We head to Nagoya for a nice cup of joe served fresh from a stepladder to your table

They say that in Japan, the city of Nagoya is the fiercest market for cafes and as a result it also has many of the best coffee shops in the country. And in the midst of all these high quality roasts and laid-back atmospheres lies one shop in particular that literally manages to stand above the rest.

It’s called Cafe Tsuzuki and has a poster with the slogan “Coffee Guy’s shop: Night and day unique coffee research.” We sent our reporter Yuichiro Wasai down to inquire about their research, stepladder and all.

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What’s up doc? Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Lola Bunny in human form are too hot to ignore!

Walt Disney cartoons were one of my favorite things to watch on TV when I was a kid. But giving the ever-popular Disney animated series a good run for its money was the Looney Tunes series by Warner Bros. In fact, if I really had to choose one out of the two, I would have leaned towards Looney Tunes, largely because of my childhood crush, the witty and crafty Bugs Bunny.

As I grew up, I became more interested in Japanese anime, and gradually drifted away from Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes gang, but my oh my, I think I’m falling head over heels for Bugs again after seeing Canada-based artist Sakimichan’s series of Looney Tunes illustrations. See Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Lola Bunny in their humanized forms after the jump!

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Google’s English translation for short Japanese phrase hints at huge, TV-series-length backstory

As handy as online Japanese-to-English dictionaries are for looking up individual vocabulary words, automated translation programs tend to spit out much spottier results. A big part of the problem is how much more Japanese relies on context for meaning, which in turn means speakers can, and often do, abbreviate and omit whole words and phrases which human listeners can easily understand implicitly.

Automated programs, though, lack this ability, which means their translations are often missing vital elements needed for the sentence to make sense in English. It’s a problem software engineers and linguists are trying to address, but adding such soft logic to machines is a difficult endeavor.

In at least one case, though, the Google Translate team seems to have been too effective, as trying to convert a Japanese phrase meaning, “Goodbye, my beloved” into English produces a result that seems to have roughly 38 hours of backstory behind it.

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12 creative packaging designs to loosen your purse strings

What makes or breaks your decision to purchase something new and unfamiliar? For some shoppers it may be the peculiarity of a product that loosens their purse strings. Others may be won over by the low price or high quality of an item. And then there are those who have a weak spot for clever packaging.

Of course, price and quality matter, but the packaging of a product plays a significant role too despite the sad fact that it usually ends up in the trash soon after the product has been taken home. If you’re fond of interesting, creative, unique packaging designs, take a peek at this little collection!

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Can’t spend a whole month at Kyoto’s Gion Festival? This beautiful video gives the highlights

Many neighborhoods in Japan have festivals during the summer, often centered around the local shrine. They generally include processions, musical performances, and Shinto rituals, with the festivities lasting a day, or maybe two if they stretch throughout the weekend.

Kyoto’s Gion district, though, does things on a grander scale. The Gion Matsuri (Gion Festival) starts on July 1 and runs for the entire month, with some sort of event happening almost every day. And while most non-residents can’t clear out enough of their schedule to sped a few solid weeks in Japan’s former capital, this beautiful video gives the highlights of the event.

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Horror comics found at Thai convenience stores don’t pull any punches

Thailand has always been known for its extremely terrifying repertoire of horror movies. However, the tropical nation’s taste for horror appears to extend into their manga culture as well. A sample of their convenience store comic book selection are so packed with grotesque images that we wonder whether kids who see them on the shelves don’t have nightmares.

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Enjoy the brilliantly colored autumn leaves at Shinjuku Gyoen with Mr. Sato

Regular readers of our site will no doubt be familiar with Mr. Sato, our intrepid Japanese reporter. Despite his tendency to pursue unusually zany exploits in the name of journalism, Mr. Sato also has a slightly more conventional side, and enjoys taking in the beautiful autumn scenery just like anybody else.

In fact, Mr. Sato was so impressed by his recent visit to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (新宿御苑) in the heart of Tokyo that he wanted to share his photos with you. So why don’t you grab a cup of tea, relax, and enjoy the dazzling colors of the park, all from the comfort of home!

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Hopping Bulbasaur! Pokémon favorite found squatting in the wild

While Yo-kai Watch is basically the new Pokémon for the younger generation, it doesn’t mean that Pokémon is done and gone! While all the cool kids may be focused on Jibanyan, it looks like nature might be a bigger fan of Pokémon–just look at this photo of “Bulbasaur!”

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Give your ears some cute company with these kitty-shaped earphone clips

For some people, earphones are as much about carving out a little privacy as they are listening to music. Pop in a pair, and only the pushiest of individuals will try to engage you in a conversation, meaning you’re largely left alone in a bubble of just you and your favorite tunes.

But no matter how unappealing you may find the prospect of another human being encroaching on your psychological personal space, we think just about anyone would make an exception and be happy to have these cute little cat-shaped earphone clips in close proximity.

