Liquid-filled Disney iPhone cases give us another reason to play with our phones

What do you get if you cross Disney, an iPhone, and a snowglobe? These new liquid-filled Disney iPhone cases, of course!

Not only are these things functional (preventing your precious phone from getting scratched) they’re also a source of constant fun as you can flip the phone upside-down and watch all the characters float around on the back.

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Check out that fluffy belly! Donguri the cat loves to lounge around on his back

A while back we investigated what our sleeping styles say about our personality. One of the things we found out is that if you tend to sleep on your back, you’re more likely to be assertive and possibly even a little self-centred – two words one might use to describe Donguri (acorn) the pussycat, who’s been spotted cat-napping all over his owner’s house flat on his back!

Warning – this post contains extreme amounts of fluffyness!

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May all your fairy tale dreams come true, with these real wearable glass slippers!

For any of you who have ever wished for your own fairy tale ending, for your Prince Charming to come and sweep you off your feet and carry you away to his kingdom, or if you ever simply wondered what it would be like to wear shoes made of a material that could potentially shatter and cut your feet to bits, well then these real blown-glass, Cinderella-inspired slippers are just what you’ve been looking for!

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Beijing Opera meets sun protection: Facekini 4.0 for skin tone and fashion conscious bathers

June has come, which means summer is just around the corner (in the northern hemisphere at least)! While Westerners rejoice at the chance to work on their golden brown tans, their Asian counterparts have a completely different take on health and skin tone, and want nothing more than to avoid the sun’s harsh rays.

No one, even the most vehement proponents of milky-white skin, can avoid the lure of the sea or pools on hot summer days, however, so they’ve turned to the help of the Facekini, a ski-mask-esque sun cover-up that emerged in 2006 and was thought to become the next big trend.

While it hasn’t quite taken over the globe yet, the new generation of masks are sure to get the attention of the fashion world with their wild Beijing Opera-inspired designs.

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Otter covers itself with dead flesh, is somehow still cute

Usually when someone wants to wear a dead thing’s skin, we call the police or at least make a really creepy movie. But if that someone is an otter, it’s suddenly super cute.

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Two Japanese baseball mascots meet in the outfield for a kick to the face and shot to the head

Japanese sports in general place an emphasis on discipline, sportsmanship, and respect for the game. Even though baseball was imported in fairly modern times from America, these traditional values are still in full play, as showboating and taunting on the diamond are frowned upon as much as they are in the sumo ring.

Normally, these high standards of conduct extend to everyone in the ball park, players, fans, and stadium employees included. One recent game, though, saw an odd bit of violence between opposing mascots, including a boot to the face and baseball remix of a gangland-style execution.

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Looking for a great meal in Tokyo? Try this cigarette stand

When starting a restaurant, creating a good appearance is important. In a way, the look of an eatery reflects the quality of food that it serves. Looks can be deceptive, however, as just like people, the beauty of a restaurant might be limited to the surface.

The opposite also holds true, though, as our own Mr. Sato learned during an excursion to the Dogenzaka area of Tokyo. Inside this unassuming cigarette stand that you wouldn’t even realize was a restaurant, he found one of the best meals he ever had.

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Prestigious Chinese university under fire for allegedly plagiarizing a Japanese PR video

The prestigious Fudan University (复旦大学) in Shanghai, China has been hit by a storm of criticism for allegedly ripping off a PR video which was released by the University of Tokyo last year.

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Studio Ghibli producer kills theory of death subtext in My Neighbor Totoro

There’s a persistent rumor, one which we’ve talked about ourselves, that claims there’s a dark side to feel-good anime classic My Neighbor Totoro. The theory holds that while the movie opens with two lively sisters in the spotlight, both of them die somewhere before the end of the film, and the immense huggable Totoro isn’t in fact a forest spirit, but a death god ushering them into the afterlife.

If this creepy interpretation has been spoiling the warm fuzzy sensation you used to get from watching what you once thought was a heart-warming film, you can breathe easy again, as none other than Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki has publicly put the rumor to rest.

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Splatoon dominates Japanese video site, makes us wonder if everyone is eating properly

While the Wii U hasn’t exactly been the biggest success in Nintendo’s history, we can’t help wondering if newly released game Splatoon is going to help turn things around. The game currently has a score of 81 on Metacritic (and an 8.3 out of 10 from users), so it’s certainly getting some appreciation from gamers and game critics alike overseas. Someone in Europe even stole a truck full of copies of the game and Amiibo!

But how about in Japan? We already know that there seems to be a lot of younger people excited about it, but it’s not just kids who are loving the game…

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Japan’s 10 weirdest ice cream flavors

Temperatures are shooting up all around the archipelago and that means soft serve season has come to Japan! For some baffling reason, vanilla remains far and away the most popular flavor for Japanese, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get creative with their frozen treats too. Flavors like green tea and ume plum are easy to find (and delicious), but don’t stop there if you want to try some really out there local flavors.

