Restaurant in China offers pay-what-you-want pricing model, loses over $40,000

Restaurant in China offers pay-what-you-want pricing model, loses over $40,000

A restaurant in the city of Fuzhou, China has a very special business model. No matter how much you order or eat, you get to decide how much to pay. Be it the full price or nothing at all, the restaurant does not make individuals pay a set price.

Liu Pengfei, the restaurant owner, being gravely concerned with the moral epidemic facing China these days, came up with the idea. By allowing people the choice to pay for their meal, the 50-year-old Liu wants to restore trust and morality amongst his customers. While we must commend Mr. Liu for his noble thinking, the reality is that his faith in humanity has landed him deep in the red.

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Fans in Japan can listen to Lady Gaga’s latest hits by embracing her life-size doll

Fans in Japan can listen to Lady Gaga’s latest hits by embracing her life-size doll

Lady Gaga has earned quite a reputation for her forward-thinking song lyrics and strangely obscene fashion sense. Japan, in particular, is enthralled with the pop star and quick to embrace her Asian-inspired appearance and catchy tunes.

Now, in conjunction with Lady Gaga’s latest album release, residents of Japan will be able to literally accept the idol’s music and image into their arms, thanks to the creation of the GAGADOLL, an audio preview device in the shape of Lady Gaga, herself. This life-size doll has a softly playing speaker built into its bust, so when someone lays their head upon her chest they can hear her music in place of her heartbeat.

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We made monjayaki with a Pon de Monja doughnut!

We made monjayaki with a Pon de Monja doughnut!

Yesterday, we wrote about Mister Donut’s new Pon de Umaimon series, which are basically savory varieties of the doughnut ring leader’s signature product, the Pon de Ring. Speaking of savory doughnuts, some genius in the office thought, why not go all the way with it! So we attempted the ironic stunt of making a monjayaki with a monjayaki flavored doughnut to see if it blends in with the real deal.

Monjayaki is a Kanto dish, so we had our very own Tokyo native, Mr. Hatori, work the monja magic for us!

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We wish you an age-appropriate Christmas and a happy Pokémon tree!

We wish you an age-appropriate Christmas and a happy Pokémon tree!

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a Pikachu in a Christmas tree. At the Pokémon Center in Tokyo!

This amazing tree was recently spotted on Japanese site Pokésoku, with the question: “I thought I’d buy my nephew a Pokemon for Christmas, but can a six-year-old child handle it?”

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The last photo of faithful dog Hachiko breaks our hearts

The last photo of faithful dog Hachiko breaks our hearts

Dog is man’s best friend, or so the saying goes. Nowadays, it’s sometimes hard to believe those words when your loyal canine is dragging your dirty pants, underwear included, out into the living room for all your guests to see (true story). But one dog in Japan proved his undying loyalty, waiting for his master’s return in the same location every single day for 10 years after his master’s death. The picture above, the last one ever taken of this loveable animal, is one of the saddest things we’ve ever seen.

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Cookie Mail: The tastiest way to send an important message!

Cookie Mail: The tastiest way to send an important message!

With all the different ways to stay in touch these days–from text messages to email to tweets to late night drunk dials-it often feels like we’re losing out on making real connections with people. At least, that’s what the grumpy TV pundits tell us, and maybe they’re right. After all, when was the last time you sat down and thought out a nice, sincere message, instead of just dashing off a quick “I C, LOL, KTHNXBAI, TTYL”?

Some of you may even be so young that you don’t remember getting letters in the mail!

Well, despite the grumblings of elder generations, that old form of communication is almost gone, but there is one last bastion of hope for all the letter writers out there: Cookie Mail!

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“Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China

“Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China

We’re starting to think there might be something in the water over in China. Just a few days ago, we stumbled upon one of the most stunning actually-I’m-a-guy girls on the internet, and now a new model is stealing hearts all over the country. And yes, once again, this Asian princess is in fact a pretty prince in makeup.

Even so, it would seem that many Chinese netizens are now reaching the point where they’re starting to think, “To heck with it, he’s still gorgeous,” and would be proud to make this young man their wife.

