Popular Israeli Chocolate shop opens first store in Japan, and their chocolate pizza is to die for!

Popular Israeli Chocolate shop opens first store in Japan, and their chocolate pizza is to die for!

I remember once seeing a T-shirt that said, “You can never be too rich or too thin or have too much chocolate.” Well, the chocolate part of the quote seems to be true, at least judging from the number of chocolate enthusiasts who gathered for the opening of yet another specialty chocolate shop in Tokyo this weekend. While there certainly is no shortage of chocolate shops here in Japan’s capital, it seems we can’t get enough of the heavenly confection as Israeli chocolate store Max Brenner became the latest house of dark, sweet, chocolaty sin to open in the city. As a lover of all things sweet and wonderful, of course, I had to go check the shop out!

Max Brenner already has shops in the U.S.A., Australia, the Philippines and Singapore, but as this would be their very first shop in Japan, the news had been publicized in the Japanese media, so I knew a good crowd could be expected when the shop opened last Saturday. I thought maybe if I arrived an hour and a half before the opening, I might be able to get a seat in time for a late lunch. Boy, was I wrong!

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Film critic proposes censoring latest Studio Ghibli anime for overseas release

Film critic proposes censoring latest Studio Ghibli anime for overseas release

The newest theatrical anime from Studio Ghibli, Kaguya Hime no Monogatari, opened just over a week ago. While we came away impressed, the movie-going public at large hasn’t been coming out in the numbers expected for a release by the legendary animation production house.

Now, one film critic is speculating that the movie may have trouble bolstering its lackluster box office numbers with overseas revenue, stating his opinion that Kaguya Hime no Monogatari may not be screenable in certain markets outside Japan without censoring multiple scenes.

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Woman with alone time on an elevator does something incredibly unexpected

Woman with alone time on an elevator does something incredibly unexpected

Once you leave the house in the morning, your alone time is usually done for the day. Aside from a nice long bathroom break, you probably won’t be able to hide away from the prying eyes of your co-workers or classmates until you get back home.

Unless you’re lucky enough to get an elevator all to yourself! But if you do, just remember one thing: The security cameras are probably watching your every move, so don’t do anything too peculiar.

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50 stunningly spooky scenes of abandoned sites in Japan 【Photos】

50 stunningly spooky scenes of abandoned sites in Japan 【Photos】

Even though abandoned buildings seem more appropriate for movie villains, there is something undeniably soothing about seeing the quiet and still remains of a place abandoned by people. These deserted places, called “haikyo” in Japanese, can be stunningly beautiful in their serenity.

After documenting rundown schools, forgotten amusement parks and abandoned hospitals in Japan for his blog Totoro Times, French photographer Jordy Meow has turned his urban exploration into a book, “Nippon no Haikyo.” From haunted hospitals and silent schools to deserted hotels and creepy fun parks, click below to check out 50 images of these amazing haikyo sites throughout Japan.

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Specialist French fry stand “And the Friet” opening today in Tokyo

Specialist French fry stand “And the Friet” opening today in Tokyo

If you’ve ever yearned for an authentic potato chip in Tokyo, then it’s time to get excited because specialist french fry shop, “And the Friet”, is set to open in the Hiroo district today!

The Belgian-style stand will offer six types of cut, half a dozen potato varieties including a Belgian variety flown in especially, and a choice of seasonal dips and sauces. It’s time to get your friet on!

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65-year-old arrested for theft: “I never worked”

65-year-old arrested for theft: “I never worked”

On 28 November, Osaka Prefectural Police announced the arrest of 65-year-old Kiyomasa Shimabukuro for crimes including theft. According to police, the suspect confessed adding, “I never worked. I lived off stolen money.”

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Seven things that surprise Japanese people working in foreign offices

Seven things that surprise Japanese people working in foreign offices

Recently, we at RocketNews24 brought you all a plethora of pie charts representing what it’s like to be a member of the Japanese working class. But let’s face it; numbers can only convey so much without a certain amount of contrast and perspective. So, rather than quantify the various quirks that one encounters in a Japanese workplace, we’d like to qualify the points that Japanese people find surprising when they go to work abroad. Here’s a collection of seven observations that Japanese people made while doing business in foreign countries.

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University students start a JK fan club, confuse twitter users everywhere

University students start a JK fan club, confuse twitter users everywhere

Clubs are a big part of student life in Japan. From junior high school all the way through to university, students spend hours away from home with their classmates, immersed in an extra-curricular endeavour of choice. While sporting clubs, music clubs, and culture clubs are common, it’s not everyday you come across a JK club. So when a group of university students posted their pamphlet for new recruits online, even Japanese netizens were left scratching their heads. Could this be a group of JK Rowling enthusiasts? A Japan/Korea appreciation society? The real answer turned out to be just as perturbing, with Japanese commenters still wondering why.

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7 odd and uniquely Japanese restaurant experiences

7 odd and uniquely Japanese restaurant experiences

 

Although visitors to Japan routinely compliment the country for its world-class hospitality and excellent customer service, dining in Japanese restaurants can be a confusing experience for tourists and residents alike. Even the most seasoned long-time expats can still be put off by some of these strange behaviors. Of course, everything is relative as Japanese tourists overseas complain about the opposite, but click below to find out seven ways that a visit to a Japanese restaurant may surprise you!

