I need gum, milk, and a verse of “Let It Go”: Special karaoke convenience store to open

I need gum, milk, and a verse of “Let It Go”: Special karaoke convenience store to open

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been buying beer, bread, or ice-cream at my local conbini and thought to myself, “If only I could scream a few lines of verse into a microphone without having to leave the building.” In the past, the closest I could ever get to combining convenience store shopping with singing was choosing karaoke booths located immediately next door to a 7-Eleven, but now all that is about to change.

In a special collaboration between Japan’s third-largest convenience store chain FamilyMart and nationwide operator Karaoke Club DAM, a one-of-a-kind conbini x karoke parlour will open its doors on April 17 in Tokyo.

Yes, thanks to Japan you can now shop and sing all in the same place.

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Fan-animated Doraemon x Akira crossover will haunt your dreams

Fan-animated Doraemon x Akira crossover will haunt your dreams

What do you get when you mix the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games ambassador, the iconic and famous Doraemon, with a fictional doomsday scenario, as foretold by Akira? An eerie crossover that will populate your nightmares for weeks.

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U can haz Pokénoms! A how-to guide to cooking your own Pokémon pancakes

U can haz Pokénoms! A how-to guide to cooking your own Pokémon pancakes

The recent news that Denny’s Japan is offering Pikachu pancakes—but only on the kids menu—has some readers, and us too if we’re being honest, pining for Pokémon sweets. While store-bought kits have had less than perfect results, even when they’re for cakes, we are determined to produce cute ones at home!

Thankfully, with this recipe, you can make your own “Peachu” pancakes! Pichu is essentially a baby Pikachu, making it even cuter, right?

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The kid’s got moves: Tiny dancer wows audiences on Chinese talent show 【Video】

The kid’s got moves: Tiny dancer wows audiences on Chinese talent show 【Video】

Don’t even bother getting up on stage; this kid has just stolen the show.

Three-year-old Zhang Junhao blew audiences away recently with a genuinely impressive performance at a Chinese talent show. After handing the judges the remote control to flick between audio tracks at will, the pint-sized performer showed his skill on the stage, wowing the judges with an array of cute dances before revealing that his dream is to “make people happy.”

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REVIEW: Samsung’s new fitness gadget makes a sleek smartwatch

REVIEW: Samsung’s new fitness gadget makes a sleek smartwatch

After releasing a critical dud last fall with its first major smartwatch release, the Galaxy Gear, Samsung surprised a lot of folks in the industry when it announced an attractive new entrant into the wearable computing category, the Gear Fit, just a few months later.

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Can you guess the starting salaries at popular IT companies in Japan?

Can you guess the starting salaries at popular IT companies in Japan?

Thousands of recent college graduates are entering the workforce this week in Japan, and they have done well just to survive the grueling interview process. While most of them are probably content just to have a job lined up at all, a lucky few have already landed their dream job just out of school.

Landing a job in the IT industry is a particularly difficult feat. But if you do manage to score one, you’re guaranteed a high starting salary, at least according to Japanese variety show Akko ni Omakase. This Sunday’s broadcast featured a segment listing the starting salaries for new workers at eight popular IT companies in Japan. How do you think those salaries stack up against one another?

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The honesty of children: 3-year-old’s greeting tells father how little time he spends at home

The honesty of children: 3-year-old’s greeting tells father how little time he spends at home

As we’ve talked about before, overtime is pretty common in Japan. At a startling number of companies, it is not considered in the least bit unusual to find staff, who are contracted and only being paid to be there between 8:30 am and 6 pm, still at their desks until 9, 10, or 11 at night. Others may leave the office a little earlier, but are often wrangled into drinking with the boss or entertaining clients until all hours. Others still even work on weekends and, returning home late at night, only see their family while they’re sleeping.

Dutiful partners may grin and bear it when their husband or wife is absent from home for such enormous stretches of time, but kids only speak the truth. Like this little one who, on her father returning home seemingly for the first time in a long time, greeted him like you might a guest or customer to a restaurant…

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Japanese people react to the outrageous behavior of “monster” new company recruits

Japanese people react to the outrageous behavior of “monster” new company recruits

April is upon us again, which means the start of a new school and work year in Japan. So perhaps it’s fitting that Fuji TV’s morning informational show Nonstop! recently aired a segment about new company employees. But its focus wasn’t on just any new recruits to the workplace…it was about monster recruits! Read on to find out what kinds of unthinkable behavior shocked netizens and made them lament the rude ways of the younger generation.

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What does “Konnichiwa” really mean? Understanding Japanese greetings

What does “Konnichiwa” really mean? Understanding Japanese greetings

Well, good afternoon/evening/morning/day everyone! Today we’re going to talk about Japanese greetings and what they really mean.

Just as in English, “Konnichiwa” or “Good day” is a greeting that is technically an idiom with a complex and near-forgotten past. Just as English language greetings tend to stem from bastardizations of foreign loan words and/or full sentences that have been gradually shortened over the years, “konnichiwa” is actually a shortened version of a full and meaningful greeting, because, if anything, human beings are a lazy sort with a bad habit of cutting corners whenever possible.

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Professional selfie tips from a selfie professional 【Photos】

Professional selfie tips from a selfie professional 【Photos】

How do you take the best selfies on your phone? In Japan, for girls especially, pulling down your chin, turning up your eyes and giving your best duck lips is said to be the standard technique for photographing the most beautiful you.

BUT! This time we want to overthrow the established theory and introduce the ULTIMATE selfie technique. The person providing these tips today is a Japanese TV and movie star who’s a pro at taking flattering pictures of herself. So, directly from the star herself, the way to take the ultimate selfie is…?!?!?!

