Video of dancing girls reminds us of Japan’s weird ’90s street fashion

Video of dancing girls reminds us of Japan’s weird ’90s street fashion

Once a common sight on the streets of Tokyo’s Shibuya youth district, women decked out in the alternative ganguro style are now rare…which makes it all the more strange that an online video of five ganguro girls dancing in a classroom has recently popped up!

Apart from its randomness, the video is actually pretty fun and infectious, and makes us nostalgic for other wacky Japanese street fashions. After seeing their moves, you might even want to get up and dance, too!

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Prepare to be blown away by Gundam projection mapping in the palm of your hand

Prepare to be blown away by Gundam projection mapping in the palm of your hand

Projection mapping is a big hit in Japan. Used at festivals and big events, the colourful and creative light shows project moving images onto buildings and objects, bringing them to life with accompanying music and drawing in adoring crowds.

The latest object getting the laser treatment in Japan is a life-size Gundam figure in Odaiba, Tokyo. While the figure has travelled around and been subject to projection mapping over the past few years, a new tie-in promotional product that has crowds going crazy. It’s a simple little box that, when used in conjunction with your smartphone or PSP, fills up with lasers, sparks and music in an amazing 3-D light show you’ll have to see to believe.

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Pouring beer into a very hot frying pan is surprisingly interesting

Pouring beer into a very hot frying pan is surprisingly interesting

Have you ever seen what happens when you pour beer onto a strongly heated frying pan? Probably not since few people are willing to waste it in such a way. But if you did you might have been surprised at the magical little show that takes place.

In the following video we can see that the beer takes the form of little spheres that seem to float over the surface of the pan. In fact, they are floating as a result of something called the Leidenfrost effect.

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Amakusa Airlines: Japan’s smallest airline with one adorable dolphin turboprop plane

Amakusa Airlines: Japan’s smallest airline with one adorable dolphin turboprop plane

If you are still mourning the loss of Japan’s Pokémon jumbo jet and prefer to fly the friendly skies in something overbearingly cute, look no further than Amakusa Airlines and its dolphin-themed airplane. Although the Kyushuu-based company is the smallest airline in Japan, Amakusa more than makes up for its size with a strong social media presence, a unique all-day flight challenge and its lone Bombardier Dash 8 turboprop plane painted up to look like a dolphin mother and two dolphin babies. Click below to find out why this tiny airline has captured the hearts of aviation fans in Japan!

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Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

In Japan, there is a saying that goes, “25 years old is the turning point of the skin.” As you might expect from a nation with a multi-billion yen beauty industry, many Japanese women, especially those who are past 30, are in a constant battle to preserve their aging features. Of course we’d all like to stay young, but how does one go about keeping their skin looking fresh and youthful? We asked a 30-something Japanese TV and movie star to reveal her tips to better looking skin. Read on to learn her beauty secrets!

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Where to find the “ultimate melon bread” in Japan

Where to find the “ultimate melon bread” in Japan

Just the thought of melon bread (or meronpan, as it’s called in Japanese), is enough to make my mouth water. It’s got to be the combination of that fluffy, sweet interior and the crispy, thin cookie dough outer coating…not to mention its heavenly aroma. Whenever I go to a new bakery in Japan, I always try out the melon bread first, and that inevitably sets the standard for me (by the way, plain old 7-11 melon bread is one of my favorites – who else agrees?!).

While it may seem contrary to fact, not all melon bread is actually made with melon flavoring. The name has more to do with the fact that its round shape and exterior grooves resemble a melon. However, we here at RocketNews24 have recently discovered an authentic, “ultimate melon bread” to beat all the rest! If you’re as big of a melon bread fan as us, keep on reading to find out where you can buy this little bun of happiness.

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Top 10 souvenirs from Japan, as chosen by foreign visitors (and not a folding fan in sight!)

Top 10 souvenirs from Japan, as chosen by foreign visitors (and not a folding fan in sight!)

Earlier in the year we brought you Japanese people’s best souvenir recommendations for foreigners, in which items like folding fans, Japanese wagashi sweets, and even traditional swords were featured. But what do visitors to Japan themselves choose as the best things to buy as a memento of their trip, or take back for their friends at home? The answers may surprise you!

