Japanese restaurant chain turns boring old chopstick sleeves into fun origami

Japanese restaurant chain turns boring old chopstick sleeves into fun origami

Family restaurants like Saizeriya are a staple of Japan’s cheap culinary world. From fake Italian food to fake Mexican-Indian hybrids that taste far better than they really should, family restaurants are a great place to hangout for high school students, to grab a quick meal between meetings for harried salarymen, or to take hungry kids for frazzled parents. Though convenient, the chains aren’t exactly known for their high class presentation.

However, Aiya, a family restaurant focused on Japanese-style cooking, has come up with a way to offer their customers a bit more pizazz!

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Bass, the favorite instrument of Japanese rock fans?

Bass, the favorite instrument of Japanese rock fans?

While the meme above is probably nothing new to you, it took its time reaching Japanese Internet audiences. But now that it has shown up on this side of the ocean, we’ve learned something a bit surprising about Japanese rock fans.

Which instrument do you think was the most liked according to a recent online survey? We’ll give you a hint: Without it, the Red Hot Chili Peppers wouldn’t be nearly as much fun to listen to!

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Escape the chill of winter with these dazzling seascape photos

Escape the chill of winter with these dazzling seascape photos

When the following pictures popped up on a Japanese news site, we found ourselves enraptured by the breathtaking and surreal scenery depicted within. In the photo above, the water is so transparent that the children seem to float over an endless cloud of seaweed. But it’s not an optical illusion. That is indeed water, and it is in fact actually part of the ocean. Can you figure out which country this gorgeous photo was taken in? Here’s a hint: it’s somewhere in southeast Asia. The answer is after the jump.

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Otaku Internet services: For all your online Japanese geekery needs

Otaku Internet services: For all your online Japanese geekery needs

When it comes to language learning, one of the biggest problems is staying motivated. Memorizing 100 kanji for a test next Friday might get you through the work, but memorizing 100 kanji so you can read your favorite comics or talk online with fellow comic-fans will really light a fire under your keister. And we all tend to learn better when we’re having fun! We think someone proved that with science and stuff. It might have been Mr. Sato…he’s been playing with the chemistry set again.

Anyway, we know a lot of our readers are both Japanese-language learners and manga/anime fans. If you fit that description and you’re always looking for something to help keep you motivated to study, why not add these sites to your daily reading list? It might be difficult to get through everything at first, but if you keep with it, you’ll be reading like a champ in no time! Just don’t ignore your real homework! We don’t want any angry Japanese teachers knocking on our doors…

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Is the fried chicken at Myanmar’s “AFC” finger-licking good?

Is the fried chicken at Myanmar’s “AFC” finger-licking good?

Recent relaxations of regulations by the government of Myanmar have gone a long way in opening up the country to foreign tourism and investment. While we’re sure this is big news in the worlds of finance and manufacturing, we couldn’t help but wonder what this would mean for RocketNews24’s journalistic foundation: fast food. We’d heard that Japanese/Korean hamburger/craziness emporium Lotteria had entered the market, but where do the people of Myanmar get their fried poultry fix? Do they have KFC?

We suppose we could have used Google to see if the chain operates in the country (turns out it does), but we saw no reason to do so when we could get paid to take an overseas business trip instead. And so we travelled to Myanmar’s metropolis of Yangon in search of KFC.

We found two thirds of what we were looking for.

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My Melody gets ready for Valentine’s Day — and she looks absolutely sweet and delectable!

My Melody gets ready for Valentine’s Day — and she looks absolutely sweet and delectable!

Readers of our site may be aware that a fair number of our articles involve collaborative items featuring cute mascot characters, including the lovable rabbit, My Melody. Well, here’s another gem of a character product that we think will make many of you squeal with delight!

Now, while My Melody may not be involved in as nearly as many business ventures as fellow Sanrio character and cat-of-all-trades, Hello Kitty, you have to admit she’s done quite well for herself since her creation in 1975. This time, especially for Valentine’s Day, she’s turned herself into something that’s sweet and melts in your mouth — and it’s not ice cream!

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Just when you thought fried panda cakes couldn’t get any cuter: Strawberry milk fried panda cakes

Just when you thought fried panda cakes couldn’t get any cuter: Strawberry milk fried panda cakes

What could be cuter than a fluffy, rolly-polly panda? A panda full of gooey strawberry-milk flavored cream of course. That’s just what Ginza Cozy Corner is cooking up at their L’Ueno shop this month.

