Remember a while back when we told you about the Malaysian girl with 229,000 Instagram followers, who uploads pictures of herself holding things? Well, it turns out that she has a sister who is just as cute, and since we know how much you all love pictures of cute girls (and guys!) we decided to introduce her to you! Join us after the jump to meet Min Chen’s sister, model Brandy Akiko!
Feb 25, 2015
When it comes to beautiful landscapes, one of the best is anything with rolling banks of thick fog. Now, we imagine some people who live in places like Seattle or London might not agree with the sentiment, but for many of us, the heavy mist of a spring morning is like meandering through a dream. Maybe not the best way to get yourself ready for a day of work, admittedly, but it’s definitely affecting.
Of course, many in Japan would agree–from 12th century emperors to contemporary filmographers. Just check out this stunning video titled “TOKYO DENSE FOG” to see how something as simple as the weather can turn Japan’s modern capital into a mystical realm.
A few weeks ago we introduced you to the world of traditional Japanese woodwork, a technique that uses no nails or hardware, just precise joints, to keep furniture and even buildings together. This technique is also used to create intricate, wooden, functional artwork, known as kumiko, which is used within Japanese style-rooms to create a stunning atmosphere.
The traditional handicraft has been passed down for centuries, however, the trade is sadly dying out. In response, artisans are taking the age-old concept and applying the designs to more modern-day household items, such as chairs and lampshades. The results are nothing short of exquisite!
Feb 20, 2015
Being the very heart of the anime and consumer electronics scene in Japan, it’s no surprise that Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood has Internet cafes where you can also read comics from a massive in-house manga library. But as nice as it can be to immerse yourself in all of the extremely important information available online, or to gorge yourself on a year’s worth of manga at a fraction of the price you’d pay to buy it, you might find yourself wanting to do so in relaxing, even traditional surroundings.
If so, a visit to the Nagomi-Style Cafe Akiba is in order, as it’s the only manga and Internet cafe in Akihabara designed with the look and atmosphere of a Japanese ryokan inn.
Last month we were delighted to hear that one of Kyoto’s most famous sight-seeing spots, Kiyomizudera, has an Instagram account. The thing about Kiyomizudera though, is that it’s not really just a tourist spot, it is a functioning temple serving hundreds of people every day and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site’s grandeur expands past the temple itself, to the beautiful surrounding scenery and view of the Kyoto cityscape, which can be enjoyed from the temple’s location, perched atop Mt. Otowa. Even the everyday religious events around Kiyomizudera are worthy of appreciation.
With all of this in mind, the temple has come out with an official Tumblr website, which they hope will allow viewers to not only see the temple through pictures, but to really feel and embrace its atmosphere.
Feb 10, 2015
If I told you there’s a place in Tokyo Bay called Sarushima, and that its name means Monkey Island, how many of you would be ready to get on the boat right now? And how many of you would then be crushingly disappointed you made the trip when you found out there aren’t actually any monkeys living there?
I’m guessing the answer to the first question would be “most of you.” As for the second? Only as many of you who, heartbroken at a lack of monkeys, didn’t walk far enough into the island’s interior to see that what Sarushima lacks in monkeys it makes up for with a mix of natural beauty and preserved architecture that makes it look like it’d be a suitable filming location for a live-action version of Studio Ghibli’s classic anime Castle in the Sky Laputa.
Feb 6, 2015
“You can also call me a future police officer. I’m more than proud to introduce my university to all of you.”
Meet Jin Pin Xuan (金品軒), a 21-year-old junior (third year student) currently enrolled at the top-ranking Chinese People’s Public Security University (中国人民公安大学) in Beijing, which is under the direct tutelage of China’s Ministry of Public Security.
In late December, Jin starred in a promotional video for her school, in which she spoke about her daily life as an officer-in-training, her reasons for choosing this career path, how dedicated she is to studying English, and some of the other exciting opportunities available to her in this program. Speaking of English, did we mention that she gives the entire presentation in almost flawless, close-to-native English?
Jan 24, 2015
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.
Jan 8, 2015
All through high school and for the first part of college, I didn’t use Microsoft Word, or any dedicated word processing software, for that matter, to write my reports. Instead, I did everything using Lotus 1-2-3, a spreadsheet program.
While that might sound incredibly inconvenient, it actually wasn’t too bad. Having a dad who’s an accountant and was well-versed in the program was a big help, but once I got the hang of it, I could produce written reports just about as easily as my Word-equipped classmates.
Still, my spreadsheet skills aren’t in the same league as Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi, who’s been making beautiful landscapes and portraits with Microsoft Excel for years, including a New Year’s card that’s just as cute as any made with paint and brush.
