Round 2 of the ramen ice cream rumble – This time with real ramen! 【Taste test】

Last week, I stopped by the Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama to try its just-released Cup Noodle Ice Cream, with its chives, shrimp, and all the other fixings of instant ramen. It was definitely an interesting experience, but I did have one complaint, which is that Cup Noodle Ice Cream doesn’t actually have any noodles in it. Technically, it should be called “Cup Noodle Topping Ice Cream.”

Thankfully, it turns out there actually is a place in Japan where you can get ice cream with ramen noodles mixed in. Since I suddenly found myself with the unlikely title of RocketNews24’s resident ramen ice cream expert, I figured it was time to go another round with this unorthodox class of dessert, and to crown a winner in this battle of the ramen ice creams.

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Man in China sells fake clouds, makes pretty good money doing so

As a child I was always taught to believe that having your head in the clouds was a bad thing; that it was important to keep your head on your shoulders and your feet on the ground to be successful. But this man from Henan Province in China has blown that way of thinking out of the window with his magical cloud-making machine, which has been drawing in a continuous stream of wowed onlookers, and in turn some big money as well!

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Animal cruelty on Mt. Fuji? We investigate horses in Japan’s tourist trade

A concerned reader recently contacted RocketNews24 with regard to what appears to be a case of animal cruelty on Mount Fuji. As animal lovers, we got right on the case and, while doing our research, found ourselves learning all about abuse issues related to horses and signs of neglect. Our research took us overseas to the U.S., where we sat down to interview a horse trainer who speaks candidly about the reasons animal cruelty is so hard to eliminate.

In this article, we address our reader’s concerns about horses being used to carry tourists from station to station on Mount Fuji. We’ll also learn about equine nutrition, exercise, and mental health.

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Uniqlo to offer four-day work week to working mothers

As we’ve looked at before, it’s hard being a working mom, juggling the important yet difficult goals of providing both the financial and emotional support children need. But while having to look for a new job because of incompatible work and family demands is never pleasant, it’s still a more viable option than finding new kids, as clothing retailer Uniqlo knows all too well.

The company has been having trouble retaining female employees with children, with many citing the need for more flexibility in their work schedule as their reason for leaving the company. In response, Uniqlo has announced that this autumn it will be offering full-time employees the option of a four-day work week.

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Feline Felynes feelin’ fine! Cats star in new Monster Hunter Diary commercials【Videos】

Japanese advertising companies aren’t stupid. They know what will get the attention of the masses – adorable cat videos! So when the creators of video game series Monster Hunter were looking for a new angle for their advertising campaign, they wisely chose to assemble the kitties for a range of super-cute commercials!

The result? Adorable cats in hats smooching iguanas, playing plastic fishing games, lazing around, yawning, and being generally fluffy and sweet!

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Beautiful 3-D rendered One Piece fan art will have you reaching for the tissues

Those of you who have been reading RocketNews24 for any period of time might have noticed that we really like pretty, shiny things. Whether it’s traditional art, a re-creation of something old into something new, or something completely original, when we see it we can’t help gushing about it.

When we saw this image of what looked like it could have been a new video game for the PlayStation 4, we were already impressed, and then we were completely blown away when we found out this was actually a fan-made, completely realistic 3-D rendering of One Piece! (Careful, One Piece spoilers after the jump)

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Harry Potter and the F****ing Pigeons – Chinese bootleg’s subtitles are full of melons 【Pics】

I have to admit, I’ve always been a little confused about what’s going on in the Harry Potter movies series. Does Hogwarts exist in another dimension, or is it just located in a part of the English countryside so isolated that no one notices the packs of monsters roaming the forest and flying through the skies? Why does the debate about whether or not “Voldemort is back” continue for years after he’s first seen? And why are all these super-powered wizards too lily-livered to say the dude’s name?

But perhaps my biggest question is this: What’s the deal with all the melons?

Wait, you don’t know about the melons? Or about Harry’s middle management struggles as he climbs the corporate ladder? Then read on for all of these plot elements added to the beloved franchise by Chinese bootleg subtitles.

