design

Narita Airport’s new budget terminal has running track floors, mattress-inspired sofas 【Video】

Narita Airport is the Tokyo area’s largest access point for air travelers. This month, the terminal added a new terminal specifically designed for low-cost carriers and budget travelers, but as this sneak peak video shows, affordable can overlap with innovative and stylish, as Terminal 3 is set to prove that you don’t have to spend big to help people travel in ease and comfort.

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Uniqlo introduces new international range of authentic and stylish Kabuki-inspired clothing

Kabuki’s not just a fascinatingly odd spectacle of Japanese traditional performance art, it’s also the last word in style. The Kabuki “look” has been cropping up lately in areas as diverse as nail art and face masks. One of our RocketNews24 writers even tried out the Kabuki face mask and loved it.

And now, totally stylish and not at all lame fashion brand UNIQLO is getting in on a piece of the Kabuki action with their new range of clothing, UNIQLO X Shochiku Kabuki!

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Creatively designed sushi roll towels give daily life a little extra flavor

When made properly, sushi rolls can be a pretty colorful and nicely designed food. There’s the white of the rice contrasting with the black/dark green of the seaweed, and then there are the colorful main ingredients, such as bright-orange ikura, green cucumber, yellow egg, and deep-red tuna. Maybe it’s this presentation that has drawn many companies to make products modeled after everyone’s favorite raw fish roll.

In the past year, a couple of brands have come out with incredibly cute and creative sushi roll towels. Unfolded, they look just like interestingly patterned towels, but bundled up, they turn into sushi rolls that look so delicious you’ll want to take a bite!

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Kumiko: The exquisitely delicate side of traditional Japanese woodwork

A few weeks ago we introduced you to the world of traditional Japanese woodwork, a technique that uses no nails or hardware, just precise joints, to keep furniture and even buildings together. This technique is also used to create intricate, wooden, functional artwork, known as kumiko, which is used within Japanese style-rooms to create a stunning atmosphere.

The traditional handicraft has been passed down for centuries, however, the trade is sadly dying out. In response, artisans are taking the age-old concept and applying the designs to more modern-day household items, such as chairs and lampshades. The results are nothing short of exquisite!

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Salute your soy – the designer of Kikkoman’s iconic red-capped soy sauce bottle has died

The next time you sit down to enjoy a meal in a Japanese or Chinese restaurant, or perhaps this very evening when you open your kitchen cupboard at home, be sure to give your red-capped bottle of soy sauce a tiny salute. The designer of the now-iconic Kikkoman soy sauce bottle, Kenji Ekuan, has died at the age of 85.

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We’re struggling to find the Japan in Bose’s new “JAPAN CONCEPT MODEL” headphones

What’s that you say? Bose headphones in two brand new limited edition Japanese designs? Well, that sounds right up our street!

American audio specialists Bose continue to lead the noise-cancelling headphone market, but at US$250-$300, their QuietComfort 25 headphones are something of an investment. So what have the designers at Bose done with these new limited-edition “Japan Concept” headphones to warrant the bumped-up 43,200 yen ($366) price tag?

Why, they’ve made them in “Japanese colours” like black and gold, of course!

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ChocolaTexture offers nine flavors of chocolate… without changing the flavor at all

When it comes to food, I’ve always placed a higher emphasis on texture rather than the actual taste of it. While I love peanut butter or finely chopped almonds, for example, the nuts themselves in their natural form usually make me gag.

So it was with great excitement that I learned about ChocolaTexture, which is a range of nine chocolates all using the exact same recipe but crafted in different shapes and textures. As a result each chocolate is said to have a distinct “taste” despite being made from the exact same ingredients.

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Get some Nintendo on your Sony with these PS4 skins (Oh, and they have an Evangelion one too!)

As odd a concept as it may sound to some, had the 1991 deal between Nintendo and Sony gone off without a hitch, not only might the PlayStation brand as we know it today not even exist, but gamers the world over might be able to play titles like Super Mario 3D World and Wii Sports on Sony-made hardware. Instead, with Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft all vying for our hard-earned cash, console gamers are faced with a choice: choose a platform to invest in or live on nothing but baked beans for a year and buy them all.

If you’re a Sony fan and have already picked up a PS4, no doubt you’re as pleased with your purchase as we were with ours. But there’s no denying that Nintendo’s creations have a certain appeal to them, and few of Sony’s first-party characters could ever compete with Mario et al. Thankfully, third-party retailer LUCKY D has you – and your PlayStation – covered, as they’re selling sticker skins for PlayStation 4 featuring everything from Pikachu to Evangelion‘s Asuka.

