This month’s slightly bizarre Japanese Twitter trend is showing off overly full Subway sandwiches

Subway may be as popular in Japan as it is in the US–which isn’t really surprising, since the company advertises itself as a healthy meal option. We’re not sure how healthy the sandwiches actually are, but that’s marketing for you. Nevertheless, it is true that a Subway sandwich certainly contains a lot more vegetables than, say, a Big Mac and fries.

And if you’re one of these Japanese Twitter users, your sandwich is literally bursting with vegetables! We’re not sure if this really a lifehack or not, but it is a way to get a sub sandwich and a salad all for price of the just the former.

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Overheard at Comiket: wise words from the C87 staff

Thousands of otaku stagger home yenless and struggling under the weight of the doujinshi, illustration books, games and other goods they’ve snapped up in a frenzied three days of pushing, shoving, and waiting in endless lines. Yep, Comiket 87 is over for now, until the whole ordeal begins again next summer.

Most people agree that the event is more arduous than fun, and the volunteer staff are in the unenviable position of keeping things under control, trying to keep the hordes moving, and looking anyone who collapses from the excitement of it all.

Below we have a collection of inspiring quotes from these heroic men and women. Some of them are simply priceless.

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Prepare yourself for the fundoshi-clad men of the upcoming 2015 RocketNews24 calendar!

Boy, have we ever got a treat coming up for all of you loyal Rocketeers!

To help ring in the new year, our staff is busy putting the finishing touches on a 2015 calendar featuring the classy men of our sister site, the Japanese language edition of RocketNews24. Not wanting to be outdone by all the other “eye candy calendars” out there, our team of Japanese writers have truly gone all out to show their appreciation for all the love and support they’ve received from our readers over the past year.

Get ready to feast your eyes on a sneak preview of what’s about to become the sexiest 2015 calendar ever to grace the internet!

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Crowdfunded Little Red Riding Hood makeup debuts as “sickly look” trend continues

It’s no secret that ladies in Asia have become the masters of makeup in recent years, with shocking before-and-after transformations popping up online pretty much on the reg. In Japan in particular, makeup trends tend to follow a very different format to those in the west, with plenty of tips and tricks designed to highlight features we wouldn’t even consider, such as the angle of an eyelid crease, or the puffiness of eyebags. There’s even makeup that’s designed to make you look a bit ill.

This new makeup palette seems at first glance to be nothing more than a cute product themed around a fairytale character. In actuality, it’s the perfect tool for creating one of the past year’s most unusual trends, “undereye blush”.

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Ring in the new year with a real robot suit, on sale at Keisei Department store

The New Year season is often a peak shopping time in Japan, and as such stores pull out the big guns in what are known as fukubukuro (lucky bags). These are bags full of the merchandise a particular shop peddles. Sometimes it’s random which means you could end up with a laptop for fifty bucks, other times the contents are known but you can still get a decent deal on a bulk purchase. And sometimes, in the name of publicity, shops will throw in some unusual item or offer remarkably great deals to celebrate the new year.

It appears the winner for 2015 will be Keisei Department Store who are offering what must be a very large fukubukuro containing a two-meter-tall functional robot suit!

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The impossible circular staircase is just that… impossible【Video】

Need a break from reality? Take a look at this video created by a student from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

The video features the mythical Escherian Staircase (aka Penrose Stairs), or the never-ending staircase where you go up two flights of steps and end up at the same place you began. It’s said that Filipino architect Rafael Nelson Aboganda is the genius who built the “Impossible Staircase.”

There is something fishy, however. This physics-defying creation – first thought up more or less simultaneously by the Lionel and Roger Penrose team, and M.C. Escher in the 1950s – was built by Abgonda in the 60s, yet no one knows about it― not even students at the school, despite being a seemingly physically impossible feat! Hmm….

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Public backlash, fines all around for Chinese medical staff who took selfies in operating room

Scrubs? Check. Scalpel? Check. Smartphone? Double check.

The following photos of doctors and nurses posing inside an operating room at Fengcheng Hospital in Xi’an, northwestern China, were allegedly taken back in the summer on August 15. Although months have passed since then, the photos just recently surfaced online and have been causing quite an uproar among the general public over the past few days.

If it’s any consolation, would you breathe a sigh of relief to hear that at least the photos were taken after a successful operation? But wait–doesn’t the patient still appear to be undergoing surgery in some of the shots!?

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Pet owner celebrates the Year of the Sheep by inserting their cat into ridiculous costume

2015 is the Year of the Sheep! If you live in Japan or in the vicinity, that means your life is going to get flooded with sheep-themed merchandise for the next 12 months. We’ve already gotten Disney sheep stuffed animals, sheep ice cream, sheep stamps, and there’s plenty more to come.

But there’s one item that rarely gets the Chinese zodiac-themed touch each year: cat costumes. Thankfully Japanese Twitter user @hizashi414 put an end to that by creating a sheep outfit for their cat and taking plenty of pictures to prove it.

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Dirty Car Art is the perfect excuse not to wash your car ever again

Have you ever doodled in the dirt on your car before you finally got around to washing it? Or perhaps when you were younger you wrote something rude in the dust on the neighbour’s rear window? American artist Scott Wade took his doodling many steps further and now creates this stunning Dirty Car Art that you’d never want to wash off.

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2 dudes + love hotel + a bromantic Christmas Eve = fundoshi fun!

