From the eyes of an idol, developer debuts video of Hatsune Miku and Oculus Rift

From the eyes of an idol, developer debuts video of Hatsune Miku and Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift is surely one of the most highly anticipated devices of this gaming generation. In case you’ve somehow not heard about it, Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that is already garnering rave reviews from industry insiders and little old ladies who are more hardcore than you. What makes Oculus Rift so exciting is its high-quality dual display that uses motion detectors to dynamically show users the game world as they turn their head. Basically, it’s supposed to be a completely immersive experience. Right now, the device is still mostly limited to developers hard at work trying to take advantage of its full power, but most of the demos we’ve seen have been great. One Japanese developer decided to create an adorable mini-game staring everyone’s favorite fictional idol: Hatsune Miku.

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We try the $10 Quarter Pounder Ruby Spark, smacks us in the mouth with flavor

We try the $10 Quarter Pounder Ruby Spark, smacks us in the mouth with flavor

On 20 July, McDonald’s Japan released their third and final luxury Quarter Pounder Jewelry Series burger, the Quarter Pounder Ruby Spark. Like the Black Diamond and Gold Ring that came before it, the Ruby Spark sold for the exorbitant amount of 1,000 yen (US$10).

The Ruby Spark’s special premium ingredient was a few slices of chorizo developed specifically for this sandwich. As customers started devouring the one-day-only sandwich and took to the net to voice their opinions, public sentiment was unusually divided straight down the middle with a balance of comments declaring it “perfect” and “not good enough.”

Curious at how polarizing one burger can be, we sent a reporter to check one out.

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Chinese man holds in vomit, esophagus explodes

Chinese man holds in vomit, esophagus explodes

Summer vacation is in full swing now, meaning everyone’s at the beach drinking lots of cold beer, in the park drinking lots of cold beer, or in the mountains drinking lots of cold beer. Basically, breweries are getting rich and we’re happy to help.

But, as one Chinese man recently found out, you need to be careful! Too much beer can have…explosive results. Read More

Cool down this summer with Ice Cup Noodles

Cool down this summer with Ice Cup Noodles

When it’s the middle of summer, what do you reach for to get a little relief? Ice cream? Watermelon? How about Cup Noodles?

For most, boiling hot soup is the last thing you want to eat on a hot day, but the official Nissin website has a solution: Ice Cup Noodles. Last year, they suggested adding ice cubes to their popular instant ramen, but the exact amount of ice was unclear, resulting in unhappy (and sweaty) summer soup eaters. This year, Nissin has an exact recipe for those in need of a summer treat. Hungry and desperate for a little relief from the hot Tokyo afternoon, our reporter set out to make the perfect Ice Cup Noodles.

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Build your own dumpling with this plastic model kit from Amazon Japan

Build your own dumpling with this plastic model kit from Amazon Japan

Tired of the same old plastic model kits? Have you built more Gundam than your wife is comfortable with? Put together enough miniature planes, trains, and automobiles than you care to admit? Well you’re in luck! We’ve found a totally bizarre but somehow completely awesome plastic model kit that you’ve probably never built before.

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Mr. Sato participates in beer company’s mysterious “escape game”

Mr. Sato participates in beer company’s mysterious “escape game”

On July 16th, the Japanese beer company, Kirin, released an all-new brand of gin-based alcohol called Kirin Dry Rickey. To build up hype for their new product, Kirin ran a very unique sort of promotional event on Tokyo’s Yamanote train line. When most companies would have thrown their entire advertisement budget into posters, billboards, and commercials, Kirin organized a special event known as nothing more than an “escape game.” Our very own Mr. Sato, lured in by the mystery and the smell of booze, decided to take part in this very special game and discover what it takes to “escape” from a train on the Yamanote Line.

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“Russian Barbie Girl” shows off her doll-like features

“Russian Barbie Girl” shows off her doll-like features

We’ve already introduced you to the cosmetically enhanced “real-life Barbie” and the make-up skills of the doe-eyed “Anime Girl,” but we have one more eerily lifeless model for you to get acquainted with. Also known as “Russian Barbie Girl,” Anzhelika Kenova is shocking the Internet with her doll-like features.

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“Breaching the laws of equality” – Has Japan’s preferential treatment of women gone too far?

“Breaching the laws of equality” – Has  Japan’s preferential treatment of women gone too far?

From women-only seats in libraries to female-only university cafes, it would seem that women get a lot of preferential treatment in Japan. Whether it be a restaurant with “ladies’ courses” on the menu or cinemas offering “ladies’ day” discounts, it is difficult to ignore the abundance of cheap deals or special services on offer to women. On the one hand, it all serves to help the struggling Japanese economy, but a lot of men can’t help but feel that they’re being a little discriminated against.

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Scaremongers strike again: “mutant” vegetables wrongly attributed to Fukushima

Scaremongers strike again: “mutant” vegetables wrongly attributed to Fukushima

“Attack of the mutant vegetables!! Are these our new tomato overlords?? Let’s all boycott the struggling Fukushima farmers for, oh, say 100 years or so.”

Actually, despite the attention they’re receiving and hits they’re no doubt generating online, the following photos don’t seem to originate from Fukushima at all…

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Pure Ice Vs. Technology: Which is better to beat the heat?

Pure Ice Vs. Technology: Which is better to beat the heat?

In the never-ending hunt to find ways to keep cool, many in Japan have been flocking to ‘cool towels’, which miraculously claim to provide a cooling sensation with the mere touch of moisture.

However, do these man-made wonders have the goods to keep people cooler than pure ice in such scorching weather? On this tremendously hot and sweaty day, I was tasked with finding out…

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Woman accidentally tweets new iTunes card codes, the obvious happens

Woman accidentally tweets new iTunes card codes, the obvious happens

There are quite a few people who immediately turn to the Internet for advice, which, in general, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Posting a quick question on Twitter or Facebook can net you a large pool of helpful responses, provided you have the right friends.