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How to play host for an imaginary girlfriend LOL

How to play host for an imaginary girlfriend LOL

If you’re a sad sap like me and have no one to spend this holiday season with, a helpful how-to thread recently appeared in Japanese forums, and could very well hold all the secrets to enjoying a multi-course meal all by your lonesome. The topic is titled, “It’s so much fun to make a meal as though matching the self-assigned preferences of your imaginary girlfriend LOL,” and yes, the contents are as pathetic as the label makes it out to be. But to be fair, food tastes better when you share it with friends and loved ones, so for those who lack the companionship of either, a little make-believe might be the next best thing!

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Subway mini skirt peeping tom found innocent

Subway mini skirt peeping tom found innocent

Over a year ago, an American man was caught using his cell phone on the subway in Seoul to take an up-skirt image of a female passenger. With the offending photo found stored on the man’s phone it seemed like a fairly open-and-shut case, but the court at which he was tried ultimately found him innocent of any wrongdoing.

You be the judge on this one…

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“Knockout Game” invading Japan? Violent attacks in Kobe, Osaka spark debate

“Knockout Game” invading Japan? Violent attacks in Kobe, Osaka spark debate

With so many cool toys coming to stores this year, it is hard to believe kids would be so bored that they create a game where the “players” score points for each real-world stranger they render unconscious. But two recent attacks in Kobe and Osaka are making Japanese netizens scared that the so-called “Knockout Game,” which has been widely reported in American media, has now landed on Japanese streets. Some academics are concerned that this is just another sign of America’s “society of violence” importing itself to Japan.

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Akihabara’s otaku: Fans of anime, idols, and… eating bananas on the toilet?

Akihabara’s otaku: Fans of anime, idols, and… eating bananas on the toilet?

Tokyo’s Akihabara is known the world over as a haven for all things otaku. Whatever your nerdy penchant, be it J-pop princesses, moe-style hug pillows or plastic Gundam models, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in one of the thousands of outlets surrounding the station, and the enormous UDX complex, which is home to dozens of shops, restaurants and event spaces, is arguably the most sophisticated nerd-catering venue ever built.

Like many smarter establishments, UDX’s public restrooms are kept spick-and-span pretty much all of the time, and politely worded signs ask patrons to refrain from certain types of behaviour while making use of the facilities. Until today, though, we’d never imagined that an entertainment complex would have to ask visitors not to block up their toilets with banana peels

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MiniShock: Check out these insanely detailed PlayStation 2 controller smartphone straps

MiniShock: Check out these insanely detailed PlayStation 2 controller smartphone straps

The rest of the world may currently be in love with Sony’s newest controller, the DualShock 4, but gamers in Japan evidently still have a big soft spot for the ageing PlayStation 2 control pad, the DualShock 2.

What you can see in the image above is not, in fact, a row of the now 13-year-old controllers as viewed from a great height, but a new set of earphone jack plugs, and the level of detail is simply astounding.

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Adorable kitten charms us by falling alseep while fighting giant monster hand

Adorable kitten charms us by falling alseep while fighting giant monster hand

Sleep. Is there anything more perfect and beautiful in this world? Perhaps, but whatever it is, we guarantee it’s not as cheap as sleep is!

The only thing that could possibly make sleep better is a kitten. We’re still working out the specifics, but we think we’ll have the napping-kitten blanket ready for all your deep rest needs next year. In the mean time, check out a video of a kitten who can fall asleep faster than you can say, “Holy cow, that was a long day! I sure am zzzzzzzzzzzz…”

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Ultra-simple smartphone navigation system helps you find your friends even if you can’t read a map

Ultra-simple smartphone navigation system helps you find your friends even if you can’t read a map

In Japan, only the largest of streets have names. Addresses aren’t sequential either, so as you walk down the road the numbers may go from 12 to 5, and then back up to 23. Since making it from point A to point B isn’t as simple as “turn left on Main Street, then right on Arrow Highway, and if you see the 1600 block, you know you went too far,” for most people, a good map is essential for getting where you want to go.

But what if your map-reading skills aren’t the greatest? Or how about if you’re looking for a person, like the girl you asked out to dinner and are supposed to meet up with in five minutes?

Thankfully, there’s now an app for that.

