We visit Tokyo’s Reversible Destiny Lofts, the apartments designed to make you live forever【Pics】

Incongruous in their grey surroundings, these multicoloured buildings looks like something in a children’s playground, or perhaps an outsized set of toy building blocks. But these colourful constructions are Reversible Destiny lofts—rental apartments in Tokyo’s Mikata City. And the inside of these eccentric properties is just as extraordinary and confusing as the exterior.

But what is “Reversible Destiny” anyway? And how is living in a playful apartment supposed to make you immortal? We sent a reporter from our Japanese sister site Pouch to find out.

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You’d never guess this strange bubble house village is located in Japan

The architecture in Japan tends to look pretty much the same in most neighborhoods. It’s always a mix of older, traditional homes with sloping roofs and those distinctive, old-timey shingles, which butt up against the blockier modern buildings, plus decaying shanty houses on an alarming number of corners that all look like they could come crashing down at any moment. Sure, there is the occasional bizarre Halloween village out of nowhere, and the skyscrapers and such can be cool and varied, that’s generally the pattern.

So imagine how extra disorienting it would be to stumble upon this largely unheard-of village of beautifully weird polystyrene bubble houses in the Middle of Nowhere, Japan.

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An architect figured out a brilliant way to reuse thousands of empty beer bottles

Next time you’re about to dump beer bottles in the recycling bin, consider that they could be used to make a house instead.

Armed with $11,000 and 8,500 discarded beer bottles, Chinese architect Li Rongjun spent over four months using bottles to build the second floor of his two-story house in Chongqing, China, according to Chinese media.

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Sayonara, stadium! Tokyo tosses out design for 252 billion-yen Olympic site, starts from scratch

I’ve got nothing but love for Tokyo, and I’ve spent a good chunk of my adult life working and playing in Japan’s city of cities. Still, I remember having mixed emotions when it was announced as the site of the 2020 Olympics.

Like everyone at RocketNews24, I truly believe Japan is an awesome place, and I’m happy whenever something happens that gets people to take a peek at what’s going on here. But I was worried that in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics, Japan would embark on a glut of overly extravagant construction projects, building needlessly expensive stadiums that would fall into disuse or disrepair soon after the Games ended, as has happened in so many other host cities.

That certainly seemed to be what was happening with Tokyo’s New National Stadium. Every few months came a new report that cost estimates had been revised up yet again, and the expected price tag recently soared to 252 billion yen (US$2.02 billion). Finally, though, the Tokyo Olympics organizers have said enough is enough, and they’ve decided to toss out the existing design completely and start over from scratch.

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Shibuya Station 2019: one step closer to the Neo-Tokyo of our dreams

If you’ve been to Shibuya Station recently, you’ll have seen one area in particular that’s filled with crowds, noise and trucks; and it’s not the meeting place around the famous statue of Hachiko.

It’s the massive redevelopment project currently underway to revitalise the district and deliver a completely new-looking Shibuya by 2027. Latest pictures of the next high-rise in the pipeline reveal just how amazing life in Neo-Tokyo will be.

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Kumamoto preschool designed to become a giant puddle when it rains

Kids will be kids. And being kids, one of the things they are inevitably going to do is play in rain puddles. No matter how they might be scolded later, the sheer joy of splish-splashing through some nice big puddles exerts an irresistible magnetic force on little feet.

Rather than trying to reign in that youthful inclination, one preschool in Japan is embracing it through a central courtyard designed to collect water when it rains.

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You won’t believe your eyes! Old opthalmologist’s shop in Taiwan is now an ice cream shop

One of the best things about taking a holiday abroad is basking in the glory of all the historical architecture of the area. Another amazing thing about it is eating delicious food and buying tons of yummy goodies to bring home. So if you’re thinking of visiting Taiwan any time soon, you’d be crazy to pass up an opportunity to visit this olde-world opthalmologist’s shop that’s been turned into a swanky ice cream, cake and sweets shop!

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Is this the coolest kindergarten in the world? Probably 【Pics & Video】

Does the architecture of a building have an effect on the lives of the people inside of it? One famous Japanese architect thinks so and we’re pretty convinced now too.

Takaharu Tezuka, a Tokyo-based architect, designed a revolutionary kindergarten building that not only lets the kids run free, but also teaches them about life.

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Japanese “minimal house” is both irresistibly cute and surprisingly cheap

With a population of over 100 million in a land area smaller than California, space is not cheap in Japan. Because of that, many people live in apartments stacked on top of each other, and the idea of living in a house is, for many, just a very expensive dream.

But not anymore! The modern-home companies Yadokari and Azumaya have teamed up to release “Inspiration,” a “minimal house” which they advertize as only costing about the same price as a new car. It’s cute, efficient, built to last, and we want one really badly!

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Narita Airport’s new budget terminal has running track floors, mattress-inspired sofas 【Video】

Narita Airport is the Tokyo area’s largest access point for air travelers. This month, the terminal added a new terminal specifically designed for low-cost carriers and budget travelers, but as this sneak peak video shows, affordable can overlap with innovative and stylish, as Terminal 3 is set to prove that you don’t have to spend big to help people travel in ease and comfort.

