Newlyweds on honeymoon in Japan beat up convenience store clerk, get arrested

Although my wife and I have taken several trips together since getting married, we still haven’t gone on an official honeymoon. My old job required me to work weekends and I couldn’t take any time off around the date of our wedding ceremony, so I was back in the office two days after saying “I do.”

As such, my wife and I didn’t get to do the typical newlywed travel activities. You know, things like toasting each other with champagne every night for a week, lounging on the beach and giggling as we call each other Mr. and Mrs. Baseel, or beating the hell out of a convenience store clerk, like the Chinese newlyweds who are not only just married, but were also just arrested in Japan.

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That moment when Google Maps tells you there’s a crab claw somewhere…and there actually is!

Japan is full of places with unusual names, like Kinugawa (“Angry Demon River”), which caused all the flooding earlier this month. So, it’s understandable that when someone sees a place marked Crab Claw (“カニの爪” pronounced “kani no tsume”) on Google Maps, they might think it’s the name of a hill or some quirky little fishing village.

But one Japanese Twitter user decided to investigate and went to get a look at what this “Crab Claw” actually was. It turns out Google Maps wasn’t being coy or silly — it was being 100 percent literal!

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Domestic culture shock – 30 things people from Hokkaido experience when they move to Tokyo

When foreigners first move to Tokyo, they’re often amazed and overwhelmed by Japan’s biggest bustling metropolis. But sometimes culture shock can be more localized, and just because you haven’t left the country doesn’t mean there aren’t any surprises in store when you move to a new town.

Hokkaido has more than five times the area of any other Japanese prefecture, and the lowest population density in the country to boot. So when someone born and raised on the northern island moves down south to Tokyo, which is more than 90 times as crowded as Hokkaido, he’s sure to be surprised by a lot of things, and here are 30 of them.

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Fisherman catches unreal-looking fish off the coast of Japan, turns out to be quite harmless

Yikes! What must have been going through the minds of a group of Japanese fishermen when they caught the shocking fish pictured above off the coast of Hokkaido? It’s a face that could keep anyone up at night with that gargantuan, gaping mouth.

Actually, on second thought, the big guy’s kind of growing on us…

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Hokkaido’s “White Shell Road” is gorgeous, makes us want to take a road trip! 【Photos】

In Hokkaido, there is an area of hilly countryside along the Souya Cape in Wakkanai, with peaks reaching from 20 to 400 metres above sea level. The area, known as Souyakyuuryou, features an idyllic backdrop of the Soya Strait, and with its wind farm and rolling hills it’s said to be reminiscent of the Netherlands. (It also reminds some people of the Ghibli classic Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind!)

But by far the coolest thing about the area is that it also has a country road that used to be a plain old dirt road until they decided to make it pretty – with crushed white shells!

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Man exposes himself in Hokkaido, Twitter wonders if it was Death Note’s Ryuk

A tweet by UHB News, a Hokkaido-based news show, received a lot of attention online late last week for its description of an unusual event involving a case of public exposure. Though nothing anyone would consider especially important news, the tweet was retweeted over 10,000 times in just a few days.

What could have engaged that many people? Well, if you’re a fan of Death Note, you might recognize a certain part of this description…

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Rice field art: Star of Ted 2 appears in Japanese rice field this summer

Summer in Japan means festivals, fireworks and a host of annual events designed to bring people together despite the searing heat. And as the sun beats down on fields across the nation, there’s one special rice paddy that’s slowly taking shape, transforming into a very unique piece of art ready to greet crowds of adoring admirers over the next two months.

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Our 7 best conveyor-belt sushi restaurants in Sapporo

When you think of the Hokkaido city of Sapporo, you probably think of winter. After all, this is the city that hosts the annual Yuki Matsuri snow festival where massive ice sculptures line its bustling streets, and millions of people stop by the city every year while en route to Niseko for some ski or snowboarding fun.

But when Japanese people think of Sapporo, they tend to think summer, when the far-north metropolis boasts cool, mild weather and abundant nature in a season where much of Honshu is blanketed in oppressive heat and humidity; the kind that makes you physically angry every time you step out the door.

Anticipating an influx of Japanese tourists to the area, our Japanese sister site recently put together its top picks for the best conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Sapporo, and we thought we’d share, since, honestly, Sapporo is a really, really nice place to visit this time of year and their seafood is to die for.

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Looking for great sushi near Sapporo? Try this hidden restaurant in an airport souvenir shop

Even in a country of unabashedly passionate foodies, Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s major islands, holds a special place in diners’ hearts and appetites. No trip to Hokkaido is complete without sampling some of its famous seafood, but most travelers arrive by plane. That means having to get to the airport ahead of time for your flight home, and between that and taking care of any last-minute souvenir shopping, sometimes you have to make the heart-wrenching decision to give up on one last Hokkaido sushi meal.

Unless, of course, you hit this amazing sushi restaurant that’s not only inside Hokkaido’s principal airport, but also inside a souvenir shop!

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Japan Bucket List II: 8 places you need to visit to really understand Japan

We at RocketNews24 believe that to truly understand a country’s people you need to know something about their history and where they came from. So following last week’s popular Japan Bucket List: Things you need to do to really understand Japan, this week we offer you eight places that contributed greatly to the development of Japan, its culture, and people.

Get ready to take your understanding of the Japanese people a step further with eight historical places that have helped shaped them into the people they are today. Let’s go!

