Chinese tourist in Taiwan does some post-hot spring shopping dressed in just a towel 【Video】

At any time of year, a nice, long soak in a hot spring will leave your muscles relaxed and your skin feeling smooth. It’ll also leave your body feeling hotter than normal for some time after you get out, though, and while that’s part of the appeal in the winter, in the summer it’s just an unpleasant side effect of bathing in geothermally heated water.

That’s why in some parts of Japan that are famous for their hot springs you’ll see travelers walking around town wearing the thin, cotton kimono provided by their hotels as they take in the sites after a bath. A Chinese tourist at a hot spring resort in Taiwan seems to have had a similar idea, except he was apparently much more concerned with cooling down than staying covered up, as he decided do a little shopping wearing nothing but a towel.

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Want to be a manga artist, but can’t draw backgrounds? Website has environments you can download

If you’re a budding manga creator, odds are you spend most of your time working on your character artwork. That’s probably a wise choice, too, as most famous comic artists focus on drawing their stories’ leads, and hand off work on other details, such as background art, to a team of assistants.

Of course, another reality of being a budding manga artist is that you probably don’t have a publisher bankrolling your comic and paying for the abovementioned team of assistants. But thankfully there’s now a way for you to pour your efforts into story and character art and still produce something that looks polished, thanks to a new Japanese website that sells ready-to-use manga backgrounds.

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Japanese Ghibli fan spends four years perfectly recreating Castle in the Sky in Minecraft 【Video】

We’ve featured a lot of incredible Minecraft creations before here on RocketNews24. There have been video games, entire cities, and whole countries, but never before have we seen an entire world.

Japanese Minecraft player Mocchi Hajikura recreated the entire world of the Studio Ghibli film Castle in the Sky… taking an incredible four years in order to complete it. You can see his creation via some spectacular videos that he’s created, making it feel like you’re really there.

Hardcore fans of the film, prepare to cry blocky, 3-D tears of joy.

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Japanese Twitter users can’t help but respond to suggestive-looking starfish with crude humor

It’s hard being an adult sometimes. Once you become a grown-up, the world starts expecting you to possess a certain level of maturity, which includes things like powering through your Aunt Virginia’s special turnip casserole without gagging, not engaging your Uncle Ted about his uninformed political views on Facebook, or trying not to turn everything you see or hear into something sexually suggestive.

But there are some situations where the lattermost just can’t be avoided. Like when Japanese Twitter user Kojiro decided to take a trip to his local aquarium and came across this curious-looking starfish that, no matter how you look at it, looks like a certain part of the male anatomy. Well, to some dirty-minded folk anyway…

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Sweet frog hat-wearing pup is a totally edible yuru-kyara available from one place in Japan only

Yuru-kyara, or regional promotional mascots, are so ubiquitous in Japan it can sometimes be hard to recall which one’s which, where they’re from, or even what type of brand or product they’re promoting.

Over 1,000 mascots represent different regions in Japan, which means the need to leave a lasting impression is a constant driving force in the creation of cute products like the sweet puppy above. Can you guess which region he represents and the even more unusual place where he can be found?

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Would you eat a pig-shaped fried pork cutlet?

Japan is known around the world for its immaculately presented cuisine. So when this photo appeared on Twitter a couple of days ago, people were instantly shocked and confused.

Could this be a new dish from a little-known restaurant out in the deep reaches of the countryside? Or could it be a hoax; the result of some fiddling on Photoshop to add a pig’s head and trotters to an everyday piece of fried pork cutlet?

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It’s a Beach Day miracle as even landlocked Japan swears it can smell the sea

Japan may have an image as an all-work and no-play sort of place, but you’ve got to give the country credit for coming up with Umi no Hi. Observed on the third Monday of July, Umi no Hi literally means “Ocean Day,” but “Marine Day” and “Beach Day” would also be acceptable translations. It’s a national holiday expressly created to give everyone a day off to go have fun at the beach, and it just might be the greatest socially accepted reason ever for blowing off work.

This year, Japan got so into the spirit of the holiday that even people in prefectures with no coastline swore they could smell the sea. But was this just a summery olfactory hallucination, or a legitimate Umi no Hi miracle?

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Japanese government recognizes equal salon rights, men now “permitted” to get haircuts in them

A huge victory in the metrosexual rights movement was made last week when the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare decided to abolish a guideline which stated that “men should not be able to get haircuts at beauty salons.”

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New fried take on Yoshinoya’s original beef bowl really hits the spot! 【Recipe】

For those looking for a quick and cheap meal in Japan, beef bowls, or gyudon, from fast food chains like Yoshinoya are a great option for both your stomach and your wallet. While in the past we’ve shown you how to make your own Yoshinoya-style beef bowl, odds are if you’re a regular patron of the famous chain or others like it, you probably aren’t that handy in the kitchen.

Still, every now and then people like a change of pace, or they find themselves trying to impress guests with a home-cooked meal. Luckily we have a fried Yoshinoya beef bowl recipe that fits that bill, and best of all it doesn’t require much of your effort or time, granted you have a Yoshinoya nearby.

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Is super-salty Tokyo ramen too much umami for foreign tastes? 【Video】

Ramen is the ultimate Japanese hunger-busting food. With its combination of greasy, fatty soup combined with carb-heavy noodles, it’s the perfect meal for when you’re REALLY hungry in Tokyo (or just really hungover.) But that doesn’t mean that this taste is for everyone. In fact, there’re probably a lot of people out there who just can’t handle that heavy hit of garlicky, salty grease.

