Team Japan’s goalkeeper is awfully good at catching cats

Soccer (or for those of you across the pond, football) is one of those sports you either love or hate. Some find the game thrilling, others can’t understand how a 1-0 victory is anything but an absolute bore. But even if you aren’t one of those people who are able to fully appreciate “the beautiful game,” we have a feeling you’re going to love the following set of photos featuring cute kitties instead of soccer balls.

Because who could resist the sight of Team Japan’s keeper, Eiji Kawashima, looking like he’s trying to wrangle a bunch of cats?

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Inside China’s Mission Hills Golf Club, the largest golf resort in the world

China has a complicated relationship with golf.

The sport was banned under Mao in the 1940s through the ‘80s for being a millionaires’ hobby. It wasn’t until 1984 that the first golf course in China was even constructed, and then 20 years later in 2004, building new golf courses was banned.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped developers from doing it anyway. In 2004 there were 176 courses, and now 10 years and one moratorium later, there are over 1,000.

One of the first and certainly the largest is the Mission Hills Golf Club. Comprising two resorts in Shenzhen and Gongguan, it is the largest golf club in the world with 12 courses, all designed by famous golfers.

Mission Hills also built Mission Hills Haiku, another luxury golf club located on the resort island of Hainan — one of the only places in China exempt from the ban on building new golf courses.

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Sailor Moon sweetness arrives as Babbi chocolates for Valentines, and with extra goodies too!

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, stores across Japan are sure to be painted chocolate-brown in the coming weeks. Yes, chocolate makers here can count on doing brisk business in the days leading up to February 14, as Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day in Japan when women give gifts of chocolate to men, and shops will typically have whole areas devoted to chocolates of every shape, flavor and price range imaginable. Isetan Department Store is no exception, and one of the chocolates they’ll have on offer this year is … a beautiful creation from popular Italian chocolate manufacturer BABBI that features Sailor Moon and her guardian soldiers!

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Japanese granny attempts to trash treasure trove of old photographs, is thwarted by grandkids

Some people like to live a minimalist lifestyle – keeping the bare minimum of possessions and even living in tiny houses to help stave off clutter. But the vast majority of people who’ve lived a long, full life tend to have stores of secret treasures stacked up that can still be both fascinating and valuable today. When one Twitter user caught their grandma in the act of throwing away a box of old postcards and photos, they rugby tackled the old dear (erm, figuratively) to prevent her from trashing some priceless artefacts of the past. Join us after the jump for a good gander at granny’s box of memories!

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How many do you know? 12 delicious foods in Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores

When you think of Japanese food, you likely think of sushi, ramen, or udon–all excellent choices! You might even find your mouth watering at thoughts of monjayaki or anko ice cream, but there may be a few that you’re not so familiar with. Today, we’re going to look at 12 lesser-known foods–and what one of our intrepid writers thought about them!

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Get ready for yuru-kyara car plates! Japan to lift ban on colourful regional license plates

In larger countries like Australia and the United States, vehicle registration is carried out at the state level. This has long allowed each state to produce distinctive designs, including slogans or iconic imagery on number plates. In little Japan, however, vehicle registration is issued by the national government, so car owners have had no option to show their local pride with a regional license plate…until now.

The Ministry of Transport has announced that from next year, local authorities will be free to put colourful character designs on car number plates. Let’s have a look at some of the potential ways to pimp your Japanese numberplate!

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Tokyo University campus has its own sushi restaurant where great dining meets higher education

No matter how scholastically talented you are, it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach. Even the bright minds at Tokyo University, Japan’s most prestigious institute of higher learning, need to take a break from studying and grab some chow now and again.

Of course, it’s hard to give yourself a mental recharge eating bland cafeteria food. Thankfully, that’s not a concern for the students of Tokyo University’s Kashiwa Campus, who’re lucky enough to have an amazing sushi restaurant right on the school grounds.

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Gear up for Valentine’s Day with this lipstick…chocolate!

At a glance, these lipsticks look like any other you can find at your local drugstore. However, this Valentine’s Day, you can buy a whole set of them for your loved one and watch them chomp down on these deliciously colorful lipstick-shaped chocolates!

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The City of Angels is now the City of Samurai with Los Angeles museum’s awesome armor exhibition

Like clockwork, every winter I get a serious bout of home-sickness. It’s usually triggered by a call or email from someone back home telling me about taking a drive with the top down, watching football on ordinary broadcast TV, going out for some Vietnamese sandwiches, or one of the other things I miss about life in Los Angeles.

“But,” I remind myself, “Japan has lots of cool things too! Where else can you go to the museum and see massive collections of samurai armor, huh?”

Oh, right now you can do that at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art? Touché, L.A.

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Out of this world Valentine’s chocolates are (almost) too gorgeous to eat

Chilly January is drawing to a close and that means that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Here in Japan, Valentine chocolates are big business, which means shops pull out all the stops to create delicacies as easy on the eyes as they are sweet in your mouth. We’ve picked our favorites for this year, so whether you are buying for your lover or yourself, check out these dainty nibbles!

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We try beer with whipped cream on top…because we’re fancy

It’s been said that younger generations of drinkers in Japan just aren’t that into beer anymore. With them opting instead for cheaper and sweeter cocktails, good old ale (or ale-flavored stuff) is gradually being pushed aside.

However, our intrepid reporter Meg has found a way to reinvent beer to younger folks appealing to their sweet-tooths. It comes from South Korea where it’s called “Saengkeulim Maegju” or “Cream Beer” and is basically beer with some whipped cream on top. It’s so easy you can make it at home…so we did!

