The name you give to your child will stay with them for the rest of their life, so parents are always careful to choose one that will stand the test of time and carry them through to adulthood. In the United States, Sophia and Jacob took the top spots for baby names in 2013, while Ava and Noah took first place in the UK (depending on which site you consult). Let’s take a look at this year’s top 10 baby names in Japan as reported by Japanese pregnancy and parenting site, Tamahiyo.
Once upon a time in the magical kingdom of Japan there lived a young girl named Mami. Always she would ask her parents to read a children’s book by the name of Guri & Gura in which two field mice share good times together. Her most favorite story of all was the one in which Guri and Gura find a large egg and make a big fluffy cake out of it. However, as the years passed by and Mami grew into a woman, she gradually stopped reading the adventures of Guri and Gura and eventually went to work as a reporter for RocketNews24.
One day, her wicked step-editor called out, “Maaaaamiiii! Write me something about food! I’m hungry!” Checking the internet for something to write about, Mami learned of a famous café in Osaka. Other women wrote marvelous things about it saying, “It’s a real picture book world!” and “Everything about it is cute!” Thinking this was a nice place, Mami boarded a train for the land of Umeda not knowing what was waiting in store for her.
Have you ever seen a subway train driving on the street? One of our Tokyo-based reporters did and it was the first time he’d ever seen anything like it. It all started on the night of November 26…
Typographers and moral crusader beware! A risqué Samsung billboard promoting their Galaxy 3 notepad has been, ahem, erected in four countries, leaving the South Korean company with a potentially embarrassing public relations mess. The offending ad must have been designed by someone who forgot to turn off the autocorrect feature before editing, making for an unintentionally hilarious billboard. Click below to find out what the racy sign says!
Everything worth doing is worth doing to the extreme, if you ask us. So if you have a nice, juicy granny apple, sure, you could eat it as is, or you could spend 15 to 20 minutes with your fingers in dangerously close proximity to a sharp knife and make this adorable apple swan!
If you follow these instructions, it seems reasonably easy to consistently make these edible dinner decorations, but we hope your hand-eye coordination is up to snuff because the only thing more dangerous to your digits is playing that old saloon game “Five Fingers.”
Every once in a while we report on the bustling mascot business in Japan, especially regarding the regional cute mascots known as yuru-kyara. Often these characters are chosen to represent a city, prefecture or even neighborhood by way of election.
This was also the case in Hokkaido’s Hokuto City as they took votes for their new representative character. Thousands of citizens cast their votes for whom they felt best represented Hokuto life and culture, ultimately choosing… that thing above.
Given the amount of time people spend riding trains in Japan, it’s no surprise that there’s a whole set of both implicit and explicit protocol passengers are expected to follow. Eating on the train is considered bad form, for example, and passengers are expressly asked to refrain from talking on their cell phones or allowing them to ring.
One of the trickiest aspects of Japanese train etiquette involves giving up your seat on a crowded train. Good manners stipulate that the elderly and young children have priority, but as the stories from Twitter users below show, what seems like it should be a simple act of kindness isn’t always so simple after all.
“I’m taking a bath with my boyfriend,” tweeted one Japanese netizen going by the name of Machiko, uploading a photo with her message. Despite the suggestion of sauciness, however, rather than being something that moderators would quickly remove or fellow users would tag as inappropriate, the image was retweeted and favourited thousands of times in just a few short minutes.
After all, it’s not every day you see a life-sized boyfriend made entirely out of soap bubbles…
When it comes to finding a new place to live, most people spend weeks, even months trying to find somewhere that’s just right for them. In urban Japan, where rented accommodation is usually both more compact and in higher demand than in the West, finding an apartment can be even trickier, and prospective renters often have to make snap decisions or risk missing a good deal; opting for a ground-floor apartment and paying a little less; choosing a place with an all-in-one bath, sink and toilet unit rather than separate facilities; getting a place a little further from the station if it means living in a nicer area–you see “close enough” and you grab it.
But would you really feel comfortable living in an apartment knowing that it was once used exclusively for sexy shenanigans every single night of the week? Welcome to the world of love hotel renovation!