Our Japan Wish competition winner Ashley mentioned in her winning video entry that she really wanted to get a taste of Tokyo ramen. We accompanied her to Ramen Jiro to watch as her tastebuds tangled with the pungent umami of a bowl of their finest slurping fare. Unfortunately, Ashley soon realised that the reality of the truly salty ramen might be a little hard to swallow – along with the actual ramen itself! Check out our video report!

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Better than mosquito repellent – The most eco-friendly (and spiritual) way to repel pests in Japan

There’s no need to use toxic substances to kill off unwanted insects in Japan, because there’s a much more eco-friendly method they’ve been using for hundreds of years. Although it may not be scientifically proven, many people feel this is still the best way to get rid of everything from garden aphids to mosquitoes. And if the method has endured for centuries, it must be at least somewhat effective right?

This uniquely Japanese insect repellent is far cheaper than commercial insecticides, easier to implement, and you only have to use it once a year in spring or early summer. And the best part? It involves Japanese sake!

What’s the secret? We’ll let you know after the jump.

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When East meets West: Rice omelet sushi available for a limited time at Sushiro

If you’re looking to try a popular type of washoku, or traditional Japanese food, while in Japan, sushi would be at the top of the list for many. If you wanted to try some authentic yoshoku, or Western-style Japanese cuisine, omurice, a parcel of rice wrapped in an omelette skin and topped with tomato sauce, would be one of the firm recommendations.

Now both of these star players have finally come together as part of a brand new menu from popular revolving sushi chain Sushiro. This unique Omurice Sushi is dainty, delicious and it retails for only 108 yen!

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What are Tokyo trains at rush hour really like? Check out our eyewitness account!【Video】

Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station is the Guinness World Record holder for busiest transport hub in the world, with an average of 3.64 million people passing through the station, which has 36 platforms and over 200 exits, each and every day. And it’s never busier than during the morning rush hour, with commuters from all over Tokyo and its neighbouring prefectures pouring through the station on their way to work. No wonder the trains are so crowded!

Since Ashley, our Japan Wish” competition winner is currently in town soaking up as much Japanese culture as she can, we thought it would be great if she could experience the rush hour crush for herself and share her thoughts with her fellow RocketNews24 readers.

Check out the video we took of Ashley being squished like a sardine and see for yourselves how she rates the experience!

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Calpis releasing refreshing new cola float flavor just for summer

Calpis is a Japanese soft drink that has been around for almost 100 years. Despite how well-loved it is not only in Japan, but all over South East Asia, most foreigners are only familiar with its name, which sounds like “cow piss”, rather than its actual taste (which is why it’s renamed “Calpico” in the U.S.).

But as you can probably tell by its popularity, Calpis doesn’t taste anything like what it sounds like, and for summer the brand has introduced a limited line of thirst-quenching flavors to help you beat the heat. Ajiwai Cola Float, the second flavor of their limited ajiwai” series, will be hitting shelves from the end of this month, and we’ve got the scoop on what the final product will look like once it does.

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Accessories inspired by samurai armor blend traditional Yamanashi designs and crafts

Yamanashi Prefecture is perhaps most famous for its beautiful scenery – which of course includes Mt. Fuji – but the prefecture is also home to a number of traditional crafts. One technique in particular, called “koshu-inden,” has been widely praised. Pioneered by a company established in the 16th century, this leather-working art was once used to decorate samurai armor and is considered by some as emblematic of samurai bravery.

Now, you too can wear accessories bearing this symbolic design and crafted by that legendary company thanks to a collaboration that has produced a number of beautiful bracelets. Check out some of the items below.

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”How to distinguish Koreans” explores stereotypes through the eyes of the world 【Video】

After the success of his previous video, “How to distinguish Americans,” YouTuber sw yoon decided to poke fun at his fellow South Koreans with a new video titled “How to distinguish Koreans.” 

The follow-up is every bit as amusing as the first, but before you click that “Play” button just remember: in Yoon’s own words, “This series of video is stereotypical stereotype video. Don’t get too serious.”

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Japanese telecommunications company KDDI to extend “family discount” to same-sex couples

Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward made headlines and had supporters of LGBT rights praising its progressiveness this past February when it announced that it would begin offering “partnership certificates”, which would extend the same legal benefits that married couples enjoy to same-sex couples.

While Japan may still be some way from following many Western countries’ leads and legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, the country is gradually making progress. Take, for example, KDDI – one of Japan’s major telecommunications companies – which has just announced its decision to offer their “family discount” to same-sex couples who provide a partnership certificate.

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12 awesome features of Japanese bathrooms you won’t find in the west 【Video】

Japanese bathrooms, or ofuroba, are very different to bathrooms in the west, and in this day and age they also come with a whole host of cool tech. Let’s take a look at a typical modern Japanese bathroom and let the cute little Aika take you through all its awesome characteristics in this fun and informative video.

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Cash, chickens, and other bizarre things blown in by the typhoon in Japan

Imagine that a typhoon is raging outside and you’ve just settled in for a nice cup of hot tea, when all of a sudden you hear a smack! on your veranda door. Taking a cautious peek outside, you discover that a plastic chicken has come to visit!

This is just one example of a strange object blown around by the current Typhoon 11 in Japan. Check out some of the other bizarre things that Japanese Twitter users have found outside their homes in this real-life case of cloudy with a chance of meatballs!

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Two men died and five other people, including two children, from two families were injured after they were electrocuted by an electrified fence set up by a local resident to keep out deer and other wild animals from hydrangeas in Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Sunday.

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