Shanghai Disneyland to feature Chinese elements and the largest castle ever, opens spring 2016

Disney’s very first amusement park in mainland China, Shanghai Disneyland, is slated to open its doors in spring 2016. With the Chinese government’s recent decision to end its controversial one-child policy and allow citizens to have up to two children per family without facing fines, the world’s most populated country is bound to be teeming with more people than ever in the years to come.

Disney chairman and CEO Robert “Bob” Iger has expressed delight over the government’s change on the one-child ruling, and has revealed some of the company’s plans to incorporate China’s rich culture into the magic of Shanghai Disneyland and satisfy Chinese visitors of all generations.

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Old-school vending machine on Japan’s Sado Island sells bags of rare and local fruit

One of the many things we love about Japan is its impressive variety of vending machines. We’ve seen everything from orange juice that looks like soy sauce to cans of hot, clam-packed miso soup make its way to the hands of customers through the wonders of mechanised distribution.

Recently, we stumbled on a machine we’d never seen before, and one that’s unique even by Japanese standards. Meet the persimmon vending box that delights customers on Sado Island with a rare variety of fruit that’s only grown locally, away from mainland Japan.

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“Whiteday” – A Korean virtual reality horror game that’s sure to get your heart racing【Video】

White Day, observed on March 14, is celebrated in Korea the same way it’s celebrated in Japan: by men confessing their love or returning the affections of the women who gave them chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

But what happens when your plans to leave the girl of your dreams a sweet surprise get you locked inside your school and running for your life, chased by possessed janitors and other ghastly haunts? You get the horror game Whiteday: A Labyrinth Named School, which is getting a re-make and will be released later this month.

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Now you can buy colorful and adorable shoes inspired by the anime idols of Prism Paradise!

It’s perfectly natural in Japan for a popular and well-loved anime to pair up with a clothing brand to create a sublime line of products that people will want to wear while out and about. Whether it’s jackets, jewelry, or shoes, there’s usually something for everyone.

Anime fashion site Super Groupies is one such online venue that loves to turn our favorite characters into delightful fashions. This time, they’re joining forces with the singing, dancing idol anime Prism Paradise, to create a series of vibrant and original shoes that you might want to wear even if you have no idea what Prism Paradise is.

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Gintama anime entering the critically acclaimed Assassination Arc this December

Anime based on a successful manga series sometimes run into an awkward situation where they have to use “filler episodes” in order to give the manga time to add more story. These episodes are generally more of the same stuff fans already love, but in the back of their mind, they know nothing truly groundbreaking can happen in them.

Gintama is a special case though since the series is quite episodic and those in charge of the anime are free to add their own additional stories. Which is probably why one of the best stories from the original manga hasn’t made it to air yet. Gintama fans don’t have to wait too much longer, though, as the Assassination Arc is finally making its debut on TV this December.

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Is Japanese woman’s cooking failure worst home-cooked meal ever, or best home-made monster?

Aside from the annual King of RocketNews24 Fighters underground bare-knuckled combat tournament, my job doesn’t require a lot of physical activity. That said, I still often find my stomach rumbling while I’m writing an article if it happens to be about meat, desserts, or some crossover between the two categories.

But I think I just lost my appetite, thanks to this Japanese Twitter user’s miscue in the kitchen and the accompanying photos of the most horrific home cooking imaginable.

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What Japanese women really think about the gender gap in Japan【Video】

During our Women in Japan series, we discussed some of the powerful reasons to be a woman in Japan. From a Westernised viewpoint, it’s sometimes hard to accept the fact that, while Japan is still very much a patriarchal society, many women (not all, but many) here don’t actually want to be out there smashing glass ceilings and “leaning in” at the office when instead they could be doing things that women were traditionally appreciated for in Japan, namely cooking, housekeeping and raising the kids.

If you’re still in doubt as to exactly what Japanese women think of the gender gap in their country, this informative street interview video from YouTuber Yuta Aoki should provide some answers.