It’s increasingly common knowledge that Japan has some unusual bathing habits, at least compared to those of the Western world. The bathtub in Japan is generally seen as a place to relax, warm up, or ease tired muscles, not as a place to get clean (that’s what the stool and the shower head beside it are for). One of the most novel ways to indulge in this steamy pastime is to attend a public bath house (sentou) and experience a bit of naked bonding time with friends, family, and whoever else happens to be present that day.
However, as most Japanese these days have bathtubs in their homes, the need to visit a dedicated bath house is greatly diminished. These aging facilities are losing business by the day, and many have been forced to close. Thankfully, there is one demographic that remains enthralled by the idea of experiencing public baths as a novelty. Travel agencies and bath houses together are reaching out to foreign tourists as an important source of business.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the weekend has finally arrived! We know exactly how we’ll be spending ours, and we have a feeling that gamers in Australia, Europe, Central and South America will also be spending theirs much the same way following the arrival of Microsoft’s Xbox One and, finally hitting stores outside of the US this very day, Sony’s PlayStation 4.
Of course, one little gamer already knows exactly what’s up, and despite being barely 22 months old and the PS4 having only been released a week or two ago, is already more than familiar with the hardware if this video is any indication.
Having read comics a lot as a kid I always dreamed of having a mutation. Having my genetic material altered so that I could fly or turn invisible would have been great. However, as I grew up I realized that mutations often lead to things like health problems and considered myself better off.
Now watching this video, I may have to reconsider. According to the person who posted it on YouTube it was taken in Russia. It appears to show a humanoid creature crawling across the exterior of an apartment building.
Walk around a major Japanese city at night, and sooner or later you’re bound to come across a tiny, candle-lit table on the sidewalk, usually with a line of young women stretching from it. Contrary to appearances, this is not, in fact, a romantic autograph signing session by the RocketNews24 team, and is instead one of the many street-side fortune tellers who ply their trade in Japan after nightfall.
One of the most popular types of fortune telling is palm reading. Believers claim that by examining the lines of your palm and fingers, an expert can deduce your future and true character. And now, with a simple test you can perform at home, a quick glance at your thumb will also clue you in to the strength of your own personal connection to the spirit world.
In recent years, there has been a backlash against the numerous princesses in Disney’s films. Criticisms have been lobbed at films spanning the many decades of the studio’s animated canon, with complaints that earlier princesses are too inactive, and that more recent heroines are too sexualized in design.
Regardless of whether or not you agree that Disney’s princesses are having a negative influence on the impressionable minds of children, I think we can all agree that what’s most important is not how someone looks, but rather the quality of their character and integrity. The highest form of beauty is inner beauty, and it’s important that we help our children develop the skills necessary to look inside of a person to see what they’re really made of.
And I can’t think of a better way to do that than by examining X-rays of Disney princesses.
I’ve lived abroad three times in my life. Once was a homestay in France, once was a semester studying in Germany, and now I live and work in Japan. I don’t expect that I will ever move back to the States. I love Japan and have wanted to live abroad almost as long as I can remember. Even so, it has sometimes been challenging for a girl from suburban Arizona who didn’t even get a passport until she was 18, and lately I’ve been wondering what I would tell my younger self to better prepare her for this crazy expat life.
With the help of our globetrotting friends, we’ve come up with this list of seven things you should know before moving abroad.
Like many people who grew up in the US, I used to think of food cooked at a convenience store as the absolute last resort for sustenance. Things are different in Japan though, where the hygienic, attentively-staffed convenience stores are more akin to compact local grocers. Aside from a variety of boxed lunches, you can even get tasty hot food, such as fried chicken.
Fried chicken, it just so happens, is the traditional choice in Japan for Christmas Eve dinner, so with the holiday fast approaching we decided to stage a little taste test to see which convenience store’s fried chicken is the best.