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Cat selfies are taking over the internet and they’re too funny to ignore!【Photos】

Cat selfies are taking over the internet and they’re too funny to ignore!【Photos】

Let’s be honest, if selfies (self-portrait photographs) were a crime, most, if not all of us would be found guilty. With a million and one smart phone applications created to satisfy our narcissistic photography habits, catering to the needs of every possible user group; from hardcore selfie maniacs to tech-newbies, even preschool kids are selfie experts these days.

If you are one of the rare few who have yet to jump on to the selfie bandwagon, get this. Even cats are taking selfies, and they’re surprisingly good at it! Not only do they look cute and fuzzy as always, they make some of the most hilarious expressions too!

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Fans and industry veterans celebrate Gundam’s 35th anniversary

Fans and industry veterans celebrate Gundam’s 35th anniversary

Gundam fans worldwide, including those in the industry, are taking to Twitter, Pixiv, and other social media to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam, which began airing on April 7, 1979. The messages have been including artwork, photos of gunpla, and more.

Here are some of our favorites:

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Meet Marutaro, the most famous hedgehog in the world

Meet Marutaro, the most famous hedgehog in the world

Meet Marutaro, a pigmy hedgehog who lives in Japan with his hedgehog wife, Okomesan, and daughter, Kinoko. As you might be able to tell already, he isn’t any ordinary hedgehog. With 41,800 followers on Twitter and plenty more admirers around the web, Marutaro is the most famous hedgehog in the world.

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Japanese university tries to win hearts of enrolling students with elaborate opening ceremony

Japanese university tries to win hearts of enrolling students with elaborate opening ceremony

We’ve seen what some lucky Japanese students get up to at their crazy cosplay graduation ceremonies, and now we bring you an entrance ceremony extravaganza! New students enrolling at Kinki University in Osaka on April 5th were treated to a stadium-style light show and idol dance performance conceived by Tsunku, the producer behind idol supergroup Morning Musume.

While some Japanese netizens took to social media to question the organisers’ use of funds in throwing such an extravagant party for students who are, after all, only just entering the school, the university offered up an original reason for putting on the spectacular show: to encourage the one-third of incoming students who hadn’t picked Kinki University as their first choice.

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Return of our favorite cat duo: Maru & Hana starring in “Box and Cats 15″【Video】

Return of our favorite cat duo: Maru & Hana starring in “Box and Cats 15″【Video】

We all know Maru. We love him, watch his videos on YouTube and then wonder how we can make our own animals as amazing as he is. This time around, Maru and his companion Hana find themselves with a new box. The newest challenger is long and rectangular with a perfect circle cut out of one end. What will happen next?!?!?! Drum roll please!!!!

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Eight Japanese words we’d love to import into English

Eight Japanese words we’d love to import into English

Recently, we talked about how Japanese, while a tough language to learn, isn’t quite as difficult as some horror stories make it out to be. Still, if English is your native language, certain Japanese grammar rules, like saying “wa” and “o” to mark the subject and object of your sentences, can seem like a major hassle.

With practice, though, these things start to become automatic. Even better, the Japanese language is filled with incredibly handy phrases that we’d love to import into English.

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Simon Boulsson’s “Tokyo Reverse” is backwards, gorgeous 【Video】

Simon Boulsson’s “Tokyo Reverse” is backwards, gorgeous 【Video】

In the age of affordable digital cameras and programs that can make even photos and footage taken by a team of cavorting chimps look artistic and cool, footage of popular destinations like Tokyo are ten-a-penny online. But this video from Simon Boulsson is not just noteworthy by stop-and-gawp-worthy.

Titled “TOKYO REVERSE”, the video is set to a pumping soundtrack and takes us on a brief tour of some of the capital city’s most famous spots. The views are of course stunning, but as its title suggests there’s even more to the video than that.

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Where can you find the most academically robust children in all of Japan? Hint: it’s not Osaka…

Where can you find the most academically robust children in all of Japan? Hint: it’s not Osaka…

Which prefectures produce the best kids?

On April 2 the Kyoritsu Research Institute announced their findings of where the ‘best’ kids in the country are brought up, based on an analysis of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)’s 2013 ‘National Aptitude Test and Education Survey’.

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Areas in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture working to protect custom of eating crow

Areas in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture working to protect custom of eating crow

Although apparently so famously gross it earned its own idiom in English, there are some communities around Japan that have long felt when it comes to fowl, crow is the way to go. For example the crow dish above can be found at Espoir De Maison, a French restaurant in Chino City, Nagano.

Ibaraki residents such as hunter Shinya Senmatsu say that such wild animals which feed on natural vegetation have more pleasant and less smelly meat. It’s uncertain if that really applies to crows who are omnivorous scavengers, but the locals swear by its surprisingly “soft and sweet” taste, to quote a local veterinarian.

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Five reasons nerds make great boyfriends: Japan’s geeky otaku list their pros

Five reasons nerds make great boyfriends: Japan’s geeky otaku list their pros

As cultural attitudes continue to evolve in Japan, some groups that have spent decades being socially ostracized are finally seeing the tides turn in their favor. For example, while the covers of most men’s fashion magazines are still plastered with photos of incredibly slender guys, the country has recently been showing some love for heavyset males as well.

One demographic that still tends to have a hard time landing a date, though, are the otaku, Japan’s catch-all term for obsessive fans of anime, video games, computers, and anything traditionally geeky. But could the popular image of otaku as the bottom feeders of the dating pool be a case of women overlooking their hidden merits as boyfriend material?

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