cute

Kichijoji’s Kotori Cafe serves up adorable bird-themed desserts, serenades you with birdsong

Where once felines reigned supreme, themed cafes featuring a wide variety of animals are popping up all over Japan, from countryside hideaways to cafes in high-end shopping districts. So far we’ve seen cat, rabbit, and owl cafes and they are becoming increasingly common sights.

But what if you’re not a fan of those particular animals? Fear not! The latest addition to the cafe scene gives you yet another option – to enjoy your afternoon latte in the company of cute little birds!

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Meet Chiyomaru: the cutest gosh-darn sumo wrestler you’ll ever see

One proven way to go viral on the internet is to be unbearably cute. Although it’s a path often taken by pets, women, kids, and pastries, it’s pretty rare to come across a sumo wrestler who pulls in online comments such as “I feel soothed by his unmatched cuteness.”

However, that’s just what Kazuki Kinoshita who wrestles under the name Kazuki Chiyomaru has done in Japan. A candid shot of him napping has become an internet hit and led to other pictures which further consolidate his new title of the world’s cutest sumo wrestler.

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Noodle-tossing bunny is the most random, hypnotic Vine you’ll see today

While she may not be quite so well-known abroad, My Melody, one of cute factory Sanrio’s many mascots, is kind of a big deal here in Japan. Over at the Sanrio Puroland theme park, throngs of kids and women old enough to know better flip out and squeal with delight at the very sight of the hood-wearing bunny, and Sanrio makes a small fortune each year from My Melody-themed merchandise.

But none of that really explains this video recently released by Sanrio Puroland, which plays an endless loop of My Melody aggressively tossing noodles in a sieve. In total silence.

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You know it’s hot in Japan when the birds are taking iced tea baths

During the summer in Japan, it’s a constant battle between trying to save energy and keeping yourself from melting in the hot, humid weather. Some choose to use deodorizing wipes to keep the stink and sweat away, others simply indulge in Japan’s irresistible ice cream for some eco-friendly relief. But what if you’re a pet bird with an energy-conscious owner who refuses to keep the house cool? This little parakeet has found the solution: a cool dip in someone’s glass of iced tea!

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Chubby Chocobo plush is as round as he is adorable

The slim, sleek Chocobo that populate the Final Fantasy world may be much better for covering long distances and racing, but as far as cuddling goes, Fat Chocobo might take the cake.

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Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Even though it’s been a week since we made the trip to downtown Yokohama to see the packs of roaming Pikachus, and we’ve still got a warm fuzzy feeling. Actually, warm and fuzzy is also an apt description of the lovable pocket monsters’ plush yellow coats, which brings up a concern.

Cuddly softness is all fine and good when Pikachu is handing out hugs, but what about when he goes back to his regular duties of fighting other Pokémon? Shouldn’t he be wrapped in something a bit more durable, like his own custom set of samurai armor?

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Japanese mother creates beautiful, educational bentos that resemble Japan’s prefectures

Making eye-catching bento lunch boxes is a big deal in Japan. Walk into any bookstore and you’re bound to find a least a dozen books teaching you how to make adorable characters out of rice and seaweed. Amble by any off-campus elementary school event where the kids are required to bring a lunch from home, and you’ll hear squeals of “KAWAIII!!!” as someone’s mom most definitely made Pikachu out of cheese. But while most bento feature cute vocaloids or giant titans, this mother’s lunches have an educational twist. Let’s take a tour of Japan’s prefectures made out of food by talented mother and Twitter user, Sasariri.

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The Amazing Eggman – This net user’s long-lost picture book will brighten your day

If your closet is as jammed-packed with stuff as mine is, you’re bound to come across some old school papers or pieces of artwork sooner or later. And when you do, those papers can be your ticket to a hilarious trip down memory lane as you reminisce about the good old days and wonder, “Just what was I thinking at that age?”

Take this Japanese guy, for example. Recently he unearthed a handmade picture book from his elementary school days about a superhero he created called Eggman (sounds like the stuff of legends, right?). He then uploaded the story onto an online forum, where it was quite rightly met with overwhelming praise and no end of ‘kawaii~!’ comments.

If you’re in need of something to put a smile on your face or are just in the mood for an adorable kids’ story, join us after the jump for the heroic adventures of Eggman as he attempts to put an end to the evil plans of Frying Pan Kingdom!

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From the mouths of babes – Kids share their thoughts on love, war and everything in between

Last week, we shared a rather unusual ad from Ryugin, an Okinawa-based bank whose approach to selling loans involves robots, doe-eyed anime girls and more pink hearts than you can shake a stick at. As it turns out, this same banking corporation has quite the eye for attention-grabbing ads, as we’ve just discovered an older TV spot from the same company, titled Children and Philosophy, which poses a series of mostly abstract questions to a group of elementary school kids.

Responding to questions about everything from love and war to what it means to be free, the kids’ answers are at once refreshing, thought-provoking, and painfully sweet, to the point that we’re starting to wonder if they’re the ones who ought to be in charge of the world. Full video after the jump.