We all know that nature can be cruel at times. Even when something as wonderful as the birth of a new baby is involved, nature — in the form of genetic fate — can dole out unexpected and not always favorable challenges. And now, as technology makes genetic screening of fetuses easier than in the past, the big question more and more parents-to-be will likely be facing is, do you actively want to know beforehand if something may not be quite right with the little one you’re expecting. Here in Japan, some early data on a new prenatal screening procedure has recently been announced, providing us with some sobering food for thought, and we thought we’d share with you a summary of the reports.
Our resident food writer Kuzo loves travelling the world in search of new and exotic McDonald’s food. However, he’s also been known to experiment with game consoles in between meals.
When the Nintendo Wii U came out he tested its online capability while riding nearly 300 km/h on the Shinkansen. Now with his newly acquired PS4, he’s going to attempt to upgrade the built-in hard disc drive (HDD) with a faster solid state drive (SSD). The following is his report.
I remember the days of Tamagotchi (and the far less cool NanoPet) and how our teachers always struggled to keep us from feeding or picking up after our little digital creatures during class. The Japanese gadget was a hit with us 90s kids and will forever be one of the coolest toys of our childhood. And now, Bandai is back with a new version of Tamagotchi. But this new installment of the portable digital pet, called Tamagotchi Friends, has a new social media twist.
It’s fairly common knowledge that Japan is overrun with vending machines. If they ever gained sentience and decided to go on the offensive, the country would be pretty much screwed as far as we can tell. Fortunately, maniacal wizards don’t seem to be real, so we can keep them around to serve us drinks and snacks without having to worry about being attacked by vicious Coke machines.
Of course, there are tons of different vending machines in Japan, but the most popular must be the gachapon ones. The toy dispensing machines are fun for everyone with an addiction to collecting, from children to adults. The recent trend for gachapon machines seems to be dogs, but today we found an utterly bizarre–and adorable–take on the theme: “Inupan” or “Doggy Bread!”
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- American chef perfectly captures the scrumptious soul of Japanese cuisine 【Video】3
- 12 culinary delights from Japan that you can find in New York City4
- 92-year-old grandmother creates gorgeous traditional Japanese toys5
- 13 surprising Japanese translations of American movie titles6
- Your holiday (counterfeit) gift-buying guide!7
- Biker/Photographer gives Google Street View car taste of its own medicine8
- Pantene Philippines calls out sexism in the workplace with clever ad9
- Why is Japan Turning Blue at Night? More and More Streets Being Draped in Peacefully Bizarre Azure Lights10
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China1
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】2
- Nine unusual products from Japanese designer, Oki Sato3
- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour4
- The last photo of faithful dog Hachiko breaks our hearts5
- Cute credit cards could send you to the slammer6
- Girl runs away from home to stop her parents from buying a Japanese car7
- Subway mini skirt peeping tom found innocent8
- Live-action Attack on Titan gets release date, new director9
- 13 surprising Japanese translations of American movie titles10
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】1
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- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】4
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!5
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China6
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong7
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】8
- The amazing disaster relief equipment of Japan’s Self Defense Force9
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right10
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】1
- 252 of Japan’s favorite animated gifs2
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】3
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong4
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs5
- Thinking about plastic surgery? This ad may make you laugh – or it could make you think twice!6
- Meet the new model set to make manga artists’ lives a whole lot easier7
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right8
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!9
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】10
- 13 surprising Japanese translations of American movie titles
- Your holiday (counterfeit) gift-buying guide!
- Biker/Photographer gives Google Street View car taste of its own medicine
- Pantene Philippines calls out sexism in the workplace with clever ad
- Why is Japan Turning Blue at Night? More and More Streets Being Draped in Peacefully Bizarre Azure Lights
- A Simple Approach to Understanding Women: a Japanese Guide
- Fresh sushi for night owls at Osaka fish market’s midnight restaurant
- From “Love Princess” to “Silent Hill”: Awesome Japanese prefecture names changed into English
- Live-action Attack on Titan gets release date, new director
- Men’s butts are shaped like green peppers, according to this butt illustration guide
- Cross-dressing man in women-only train car causes controversy in Japan
- Witness Park Seung-mo’s wild works of wire wizardry
- Cute credit cards could send you to the slammer