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Cat paws strike again and captivate Japanese netizens, this time in pancake form!

Cat paws strike again and captivate Japanese netizens, this time in pancake form!

It’s no secret that here at RocketNews24, we’re fond of anything cute and sweet, and we’ve certainly introduced our share of adorable-looking treats on our site, from totoro cream puffs and macaroons to marshmallow cat paws. Well, continuing in that spirit, we bring to you another delightful creation that looks too precious to eat! This time it’s a home-cooked snack that basically involves making pancakes, but the end result is still devastatingly cute!

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Starbucks close to total Japan domination

Starbucks close to total Japan domination

Tottori Prefecture, the final frontier. It may sound strange, but when it comes to Starbucks, Tottori is uncharted territory and the only prefecture in all of Japan without a Starbucks location. That will all change soon as the coffee giant plans to open a new store somewhere within the small prefecture’s borders by March 2015.

With the largest population of elderly folks in all of Japan, it might seem natural that Tottori went without a Starbucks for so long. However, you might be surprised to find that there are places in Tokyo that have yet to see the familiar green and white mermaid.

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Catch a movie in bed…at the theater! Four awesome theaters from around the world with beds for seats

Catch a movie in bed…at the theater! Four awesome theaters from around the world with beds for seats

We love movies. That’s not really a surprise or a secret, but it certainly is true! Whether it’s some kung-fu cop action or the latest from Ghibli, we would be hard-pressed to decline a trip to the theater. But even we have to admit that not all theater seating was created equally. Sure most of it isn’t bad, but sometimes we just wish we could bring the projector and screen home so we could lie in bed in our jammies with a bowl of popcorn and really relax. Too bad we can’t bring our beds to the theater…

Or can we??

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China’s “Most Beautiful Marathon Girl” wows the internet with her stunning bod! 【Photos】

China’s “Most Beautiful Marathon Girl” wows the internet with her stunning bod! 【Photos】

Widespread use of the internet and social networking sites these days makes gaining fame and reputation online fairly easy, especially if you’re young, hot and people want to see your photos. Sometimes, such internet fame comes when you least expect it, such as, when you’re running a marathon.

An athletic babe shot to fame when pictures of her taking part in a marathon went viral across Chinese websites, bringing her over 10,000 new followers on Weibo (China’s homegrown version of Twitter) overnight!

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The weird and wonderful Quiz of the Week: Round 3

The weird and wonderful Quiz of the Week: Round 3

Welcome to round three of our weekly multiple-choice quiz!

It’s been another fun week, with plenty of weird, wow and “WTF?” news stories from Asia, so it’s time to recap and, as well as see who’s been paying attention, give you a chance to discover some of the best stories that have emerged over the past seven days. Plus, if you can get 10 out of 10, Mr. Sato promises to lose the loincloth, or at least cover his nipples.

Mongoose taunting, chocolate massage and nostril flaring all after the jump.

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Sailor Moon fan art: Often baffling, sometimes terrifying, and occasionally both

Sailor Moon fan art: Often baffling, sometimes terrifying, and occasionally both

Like many people, we’re happy about the recent announcement that the new Sailor Moon series will finally debut this July, and are keeping our fingers crossed that the third time is indeed the charm for the release date of the twice-delayed project. All the same, we’re getting a little impatient, not the least because the upcoming anime’s producers have yet to release so much as a single promotional sketch for it.

It’s gotten to the point that in order to sate our desire for Sailor Moon imagery, we’ve had to turn our attention to non-official creations. But while a few months ago we stumbled across some amateur drawings that looked so professional we mistook them for the real deal, we found out that the quality of Sailor Moon fan-art isn’t always as high as the enthusiasm of the fans behind it.

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No grown-ups allowed! Chef with a very sweet motive opens a kids-only sweets shop

No grown-ups allowed! Chef with a very sweet motive opens a kids-only sweets shop

Children in Sanda City, Hyogo Prefecture currently have good reason to celebrate, as a huge new sweets shop officially opened in their town on December 7. But the news gets even sweeter: only kids in sixth grade or younger are allowed inside! Sounds like any child’s wildest fantasy come true, right? Parents must wait outside (and no doubt prepare themselves for the inevitable sugar-high antics to come) while their children explore the hidden wonders within.

