Osaka police on the lookout for elementary students who stole equivalent to $1,000 in six thefts

Tsurumi Ward in Osaka has been the scene of a crime wave since November 3 in which two young boys believed to be in the fifth or sixth grade have stolen cash and property from six separate homes so far. The suspects are still at large, unless class is in session.

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We pig out at Aizuya, the Michelin Guide-featured takoyaki shop

In Japan, takoyaki (somewhat unappealingly translated as “octopus balls”) is known as “B-Class Gourmet” food. Takoyaki is the domain of sometimes shady street vendors and national chains where there are literally no chairs whatsoever on the premises. They’re meant to be consumed while still blazing hot, fresh off the special cratered griddle used to make them, chewed and swallowed at lightning speed while you suck in air to make them just cool enough that they don’t burn a hole in your esophagus on the way down.

Therefore, takoyaki is not, one would think, within the purview of the Michelin tire company’s prestigious Michelin Guide for world-renowned restaurants. But, surprisingly, the 2016 Michelin Guide contains not just one but several restaurants specializing in takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and other “B-Class Gourmet” foods famous around Osaka and the Kansai area.

One of those featured restaurants, Aizuya, is, it turns out, actually rumored to be the restaurant that flat-out invented takoyaki. And since that sounds like a good premise for an article, and gives us an excuse to stuff our faces with this delicious local street food, we went to check it out.

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Kentucky Fried Chicken set to open all-you-can eat buffet restaurant in Japan

If you’re walking into a branch of KFC, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re there to eat fried chicken. You could even argue that the whole process of ordering is partially redundant, since the question isn’t whether you want some of the Colonel’s deep-fried bird, but simply how much.

And if your answer to that query is “All of it,” then head on over to Osaka, where the first all-you-can-eat Kentucky Fried Chicken buffet is about to open.

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Japanese drinks company attaches free “rental umbrellas” to its vending machines in Osaka

Japanese vending machines are a great example of the culture of convenience so prevalent in Japan. Whether you’re after orange juice that looks like soy sauce, or a hot, clam-packed miso soup to cure your hangover, if you want something fast, the nation’s vending machines will be there for you, come rain or shine.

Now one of the country’s largest drinks manufacturers, DyDo, is catering to customers who actually do find themselves caught out in the rain, with a free “rental umbrella” service attached to a number of their machines in Nishi Ward, Osaka.

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Butter sushi becoming an unlikely hit in Osaka

In Japan, some of the most prized types of sushi are loved by gourmets for their rich flavor. High-quality uni (sea urchin) is decadently creamy, and the premium cuts of tuna are those with extra fat.

But this chain of restaurants in Japan might be offering the richest sushi ever, since the pieces have a pat of butter on them!

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Real life Pokémon gym set to open in Japan next month

Despite the famous “Gotta catch ‘em all!” tagline, Pokémon trainers don’t spend every moment of their adventures traipsing through the underbrush searching for new Pocket Monster species. Part of the process of becoming a Pokémon Master is making a pilgrimage to gyms where trainers can strengthen their skills and bonds with their adorable biological arsenal.

Until now, the only places to find these gyms were within the video games and anime of the Pokémon franchise, but next month marks the opening of the first official Pokémon gym in Japan, where fans can meet and train with a variety of Pokémon in interactive and augmented reality attractions.

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Travel from Kansai Airport to Osaka aboard the Star Wars: The Force Awakens express

The Limited Express Rapi:t that shuttles passengers back and forth between Kansai Airport and Namba Station in Osaka has been offering some fun rides lately. The train’s distinctive deep blue exterior was given a red makeover last year in a Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn promotion and it even received its own superhero earlier this year.

Now passengers are in for another treat with news of the train’s next big adventure: as a jet-black ambassador for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens enterprise. With awesome interior and exterior details, including a wrap that features all the new characters from the upcoming movie, this is bound to be a welcome sight for visitors landing at the airport from November this year.

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A photo tour of the JAL “Premium Night” at Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan (USJ), one of Osaka’s most popular tourist attractions, was hired out for an exclusive event on September 24 for an events called JAL Premium Night. As many of you will know, Japan Airlines, or JAL, is the official airline of USJ and was offering the chance for lucky ticket holders to attend this after-hours event.

And, as luck would have it, one of very own RocketNews24 reporters attended the spectacular event and was fortunate enough to enjoy the exclusive JAL Premium Night, snapping a load of photos for the rest of us to enjoy!

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Ever dreamed of spending the night in a bookstore? Junkudo offering the chance to do just that!

A little over a year ago, someone in Japan tweeted that they would “love to live in Junkudo”, one of the country’s largest book store chains. Little did they know that someone at that very company would not only see the tweet, but decide to make that pipe dream a reality, inviting a small band of book lovers in Tokyo to spend the night in the giant bookstore with sleeping bags, giving them entirely free rein to pick up any book or magazine they pleased.

This year, the company is bringing the “Try Living in Junkudo” project to an even bigger three-story shop in Osaka—and on Halloween, no less!

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Get a little sass with your glass: Osaka oba-chan cup clingers are here

It is a well-known stereotype in Japan that Osaka oba-chans, or Osaka ladies of a certain mature age, are strong-willed, sassy, love loud clothing, and aren’t afraid to speak their mind. And with cup clingers being all the rage recently, who better to sit on your cup and chastise you then a set of the legendary Osaka oba-chans?

Will you get a mouthy, big-haired cougar-type? Or perhaps you prefer the UV-hating full-body track suit oba-chan? Read on to see all the oba-chans that await you!

