Pic of the Week Round 2: WINNER!

Pic of the Week Round 2: WINNER!

Heads up, photo fans! It’s time to announce the winner of our weekly photo contest.

The number of professional-quality photos we received this week was nothing short of staggering, and it took a long, long time for us to decide on one overall winner (and of course three very honourable mentions!), but here we go…

Read More

Amazing papercraft Totoro house has 1,800 roof tiles, immeasurable love for Ghibli

Amazing papercraft Totoro house has 1,800 roof tiles, immeasurable love for Ghibli

While the house is definitely a bit of a fixer-upper, I think most anime fans who’ve watched My Neighbor Totoro have occasional daydreams about living in the quiet, peaceful country house into which main characters Mei and Satsuki move during the movie. Of course most of us have school, work or family responsibilities that keep us from packing up our things and moving to the Japanese countryside, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could have your own little version of the Totoro house?

That’s apparently what one papercraft master thought, and after years of folding, he’s finished his remarkably accurate recreation of Studio Ghibli’s most iconic residence.

Read More

Seriously? Olive oil!? Turn ice cream into gourmet gelato with this easy but fattening trick

Seriously? Olive oil!? Turn ice cream into gourmet gelato with this easy but fattening trick

When I was a kid, I used to love using a spoon to whip my ice cream into a fluffy consistency. While it significantly sped up the ice cream’s melt time, I found the new texture I’d created a lot more agreeable than the spoon-bending hardness of the straight-from-the-freezer stuff. It never occurred to my sugar-addled, 10-year-old mind that in the process of whipping up my ice cream, I was actually making a sort of off-brand homemade gelato.

But now that I’ve grown older and my palate has matured, I still enjoy the ice cream whipping trick, but don’t do it as frequently as I used to. There’s just something missing. To my 30-year-old taste buds that have known such exotic delicacies as fugu, unagi, foie gras, street tacos and meatball subs, it’s just mushy ice cream.

But now, thanks to this secret trick we found on the Japanese Interwebs, I’ve rekindled my love for Poor Man’s Gelato.

Read More

Fancy a change? Magazine survey picks Japan’s 10 best towns to live in

Fancy a change? Magazine survey picks Japan’s 10 best towns to live in

The idea of living in a high-rise condo in downtown Tokyo makes for a nice daydream. Between the high cost of housing and the inescapable hustle and bustle of Japan’s capital, though, when it comes time to actually pick a home, many people decide they’d rather live in one of Japan’s other cities, or one of Tokyo’s suburbs at least.

Underlining this trend are the results of a survey by newly formed magazine Aene which asked Japanese housewives which town they’d be happiest living in. Central Tokyo failed to crack the top 10, although the number-one pick isn’t too far away from the capital.

Read More

Women armed with pee-filled spray gun exacts revenge on bank

Women armed with pee-filled spray gun exacts revenge on bank

A woman in China’s Zhejiang Province has been arrested after she entered an ATM vestibule and splashed urine over the machines following the bank’s refusal to process her money transfer, Chinese media has reported.

Read More

Noodle-tossing bunny is the most random, hypnotic Vine you’ll see today

Noodle-tossing bunny is the most random, hypnotic Vine you’ll see today

While she may not be quite so well-known abroad, My Melody, one of cute factory Sanrio’s many mascots, is kind of a big deal here in Japan. Over at the Sanrio Puroland theme park, throngs of kids and women old enough to know better flip out and squeal with delight at the very sight of the hood-wearing bunny, and Sanrio makes a small fortune each year from My Melody-themed merchandise.

But none of that really explains this video recently released by Sanrio Puroland, which plays an endless loop of My Melody aggressively tossing noodles in a sieve. In total silence.

Read More

Want bread? You’re sure to find something you like in this wide and unique selection!【Video】

Want bread? You’re sure to find something you like in this wide and unique selection!【Video】

Now, we may be passionate about rice here in Japan, but we’re also quite fond of bread too. Indeed, breads of all shapes and sizes can be found, from the utterly adorable to the disturbingly realistic, and it seems the various types and flavors of bread available here are a subject of interest for foreigners as well. A YouTube video posted earlier this year by Osaka resident Ryan Boundless, which features a tantalizing selection of  unique breads has apparently attracted attention online recently, and we thought we’d take a look at the video with you to see what the buzz is about. So be prepared, because the video is bound to make you hungry for some good wholesome bread!