Christmas may have come and gone, but the fun doesn’t stop here at RocketNews24 – today we’d like to share with our readers a heartwarming tale of two lonely male internet writers who, facing a dateless Christmas Eve (a sad state of affairs indeed for any Japanese male), decided to strike back against societal norms and… book into a love hotel together

Read on as we explore an enchanting evening involving massage, saunas, and fundoshi (Japanese traditional loincloths) aplenty! Disclaimer: you must be 18 or over to view this potentially NSFW, kind of frightening post!

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Town in Hiroshima now offering exciting… snow-shovelling tours?

To someone raised in an area that receives little to no snow in the wintertime, living in a snowy region might seem like a lot of fun, what with all the sledding, snowball fights, and easy access to ski resorts. But it’s not all fun and games when you need to shovel through feet of snow just to leave your house or to get your car out of your driveway.

But maybe to someone who hasn’t grown up having to shovel heaps of snow each winter, snow-shoveling could be a fun experience too. At least, that’s what the Akiota-cho Sightseeing Association in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, seems to be hoping as they try to lure city-dwellers to their 4th annual “Heavy Snow Region Experience Tour“. However, this tour has some net-users questioning why anyone would want to pay 5,000 yen (approximately US$50) to shovel snow for someone else.

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Nihon-no: Is an entirely English-speaking village coming to Tokyo?

What is the best way to learn a language? Many foreign people in Japan will tell you living here and being immersed in Japanese is a pretty good way to pick up the lingo. When you realize you have to be able to speak and understand the language in order to live your daily life, it certainly becomes a huge motivation to make the Japanese language your own.

Do you know what isn’t a particularly good method of learning a language? Four classes a week of language learning taught in your native language with little to no chances to utilize what you’ve learned.

As the whole world knows, the Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo in 2020, and Tokyo wants to be as prepared as possible. The city is trying to do everything it can to improve its citizens’ grasp of English, and there is now talk of plans to create an “English Village” where everything will be conducted in the language so many Japanese wish they were fluent in.

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Courageous kitty offers himself up for dinner during tough financial times

Pets are expensive to feed and keep, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re financially able to support a little furry life for the next 10-15 years before making the decision to adopt an animal.

Sometimes, though, life throws you financial curve balls, and you may find yourself struggling to cover the cost of kitty’s food and litter. Today, we’d like to share with you the funny yet kinda sad tale of a kitty-owner whose struggle to make ends meet led to their furry little pal making a drastic suggestion of self-sacrifice (although, it’s a cat, so we’re pretty sure it was being sarcastic…)

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Chinese city government bans Christmas in schools

While many of us spent the last few days stuffing our faces with Christmas treats, singing jolly carols and hoarding presents, one whole city of school children in China were unfortunately unable to celebrate the occasion because the Grinch, a.k.a. adults, had stolen their Christmas.

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The International Federation of Sports Onigokko hopes for tag to be a part of the Tokyo Olympics

No matter what culture you come from, you have probably played a game of tag or a similar game by a different name at least once in your life. It’s a childhood pastime that quite possibly dates well back into prehistoric times in one form or another.

In Japan it is well-loved and goes by the name onigokko (“play demon”) wherein on player takes the role of the oni (demon/”it”) and tries to touch the other players which will turn them into oni.

I say “well-loved” because in recent years the country has held the largest games of tag in the world and has currently evolved the game into “sports onigokko” an organized team-based version of the of what you may know as tag.

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Japanese scientists debunk popular belief about the “old-person smell”

What do you dread the most about growing old? Is it the aching muscles after what used to be an easy exercise routine? The need to get up and pee multiple times during the night? Or how about that distinctive “old-person smell” that sneaks into the air whenever a senior citizen is around?

Speaking of that last one, have you ever wondered where that particular odor comes from? Although many people believe that the source of the smell is behind the ears, a team of Japanese researchers have recently disproved this theory after what must have been an excruciatingly odoriferous ordeal. You might want to plug your nose for this one, folks–things are about to smell more than a little fishy around here…

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“No low angles!” and other Comiket cosplay photography rules

We had a great time at Comiket this weekend and saw enough to fill a few photo books! Of course, it’s impossible to talk about everything, but one of the more eye-catching things we noticed were the cosplay photography rules. There’s a good chance you remember this little tweet from this past summer, showing a cosplayer surrounded and photographed at low angles. And probably not for better lighting…

Well, it turns out, that kind of photography probably isn’t within Comiket rules!

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Kyaraben roundup! We take a look back at 2014’s best packed lunches 【Pics】

The Kyaraben trend is still going strong in Japan, and even though winter has prompted some to make the temporary switch to deco-nabe, the demand for adorable packed lunches shows no signs of abating. Today we’d like to take a look back over the best of the past year’s Kyaraben. What can we learn about 2014 in Japan from studying these perfect works of edible art?

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Up all night to get lucky…bags at Apple stores across Japan

The New Year is obviously a major holiday in Japan, and that means sales at every store. In addition to discounted products, the beginning of January sees many stores also offering grab bags, most often called “lucky bags,” a direct translation of 福袋 (fukubukuro), in Japan.

Of course, some of the most sought-after lucky bags in Japan are those from Apple. In fact, if you want to grab one of Apple’s lucky bags, now might be a good time to buy a sleeping bag and some snacks, because you’ll probably be camping out over night!

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Complaints lead to talks about whether noise from schools should be regulated

With Japan trying to figure out how to handle its issue of a declining population (predicted to decrease by one-third over the next half century if the current trend in birth rates continues), the country has been working to raise awareness of the problem and implement more resources for children and parents.

However, with a recent increase of new day cares, preschools, and kindergartens, there has also been an increase of complaints about noise, particularly from elderly residents.

Some of these cases have even gone to court, and have resulted in some schools having to restrict outdoor playtime for the children and keep their curtains closed.

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