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Beijing reveals design for new international airport – it’s going to be huge, and beautiful

It’s fairly safe to say that airports are not necessarily everyone’s favorite places to be. There’s often traffic to fight through just to get there, and once inside you have to deal with long lines, painfully slow security checks, and weary travelers who hang their undergarments on the chairs at the gate. In short, airports, especially international hubs, are severely crowded and no fun.

China is setting up to deal with those crowds, however, and is working hard to make its newest airport somewhere that people don’t immediately want to leave. Designs for what will be the biggest airport in the world have recently been unveiled, and it looks like the new gateway to Beijing will be a thing of real beauty.

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Japanese village converted into gorgeous open-air museum makes an easy day-trip escape from Tokyo

There’s a lot to love about Tokyo. Aside from the sheer energy of being the most bustling metropolis in Japan, it’s home to some amazing modern attractions, like the Skytree, Ebisu Beer Museum, and RocketNews24 offices.

Still, even we can appreciate the occasional longing for a simpler, slower-paced time. Thankfully, even if you don’t have a time machine, as long as you have access to the capital’s outstanding public transportation network, you can catch a glimpse of Japan’s traditional rural lifestyle at this beautiful open-air museum of thatched-roof houses that’s an easy half-day trip from Tokyo.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping: ‘No more weird architecture’

Chinese president Xi Jinping is fed up with his country’s fascination with what he calls “weird architecture,” the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Speaking at a literary symposium in Beijing last week, Xi’s two-hour speech took shot at Chinese architects and artists who have designed avant-garde style buildings.

Instead, he said that art should “be like sunshine from the blue sky and the breeze in spring that will inspire minds, warm hearts, cultivate taste, and clean up undesirable work styles.”

In other words, the speech was a call for more traditional Chinese art that is patriotic, socialist, and nationalistic at its core.

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The world of the future, according to North Korean architect

The interconnectedness of today’s world has been a real boon to artists, scientists, designers, futurists, and pretty much anyone who thrives on the free exchange of ideas. If you asked a kid from South Africa to draw the city of the future, it would be equally likely and unsurprising for her to design futuristic skyscrapers reminiscent of the Burj Khalifa or hobbit hole-like underground eco-houses.

But what if you were from North Korea? What if you didn’t have Internet and had never left your own country? What would the city of the future look like to you?

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China tried to build a replica of Manhattan… and it’s not looking so great

Yujiapu, in China’s Tianjin Binhai New Area, was modeled on Manhattan and expected to become the financial center of the world. But it languishes as many wasteful Chinese ghost cities have. At one point it was reported that the Juilliard School had signed an agreement to set up an institute in Yujiapu. And there were plans for a Rockefeller and Lincoln Center as well. But construction in this Manhattan hopeful has ground to a halt.

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Photo captures epic lightning strike to Tokyo Skytree

At 634 meters (2,080 ft), Tokyo Skytree is not only the tallest building in Japan, but also the tallest broadcasting tower in the world and second only to the Burj Khalifa in tallest structures. With all that height and no small amount of metal, a building is bound to get some serious love from lightning strikes, but catching that moment on film is easier said than done as a strike usually lasts between 1-2 microseconds.

This week, Twitter user @KAGAYA_11949 managed to get a great shot nonetheless.

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Ginza is a fancy place…just look at the elevators!

The Ginza area of Tokyo is by far the ritziest of all of Japan’s districts. With stores such as Chanel, Cartier and Bulgari (not to mention an extremely overpriced bar staffed by former and current porn stars), you’re going to have to have a lot of yen in your pockets if you want to do more than window shop and people watch. Yes, there are exceptions and cheap eats to be found nestled amongst the luxury items, but overall, Ginza is dominated by fancy things. Just look at the elevators…

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Japanese homebuilder offers virtual reality tour of your new home while you’re still designing it

Few people know this about me, but on top of being a huge video game nerd, I’m also both a part-time eco warrior and a big fan of the Tiny House movement, which is all about simple living and not destroying the environment for the sake of building a McMansion. I’ll happily spend a full evening watching video tours of micro homes or looking at floor plans while sketching out my own future home. But no amount of doodles can compare to actually visiting a property in person and snooping around.

Japanese home builder Daiwa House, too, knows the importance of giving potential home builders a chance to experience their residences in person, and is about to launch a special “Try Lab” showroom that invites visitors to slip on a virtual reality headset and wander around inside their new house, whether tiny or huge, and really get a feel for the place before giving the architect the final nod.

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Sip coffee inside a giant vintage camera at family-run Dreamy Camera Cafe

Your eye might have gone directly to the giant red building in the photo, but behind that odd architecture is a happy family living their dream. Army aviation pilot, Park Sung-Hwan and his wife (who also happens to be a recently retired army aviation pilot) took their love of photography and coffee to the extreme, creating a one-of-a-kind cafe that resembles a Rolleiflex camera. It sits right next to their modest home, a juxtaposition of tradition and whimsy, and is nothing short of a scene out of a storybook.

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Travel through time from Shibuya

Most Japanese history buffs know that Kyoto is a must-see, but for those who prefer not to be one in a mob of tourists, it’s essential to find the hidden gems like the Kyū Asakura House. It is one of those rare places where you can experience what it may have felt like to live in another era—and this one is in the middle of Tokyo! Because it is relatively small and not too well known, visiting is a peaceful experience.

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