Osaka

Osaka airport’s new mascot is adorable, laid-back, possibly drunk

Osaka airport’s new mascot is adorable, laid-back, possibly drunk

Osaka International Airport has a deceptively confusing name. First, although its mailing address is indeed in Osaka, a large portion of the facility actually spills over the border into neighboring Hyogo Prefecture, specifically the city of Itami.

Second, it only has domestic flights, as during the 1990s the overseas traffic was moved to Kansai International Airport, an international airport that’s entirely in Osaka (yet completely separate from Osaka International Airport).

But even if it’s hard to find a shred of logic to the naming of Osaka International Airport, the domestic hub can now fall back on the good looks of its new mascot, the undeniably cute, possibly worrying Sora-yan.

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Take a look at Japan from a whole new angle — from the air! 【Video】

Take a look at Japan from a whole new angle — from the air! 【Video】

Now, chances are you’ve already seen many pictures and video footage from Japan, especially of tourist areas in cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. But this video, shared about a month ago on Vimeo, offers a look at these cities from a very unique perspective — from up in the air! The video, filmed by a tourist visiting Japan, was taken from the perspective of a remote-controlled drone attached with a camera. And while some of the shots captured are of well-known tourist spots, Internet users both inside and outside of Japan seem to have been impressed by how the unique angle gives the familiar scenes quite a new feel! Let’s see what some of the popular sites of Japan look like from up above.

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Two boys beaten and robbed of puffy pants, Osaka slammed for being trapped in the past

Two boys beaten and robbed of puffy pants, Osaka slammed for being trapped in the past

On 20 May, Osaka Prefectural Police announced the arrest of four boys ages 14 and 15 on charges of assault and robbery. The victims were two other male students caught in the act of bontan hunting” which is ganging up on and attacking someone to steal their particular style of puffy pants.

In addition to this heinous crime, as news hit the internet the rest of Japan came down hard on Osaka for having teens who wear fashion and engage in activities that have been out of style for decades.

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Alice in Wonderland shop in Nagoya, another opening in Osaka this week!  

Alice in Wonderland shop in Nagoya, another opening in Osaka this week!  

What if we told you to follow the white rabbit? Would you have the knee-jerk reaction of “hell no!” or would you pull a Neo and see just how deep the rabbit hole goes? If you find yourself in Nagoya or Osaka, following the white rabbit might actually lead you to Wonderland! Tons of shoppers have been doing just that and have been arriving at a store called Alice on Wednesday. The store has been so popular that on the weekends, long lines form in front of the shop, letting you know exactly where the rabbit hole is.

What will you find in Alice’s Wonderland? What makes the store so popular that they are opening a new location in Osaka? You won’t have to take the red pill to find out, just click on through!

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“We’ve got nice breasts!” – Osaka’s eye-catching ads for chicken, pickles, and more

“We’ve got nice breasts!” – Osaka’s eye-catching ads for chicken, pickles, and more

Two things the residents of Osaka are known for are their sense of humor and acute business acumen. This is, after all, the city that produces far more comedians than any other in Japan, and also a town where the local greeting translates to “Are you making any money?”

Just a few blocks west of Osaka Castle you can find a place where these two characteristics mix together. The merchants of the Fuminosato shopping arcade are well aware that passersby are much more likely to put cash in your hand if you can put a smile on their face first, which is just what the local businesses do with their sometimes funny, sometime quirky, always eye-catching posters.

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Judge sets new line for adultery in landmark case, and it doesn’t involve intercourse

Judge sets new line for adultery in landmark case, and it doesn’t involve intercourse

Cheating and adultery are one of the leading causes of divorces and break-ups. No one wants to be cheated on, and for those who do the cheating, the thrill of sneaking around and trying not to get caught is sure to spur some adulterers on. However, at what point is what you are doing considered cheating? For most people, sex is certainly cheating, and kissing someone other than your partner is crossing the line. But is having dinner with someone cheating? Is having lunch? Is spending significant time with someone cheating?