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Two Tokyo wards issue Japan’s first ever same-sex partnership certificates

Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward has been creating headlines around the world since the district first announced that it would begin issuing Japan’s first same-sex partnership certificates in the fall. Fast forward to this month, and both Shibuya and neighboring Setagaya Ward today issued their very first certificates!

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Burger King Japan giving discounts if you bring a McDonald’s Big Mac into one of its restaurants

For companies in the fast food hamburger business, there’s no way of getting around the fact that they’re in competition with McDonald’s. So instead of trying to tiptoe around the situation, Burger King Japan has decided to try to tackle its rival head-on with the new Big King 4.0 sandwich, which Burger King has just introduced to the Japanese market.

If you’ve got burgers on the brain, the name Big King no doubt reminds you of McDonald’s Big Mac, and that’s fine with Burger King. As a matter of fact, thanks to an unusual promotion going on right now, Burger King will give you a discount on a Big King if you bring in a receipt showing you recently bought a Big Mac, or, even stranger, if you bring in the actual McDonald’s hamburger itself.

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The Ghibli that no one knows: former animator’s book offers inside look into famed anime studio

Studio Ghibli’s animated works have won acclaim around the world, and we’re sure many of our readers are familiar with their hit films like Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky. But have you ever wondered what it may be like to actually work in the famous studio? Well, now it looks like we can get a glimpse of what goes on in the studio, as one of Ghibli’s former animators, Hitomi Tateno, will be coming out later this month with a book titled “The Pencil War Chronicles: The Studio Ghibli that Nobody Knew“!

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A message from Japanese train station toilet paper: Don’t stare at your smartphone while walking

Earlier this year, nearly 1,200 rail stations in Japan chose to ban the use of selfie sticks in reaction to the dangers of users not paying attention to their surroundings and the general nuisance caused by the photo-snapping peripherals in crowded areas. Now, East Japan Railways, Japan’s largest train operator, is taking aim at another problem: people walking through the station while staring at their smartphones instead of watching where they’re going.

But while you can ban selfie sticks and only ruffle the feathers of tourists and other leisure-oriented train passengers, millions of people rely on their smartphones during their daily commute to keep in touch with family, coworkers, and clients. So instead of prohibiting them, East Japan Railways has started a campaign to remind people not to use their smartphones while walking, and the reminder is so gentle that you can put it in your butt.

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Fan-made live-action Metroid video is triumphantly awesome, tragically not in theaters 【Video】

Every couple of years, rumors surfaces of some slim chance that a live-action Legend of Zelda film is about to get the green light from rights holder Nintendo. Then, as suddenly as the speculation began, it fizzles out, leaving fans feeling dejected about the lack of a big screen quest for Link and Zelda.

Really, though, The Legend of Zelda’s storyline and overall visual look vary so much from one video game installment to the next that a film adaptation would probably fail to please gamers whose favorite chapter wasn’t used as the specific source material. On the other hand, Metroid, Nintendo’s dark space adventure, has the foundation for an awesome, crowd-pleasing movie, as this fan-made live-action short film shows.

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Adorable Japanese kids’ homemade Splatoon costumes are ink-redible【Pics】

Halloween may be over, but that hasn’t put a stop to the internet being flooded with pictures of all the amazing and not-really-amazing-but-still-popular costumes that people wore.

One costume that was especially popular this year was the Inklings from the Wii U game Splatoon, but the ones who pulled it off the best have to be this pair of Japanese kids. Not only are their costumes homemade, but they look absolutely adorable while running around covering everything in pretend ink.

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Japan’s rags-to-riches Nepalese restaurant “Daisuki Nippon” closes doors after five years

November marks five years since Vikas Pradhan sent out his first tweets in broken Japanese describing the hardships of starting a restaurant. In response and a heartwarming show of support, the Twitter community rallied behind Pradhan not only online but in actual paid visits to his Nepalese cuisine restaurant Daisuki Nippon, putting it firmly in the black.

However, in a rather sudden turn of events, Pradhan tweeted that as of 31 October the original Daisuki Nippon had closed down.

