Sony Head-Mounted Device allows users to step inside an Anime

Anime Japan 2013 had plenty of booths at Tokyo Big Sight advertising the latest anime and hawking related swag, but some companies also took the opportunity to showcase new technology that might be of interest to fans of animation.

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How to get into Tokyo Disney Resort 15 minutes before it opens (without hopping the fence)

As two of the most popular leisure destinations in one of the most crowded countries on the planet, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea can get pretty packed with visitors. The more guests who show up, the longer you’ll spend waiting in line for attractions (so be sure to follow our advice about the best days to visit this year), so in order to get the most out of their day, some people try to arrive as early as possible, so they can get into the parks as soon as they open.

Of course, with so many Disney fans in Japan, even if you show up at that early hour, you’re likely to be sharing the park with a throng of other excited kids of all ages. If only there was some way you could get in even earlier.

Actually, starting April 14, Disney is offering a way to do just that.

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President of Japan’s Yodobashi Camera buys real moon camera for just under a million dollars

The only camera to go to the moon and back has recently gone under the hammer at Galerie Westlicht in Vienna and was given to the highest bid of €660,000 (US$910,000) to one Terukazu Fujisawa, the president of Japanese electronics chain Yodobashi Camera.

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We drink Japan’s spaghetti popsicle (seriously)

Don’t worry everybody, we’re fine. We didn’t suffer a stroke halfway through writing this article’s title, and the RocketNews24 offices haven’t been violently seized by half-literate chimpanzees with a penchant for prose (we make a protection payment of a bunch of bananas each week to the simian mafia to prevent just such a thing).

Spaghetti-flavored popsicles really do exist in Japan, though, and we decided to melt one down to see what would happen.

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Comic Walker app launches with 18 manga titles in English

Japanese publisher Kadokawa’s ComicWalker website and app launched on Saturday with 18 titles in English. The launch titles are as follows:

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The 8 least crowded weekends and holidays at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

In some spots, a trip to Tokyo Disneyland can feel very much like a visit to the original in Anaheim. Capering costumed characters pose for pictures with kids of all ages. Guests can stroll through Fantasyland and Tomorrow land. You’re never much more than a couple minutes’ walk away from a churro vendor.

But in some ways, Tokyo Disney Resort is incredibly Japanese. Well-behaved children uniformly refrain from kicking Mickey and his pals in the shins. Tokyo DisneySea will just as happily serve you an imported beer as an ice cream sundae. And of course, like any popular destination in Japan, the parks gets incredibly crowded.

Disney fans in the know, however, have a strategy for beating the crowds, and have compiled a list of the eight least crowded weekends and holidays of the year at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. And because we’re nice like that, we’re sharing that list with you today!

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New York gets its first cupcake vending machine

Japan has always had the market cornered on weird vending machines, so it’s going to take a lot to impress the people in a country where you can buy anything from fresh eggs to crepes from a metal box. But this new cupcake vending machine has been turning heads, not for how bizarre it is (by Japan’s standards), but how cute it is.

Sprinkles, the popular cupcake chain in the US, has just opened a “Cupcake ATM” at its New York store, the first of its kind in the area. It opened just 24 hours ago and the lines have been unbelievably long. Let’s take a closer look at the opening day.

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Never fear, Uterus Man is here: Video featuring anthropomorphic lady parts turns heads

We’ve seen a lot of anthropomorphic characters coming out of Asia, such as smiling Japanese salmon fillets and Chinese “map girls.” There have been some really strange ones, but we never thought we’d see anthropomorphic lady parts rocketing across our computer screens. But here it is, Uterus Man, directed and edited by Taiwanese artist, Lu Yang.

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Crimean attorney general responds to the Internet’s attempts to turn her into an anime character

Japan’s infatuation with Natalia Poklonskaya, Crimea’s newly appointed and unusually photogenic attorney general, is still going strong. In the week since we first reported on it, fan art based on Eastern Europe’s comeliest stateswoman has continued to proliferate.

But how do Poklonskaya, and for that matter her anime-loving daughter, feel about the unique sort of attention she’s been getting?

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Cosplay panties bring photographers to their knees, but maybe not why you’d expect

Recently, we came two stories of trains decorated with pictures of anime girls, and also hardcore fans who fantasize about peeking at their panties. Really, this is pretty disturbing. I mean, these are 2-D pieces of promotional art we’re talking about here. Are there no anime fans out there who would rather peer into the pleated folds of a real girl’s skirt?

Actually, yes, there are many.

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Need gyoza right now? Great dumpling restaurant is just 20 seconds from Yoyogi Station

Although the juicy pork dumplings called gyoza originated in China, they’re a favorite of both students and expats in Japan. Filling and cheap, they make a great hot meal, and are also a popular way to fortify yourself for a night of drinking, or to satisfy the alcohol-induced bout of the munchies that follows one.

While Japan is filled with gyoza joints, some of the most popular develop an almost cult following, so when we got wind of a tasty pot sticker depository called Sosan no Mise at the next station over from the RocketNews24 office, we decided to check it out.

