60-meter Attack on Titan monster comes to Kawasaki, so we do too 【Photos】

In the eight years since it opened, the Lazona shopping center in Kawasaki has become the city’s highest-profile entertainment hub. Conveniently attached to Kawasaki Station, Lazona makes a great place to grab a bite to eat or shop for the latest fashions or electronics.

But like many of the visitors who made the trip to Lazona on April 10, we weren’t there for dining or bargain hunting. We came to see the projection-mapped 60-meter Colossal Titan from hit anime Attack on Titan.

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Sip coffee inside a giant vintage camera at family-run Dreamy Camera Cafe

Your eye might have gone directly to the giant red building in the photo, but behind that odd architecture is a happy family living their dream. Army aviation pilot, Park Sung-Hwan and his wife (who also happens to be a recently retired army aviation pilot) took their love of photography and coffee to the extreme, creating a one-of-a-kind cafe that resembles a Rolleiflex camera. It sits right next to their modest home, a juxtaposition of tradition and whimsy, and is nothing short of a scene out of a storybook.

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Japan’s public broadcaster goes thug-style, tags the house of man who refuses to pay fees

We’ve talked before about the oddities of how Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, goes about collecting its fees from ordinary citizens. Rather than sending you an official bill in the mail, collectors will come to your door and ask you for a stack of cash to cover the 13,600 yen (US$133) Japanese residents are technically supposed to pay.

However, many people refuse to pony up the money, since there’s no official penalty for nonpayment, and many feel that NHK’s programming is sub-par and rarely watch it. However, should you make one particular NHK collector walk away empty-handed, he just might mark your house for all to see, as he apparently did to one person we talked to.

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“Skippers”, “Ghosts” and “Idol Time”: The secret language of Japanese hotel staff

During my high school years, I worked in a supermarket, where an announcement over the loudspeaker system for “Code 19″ always meant it was time to head to the staffroom for a cup of tea. Just like my clever supervisor, many service industry workers have developed their own set of code words that they use to communicate without letting the customers know too much about what’s really going on.

But thanks to this list of the secret keywords used by hotel staff in Japan, next time you’re in a Japanese hotel you can prick up your ears and listen out for any exciting gossip going on amongst the employees! Just for fun, have a look at this list first and see if you can guess what they mean. What would obake, nō-shō, aidoru taimu, chirashi, donden, and sukippā mean in a hotel context? 

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Ten-year-old illustrator getting national attention for his unique style of portraits

Up-and-coming artist Mondo draws with a somewhat skewed sense of proportion very much like any other 10-year-old boy. However, from beneath the superficiality of his sometimes jarring contours, the unmistakable sense of his subject can be felt.

The impact his images create has been earning him a lot of respect around his hometown of Fukuoka and recently a growing fan-base around Japan. In addition to his public appearances where he draws visitors’ portraits, he has a blog on which he posts a daily illustration displaying his ever-growing talents. Check out his work after the jump.

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What men and women are REALLY saying, according to Japanese Twitter users

Men and women. Even when we’re all speaking the same language, it seems like we’re saying completely different things. If you’ve ever grumbled to a friend about not understanding what women and/or men really want, then you will definitely be able to sympathize with this one. Here are 10 tweets from Japanese Twitter users explaining what they think the differences between what women and men mean…even when they’re saying the exact same things! After reading this, you’ll probably have a better idea of why it often seems like the sexes just can’t understand each other. You’ll also probably be no closer to figuring out what they’re telling you…

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Eat like the judges and lawyers of Japan at this theme restaurant in Kumamoto

Eating out at a restaurant is as common as being asked “can you use chopsticks?” But with so many restaurants vying for your patronage, how does each restaurant separate itself from the rest?

We’ve brought you stories about them before, from the pop culture themed, Gundam Cafe, AKB48 Cafe, Square Enix Cafe, and Resident Evil restaurant, to the ubiquitous maid cafes, Lock Up restaurant, robot restaurant and ninja restaurant. Theme restaurants don’t just rely on popular culture to bring in the customers though. RocketNews24 has written about the restaurant that serves you the food that prisoners eat. Click on through to find out about another unique restaurant giving you a glimpse of how somebody else eats.

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【TBT】Micro amigurumi crochet animals are small enough to balance on your finger

I’ve tried to crochet a cute little amigurumi animal in the past. In fact, I’ve had several attempts at it, but failed every time. I read a book on crocheting and even had someone teach me, but the end result was always the same: a tangled mess of yarn, a whole lot of frustration, and the shattered dream of creating a yarn buddy to call my own. So when I saw these micro amigurumi, I couldn’t believe that someone was able to crochet a unique animal pattern, let alone one that is so small it can balance on the tip of your finger.

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Ancient Chinese characters prove that ninja cats once ruled Asia

Despite many of us considering them to be pets, with the immense power they wield over humans and their near total domination of the internet, cats are clearly the ones in charge. They appear with such frequency in ancient Egyptian iconography that many have wondered whether the Egyptians knew something about cats that we don’t, and no matter how many treats we give the felines we share our homes with, they just never seem to accept us as equals, let alone their masters.

And now, a photo of an ancient set of Chinese characters has given internet users in China even more reason to believe that cats were once the true rulers of the world. Behold: kanji characters depicting cats with ninja headbands!