Jan 7, 2015
Earlier last month when Kyoto was blanketed with deliciously photo-friendly snow, hundreds of truly serene pictures of world-famous Kinkaku Temple flooded the Internet. However, Kyoto’s beauty isn’t exemplified only by Kinkaku-ji; the old capital is full of amazing pieces of Japanese history that were made breathtakingly tranquil by the recent snowfall.
Daigo Temple might not be as popular with tourists as other spots in Kyoto, but perhaps you should be planning your next visit there once you see these pictures.
Dec 23, 2014
Ukiyo-e, (浮世絵), or the “floating world pictures” synonymous with the woodblock prints and paintings of the rising merchant class of Edo period (1603-1867) Japan, include some of Japan’s most recognizable pieces of artwork to this day. Along with kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, historical/mythological scenes, and landscapes, one of the most popular subject matter choices for ukiyo-e were portraits of beautiful women, also known as bijin-ga.
Despite the passage of time between the end of the Edo period and the modern day, at least one artist still incorporates traditional ukiyo-e elements into her pictures of beautiful women with a subtly modern flair. Get ready to feast your eyes on these exquisite modern-day paintings of kimono-clad beauties by artist Haruyo Morita!
Dec 12, 2014
In 1853, the rulers of Japan ended the country’s more than two centuries of isolation from the rest of the world. But while foreigners could now get into Japan for trade and commerce, it would take more than 10 years until Japanese citizens could leave the country, meaning that outside cultural influences were still slow to find their way into the half-opened nation.
As such, there’s a brief, time capsule-like period in which Japan’s culture was still almost entirely of indigenous origins, but foreign visitors had the technology to visually document it, as shown in these beautiful photographs of 19th century Japan.
As we close in on the end of the year, it can be hard to remember all the places we went and all the things we did over the past 12 months. By “we,” I don’t mean just the RocketNews24 staff, since our website acts as written evidence of most of our year’s worth of frequent escapades and occasional shenanigans. Instead, I’m talking about all of the people who lived in or visited Japan during 2014.
Since we don’t have all of you under surveillance (just the half-dozen or so that Mr. Sato regularly tails throughout the day), we’re instead turning to photo-sharing site Instagram to be our judge, with its list of the top 10 Japanese photo locations that users shared over the course of the year.
Dec 10, 2014
Although director Hayao Miyazaki gets the lion’s share of the credit for the sterling quality of Studio Ghibli’s anime films, you can’t discount the contributions of Joe Hisaishi. The veteran composer’s musical scores are timeless and ethereal, and there’s no better visual compliment to their mix of trepidation and adventurousness than the moving pictures of Japan’s most respected animation house.
The beautiful projection mapping that accompanies this stirring piano cover of the ending theme to Castle in the Sky Laputa is a close second, though.
Dec 4, 2014
Spring in Japan belongs to the cherry blossoms. Summer is all about the country’s amazing fireworks shows. And in fall, there’re the beautiful fall colors to look forward to.
In winter though, Christmas decorations take center stage. Specifically, it’s the lights covering the urban landscape, called “illuminations” by the locals, that really bring out the crowds. So if you’re looking to do a little prep work for your Christmas Eve date, the following collection of Tokyo Christmas display snapshots should help you choose which one will best set the mood, and is also a chill-free way to get into the holiday season for those of you more comfortable at home with a hot mug of cocoa than braving the elements outdoors.
Nov 28, 2014
In Japan, the act of getting married isn’t really all that exciting. I don’t mean that weddings here aren’t memorable affairs, as they’re packed with all the joy and emotion you’d expect (and sometimes the video game references and crazy cakes you wouldn’t). The ceremonies held at churches, shrines, and wedding halls in Japan don’t constitute a legal union, though.
The only way to be officially hitched is to turn in a marriage application, called a konintodoke, to your local ward office or city hall, where you and your beloved will be pronounced husband and wife with all the stirring pageantry that goes along with a clerk stamping his authorization on the paperwork. When my wife and I submitted ours, the clerk offhandedly told us “Otsukaresama,” more or less “Thanks for stopping by,” instead of “Congratulations.”
Thankfully, there’s now a way to add a little color to the otherwise bland proceedings, with a new line of artistic marriage applications that’re not only approved for official use across Japan, but also free!
Nov 28, 2014
They’re often overshadowed by the sakura, but Japan’s fall colors make the country a beautiful place to be at this time of year. Maples and gingkos even have a few advantages over cherry trees. They tend to hold their color a little longer, and the cooler weather is less conducive to large outdoor parties, meaning your appreciation of the beauty of nature is less likely to be disturbed by the carousing of drunks.
In contrast to Tokyo’s many cherry tree-lined parks and boulevards, though, getting a good view of crimson and yellow leaves often means having to head out of the city and up into the mountains. That’s not always the case, though. Historic Rikugien Garden has plenty of fall color, is located right in the middle of Tokyo, and right now is so beautiful it’s staying open after dark.