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Research institute explains technobabble with awesome retro anime 【Video】

Research institute explains technobabble with awesome retro anime 【Video】

Scientists must often have a hard time explaining deep scientific concepts to the general public without resorting to a lot of wild gesticulating and exasperated sighs. We know we’d get around five minutes into a college physics lecture before giving up and drawing cat doodles in our notebooks for the remaining hour of class.

It’s no wonder, then, that Japan’s RIKEN national comprehensive research institution resorted to making this totally awesome anime to enthrall and amaze our stupid civilian minds with flashing lights and hot robot girls, so we’d sit still long enough for the institute to introduce its new and totally sci-fi sounding SPring-8 Angstrom Compact Free Electron Laser (SACLA).

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Hello Kitty delights fans in Southeast Asia — by cosplaying as fairy tale characters!

Hello Kitty delights fans in Southeast Asia — by cosplaying as fairy tale characters!

We all know that Hello Kitty is one busy little cat, but it looks like she’ll be in particular demand in the coming weeks … in Thailand! In what is yet another collaborative effort involving the hard-working Ms. Kitty, McThai has recently started their “Hello Kitty Fairy Tales” promotion.

Beginning last Friday, McDonald’s all over Thailand are selling adorable plush Hello Kitty dolls. But these aren’t just any ordinary plushies. This time, our beloved Ms. Kitty has been fitted with colorful costumes from the world of fairy tales!

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【Thursday Throwback】Best Japanese customer service

【Thursday Throwback】Best Japanese customer service

I am crazy about Calbee Lightly Salted Potato Chips. I find its balance of saltiness and crispy texture to be really addictive. Some of my friends are fans of other chip brands, but I have stuck to Calbee’s for quite a long time.

The other day, I was enjoying a bag of chips when I happened to feel something like a hair in my mouth. I spat it out and saw something that looked like a thread attached to a chip. There was little doubt that what I saw was an accidental artifact of the production process.

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One couple, two beds – Why do so many Japanese spouses sleep separately?

One couple, two beds – Why do so many Japanese spouses sleep separately?

Comparatively speaking, Japanese homes are undeniably small. So much so that many traditional furnishings are designed to help maximize the efficiency of what little space there is. Futons that can be stuffed into a closet when not in use, tables that fold up in a snap, and cushions for sitting on the floor all provide the flexibility to quickly and easily convert a living room into a bedroom.

So with space at such a premium, why do so many Japanese married couples choose to sleep in separate rooms?

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This Thai ad for popular chat application “Line” will break your heart 【Video】

This Thai ad for popular chat application “Line” will break your heart 【Video】

Although still relatively unknown in the West, instant messaging application Line is pretty huge in Asia. Developed by the Japanese division of South Korean internet content gurus Naver Corporation, the application allows free digital voice calls and text messaging, and is loved by both Android and iOS users, no doubt in part thanks to the dozens of cute “sticker” icons that users are able to share.

When promoting the messaging app in Thailand, however, Naver seemingly decided to take an altogether different approach. Tugging at our very heartstrings, this ad tells the story of a recently bereaved father and daughter and how through “more LINE, Much closer” they become able to communicate their feelings more effectively. Clever marketing or not, this is a real tear-jerker.

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“Once-in-a-thousand-year” idol Kanna Hashimoto visiting ALOOK Tokyo and Osaka on the same day

“Once-in-a-thousand-year” idol Kanna Hashimoto visiting ALOOK Tokyo and Osaka on the same day

A month ago, Japanese people all over the country woke up to this photo of Fukuoka-based idol Kanna Hashimoto of the group Rev. From DVL all over the internet. And just like that, her modest level of local fame on stage has been skyrocketing. Some are calling her an idol that you’d find once in a thousand years.

We’re not sure who came up with that title or how it was calculated, but certainly no idol has caught the nation’s attention without any gimmicks or PR stunts like Hashimoto has from simply a photograph.

Thanks to this new-found fame Kanna Hashimoto will be making appearances all over Japan. In fact, tomorrow those living in Tokyo or Osaka will have a chance to buy some glasses from her at the grand opening of ALOOK stores in each city.

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