cute

Tokyo zoo’s snow leopard capture drill is organized, efficient, and adorably costumed 【Video】

For animal-lovers, a visit to the zoo can make for a delightful afternoon. Nothing quite spoils the enjoyment, though, like carnivorous animals escaping their enclosures and running amok.

As such, it’s incredibly important that zookeepers, such as the ones at Tokyo’s Tama Zoological Park, develop and drill recapture procedures for escaped animals. And if such exercises involve someone dressing up in an adorable snow leopard costume and flailing around like a predatory cat that’s had one too many Ebisu beers? Well, that’s just icing on the cake.

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Wild squirrel attaches itself to man’s leg in one of Japan’s cutest animal attacks, but why?

For the most part, you can walk through the mountains and forests of Japan without fear of being accosted by wild animals. Sure, some areas post signs asking hikers to beware of bears, boars, or monkeys, but for the most part, you’ll find Japanese fauna to be as hospitable and unobtrusive as the Japanese people themselves.

Unless, of course, you give them a reason to start chasing you down, like this man did with this squirrel.

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The foxes at Kitsune Village are back to kill you… with more cuteness 【Video】

We’ve introduced you to the impossibly adorable wonderland of cute known as Zao Kitsune Village before, but these little guys are so darn cute we just can’t help ourselves. The zoo, located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan has over 100 little fox fluff-balls running free through the park grounds. A walk through the Kitsune Village, with all that cute running around you, is probably akin to a walk through heaven.

And for those of you still wondering what the fox says? We have some video evidence for you to hear for yourselves!

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Even a master Japanese painter was up for some adorable monkey business

Jakuchu Ito (伊藤若冲), who lived from 1716-1800, was one of Japan’s most prolific painters during the nation’s Edo period of isolation from the rest of the world. The majority of his works were in the form of hanging scroll paintings, and while they often depicted incredibly intricate scenes from the natural world, one Japanese net user was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this picture of a mother and child gibbon that appears decidedly more playful in nature, and it’s sure to melt your heart!

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Cats in places they shouldn’t be, humans and spirits just have to deal【Photos】

If it’s worth saying once, it’s worth repeating hundreds of times over, cats own everything. It doesn’t matter what an object’s original purpose was, or who it was built for, because according to the cat, it was built for them.

It’s said that cats are also spiritual animals, that they can see spirits and beings that we humans can’t. Which is why, when you think about it, a cat moving into a shrine set up specifically for spirits, doesn’t makes a lot of sense. Because if cats can communicate with the other world, wouldn’t the two of them have a debate over who is the main tenant?

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One story, three versions. Toyota ads evoke our emotions, remind us we’re all human [Video]

First loves, first cars, best friends and beautiful scenery; Toyota is hitting all the right notes with their newest car commercials/web movies, entitled “The World is One,”  for their “Toyota Next One” campaign. The commercial itself is really cute, if not borderline risqué for a second, but when you learn that there are actually three versions of the exact same commercial, taking place in three different countries, the charm is taken to a whole new level and gives new meaning to the tagline at the end, “We’re all driving on the same road.”

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Pig-shaped chocolates: The perfect candy to pig out on this Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day coming soon, and Japan valuing presentation almost as much as flavor when it comes to food, chocolate-lovers are always on the lookout for sweets that are as eye-catching as they are delicious. Sometimes, confectioners’ quest for a new look takes them to bold and intriguing new places. Others though, such as this chocolate heart that looks more like the kind you’d see in a cardiology journal than on a Valentine’s card, aren’t quite so appealing.

So if you’d like your chocolates to look not just unique, but also appetizing (or at least like something people regularly eat), maybe these chocolate pigs from Tokyo candy maker tutto bene are just what you’re looking for.

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Asses of love: 7-Eleven’s heart-shaped treats give new meaning to term “steamed buns”

Walk into any Japanese convenience store during the colder part of the year, and along with such welcome refreshments as heated cans of coffee and bottles of tea you’ll find a case of steamed buns. The orthodox version is stuffed with minced pork and vegetables, but curry and pizza sauce steamed buns are pretty easy to find, too.

Some convenience stores even offer sweet varieties, like 7-Eleven is doing now with its chocolate cream steamed buns. Since they’ve been released just in time for Valentine ’s Day, they’re even shaped like little pink hearts. Or, that was the plan at least, but to some people, they look more like little pink butts.

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Korean fitness guru goes from cute to drop-dead gorgeous, sparks beauty standards debate 【Photos】

While it’s hard to believe, not everyone is born fitting perfectly into the extremely high (and sometimes, a little repetitive) standards of what a person “should” look like. Recently, some Korean net users were reminded of this little fact of life when they came across photos of a gorgeously curvaceous South Korean fitness instructor during her days as a cute girl-next-door type.

Not believing the woman could become this dramatically beautiful without the help of a good plastic surgeon, the before and after pics sparked a debate about beauty standards and why we care so much about how we look. Click below to see more photos of the fitness guru who went from cute to va-va-voom.

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Mini-mania! Real Japanese food, but in hamster-sized portions 【Video】

We see a lot of unusual things here at RocketNews24, coming in all shapes and sizes, but there is always a little squeal in our hearts when we find a miniature version of…anything. We’ve talked about mini-bonsai, mini-theater seats, mini-books, mini ninja houses, and of course the hamster that tends his own tiny bar. But none of these mini-parties are enough; there needs to be some mini-food! Better yet, how about some tiny food made with real ingredients! It’s time to break out your miniature kitchen sets!

