This changes everything: New device injects chocolate into bananas

Sliced bread. The smartphone. A computer that sits on your lap. The flying buttress. Occasionally, a new person or thing comes along that proves to be a total game changer; something that completely redefines the way you look at and interact with the world around you.

This unassuming device is one of those: A contraption that literally injects chocolate into a banana, forever rendering the humble banana into an amazing new food group and essentially negating any nutritional value the protein-packed fruit once had (not that this bothers us).

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Should the Paris terrorism tragedy be called a “kamikaze” attack?

In the days following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, people in Japan have expressed virtually universal sympathy for France and its residents. What has them more divided, though, is the frequent use of the word “kamikaze” in describing the incident.

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Hamster hides in glass bottle during earthquake in Japan 【Photos】

We’ve been taught to shelter under tables when there’s an earthquake, but this little hamster in Japan chose to hide in a glass bottle instead.

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“Macho” yakiniku restaurant offers beef with a side of beefcake【Photos】

Korean barbecue, or yakiniku as it’s known here is Japan, is a popular among all diners, but particularly men seem drawn to the primal enjoyment of roasting gobs of raw meat over flames. Or maybe they just like meat. Either way, the customer base skews male.

However, this month a pop-up yakiniku restaurant in Tokyo’s Ebisu neighborhood seemed to be taking particular aim at the ladies. Let’s see if you can spot their unique approach.

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Japanese company will turn photos of your cat or dog into adorably awesome pet reliefs

If you’ve got a cat or dog you love, odds are you’ve got a few pictures of your animal companion on display around the home you share. But what if you could give those visual reminders of your precious pet a loving pat on the nose?

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Move over pumpkin, it’s time for some frothy apple cinnamon goodness … in a bottle!

It was only a short while ago that we were being inundated with all manner of pumpkin flavored foods and drinks in honor of Halloween. But now that October 31—and all the wild partying surrounding it—has come and gone, people in Japan seem eager to rush into Holiday Season mode, with Christmas displays and illuminations already popping up across town.

Alcoholic beverages are no exception to the trend, and today we thought we’d share with you a beer with a distinctly Christmassy flavor that sounds absolutely delightful. It’s the Apple Cinnamon Ale from Japanese brewery Sankt Gallen, and, for a limited time, the drink even comes in a special bottle with a beautiful Christmas label!

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Japan surprised to find Justin Bieber and world praying for them

On the morning of Saturday, November 14, many Japanese Beliebers, along with some Non-Beliebers and Agnobiebers, awoke and checked into Twitter as usual only to find the famous Canadian pop star declaring that he was praying for their souls right alongside those of the people of Paris.

Confused and a little concerned, I—a card-carrying Agnobeiber—showed the above tweet to my coworkers, all of whom were equally baffled as to why Justin Bieber should be praying for them, considering nothing out of the ordinary happened here in Japan.

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The real My Melody? Twitter user knits tiny hat for kotatsu, futon-owning bunny【Pics】

Hello Kitty may be the most popular Sanrio character, but My Melody has quite a few fans as well. And it seems she has a doppelgänger hanging out on Twitter too!

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Hotel guest leaves origami for cleaning staff, back-and-forth folding battle ensues!

Tipping is a custom often debated in the world of customer service. Proponents of the practice believe workers are more motivated to give better service knowing that they will be paid better for doing so, while opponents argue that it shouldn’t be up to the customer to determine how much the employee gets paid.

But whether working for tips or not, if you treat the one serving you with kindness and respect, they are more likely to go out of their way to give you better service. Take, for example, this poster on Twitter, who left a little origami crane with a tip for the hotel cleaning staff, and in return got an even bigger surprise!

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Karaoke-loving pet bird in Japan dances, sings along to rock band’s video 【Video】

Java sparrows are pretty popular pets in Japan, where they’re called buncho. But even though buncho literally means “literature bird,” some of the cute little creatures apparently have more of a gift for music, like in this video of one Java sparrow dancing adorably to the sounds of one of Japan’s most popular rock bands and singing along like he’s at karaoke.

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Why do Japanese gamers spend so much more money on mobile games than anyone else?

Japanese smartphone and tablet gamers spend a disproportionate amount of money on mobile games compared to the much larger mobile markets of North America and China, according to a new report from EEDAR – a video gaming analytics consultancy. This is despite the fact that the Japanese mobile gaming population is just a third of that of North America and a mere eighth of the Chinese gaming population.

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Plus-sized Naomi Watanabe is Japanese netizens’ latest fashion inspiration

Naomi Watanabe is the comedian-turned-model and fashion designer largely responsible for Japan’s pocchari, or chubby, trend which is still going strong, and paving the way for large and lovely girls nationwide, from idol group la BIG 3 to the more recent Shangrila maid cafe.

Now, Watanabe is making waves across Japanese social media for her fashion-forward hair.

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Survey by Japanese ministry reveals high rates of “maternity harassment” in workplace

A new survey conducted by the Japanese government found that nearly half of female temp workers faced discrimination as a result of being or becoming pregnant while in employment.

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Athletic otaku runs marathon in impressive time while cosplaying as anime magical girl 【Photos】

When running a full marathon, you want to make sure you’re outfitted with the proper equipment, like supportive, well-cushioned athletic shoes, sunglasses to keep the glare out of your eyes, and, of course, a frilly anime magical girl skirt so you can cosplay as you run.

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Work-in-progress Japanese AI program could probably get into 474 universities in the country

Now in its third year of testing, the artificial intelligence just earned its best mock entrance exam score yet.

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Park Hyatt Hotel honors hotel guest’s request to stay in Bill Murray’s “Lost in Translation” room

On vacation in Tokyo but feeling a little “lost in translation”? Well, if you’ve got the cash to splash, why not make your Japan experience even more memorable by paying homage to the classic comedy-drama of the same name by staying at the Park Hyatt Hotel, considered by some to be Tokyo’s best luxury hotel.

For those who are extremely fortunate, as one Reddit user recently found, you might even score a fabulous night in the suite used by Bill Murray in the movie.

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Muscly Italian men perform Sailor Moon music video, complete with senshi transformations【Video】

muscular, all-male Sailor Moon senshi group has just released a live-action music video in honour of the hit anime from Japan.

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Drumming prodigy Senri Kawaguchi wows in new video supporting the Japan National Football Team

Teenage drummer Senri Kawaguchi, famous for her enthusiastic YouTube videos, appears in a stunning new video for the Japan National Football Team

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10 factors that make Japan a safe country

We’ve all heard about how safe Japan is. But unless you live here, you may not understand why Japan is considered so safe. The uninitiated may presume that safety is enforced through a rigid society that doesn’t allow freedom of expression, that Japanese people are too worried about losing face to commit a crime, or that the government comes down unnecessarily hard on people who step out of line. In reality, none of these rings true.

But we can’t deny that there’s one thing that Japan does better than anyone else. Join us after the jump for some insights and our own observations.

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Gantz manga gets ‘full 3DCG’ anime film in 2016

Hiroya Oku‘s 37-volume manga already inspired TV anime series, 2 live-action films.

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