Five beautiful pylon designs that belong in Japan

Whenever we see something that’s cute, huge and blows our minds, we generally look to Japan as the source behind the creation. While they’ve proved they can be design innovators in oversized sushi, and the creation of fluffy giant cats, there’s one area where Japan has a lot to learn from other countries, and its something that exists around the country in abundance: power lines.

Often seen towering over rice fields, propped up on the side of mountains and jutting out beyond the high rises, wouldn’t it be significantly more amazing if the ordinary-looking transmission tower had the occasional smiley face or pair of gigantic arms like a colossal Titan? We take a look at some amazing electricity pylon designs from around the world, in the hope that one day, Japan will turn its keen design eye in their direction.

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Lexus pays homage to its Japanese workers by building a driveable origami car out of cardboard

Lexus has always admired the skills of the craftsmen and women who work on their production lines in Japan. Known as takumi, these highly trained Japanese production workers hone their dexterity skills by learning to fold an origami cat in 90 secondsusing only their non-dominant hand.

Now, Lexus UK has unveiled a stunning tribute to these skilled workers by creating a life-sized replica of the Lexus IS, using 1,700 pieces of laser-cut cardboard in what they’re calling the “Origami Car”. Complete with an electric motor, the cardboard vehicle can actually be driven. With the cardboard seats and interior, it won’t be an entirely practical, or legal, ride, but it would certainly be a memorable one!

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Photos reveal Yamaha and Suzuki’s startlingly different approaches to scooter storage space

In the US, you don’t see a whole lot of people putting around on tiny scooters very often. The long highway commutes and high speed limits make your standard Vespa types pretty impractical for all but the most dedicated of Williamsburg hipsters.

It’s another story in Japan, though, where road commutes are comparatively shorter and speed limits within the city are only a little faster than a light jog anyway. Scooters are a common sight and come in tons of varieties, with two of Japan’s two-wheeled vehicle heavyweights, Suzuki and Yamaha, neck and neck for market share.

But it turns out that the two companies’ nearly identical scooter designs take a remarkably different tack when it comes to storage space. Tennis enthusiasts, especially, may want to take note:

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If Darth Vader owned an iPhone, he’d probably keep it in a stunning wooden ukiyoe Star Wars case

There’s always been a strong connection between Japan and the George Lucas-helmed Star Wars franchise. From the samurai-influenced Darth Vader and Stormtrooper costume designs through to the film’s storyline, which borrows heavily from Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film Hidden Fortress, Lucas himself is the first to admit he owes a lot of his creative inspiration to the Land of the Rising Sun.

So it’s nice to see that Japan is reciprocating the love with a number of Star Wars creations of their own. From samurai-styled figurines to ukiyo-e woodblock prints, these Japanese-styled homages to the epic American film franchise are the perfect way to get ready for the December 18 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And now you can carry the force wherever you go, with a gorgeous wooden iPhone 6 case that’s so beautiful even a Sith Lord would stand in line to buy one.

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Paints Without Names: Japanese set of nameless watercolors seeks to free young artistic minds

While visual arts and linguistics are both creative fields, skill with one isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for the other. After all, as long as you can look at three hues and pick the one best suited for the picture you’re painting, it doesn’t really matter if you know whether to call it fuchsia or periwinkle.

As a matter of fact, some would argue that coupling names and colors limits the imaginations of budding young artists, which is why these two Japanese designers have produced a set of paints for children that have no names on their labels, only splotches of their base component colors.

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Enliven your next lunar party with these beautiful Moon Glasses

Moon watching parties and festivals abound the world over—and with good reason! There’s nothing quite like drinking in the light of a full moon, is there? It’s magical and fun in just the right proportions. And now, thanks to the Korean design company Tale, you can buy the perfect glasses for your next moon viewing party!

These beautiful Moon Glasses mimic the phases of the moon as they’re filled, going from a new moon to a full moon as your pour in your liquid of choice. 

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An end to high heel pain? Japanese designer offers revolutionary and stylish footwear redesign

I’ve always been a little confused by high heels. It’s partially because I’m not so tall myself and don’t really have much of a height advantage to spare (even if my date is wearing flats), and partially because if I’m looking at a woman there are probably enough other things that are going to attract my gaze that she’s likely to ask me to stop staring at her long before I get to her shoes, no matter how nice they may look.

High heels seem like an even odder choice in Japan, where the reliance on public transportation means walking around for long stretches of time in shoes where comfort and mobility seem to have been afterthoughts in the design process. Still, many women in Japan step out in high heels as part of their plan to present a femininely fashionable or snappy professional image. Now, one Japanese designer is trying to help those women not only look good, but help their feet feel good as well with a revolutionary ergonomic redesign of high heels.

