We make chocolate-covered potato chips

Potato chips and chocolate aren’t as obvious of a choice as chips and salsa, but the Royce Confectionary Company in Japan has had a impressive amount of success with their Potato Chip Chocolate snacks. With their sweet and salty flavor combination, these little treats are uncommonly satisfying. And even if you don’t live in Japan, you’re in luck, we have a super simple recipe just for you!
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Park’s new water attraction is a dream come true for capybara lovers

Haven’t you ever secretly wanted to play with a pack of the world’s largest rodent? Even if you’re one of those people who don’t quite understand the allure of the water-loving capybara, a native of South America, the folks at Shizuoka Prefecture’s Izu Shaboten Park are on a mission to change your mind. The park is already famous for its capybara hot spring during the winter months, and it will soon add another capybara-themed attraction to its roster–the “Cabybara Rainbow Plaza,” in which you can actually engage in water play with the animals! How can you pass up this chance to play with Mickey Mouse’s bigger, perpetually spacey-looking cousins??

But don’t book your tickets quite yet, because the “Capybara Rainbow Plaza” opens on July 19. More details after the jump.

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Photos from the Xbox E3 2014 Media Briefing【RN24 at E3】

We’re out here in Los Angeles for E3, the largest annual video game and entertainment expo in the world, and we got things off to an awesome start at the Xbox Media Briefing on Monday. Check out our RocketNews24 exclusive photos and video from the event.

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Authentic Thai food in Thailand found in the least expected place

Thai food is fantastic; the flavors of sweet and spicy excite the taste buds like little else. But in a country as diverse as Thailand, how do you know which restaurant to visit? There are so many local eateries, how can you decide which one will be the best? Well, RocketNews24 has a recommendation for you, and it doesn’t matter what part of Thailand you are in, you will probably be able to find it.

The restaurant we recommend for you to try some authentic Thai food is…McDonald’s!

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Toyota shares its creative thinking to help charities become significantly more efficient

Over a year and a half after Hurricane Sandy ravaged New England, some people are still without permanent housing. The poorest populations in New York have been impacted the most, dependent on aid long after the rest of the city moved on. Several major companies got together to assist in the effort for aid, but Toyota had a novel contribution: efficiency.

Toyota sent experts to New York for eight weeks to help Food Bank of New York’s partner organization, Metro World Child, improve their methods, thereby helping to get food donations to as many people as possible using as few labor hours as possible. The improvements meant that the same resources were used to provide food to more families faster.

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Nine countries, tons of food, one mode of transportation – From Beijing to London by train

This spring, our Japanese-language correspondent Kuzo travelled to Thailand, where, among other things, he treated himself to the largest hamburger we’ve ever seen. All that beefy goodness must have given him plenty of energy, since he’s back on the road again, this time travelling all the way from Beijing to London by train.

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Sit up! Japanese toymaker releases hunchbacked cat collection to stop office workers slouching

In Japan, a hunched back is called neko-ze, which literally means cat’s back. These days, one of the most common places to see neko-ze is not actually in the feline world but in the office, where workers hunch over computers, inadvertently ruining their backs and causing all sorts of problems in the process.

In an attempt to remind workers not to slouch, Japanese toymaker Bandai is releasing a series of hunchbacked cats designed to sit next to your computer. One look at these during the workday and you’ll stop the office neko-ze.

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Japanese airline rolls out its summer 2014 Pokémon-themed travel deals!

Pikachu invites you to create wonderful memories with your family this summer as part of All Nippon Airways (ANA)’s 2014 Pokémon-themed travel campaign! The summer campaign has proved popular with families with small children in the past (and with the adults, too…), and 2014 promises to be no exception. Some of the notable features include the chance to fly in a one-of-a-kind Pokémon jumbo jet, a special in-flight animated video, hotel rooms decked out in Pokémon paraphernalia, and other cool surprises! If you’re a Pokémon fanatic, this might just be the perfect vacation plan for you.

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Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup

There’s now less than a week left until the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and media and businesses all over the world are gearing up. Japan is no exception, with celebratory events going on and brands rushing to launch special themed products. In amongst it all, one particular advert from Cup Noodle maker Nissin has caught our eye for its great combination of traditional Japan and modern Brazil.

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On a small island of 570 people, 92 are named “Amano” But, why?!

When we think of an Asian country where many people have the same last name, Korea usually comes to mind. With just 250 surnames in use, half the Korean population bears one of three names: Kim, Lee or Park. Compare that to Japan that has over 100,000 surnames. So when we hear of a place in Japan where over 20 percent of the people share the same last name, it’s enough to pique our curiosity.

Meet the Amanos: Amano-san the ferry port manager and Amano-san the grocer; Amano-san who owns the liquor shop and Amano-san who serves curry lunches; Amano-san the plumber and Amano-san the carpenter. They’re all different people who live on the same small island and who, believe it or not, are not related.

How can this be? We bet you can’t guess why!

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Rainy season commuter must-have: a dry case for wet umbrellas

The rainy season is upon us in Tokyo, which means the smart commuter always has a fold-up umbrella in his or her bag. Their small size and portability makes them great for just-in-case days of dubious weather forecasts, but then there’s always the issue of what to do with them after you’ve used them. You can’t just fold them up and pop them dripping back into your bag, holding them by the strap usually means they end up dripping down your legs, and tossing them on the luggage rack means ta shower for the passengers below.