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2015 best Japanese hotels, based on their breakfasts

Soft beds, nice views, good location; sure, these are all important factors when choosing a hotel, but what really makes a hotel, or even a trip, memorable is the food, more specifically, the breakfast.

Everyone needs a good breakfast to start their day, so why not eat the best of the best? Next time you’re in the area, you should probably check out one of the Japanese hotels with the most delicious breakfasts.

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Proof that booze makes you more beautiful: Suntory releases new beer full of collagen

Japanese women have been nomming on collagen for quite a while now. Collagen is the main structural protein of the various connective tissues of animals, and advocates believe that chowing down on plenty of the stuff leads to beautiful skin. This belief is so pervasive in Japan that store shelves are practically groaning under the weight of products with added collagen.

Dumping spoonfuls of the powdered stuff into our protein shakes and slurping down hotpots with balls of the stuff floating in isn’t enough, though! Now we can get drunk AND beautiful at the same time with this new collagen-infused happoshu beer from Suntory!

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We sample blue Drift Ice Curry from the India of the Okhotsk Sea

Earlier this month our reporter Mr. Sato paid a visit to the northern land of Hokkaido and their Adashiri Prison Museum. There he sampled of their pickles and prison beer but also found a bevy of other souvenirs for the region.

One item in particular stood out among those various trinkets and snacks. Its name is Drift Ice Curry and it was inspired by the tranquil beauty of ice that flows through the Okhotsk Sea from mid-February to early March. It’s a phenomenon that’s you’d probably least expect be depicted in a curry, which is exactly why Mr. Sato had to try it.

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Woman loses an eye from foul ball at Sapporo Dome, sues team for millions of yen

Imagine you’re sitting in the Sapporo Dome, cheering for the Nippon Ham Fighters home team, when suddenly you hear the unmistakable crack of a bat. You look up to see where the ball is, only to have it come crashing down right in your eye. Quite the painful end to your evening, sure, but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg; you’re now blind in that eye.

That’s exactly what happened to one woman back in 2010 when a foul ball hit her full in the face, blinding her in one eye. And after years of deliberation, the Sapporo courts have finally reached a decision on her case against the stadium and team.

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Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives

We all know the truth about cats and dogs. They’re secretly plotting our demise with adorable antics that keep us distracted from our lives, both online and in the real world.

But what about wild animals? Usually the subject of serious documentaries, nature’s fauna seem to have a more mature approach to life than your average piano-playing cat or yoga-loving dog. But that doesn’t mean they’re not adorable!

Meet six of the cutest wild animals you’ve seen, all hailing from the cold upper reaches of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido. From fluffy carnivores to a genuine Pikachu lookalike, these little critters will melt your heart!

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Butter-flavored Kit Kats come to Japan as new specialty store opens in Hokkaido

In the year since it opened in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro, we’ve become big fans of the Kit Kat Chocolatory, the specialty store for the chocolate-covered wafers that’re especially popular in Japan. As a matter of fact, somewhere in the course of our multiple visits to procure the latest and greatest Kit Kat flavors, we’ve forgotten what life was like before the shop opened.

But while we’re living in the land of plenty with two different Chocolatory locations in Tokyo (the second is near Tokyo Station), not all of Japan is so fortunate. Until now, only residents of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagoya could claim their town had its own Kit Kat paradise.

That’s about to change, though, as a new Kit Kat Chocolatory is opening soon in Hokkaido, and bringing a new flavor with it: butter.

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Mr. Sato channels his inner Elsa, books a night at a Hokkaido ice hotel 【Photos】

February: the time when most of us in the northern hemisphere look at the calendar in despair as spring takes its sweet time to arrive. It’s also the perfect month to get away to a warmer locale, soak up some sun and recharge yourself to be able to get through the last (hopefully) weeks of winter.

But instead of packing a swimsuit and sunscreen for that trip to the beach, our beloved reporter Mr. Sato instead decided to fully embrace winter and booked a stay at an ice hotel in Hokkaido for a vacation he’ll never forget or let (it) go.

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Mr. Sato visits the Retro Space Saka Hall, full of syringes, Mediocrity, and bittersweet memories

While visiting the city of Sapporo, our adventurous reporter Mr. Sato stumbled upon this bizarre looking complex called the Retro Space Saka Hall. The whole place looked incredibly sketchy, but that was right up his alley.

Little did he know, however, that this dingy-looking industrial complex nestled in snow would almost move him to tears.

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Say “I love you” with seaweed: Message kombu is the tastiest way to tell her you care

As you may have noticed, Japan has pretty much mastered the art of sprucing up food. We’ve already seen a plethora of tools to create bear-shaped rice or smiley face sausages, but we’re particularly excited about a certain product we just discovered up north in Hokkaido. They’re called “message kombu” and the heartfelt messages made out of seaweed are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

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As foreign tourists come streaming in, Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport nears breaking point

World-class skiing; Japan’s largest national park; even ice hotels. For those who are looking to experience Japan outside of Tokyo or Kyoto, Hokkaido remains a prime destination. Indeed, as the last major island to be settled by the Japanese, Hokkaido arguably stands out from the rest of the nation in everything from topography to daily life.

It seems the secret is out of the bag. Taking advantage of a weak yen, travelers from Southeast Asia are flying en masse to the island of Hokkaido. However, this influx has proved to be a double-edged sword. While the tourist boom is certainly bringing money into local economies, it is also straining transportation resources–perhaps nowhere more than at New Chitose Airport.

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