Read More

What’s better than sushi? Ramen sushi!

What’s better than sushi? Ramen sushi!

If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll see that inside this sushi roll there’s no rice. Instead, it’s filled with the goodness of instant noodles!

The lifeblood of students, singles and people who just don’t have time to cook, the humble noodle has been used in many ways over the years and now it’s seeing a new dawn, wrapped in a roll and plated up as sushi. And did I mention this baby is wrapped in bacon?

We’ll give you the easy, step-by-step recipe after the jump, but purists be warned: the following images may disturb. Everybody else: come on in and take a seat!

Read More

Six brand names that have highly unfortunate meanings in other languages

Six brand names that have highly unfortunate meanings in other languages

Naming a product is a bit like naming a child: the smart thing to do is to first imagine all the possible ways the name could be mocked and misunderstood, just like they did in The Simpsons:

Marge: ‘What about Bart?’  Homer: ‘Hmm, let’s see. Bart, Cart, Dart, E-art… nope, can’t see any problem with that.’

And if you want to launch your product into the international market – well, you’d be wise to do your research into what that name means in the country you’re trying to sell it in. We bet these companies wish they’d done their homework.

Read More

Lupin III comes full circle as live-action cast turns into anime characters for bread line

Lupin III comes full circle as live-action cast turns into anime characters for bread line

Since I am in no way a gentleman thief, I can only guess as to what that lifestyle must be like. I imagine though, that staying one step ahead of the law means a lot of meals on the run, so it makes sense that Japan Railway stations are rolling out a new batch of baked goods endorsed by anime’s most roguish criminal mastermind, Lupin III.

The timing no doubt has something to do with the upcoming release of the live-action Lupin III movie. Even purists who scoff at the shift away from animation might want to check out the Lupin breads though, as their packages feature redone anime designs for the cast based on the actors portraying them in the new film.

Read More

You know it’s hot in Japan when the birds are taking iced tea baths

You know it’s hot in Japan when the birds are taking iced tea baths

During the summer in Japan, it’s a constant battle between trying to save energy and keeping yourself from melting in the hot, humid weather. Some choose to use deodorizing wipes to keep the stink and sweat away, others simply indulge in Japan’s irresistible ice cream for some eco-friendly relief. But what if you’re a pet bird with an energy-conscious owner who refuses to keep the house cool? This little parakeet has found the solution: a cool dip in someone’s glass of iced tea!

Read More

Chubby Chocobo plush is as round as he is adorable

Chubby Chocobo plush is as round as he is adorable

The slim, sleek Chocobo that populate the Final Fantasy world may be much better for covering long distances and racing, but as far as cuddling goes, Fat Chocobo might take the cake.

Read More

We take Doraemon home and eat him (in cream bun form)【Taste test】

We take Doraemon home and eat him (in cream bun form)【Taste test】

To get an idea of just what a huge cultural icon Doraemon is in Japan, all you have to do is take a look at the theatrical versions of the anime robot cat’s adventures. The first Doraemon movie was released in 1980, and a new film in the franchise has hit Japanese theatres like clockwork every year since, with the lone exception of 2005. Perhaps in apology for the tiny break in the streak, Doraemon’s producers gave us two films this year. The second just premiered this month, and even though Stand by Me Doraemon is the 35th movie in the series, it still breaks new ground by being the first to be computer-animated.

CG isn’t the only new frontier the beloved character is challenging though, as he’s going one more place he’s never been before: our bellies, in the form of the Doraemon cream bun.

Read More

Chinese internet unusually upset by “most usual Chinese face” composite

Chinese internet unusually upset by “most usual Chinese face” composite

A short time ago a variety program on Shandong Satellite TV aired a segment wherein they tried to create the “most standard Chinese face” for both men and women. The results of their experiment received a cold response in China online, however, drawing comments such as “both are ugly.”

