Leg-based marketing campaign at Tokyo Game Show catches eyes, leaves attendees scratching their heads

On our visit to the Tokyo Game Show, it seemed like just about every flat surface outside and around Makuhari Messe, the event’s venue, was plastered with ads for upcoming horror title Psycho Break. Inside nearby Keihin Makuhari Station, though, there was a different advertising blitz going on.

Adorning the train station’s walls was a series of posters showing nothing but legs. We’re sure they caught the eyes of plenty of male attendees, but just what the heck are they advertising?

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Mr. Sato shows up in costume, is the first to purchase an iPhone 6 Plus, meets Ken Watanabe AGAIN

With the goal of being the first in line to purchase an iPhone 6 Plus, Mr. Sato, our most outlandish reporter, parked himself in front of the Marunouchi Docomo store on September 15. After several nights living on the streets, finally the day had come! On the morning of September 19 at 8am, Mr. Sato, blue slime costume and all, purchased his coveted Apple gadget, but not before meeting famous actors and taking center stage in an interview. Here is his story.

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Insane lines for the iPhone 6 from around the world

On Sept. 19, Apple’s iPhone 6 finally hit stores around the world. People have been lining up since last week in some cities waiting for the big day. This tweet from Walt Piecyk at BTIG tells you a lot: “Streets are a mess in line including bags of feces. Security presence is higher.”

Even better than a tweet? Photos. Here’s a look at the insanely long lines from around the world.

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Taking indoor shoes out: Elementary student style now trending among women in Japan

As many of you know, Japan maintains a strong sense of uchi and soto, or inside/in-group and outside/out-group. As part of that culture, all people, young and old, are made to change their shoes upon entering most buildings and homes. Students, especially elementary school students, get a special pair of indoor shoes called uwabaki, often called “hallway slippers,” for use while inside the school building. Much like the trendiness of Japanese elementary school backpacksuwabaki are being seen out on the streets on the feet of fashion-forward women. But are elementary school indoor shoes really that fashionable? You’d be surprised!

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Stay dry with official Bleach umbrella swords

The characters of Bleach have some pretty enviable blades, but as cool as they are, fans just can’t go swinging them around a convention center. Now, thanks to a collaboration with knife and sword manufacturer Pacific Solution Marketing and Viz Media, fans can own replicas of their favorite characters’ swords, including the umbrella swords, in safe, convention center-friendly foam.

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Why does Japan have so many overhead power lines?

Something many visitors to Japan notice is the abundance of overhead power lines. Whether you’re in the suburbs, city center, or even rural communities, it’s rare to look up at the sky or towards the horizon without the view being crisscrossed by thick, black cables.

So why does Japan have so many above-ground power grids when so many other countries have gone subterranean? The easy answer is cost, but there’re also some purported advantages to stringing cables up on poles, and the country hasn’t quite reached a consensus on which is the better option.

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Pirates, pink hair and temporary tattoos: The girls of Tokyo Game Show 2014【Photos】

Booth babes, show attendants, scantily clad PR persons; call them what you will, these girls are a big part of Tokyo Game Show, and they’re not going anywhere. They man woman the booths handing out flyers, goodies and company-approved advice and info, always dressed in a way that catches the eye, and it’s hard to imagine the event without them.

Those of you who are unable to attend TGS in person, or who are new to the concept of “booth babes” may perhaps be wondering what all the fuss is about. So for you, and for those of you who pretend to disapprove of such saucy shenanigans but secretly want to look anyway, we’d like to present our collection of photos of the girls of Tokyo Game Show 2014. You’re welcome.

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Ao-nyan: Japan’s super-feminine model who’s, yes, actually a guy 【Photos】

Earlier this week, we talked about Thailand’s Tom subculture. Stemming from the word “tomboy,” Toms are women who follow the fashion trends and speech patterns of men, oftentimes so completely that they win over the romantic affections of other women.

Today, we’re crossing over to the other side of things with a look at rising Japanese celebrity Ao-nyan, whose feminine looks and girlish style are winning fame and fans, even though the model is a guy.

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We ride the Honey Toast Train to a paradise of massive, decadent desserts

Spend some time walking around Tokyo, and you’ll soon see that the city is packed with karaoke joints. But with so many competing chains, how do you pick which one to go to?

For those looking for some tasty food as they belt out their favorite tunes, it’s hard to beat Pasela. Aside from their tropically styled rooms, the chain is best known for its extensive menu, with the most popular item being its famous honey toast dessert.

But what if you’ve got a special occasion, and even the whole-loaf-sized ordinary honey toast just doesn’t have enough impact? That’s when you call ahead and order a massive Honey Toast Train, a dessert so massive it’s garnished with other desserts.

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A look around this year’s Tokyo Game Show 【Video and photo dump】

As you’ve no doubt already heard, the annual Tokyo Game Show is currently underway at the Makuhari Messe exhibition centre in Chiba Prefecture (yup, just like Tokyo Disneyland, TGS isn’t actually in Tokyo…).

It’s fair to say this year’s show is a little smaller than in years gone by, but there’s still plenty to see and do. If, however, you’re one of the millions of poor souls who can’t simply hop on a train to check it out, or only ever have a chance to see the show on its much busier public days, we have a little treat for you today: three minutes of video and a whole host of photos taken at Tokyo Game Show by our very own staff.

