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Tokyo Disney Resort’s amazing customer service includes safety checks of guests’ cars

Aside from the costumed characters and colorful parades, one of the things that makes Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea so popular is the stellar customer service they offer. Even in a country where service is almost universally prompt and polite, the Tokyo Disney Resort goes above and beyond the norm in providing an unrivaled level of hospitality to guests.

As a matter of fact, Tokyo Disney Resort employees are so dedicated that not only will they make sure you enjoy yourself during your stay, they’ll even help ensure you have a safe trip home, as one park attendee recently found out when the parking lot staff performed a spot check of her car and alerted her to a potential safety hazard.

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Autistic teen artist creates masterful sketches with help of photographic memory

Sixteen-year-old Yap Hanzhen of Malaysia apparently suffered through a childhood in which even the most simple of communications was difficult. Hanzhen’s parents say he barely spoke through most of his adolescence.

Like many children who display difficulties communicating during early development, Yap turned out to have a form of autism – a fact that his parents struggled to convince doctors and child psychologists, who were apparently quick to presume simple bad parenting as the source of young Yap’s speech difficulties.

In taking the special needs care of their young son into their own hands, Yap’s parents gave him a sketch book and pencil to help him associate thumbnail drawings with words for everyday objects, inadvertently nurturing a latent talent that would eventually see Yap touring the world, showing off his extraordinary drawings.

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We swear you’ve never seen Tokyo like this before 【Video】

Art can appear in the strangest of places and what qualifies as art is as wide and as varied as the works themselves. So, what about a city? Can a city be art? You might not think so, but artist darwinfish105 is about to prove you wrong with his breathtaking shots of Tokyo.

You are about to see the largest city in the world change into a futuristic technological metropolis. In addition, all of this is accomplished with just a camera and some mirrors.

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Tokyo University campus has its own sushi restaurant where great dining meets higher education

No matter how scholastically talented you are, it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach. Even the bright minds at Tokyo University, Japan’s most prestigious institute of higher learning, need to take a break from studying and grab some chow now and again.

Of course, it’s hard to give yourself a mental recharge eating bland cafeteria food. Thankfully, that’s not a concern for the students of Tokyo University’s Kashiwa Campus, who’re lucky enough to have an amazing sushi restaurant right on the school grounds.

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The City of Angels is now the City of Samurai with Los Angeles museum’s awesome armor exhibition

Like clockwork, every winter I get a serious bout of home-sickness. It’s usually triggered by a call or email from someone back home telling me about taking a drive with the top down, watching football on ordinary broadcast TV, going out for some Vietnamese sandwiches, or one of the other things I miss about life in Los Angeles.

“But,” I remind myself, “Japan has lots of cool things too! Where else can you go to the museum and see massive collections of samurai armor, huh?”

Oh, right now you can do that at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art? Touché, L.A.

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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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Cosplay as Sailor Moon’s classmates with official uniforms of the anime heroines’ schools

When most anime fans think of the core cast members of Sailor Moon Crystal, they picture them in their sailor-style combat suits. But while they do indeed don those brightly color-coded getups when it’s time to do battle with the forces of evil, the teen heroines spend most of their week dressed in the uniforms of ordinary junior high students.

If you’ve ever wanted to cosplay not as Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, or Venus, but as their alternate non-magical girl identities, now’s your chance, as you can now buy official uniforms of the schools attended by the Sailor Senshi.

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Steampunk cosplay accessory that makes our heart go boom boom boom

What do steampunk fashion and a heart monitor have in common? Usually, nothing. But throw in a garter belt and you’ve got yourself a creative and original piece of fashion fusing seemingly incompatible objects. Read on to check out this awesome steampunk cosplay accessory!

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Burn baby burn! The Shinto inferno of Japan’s Dondo Yaki ceremony

When entering the grounds of a Shinto shrine in Japan, it’s customary to first stop by the water basin near the gate and rinse your hands, and sometimes your mouth, in order to cleanse them. Water isn’t the only classical element held to have purifying properties in Shintoism, though, since the same can be said about fire.

Obviously, worshippers aren’t called upon to put fire on their palms or inside their mouths. Instead, Shinto priests light pyres of charms and decorations during the Dondo Yaki ceremony, with the towering blazes regularly reaching 15 meters (49.2 feet) into the air.

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Expat’s video says “Welcome to My Japan,” and you ought to take him up on the awesome invitation

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who moved to Japan and stayed for exactly two years. Most of the study and work opportunities that initially bring people here are 12-month programs, and while plenty of people decide that’s enough Japan for them, most people who manage to adapt and thrive during that first year reup for an even longer stay.

One such example is Canadian Thomas Simmons, who’s now been in Japan for four and a half years and counting. Given the country’s relatively small geographic size, you might think that’s enough time to see everything, but as the powerful video Simmons created about his experiences so far shows, he’s just getting started with his life in Japan.

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Charge up your new tech with a nod to old games with Famicom controller battery pack/card reader

Although millions of people have fond memories of playing games on Nintendo’s original Famicom (known internationally as the NES), not too many people spend much time actually playing with the system anymore. After all, portable gaming devices like Nintendo’s own 3DS and even smartphones now boast more powerful hardware specs than the classic 8-bit console, and have just as large a library of legitimately fun games as well as the capability to play old-school titles as software downloads.

Of course, the flipside to having so many great portable games to play or, in the case of smartphones, extremely important websites to visit, is that your mobile devices are going to be running out of juice before long. Now, though, there’s a way to give your new tech a recharge and your old tech a shout-out simultaneously, with this battery pack/card reader that’s styled after the Famicom’s Player One controller.