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Everything you need to know about takoyaki (octopus balls) 【Video】

Osaka is famous for Osaka-style okonomiyaki as well as takoyaki. We’ve taught you all about okonomiyaki before, including how to make it at home, and we’ve taken you with us octopus hunting in the Seto Inland Sea where we showed you not only how to catch an octopus, but how to turn its head inside out. So it’s only natural that we feel you are ready to advance your octopial knowledge by exploring what happens to the eight-legged creatures after the catch. Welcome to the wonderful world of takoyaki, battered octopus balls!

Takoyaki is to Osaka what monjayaki is to Tokyo. There’s even a Takoyaki Museum just outside of Universal Studios Japan on the Universal City Walk, with a collection of food stalls where visitors can taste varieties of the snack as well as see the implements used to make it. And since this is Japan, you can also buy numerous takoyaki-inspired souvenirs.

Let’s delve into the delectable world of takoyaki together, after the jump.

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Attack on Toilets now going on inside Osaka train station bathrooms

Now that the Attack on Titan exhibit has wrapped up in Kyushu, it’s moved on to its next stop, Osaka.

Somewhere along the way, however, the titans and military decided to stage a battle in the middle of Osaka’s central train line, or rather, the train line’s bathrooms. On a mission to remodel some of the not-so-popular toilet facilities located inside five of the stations on the Osaka Loop Line, the bitter enemies are working together for the first time to clean things up.

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Attack on Titan reveals its newest collaboration: public toilets on the Osaka loop train line

In the lead-up to the release of the first Attack on Titan live-action movie, we were inundated with all sorts of fantastic collaborations. There was the tie-up with an epilation salon in Shinjuku, a campaign against illicit substances with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and even “Advancing hot dogs” at Aeon cinemas.

Since the film’s release, the giants have been quiet for a while but it seems they’ve just been gathering steam for their next amazing project: destroying public restrooms at stations on the Osaka train line.

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Osaka river turns into giant floating sushi train complete with oversized sushi 【Pics & Video】

Osaka is known throughout Japan for being a foodie’s paradise. The area has such a focus on food and dining and has given birth to so many well-known dishes that there’s even a famous saying: Kyo no kidaore, Osaka no kuidaore, meaning “Dress up till you drop in Kyoto, eat till you drop in Osaka”.

This October, the city will be showing us just how much their food culture means to them, with a giant floating sushi train carrying plates of gigantic sushi up and down the river, and we’re taking a sneak peek at video and photos of the trial run!

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We eat Electrical Udon and Blue Curry while watching guys shoot each other with electricity

A little while back, we brought you news of Electrical Udon developed by Kurare of Arienai Rika (“Unbelievable Science”) for an event to be held in Osaka. Well, that event has come and gone, and we were fortunate enough to be there to get a taste of his technicolor noodles along with some other off-color foods like blue rice topped with even bluer curry and fried chicken with a secret green sauce.

We also got to see some of the DIY science that made Arienai Rika a cult hit with science and tech enthusiasts in Japan.

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Japan’s largest all-you-can-eat-and-drink offer spans eight different restaurants in Osaka

Since 1 July, a small corner of the Chayamachi district in the downtown Umeda area of Osaka has been holding a huge deal: All-You-Can-Eat-and-Drink Alley. For a flat rate of 3,500 yen (US$28) you can have three hours to run wild and eat as much as you want from eight different restaurants in the alley, going back and forth among them freely.

Still not enough? Okay picky pants, how does also having all-you-can-drink of any drink from coffee to wine sound? We thought that would convince you! Let’s take a quick look at what’s in store (or stores rather) for you there.

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Video of 10 white globes floating in Osaka sky leaves net users wondering worldwide【Video】

A video showing 10 unidentified flying objects hovering in the sky over the Japanese city of Osaka has been making waves in Japan this week, to the degree that news sites all around the globe have begun talking about it.

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Creative shark exhibit ad for Osaka aquarium goes viral on Twitter

Thanks to movies like Jaws and the rare instances of human shark attacks, most people don’t conjure up images like the friendly-looking guy above when they think about sharks.

To clear up much of the misconceptions and misinformation surrounding these sea creatures, the Discovery Channel began airing a weeklong marathon of shark-based programing, named Shark Week, in 1988. Celebrating over 15 years of annual shark science documentaries and mockumentaries in the summer, it’s gone on to be the longest running cable television event in history.

But this July, after the Discovery Channel finished up its Shark Week marathon in the U.S., Japan soon took up the baton with the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan’s Shark World event that began July 17. In order to attract attention the aquarium has been putting up a number of poster advertisements around stations and on trains, leaving those that spotted the ad feeling consumed by surprise.

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This owl and kitten duo napping is the most adorable thing you will see today 【Photos】

When things aren’t going right in your life, there is bound to be something on the Internet that will make yoy feel better. Well, look no further. This is a public service announcement: The following pictures are so cute that they will melt your heart, no matter how cold or frozen it might be. See if you can make it to the bottom of this article without going “d’aww…”

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Japan’s 10 best restaurants, as chosen by foreign travelers

People travel to Japan for all sorts of different reasons. Many are seeking a taste of tradition and history, and plan visits to the country’s most important shrines and castles. Some are drawn by Japan’s natural beauty, heading for its mountains and forests, while still others come to throw themselves into its neon-soaked urban entertainment centers.

But no matter what’s on your itinerary, at some point you’re going to need to get something to eat, and when your stomach starts growling, you can rely on the experience of those who made the trip before you with TripAdvisor’s list of the 10 best restaurants in Japan.

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