Japan’s net users are confused and creeped out by Skype’s new “dancing turkey” emoticon

Japanese netizens are both creeped out and confused by this new Thanksgiving/Christmas emoji from Skype.

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Move over pumpkin, it’s time for some frothy apple cinnamon goodness … in a bottle!

It was only a short while ago that we were being inundated with all manner of pumpkin flavored foods and drinks in honor of Halloween. But now that October 31—and all the wild partying surrounding it—has come and gone, people in Japan seem eager to rush into Holiday Season mode, with Christmas displays and illuminations already popping up across town.

Alcoholic beverages are no exception to the trend, and today we thought we’d share with you a beer with a distinctly Christmassy flavor that sounds absolutely delightful. It’s the Apple Cinnamon Ale from Japanese brewery Sankt Gallen, and, for a limited time, the drink even comes in a special bottle with a beautiful Christmas label!

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Sync! Illumination lets you watch Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade from home on multiple phones

Tokyo Disneyland is a popular destination at any time of the year, but when the holiday season approaches, the theme park swells with visitors keen to get in on the festive spirit.

One of the highlights of the season is the “Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dream Lights”, where a number of well-known Disney characters appear on large floats dressed up in spectacular light displays. Accompanied by music, the scene is also accompanied by huge crowds, eager to receive a wave from the likes of Mickey, Snow White or even Woody from Toy Story.

Now there’s a fun way to avoid the crowds and enjoy the illuminated parade from the comfort of your own home. It’s called the “Sync! Illumination” and it lets you link up with your friends’ cellphone screens to create an awesome interactive show. 

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Get your Christmas caramel toffee fix with sweet Starbucks Japan holiday drinks and goodies

It’s that time of year again! Starbucks Japan has announced their line of holiday beverages and goodies! Yes, it’s amazing how quickly a year seems to go by, isn’t it?

This year, the coffee chain will be offering their customers seasonal goodness featuring caramel and toffee (and plenty of whipped cream), and if that’s how they’re expressing their holiday spirit, well, we have to say, “Bring the holiday sweetness on!!!”

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Do you want to hug a Snow Pikachu? Special Christmas-version Pokémon plushies coming soon

As much as Japan loves Halloween, the country’s favorite foreign-introduced holiday is still Christmas. It’s not hard to see why, since in Japan the December celebration is both the nation’s biggest date night and also its most accepted excuse to gorge yourself on fried chicken. Plus, this year good boys and girls can expect a visit from someone very special at Christmas: Pikachu Snowman plushies, plus a whole stocking’s worth of new winter-themed Pokémon goodies!

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2 dudes + love hotel + a bromantic Christmas Eve = fundoshi fun!

Christmas may have come and gone, but the fun doesn’t stop here at RocketNews24 – today we’d like to share with our readers a heartwarming tale of two lonely male internet writers who, facing a dateless Christmas Eve (a sad state of affairs indeed for any Japanese male), decided to strike back against societal norms and… book into a love hotel together

Read on as we explore an enchanting evening involving massage, saunas, and fundoshi (Japanese traditional loincloths) aplenty! Disclaimer: you must be 18 or over to view this potentially NSFW, kind of frightening post!

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Chinese city government bans Christmas in schools

While many of us spent the last few days stuffing our faces with Christmas treats, singing jolly carols and hoarding presents, one whole city of school children in China were unfortunately unable to celebrate the occasion because the Grinch, a.k.a. adults, had stolen their Christmas.

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Legendary violinist upstaged by eight-year-old son’s ridiculously cute gift to Santa

Even if you don’t recognize the name Taro Hakase, you’ve probably heard his world-renowned violin music before. Ever flown All Nippon Airlines (ANA)? Then you’ve heard him. Ever been put on hold? You’ve heard him. Every played Final Fantasy, watched anime, or heard of Celine Dion or Ariana Grande? Yep, you’ve heard him.

But this time around it’s not one of Taro’s masterpieces, but instead one made by his eight-year-old son Mantaro, that’s getting people excited online.

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It’s a Christmas Miracle in Hong Kong! 15 million HK dollars scattered around the city【Video】

Christmas has come and gone. Presents were given, cake was eaten, HK$15 million was scattered around Hong Kong. Wait, what?

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From Dad’s autograph to a pack of peanuts: People in Japan reveal their worst Christmas presents

Christmas in Japan is more of a romantic date night than a family gathering, and comes with its own set of new(ish) customs, from KFC to strawberry shortcake.

There are some aspects of the modern western Christmas that Japan has adopted unadulterated, however, and one of those is the shopping. And while we’re sure there are plenty of awesome presents exchanged at this time of year, a recent report from Japanese magazine Peachy showed that almost fifty percent of Japanese people surveyed have received a disappointing present from Santa-san.

So what kind of rubbish presents have Japanese parents been putting in their kids’ stockings? Join us after the jump to find out!