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Young girl “hypnotizes” animals on Chinese TV show, we’re not entirely convinced 【Video】

A girl who recently appeared on Chinese variety show “Challenge the Impossible” (挑战不可能) demonstrated her ability to put a number of animals into a hypnotic state in front of a panel of hosts and a live studio audience.

During the segment, she performs her talent on a dog, a lizard, a frog, a chicken, and a rabbit. While it’s certainly adorable to see her in action, we’re not entirely convinced that she has a unique ability, especially in light of what happens in the middle of her demonstration.

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New Kyary Pamyu Pamyu video “Crazy Party Night” makes Halloween cute and colorful…in August

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is know for many things, but subtlety certainly is not one of them. The singer/model/crazy-in-a-cute-way-girl has released so many bizarre videos by now that we suspect the Oxford English Dictionary will eventually include a picture of her grinning face under the entry for “quirky.” And that’s why we love her!

So we were naturally excited when we saw that she released a new video titled “Crazy Party Night: Pumpkins Strike Back” today. The music was exactly as peppy and cute as you might expect, and the video was…well, it was definitely a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu video. Check it out after the jump!

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NINGEN ISU: This Japanese literary metal band will rock your butt off【Photos & Video】

When Mr. Sato asks you if you want to check out a band with him, you say yes. You don’t ask which band or check your schedule, you just say yes, because you know it’s going to be a good night. It also doesn’t hurt that I already knew he was talking about NINGEN ISU, whose name literally means “Human Chair,” a metal band in the vein of all our favorite old-school traditional metal heroes.

NINGEN ISU’s rise in popularity has been on a slow but powerful burn for decades, and with their upcoming performance at OzzFest this year, they are sure to be popping up on a quite a few radars. So check them out here now and get ready to tell your friends that you knew about these guys way back when!

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Time to ham it up at this chain of Japanese wine bars with all-you-can-eat prosciutto for 500 yen

Freshness Burger is a well-known fast food burger chain in Japan. A lesser-known fact would be that they’ve gone a little gourmet and also have a chain of cheap tapas-like wine bars called FreBar, which offers arguably even better value than Freshness Burger.

For just 500 yen (US$4) you can have as much cured ham (prosciutto) as you like in an hour courtesy of their current promotion, called nama hamu tabehodai in Japanese. Mr Sato, RocketNews24 Japan writer and food adventurer, couldn’t pass up this offer, but just how many plates could he get through?

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Turn minor cuts and scrapes into fashion statements with these cute Japanese bandage designs

They say being prepared is half the battle, so it’s always a good idea to keep a first aid kit stocked up with adhesives or carry around a few bandages in your purse (or manbag for our fashionable male readers) in case of unexpected accidents. After all, even though that one lifehack said it was okay to use the inside membrane of a boiled egg when you’re in a pinch, we can’t say the idea is very appealing.

Luckily we’ve found the perfect set of bandages to do the trick, and we’re certain you’ll be stuck on them just as much as we are. With gorgeous images of sushi, ninjas, and other traditional Japanese designs, they’ll turn minor injuries turn into badges of original style.

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8-Bit Cinema’s Princess Mononoke remakes the Ghibli classic with classic video game art 【Video】

With director Hayao Miyazaki having retired from theatrical features, and the distinct possibility of the animation house he cofounded doing the same, anime fans looking for straight-from-the-source Ghibli magic are left with no choice but to rewatch the studio’s previous works. But with all the passion that Studio Ghibli puts into its movies, revisiting an old favorite is likely to put you in the artistic mood yourself, which is why a pair of admirers have made a condensed retelling of Princess Mononoke with old-school video game-style pixel art.

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Brave, pint-sized warrior almost loses his epic battle with a board

A while back, we introduced you to an adorably terrifying seven year-old karate sensation called Mahiro-chan, who appeared ready to more or less destroy the entire earth with her amazingly quick fists.

Well, if Mahiro-chan is the embodiment of cold, destructive toddler efficiency, this little tot is, uh…kind of maybe the opposite of that. Let’s watch as he valiantly takes on this incredibly thin sheet of balsa wood and almost loses.