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There’s something about sakura: It’s hard not to fall in love with Japan’s cherry blossom【Videos】

Spring has arrived in Japan, and that can mean only one thing: Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing parties! But what is it about hanami, and those pretty pink petals in general for that matter, that manages to capture the hearts and minds of so many?

Let’s take a look at a handful of videos that capture the mood of hanami season perfectly and see if we can pinpoint exactly what it is that makes the season so special!

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We try pork nigiri sushi at a ramen shop in Tokyo

Tokyo Ramen Marion, a small ramen shop in the Kita Ward of Tokyo, has a menu item that outshines its namesake dish. That item is the chashu pork nigiri sushi, made to resemble the sushi that is almost always made with fish. Our reporter took a trip out to see what this unusual food was all about and came back with a full belly and a completely new view of Japan’s most famous dish.

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Gunma Prefecture’s adorable mascot dances into our hearts and travel plans 【Video】

At first glance, Gunma may not seem to have a whole lot going for it. It’s one of Japan’s few landlocked prefectures, which means less access to Japan’s legendarily fresh seafood. The lack of a coastline also means Gunma doesn’t have a vibrant urban heart like Japan’s largest cities which grew out of its busiest ports, so economic and modern entertainment opportunities are limited compared to Tokyo, Osaka, or Fukuoka.

What Gunma does have is mountains, hot springs, and shrines, though. It’s also got Gunma-chan, its lovable horse mascot who shows off the prefecture’s attractions and some adorable dance moves in this new video.

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Beauty Tip: See how to get instant double eyelids【Video】

Who doesn’t want to look as good as possible — and if a little bit of make-up helps, so much the better, right? Well, the staff at our sister site Pouch found an interesting video from what appears to be a Korean TV program containing some potentially useful beauty tips. And if there’s one thing we know, it’s that women, regardless of age and nationality, are always up for some beauty advice, especially if it doesn’t involve surgery or some other drastic measure (like having a bunch of snails crawl over your face), which is why we thought we’d share this with you. In this case, the video offers advice on how to achieve a double eyelid look using just make-up. So, let’s see how effective the make-up technique is.

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Man sues police after being locked in with a member of yakuza group he was trying to leave

Little kids sometimes get into trouble with bullies, and when they do, they feel reluctant to go to their parents, imagining that they’ll only offer some mature advice to deal with the situation like openly asking the bully to stop. While the direct approach works well in adult situations like break-ups and quitting your job at Fabricland, it doesn’t quite transfer over to the Lord of the Flies mentality that goes on in school playgrounds every day.

And apparently for some people these problems even stick around into adulthood. For example, a man recently went to Yamanashi police looking for protection when he decided to quit his organized crime group. However, according to reports it seemed as if the officers thought he just needed to talk it out and locked him in a room with a member of the gang he was trying to leave, resulting in the gang member demanding a finger as compensation.

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“Siri, my champagne’s getting warm!” Stunning Thai villa combines technology and beach living

Recent studies have warned that, for all their convenience and the social interaction they allow, our mobile devices and anywhere, any time wireless internet access could potentially be hazardous to our health. But what if you just can’t bear to power down your iPhone, tablet, laptop or games console?

If you’re in need of a getaway, and want to assure yourself that the negative effects of your array of gadgetry will be entirely offset by your relaxing surroundings, there’s probably no better place than this luxurious beach villa on the Thai island resort of Ko Samui, which is fitted with pretty much every modern convenience from iPad-controlled shutters to remote-operated pool thermostats and top-of-the-range cooking equipment – available to rent for a cool US$650 a night.

Join us after the break for a photo tour.

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Japanese violinist whose face and music are equally beautiful causes a stir online

Meet Machi Okabe, the gorgeous violinist whose music is just as beautiful as her face (or is it the other way around?). Her exceptional musical talents combined with her breathtaking beauty have been attracting a lot of attention from netizens around the world this week.

Watch the following videos to see for yourself what’s everyone’s been talking about!

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Find your Finnish name with the Finn generator

When it comes to Finland, there’s no shortage of opportunities for getting acquainted in Japan’s capital of Tokyo. From cafes where you can chow down with cute, stuffed Moomin characters created by a famous Swede-Finn, to Finland’s top doughnut chain, Arnold’s, and Karhhu, Finland’s number one beer, it’s easy for Tokyoites to take their taste buds for a dip in Nordic cuisine.

Now, people in Japan have found a new way to get acquainted with Finnish culture with the introduction of a clever little name generator from VisitFinland.com. Simply enter your name and within seconds you’re bestowed with the Finnish version, complete with a full explanation of the meaning behind your new name. We translated some well-known names and found they were connected to the wild nature of Lapland and mysterious tales of forest kings. 

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Sprint takes a cue from popular Japanese ad campaign in bizarre “Framily” commercial

Sprint’s new commercial featuring a “framily” that includes a father who is a talking hamster and daughter who only speaks French is definitely weird. If you live in the US, you may have caught the 30 second clip during prime time Monday evening and were left with an upturned eyebrow and slight frown. But this strange commercial isn’t quite an original creation. The Sprint framily was actually inspired by a long-running marketing campaign over in, you guessed it, Japan.

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