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Hand-stitched cards are leading the trend in Korea this Christmas

What comes to your mind at the mention of a handmade card? Something drawn, painted, or put together with some form of paper craft? The latest trend for handmade cards in Korea incorporates an entirely different kind of handicraft to create personalised designs – sewing! Check out these stitch message cards!

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Christmas Eve is a big deal in Japan for couples. It’s the one night of the year when you’re supposed to go out on a romantic date and show the world you’re capable of being found attractive by another person. But for singles, it’s a hell that’s on par with Valentine’s Day in the west – canoodling couples everywhere, and all the corny marketing and merchandise that goes with it. So when this young man found himself without a date for Christmas Eve, he decided to skip the middle man (middle woman?) and date himself – in female form! Join us after the jump for some pics, but be warned – they’re a touch on the NSFW side!

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10 slightly strange Christmas trees from Japan

Christmas in Japan has always been different than what folks from other countries are used to. There’s always the Christmas bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken handed out by a santa-suit-clad Colonel Sanders, the Christmas cake topped with whipped cream swirls and strawberries, and those romantic walks with your loved one around the many illuminated streets. LINKS. That’s why we weren’t surprised, and frankly delighted, to find the following 10 unconventional Christmas trees from around Japan.

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Piccolo saves Christmas when he’s not saving Namekians

Comic book fan, cosplay aficionado, and 15-year veteran deputy sheriff Michael Wilson (@knightmage) brought cheer to countless families on December 18 when he strolled into his local Ohio TOYS R US dressed as Dragon Ball‘s Piccolo and paid off everyone’s layaways.

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Too busy to wrap Christmas presents? Not if you’ve got 12 seconds, Japanese store shows【Video】

I honestly don’t remember the last time I wrapped a Christmas present. Due to a lack of time during the busy period at the end of the year, plus a lack of manual dexterity during…my life in general…I usually just put everyone’s presents into a gift bag.

However, if you want to give someone the gift of satisfaction that can only come from tearing through some festively patterned paper, and you’re got more aptitude for arts and crafts than me (trust me, you do), there’s no need to let your hectic schedule stop you, as this video shows you how to wrap a present in just 12 seconds.

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Kobe Luminarie illumination creators ditched LED for the warmer light of normal bulbs

Tokyo may be trying to take the throne of “City of Lights” from Paris and we’ve seen some dazzling lights in Mie Prefecture, but inKansai, nothing says holiday spirit better than “Kobe Luminarie.” The light display is entering another year of brilliance, as it was originally a display to honor the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, pray for the revival of the city, and reintroduce tourism into the region.

In an effort to save energy after the Tohoku Disaster in 2011, Kobe Luminarie changed their lightbulbs to LED lights. Smart move, right? You would think people would be happy with the economically and environmentally savvy improvement, but apparently the results were a little more sparkling than they’d hoped, in the bad way.

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Japanese website wishes users a Happy Xmas with sweet animation【Video】

Get into the Christmas spirit with this festive video featuring flip-book style animation and a Japanese rock rendition of “Happy Christmas”, put together than none other than master animator Tekken.

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Wish you could check out Tokyo’s Christmas illuminations? Well now you can! 【Video】

We appreciate that while many of you are interested in Japan and Japanese culture, not all of you are able to visit the Land of the Rising Sun quite so easily. But Christmas is a great time of year here in Tokyo, what with all the lights, decorations and hand-holding couples, so in order to share the various seasonal sights with you we took the liberty of putting together a little slideshow.

Join us after the jump for a photo tour of Tokyo’s best Christmas illuminations!

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It’s almost Christmas! Time to buy a sexy, freaky, or inexplicable costume!【Photos】

Bells are jingling, gift lists are daunting, and snow is…not falling in Tokyo. That can mean only one thing: Christmas, Japan’s favorite romantic holiday, is almost here! While your crazy uncle might tell you that Christmas is apparently under siege in some parts of the world, the only holiday worry you’ll find in Japan is getting the right present for your girlfriend.

But don’t be fooled by all the lovers roaming the streets and tormenting lonely single folks, it’s not all romance. There’s more to the season that kissing atop Tokyo Tower–there are also parties and cosplay! Join us after the jump to check out some of the typical outfit offerings on sale in Japan this Christmas.

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How much do Japanese girls expect their boyfriends to spend on Christmas presents? 【Poll results】

Christmas Eve in Japan is very much a date night, perhaps the biggest of the year. Couples go to see festive Christmas lights, have a nice dinner and exchange gifts; the night really matters. But about those gifts…

How much money are you planning on spending on your significant other this holiday season? How much are you expecting them to spend on you? If you’re single, how much do you think your potential darling would want to dish out for a Christmas present? A recent poll gives us a great insight into how much we should probably be spending.

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