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Japanese company invents “Spring Santa” – We love the concept, but it’s actually a little creepy…

Japanese coffee company, AGF, has just launched what they call a “social gift campaign” where you can send a thank you gift to the Facebook or Twitter friend of your choice, even if you don’t know the recipient’s email address. It’s an endearing concept, encouraging people to give thanks to those who have helped them, but somewhere along the line things took a strange turn. Robotic voice iPhone man and jerky green Santa coming after the jump!

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Cast photos released from live-action Lupin III movie

Recently the upcoming live-action Attack on Titan movie made waves by landing a lead actor and filming location, but the giant-fighting tale isn’t the only anime set to leap to the movie screen with a human cast. We’re just four months away from the release of the live-action Lupin III film, and producers have released the first stills of its cast of roughish outlaws.

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Gotta eat ‘em all with this awesome new Poké Ball bento box

While in America the stereotypical school kid lunch of a sandwich, apple, and some crackers can easily be tossed in a paper sack, things are a bit trickier in Japan. Japanese parents packing a lunch for their child usually include rice and a number of side dishes, which all need to be placed in sturdy containers so they don’t get crushed or spill during the trip to school, all of which then get placed inside a single, larger container called a bento box.

But why settle for a bento box when you could have a bento ball, especially a Pokémon bento ball?

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There’s a reason Yoshi dogs don’t exist in the real world: They’d be absolutely terrifying

If there are any small children in the room, now might be a good time to send them to bed or off on an errand. We can’t guarantee that they’ll sleep a wink tonight after seeing this “Nintendog” poodle with its fur dyed and made up to look like Yoshi from the Super Mario series.

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Japanese company creates iPhone case using a dead marine isopod

For some reason, giant marine isopods are always popping up in the news in Japan. Earlier this year we learned of the death of the lovingly named “Isopod No.1″ at Toba Aquarium, which passed away after going five years without eating. Back in March, lucky diners had a chance to crunch down on the tiny exoskeletons of moderately sized isopods in what was surely a dinner from some twisted aquarium worker’s nightmare.

Now, Japan’s fascination with the giant isopod continues in the form of yet another iPhone case. But this one is just a little more realistic (and a whole lot creepier) because it was made using the carcass of isopod No.1 as a model.

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“Dr. Fruit” or “How Japan Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Peel”

On more than one occasion, when the family would settle down for a nice bowl of grapes, I would do as usual and pop one in my mouth. Almost assuredly my wife’s face would contort into a grimace that would make you think I just licked a dog’s butt. This would soon be followed by a lecture on how the pesticides used on it seep into the skin and cannot be washed off along with pleas to stop this barbaric act.

However, I figured if I haven’t died or gotten so much as a tummy ache thus far, it’s probably okay. Nevertheless, every once and a while my wife would try to slip me a peeled grape to convert me, only to have my face contort into the shape of having licked a dogs butt.

The whole point of all this dog-butt talk is that my wife is not at all alone among Japanese people who refuse to eat the skins of certain fruits. However, in recent years, this trend has been changing according to a survey by Tropicana Japan and Dr. “Fruit” Motohashi.
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A quick refresher on the difference between Macau, Hong Kong, and Mainland China

The artist who created a super-helpful explainer on the differences among England, the UK, and the British Isles is back, this time with a primer on China.

If you’ve ever traveled from Macau to Hong Kong to mainland China, you’ll notice that your passport gets stamped every time. Each one has its own government, money, police force, schools, and even languages.

But Hong Kong and Macau are not their own countries, despite the fact that Hong Kong had its own team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Check out the video below for the quick, correct, and funny explainer, which will make you feel a lot more confident about any future Macau, Hong Kong, or China references.

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Notes from the Evangelion payroll department – How much does Shinji earn?

Many critics and fans credit the success of hit anime Evangelion to the way in which the franchise realistically examines the psychological effects of one of Japanese animation’s standard plot setups, in which a teenage boy must pilot a giant robot to save the world from alien attackers. To its credit, Evangelion does a fine job of answering how the mind of Shinji, its young protagonist, would react to the fear of putting his life on the line, the pressure of acting as humanity’s savior, and the sexual frustration of having the hots for almost every one of the few women he’s had a conversation with, but there’s one question the show’s never dealt with.

How much does Shinji earn?

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Raunchy rice, latex ladies, and squeezable soap dispensers: Taiwan’s first sex-themed restaurant

This, discerning people of the internet, is “Funny Sex,” a brand new restaurant located in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City. Featuring phallic food, booby-shaped stew pots, and more wieners than you could shake a sausage at, the joint is already receiving a lot attention online, and America’s CNN has included it on their list of must-see locations in the city.

Take a look behind the restaurant’s NSFW doors after the jump.

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Tokyo’s 7 stupidest public art pieces

Any city with aspirations to be a vibrant international metropolis should invest in interesting, challenging and useful public art, and Tokyo has certainly done so. There are some absolutely amazing artworks scattered around our fair city, but there are also some complete abominations lurking as well.

While acknowledging that art is subjective and one person’s favorite piece is another person’s piece of crap, here are what I consider the seven stupidest public artworks in Tokyo.

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Japanese fashion mag’s bust augmenting technique: button your shirt wrong

It’s often said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, which in many ways is true. However, society generally frowns upon the practice of unattached women wandering around town carrying trays of delicious steak in order to attract a mate. When steak isn’t available, though, breasts make a handy substitute for catching a guy’s attention.

Now, a women’s fashion magazine in Japan claims it’s discovered a technique to instantly visually enhance any woman’s bust size, and all it requires is a button-up shirt.

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