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With adult responsibilities looming, Japanese teen lets loose with epic Frozen chalkboard art

With winter break over, students in Japan are looking at a straight shot with no major breaks until the end of the school year in spring. For teens in their third and final year of high school, that means it’s almost time to take the big step of going off to college or finding a job, both of which mean probably having to cut back on silly hijinks.

That’s why when one Japanese 12th grader found an empty classroom, she couldn’t resist the temptation to let loose with youthful exuberance, especially since she knew it might be one of her last chances to do so. She didn’t take advantage of the lack of adult supervision to vandalize the school, though, but decided to beautify it with some awesome Frozen chalkboard art instead.

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There could be a panda in your closet, and a blanket inside the panda with these storage cases

Staying warm during Japan’s chilly winters can be tricky, especially when it’s time to hit the sack. A lot of Japanese apartments don’t have the best insulation, so if you don’t want to blast the heater on high all night long, a nice warm blanket or down comforter is essential.

Unfortunately, six months later the weather becomes hot and muggy nationwide, so all those blankets need to be put away. And while you could just wrap them in plastic garbage bags and stick them in the closet until next winter, the far cuter option is to use a specialized case that looks like a snoozing bear, panda, or wolf.

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Cardcaptor Sakura shoes have captured our attention with their stylish nod to the anime classic

Cardcaptor Sakura is in the midst of a revival right now. We’re not sure what’s sparked the renewed interest in creative team Clamp’s magical girl franchise, as we’re still a year away from the manga’s 20th anniversary, and three years from that mark for its anime adaptation.

Still, plucky elementary school student and protagonist Sakura Kinomoto seems to be popping up more and more these days. A recent poll of anime fans named Cardcaptor Sakura the series they most want rerun on TV, and just last month we saw the release of a collection of cosmetics based on it. Now, in the latest round of new goodies, you can pair your manga makeup with some cute and stylish Cardcaptor Sakura shoes.

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“100 Sizzling Japanese Maids in Action” video is less sexy yet more awesome than it sounds

Japan has a long-standing and highly publicized infatuation with maid outfits. As such, it’s really not much of a surprise that you can find a video on YouTube that bears the English title 100 Sizzling Japanese Maids in Action.

The 100-second video isn’t a contribution to Japan’s highly specialized pornography industry though. Rather, it’s an ad for something altogether less prurient, as its true theme isn’t so much “hot girls” as “hotcakes.” It is, nevertheless, extremely compelling viewing.

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Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones

Last summer, were you one of the many people who screamed “Shut up and take my money!” when we brought you news of the prototype cat ear-shaped headphone/speakers from recent startup AxentWear? If so, your harshly worded enthusiasm has been rewarded, as preorders have at last begun for the futuristically feline gadgets.

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Name Game: Finding the origin and prevalence of Japanese surnames just got easier

I love business cards, because I’ll admit it, I am not good with names. First names, last names, if you tell me, I will probably forget it. (Kirakira names are usually easier to remember though!) The good thing about living in Japan, however, is that despite there being over 100,000 different surnames, a really high percentage of people use only a few really common names.

To make it even easier for me, different areas of Japan often have higher densities of certain names. For instance, there are about 4,700 people in Japan with surname Maru (丸), but more than 50 percent of them live in southern Chiba. So, if you forget someone’s name in southern Chiba, Maru might be a safe guess.

A website and smartphone application called Myoji-Yurai Net allows you to find out the prevalence, origin and other fun information about the top 3,000 surnames in Japan. It’s actually quite fun!

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Sandwiched Between Twintails Pillow: For if you don’t know to hug your pillow or let it hug you

We’ve talked before about Japan’s love affair with gigantic hug pillows. Even if they’re not covered with pictures of your anime or celebrity crush, dakimakura, as they’re called in Japanese, have a number of physiological advantages, as well as the psychological benefits some people reap from having something to hold as they sleep.

Of course, some people also feel more secure and relaxed being held as they sleep, which is why Japan has a new, double-pronged huggy pillow that can hug you back.

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Samurai tennis! Professional Kei Nishikori trades racquet for a sword in this awesome new ad

Last year, Nissin, makers of Cup Noodle instant ramen, created the awesome Samurai in Brazil ad, in which a soccer player clad in Japanese armor travelled to South America to show off his footwork to the locals. The company later caught up with the freestyle soccer expert in Europe with a sequel, Samurai in Manchester .

In its newest commercial, Nissin isn’t just switching venues, but sports, too, as Samurai in New York features one of the best tennis players in the world, who proves just how talented he is by leaving behind his racquet and delivering powerful forehands, backhands, and serves using a wooden sword.

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Famous action anime director’s latest stop on the comeback trail: bank ad with giant robots

Last summer, we took a look at a series of ads from Okinawa’s Bank of the Ryukyus, known locally as Ryugin, that featured magical girl idol singers and giant robots. Those are certainly more visually appealing images than a staid banker or graphs explaining interest fees, but if we’re being totally honest, the sort of CG animation shown in the commercials really isn’t Japan’s forte.

Where the country’s artists really shine is in a more traditional discipline that mimics the style of hand-drawn artwork, regardless of whether or not it’s done with pencil and paper or all on a computer. Thankfully, that’s just what we get in the bank’s newest ad, which comes from one of anime’s top veteran action directors, plus one of its most accomplished voice actors.

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