These gravity-defying coin towers have left us in awe 【Video】

We all have our special talents–whether you’re that really quiet person who happens to have an amazing singing voice, or you can write beautiful calligraphy with your toes, we all have that one thing that we excel at without hardly trying. It doesn’t even have to be anything particularly “useful” to be awesome. Take this person, for example, who can build incredible towers made of coins that almost seem to defy gravity.

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Are you a control freak, baby, or tough guy? Find out what your sleeping position says about you!

Think about how you slept last night. You probably rolled around a little, found a comfortable spot, adjusted a bit, then eventually slipped into sweet slumber in that position. If you’re like most people, every night you probably choose a similar sleeping position. And the position you choose can say a lot about your personality, your subconscious, and even your deep-seated fears.

We have a list of eight common sleeping positions along with the typical personality traits of each. Are the predictions spot-on for you, or were the psychologists sleeping on the job when they dreamed them up?

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Narita Airport attempts to woo international travellers with ‘Omotenashi’ welcome program

‘Omotenashi’, the spirit of Japanese hospitality, became something of a buzzword at home and abroad when Christel Takigawa used the phrase in her speech to the International Olympic Committee in 2013.

And it’s in this spirit that Tokyo’s Narita airport plans to extend an especially warm welcome to international visitors this year, as it renews its Omotenashi Program of special offers and cultural events for transferring passengers.

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Japanese start-up invents faucet gadget to reduce water usage by up to 95 percent

Although over 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water, over 96 percent of that is salty. As anyone who’s gotten a mouthful of ocean water knows, we can’t drink that, and bathing in it is a big no-no. So, we are dependent on the limited fresh water supply, 70 percent of which is used for agriculture. That doesn’t leave much for us, so water conservation has been a hot topic for years, especially in places like Southern California that are suffering from droughts.

Companies all over the world have been coming out with water-efficient faucets and toilets to help, but they have barely made a dent in mitigating the problem, that is, until one Japanese entrepreneur set their mind to the problem. In 2009, a Japanese start-up created a water-saving nozzle that is purported to reduce water usage by up to 95 percent. This could be a life-changing and world-changing invention.

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I see dead Pikachus! Fashion magazine reader comes up with dark take on freebie Pokémon pouch

We’ve talked before about some of the cool extras that’ve come bundled with girls’ manga anthologies in Japan, but they’re not the only publications that dangle the offer of freebies to help drum up sales. In Japan, fashion magazines for adults also occasionally come with promotional items, such as day planners, scrunchies, or other goodies they think their readers might be interested in.

Women’s fashion magazine CanCam recently ran a special feature on Pokémon-related apparel and accessories, so the publishers thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to package the issue with a Pikachu-shaped fuzzy cloth pouch. To make it seem extra special, they decided to pass on his usual vibrant canary yellow and instead produce a chic monochrome version of the series mascot.

But “unique” doesn’t always mean “good,” at least according to one reader who came up with a morbid interpretation of Pikachu’s lack of color.

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Fukushima Gainax’s anime museum opens in April

Visitors to Fukushima Prefecture will soon be able to visit Kuso to Art no Museum – Fukushima Sakura Yugakusha, or the Museum of Fantasy and Art – Fukushima Sakura Yugakusha. The museum, which officially opens April 1, was founded by a subsidiary of animation production house Gainax, which will also be setting up an anime studio at the same site under the name Fukushima Gainax.

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Otaku ears-New line of earphones is designed specifically for listening to anime songs with

For anime music fans, the appeal of the songs is more than just their connection to the shows they serve as anthems for. Over the years, anime songs have evolved into a genre in and of themselves, often employing fast, even frantic tempos and an even greater proportion of young female vocalists and electronic sounds than Japanese pop music in general.

So now that there are certain baselines the anime music scene has established for itself, it’s time for the hardware end of the musical experience to catch up, which is the promise made by these new sets of earphones specifically designed for listening to anime songs with.

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What do you eat when you catch a cold? We asked 11 of our Japanese reporters

The answer to the question “What do you eat when you catch a cold?” is probably different depending on where you live in the world. For me, nursing a cold conjures up images of sitting in bed wrapped in blankets and sipping chicken noodle soup.

But we were curious to know which foods and other remedies are commonly consumed in Japan when someone gets sick, so we asked 11 of our colleagues over at the Japanese edition of RocketNews24 and our sister site Pouch to share what they eat when the sniffles start creeping up on them. Think you can guess how they answered? Some of their responses might surprise you!

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Ladybeard makes music debut as lead member of pop idol trio Ladybaby (no, seriously!)

Oh, Ladybeard. Your antics have given us so much joy over the years here at RocketNews24. Who could forget the time you gracefully modelled the boob shirt for our viewing pleasure? And your collaboration with Sailor Suit Old Man was a thing of pure joy.

But we always knew you were destined for even greater things, Ladybeard. And now you’re making your pop debut with your very own idol unit “Ladybaby”!

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Fan-made Totoro is causing a stir in Taiwan but how soon before it’s shut down?

Ghibli films and Hayao Miyazaki are synonymous with anime all over the world, and arguably one of their most popular characters is Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro. It’s easy to see why people love the big huggable guy. He’s cute, he’s fuzzy and he’ll whisk you away on fantastic adventures and introduce you to his other friends, Catbus, blue Totoro and white Totoro.

But when an unofficial Totoro shows up out of the blue, how popular does it need to get before lawyers start sending cease and desist orders?

