Top tip for saving money in Japan: visit the supermarket just before closing time

Today we’re going to tell you a super special tip for getting the most out of your local supermarket here in Japan. It’s actually something pretty simple, but that you might not know about if you always go during the day.

You see, you should totally go to the supermarket just before closing time. Why? Because when it gets close to closing time they start to discount their food! 

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Youth in toothpick prank videos sent to juvenile correctional facility

A 19-year-old youth who uploaded a series of prank videos on YouTube in January, including one in which he inserted a toothpick into a snack food in a supermarket, was sent to a moderate security juvenile correctional facility.

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Pokémon finally gets a Japanese Facebook page, celebrates with cherry blossom Pikachu video

Seeing as how Japan is the franchise’s home market, and also where corporate parent Nintendo is headquartered, it’s not surprising that Japan gets the lion’s share (or Pyroar’s share), of cool Pokémon stuff. After all, this is the country where people have been able to attend Pikachu parades, dine at Pokémon Cafes, and even purchase business-suited pocket monster plushies.

But one thing Japanese fans haven’t had, though, is a Japanese Facebook page for the Pokémon franchise. At least, not until this week, when Pikachu and pals made their Japanese Facebook debut accompanied by a short but sweet cherry blossom party video.

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12 things that shock Japanese people: “Did you know kids leave out cookies and milk for Santa?!”

Foreign cultures are always going to have things that surprise outsiders. Roasted shellfish snacks may be perfectly normal to Japanese people but not quite so appetizing to us, whereas kids dressing up on graduation day is endearing to us but downright terrifying to Japanese people.

The Japanese website CuRAZY recently compiled a list of 12 extremely popular tweets that revealed some sort of “surprising information.” Far more surprising than the tweets themselves though is the fact that so many Japanese people actually found the information surprising in the first place.

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Six ways to spot someone who just moved to Tokyo

Spring is the start of both the school year and the business years in Japan. That means that right about now thousands of newcomers are pouring into Tokyo, as they move to the capital to start college or their professional careers.

But the hustle and bustle of Tokyo is on a scale unlike any other town in the nation. Even people who’ve grown up in Japan sometimes stick out like a sore thumb when they first move to the capital, as illustrated in this six-point guide to spotting someone who just moved to Tokyo.

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This woolly Yoshi Amiibo will make magic happen on-screen, be your bedtime buddy afterwards

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that, as well as being a huge video game nerd, I’m also a bit of a tree-hugger at heart, albeit one that possess neither a tie-dyed t-shirt nor the coordination required to play hacky sack. So as much as I like the idea of surrounding myself with dozens of Nintendo’s cute little Amiibo figurines, I just can’t bring myself to add yet more mass-produced plastic junk to my home when I know that it’ll only end up in a landfill someday (come on, Amiibo can be hard to find, but they’re hardly collector’s items).

But this woolly Yoshi Amiibo announced by Nintendo of America last night is not only much kinder to the environment, it’s one of the most adorable things ever, so I don’t think I’ll be able to resist getting one of my own.

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Voice actress’ art history lecture will soothe you into a power nap, may help your test scores

When I was a student, there were a handful of teachers whose lectures had a better than even chance of putting me to sleep. As a matter of fact, in classrooms that had a mix of furniture, I always tried to avoid grabbing a seat with one of those one-armed, half desks attached to it, because they were less comfortable to doze off on.

Of course, I’m sure my teachers would have rather I’d stayed awake the whole time. But hey, a well-rested mind is a critical component of the learning process, right? That’s why one educational company in Japan has produced this video lecture, starring a famous anime voice actress, with the specific goal of putting you to sleep.

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Man posts tweet threatening to release sarin gas in Akihabara as an “April Fools’ Day joke”

Here at RocketNews24 we love a good April Fools’ Day yarn. But in Japan, April Fools’ Day still isn’t that popular, and there’s a clear difference between catching people out with a clever joke and deliberately trying to deceive and emotionally harm people.

One man who apparently doesn’t know the difference between a joke and lying maliciously managed to flood Akihabara with police after posting a particularly unfunny April Fools’ Day tweet threatening a sarin gas attack in the area.

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Angry is the new grumpy! Bow to Pompous Albert the cat, or suffer his perpetual wrath!【Photos】

Remember Grumpy Cat, the grumpy yet adorable feline with a perpetual look of disdain on her face? She’s still rocking her charming frown, but she might be deepening her frown when she realizes that there’s a new cat on the block climbing the ranks of the Internet feline hall of fame.

Prepare to get judged by the piercing eyes of Albert, the very fuzzy cat with a very severe gaze!

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Lamb with the face of a grumpy old man born in Russia

Blasius Lavrentiev, a sheep farmer in the village of Chirka, Dagestan received a surprise when his ewe gave birth to a one-of-a-kind bundle of surliness. As you can plainly see this young lamb appears to have been given the face of an angry, cartoonish old man.

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Tekken video game series shows off its first fighter from the Philippines: Josie Rizal 【Video】

Tekken 7, the latest installment of video game developer Bandai Namco’s popular fighting game series, hit Japanese arcades last month. Even though the game launched with close to two dozen playable characters, the series has always had a tradition of adding new fighters after each game’s debut, and Tekken 7 is no exception.