Nov 20, 2014
A little over a year ago, one of my good friends in Tokyo got a job teaching philosophy at a university in Kagoshima, the prefecture at the southernmost tip of the island of Kyushu. Being that he’s now a seven-hour series of train rides, or a two-and-a-half-hour flight, away, we don’t get together so often anymore, but on the plus side, now I have a reason to take a trip to Kagoshima.
Well, actually, I’ve got about a dozen reasons to take a trip there, if you add in all of the nature trails, hot springs, scenic coastline, and more shown in this video of some of Kagoshima’s most achingly beautiful travel destinations.
Nov 15, 2014
Tokyo is so massive and bustling that sometimes it’s hard to remember that it doesn’t have a monopoly on urban splendor in Japan. Take Osaka, for example. Long Tokyo’s rival, in everything from business to baseball to samurai warfare, Osaka is known for its economic ambitiousness, comedic sensibilities, and tasty grub, but there’s one thing that’s often overlooked in media coverage of Osaka.
It looks absolutely beautiful at night.
Nov 6, 2014
There’s something deeply satisfying about watching someone do their job incredibly well. Whether it’s a master chef putting together a mouth-watering meal, a talented musician making an instrument come to life, or a pro athlete performing at the highest level of the sport, you find yourself unable to look away, both because of how soothing watching things go perfectly is, and also for fear of missing whatever amazing feat they’re going to pull off next.
So if you’re craving that special mixture of relaxation and inspiration, take a few minutes to watch this video of a master craftsman transforming two hunks of wood into a beautiful kokeshi doll with a literally unique twist.
- The 11 Cat Islands of Japan 【Photos】1
- Here’s what happens if you buy all the drinks in the combini and mix them together 【Video】2
- ISIS-inspired gang kills middle school boy: “We’ll cut off your head while you’re still alive!”3
- Japanese netizens rediscover “Full Armor Game Boy,” question how the ’90s defined portability4
- Staggering servings of salmon roe are waiting for you at these four Tokyo restaurants5
- Boys’ turn: The top 10 most common shonen manga scenarios, according to Japanese fans6
- Korean MMORPG redefines character customization with adjustable wrinkles, bone structure7
- We visit a reasonably-priced sushi shop so good you’ll forget all about that “Jiro” guy8
- Sony shows off its new and improved virtual reality headset, promises 2016 release date9
- Everyone’s favorite blue-black-white-gold dress, now available in fanart!10
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby1
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens2
- Time to quit your job – Company in Japan now hiring for the position of Ninja Master3
- Fan film ‘Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope’ – two years in the making, but well worth the wait【Video】4
- ISIS-inspired gang kills middle school boy: “We’ll cut off your head while you’re still alive!”5
- “Hell on Earth” as Tokyo subway station floods with sewage6
- Creepy news: Estimate a complete stranger’s breast size with this new plastic folder!7
- Pretty kitty says “Good morning” in Japanese, not just a doting owner’s imagination!8
- Revenge bento show us it’s a dish best served cold (and boxed) with insults and hidden chilies9
- Online seller pulls cruel trick, sells pencil lead photographed alongside Nintendo 3DS XL10
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo1
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby2
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】3
- English hot spring manners poster is so thorough, even Japanese people are learning from it4
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens5
- Meet Asuna, the hyperreal android that will leave your jaw hanging 【Video】6
- Keanu Reeves tries to be a tourist in Akihabara, gets mobbed by fans instead7
- Man beats up woman for not looking like “goddess” he spent thousands of dollars to meet8
- This amazingly detailed theme park map is what Tokyo Ghibli Land would look like9
- The number one thing that foreign men find “not so kawaii” about Japanese women10
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby3
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】4
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”5
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing6
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin7
- Historic Kyoto temple first in Japan to offer gay weddings8
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】9
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones10
- Boys’ turn: The top 10 most common shonen manga scenarios, according to Japanese fans
- Korean MMORPG redefines character customization with adjustable wrinkles, bone structure
- We visit a reasonably-priced sushi shop so good you’ll forget all about that “Jiro” guy
- Sony shows off its new and improved virtual reality headset, promises 2016 release date
- Everyone’s favorite blue-black-white-gold dress, now available in fanart!
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby
- Why do most concerts held in Japan prohibit taking pictures?
- After Obama’s otaku outing, images surface of Love Liver Joe Biden getting cozy with anime idols
- From lotus root to alcohol: Are powdered foods the next big boom in Japan?
- American man’s dramatic nine-second snow struggle captivates Japanese netizens 【GIFs】
- New nail art technique produces beautiful nails, sticky abominations in equal measure
- Kitties keeping the gods company: Check out these photos of cats in Japanese shrines!
- Aoshima Island has 100 cats, and we photographed almost all of them