Do you want to hug a Snow Pikachu? Special Christmas-version Pokémon plushies coming soon

As much as Japan loves Halloween, the country’s favorite foreign-introduced holiday is still Christmas. It’s not hard to see why, since in Japan the December celebration is both the nation’s biggest date night and also its most accepted excuse to gorge yourself on fried chicken. Plus, this year good boys and girls can expect a visit from someone very special at Christmas: Pikachu Snowman plushies, plus a whole stocking’s worth of new winter-themed Pokémon goodies!

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Dragon Ball Z’s Piccolo and Frieza show their Halloween spirit, help bring the holiday to Japan

For most of the western world, October is a month of ghastly ghouls and Halloween hijinx. But in Japan, Halloween wasn’t really celebrated up until fairly recently, and even now trick-or-treating at random houses is still a pretty uncommon occurrence.

This year however, Halloween has exploded in popularity. Retailers have been getting ready for the big night several months in advance, and even Pepsi Japan has released a spooky new flavor to celebrate. The pagan festival has become so popular that even some of the characters from Dragon Ball Z are joining in on the fun.

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Determined cat tries to get inside all the things, occasionally succeeds【Videos】

The old saying is that curiosity killed the cat. We’re not sure which cat they were talking about, but it’s definitely true that cats are downright nosy and always getting into everything.

But some cats are a bit better at “getting into everything” than others, like this much-loved feline who demonstrates a single-minded dedication to opening all the things!

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“No dogs allowed”: Why one service dog was refused entrance to these restaurants in Japan

It was Saturday, October 3 when a hearing-impaired woman and her service dog, a hearing dog for the deaf, attended an event promoting the awareness of service dogs at the Hankyu department store at Hankyu-Umeda Station in Osaka. After the event, the unnamed woman, her dog, and a friend went for a bite to eat at one of the restaurants located inside the same department store on the same floor as the event. Ironically enough, and much to the surprise of the woman, a member of staff stopped her from entering the restaurant, stating that animals were not allowed inside.

The woman’s friend pulled out a guidebook about hearing dogs for the deaf, trying to explain that the dog wasn’t a pet but an animal trained to assist its owner. The staff still refused, however, and the pair finally gave up and went elsewhere, thinking that it must have just been an unfortunate misunderstanding. Perhaps this was just one uninformed staff member who didn’t realize service animals are actually allowed in public places, they thought.

But even at the next restaurant they were turned away yet again…

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We try cute meals, drinks and sweets from Namja Town’s Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal menu

We recently brought you news of the enticing Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon-themed menu at Namja Town, an indoor theme park operated by Namco, in Tokyo. The themed offerings were really quite something, and after spending so much time poring over the unbelievably cute items on offer, we found ourselves itching to stop in for a visit!

And visit we did. Come with us now as we eat everything from Luna P-Ball, Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick, and even Tuxedo mask’s pocket watch. These incredible edibles are absolutely adorable and filled with so many surprising details they’re almost too cute to eat! Almost…

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Five things you should know before coming to Japan【Video】

According to statistic, anywhere from one to two million people visit Japan per month, and more foreigners are working and living here than ever before. That’s a lot of people hopping a plane over, and especially if yours is a one-way flight, preparing yourself mentally before you arrive in Japan is just as important as the physical things you pack with you in your suitcase.

Think you’ve done all your research when it comes to the Land of the Rising Sun? Check out this video on five things you should know before making the big move.

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Just like magic, Japanese Wizard Parka will transform you from mundane to mystic

With Halloween fast approaching, you may find yourself in the market for a cool costume. But if your cosplay activities are confined to strictly on and around October 31, you might not think it’s worth the time and effort to put together an outfit you’ll only wear once, since by the time next All Hallows’ Eve rolls around you might want to dress up as something else.

But now there’s a single piece of clothing that will let you enjoy a little Halloween fantasy while also being a viable fashion option for the reality of the rest of the year, with Japanese clothing brand Itemya’s Wizard Parka.

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The ultimate hangover cure! Hot canned miso soup, packed with the power of 70 clams

One of the most wonderful things about a Japanese winter is the abundance of hot drinks that become available at convenience stores and vending machines on street corners. There’s nothing quite like popping a coin into a machine on a freezing cold night or while making your way to work, only to have a piping hot can delivered into your frozen palms; it’s an experience that’s almost as satisfying as actually drinking the hot beverage and warming yourself from the inside out!

Stumbling across a good hot soup other than corn potage when scouring the drinks display is always a rare bonus and now that’s something we can look forward to, especially after a night of drinking, with the new canned miso soup from Nagatanien. Filled with the power of ornithine, an amino acid abundant in clams, this is a traditional hangover remedy from Japan, now packed in a can!

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Totoro made me do it! Man says he was inspired to shoplift by Studio Ghibli anime classic

As popular as Japanese animation is, some critics argue that it can have negative psychological effects on audiences. After watching anime martial artists solve their problems with their fists, will fans try to resolve their own conflicts in similarly violent ways? Isn’t is possible that witnessing lewd acts in animated form will cause impressionable viewers to become more sexually aggressive in real life?

We don’t know about those scenarios, but one recently arrested man was led down the path of crime by his love of anime, and the unlikely corrupter was Studio Ghibli’s Totoro.

