Cute cat bank collects coins, makes fiscal responsibility adorable 【Videos】

With money in Japan, the smallest denomination of bill is 1,000 yen (US $9.35), which means that you often end up having a ton of change in your pocket. With awesome vending machines on seemingly every corner, there’s an ever-present temptation to blow piles of coinage on canned drinks, especially now that some come with prizes.

Still, if you’ve got the willpower to make it home with a few coins left, you can treat yourself to a little reward if you also happen to have one of these awesomely cute motorized cat coin banks.

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Yokohama Beer Fes 2014 serves up Japanese craft beer from around the country【Photos】

Sake is Japan’s most famous alcoholic beverage, although technically this Japanese word simply means ‘alcohol’ and is used to refer to all varieties of the liquid. Within Japan you’ll most commonly hear ‘nihonshu’ and ‘shochu’ used to describe the two main types of traditional alcohol. However, nowadays it’s actually beer that’s the go-to drink in Japan, and while the big corporations still account for most of it, locally-brewed craft beer has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. And it’s not just for hipsters anymore.

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Toyota owner goes crazy with new driver marks, earns a little extra lane space on the road

Japan has a couple of unique automotive regulations. For example, every other year cars have to undergo an extensive inspection to make sure they’re being properly maintained and haven’t been illegally modified (although you can get away with some pretty interesting modifications in the 24 months between checks). You have to make a full stop at all railroad crossings, regardless of whether or not there’s a train coming.

For new drivers, there’s even an additional rule, which states that for their first year on the road, they have to put a large sticker on their car advising surrounding motorists to be extra careful. But while the law states the vehicle must bear two stickers, one on the front and one on the rear, there’s apparently no upper limit, as one proud owner recently demonstrated.

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Recreate a Japanese ofuro in your own bathtub and support traditional craftsmen with Pocket Onsen

Few countries in the world have embraced bathing to the level that Japan has. Inspired by the many natural hot springs (onsen) found around, designers have continuously developed baths at competing inns (ryokan) and bathhouses (sento) for well over a millennium. The fruits of these labors can still be found today in the incredibly relaxing Japanese tubs often referred to as ofuro.

Iacopo Torrini is an Italian architect who works with Japanese ofuro craftsmen selling these traditional tubs all over the world. However, as you might imagine, buying handcrafted bathtubs internationally can be a pricey ordeal. Knowing this, Torrini feels he has come up with a way to affordably and accurately recreate the ofuro experience in any tub, which he calls Pocket Onsen.

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N.Y. man’s Japanese T-shirt announces “I am not Sato,” we couldn’t agree more

Among RocketNews24’s bilingual writing team, you won’t find a single person who hasn’t, at some point, linguistically crammed their foot in their mouth (personally, I know I’ve gotten my knee and most of my thigh past my pearly whites on at least three separate occasions). So while we can definitely appreciate the humor involved in a strange language screw-up, we know we’re not immune to such things ourselves, and that the rest of the world can weird up its Japanese just as often as Japan stumbles over English.

Case in point: this man spotted napping on the subway in the U.S., who felt the need to inform his fellow passengers who can read Japanese that he is, in fact, not Mr. Sato.

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Rurouni Kitty! Sanrio’s beloved cat cosplays as anime’s iconic swordsman in plushie form

Japanese movie-goers are currently enjoying the third live-action Rurouni Kenshin film. The franchise is now a certified two-decade hit, debuting as a manga in 1994 before its 1996 anime adaptation and recent film trilogy, and it owes much of its success to the popularity of main character Himura Kenshin.

What makes Kenshin so compelling is that despite his formidable swordsmanship, he’s portrayed as consistently kindhearted and good-natured. In certain scenes, he comes off as downright cute, but Kenshin has never been quite as adorable as this stuffed animal of Hello Kitty cosplaying as the scarred warrior.