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Gov’t considering to change Japanese passport design by 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering changing the design of the pages of Japanese passports in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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Malaysian finalist wins this year’s Gunpla builder’s World Cup

The victors of Bandai’s annual Gunpla Builders World Cup have been crowned, with the title going to Malaysia’s Andy Wong, whose “Invaders Found” model and diorama was modified from the Master Grade PMX-003 The O kit.

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【TBT】Japanese manga plates bring food to life

Most Japanese children have likely been scolded at least once for bringing manga to the dinner table. However, we’ve found a creatively designed set of plates that make comic books an integral part of any meal.

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Now that’s clever! Yurikamome line’s new ergonomic seats are designed to keep you in your place

There’s something about being on public transport that seems to bring out the worst in us. Whether we’re talking on our phones, bringing smelly food onboard, or taking sly swigs of chūhai when we think no one’s looking, most of us are guilty of some kind of train faux pas.

A company in Japan has come up with an ingenious design solution to a very particular kind of anti-social behaviourpeople taking up more than their fair share of space on the train.

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University students in China design two-meter-wide apartment you could almost live in

Living in a city is great in many respects–there is an abundance of cultural activities, great restaurants, museums, music, and unique people to meet. But all those unique people, unfortunately, need places to stay! Of course, if you have a full-time job, you can probably find somewhere to hang your hat, but for students or others living a tight budget, even a studio apartment can start to seem like a luxury. For many, that means shared housing, which is a great solution if you have a good friend to stay with–not so much if you need your privacy.

One team of Chinese students may have found a solution through the magic of ergonomic design and clever use of space. Check out their mock-up of this cozy two-meter-wide (6.5-foot-side) apartment below!

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16 fancy eggs from Japanese bento lunch boxes

Eggs are greatly underrated in the bento world. It’s usually rice and all the fun forms it can be molded into or seaweed and its ability to be cut into any shape that takes center stage in lunch boxes across Japan. But the humble egg can be quite fancy in the hands of a highly skilled and creative cook. Let’s take a look at 16 fancy eggs from Japanese kitchens!

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These candy-inspired chairs look good enough to eat

If you ever wished you could visit the infamous candy house from Hansel and Gretel, then have we got the chair for you! Looking absolutely delectable and fairytale-ready, this “Hard Candy Stool” from Taiwanese designer, Jojo Chuang is the perfect combination of function and fantasy.

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Enjoy a holiday at your desk with a hammock for your feet

When crazy ideas work, they can be genius. And if that little spark of genius makes our working day just that little bit easier to get through, it’s got to be applauded and shared.

So, without further ado, we bring you the foot hammock. With benefits for your physical and emotional well-being, there’s never been an easier way to rest your body and your mind while at work.

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Wagashi chef crafts amazing edible characters with leftover scraps 【Photos】

Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets usually made from mochi, bean paste, or fruit.  If you’ve been to Japan or a nice Japanese restaurant, perhaps you enjoyed one sculpted to look like a flower, crane or some other very old-fashioned Japanese image.

Like most things in Japan, no matter how venerable, give it enough time and it will be kawaii-ified. Enter sweets shop Kuramoto Hinode, where a veteran wagashi chef has begun crafting anime and pop culture based sweets with leftover bits and bobs.

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The world of the future, according to North Korean architect

The interconnectedness of today’s world has been a real boon to artists, scientists, designers, futurists, and pretty much anyone who thrives on the free exchange of ideas. If you asked a kid from South Africa to draw the city of the future, it would be equally likely and unsurprising for her to design futuristic skyscrapers reminiscent of the Burj Khalifa or hobbit hole-like underground eco-houses.

But what if you were from North Korea? What if you didn’t have Internet and had never left your own country? What would the city of the future look like to you?

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Ninja restaurant designer creates tiny villages in bonsai trees

If you’ve ever wanted to see villages and merchant markets from your favourite role-playing games come to life, then we’ve got quite the collection for you. These are the amazing three-dimensional artworks of Takanori Aiba, a Japanese artist who also designed Ninja Akasaka, the famous ninja restaurant in Tokyo and the 1958-themed Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum.

Aiba is now drawing on his experience in architecture and combining it with his origins as a maze illustrator to produce stunning worlds within the tiny branches of bonsai trees and out of the crevices of unique rocks. From Ghibli-style seaside towns to a bustling hotel built inside the body of the Michelin man, these elaborate designs will simply take your breath away.

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