An Osaka judge has drawn a new line in the sand for what is considered adultery in Japan, with one woman suing not her husband but his “mistress”, despite the fact that there was no intercourse involved.

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Osaka man stabbed after argument over boiling crabs leads to bizarre attempted murder

Osaka man stabbed after argument over boiling crabs leads to bizarre attempted murder

On 29 March a basement level restaurant in the bustling Dotombori area of Osaka became the scene of a grisly stabbing, when a part-time cook stabbed his co-worker over an altercation while boiling crabs.

The suspect’s remark of “I don’t get why I’m under arrest” to police as his fellow cook was rushed to hospital for a lacerated abdomen has led readers to call for immigration reforms. Others worried that this and events like this are contributing to more ultra-right-wing sentiment in the land.

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Man found innocent of indecent assault denied 12 million yen compensation by Supreme Court of Japan

Man found innocent of indecent assault denied 12 million yen compensation by Supreme Court of Japan

In 2008 a man was accused of grabbing a woman from behind, which resulted in an injury to her leg. She filed charges with the prosecutor’s office for indecent assault and bodily harm but the man was eventually found innocent.

As indecent assault can be a hard accusation to get off from in Japan, this man would be considered extremely lucky. However, after all charges were dropped, he decided to try his luck again and sued the government for 12 million yen (US$116,000) in compensation for the charges. He would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for the Supreme Court of Japan who dismissed his claims for the last time on 6 March.

Was this man an innocent victim of the system or just looking for a quick pay day? The answer is not so clear.

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All the awesome cuteness of a cat’s paw harnessed in one pastry, on sale now in Osaka

All the awesome cuteness of a cat’s paw harnessed in one pastry, on sale now in Osaka

From now until 31 March you can get your hands on a Kuro Neko No Te (Black Cat Paw) pastry at a bakery in the Hotel New Hankyu Osaka. This is the second installation of the Neko No Te (Cat Paw) series of delectable pastries that started last year to celebrate the hotel’s 50th anniversary.

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About time! Osaka embraces free city-wide Wi-Fi

About time! Osaka embraces free city-wide Wi-Fi

Despite its image as a sleek, technologically advanced society, Japan really sucks when it comes to free wi-fi hotspots. In fact, when the Japan Tourism Agency surveyed tourists about difficulties traveling in the country, a lack of free Internet access was far and away the number one answer.

One major city has finally taken note and begun offering better connectivity for visitors. Osaka has just announced the launch of Osaka Free Wi-fi, a program that brings free wi-fi to locations throughout the city, as part of its effort to position itself as an international gateway to rival Tokyo.

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Osaka Police sergeant resigns after extorting hamburgers from officers

Osaka Police sergeant resigns after extorting hamburgers from officers

At the end of the day, police officers are just regular people in uniforms. Despite their position in society, they have all the virtues and vices as anyone else. Some might get addicted to mobile games, and others sometimes refuse to admit when they’re wrong.

And then there’s the case of the Osaka Police sergeant who over a period of nearly four years has been forcing his subordinates to purchase copious amounts of food out of their own pockets to feed his insatiable appetite.

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Life-sized 3-D maneuver gear goes on display at Osaka’s new Attack on Titan museum

Life-sized 3-D maneuver gear goes on display at Osaka’s new Attack on Titan museum

The wildly popular manga and animated series, Attack on Titan, continues to charge on, picking up speed and treating us all to a bevy of fan-related events before its live-action film debut in 2015. Now, for a limited time only, Osaka will play host to a very special “Survey Corps Museum”, with original illustrations, exclusive merchandise and awesome, life-sized 3-D maneuver gear. If you’re a fan of Attack on Titan, then take a look at what’s waiting for you in Osaka for the next 16 days…

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Osaka Castle backdrop for brain-melting 3D light show【Photos and Video】

Osaka Castle backdrop for brain-melting 3D light show【Photos and Video】

If you happen to be in Osaka in the next month and feel up to braving the chilly nights, there is an interesting event taking place at Osaka Castle as part of the Art Festival of Light. In addition to the castle gardens being decorated with thousands of twinkling bulbs and a giant cube of swirling light constructed with LEDs, the castle itself will be the canvas for a 3D mapping projection guaranteed to confuse your brain.