Join us after the jump for a rare glimpse inside the shop and read what inspired the owner to open it in the first place.

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Hollywood blacksmith forges Sephiroth’s massive sword from Final Fantasy VII【Video】

Hollywood blacksmith forges Sephiroth’s massive sword from Final Fantasy VII【Video】

When Final Fantasy VII hit PlayStations around the globe in 1997, featuring some of the most gorgeous graphics and CG cut-scenes gamers had ever seen, it single-handedly opened up the Western market to Japanese console RPGs. In years since, though, there’s been some contention over just how deserving developer Square’s biggest hit ever is of its exalted place in video game lore. Does it have a gripping story, or does the narrative become a confused mess after its midgame plot twist? Do the title’s numerous mini games flesh out its world, or is spending hours breeding giant flightless birds to race for sport both silly and boring?

But no matter which side of the debate you fall on, there’s one thing gamers everywhere can agree on: Final Fantasy VII’s antagonist, Sephiroth, is a stone-cold badass. Now, Hollywood blacksmith Tony Swatton has brought the villain’s iconic weapon, the gigantic blade named Masamune, to life.

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We play Russian roulette with new spicy “Tyrant Habanero” snacks

We play Russian roulette with new spicy “Tyrant Habanero” snacks

Russian roulette is the ultimate in high-stakes games of chance. A revolver with five empty chambers and one loaded, there is no more intense or insane way to spend a Saturday night. However, since none of our minds were warped from being a POW in the Vietnam War we haven’t had the pleasure of partaking in such a game.

But now, we might enjoy the culinary version with Tohato’s Russian Tyrant Habanero snack cups. The premise is that one out of every six corn chips in the cup is seasoned with enough habanero spice to take your face off. In the interests of science and comedy, we wrangled our weakest-tongued reporter to try some out and see if it truly is the rush its makers describe.

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Sanrio’s newest cutsy character, an anthropomorphic salmon fillet, set for major debut, grisly death

Sanrio’s newest cutsy character, an anthropomorphic salmon fillet, set for major debut, grisly death

Japan never fails to amaze when it comes to transforming the quotidian into cute. I mean, this is the country that turns cucumber-stealing, human-throttling swamp monsters into adorable toys for kids. The country’s latest go at cute-ification comes from Hello Kitty producing toy company Sanrio: Kirimi-chan, a walking, talking salmon fillet, who is set to debut next month with a line of kawaii craziness.

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Fan makes detailed clay figure of Hayao Miyazaki, even his cigarettes look life-like

Fan makes detailed clay figure of Hayao Miyazaki, even his cigarettes look life-like

Hayao Miyazaki has created some of anime’s more memorable characters, winning legions of fans all around the world. As such you would imagine that along with the thousands of pieces of fan art, an aspiring sculptor somewhere would pick up the gauntlet and recreate some of them in three dimensions.

One sculptor answered that call, and set out to make the ultimate Ghibli character from clay: Mr. Miyazaki himself… We hear his friends say he’s “a real character.”

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Like all things Evangelion, whether this hoodie is creepy or cool depends on the viewer’s interpretation

Like all things Evangelion, whether this hoodie is creepy or cool depends on the viewer’s interpretation

Over the past several months, we’ve seen wave after wave of wearable Sailor Moon merchandise, from accessories to lingerie to even bibs. But what about the other colossal ‘90s anime hit featuring combat-ready adolescents, Evangleion? Is there no new way to dress yourself in a way that shows your love for the franchise that ping pongs back and forth between scenes of its 14-year-old protagonists battling horrific aliens and coming to grips with the sexual confusion and frustration of puberty?

Why yes there is, and you can keep yourself warm at the same time with this crazy zip-up Evangelion hoodie.

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Things Japanese women love (and hate) about foreign guys

Things Japanese women love (and hate) about foreign guys

With the majority of the foreigners on extended stays in Japan being male, and more Japanese women than men having a strong interest in languages and cultures other than their own, it’s natural that the most common international pairing for Japanese nationals is a Japanese woman and foreign man.

Of course, every society has its attractive and unattractive aspects, which Japanese women revealed by sharing both the things about their foreign boyfriends and husbands that thrilled them, as well as the less pleasant parts of the package deal of a romantic partner.

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