We ask an Itamae how to order sushi like a pro

Japan’s sushi restaurants range from some of the finest cuisine in the world, to cheerful conveyer-belt gigs where everything is 100 yen (oh, alright then, 108 yen) and comes with a free toy. For those of us accustomed to the “sushi-go-round” that is kaiten-zushi, visiting a “proper” sushi restaurant in Japan where there’s no rotating belt of plates to choose from can be a daunting experience.

When there’s no menu, and you’re alone at the counter, quivering under the watchful eye of an intimidating chef armed with giant swishy blades, how do you order with confidence? Who better to ask than a sushi itamae, a high-end chef of Japanese cuisine. One of our intrepid Japanese reporters went to ask one of these top sushi chaps, who gave us his best three tips for sounding like you know what you’re doing at the counter.

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Godzilla makes waves in this beautiful recreation of a Japanese classic

As if the power of the sea weren’t terrifying on its own, a Brazilian artist managed to make the wrath of Poseidon even more fearsome with the addition of Japan’s most famous monster.

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Wakayama man arrested for attaching underwear to cars of women he doesn’t know

It tends to be the smaller crimes that are the most baffling to understand. Fraud, murder, or theft all tend to come about from a certain human ambition for money or power. However, when a bunch of daikons go missing, how could you possibly deduce it was a middle school girl who enjoys the sounds of the radishes getting run over by cars?

In the same vein we have one arrest in Wakayama Prefecture in which a man stands accused of violating the obscene behavior clause of the prefecture’s nuisance prevention order. So, slap on your detective caps and have fun trying to come up with a motive for the case of “The Guy Who Stuck Women’s Underwear to Unknown Women’s Cars.”

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Investors watching Yo-Kai Watch as hit game/anime series leads stock rally in Japan

As Japan continues its long in-vain search for a way to recapture the glory years of the Bubble Economy of the 1980s, politicians and pundits have proposed a plethora of projects. But amid all the talk of privatizing the postal system, making the expressways free, and devaluing the yen, there’s one outside the box solution no one happened on until now: unleash supernatural entities into the stock market.

Maybe it’s something they should have tried earlier, considering how the supernatural characters of hit multimedia franchise Yo-Kai Watch are leading a mini stock rally all by themselves.

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The science of Attack on Titan explained: Finally, a Titan tie-in that looks kinda cool

Who would win in a fight between a Titan and Ultraman? How were the Walls built? Seeing as Titans never eat or drink, are they surviving through photosynthesis? If these are the questions that keep you awake at night, then we’ve got some bedtime reading for you.

Kūsō Kagaku Dokuhon (空想科学読本, literally “fantasy science reader”) is a series that addresses, queries and explains the science behind popular Japanese anime and manga. This time around, writer Rikao Yanagita has turned his hand to the inescapable Attack on Titan series, in this 208-page illustrated work that promises to answer all your titanic scientific ponderings.

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New father dresses like iconic pop culture characters and takes baths with his kid

Normally I pride myself on being able to come up with at least somewhat clever headlines for my articles, but this story is so bizarrely specific, I ran out of space just trying to come up with a comprehensible title.

What you’re looking at is a new father who got the idea to pose with his daughter in the bathtub every couple of weeks to record her growth from gross poop machine into vaguely human infant. The man’s wife apparently proposed that they add a little makeup to dad’s face to make things interesting and then the situation, as you can see, kind of escalated from there.

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We visit the Hello Kitty theme park to eat an adorable Sanrio meal

Even though it doesn’t boast the kind of attendance numbers that Tokyo Disneyland gets, Hello Kitty actually has her own theme park in Japan. Located in Tokyo’s northwestern Tama New Town district, Sanrio Puroland is dedicated to the beloved feline and her Sanrio brethren.

Puroland has the rides and shows you’d expect from an amusement park that was created to help fans spend the day with their favorite fictional characters. This being Japan, though, you also need special munchies to draw people to a destination, which Puroland has with its lineup of cute, colorful Sanrio foods.

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This “godly item” will help you achieve the perfect double eyelids

Honestly, I’m a bit terrified of Japanese fashion magazines, and some of the outlandish things they advertise. So when our sister site Pouch ran a piece about a special technique to achieve double eyelids that a popular Japanese fashion guide was advertising, I was a more than a little hesitant to read on, especially after seeing the photos from last time of Mr. Sato trying out the now infamous Eyelid Trainer contraption.

But curiosity eventually got the better of me, and it turns out that the trick uses a secret item that is not only inexpensive, but you probably already have it lying around. 

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These new “wet swimsuit” and “men’s bra” t-shirts will help you find your inner baka this summer

Japan’s hot and sticky summer days may mean that people are wearing slightly less than usual, but unless you’re some kind of magma demon impervious to the 34-degree heat we’ve been having recently, it also means you’ll be throwing sweat-soaked t-shirts and underwear into the washing machine with depressing frequency, making every other day laundry day.

Fortunately, book and cutesy crap emporium Village Vanguard has a couple of new t-shirts that are perfect for summer – and one of them already looks drenched before you even put it on!

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The awesome costumed fans of Nagoya’s World Cosplay Summit 【Photos】

With schools in both Japan and abroad on summer vacation, we’re right in the prime seasons for pop culture events like San Diego Comic-Con and Chiba Prefecture’s Wonder Festival. We recently attended both, snapping pictures of all the cool cosplay costumes, but the hobby’s most prestigious gathering was yet to come.

Last weekend the 2014 World Cosplay Summit was held in the city of Nagoya. Our own cosplay efforts aren’t quite competition-level, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy all the awesome costumes that were, so we grabbed our camera and hopped on the Shinkansen.

