500 Type Eva Cafe releases exclusive lineup of Evangelion-themed meals, sweets and drinks

November 7 means two things to Evangelion fans in Japan: the awesome Eva-themed bullet train makes its highly-anticipated inaugural run from Osaka to Fukuoka on the Sanyō Shinkansen line; and the eagerly awaited 500 Type Eva Café opens its doors to customers at JR Hakata Station for the very first time.

To add to all the excitement, Japan Rail West has just released the very first images of the café’s exclusive original menu. From specially marked toast to Eva sweets and an Angel curry, this themed collection of edible goods is the perfect way to celebrate the official launch of the Shinkansen Evangelion Project!

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Tokyo’s host club photo studio will have you looking like the coolest Kabukicho club king

Believe it or not, our crack Japanese-language reporter, Mr. Sato, has been struggling with his self-image recently. In recognition of all his hard work, we decided to spring for a makeover for the poor guy, and not at a pet grooming salon like we did before.

No, this time, Mr. Sato is getting the full-on host bar treatment, complete with a photo session commemorating his transformation into a guy so hot women would pay money just to sit and drink with him.

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Sea to summit: Expat hikers trek from the Japanese coast to the peak of Mt. Fuji in awesome video

Tell someone you climbed Mt. Fuji, and they’ll ask “Where did you start from?”, because there are paved roads that can drop as much as half-way up the mountain. Of course some say you haven’t climbed Fuji unless you started from its base, but even that wasn’t enough of a challenge for these three foreign outdoorsmen, who decided to start their hike from miles away from Fuji at the seashore, then journey from Japan’s lowest point to its highest, making this awesome video along the way.

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We bunk up in “bookstore hotel” Book and Bed Tokyo on opening night

Ever since we heard about the opening of a bookstore-themed hotel with sleeping quarters built into its wooden bookshelves, we’ve been keeping a close eye out for updates, and were actually lucky enough to snap up a reservation to stay at the hotel on opening night!

After emerging from the beautiful space this morning, we can happily say it’s one of the most atmospheric places to stay in Tokyo. Actually, we wouldn’t mind shacking up here permanently! Come with us as we take you through all the gorgeous features and unusual details after the break.

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Love Live!’s popularity continues to soar, anime appears in Qatar Airways in-flight entertainment

Following their conquest of Japan, the high school idols of hit anime Love Live! have their eyes set on the rest of the world, with an international release for their first theatrical feature. But even that might not be a big enough stage for the animated vocalists. They’re now on their way to taking over the skies as well, since you can now watch Love Live! anime on selected flights on, of all carriers, Qatar Airways.

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Through the eyes of a child — Five-year-old girl takes her mother to see local “Martian”

Looking up into the vastness of space, it’s only natural for one to wonder if we’re really all alone here. There are reports of contact with alien life all the time, sometimes even with photographic material to support them. Some of them are undoubtedly hokey, but others make you pause and wonder…

Like this photo, of a martian living on a lone street in a Japanese neighborhood. A young five-year-old had seen the martian many times before she took her mother along to see. The mother then snapped a photo of the encounter and posted it on Twitter for the world to see…

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Nations-as-pretty-boys anime Hetalia’s live-action cast appears in costume 【Photos】

Next month, Hetalia, the anime and manga franchise featuring anthropomorphized nations and a hefty amount of homoerotic subtext, is getting its very own live-action musical adaptation, and the play’s producers have just released the first photos of the cast in costume as their respective nations.

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Adorable prairie dog traffic jam wins the hearts of Japanese Twitter users

Depending on where you grew up, prairie dogs might be nothing more than hated, pesky varmints you just wish would go away. But in Japan, they are adorable little creatures deserving all your squeals of “kawaiiiii” — especially when they end up in a traffic jam!

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First, possibly most ironic, underwater ruins discovered in Japan’s largest lake

On 4 November, Ei Nakayama of The University of Shiga Prefecture made a historic announcement that eight man-made pillars had been found standing upright at the bottom of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture.

Despite the country’s long history and relatively changeable landscape due to seismic and volcanic activity, this is actually the first time ruins have ever been found underwater in Japan.

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Sync! Illumination lets you watch Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade from home on multiple phones

Tokyo Disneyland is a popular destination at any time of the year, but when the holiday season approaches, the theme park swells with visitors keen to get in on the festive spirit.

One of the highlights of the season is the “Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dream Lights”, where a number of well-known Disney characters appear on large floats dressed up in spectacular light displays. Accompanied by music, the scene is also accompanied by huge crowds, eager to receive a wave from the likes of Mickey, Snow White or even Woody from Toy Story.

Now there’s a fun way to avoid the crowds and enjoy the illuminated parade from the comfort of your own home. It’s called the “Sync! Illumination” and it lets you link up with your friends’ cellphone screens to create an awesome interactive show. 

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Shanghai Disneyland to feature Chinese elements and the largest castle ever, opens spring 2016

Disney’s very first amusement park in mainland China, Shanghai Disneyland, is slated to open its doors in spring 2016. With the Chinese government’s recent decision to end its controversial one-child policy and allow citizens to have up to two children per family without facing fines, the world’s most populated country is bound to be teeming with more people than ever in the years to come.