Read More

Looking for a fun way to spice up your bath? Try this at home, kids!

Looking for a fun way to spice up your bath? Try this at home, kids!

It’s such a simple idea, but you’ve probably never thought of it before–why not throw a glow stick into your bathtub or pool to create an exciting, luminescent atmosphere?

The trend has suddenly become a hot topic in the Japanese Twitterverse, and over the past few days many people have been testing it out and posting pictures of their lit-up baths for others to be envious of. If you have some leftover glow sticks from a concert or party, this could be the perfect way to get rid of them. More pictures after the break.

Read More

Why do so many anime characters have non-Japanese names?

Why do so many anime characters have non-Japanese names?

There are a lot of things that surprise newcomers to anime. Why are the characters’ eyes so big? How come everyone has funky hair colors? What’s up with all the panty shots?

A lot of those have simple answers. The giant eyes are an influence from legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka, who was in turn inspired by classic Disney designs. Anime artwork uses a relatively small number of lines in drawing faces, and a large palette of hair colors is a quick and easy way to differentiate otherwise similar-looking characters. Male anime fans in Japan are extraordinarily open about their love of undies.

With those questions out of the way, let’s take a look at something a bit less cut-and-dried: Why are there so many anime characters with non-Japanese names?

Read More

Wacky Japanese beach culture: A ton of fun in the sun!

Wacky Japanese beach culture: A ton of fun in the sun!

From whacking watermelons with sticks to burying your friends in the sand or holding sweltering Japanese style BBQs, Japan has a very specific beach culture. We’ve introduced some of these activities before on our site, but this time, we’ve supersized the experience by adding more activities–and extra cheese!

We’ll introduce 13 beach scenes that you’re bound to experience on any trip to a Japanese beach, and present most of them in a six-second Vine video. We picked one of our favorite places to Vine from: Shiraishi Island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea where one of our writers happens to live. This tiny island of 560 people in Okayama Prefecture, is one of Japan’s best kept secrets: the beach is never crowded, the sea is tranquil, the sunsets superb, and the beer never stops flowing.

Get ready to take the plunge into the sea of Japanese beach culture with a local to show you la plage–Japanese style!

Read More

Niconico Video user crafts miniature violin-playing Darth Vader out of paper just because he can

Niconico Video user crafts miniature violin-playing Darth Vader out of paper just because he can

Fandom often inspires people to invest vast sums of money in the object of their obsession. Often when you visit a real enthusiast’s home, you’ll see so much merchandise that you start to wonder whether they also thought to invest in insurance to protect them if any of it was lost or stolen since the goods’ combined value can in some cases amount to thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars.

In many ways, the amount of merch a person owns can act as an indicator of how big a fan they are, but what’s even more impressive than dropping exorbitant amounts of cash on a hobby is investing time and energy. Take, for example, this Niconico Video user from Japan who, rather than simply visiting a store or online shop to purchase a swanky new Darth Vader figurine, decided to make one out of little more than a pile of craft paper, and the end result is simply stunning.

Read More

We found the perfect present for your beloved cat this summer…a cardboard submarine!

We found the perfect present for your beloved cat this summer…a cardboard submarine!

Ishoya, a Japanese shop specializing in unique feline goods, has released a DIY submarine for cats made from cardboard. Aptly named “Cat Box 02″, the bright-yellow submarine-shaped cardboard box is set to charm both feline friends and owners with Instagram accounts for their cats alike.

Join us after the jump for adorable pics of happy sailing (and flying) cats!

Read More

Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Even though it’s been a week since we made the trip to downtown Yokohama to see the packs of roaming Pikachus, and we’ve still got a warm fuzzy feeling. Actually, warm and fuzzy is also an apt description of the lovable pocket monsters’ plush yellow coats, which brings up a concern.

Cuddly softness is all fine and good when Pikachu is handing out hugs, but what about when he goes back to his regular duties of fighting other Pokémon? Shouldn’t he be wrapped in something a bit more durable, like his own custom set of samurai armor?

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. ...
  9. 430
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,182 other followers