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Krispy Kreme Japan’s adorable Easter chick donut is back with sakura and strawberry friends

With just one month of winter left, it’s time to start looking ahead for all the great things spring promises. And while we’re all happy about getting some extra daylight and the prospect of being able to wear fewer than three layers of clothes whenever we step out our front door, we’re even more excited that Krispy Kreme Japan is once again whipping up a special group of Easter donuts, which promise to be just as adorable as they were last year and possibly even more delicious.

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Men of Japan becoming worringly enamoured with pair of 13-year-old Taiwanese twins

Japan’s love for the women of Taiwan has been skyrocketing recently. There’s been everything from the dressed-up McDonald’s employees in Taiwan, to that “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei, to a random Taiwan news reporter, to the borderline creepy Taiwanese schoolgirl photo album.

The most recent Taiwanese girl craze is definitely part of that last “borderline creepy” category. It’s a pair of 13-year-old Taiwanese performers known as “Sandy & Mandy” who have over a million likes and followers on Facebook, and now, seemingly just as many Japanese men falling in love with them as well.

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“Dogs out! Luck In!” These cosplaying pooches are the cutest Setsubun “oni” you’ll ever see

While North America has its silly Groundhog’s Day festivities on February 2, Japan counters with even sillier Setsubun celebrations on February 3. 

Festivities take place at temples, shrines and family homes. Usually the oldest male in the house puts on an oni (ogre or demon) mask and the rest of the people throw fukumame, literally “fortune beans” but really just dried soy beans, at them, then slam the door in the oni‘s big red face, while shouting “Demons out! Luck in!” to ceremonially expel demons from their homes and welcome good fortune for the coming year.

Some Japanese dog owners altered the celebrations a little this year, making their dogs the oni and thus creating the cutest little “demons” you’ll ever see. 

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8 photos of Hana-chan chillaxing will make you as happy as a hedgehog on spa day

We all need pampering now and then. Whether it’s a good massage or a mani-pedi at the nail salon, a little me-time goes a long way towards helping you smile and unwind after a long week at work.

If it’s been a while since you last spoilt yourself with a relaxing spa visit, these photos are sure to remind you of what you’re missing. Meet Hana-chan the hedgehog, a girl who enjoys a regular grooming ritual so relaxing it makes her fall asleep with a satisfied smile. This is the most chillaxed animal you’ll see all day!

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Cats and snow: The quickest way to make a cuteness train

On the Internet, there is little that people can agree on. From politics to the current state of anime, commenters can be relied on to pull out the metaphorical daggers over the sight of a dissenting opinion. That is with one magnificent exception: Cats! Cute and cuddly, it’s almost impossible to find something wrong with cats.

Okay, that’s not entirely true, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone kvetching about this indecisive kitty, except its slave…sorry, owner!

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Think Japanese news is boring? Try it with some cats!

Sometimes the news can get a little heavy-handed. Topics like terrorism or tax hikes can raise blood pressure, cause grumbling about the horrible state of the world, and eventually get to the point where it’s just so boring that you shut it off.

But one news show has figured out a way to keep viewers interested, even during the difficult parts: just have a cute cat walk around the news desk and be generally adorable while everyone is talking about serious subjects.

We’re not kitten you, it’s fur-real.

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Disney’s Baymax appears in curry, hot pots, and more, thanks to cheesy food-based pun【Photos】

You might not guess it, given the country’s well-known acceptance of stoicism as an admirable virtue, but Japan absolutely loves puns. In fact, the characteristics of the Japanese language, such as multiple potential pronunciations for the same kanji character, make it a veritable pun-producing machine.

For example, the character for “rice,” 米, is usually read as kome. When it’s combined with other characters, though, it’s read as mai or bei, with the latter being pronounced like the English word “bay.”

Of course, that also means bei is pronounced like the first half of Baymax, the loveable caretaker/combat robot from Disney’s Big Hero 6. And now that Japanese fans of the film have figured out how to put a little rice into Baymax, they’re also coming up with ways to put a little Baymax into their meals by making Baymax curry rice, rice balls, and nabe hot pots.

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Woman’s best friend: Possibly the sweetest photos of a grandma and her cat you will ever see

For over a decade, Japanese photographer Miyoko Ihara has been capturing the amazing bond that has developed between her grandmother, Misao, and Fukumaru – the white, odd-eyed cat her grandmother found as a stray kitten. The two have remained nearly inseparable, and the bond they share shows in the beautiful photos that Ihara takes.

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Friends too busy to go to the Pokémon Cafe? No problem! Pikachu himself will sit with you

If you’re a Pokémon fan who’s feeling blue over missing your chance to eat at the limited-time restaurants based on the series that previously appeared in Yokohama and Tokyo’s Roppongi neighborhood, cheer up. Until the end of February, the Pokémon Cafe is back again, this time in the trendy part of Tokyo called Shibuya, and looks to be cuter than ever.

Unfortunately, when you combine food and cuteness in one of the busiest cities on earth, you also get long lines. Helping to make the wait worth it, though, is the possibility of having a meal while sharing your table with a very special dining companion, Pikachu.

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Kitties, doggies, bunnies, and deer – even more stuff balanced on Japan’s pets!

Earlier in the week, we reported that the phenomenon of putting weird stuff on your pet and taking a photo of it was having a revival on Twitter in Japan. Today, we’re delighted to bring you even more pictures of a range of fuzzy animals with stuff precariously balanced on them!

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