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Pokétryoshka: Pokémon Russian dolls we want to own in real life

Matryoshkas have been entertaining children and adults alike since they first appeared in Russia well over a century ago. The tantalising sense of discovery that comes from opening up a wooden doll and revealing a series of increasingly smaller dolls nested inside is a simple pleasure that satisfies our sense of curiosity and provides hours of entertainment.

Now, a clever illustrator has come up with the genius idea of creating matryoshka dolls in the shape of Pokémon characters. And just like the original Russian doll sets, these cute designs slowly turn back time, revealing the evolution of each character from adult to baby. Say hello to the Pokétryoshka: nesting dolls we want to own in real life.

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The Snack Poster: Illustrations to spread the love for authentic Japanese foods

For those unaccustomed to Japanese food, even the most common edibles may seem quite odd and, well, unappetizing, at first glance. The first time you saw monjayaki, did you not think it looked a little…weird? Of course, not all Japanese cuisine is unappealing to the eyes, but even the delicious-looking food is still not widely known throughout the Western world.

A California-based Japanese food blogger is trying to change that. Gaining momentum from the success of her Ramen Poster, artist Fanny has come up with another hand-drawn infographic displaying some of her favorite Japanese street foods and snacks: The Snack Poster.

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We visit Tokyo’s Reversible Destiny Lofts, the apartments designed to make you live forever【Pics】

Incongruous in their grey surroundings, these multicoloured buildings looks like something in a children’s playground, or perhaps an outsized set of toy building blocks. But these colourful constructions are Reversible Destiny lofts—rental apartments in Tokyo’s Mikata City. And the inside of these eccentric properties is just as extraordinary and confusing as the exterior.

But what is “Reversible Destiny” anyway? And how is living in a playful apartment supposed to make you immortal? We sent a reporter from our Japanese sister site Pouch to find out.

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Online auction market booming for posters with cancelled, possibly copied 2020 Olympics emblem

The organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are still wiping the egg from their faces over the controversy surrounding the event’s possibly plagiarized, definitely dropped logo. Not only is the Organising Committee scrambling to prepare a new emblem, it also has to deal with recalling all of the promotional items it had already produced bearing the now cancelled design.

But with the rather convincing accusations that designer Kenjiro Sano copied the emblem coming so late in the game, some of those promotional materials have already made their way into the hands of private parties who are now reselling the sure to be rare items at a premium in online auctions.

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Scratching is the new coloring! Scratch art is the up and coming trendiest hobby in South Korea

We commonly associate coloring books with children, but some months ago, coloring books designed for adults were all the rage in many countries, including Japan. Grown-up coloring books have been around for some time, but the sudden trend triggered off a new supply-and-demand chain reaction, filling the market with more coloring books for adults than ever.

However, in recent months, a somewhat similar yet new hobby has been silently enchanting adults in Korea with its simplistic beauty. Known as “Scratch Night View”, these scratch-off art projects promise breathtaking night views upon completion, and all you have to do is scratch the special board in the specified areas to unveil the beauty hidden in the darkness!

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Japan’s heart and Mickey Mouse-shaped bubble wrap is the cutest thing you’ll ever pop

Bubble wrap lovers everywhere were dealt a blow this summer with the devastating news that the company behind the world’s favourite air-filled packaging was launching a new, unpoppable bubble wrap. Sealed Air Corp., the inventors of bubble wrap back in the 1950s, have come up with a new design for an air-filled wrap that doesn’t burst under pressure.

But here at RocketNews24, we probably won’t be buying regular boring old round bubble wrap ever again anyway, because we’ve discovered that Japan has bubble wrap shaped like hearts and Mickey Mouse heads.

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Kissable coffee cup lids in South Korea bring extra love and awkwardness to every cup

Do you love coffee? Like, really love it? Are you running short on ways to express your true feelings to your latte every morning? Have you ever wanted to make out with your hot beverage friend?

Well now thanks to “Take Kiss Out” coffee lids, you can! Whether you need a pick-me-up peck in the morning, a mid-afternoon make out session, or a snogging at sunset, just snap one on to your coffee and enjoy a hot wet kiss anytime.

Will Take Kiss Out lids be the next big thing, or will we all be friend-zoned by our frappucinos? Read on to find out!

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Western artist challenges Japanese 2020 Olympic logo designer with new logo proposal

So, a little while back there was a bit of a kerfuffle about the official 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo being at least partially plagiarized by designer Kenjiro Sano.

It appears the logo bears more than a passing resemblance to a Belgian theater’s logo design, with the centerpiece typeface structure of the 2020 Olympics logo definitely looking like it was lifted wholesale from the Belgian firm’s design.

With the fate of Sano’s logo in question, a western designer has submitted his own version for consideration by the Olympic Committee and it is, uh… eccentric.

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