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Felt crafting gets bonus cute points with Natsume’s Book of Friends’ Nyanko-Sensei

If you’ve spent enough time loitering around Etsy or Pinterest, you might already know of the ludicrously adorable world of needle felting, and people’s propensities for adorable needle-felted animal crafts. (A cursory search on Etsy also turns up felt Pokémon and Ghibli critters.)

For those just plunging into the world of felt crafting, though, there are plenty of books and kits out there that can show you the way and provide you instructions. Including this one from MOE magazine and crafts author Susa Suna Tomoko (previous works include a book on felt dogs, cats, and woodland creatures).

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Sailor-suited fan’s crazy anime dance gives us a double dose of cuteness and energy 【Video】

Right now there’s no hotter anime or video game franchise among kids than Yo-kai Watch. While we’re sure the high standards of quality at creator Level-5 are a huge factor in its success, at least some fans of the ostensibly for-kids series have said that part of the appeal is that grown-ups haven’t started horning in on tykes’ turf in the same way they have with other popular franchises.

The borders to their children’s paradise might be fading, though, as this video, showing a young lady dancing her heart out to the Yo-Kai Watch ending theme, proves that teens aren’t even remotely too old to get some enjoyment out of the show.

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Mutant parrot-banana hybrids appearing across Japan 【Photos】

That’s right, mutant parrot-banana hybrids! But before you freak out and start boarding up your windows (or perhaps grabbing a napkin and a large net), we should be clear that we are talking about gachapon, the little toys sold in plastic bubbles out of vending machines.

While these fruit and fauna combo toys are hardly the weirdest or even the most nonsensical toy to hit the gachapon scene, they seem to be selling well, with collectors posting pictures on social media of the cute critters interacting with a variety of action figures and other tiny toys.

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Smart kitty claims the toilet faucet as its napping ground, gives only an inch due to running water

Cats are known throughout the world for their amazing ability to put themselves exactly where they don’t belong. Whether they’re plunged deep where the sun doesn’t shine into a narrow crawl space or looking down on their “hoomans” from the attic, there’s no end to their hiding spots.

However, one Japanese Twiter user found her cat in what could best be described as a “compromising” position…under the toilet faucet!

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Pics of Pikachu packs from a day of Pokémon hunting in Yokohama【Video】

A few weeks ago, the handlers of the Pokémon franchise announced the Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu, or “An Outbreak of Pikachus” event. First they brightened our day with a TV ad showing the adorable Pocket Monsters hanging out in a shopping mall. Then they teased us with a photo of the electrified rodents landing on the dock.

And now, they’re here!

We grabbed our cameras and went Pikachu hunting in Yokohama, and we were not disappointed. We were, though, almost completely paralyzed by the awesome overdose of cuteness that comes from a parade of a pack of 20 Pikachus.

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Fighting like cats and dogs? Not these cute little guys! 【Photos】

Sometimes just keeping up with the news makes you despair for humanity. Between all the war, racially motivated killings, ethnic strife, and general meanness, you have to wonder if we will ever be able to get along.

It’s been one of those days and I needed a pick-me-up, so here is a collection of photos of dogs and cats getting along. Because if they can manage to overcome their differences, maybe we can too.

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【Bonus Monday Kickstart】Maru up to usual adorable antics, now featuring window blinds

Still not getting into the swing of things this Monday? What better way to start your Monday than with another adorable video, this time featuring Maru being…well, Maru!

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【Monday Kickstart】Beat the weekly grind with these adorable ‘jamming baby owls’

Who‘s got to go to work, you ask? Not us!, is what these two adorable owlets seem to be saying as they lazily bob back and forth in this YouTube video. These fuzzy little guys have even been popping up on Japanese websites, so we thought we’d spread the kawaiiness some more. No matter how dreary your Monday may be, keep calm and ‘jam’ with these owls!

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Hello Kitty takes to the stage for the Sanrio musical【Photos】

We recently paid a visit to Sanrio Puroland, the Tokyo amusement park dedicated to the characters created by the company that gave the world Hello Kitty. After arriving, our first order of business was grabbing an adorable Kitty-chan burger and My Melody stack of pancakes.

But cute character-based food is only half of the recipe for a successful theme park in Japan. The other is live shows, so we grabbed a seat for the park’s Hello Kitty musical, where we snapped pictures and even recorded a couple videos.

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Miffy found trapped in vending machine, may need help from ninja frog to escape

On the surface, being a beloved children’s character might seem like it’s all hugs and smiles. In the harsh world of reality, though, being so soft and cuddly, with no offensive capabilities, can have its downsides.

It was only a week ago, for example, that Sesame Street’s Elmo was discovered tied to a stake in the hinterlands of Japan, his mouth wide open as, we assumed, he screamed for help. Next on the list of cute captives: Dutch storybook bunny Miffy, who was found trapped inside a vending machine.

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“Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】

This short video from Pampers Japan takes a moment to celebrate not just baby’s, but mother’s first birthday. It sounds a little bit cheesy, and yes, it was ultimately made by a multinational company promoting their brand of nappies (or diapers in non-British parlance), but it is nevertheless insanely moving, and we challenge you not to cry, or at least tear up, while watching it.

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