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Horsemeat sushi: For when you’re tired of spicy tuna and California rolls

Although “sushi” is often thought to mean raw fish, that’s not actually what the word means. The name actually refers to vinegared rice, and some varieties of sushi don’t contain any fish at all.

Kappa maki, for example, are rolls of seaweed, rice, and cucumber, while inarizushi is made with rice and fried tofu. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re in the mood for non-seafood sushi but also don’t want to go vegetarian, you can try horse sushi, like we recently did.

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Weekly magazine “My 3D Printer” will put one in your hands by next year, much assembly required

About a month ago, thousands of subscribers to De Agostini’s model building magazine powered on their fully functional and adorable Robi robots for the first time. These robots came to their hobbyist creators one piece at a time with each issue of the magazine in true De Agostini fashion.

It was a long journey starting in late 2012 until this summer, but with their Robis dancing and chatting away happily many are left with itchy assembly fingers and wondering what they will do next.

Starting today, De Agostini are releasing their next series of part-by-part magazines in which readers can build what may feel is the next major world-changing technology: their own 3D Printer.

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Super Smash Bros for 3DS sells over a million copies in just two days

You have to hand it to Nintendo. While behemoth publishers like EA and Activision are constantly badmouthed for releasing sequel upon sequel, year after year, the house that made Mario somehow not only still commands tremendous respect from its fans, but, if sales data released earlier today is any indication, manages to make stacks of cash by releasing updated versions of games many of us first started playing more than a decade ago.

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We bicycle around Kitagi, island of goats, pizza and the Vagina Rock【Photos】

We’ve introduced RocketNews24 readers to Shiraishi Island and Manabe Island in the Seto Inland Sea before, but today, we’re going to take you on a tour of a sister island in the same group. Sandwiched between Shiraishijima and Manabeshima in Okayama Prefecture’s Kasaoka Island Chain is an island called Kitagishima. It’s the largest island of the group (20km around) and you need transportation to get to the sites. There is no bus service, so if you don’t have your own car or motorcycle, you really can’t see much of Kitagi. Unless, of course, you have a bicycle! Kitagi has it’s own bike path, making it perfect for a two-wheeled day-trip.

Join our bicycling reporter as she takes you on a ride, making all your dreams come true on Kitagi, an island of private beaches, home-made pizza, cute goats, a huge granite vagina (optional). At the end of the article is an original, downloadable English map. Now that’s covering ALL the bases, isn’t it? Okay, let’s go!

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Sweet dreams, MasterCard: People in Japan are putting their wallets to bed in tiny futons

We all have our funny little habits and daily rituals. Some of us don’t feel settled at night unless we’ve put all the dishes away or spoken to our loved ones on the phone. Others can’t head to bed unless they’ve first checked that the front door is locked or whipped the shower curtain open to ensure there isn’t a monster, murderer, or acid-spitting xenomorph in there waiting climb out of the tub after they’ve fallen asleep.

But did you know that some people in Japan are now getting into the habit of putting their wallets to bed before themselves?

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Handsome Nagano police officers get their own manga

Since 2013, the Nagano Prefecture Police Department has run a 4-panel manga series called Keisatsu-no Oniisan! (literally “Big Brother Policeman”) on its website. It depicts two police officers, one young and the other middle-aged. Now, thanks to their increasing popularity, they’re getting a manga in a magazine, Manga Time Jumbo, devoted to 4-panel manga.

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Jiggly Japanese pear mascot lands itself in deep water in the US【Video】

Have you been wondering what Japan’s favorite mascot has been up to lately? Who, you say? Why, Funasshi, of course, Japan’s squiggly wiggly pear mascot from Funabashi City in Chiba! After rocketing to fame and winning Japan’s top mascot honors in 2013, Funasshi has been touring Japan and the world! Its latest trip was to report for Fuji TV’s “World’s Best Of Picture Show: Top Research“. Find out all the American locations a gyrating pear looks out of place in after the jump.

