Dinner is served! Get your teeth into giant marine isopods – tastes just like chicken!

Dinner is served! Get your teeth into giant marine isopods – tastes just like chicken!

Those right there my friend are fried armored isopods, and they’re just waiting for you to munch down on those crunchy exoskeletons. Heston Blumenthal get on over here, ‘cos this might be just what you need to get your next Michelin star.

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Real-life soap opera: Chinese couple get married, realize that they’re cousins later

Real-life soap opera: Chinese couple get married, realize that they’re cousins later

When we were kids, we were often told to “listen to your mother” or “do as dad says”, and many of us probably went through a time when we secretly swore that we’d never listen to our parents again once we grew up. But as age catches up, some of us begin to realize that our moms and dads do make more sense than we do sometimes.

A Chinese couple recently ignored their parents’ objections to their union and secretly tied the knot, only to later discover that they were actually cousins!

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Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro shows us her Attack on Titan cosplay, steals our hearts

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro shows us her Attack on Titan cosplay, steals our hearts

Attack on Titan, the story of an ongoing battle between humankind and a race of ferocious, powerful giants, took not just Japan but most of the manga-loving world by storm last year, fast becoming one of the biggest sellers of 2013.

The combination of breathtaking action scenes, plot twists and genuinely fearsome adversaries has fans glued to their manga and TV screens, but there’s one female character that we could never forget about and who kept us coming back for more: Eren’s adopted sister, Mikasa.

We recently asked – nay, begged – a friend of ours, frequent variety show guest and actress Mihiro, to do us the honour of slipping into a Survey Corps uniform to show us her Mikasa cosplay skills. We knew it’d be good, but we had no idea that this 31-year-old Japanese celebrity could possibly resemble Attack on Titan‘s female hero so flawlessly. Come with us now as we stare open-mouthed and wide-eyed at the sheer cuteness that is Mihiro as Mikasa. We think you’ll be very, very impressed.

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Miraculous “cancer-curing” Japanese buckets selling like hotcakes in China

Miraculous “cancer-curing” Japanese buckets selling like hotcakes in China

It’s no secret that Japanese craftsmanship is some of the best out there. Manufacturing companies spare no expense to ensure their products satisfy customer expectations and last a lifetime.

But did you know that some Japanese companies are apparently taking customer service to the next level by injecting cancer-curing agents into a variety of products, even the lowly plastic garbage pail? Neither did we, until we found said buckets selling for up to US$100 on the Chinese Internet retail site Taobao. Confused and intrigued, we clicked on…

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“Those are her GRANDCHILDREN?!” Youthful 42-year-old grandmother astounds Chinese netizens

“Those are her GRANDCHILDREN?!” Youthful 42-year-old grandmother astounds Chinese netizens

At first glance this Japanese family look like three sisters holding their children. But the photo, which is making the rounds on Chinese social media, actually shows three generations! And it seems no one can quite believe their eyes. Which one is the grandmother?!

Kazuko Inoue is a bimajo (“beautiful witch”), the Japanese word for an entrancing woman over 35 who looks younger than her years. The 42-year-old was crowned winner of the Kansai Bimajo beauty pageant last year, and if this photo of her with her two daughters and three grandchildren is anything to go by, we can see why!

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Views to die for: Nine beautiful, eerie abandoned structures to creep you out

Views to die for: Nine beautiful, eerie abandoned structures to creep you out

Though we usually think about beautiful places as being full of nature or exquisitely crafted and cared for, sometimes beauty can be found in the derelict remains of civilization. Or ghosts! Beauty or ghosts, and with the pictures we recently found online, we’re honestly not sure which you’d be more likely to discover!

Here are nine of the most spooky-but-gorgeous abandoned places around the world!

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Sony gives PlayStation 3 game cases a facelift, netizens complain they can’t tell games apart

Sony gives PlayStation 3 game cases a facelift, netizens complain they can’t tell games apart

Stroll into virtually any games store and, alongside a wall of lime and dark green that marks the domain of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Xbox One, you’ll now find the sea of blue that is the PlayStation section. With its latest console, Sony went with dark blue for the majority of its packaging, with all games shipping in cases with dark blue headers stamped with the stylish “PS4″ logo. The cases are the exact same colour as those for Sony’s portable console, PlayStation Vita, though since Vita game cards are so ridiculously tiny the cases are roughly half the size of the PS4’s.