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Makeup transformation experts move to character impersonations【Photos】

We’ve previously seen the creative cyber citizens from the Philippines use their amazing makeup techniques to instantly transform themselves into superstars such as Brad Pitt and Miley Cyrus.

Well, things have gotten slightly out of hand since then and makeup transformation enthusiasts have apparently attained the ability of turning themselves into non-human forms. It’s totally bizarre! Check out their super transformations after the break!

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Master Japanese chef’s knife skills turn cucumber into edible art in just three minutes

Artists of different disciplines each have their own unique tools of the trade. A painter has his brushes and canvas, while a sculptor’s skills might call for a chisel and block of marble.

And a Japanese chef? All he needs to make beautiful, edible artwork is a cucumber and a kitchen knife.

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Kid’s video of whirlwind Japan tour reveals otaku paradise, pervy action figures

Everybody’s got that story. The story of why they decided they wanted to go to Japan in the first place. Unsurprisingly, for a lot of people it’s manga, anime and even J-Pop. For a lot of guys, it’s the girls. For (comparatively fewer) girls, it’s the guys. Some like the food. Some like the “Old Japan” feel of Kyoto and Kamakura. A few even go for the outdoor activities.

And some go for the pervy action figures.

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Benesse apologizes to customers by giving them 5 bucks, guilts them into donating the money back

Corporations are a lot like people in many ways, we often talk about them as if they act with a single mind and purpose, and they even have legal rights as an individual. Also, like many humans in the world, some corporations seem to lack certain social graces and may deal with other people in awkward ways.

One company who we might describe as “socially special” is education industry titan Benesse. After a major security breach earlier this year nearly 30 million people’s personal information was leaked and sold. To compensate the victims, Benesse is offering a whole 500 yen (US$4.60). That alone might be interpreted as a slap in the face by some people, but it gets worse.

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From plums to panties, the strange and beautiful bento of Keisuke Umeda【Photos】

When you think about the media that artists can work in, ink, paint, stone, metal, wood, and glass all spring readily to mind. We could take an even broader view and include things such as film, sound, and even light. But even then, we’d still be overlooking the creations of Keisuke Umeda, who brings to life scenes of beautiful nature, disturbing juxtaposition, and offbeat humor through the medium of boxed bento lunches.

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Dear Hikers: Stop pooping on Mt. Fuji if you want it to keep its UNESCO status

There are a few things people hope to find while hiking to the top of Mt. Fuji. Almost everyone looks forward to the breathtaking vistas. Others hope for the added bonus of comradery with their fellow hikers. Some may even expect to gain some insight into the Japanese spirit or national character by reaching the country’s highest peak.

But you know what no one goes to Mt. Fuji for an eyeful of? Feces. Unfortunately, visitors are becoming more and more likely to run across a pile of poo on the mountain, and that’s not only costing Mt. Fuji some of its cultural luster, it might also mean the end of its UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

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Twitter users report large groups of Chinese buyers in line at Apple Store in Ginza

With the release date of Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus still unconfirmed in China, buyers from the world’s largest smartphone market have been finding other means of procuring the much anticipated devices. It’s reported that Chinese resellers snatched up pre-order iPhones within hours on Apple’s Hong Kong website, hoping to sell the phones in China for as much as four times the retail price.

According to reports by Twitter users, buyers from China have also made their way to Japan with the goal of smuggling the iPhones back into China for resale. At the Ginza Apple Store, it’s estimated that as much as 90 percent of the more than 400 people waiting in line to buy an iPhone 6 are Chinese.

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Chinese university gets hot new Japanese teacher; internet goes crazy

Ask any group of students why they like a particular class and you’ll probably get a range of sincere-sounding answers professing love of learning and enthusiasm for the subject matter. While those things may well be true, in real life our reasons for making even the most crucial of life decisions aren’t always particularly noble or earnest.

When a beautiful young female teacher named Ms. Du took charge of Japanese language classes at one Chinese university this year, so many students turned up that she had to move to a larger classroom. Now, the stunning sensei at China’s Southwestern University of Finance and Economics has even become an internet sensation after photos of her were posted online.

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Power up with Mega Man E Tank sports drink

Sometimes, everyday tasks can seem like a bigger challenge than a stage in a retro video game. As the day draws on, you get more and more tired, losing the ability and will to go on. Wouldn’t itbe nice to have some sort of item that could instantly refuel all of the energy that you’ve lost throughout the day? Well, fear not, because CAPCOM has decided to bring the E Tank, one of Megaman‘s most useful and iconic items straight from the year 20XX to the current day in the form of a sports and energy drink.

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The ultimate in kawaii cookware — Mickey and friends turn themselves into adorable pots!

Here in Japan, we love hot pots, or nabe, especially during the cold winter months. Nabe can be cooked using a wide range of ingredients, from delicate seafood like pufferfish (fugu) to succulent wagyu beef, and they’re often served with plenty of vegetables too, so the dishes are filling and relatively healthy as well.

Now, these hot pots are usually all about savoring the various ingredients, but a reporter from our sister site Pouch found some nabe pots that are so adorable that just looking at them is bound to put a smile on your face. Yes, our favorite friends from Disney have turned themselves into pots for our dining and viewing pleasure! Even if you’re not a die-hard Disney fan, these pots are guaranteed to add some extra fun to your meal.

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