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You’re in for a big surprise if you fall for this bikini wearing DJ’s sexy poster!【Photos】

RocketNews24 has seen plenty of hot babes and cute girls, both real and not-so-real. I don’t know about you, but even as one of the contributors to this site, whenever I see an article with a portrait image of a girl splashed across the top of the page, my mind usually winds up with two questions: “Is this a guy?” and “Could it be Photoshop?” The Internet’s a dangerous place after all, as you know.

So today, instead of leaving you to guess if the babe featured in this article is a dude or not, we’ll just cut to the chase. Rest assured, there’s no crossdressing or genderbending in this one. There is, however, a bit… wait, make that A LOT of Photoshop involved. Or perhaps just a lot of eating. You’ll see what I mean after the jump!

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Artistic éclairs featuring Japanese woodblock print by Hokusai available for a limited time only

Fauchon, the long-established luxury food brand from Paris, is well-known throughout Japan as a purveyor of high quality teas and cakes, but it’s their famous éclairs that are considered the créme de la créme of the sweet world.

To celebrate Éclair Week, Fauchon has opened a pop-up café for a limited time in Shibuya, Tokyo. Pictured are two of the éclairs on offer, one celebrating the deep pink colour that’s come to be associated with the French brand, and one that’s a jaw-dropping edible rendition of a traditional woodblock piece by famous Japanese artist Hokusai.

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What does a man putting on a bra sound like? Buy the audio track and find out!

I’ve written about a lot of strange things from Japan during my time, but this one definitely takes the top spot so far. Have you ever wanted to know what sort of sounds men make in their downtime? Or wanted to capture them on tape so that you could replay them again and again? No, me neither. But apparently there’s enough demand for people to make a CD of these sound effects, and said CD reveals some surprising things going down in this ‘men’s time’.

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Japanese gamers reminisce about the good old days of the NES

For most children of the 80s, video games mean the Nintendo Entertainment System, or Famicom in Japan. Even if you didn’t have one in your home, you surely had a friend with one of those enchanting boxes. Ah, the thrills of 8-bit action, midi music, and blowing frantically on cartridges!

Though many parents might have written the devices off as mere toys, there’s an undeniable shared experience that the NES provided for children in many countries around the world. But have you ever wondered how your experiences with the system compared to those of kids in Japan, the console’s home? Well, wonder no more!

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Ghibli, Star Wars, Breaking Bad: artist carves crayons into amazing characters

As a kid, playing with crayons always guaranteed hours of fun. The array of exciting colours, combined with an ergonomic design perfect for young hands meant endless artistic possibilities on paper, walls, compliant siblings…

Now Crayolas are providing hours of fun for adults too, thanks to a dedicated artist who’s created dozens of unique crayons that are so adorable and true-to-life you have to see them to believe.

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There’s a city in China with its own street lane for people who can’t stop staring at their phones

How many times have you bumped into someone while walking down the street because your face was buried in your phone?

Apparently this happens all too often in one Chinese city — so much so that an entire street lane has been set aside for those who can’t stop staring at their phones.

You can find this lane on Foreigner Street in Chongqing, China, according to Engadget, which spotted the story via Chinese news publication News.cn. The lane was created to “reduce collisions” in the area due to the high number of tourists in the area, according to a translation of the Chinese article.

The street is divided in two halves, with one lane labeled “Cellphones, walk at your own risk” and the other marked “No cellphones.”

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Young Chinese entrepreneur tries marketing menstrual pads to men, gets heavy cash flow

Great business people are often described as being so skilled in their field that they ‘could sell ice to an Inuit.” Li Yuanhao, a student of Southwest University in Chongqing, China may have put a new spin on the saying by successfully selling sanitary napkins exclusively to male freshmen students. If the first two days alone Li’s business pulled in 600 yuan in profits (US$108) and future sales projections are looking good.

So, how’d he do it? We assure you it has nothing to do with cross dressing this time.

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