Until now that is. Someone has finally invented a workable solution! Introducing the Susu microfiber dry case for wet brollies!

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Osaka welfare clerk denies application, suggests woman seek work in the sex industry

Even the most conscientious planners can be smacked upside the head by life sometimes. Whether from a medical situation, accident, or family tragedy, you could find yourself in need of financial assistance just to make ends meet. Luckily, social safety nets exist for just this reason.

Still, it can be hard to swallow one’s pride and ask for help, which is why staff at the welfare office should be especially sensitive to the feelings of applicants, but a recent investigation into practices at the Osaka welfare bureau have uncovered that many applicants encountered shocking insensitivity, sometimes so callous it crossed into sexual harassment.

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Champagne, macarons and Pikachu? Paris plays host to Europe’s first Pokémon Center

The Pokémon video games may have been created in Japan, but there is no lack of Pokémon fandom in the rest of the world from redesigning sports logos to pokéball engagement rings. And to showcase France’s Pokémon love, a pop-up Pokémon Center has opened up in Paris this month featuring original art, limited edition goods and even a special pokémon sent directly to your Nintendo 3DS.

Unlike Japan’s eight Pokémon Centers, which usually focus on the series’ merchandise, the highlight of this pop-up show is the Pokémon gallery where you can sip champagne, munch on Pikachu macarons and appreciate the amazing artwork, including some amateur fan art. Click below to take a peek inside the “Pokégallery” and find out which Pokémon is France’s favorite!

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Chinese college student’s bizarre “Thong Condom” invention wins the support of financial backers

Everybody, it’s time to talk about junk.

Even to the discerning eye of the straight woman and the gay male, I’m willing to bet the visual appeal of even the best-kept male genital area ranks somewhere between the ugliest dog in the world and a Lobstrosity from Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga. Plus, despite the meme that there are more germs in your mouth than on your genitals – the swamp-like environment created from all those dangly bits contracted together by boxer briefs for hours at a time can’t be sanitary.

So it goes that enterprising young Chinese college student Kong Yongxiang apparently took one look at a standard condom and thought, “This is way too revealing.” She then went on to invent what is creatively called the “Eros Protector” – literally a condom attached to a thong, with a special pouch that goes over the testicles, ensuring that your male partner’s gross peen and balls stay both safely sheathed in latex and thankfully out of sight.

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Bizarre human cicada appears in Tokyo…oh wait, that’s just Mr. Leotard at it again!

Like any big city, Tokyo has its fair share of interesting characters. And it seems like one of our favorites, the mysterious Japanese Twitter user “Straddling a potty in a red leotard,” whom we have affectionately dubbed “Mr. Leotard,” is up to his usual public hijinks (read up on him here if you’re not familiar with his usual escapades).

This time, he’s taken to the streets of Machida, Tokyo, to pose as…an insect?! 

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Hey you, we’re at E3 RIGHT NOW! (Don’t forget to vote!)

This year’s E3 trade show, or Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 to give it its full name, is now just hours away. E3 2013 was one of the most memorable in show history, with Microsoft and Sony both pushing their new consoles in our faces like fame-obsessed parents trying to live vicariously through their grotesquely made-up offspring. This year, though, should be all about the games. And we’re excited.

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Adorable American Akita proves its pedigree with willingness to take on a bear

Even if you’re not an animal person, there’s a good chance that you’ll still like dogs. Or at least some kinds of dogs! We can understand people not enjoying being around smaller, shriller breeds, but everyone loves Akitas, right? Any animal that can inspire memes and cryptocurrency can’t be all bad, right?

And while there’s nothing quite as heartwarming as a happy Akita, it tuns out that they’re also the dogs you want by your side if you ever happen to run into a bear. At least if this adorable YouTube video is any sign!

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We talk to Pepper, SoftBank’s new emotional robot, kind of wish it would shut up for a second

On 5 June, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank announced that it will be selling a robot capable reading emotions and being a friendly companion to humans. The robot’s name is Pepper, and in addition to a chest-mounted tablet computer it comes loaded with an array of mics, cameras, and other sensors for sophisticated movement and interaction with people.

Frequently abandoned by his fellow humans, our beloved reporter Mr. Sato decided to go down to the SoftBank shop in Omotesando, Tokyo where a Pepper unit was on display. Although excited about his first chat with a robot, Mr. Sato would soon find that Pepper was actually kind of a jerk who totally dominated the conversation.

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Chinese citizens line up to catch a glimpse of this meat pie vendor

A meat pie vendor in China has been a recent topic of discussion on the internet, but it’s not for his snacks. He is becoming popular largely because of his resemblance to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Locals are lining up to buy his snacks and to have the chance to see him in person. (No word on whether they are big fans of the president or just enjoy watching a politician do actual work.)

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The next must-have item for game fans: Adorable stackable Kirbys!

Now, we’ve previously seen Kirby from the famous game series presented in various adorable forms, even as an amazingly elaborate and tasty-looking tart, but after seeing pictures of this soon-to-be-released Kirby product, we just can’t get over how cute he looks — as stackable figures! He’s so cute, in fact, that as cheesy as it may sound, we can hardly resist the temptation to shout, “You’re an absolute STAR, Kirby!” Read More

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