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One Piece takes over Yamanote train for 15th anniversary

The One Piece anime is turning 15 this year, and one of the birthday surprises includes a One Piece takeover of JR’s Yamanote Line.

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Dead or Alive 5 achieves new level of creepiness with “Bath and Bedtime” costumes

It should come as no surprise to learn that the fighting game series that spawned a bikini-packed beach volleyball spin-off and whose developers included the option to change how much female fighters’ breasts jiggle likes to get sexy. Dead or Alive has always been about scantily clad females, enormous boobs and gratuitous close-ups and poses; it’s not especially tasteful, but to each their own.

But the latest round of downloadable costumes for Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, called the “Bath and Bedtime” series, seems to be confusing “sexy” with “creepy”, as it pits female martial artists against each other while wearing naught but their jammies and bath towels.

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Do you use these “Philippine English” words and phrases?

Here at RocketNews24, we spend a lot of time talking about language–particularly Japanese and English in Japan. It’s no secret that English is a difficult language to learn, and not just for folks from Japan. Part of the reason for the difficulty arises from the numerous variations English has–from American to Australian to Singaporean. But one country in particular that stands out is the Philippines, which the BBC recently called “the world’s budget English teacher.” While it’s not exactly the most complimentary title, it certainly is true that the country takes English as one of its official languages (along with Filipino, which is basically a standardized form of Tagalog). Of course, in a country with around 170 living languages, it should be expected that Philippine English is quite a bit different from English in the US or the UK.

But just how different is it?

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Annual ChinaJoy game expo proves to be Asia’s biggest showcase of busty booth babes!【Photos】

ChinaJoy, the biggest game expo in Asia, finished off its last day on August 3. Boasting over 500 local and global exhibitors this year, including big names such as Tencent, Blizzard and EA, the five-day event was a battlefield for game companies; using their best-selling games, new releases and hundreds of booth babes as their “weapons” to vie for a spot in the limelight.

However, many visitors and cameramen were probably more attracted by the other fierce competition that ran alongside the battle of the game companies – the grand battle of cleavage among the booth babes!

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Cute little kitty works its way into crevices of owner’s apartment, Internet’s heart【Photos】

Given the small size of many Japanese homes, by the time you get all your furniture and other belongs in, it’s not uncommon to wind up wishing you had more space for yourself. Eventually, though, you learn to maximize your apartment’s storage capacity.

Bulky winter coats get folded and boxed up during the summer. Space under the couch? Fill it with storage containers. Too many DVDs? Throw out all the cases and stick the disks in a compact travel case.

And that tiny empty patch on the shelf? Prefect for a cute little cat.

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Let’s go! Japan’s best fireworks festival is waiting for you!【Photos】

Summer in Japan means a few things. For some, the negatives, such as the endless days of heat and humidity, are what always weigh on their minds. But for others, summer means mainly two things: festivals and fireworks! While most cities have a summer festival to call their own, the most common and most popular type is the fireworks festival (hanabi taikai). RocketNews24 wants to introduce you to the  fireworks festival that sits at the top of many peoples’ lists as the biggest and best fireworks festival of the summer! The location will definitely surprise you!

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Martial arts “master” demonstrates his incredible technique, leaves us laughing

When it comes to martial arts, there’s almost as much fantasy as there is reality. Despite the rise of MMA and full-contact contests designed to ferret out the “ultimate” style, debate still rages about everything from who’s the best fighter to whether or not Shaolin kung-fu is totally awesome. (It is.) One controversial topic that simply won’t die, though, is chi. Is it actually possible to project your chi out of your body like a Street Fighter character? Or is reality actually just a total bummer?

Normally, this would be when Dr. House would hobble into the room and smack someone on the head with his cane, but instead we have a video of a middle-aged Japanese demonstrating the fearsome power of his…eyes??

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We check out the view, eat amazingly delicious squid at Japan’s first underwater restaurant

In many cases, the Japanese language uses the word umi, literally “sea,” to mean “beach.” For example, if your friends extend the invitation, “Hey, let’s go to the umi next Saturday!” they’re expecting you to show up with a towel and sunscreen, not a compass and cutlass for fending off pirates as you sail your ship full of cargo to the Bahamas to exchange for molasses.

So when we first heard about a restaurant in Kyushu right in the middle of the umi, we thought it was built on the sand. And while we like an eatery with an ocean view as much as anyone, the reality is even cooler, as the restaurant is actually built off-shore, with half of its seating area below the surface of the water.

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Super-enthusiastic convenience store clerk fights the man, continues serving the people

I’m not sure which is more surprising, the fact that Japan has convenience stores everywhere, or that every clerk working at them seems to be polite and attentive. Even with those high standards, though, occasionally you’ll come across a real standout employee, such as Family Mart’s Kato.

As we reported in June, Kato throws himself into his work with more energy and enthusiasm than any manager has a right to expect of front-line customer service workers. But while Kato’s unbridled passion for his job has made him something of a minor Internet celebrity, it’s also attracted the attention of Family Mart headquarters, which has asked the animated clerk to consider toning his act down.

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Subway car decorated with anime idols literally brings fans to their knees in Shanghai

In a lot of ways, hit anime Love Live seems to be been created with laser precision to strike right at the weak points of Japanese otaku. It’s got a cast filled with high school girls in frilly idol singer outfits who all have their own unique hairstyles and quirks, but are without exception earnest, pure, and devoted to their fans above all else.

So it’s no big surprise that we’ve no seen not only Love Live smartphone cases and shoes go on sale in Japan, but also big-ticket items like sports cars inspired by the franchise. The series isn’t just popular in Japan, though, as the bevy of idols are seeing their popularity rise in China as well, as a Shanghai subway decorated with the show’s characters recently brought fans to their knees in reverence.

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