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Anime fans ecstatic over Taiwanese fan-made short “Attack on Railgun”

Anime fans ecstatic over Taiwanese fan-made short “Attack on Railgun”

A Taiwanese film production group has released their short film Attack on Railgun, which merges two popular anime series into an incredibly well made and high quality homage. The short combines the worlds and characters from Attack on Titan and A Certain Scientific Railgun to create an exciting new story in the live action movie. Japanese fans of the anime series have been impressed with the CGI, the plot line and especially the fact that all of the actors speak Japanese in the short film!

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Beijing gets tough on pollution, takes down rogue grills

Beijing gets tough on pollution, takes down rogue grills

Pollution is a concern for any country–developing or developed–and doubly so for a country that relies heavily on coal for electricity. So, with all the lights, factories and cars zipping around Beijing, it’s hardly surprising that they might have a bit of an air pollution problem.

However, Beijing is taking action to reduce the air pollution–though probably not quite how you might have expected.

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PM Abe depicted as Charlie Chaplin in protest of Secret Protection Bill

PM Abe depicted as Charlie Chaplin in protest of Secret Protection Bill

If you happened to have been around the West Exit of Shinjuku Station this week you might have seen this poster hanging around. In it we can clearly see a photo of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe done up to look like Charlie Chaplin in the film The Great Dictator. Around him are the words “Take back Japan” and “Prewar.”

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Child stacking: The newest form of planking?

Child stacking: The newest form of planking?

Last week, a photo surfaced online in China, earning quite a few strong comments. But what was it of? Nothing more than a teacher posing with her class!

Why would anyone care about something like that?

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Nine unusual products from Japanese designer, Oki Sato

Nine unusual products from Japanese designer, Oki Sato

We’ve introduced the work of Oki Sato of Nendo before with Coca-Cola bottleware and a Starbucks pop-up store, but you have yet to see just how creative and unusual his art can be. From floating chairs to puppet tote bags, Mr. Sato strives to “give people a small ‘ ! ‘ moment” with his unique works of functional art.

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The top 10 baby names in Japan 2013

The top 10 baby names in Japan 2013

The name you give to your child will stay with them for the rest of their life, so parents are always careful to choose one that will stand the test of time and carry them through to adulthood. In the United States, Sophia and Jacob took the top spots for baby names in 2013, while Ava and Noah took first place in the UK (depending on which site you consult). Let’s take a look at this year’s top 10 baby names in Japan as reported by Japanese pregnancy and parenting site, Tamahiyo.

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The adventures of Mami in the land of picture books at Pennennenemu Green Café

The adventures of Mami in the land of picture books at Pennennenemu Green Café

Once upon a time in the magical kingdom of Japan there lived a young girl named Mami. Always she would ask her parents to read a children’s book by the name of Guri & Gura in which two field mice share good times together. Her most favorite story of all was the one in which Guri and Gura find a large egg and make a big fluffy cake out of it. However, as the years passed by and Mami grew into a woman, she gradually stopped reading the adventures of Guri and Gura and eventually went to work as a reporter for RocketNews24.

One day, her wicked step-editor called out, “Maaaaamiiii! Write me something about food! I’m hungry!” Checking the internet for something to write about, Mami learned of a famous café in Osaka. Other women wrote marvelous things about it saying, “It’s a real picture book world!” and “Everything about it is cute!” Thinking this was a nice place, Mami boarded a train for the land of Umeda not knowing what was waiting in store for her.

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Subway train driving on the streets of Tokyo 【Video】

Subway train driving on the streets of Tokyo 【Video】

Have you ever seen a subway train driving on the street? One of our Tokyo-based reporters did and it was the first time he’d ever seen anything like it. It all started on the night of November 26…

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Samsung’s naughty ad: When autocorrect strikes back

Samsung’s naughty ad: When autocorrect strikes back

Typographers and moral crusader beware! A risqué Samsung billboard promoting their Galaxy 3 notepad has been, ahem, erected in four countries, leaving the South Korean company with a potentially embarrassing public relations mess. The offending ad must have been designed by someone who forgot to turn off the autocorrect feature before editing, making for an unintentionally hilarious billboard. Click below to find out what the racy sign says!

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Impress dinner guests with these simple yet dangerous-to-make apple swans

Impress dinner guests with these simple yet dangerous-to-make apple swans

Everything worth doing is worth doing to the extreme, if you ask us. So if you have a nice, juicy granny apple, sure, you could eat it as is, or you could spend 15 to 20 minutes with your fingers in dangerously close proximity to a sharp knife and make this adorable apple swan!

If you follow these instructions, it seems reasonably easy to consistently make these edible dinner decorations, but we hope your hand-eye coordination is up to snuff because the only thing more dangerous to your digits is playing that old saloon game “Five Fingers.”

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Hokuto City chooses developmentally challenged sushi as new mascot

Hokuto City chooses developmentally challenged sushi as new mascot

Every once in a while we report on the bustling mascot business in Japan, especially regarding the regional cute mascots known as yuru-kyara. Often these characters are chosen to represent a city, prefecture or even neighborhood by way of election.

This was also the case in Hokkaido’s Hokuto City as they took votes for their new representative character. Thousands of citizens cast their votes for whom they felt best represented Hokuto life and culture, ultimately choosing… that thing above.

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