But now, PlayStation 3 games wearing the same colours as their PS4 and Vita brethren have begun showing up in stores. Clearly Sony is aiming for a unified look across its PlayStation brand, but some gamers in Japan are not exactly pleased about the change and say that the new packaging is confusing.

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Pasta-flavored popsicle with tomato gelatin coming soon to Japan

Pasta-flavored popsicle with tomato gelatin coming soon to Japan

Gari-Gari Kun, arguably the best popsicle on the face of the earth, is no stranger to strange. The shaved ice-filled frozen treat from Japan has been served in a variety of weird flavors ranging from potato stew to Ultraman. Of course, Gari-Gari Kun also comes in more conventional flavors like kiwi and cola, but Akagi, makers of this fine dessert, never cease to provide wild new versions for those tired of normal. Just take a look at the company’s latest Gari-Gari Kun, which takes a cue from a savory italian dish: spaghetti napolitana.

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Several Tokyo train lines were momentarily shut down today in honor of Tohoku Earthquake victims

Several Tokyo train lines were momentarily shut down today in honor of Tohoku Earthquake victims

Tokyu Corporation, which runs train lines in the Tokyo Area, announced earlier that at around 2:44 p.m. today all of its trains would stop as part of a training drill to simulate the emergency situation that occurred three years ago today in much of Eastern Japan. It also announced on Twitter that Tokyo’s subway lines run by Toei and Tokyo Metro would stop at this time out of respect for those who suffered during the Great Tohoku Earthquake of 2011.

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Revealed! Japan’s top 10 handsome samurai【Photos】

Revealed! Japan’s top 10 handsome samurai【Photos】

Posed portraits in history textbooks can all look the same after a while. Formal clothes, dark to create enough contrast for a black-and-white photo; stiff posture because old cameras required the sitter to be still for at least a few minutes; no smiling, in case the photo blurred. It’s no wonder students love to embellish the illustrations in their textbooks with creative graffiti.

Luckily for us, Japanese site Bakumatsu Gaido, an online guide to Bakumatsu, the Edo period’s final years (1853-67), is on hand to liven things up with a light-hearted look at the samurai with the best-chiseled features, sharpest dress sense and most awesome photo poses. Join us after the jump for Japan’s top 10 ikemen (cool, good-looking) samurai, plus a few bonus selections of our own!

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Do not pass go, but do catch ‘em all with special Pokemon and Legend of Zelda Monopoly games

Do not pass go, but do catch ‘em all with special Pokemon and Legend of Zelda Monopoly games

Rather than being the next Pokémon Master, fans can now become the next Pokémon Monopoly millionaire.

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Remembering the people of Tohoku three years on

Remembering the people of Tohoku three years on

At 2:46 p.m. today, exactly three years will have passed since a Magnitude 9.0 earthquake shook Japan to its very core, moments later sending an enormous tidal wave that claimed tens of thousands of lives in the Tohoku region.

Today is a day to remember the people who are no longer with us, and to think of those whose lives were changed forever–many of whom were displaced from their homes and are still trying to start anew.

But today should also be seen as something of a gift. Those of us who came away from March 11, 2011 unscathed or are fortunate enough never to have known loss like the people of Tohoku are given days like today to pause and take stock of what we have. Whether or not you observe a moment’s silence this afternoon, and wherever you are in the world, try to keep Japan in the back of your mind today, but also try to look a little closer to home. Use today to effect some positive change in the world or in your own life, however small and seemingly insignificant. Donate to a charity you believe in; call your mother; switch off your phone for an hour and look at all of the cool stuff around you; start work on that book that you’ve been crafting in your mind for the past five years; buy some nicotine patches instead of another pack of cigs; book that holiday you’ve been meaning to take; pay for the guy in line behind you in Starbucks; tell your dog that he really is a good boy; make an awesome cake, then sit with a pal and stuff it into your faces while pretending to be dinosaurs.

As dramatic as it may sound, days like March 11, 2011 are firm reminders that sometimes there isn’t a tomorrow to put things off until, so make the most of today. Ganbare, Tohoku!

Need some inspiration? Maybe one of these groups could use some help:

Japan Red Cross Society / Cancer Research UK / (RED) 
Global Giving / Save the Children / World Vision / WWF

Tokyo restaurant says its lunch set has too much sashimi, as if such a thing were possible

Tokyo restaurant says its lunch set has too much sashimi, as if such a thing were possible

One of the biggest restaurant trends in Japan over the last two decades has been a steady erosion of the image that delicious food equals high prices, and vice-versa. These days, there are some real bargains to be found for those willing to do a little searching, particularly at lunch.

