boyfriends’ cell phones.

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Cute d’état! Thousands of ducks take to the streets in Thailand

There’s a lot going on in Thailand at the moment, and you can be sure that those in the tourism industry watching visitor numbers plummet now that the country has fallen under military control are none too pleased, so it’s not surprising to hear of stories of anger and frustration. What we didn’t expect to see, though, were ducks taking to the street en masse as if in protest.

Check out this video of thousands of ducks waddling along together in an adorable yet really eerie demonstration of nature.

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A brand new capsule hotel just opened…in Malaysia

Capsule hotels were something of an anomaly when first introduced to the world through pictures taken in Japan. But it seems the compact rental sleeping areas are catching on abroad. If you thought Japan was the only place you could crawl into a compartment just longer than your body, you’ll be surprised to find that you can now have a similar claustrophobic experience in Malaysia.

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Japanese ‘Day One Edition’ Xbox One adopters are actually getting a pretty good deal

While there are no doubt plenty of Xbox One owners who are still glad they scrambled to preorder a “Day One Edition” of the console at launch last year, there are probably a few who now feel that it perhaps wasn’t worth breaking a sweat for. Shipping in slightly sleeker packaging than usual, Day One versions came bundled with a controller embossed with the words “Day One 2013″ and a card to activate an achievement on their owner’s online profile; plenty of bragging rights for the hardest of hardcore Xbox fans, certainly, but that’s about it.

According to the Japanese Xbox One site, though, day-one adopters in the Land of the Rising Sun will be getting a markedly better deal.

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Anime fans pick which Ghibli heroine they’d like to have as a girlfriend

Totoro may be the most instantly recognizable Studio Ghibl character, but the exalted animation house has produced a far larger number of memorable heroines than cute critters. From warrior princesses to ordinary schoolgirls who defy anime conventions by actually being ordinary, almost every Ghibli film has had a woman as either its central or most important figure.

Each has her own claim to fame. Spirited Away’s Chihiro remains the studio’s highest-grossing leading lady, Arrietty its shortest, and Princess Mononoke’s San the most violent. Now, a recent poll has bestowed yet another title by asking fans which Ghibli character they’d like to have as a girlfriend.

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Can these Japanese kitties accurately predict the advancing teams of the World Cup?

You may remember that octopus named Paul whose accurate series of “predictions” during the 2010 World Cup about Germany’s matches and Spain’s victory shot him to worldwide fame.

Well move over, Paul, because you’ve got two new furry rivals! Stepping up to the challenge in 2014 are Munchkin kitties Kikunosuke and Rikimaru. Their owner had them “predict” which two teams from each of the initial groups A through H would proceed to the rest of the tournament. Japanese fans would be well-advised to listen to the cats, since Japan was picked to advance from group C.

Keep reading to find out which sixteen teams will advance, at least according to the cats!

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30 common characteristics of people who fall in love with Japan

Chances are since you’re visiting our site, you probably already have an interest in Japan or other Asian countries. But have you ever had a friend who knows next to nothing about Japan, but you just have a feeling that they would come to love the island country given the right incentive?

If so, you may recognize some characteristic qualities of that friend in the following list written by Japanese blogger and all-around-life expert Madame Riri. This time, she’s come up with some common traits of foreigners who grow to love Japan based on her own observations from time spent abroad. 

Do you find yourself conforming to any of the following patterns?

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Ultra-enthusiastic Japanese Family Mart employee is the height of customer service

Growing up in the U.S., I had always been pretty jaded with customer service. At best, I’d get a cashier thanking me for my patronage (in response to which I would sometimes awkwardly say, “You too!”), and at worst I’d have to remind the cashier s/he was on the clock just to get them to lazily punch in some numbers and ring up my diet coke.

Things are different in Japan. People in retail and customer service jobs practically fall all over themselves to help the customer – when they aren’t busy taking Twitter photos of themselves in ice boxes, anyway. But this Family Mart employee may put them all to shame; he’s got the whole ringing someone up routine down to superhuman levels, snatching cash out of customer’s hands and tossing it into the register with ease and confidence like he’s some kind of teetotalling flair bartender:

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Japanese fans are waving around blue plastic garbage bags at today’s World Cup match…

Every country has their fair share of crazy fans dressed in garb ranging from carrot headdresses to scarves with the power of 1000% elephants, but the Japanese supporters are by far our all-around favorite. During their first match against Côte d’Ivoire last Saturday, they showed up with plenty of white paint on their faces and bowling pins on their heads. With Japan’s second match currently underway, we couldn’t help but notice a strange new addition to the cheer gear of Samurai Blue supporters; an item we’ve all seen before being used for its intended purpose.

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The funniest high school girl in Japan is back! Reika Oozeki does Frozen

When we introduced the teenage comedian Reika Oozeki last year, we knew she was funny, but we had no idea how far she’d end up going. With 287,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 220,000 more followers on Vine, her influence has certainly grown quickly! She’s even crossed national borders, with people the world over laughing at her manic videos. And, at last, she’s back!

Of course, to be fair, she never really went anywhere–those of you following her on Twitter know that’s she’s as active as ever. But some of her recent Vine videos have left us laughing so hard, we had to share! So click below and get ready for your day to get a whole lot better.

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Women in China say the World Cup makes them sad, protest by removing their “World Cups” in public

Men of the world, have you been prioritizing World Cup matches over your wives and girlfriends recently?

Earlier this month in China, a group of women got together and took off their “soccer balls” in order to cheer up their fellow female counterparts who have been neglected by their husbands and boyfriends. We have no idea if that makes any sense, but here’s how it looks!

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Chinese students recreate movie magic with mortarboards and Photoshop【Photos】

A while back the Internet went crazy for one Korean high school’s ‘anything goes’ yearbook photos, but it looks like they’ve got some competition on the scene now from these Chinese university students who decided to do something a little different for graduation.

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Always wanted to share a soda with your anime crush? Now you can

Poke around the murkier corners of anime stores, and you can find no shortage of lascivious merchandise such as huggable pillow cases, bed sheets, and waterproof “bath posters” plastered with images of the medium’s more popular characters. But what about the otaku who’s looking for a more chaste way to connect with his or her 2-D crush?

If your PG-rated date idea consists of playing miniature golf or going to the homecoming dance, you’re still out of luck. However, thanks to one creative fan you and your favorite anime character can now share a soda with two straws like a pair of 1950s lovebirds.

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