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Hikaru Cho’s ‘optical illusion’ body art, round two

Hikaru Cho’s ‘optical illusion’ body art, round two

Back in June 2012, we ran a short piece about university student Hikaru Cho, whose bizarre yet captivating body art takes the meaning of “face paint” to a whole new level. Her works involve visual mind-bending trickery, including several recurring motifs like extremely realistic zippers and eyes seemingly integrated into the skin of her subject. This time we’re back to share a whole new slew of images of Hikaru’s masterpieces. Creepy? Awesome? Disturbing? Inspirational? You decide!

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These cat-laden sweets are too cute to eat…but we still want to!【Photos】

These cat-laden sweets are too cute to eat…but we still want to!【Photos】

We’ve found the perfect snack to go with those cat marshmallow lattes! The best match for a cup of hot coffee or cocoa with a cute cat floating in it has to be hotcakes loaded with little wandering kitties! The best (or worst) part is, those cats aren’t just decorations, they’re completely edible! More pictures after the jump!

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Expat blogger dishes on her favorite foods to bring back to Japan after a trip home

Expat blogger dishes on her favorite foods to bring back to Japan after a trip home

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, if you’re an expat, there’s something from home you’re craving. Whether it’s chips and salsa or a good, strong beer, not having easy access to your favorite foods can put a damper on even the most enthusiastic of world travelers. That’s why knowing what to bring back after a visit home is so important, and Sharla, a university student living in Tokyo who makes videos about life in Japan, is here to help. Take a look at her video titled “What to Pack for JAPAN 日本に持っていくべき物!” and be prepared to take some notes. As an added bonus, Sharla speaks in English but includes subtitles in Japanese so anyone studying either language can get some extra practice.
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AQTAS: the deep fryer that not only is safe to add water to, but uses it for better frying

AQTAS: the deep fryer that not only is safe to add water to, but uses it for better frying

In Japan, there’s been a lot of talk about a new deep fryer developed by Noritz called AQTAS. Traditionally deep frying involved using oil and oil only. Adding water to the equation would often lead to destruction to property and/or serious bodily harm.

Then there’s AQTAS which somehow not only is able to take in water and ice without an explosion but all of the oil in the fryer is actually swirling directly atop a layer of water. We’re not really sure exactly why it works, but it does and there are a bunch of other benefits to it as well.

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Japanese netizens get creative with custom iPhone unlock screens

Japanese netizens get creative with custom iPhone unlock screens

With the advanced state of the technology at our fingertips these days, our tech lives have never been so customizable. But one thing users may have never thought to get creative with is the iPhone’s humble lock screen. The most a typical user will ever aspire to is replacing the standard background with a picture of their cat or something. Or so I’ve observed of my more technologically inclined friends; I still use a rotary phone.

But did you know that with a little creativity and a photo editing tool, you can actually make some pretty cool custom unlock screens? Just ask these Japanese netizens that squandered their creative talents making anime characters say appropriately anime-ish things on their unlock screens:

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AKB48 producer Akimoto to produce 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

AKB48 producer Akimoto to produce 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

Yasushi Akimoto is a nationally recognized figure in Japan’s music industry as both an accomplished songwriter (he wrote Hibari Misora’s famous swan song, “Kawa-no Nagare-no You-ni”) and producer behind the vast girl group AKB48 and its predecessor, Onyanko Club. He is even reported to be friends with Japan’s prime minister, Shinzō Abe. On March 17, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Committee acknowledged his prowess by naming him a member.

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Photo collection shows Chinese families with everything they own

Photo collection shows Chinese families with everything they own

If you’ve ever travelled light for an extended amount of time, you’ve probably been surprised at just how little we really need to get by. While it’s easy to get carried away on the waves of consumerism and caught up in the throes of the technological age, it’s just clothes, some food and a roof over our head that’s really on our list of basic needs for survival.

One photographer in China has been challenging people to consider their own lifestyles and necessities with a thought-provoking series of photos of Chinese households. By photographing people surrounded by their belongings, these pictures seem to ask the question, “What do you need to survive?” and “What makes for a happier household: some company and the basic essentials or a modern lifestyle full of slick and shiny extras?”