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Gotta stack ’em all! Collect and play with these adorable stackable pokémon

With the release of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire you might be in the mood for some merch, so we’ve dug some out for you: Have hours of fun with these adorable stackable pokémon sets!

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Tekken producer explains virtual reality girl demo ‘Summer Lesson’

Bandai Namco Games began streaming an introduction video previewing its demo software “Summer Lesson,” which utilizes Sony‘s Project Morpheus virtual reality headset to simulate interactions with a high school girl. Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia hosted a user experience meeting for the software this Saturday and Sunday, allowing around 700 users to test the software.

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Having lost faith in humans, Japanese authorities turn to the dogs to get things done

Japanese Twitter user and possible existentialist @tommyneverdie recently posted an interesting sign he found on the street, which urges the local dog populace to keep their humans in line. It’s really quite cute so we thought we’d share it with you to ease you into the new week.

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Racism hits close to home in China as Beijing store reportedly “bans” Chinese customers

In the wake of the protests in the US over the controversial Ferguson decision and subsequently President Obama’s unfortunate choice of words galvanizing anti-immigration sentiments in Japan, the Chinese are facing a racism scandal of their own, but this time by their own people.

A Beijing store recently came under fire when they hung a sign outside of their shop proclaiming: “Chinese not admitted. Staff excluded.” Just so we’re clear, this is in China.

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Japanese Twitter users celebrate Knee-High Socks Day with flirty and freaky snapshots

Since Japan is on the other side of the International Date Line from the U.S., while American families were sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, it was already Friday, November 28 in Japan. Even still, there were celebrations going on simultaneously in the two countries, as November 28 is also known in some circles in Japan as Knee-High Socks Day.

We feel it’s important to spread the word about this unofficial holiday, so just as we did 12 months ago, we’re back again with the Japanese Internet’s best contributions to the day’s festivities. This year, though, Knee-High Socks Day is about more than just appreciating female thighs, as Twitter users are putting their own weird and humorous spin on just who or what can participate.

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Never leave home without it! The USB-powered rice ball warmer

Japan, like many other countries, has no shortage of “unique” inventions and products. Sometimes they may seem useless or downright impractical, but other times they’re just clever enough to be useful.

So where does this USB-powered onigiri (rice ball) warmer fall on the spectrum of clever and bewildering? We’ll let you decide for yourself!

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Japanese man proposes to girlfriend with Guinness World Record-winning GPS drawing

On 30 June, 2008 Yasushi Takahashi, or Yassan for short, quit his job and set out on a trek across Japan. He took with him a GPS logger to document the journey as he experienced the “Japan that [he knows] only in books.”

That might seem like a reckless choice for a man in his thirties, but as we can see, along with Japan he was also mapping out his future during this half-year travel. Yassan also recorded parts of the trip on video and uploaded it to YouTube in a video titled Tegami-Letter.

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Give your Game Boy a new lease of life with upcoming HDTV adaptor “hdmyboy”

Nintendo’s Game Boy recently turned 25 years old and is fondly remembered by people of all ages the world over. With more than 118 million units sold worldwide, it’s fair to say that the monochrome portable was something of a hit, and there’s almost certainly a Game Boy or two lying around in a cupboard or attic near you at this very moment.

A pair of retro gaming enthusiasts are hoping to breathe new life into the Game Boy with a prototype product that allows gamers to hook their original 1989 portable up to their modern, high-definition TV sets with zero fuss. Dubbed the hdmyboy, the adaptor is still in development, but with the help of backing from Kickstarter users, the guys behind it are hoping to bring it to the world as early as next spring.

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Ever wanted to capture some Cardcaptor Sakura anime cosmetics? Now you can!

In Japan, it’s pretty common for high schools to prohibit students from wearing any sort of makeup. As a result, a lot of girls don’t get to use it on a daily basis until after they graduate, usually at the age of 18.

So perhaps it’s fitting that 18 years after its initial release, manga and anime franchise Cardcaptor Sakura is getting its own cosmetics set, meaning that everyone who came into the world as the same time as the series is now old enough to enjoy it.

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Play with fire at an old-fashioned “irori” hearth restaurant

Temperatures are dropping here in Japan and that means it’s prime time for one of my favorite Japanese foods. Sure, I love sushi and a nice hot bowl of udon sure doesn’t go amiss come December, but in winter nothing holds a candle to the old-fashioned Japanese communal cooking experience called irori. It’s like cooking ’round a campfire from the comfort of your home!

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Library in Zhejiang Province welcomes readers from all walks of life, including the homeless

There’s something wonderfully relaxing and welcoming about libraries. Not only are they full of good things to read, their quiet, contemplative atmosphere makes them the perfect place for introspective people to hang out in, too. The sanctity of a library can’t be broken by the rabble of everyday life, and perhaps that’s why homeless people in Zhejiang Province, China have taken to holing up in Hangzhou Municipal Library.

The library staff have garnered praise online for “allowing” homeless people to read there, but aren’t libraries for everyone, after all? Join us after the jump for some snapshots of homeless patrons enjoying some quiet time with a book.

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