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No more photo retouches! New makeup for cosplayers claims to create photo-perfect skin

Makeup is one of the most important factors that could make or break a cosplay outfit. Cosplayers sometimes spend hours exposed to sunlight or strong lighting in a photoshoot or at conventions, and it means a great deal to them to have makeup that lasts and delivers the photogenic results that they want.

Want your skin to look effortlessly flawless in photos? The good news is, the cosplay-loving Japanese have just released a lineup of base makeup items designed specifically to cater to the needs of cosplayers! The greater news is, these products are not going to burn a hole in your wallet, and non-cosplayers can use them for regular makeup too!

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New video claims one Japanese ISIS hostage killed, authenticity of video under investigation

Earlier this week, a video that is thought to have been produced by Islamic State militants surfaced, demanding that Japan pay a ransom of $200 million within 72 hours for the release of two Japanese hostages, Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had recently visited the Middle East and pledged $200 million in non-military aid, vowed to not give in to terrorism. The 72-hour time limit came and went, and on Saturday a new video was posted claiming that one hostage, Yukawa, was killed. While Abe and the Japanese people are angry, experts are taking a closer look to verify the authenticity of the somewhat questionable video.

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Huge six-meter (19.7-foot) anime hug pillow will prove you’re a great big otaku 【Video】

When you look at them a certain way, huggy pillows with pictures of cute anime girls on them are kind of creepy. Well, actually, they’re creepy in several ways, but for right now, let’s limit our discussion to one way in particular.

Even if we accept that there’s nothing wrong with consensual love between a man and his pillow, their relative sizes make the situation kind of weird. After all, a person’s height is far greater than a pillow’s length, so wouldn’t Miss Anime Pillow feel a little awkward cuddling with her much larger otaku owner?

It’d probably be a little like squeezing a gigantic anime pillow that’s six meters (19.7 feet) long. Of course, if that sounds like your personal vision of bedtop bliss, there’s a company giving away just that.

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Evangelion couple rings let you tell your sweetheart you love him or her like Shinji loves Kaworu

The Japanese fashion world doesn’t hold any stigmas against guys who enthusiastically accessorize. As such, it’s not uncommon for couples to buy what’re called “pair accessories,” usually rings or necklaces with similar designs, meant to evoke a sense of closeness even when the two lovers are apart.

Considering the recent boom in anime-inspired fashion and accessories, it’s not such a big shock that one jewelry maker has created a set of pair rings based on Evangelion, one of the most popular franchises in the history of Japanese animation. Nor is it surprising that the designers chose to model the rings after two characters who, even if they don’t directly show such feelings, are considered by many fans to be sweet on each other.

What is getting attention, though, is that the two character, Shinji and Kaworu, are both guys.

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Yokohama’s adorable hedgehog dumplings are packed with spikey cuteness and creamy custard

Located about a half hour south of downtown Tokyo, the city of Yokohama has a couple of big tourist draws, like its gigantic Ferris wheel and bayside parks with panoramic views. If you’re hungry, though, you’ll want to head to Yokohama’s Chinatown, which is one of the biggest in Japan and is made up almost entirely of places to eat.

As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to grab a seat in a restaurant to fill your stomach, since the streets are lined with stalls selling all manner of munchies. Some of these you might see elsewhere in Japan, like the steamed pork buns that are also convenience store mainstays. But there’s at least one treat you can’t find anywhere but Yokohama’s Chinatown, and that’s these adorable sweet dumplings shaped like tiny hedgehogs.

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Fly-kicking good?! KFC Malaysia apologises after employees brawl in front of customers

KFC Malaysia has launched an investigation after a fist-fight broke out between employees in a branch of the restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. The fight, which happened directly in front of customers, was captured on camera and uploaded Facebook, where it has been shared and viewed thousands of times.

A video of the punch-up, which appears to show one member of staff verbally abusing another before a third employee dives in with a flying kick, was uploaded on January 17. KFC Malaysia was surprisingly quick to respond.

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Fancy a cuppa? We explore the UK’s unusual takes on Japanese green tea

In the UK, where I’m from, people get really passionate about tea. It’s the first thing you offer someone who is a visitor to your home, and remembering how someone likes their tea made is one way of showing that you care about them. We’re also fussy about the ritual behind making tea (you should see what happens in my house when someone puts the milk in first). In this way, we’re kinda like the Japanese.

In Japan, they drink green tea rather than black tea, but their attitude towards it matches ours. It’s both something for all-day long refreshment, and for special occasions. They’re also really into the ceremony behind it, with chadou, or tea ceremony, being a celebrated art in Japan.

So, what happens when the tea companies try to make green tea happen in the UK? A whole lot of added flavourings, that’s what! Join us after the jump for a taste test!

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Japanese food blogger makes fried chicken poodles: “They’re too cute to eat!”

Whether our parents like it or not, food is an art form. Playing with food is awesome, and we’ve seen some spectacular examples of shaved-ice masterpieces, printed designs onto food, or corgi omelets.

But if you’ve been looking for a quick, easy artistic recipe you can do at home, look no further. Get ready to make the cutest little appetizers you’ve ever seen: fried poodles.

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Attack on sobriety! Attack on Titan teams up with plum wine maker for new anime alcohol

Along with its naked giants and high-flying fight scenes, anime and manga mega hit Attack on Titan is defined by its oppressively bleak atmosphere. Its world is one in which not only do rampaging monsters want to eat you, the ruling aristocracy is ready to kick you out of the walled city if you’re too big a drain on its resources.

Compelling as its story may be, after spending enough time in that setting, even fans of the series could find themselves needing a stiff drink. If so, they might want to reach for a glass of the soon-to-be-released Attack on Titan plum wine.

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