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Cosplay of Howl’s actual castle moves us in mysterious ways【Photos】

The world of cosplay is a unique and creative place where people painstakingly create costumes that are as good as or sometimes better than the characters they are emulating. It’s a long and tiresome road to style hair, clothes, and makeup, but the complete costume is always something to be admired.

The inspiration behind a costume usually happens when someone sees a cool character or costume on a character that they want to recreate. However, that’s the thing, you usually see characters cosplayed, you don’t see too many buildings or inanimate objects running around at conventions. One famous castle is so lifelike though, it actually makes for a fantastic costume. Of course we’re talking about the “moving castle” from Howl’s Moving Castle and it looks just like it leaped right off the screen.

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Her cosplay power is over 9000! Japan mesmerized by American cosplayer Megan Coffrey【Photos】

After all of the amazing cosplay we saw at the recent Comiket 88 event in Tokyo, it’s easy to forget that there are some great cosplayers on the other side of the world too, much closer to home for many of us.

And one such cosplayer who has been getting a lot of Japanese attention recently is Megan Coffey from the U.S. She has been praised for not only her startlingly accurate depictions of numerous female characters, but her creative portrayal of a certain male Saiyan as well.

Does she give one of your favorite characters a 3-D makeover? Read on to find out!

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Presenting edible cuteness from the sea — it’s cat-shaped seaweed!

What comes to your mind when you hear the word seaweed? Some of you may think of the black sheet of nori used to wrap sushi rolls and onigiri rice balls. But that’s seaweed processed into just one particular form, and there are many other ways seaweed is used in Japanese cooking — in soup to obtain stock, for example, or stewing with a variety of vegetables and meat or seafood a slightly sweet soy-sauce based sauce.

As widely used as it is in Japanese cuisine, however, one thing you wouldn’t really expect from seaweed is for it to add “cuteness” to the food; they’re mostly dark green or brownish plants that grow in the sea, after all. Well, you might want to think again, because it turns out we’ve discovered a creative seaweed product that can add tons of cute and fun to your dish. Yes, it’s cat-shaped seaweed, and the best part is, you can get it delivered to your home each month in dried form!

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High school students’ parody of Japanese “Wonder Core” ab-cruncher commercial goes viral【Video】

We all need to make time for exercise, even hardworking students preparing for exams. But between the pressures of class, cram school, homework, and social obligations, it can be difficult to find the time to squeeze in a proper workout, particularly if you’re constantly finding yourself caught in the middle of your friends’ madcap schemes and practical jokes.

However, according to a recent parody of the infamous Wonder Core commercial, getting pranked again and again could well hold the secret to giving you a rock-hard set of abs. Who knew!

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Cat stealing your seat? Fold-flat chair foils feline invasions of your workspace

Cute as they can be, cats don’t really understand some of the finer points of reciprocating the courtesies their human housemates extend to them. For example, we’re willing to bet that no matter how much you love your pet, you probably don’t lay your head down in its cat bed for a nap when it’s not snoozing there or bypass a trip to the bathroom to just relieve yourself in its litterbox.

Cats, on the other hand, have no qualms about stealing your seat as soon as you get up, basking in the residual warmth from your hindquarters and leaving you with no place to sit when you come back to your desk to finish the project you were working on, email you were writing, or incredibly important RocketNews24 you were reading.

Here with a solution to this turf war is Japanese interior goods brand Bauhutte, which is now selling a reconfigurable chair that foils your kitty’s attempts to hop on when you’re not occupying it.

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Transform your fridge or washing machine into a giant Nintendo Game Boy with the power of magnets!

Alright gamers, how many of you remember playing one of those brick-like Nintendo Game Boys – the one with the tiny black-and-green screen on top that was nigh-on impossible to see without a 100-watt lamp or the sun directly overhead? Mobile technology may have come an awfully long way since Nintendo first released its classic handheld into the wild, there’s nothing that beats the fondness of revisiting moments from our childhood, and that little hunk of plastic was definitely one of them.

You may not be able to get your hands on one of those old systems now, but lo, nostalgia is nigh! For now, with some simple magnetic power, you can transform one of your everyday home appliances, like your fridge or washing machine, into a blast from the past with these giant Game Boy magnets!

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