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Hatsune Miku appears with J-pop legend Namie Amuro in new music video

Vocaloid music still isn’t exactly what you’d call mainstream in Japan, but the genre of virtual idols has made considerable strides in popularity over the last couple of years. Just last month, Vocaloid Hatsune Miku appeared on perpetually popular TV program Music Station, a feat that’s considered a feather in the cap of any performer.

Now, Japan’s most popular virtual vocalist has teamed up with one of its most popular human ones, as Hatsune Miku and J-pop recording legend Namie Amuro have collaborated on a new song and music video.

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Cat caught with grass up his nose adds a little humor to Japanese Twitter

Over the past few days, this photo has become an instant Twitter favorite. But what exactly is going on with this cat? It appears he’s got some grass stuck up his nose.

Can you guess why? We’ve got the answer after the jump.

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Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe wins China’s Confucius Peace Prize

It’s that time of year again. The time when the world waits with bated breath to see who was voted as Earth’s greatest contributor to peace and receives what may be the highest honor a human can receive. I’m talking, of course, about the Confucius Peace Prize.

The Confucius Peace Prize is an annual award given to those who work towards peace as seen “from an Eastern perspective”, with past laureates including Vladimir Putin and Fidel Castro. This year, the selection committee announced that the Confucius Peace Prize will go to none other than Zimbabwe President, Chairperson of the African Union, and one of Forbes’ “10 Worst Dictators” in the world: Robert Mugabe.

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New Dead or Alive beach volleyball game full of the busty ninjas, steel drums fans love 【Video】

After Sega got the 3-D fighting video game craze rolling with Virtua Fighter in 1993, latecomers had to do something to differentiate their own games in the genre. Namco added accessible controls for its Tekken series, Tamsoft spruced up its Toshinden, and Tecmo added attack reversals to Dead or Alive. Oh, and also large, heaving breasts.

Over the years the supersized busts of Dead or Alive have sort of become the tail that wags the dog, or the bouncing bosoms that lead the torso and shoulders. So after releasing Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, the third upgrade to the fifth game in the main series, publisher Koei Tecmo is taking a break from the fighting and doubling down on the eye candy with a new beach volleyball game, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, starring its female martial artists, and the first gameplay video has just been released.

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Tokyo’s Hana Yori Dango cafe features cool 3-D art panels of anime hunks and special desserts

We’ve recently seen a pair of Sailor Moon-themed dining options appear in Tokyo, allowing fans to wrap themselves in the hit franchise’s atmosphere as they enjoy a bite to eat. But if your anime and manga tastes run more towards beautiful boys than magical girls, now there’s a place for you too, at the new Hanai Yori Dango Cafe in Tokyo’s Shibuya.

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Ever wanted to drink a busty anime girl’s sweat? These tea bags can make that dream come true

Sipping a hot cup of tea can be an enjoyable way to relax and put your brain on auto-pilot for a few minutes. Waiting for your tea bag to steep, though, can be downright dull. Sitting there, staring at the bag’s string and tab, you might find yourself wishing for a view, and if your preferred view is a pair of large anime breasts, this Japanese company would be happy to oblige.

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These adorable handmade “cat bags” are all the rage online and with good reason!【Pics】

Handmade goods have a certain appeal that seems to transcend time. As much as we love our precisely designed and machine-crafted products, it’s hard to deny the draw of individually crafted items. Whether its watches or high fashion, knowing something was put together by a dedicated worker just makes it that much better.

So while these cat bags are nothing short of insanely adorable, the fact that they were all individually handmade by one person makes them that much more awesome! Read More

Anti-plastic surgery ad debunked as fake, “mom” model suing ad firm for ruining her life

A few years back we saw an image that would quickly became a symbol of our time, highlighting one of the major flaws in humankind’s obsession with achieving physical perfection. The image was a family portrait, the mother and father of which had both undergone plastic surgery and looked startlingly different from their three kids, all of whom had similar, very distinct physical features. As it was later discovered, however, the portrait was completely staged, and none of the people in it are related in any way.

Nevertheless, the negative impact of the photo was so great that the life of the young “mother” took a drastic turn for the worse after the image went viral. The woman is now suing the Taiwanese plastic surgery clinic and advertising firm behind the image for using it unfairly and for not explaining the nature of advertisement the photo would be used for.

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Sailor-style school uniform outfits for men are warm, fleecy and said to reduce stress

Watch out sailor sisters! There’s a new line of sailor-themed clothing on sale and this time it’s the boys’ turn to come out and play. There won’t be any trousers or navy hats here though, because the only thing masculine about these clothes are the bodies that will be going into them.

It’s the Boku Sera (“I’m a Sailor”) range, which uses the Japanese male pronoun boku to highlight exactly what sets the clothes apart from all others we’ve seen before: these are girls’ sailor-style school uniforms, only now they’re built for male bodies.

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Yawning snake is surprisingly cute, hanging on your every word 【Video】

If you happen to be Indiana Jones or your oldest memory involves waking up in a giant garden paradise, there’s a good chance you find snakes quite repugnant. But even if you’d sooner take a kick to the groin than so much as look at a snake, we have a feeling you’ll find the squirmy little guy in this video quite adorable.

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London mayor Boris Johnson takes out 10-year-old Japanese kid during fun rugby match【Video】

It’s not every day that an enormous blonde-haired bear of a man comes to your school, agrees to play a quick game of rugby with you and then proceeds to knock you on your 10-year-old arse rather than let you win the ball.

But then, it’s not every day that London mayor Boris Johnson is visiting Japan…

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