The newest member of the Tekken cast is also its first to hail from the Philippines. But while more content is almost always a plus, gamers aren’t unanimous in their reactions to Josie Rizal.

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Would you care for a sip of my “Princess Urine” energy drink?

April Fools’ Day has really taken off in Japan over the past few years, with major companies getting in on the action too. One of our Japanese writers, the one and only Mr. Sato, sifted through the Internet to find products worthy of his time. That is how he came across the “Princess Urine” drink. You better believe that he bought it, examined it and took some hearty gulps, all for our entertainment, of course.

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Ultimate Transformers pop-up book perfectly captures the magic of TV show 【Video & GIFs】

In 1984, a group of transforming metal robots from Japan took the world by storm and spawned a global franchise of comic books, TV shows and blockbuster Hollywood movies. Recently, they added another notch to their post by celebrating 30 years of cool, shape-shifting abilities in the form of a mesmerising 3-D pop-up book, created by Matthew Reinhart.

Japanese netizens are currently swooning over the book for a number of reasons, and the big drawcard is Optimus Prime, whose massive form appears at the pull of a tab, towering over the book in all his glory. See the big guy with his pals and foes in action after the jump.

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Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno opens up about his latest bout with depression, movie delays

The jury is still out on whether or not the Rebuild of Evangelion movie series is a reboot, sequel, or some hybrid of the two. What we do know is that certain things that happened in the original Evangelion TV series and the franchise’s first three movies are repeating themselves. Protagonist Shinji gets press-ganged into piloting a giant robot to fight space monsters. His close friend Kaworu has a mysterious past and tragic fate.

And in the real world, working on the series casts creator and director Hideaki Anno into yet another a state of depression.

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Stunning video of Tokyo shows the charm of how it mixes the traditional with the modern

As if you need more reasons to love Japan, 100 Tokyo, an online “curated cultural guide,” recently supported a beautiful video that highlights the perfect blend of traditional culture and modern technology of Tokyo, which makes it one of the most unique and charming big cities out there.

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Awww! Penguin mouths are…ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING!!! 【Video】

With some animals, their cuteness is debatable. For example, a segment of the population in Japan can’t seem to get enough of the giant isopod, while others can’t get far enough away from the gigantic deep sea bugs. Frogs, too, depending on who you ask, are either adorable or gross.

But there seems to be a consensus that penguins definitely fall into the cute category, what with the silly aura of their formalwear-like appearance and waddling movements. Really, ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a penguin that didn’t make you smile?

And then ask yourself, when was the last time you looked into a penguin’s terrifying, terrifying mouth?

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Check out this incredible stop-motion Super Mario video featuring Luigi and some cool bead art

It’s incredible what you can do with some beads, a camera, and a whole lot of talent, as we discovered when we first watched this incredible stop-motion video. In it, Super Mario Bros‘ pint-sized hero Luigi progresses through the “bedroom” level, traversing pipes and stomping on enemies before coming face-to-face with the final boss.

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Proposed facial recognition system would send warning emails to families of pachinko addicts

For a country that doesn’t have any businesses officially classified as “casinos,” Japan has a ton of places to gamble. By far the most common are pachinko parlors, which you can find within a short walk of just about every major train station in Tokyo and Japan’s other large cities.

But with so many places to gamble, and many of them allowing customers to purchase the balls used to play for as little as one yen (less than a penny) each, it’s easy to get sucked into the siren song of the pachinko parlor. Seeking to help gamblers keep their wagers within their limits, one company is now proposing using facial recognition software to inform you, or your family, when you’re gambling too much.

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Here’s what we got when we ordered the chef’s recommendation…at McDonald’s!

If you’re a foodie who dreams of eating at Michelin and Zagat rated establishments, perhaps you’ve also fantasized about saying to the Maitre d’ at a fancy restaurant, “Can I speak with the chef? I’d like to thank him/her for a superb meal.”  Granted, such a dining situation may not come up very often, but what you may be able to do more easily instead is to order “whatever the chef’ recommends.

And that’s exactly what our RocketNews24 Japan staff decided to do at a series of restaurants, the first one being  none other than…McDonald’s! Now, we’d like to think that all people working in a kitchen, whatever the type of restaurant, actually want to serve tasty food, and to that end would likely have a definite opinion on what they would most like customers to try.  So, asking for the chef’s recommendation should result in a more than satisfying meal, right? Well, we were certainly excited to find out what the recommendation would be at one of the world’s best-known fast food chains!

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Metal Gear movie finds scriptwriter, presumably prepared to write dialogue including “Snaaake!!!”

For decades, the Metal Gear franchise has been teaching video game players to be patient. In contrast to other games, where the hero can just load up on firepower and go charging in with guns blazing, Metal Gear is all about staying hidden, carefully infiltrating enemy territory, and only striking when the time is right.

Fans have been putting that patience to use as the most popular branch of the franchise, Metal Gear Solid, keeps inching towards its long-discussed live-action film adaptation. The production seems to have finally hit another checkpoint, though, with reports that the movie now has a scriptwriter.

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