Disney chairman and CEO Robert “Bob” Iger has expressed delight over the government’s change on the one-child ruling, and has revealed some of the company’s plans to incorporate China’s rich culture into the magic of Shanghai Disneyland and satisfy Chinese visitors of all generations.

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Old-school vending machine on Japan’s Sado Island sells bags of rare and local fruit

One of the many things we love about Japan is its impressive variety of vending machines. We’ve seen everything from orange juice that looks like soy sauce to cans of hot, clam-packed miso soup make its way to the hands of customers through the wonders of mechanised distribution.

Recently, we stumbled on a machine we’d never seen before, and one that’s unique even by Japanese standards. Meet the persimmon vending box that delights customers on Sado Island with a rare variety of fruit that’s only grown locally, away from mainland Japan.

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“Whiteday” – A Korean virtual reality horror game that’s sure to get your heart racing【Video】

White Day, observed on March 14, is celebrated in Korea the same way it’s celebrated in Japan: by men confessing their love or returning the affections of the women who gave them chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

But what happens when your plans to leave the girl of your dreams a sweet surprise get you locked inside your school and running for your life, chased by possessed janitors and other ghastly haunts? You get the horror game Whiteday: A Labyrinth Named School, which is getting a re-make and will be released later this month.

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Now you can buy colorful and adorable shoes inspired by the anime idols of Prism Paradise!

It’s perfectly natural in Japan for a popular and well-loved anime to pair up with a clothing brand to create a sublime line of products that people will want to wear while out and about. Whether it’s jackets, jewelry, or shoes, there’s usually something for everyone.

Anime fashion site Super Groupies is one such online venue that loves to turn our favorite characters into delightful fashions. This time, they’re joining forces with the singing, dancing idol anime Prism Paradise, to create a series of vibrant and original shoes that you might want to wear even if you have no idea what Prism Paradise is.

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Gintama anime entering the critically acclaimed Assassination Arc this December

Anime based on a successful manga series sometimes run into an awkward situation where they have to use “filler episodes” in order to give the manga time to add more story. These episodes are generally more of the same stuff fans already love, but in the back of their mind, they know nothing truly groundbreaking can happen in them.

Gintama is a special case though since the series is quite episodic and those in charge of the anime are free to add their own additional stories. Which is probably why one of the best stories from the original manga hasn’t made it to air yet. Gintama fans don’t have to wait too much longer, though, as the Assassination Arc is finally making its debut on TV this December.

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Is Japanese woman’s cooking failure worst home-cooked meal ever, or best home-made monster?

Aside from the annual King of RocketNews24 Fighters underground bare-knuckled combat tournament, my job doesn’t require a lot of physical activity. That said, I still often find my stomach rumbling while I’m writing an article if it happens to be about meat, desserts, or some crossover between the two categories.

But I think I just lost my appetite, thanks to this Japanese Twitter user’s miscue in the kitchen and the accompanying photos of the most horrific home cooking imaginable.

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What Japanese women really think about the gender gap in Japan【Video】

During our Women in Japan series, we discussed some of the powerful reasons to be a woman in Japan. From a Westernised viewpoint, it’s sometimes hard to accept the fact that, while Japan is still very much a patriarchal society, many women (not all, but many) here don’t actually want to be out there smashing glass ceilings and “leaning in” at the office when instead they could be doing things that women were traditionally appreciated for in Japan, namely cooking, housekeeping and raising the kids.

If you’re still in doubt as to exactly what Japanese women think of the gender gap in their country, this informative street interview video from YouTuber Yuta Aoki should provide some answers.

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Two Tokyo wards issue Japan’s first ever same-sex partnership certificates

Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward has been creating headlines around the world since the district first announced that it would begin issuing Japan’s first same-sex partnership certificates in the fall. Fast forward to this month, and both Shibuya and neighboring Setagaya Ward today issued their very first certificates!

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Burger King Japan giving discounts if you bring a McDonald’s Big Mac into one of its restaurants

For companies in the fast food hamburger business, there’s no way of getting around the fact that they’re in competition with McDonald’s. So instead of trying to tiptoe around the situation, Burger King Japan has decided to try to tackle its rival head-on with the new Big King 4.0 sandwich, which Burger King has just introduced to the Japanese market.

If you’ve got burgers on the brain, the name Big King no doubt reminds you of McDonald’s Big Mac, and that’s fine with Burger King. As a matter of fact, thanks to an unusual promotion going on right now, Burger King will give you a discount on a Big King if you bring in a receipt showing you recently bought a Big Mac, or, even stranger, if you bring in the actual McDonald’s hamburger itself.

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The Ghibli that no one knows: former animator’s book offers inside look into famed anime studio

Studio Ghibli’s animated works have won acclaim around the world, and we’re sure many of our readers are familiar with their hit films like Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky. But have you ever wondered what it may be like to actually work in the famous studio? Well, now it looks like we can get a glimpse of what goes on in the studio, as one of Ghibli’s former animators, Hitomi Tateno, will be coming out later this month with a book titled “The Pencil War Chronicles: The Studio Ghibli that Nobody Knew“!

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