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Japan Post gets moe fever with 2016 anime-fied New Year’s postcards

If you thought having to send a couple of Christmas cards to close friends and far-flung cousins during the holidays was annoying, wait til you get a load of the nengajo (New Year’s card) tradition here in Japan. Not only is one obligated to send nengajo to family and friends, but you’re also obligated to send them to co-workers, bosses, anyone who regularly provides you a service, anyone whom you regularly provide a service to, your landlord, your mother’s landlord, Crazy Uncle Jeb over at the asylum, the stray cats in your neighborhood, and your mortal enemy (just to let him know you’ve got your eyes on him).

In fact, you’ve gotta send these things to so many people, it’s not uncommon to drop by the Japan Post near you and see people purchasing stacks of hundreds of these things. And unless, like me, you avoid any and all human contact, you’ll probably also come home one winter day to find your mailbox stuffed to the brim with the things. So, given their ubiquity, it’s no surprise that Japan Post (who prints and distributes loads of nengajo every year through both their yubin-nenga.jp website and physical post office locations), occasionally tries to mix it up with some very nontraditional designs.

This year, bizarrely, the running theme seems to be… moe. As in those super-cute anime girls and dreamy, slightly effeminate anime guys who are all the rage in Japan.

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Geminoid F: Japan’s android actress with a starring role in a new film 【Video】

A delegation of anime huggy pillows appeared on the red carpet at the recent Tokyo International Film Festival, but they weren’t the only non-human stars whose work was featured at the event. Also screening was Sayonara, a new film written and directed by Koji Fukuda. The fact that one of the Japanese-produced movie’s two female leads is a foreigner would be notable enough on its own, but what really makes Sayonara unique is that her costar is an android.

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We track down the stunning Ghibli-like waterfall made famous online — just outside Tokyo!【Pics】

There are many well-known areas of beauty all around Japan, but sometimes you stumble upon something off the beaten path that simply takes your breath away.

That’s what happened to one person in Japan, who came across a waterfall in a tunnel of sunlight, filled with the same muted hues as a scene from a fantastical animated movie. Upon sharing the atmospheric photograph above on Instagram it received thousands of likes, with people all over the country eager to learn where the secret waterfall was hidden.

It might look like something from the foggy mists of a far-flung island many miles from Tokyo, but the beautiful scene is actually located just a short one-hour drive from the bustling metropolis. We decided to make our way there, and we’ve marked out the route so you can visit it too!

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Smokers vs. non-smokers: A 50-year health and financial comparison【Video】

We all know that smoking is an unhealthy habit. Each year about 200,000 people in Japan alone die from smoking- (and passive smoking-) related illnesses. On a global scale, about six million die from smoking-related diseases every year.

In an effort to reduce the number of smokers in Japan, Japanese anti-smoking NPO No Smoke holds an annual video contest titled “Tobacco is Harmful to Your Health”, calling for original video submissions that raise awareness of the dangers and harmful effects of smoking.

The first-place winner of the video contest held in 2012 created a movie highlighting the simple differences between smokers and non-smokers in terms of financial cost. As we’re about to see, smoking is not only harmful to your health but a horribly expensive habit.

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Latte sharpeners, mayo correction fluid and more will confuse the heck out of your friends【Pics】

Doing school or office work can be a real drag. Taking notes? Completing worksheets? Writing reports? You’ve got more pressing matters to attend to, like checking all of your social media sites for the fifth time in five minutes.

But in the end those things just have to be done, so why not mix it up a bit? Let your “latte” sharpen your pencils, your bottle of mayo white-out your mistakes, and your naan hold all of your writing utensils together. Take a look below to see all the nifty stationery goods that don’t even look like stationery at all!

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Computer overheating? Japanese Twitter suggests using 10-yen coins to cool it off

We’ve all been there: you’ve been marathoning a TV series on your laptop, or maybe playing a game for way too long, and now your fans are going haywire and the whole computer is hot to the touch. What are you supposed to do? Put your viewing on hold and wait for your computer to cool? No way!

Thankfully one Japanese Twitter user has another solution: cover your computer in 10-yen coins. Read on to find out why this idea just might be crazy enough to work.

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