That said, you really need to be careful about what you post and how, as one Japanese woman learned the hard way after posting her brand new iTunes card numbers when seeking advice about how to register them.

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New Sailor Moon pendants help you move one step closer to complete superheroine transformation

New Sailor Moon pendants help you move one step closer to complete superheroine transformation

As part of this year’s ongoing 20th anniversary celebration of the classic anime, toy giant Bandai has recently added a few new items to its line-up of Sailor Moon-themed accessories.

Last month saw the introduction of a ring styled after the heroine’s transformation brooch, and now you can decorate your neckline as well with one of six Sailor Moon pendants.

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Unique interpretations of sushi found around the globe

Unique interpretations of sushi found around the globe

A couple of weeks back we posted an article here about the unique interpretation Ukraine has given Japan’s most iconic dish, sushi. Now, having read the insightful observations of Mr. Masayoshi Kazato, chairman for the World Sushi Cup, a competition between sushi chefs from around the world, we think it’s safe to say that not only has sushi gained footholds in all corners of the globe, each country has established its own set of regional recipes.

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10 awesome ice creams available from convenience stores in Japan

10 awesome ice creams available from convenience stores in Japan

The country may not be especially well known for its confection and frozen treats, but you’d better believe that Japan loves its ice cream. Whatever the season, there are hundreds of varieties to choose from, and chain stores like Baskin Robbins and Ben & Jerry’s attract enormous lines on a daily basis, constantly whipping up new flavours to appeal to the Japanese palate.

Today, we’d like to take you on a tour of the konbini aisu, or convenience store-bought ice cream, of Japan. They may not be quite as sophisticated as your top-of-the-range Häagen-Dazs offerings, but boy are they tasty, and since they’re available for just a couple of hundred yen each you can afford to treat yourself pretty much every day this summer. We hope you’re hungry!

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Lotteria to offer bizarre milkshake flavor based on horror flick The Ring

Lotteria to offer bizarre milkshake flavor based on horror flick The Ring

Apparently, if you could taste fear, it would taste like cool lemonade.

Starting July 27, Japanese burger chain Lotteria will offer a limited-time lemonade shake flavor themed after classic Japanese horror icon Sadako – the unmistakable and absolutely horrifying long-haired ghost girl from The Ring.

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Can you bring yourself to eat the art on these awesome anime cakes?

Can you bring yourself to eat the art on these awesome anime cakes?

A quick glance at the name of Japanese cake maker Priroll should tell you that they specialize in roll cakes. What might not be so readily apparent is that the “Pri” stands for “printing.” Customers can include a photo when ordering, which Priroll will then reproduce on the side of one of its desserts, making it a great choice for birthdays, graduations, or other celebrations.

Being able to reproduce any image on this sweet, spongy canvas, though, means that the folks at Priroll aren’t limited to using just photographs, though. If you want, they can also whip you up an anime cake.

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Stand back guys, I’m hitting the salad bar! Diners get creative at Pizza Hut China

Stand back guys, I’m hitting the salad bar! Diners get creative at Pizza Hut China

Tired of being taken to the cleaners by overly enthusiastic patrons at its all-you-can-eat salad bar, a few years ago, Pizza Hut China decided to limit customers to a one-plate serving. After implementing the new rule, however, the company still found itself losing money as customers started stacking their fruit and vegetables into enormous towers, packing as much onto their plates as physically possible.

Check out this collection of photos depicting the monolithic cuisine creations.

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We brave the Tokyo heat to munch on these limited edition Krispy Kreme summer doughnuts

We brave the Tokyo heat to munch on these limited edition Krispy Kreme summer doughnuts

‘Tis the season of the “Summer Gentei” (“Summer Specialties”) in Japan; an exciting time of year where near every food vendor in the country offers up some sort of cold, frozen, or energy-packed  limited edition summer-themed menu. And even the foreign chains are getting into it, with Krispy Kreme Japan currently offering three new summer-only doughnuts and two summer-themed drinks. Because we love you, we went and stuffed our faces.

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Six more arrested following murder of 16-year-old girl in Hiroshima Prefecture

Six more arrested following murder of 16-year-old girl in Hiroshima Prefecture

On Wednesday, we brought you news of a horrific murder that occurred in Hiroshima involving a 16-year-old girl who allegedly beat and strangled an ex-classmate to death in the mountains, hiding the body there. Since both of the girls were too young to have driver’s licenses and suspicious messages were found on the alleged murderer’s smartphone, police suspected that there was another person involved.

Police have now revealed that not one but six more people have been arrested.

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How to eat lunch in Tokyo for less than 300 yen

How to eat lunch in Tokyo for less than 300 yen

For students and professionals just starting their careers in pricey Tokyo, finding ways to economize is a must. Unfortunately, the cost of housing in the city means a lot of young singles end up in pretty cramped living quarters. In my old apartment, the only refrigerator I could cram into the place was so small there wasn’t enough room to keep both my beer and my drinking water chilled. For the record, it takes about two months to get used to drinking lukewarm H2O.

This lack of space also makes it difficult to stock up on groceries to use in cooking your own lunch to bring to school or the office. As a result, many people buy bento, boxed lunches with rice and some sort of side dish. You can get passable bento at any convenience store, and in recent years even some full-fledged restaurants have started selling them on the sidewalks of business districts in the afternoons.

Bento tend to be somewhere in the range of 500-1,000 yen (US$5-10) though, so the cost really adds up if you’re buying one a day. Trying to cut our expenses even further, we sent our reporter out with 500 yen and a mission: go get lunch, and bring back change.

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