The afternoon dining market has gotten so competitive that often you can get an amazing meal plus change for the 1,000-yen bill you use to pay for it, which is exactly what you get with this gigantic tuna sashimi bowl.

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Cool cat chills out with his mohawk, doesn’t care what you think

Cool cat chills out with his mohawk, doesn’t care what you think

This cat is just too cool! A user posted a short video to YouTube, showing off this ginger beast’s totally rocking hairstyle. We’re pretty sure the handsome fellow would be getting kicked out of school for daring to wear such a gravity-defying mohawk!

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Gargling to prevent colds – Just an old Japanese wives’ tale?

Gargling to prevent colds – Just an old Japanese wives’ tale?

When I was a college student doing homestay in Tokyo, I mentioned to my host mother one day that some if my classmates had been passing a cold around, and I hoped I wouldn’t catch it too. “Oh, you should gargle,” she told me.

I was a little skeptic, and not just because she had previously told me that there was a pressure point in my ring finger that would make me feel warm during the winter, which she demonstrated by squeezing it with all her might (it worked in the sense that pain produces a sensation similar to heat). I’d never heard of the theory that just gargling, even with ordinary tap water, would keep you from catching a cold, but it turns out this is a pretty common belief in Japan, which some researchers say is scientifically sound.

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Would you buy potatoes from this car?

Would you buy potatoes from this car?

If the answer to that question is yes, then you might want to get down to the Namba area of Osaka where this yaki imo mobile was spotted selling freshly baked sweet potatoes for all to enjoy. As our one-sweater-wearing friend, Sebuyama, showed us the other day, a yaki imo is a great way to stave off the cold of this now-waning winter season. And what better way to enjoy one of these starchy snacks than out of the trunk of this decked-out luxury sedan.

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Tokyo café says the best ice cream topping is two more ice cream cones

Tokyo café says the best ice cream topping is two more ice cream cones

Today, let’s take a moment to ponder a serious question: what’s the best sundae topping? The old stand-by of a dash of sprinkles? A handful of chopped nuts for a little crunch and texture? Or do you find the idea of all that empty-calorie decadence troubling enough that it threatens to ruin the fun, so your vote goes to a few pieces of fruit?

We say the correct answer is none of the above. For our money, the best way to crown your parfait is with a whole ice cream cone. Of course, some of our more sarcastic readers may ask, “Yeah, smart guy? Well then what do you put on top of the ice cream cone?”

Another ice cream cone, obviously. Did you even have to ask?

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Another “Beautiful woman doing things” goes viral in China

Another “Beautiful woman doing things” goes viral in China

It might say something about the gender disparity still prevalent in Asia that whenever a woman of above-average physical attractiveness does something other than breath air, online message boards in Asia go gaga.

We’ve seen above-average-looking female truck drivers, above-average-looking female bowmen, above-average-looking female gym-goers… It appears that whenever women in non-traditionally-female jobs do what they’re being paid to do, the Asian Internet can’t help but stop and stare for a while, especially if said woman is, well… let’s just come out say it: hot.

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Game Review: New dating sim takes you back to school days of flirting with soft-shelled turtles

Game Review: New dating sim takes you back to school days of flirting with soft-shelled turtles

In a country overflowing with every dating simulator game both imaginable and unimaginable it can be hard to carve a niche. We’ve seen games in the past where players challenge themselves to score a date with an alpaca, pigeon, or T-Rex, but for those who want to play the field of the entire animal kingdom a new player has emerged.

The game is called Kikenna Kare ni Koishiteru (In Love with a Dangerous Boyfriend) and in it you assume the role of a young girl who enrolls in a school of a variety of animals from soft-shelled turtles to Japanese horseshoe crabs. We took the game for a spin and now humbly present this review for your consideration.

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Chicken Ramen mascot grows to giant size, runs rampant on the highways of Japan

Chicken Ramen mascot grows to giant size, runs rampant on the highways of Japan

Two of the things Japan is best at making are cars and cute characters. Sometimes these two worlds combine with itasha, cars slathered with painfully geeky anime graphics.

But itasha rely largely on decals, making them a literally shallow way of mashing up automotive engineering and cuteness. Isn’t there a more dynamic way to fuse the two?

Why yes, there is.

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