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First annual Osaka Pop Festival offers cosplay contest, mascot design prizes and more

First annual Osaka Pop Festival offers cosplay contest, mascot design prizes and more

The sleek metropolis of Tokyo welcomes most foreign visitors to Japan, but bustling, friendly Osaka is making a bid to be a major international gateway and attraction for foreign visitors in its own right. With that goal in mind, they’ve just announced a Japanese pop culture event to be held in March of next year called the Osaka Pop Festival, and they’re looking for a few good designers and the best cosplay get-up you can muster.

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“Knockout Game” invading Japan? Violent attacks in Kobe, Osaka spark debate

“Knockout Game” invading Japan? Violent attacks in Kobe, Osaka spark debate

With so many cool toys coming to stores this year, it is hard to believe kids would be so bored that they create a game where the “players” score points for each real-world stranger they render unconscious. But two recent attacks in Kobe and Osaka are making Japanese netizens scared that the so-called “Knockout Game,” which has been widely reported in American media, has now landed on Japanese streets. Some academics are concerned that this is just another sign of America’s “society of violence” importing itself to Japan.

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Cute cat stands sacrifice themselves to hold up your smartphone

Cute cat stands sacrifice themselves to hold up your smartphone

It’s about time cats did something for us. We’ve pampered them on the Internet and in convenience stores for years, and all they ever did in return was learn how to poop in the litter box.

Cats are finally giving back now with these cute but somewhat disturbing smartphone stands that depict various cat breeds heroically holding up your smartphone so it won’t topple over.

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65-year-old arrested for theft: “I never worked”

65-year-old arrested for theft: “I never worked”

On 28 November, Osaka Prefectural Police announced the arrest of 65-year-old Kiyomasa Shimabukuro for crimes including theft. According to police, the suspect confessed adding, “I never worked. I lived off stolen money.”

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Harry Potter trains and towering Hogwarts Castle appear in Osaka!

Harry Potter trains and towering Hogwarts Castle appear in Osaka!

As the year draws to a close and 2014 pokes its head over the horizon, Harry Potter fans in Japan are finding it harder to contain their excitement over the summer opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Osaka. Fan photos on Twitter show how the progress is going, with an awesome train service and a near-complete replica of Hogwarts Castle that looks exactly like the one on film.

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Osaka’s number one!!… for purse snatching

Osaka’s number one!!… for purse snatching

As a proud resident of Osaka Prefecture it’s always nice to see the place excel at something. Even for something as nefarious as purse snatching, it seems that the Osaka way is to go big or go home.

So let’s all give Osaka a big round of applause for being number one in incidents of purse snatching for the third year in a row! Even though stats are only available up until October, so many cases of people grabbing women’s bags and running away – or riding away as is often the case – have occurred that we have officially clinched the standings for 2013.

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Care for a cream puff? Osaka elementary school teachers allegedly serial drugged by colleague

Care for a cream puff? Osaka elementary school teachers allegedly serial drugged by colleague

Whether during classes or assemblies, it can be hard to stay awake at school. For many kids it can be hard to stay up once the sugar rush of their morning Fruit Loops crashes during those crucial seven times tables. Heck, even teachers need an extra coffee or five every once in a while to get through the day.

However, when teachers start passing out and waking up two days later in hospital, there may be something especially wrong at the school. When this starts happening on an almost yearly basis – as it reportedly was at Kamikita Elementary School in Osaka – then we’re looking at major issues.

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