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Stingy people rejoice as Japanese restaurants in New York introduce a ban on tipping

Stingy people rejoice as Japanese restaurants in New York introduce a ban on tipping

Please can I give you a tip? In America, we have this custom, you know. I have to tip the pizza guy. And you came all the way out here in this weather…”

The rain-drenched delivery man on the doorstep of the Japanese apartment looked mildly embarrassed as he waved away my friend’s money. It was a typhoon day – classes cancelled, school closed, and the English teachers from my school had piled into one apartment for a party. Not wanting to brave the lashing wind and rain to go out and get food, we had ordered pizza, but hadn’t counted on the guilt we would feel when the delivery guy turned up on a moped looking like he’d just jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed.

In Japan, there’s no custom of tipping. In fact, leaving a tip could potentially be considered rude, as the cost of the service is already supposed to be included in the price you pay. My American buddy’s attempt to follow his home custom in Japan ended in the delivery driver apologising profusely for not accepting the tip! In New York City, meanwhile, Japanese restaurants are bringing the no-tipping custom Stateside, as Restaurant Riki becomes the latest Manhattan establishment to ban their customers from tipping.

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Granny carries handicapped granddaughter to school every day, has never been late

Granny carries handicapped granddaughter to school every day, has never been late

Many city dwellers, including myself, complain and curse whenever the bus or train is late or breaks down mid-commute, causing us to be late for school or work. We often forget that we are in fact very lucky to be able to commute on public transport. Some children living in the suburbs or countryside spend hours on foot, some even have to cross mountains or rivers just to get to school.

Somewhere in Yibin City of Szechuan Province, China, a 66-year-old granny covers four kilometers of mountain roads on foot each day to send her handicapped granddaughter to school. That in itself is already an amazing feat, but the incredible thing is, they have never been late for school!

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These are probably the most realistic needle felted cats we’ve ever seen!【Photos】

These are probably the most realistic needle felted cats we’ve ever seen!【Photos】

Did you, by any chance, think that the picture up there was of a real cat? If you still think we’re trying to trick you, take a closer look! As real as it may seem, the cat pictured above is actually a hand-crafted needle felted cat made out of sheep wool! Produced by the skillful hands of Tamako from Nekolabo, these little needle felt felines have been getting quite a bit of attention on Instagram, especially among Japanese cat lovers!

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Kim Jong-un clones on the loose, hiding out in China【Photos】

Kim Jong-un clones on the loose, hiding out in China【Photos】

There may be only one murderous, sociopathic leader of North Korea, but with all the Kim Jong-un look-alikes we’ve found in China, we’re starting to wonder if he’s not actually the result of some bizarre cloning experiment. First, a “cosplayer” showed up on the streets of Hong Kong last October, posing for photos and looking as if he were on the verge of sentencing a village to three generations of hard labor. And now another look-alike has appeared in China…selling roast skewers on the street?

What the heck is going on here??

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LED plant factories offer efficient 3D alternative to traditional gardening

LED plant factories offer efficient 3D alternative to traditional gardening

The concept of plant factories is not a new one. Especially in space-strapped Japan, the idea of a compact garden that can simulate a natural environment in a tight urban area is highly desirable.

Keystone Technologies is one Japanese company that has been constantly refining their LED garden technology. Currently they boast a system that can fit about a quarter acre’s worth of crops into a space of a hotel’s single-room, and that’s just the beginning.

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There’s a party in my bathroom (but seriously, can I have some privacy?)

There’s a party in my bathroom (but seriously, can I have some privacy?)

My wife often rolls her eyes at me whenever she catches me on my way to the bathroom with my smartphone in hand (come on – if someone told you 10 years ago you could watch YouTube vids on the toilet would you believe them!?), but for me it’s no different to taking a magazine or, in olde worlde times, a newspaper. No point rushing things, right? Doctors tell us to take our time and allow nature to take its course.

But the owner of this bathroom in Japan perhaps feels the need not to chill when answering the call of nature, but to get their pulse racing and to make their visit as disco-tastic as possible.

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