Here are our choices for the 10 weirdest soft serve flavors Japan has to offer.

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Super Mario is turning 30, Nintendo celebrates with a trip down memory lane and a new project

Do you remember where you were when you played your first Super Mario Bros. game? If you’re old-school like us, you’ll probably remember the feel of that rectangular gray NES controller in your hands, or if you’re Japanese old-school, then the burgundy Famicom controller probably means a great deal to you. If you are a bit younger, perhaps your first time with Nintendo’s rotund plumber was with Super Mario World or Super Mario 64. Or how about Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy? Needless to say, if you are a gamer, you’ve got a Mario memory somewhere in there!

Nintendo is excited to celebrate the 30 years of Mario this year, and they want you to head down the warp pipe to check out the history of Mario and what is coming up next.

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Playing with water: Japanese Twitter user shares how to create jiggly water jelly!

Remember those mizu shingen mochi water cakes that we got all excited about last summer? Well, a recent tweet showing how you can create something that at least looks very much like the fleeting, gone-in-30-minutes cakes offered by the Kinseiken shop in Yamanashi Prefecture has been making the rounds on the Japanese Twitterverse.

If you want to try having a bit of fun playing with water, all you apparently need, besides the water of course, is two ingredients you can get at a drug store!

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Tokyo Disneyland’s Buzz Lightyear has a friend in Woody, and also a friend in his crotch

There are only so many hours in a day, which means all the time you devote to listening to Japanese girls’ rock bands or learning a half-dozen ways to says “breasts” in Japanese means less time for soaking up mainstream American pop culture. As a result, I’ve got some pretty big gaps in my Hollywood movie-watching history, but at least I know their basic plots because they’ve been talked about and referenced elsewhere so much.

For example, I know Titanic is about an elderly woman fondly remembering some dude she hooked up with on a cruise 70 years ago, who was apparently so good in the sack that she has no time on her deathbed to remember her children or the man who fathered them. Forest Gump is about remarkably patient bus travelers who are willing to listen to the life story a complete stranger because of his vague promises of giving them chocolate at some point.

And Toy Story, as I can infer from these Tokyo Disneyland photos, is about how a humble cowboy and abrasive astronaut learn to overcome their differences and become pals when one gives the other a hand job, right?

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Nintendo might be using Android to power its next games console

Nintendo may be ditching its historic proprietary operating systems (OS) and instead using Android to power its next games console, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Kotaku reported.

If true, this could be a big win for Google, while helping to boost Nintendo’s flagging sales.

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Kids of the ’00s rejoice: a live-action Hollywood Beyblade film is in the works

Following the success of other popular toy franchises turned Hollywood films such as Transformers and G.I. Joe, Paramount Pictures has announced that they have acquired the rights to make a live-action Beyblade film.

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Listen to this: Chinese man with unique talent can blow up a swim ring with his ears!

Summer is almost here! For most of us on the north side of the equator, that usually means grabbing your towel, swimsuit, and maybe your swim ring for a trip to the beach. What better way to spent the season than lazily floating along the shore in a rubber tube to stay cool and beat the heat?

The only catch is that sometimes blowing up one of those swim rings can be a serious pain. Not for Tian Pan, a 39-year-old man from Fujian, China, though. Choosing to forgo the traditional method of blowing into the hole on the ring with your mouth, he decided to accomplish the task by blowing it up with his ears instead!

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Denim ice cream, burgers and steamed buns now on sale from Japan’s jeans capital

About three hours from Tokyo on the bullet train is a beautifully preserved area in Okayama Prefecture’s Kurashiki known as the Kurashiki Bikan historical quarter. Set alongside a picturesque canal, the district has long been known for its traditional storehouses and shops, but now it’s looking to celebrate one of its most profitable exports – denim.

With more than 100 family-run indigo and dyeing factories operating throughout the prefecture, denim has long been an important part of area’s economy. And what better way to celebrate the locally made textile than with a selection of special foods? Come with us as we show you what burgers, ice cream and steamed buns look like when crafted in a denim blue hue.

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Heading to a Shinto shrine soon? You might not want to read these ghost stories before you go!

If you’re spending even a short amount of time in Japan, visiting at least one Buddhist temple and one Shinto shrine should definitely be on your list. It doesn’t matter too much which one you go to — they all tend to be lovely places with great atmospheres. Of course, some are bigger and fancier than others, and some just have better locations, like on top of mountains or in forests.

However, it turns out that, according to certain legends flying around on Twitter right now, you might want to be careful about which shrines you visit, or something spooky could be waiting for you…

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Daiso’s new hair-drying glove is set to revolutionize the way we dry hair

Good things come in small packages, right?

The new “hair-drying glove” (ヘアドライ手袋) being sold at Japan’s Daiso chain of 100-yen shops is currently plastered everywhere on Japanese social media, and for good reason–it’s a simple but extremely effective and convenient way to dry your hair!

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