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Attack on Titan cast invades Heroic Legend of Arslan in awesome anime crossover ad

Japan’s spring TV season is just about to start, and that means a new crop of anime with their premiers just days away. One of the most hotly anticipated titles is The Heroic Legend of Arslan. Based on a the series of novels from celebrated author Yoshiki Tanaka, with a continuing serialized manga adaptation by Fullmetal Alchemist and Silver Spoon creator Hiromu Arakawa, the new Arslan TV series serves as a reboot to the saga’s original, and sadly aborted, anime adaptation, which ran out of steam in the mid-‘90s.

Given the talent and history involved, both new and veteran anime fans are looking forward to the first episode of Arslan. There’s one more group that’s cheering for the series, too: the cast of Attack on Titan, who’re cleverly hiding in this awesome Arslan crossover ad.

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Feeling the generational gap recently? The top 20 things that Japanese youth are distanced from

Have you ever felt worlds apart from the generations above you? 

The topic of Japanese youth distancing themselves (purposely or not) from “things of the past” is something that pops up every now and again on Japanese variety shows. Most recently, an online research group also decided to tackle the topic, asking 500 people what they felt like young people are becoming more and more separated from in today’s world.

Today, we present the top 20 replies for “Things that Japanese youth are distanced from.”

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Pro drifter disguises herself as driving school student to prank first-day instructors 【Video】

Being a driving instructor has to be a scary job. After all, every day your responsibilities include climbing into the passenger seat next to someone society says hasn’t yet shown the ability to safely drive a car.

For one group of instructors though, the source of their terror wasn’t that they were stuck with a bad driver, but with one that was too good, as they fell victim to a prank of their “student” for the day being a professional drifter and racer.

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Aussie/Kiwi ATMs come out of the closet as fabulous GayTMs

It’s nice when something invisibly quotidian is tweaked in a way that grabs your full attention. Previously we’ve talked about slightly altered street signs and artistic renderings of subway maps, and now the humble cash machine gets an eye-grabbing makeover in the interest of LGBTQ inclusivity.

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Man fed up with Love Live fans at subway station in China, pours water on them

The popular anime series Love Live has won itself diehard fans, both within Japan and throughout the world. You might remember the subway cars in Shanghai last year decorated with Love Live idols that literally brought fans to their knees. Well, Chinese fans are at it again, as the idols have made a reappearance on subway cars in the city of Chongqing.

One commuter, however, seemed to have had enough of the homage-paying fans as he rained his watery wrath down over their heads.

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High art or crime scene? More photos of passed-out salarymen 【Pics】

A late-night stroll through the streets of Shinjuku or some other lively Tokyo neighborhood usually involves flashing neon signs, groups of people heading to and from drinking parties, and cries of “Otsukarasamadeshita!” (“You’ve worked hard!”) between red-faced coworkers as they part ways. As the evening wears on, a new creature makes its entrance onto the scene. Curled up on the sidewalk or spread eagle on a bench, it’s that curious big-city phenomenon, the passed out salaryman.

Photographer Kenji Kawamoto recently shined a new light on these hard-working, hard-partying company men with a series of photos depicting their various states of repose. While the result is surprisingly artistic, context really is everything; more than a few of these look like shots of crime scenes. 

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Japan sees America’s Double Down, raises it a crazy deep-fried “sandwich” of its own

As an American living in Japan, I often get comments to the effect of, “People in your home country love fried foods, don’t they?” And really, I can’t argue otherwise. After all, the United States is the birthplace of such culinary contributions as the Double Down, the KFC menu item that replaced the bread in a fried chicken sandwich with two more pieces of fried chicken.

Of course, Japan loves fried foods too, even if it doesn’t eat them with the same frequency, or in the same volume, as America does. As proof, people in Osaka are proving that they can put air quotes around their breadless “sandwiches” too, in the form of the croquette sandwich, which comes wrapped in a fried outer layer.

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Hay fever got you down? Cheer up, you get to eat some yogurt with orange peels!

Ah, spring: that season which is supposed to be a pleasantly warm and sunny break from the bitter cold instead makes millions of allergy sufferers feel like they have invisible daddy longlegs of fire crawling across their faces 24/7.

From masks to medicine, there are plenty of products on the market to combat the symptoms and reduce exposure to the evil, evil pollen, but they all encumber your freedoms by blocking your vision or clouding your mind. However, a new, all-natural method of subduing allergic reactions was presented at a meeting of the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry, and best of all it uses easy to find ingredients: Yogurt and mikan (tangerine) peels.

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Win the chance to have your Japan wish granted by RocketNews24!!

Hello everyone! Thanks as ever for your loyal readership of RocketNews24. Today we have an exciting project that we want to share with you all, and we think it’s one that will make you very happy. Presenting: “Have your Japan wish granted by RocketNews24!

We’re sure that many of you have dreams of visiting Japan and fulfilling long-held wishes. But perhaps you haven’t quite been able to save up the cash for a plane ticket or didn’t know anyone in Japan to help you out once you got here, so you’ve been unable to realize those dreams.

If that sounds like you, then we’d like to help! If you have a wish you’d like to have granted in Japan then we invite you to enter our competition. RocketNews24 will use our funds and knowledge to make your dreams a reality here in Japan.

Join us after the jump for more details!

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Urinal privacy curtains at rock festival make us think organizers don’t get how peeing works

It’s probably safe to say that no one buys tickets to a punk rock music festival because of all the posh creature comforts such events usually provide. So when attendees showed up for the final day of the Punk Spring 2015 tour at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe, we’re guessing that most of the guys who had to take a leak didn’t mind being directed to a row of outdoor urinals.

Being the kind of classy place that also regularly hosts non-punk related trade shows and technology expos, though, the Makuhari Messe staff even set up sightline-blocking curtains on the urinal booths, providing just a bit of extra privacy for their occupants. Except, looking at the curtains they chose, we’re not sure they quite understand how peeing works.

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