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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Being a middle school student must be hard. You’re not quite an adult but you’re definitely not a child either. And as you’re discovering the world around you, you’re also realizing just how much money matters. But depending on where you live, you might find yourself extremely limited in the jobs you can find.
Luckily, there’s always a shady guy running a girls bar to give you a job! What a relief for parents of middle school girls everywhere, right?
You’ve already been introduced to Yuya Uchida, the attractive worker at the Osaka Nipponbashi branch of Animate, a chain of anime and manga stores in Japan. He has inspired countless Internet debates regarding his status as both an otaku and a hottie, prompting one user to comment, “Hot guys should be banned from watching anime.” We knew we had to go out to Osaka to find this mythical hotaku™ and see for ourselves if he really is as irresistible as the Internet makes him out to be.
On 4 November Osaka Prefectural Police announced the arrest of two teenagers aged 15 and 16 for fraud. The two boys are accused of trying to pass off a fake one million yen (US$10,000) bank note at a small cigarette stand in Suita City.
Although, passing off counterfeit money is usually considered “uttering” and may be punishable by jail time, the pair were given a reduced charge of fraud because, according to police, “the fake money used was really bad.”
Meet Yuya Uchida, part-time employee at Animate, a Japanese chain of large-scale stores that carry a full range of anime and manga-related merchandise. Lately, Yuya has been getting a lot of attention from the Internet and other media for his surprisingly good looks! This anime-loving ikemen (hot guy) is breaking the otaku mold and capturing the hearts of women across the nation. Can a guy be allowed to keep his nerd cred when he happens to be such a looker?
Rubber ducks invoke a sense of bath-time fun and childhood wonder no matter how old we get. Their bright colours and kind expressions are so pleasing that one artist has super-sized the fun by creating giant, inflatable versions that travel around the world.
One of these has recently taken up temporary residence in Nakanoshima, Osaka, where it will be appearing for one week only. To add to the excitement, a local hotel is serving up limited numbers of ‘rubber duck plates’ featuring the cutest rice creation you’ve ever seen!
While Tokyo remains Japan’s largest and most internationally well-known metropolis, the city of Osaka is no slouch either. Osaka is known for its simple, tasty grub, such as takoyaki octopus dumplings and kushiage, basically deep-fried anything on a stick.
Osaka is also building a pantheon of cute, animal-shaped sweets, such as the platypus pastry which was on sale there until the end of last August. For autumn, there’s a new adorable dessert in town: this bathing bear made out of ice cream.
Japan is a relatively small country but sometimes the regional differences can be night and day. Tokyo and Osaka, for example, can feel like completely different planet to the residents of each in terms of language and habits.
The following six places in Osaka are a good example of these differences. The names of each of these places could be dropped to a local in conversation without so much of a flinch. However, these same Osaka residents might be shocked to learn that people in Tokyo have no idea that such places exist.
In no particular order here are the six hidden (unless you live here!) gems of Osaka.
Though attitudes towards the LGBT community in Japan are difficult to pin down, it’s not uncommon to find that the average citizen is unaware that such a community even exists. While popular writer and talk-show host Matsuko Deluxe has done a lot to push LGBT issues into the spotlight, there are still many hurdles for sexual minorities in Japan to overcome. However, one municipal government in Osaka is taking charge of the situation by officially declaring their support for the LGBT community!
When flashers go from bad to feral and branch out into bag snatching, what’s the world coming to?
At about 3am JST on 16 August 2013 in Osaka’s Hirano Ward, a 26-year-old woman called the police to report that she’d had her handbag stolen, which contained 9,000 yen (about US$90) in cash. As she cycled the short journey home from work, the bag was rudely snatched from the basket on the front of her bicycle by a man who pursued and overtook her on a black scooter. She described how to identify the alleged perp—as he was “totally naked except for a pink brassiere”, he should definitely stand out in a crowd. Police commented that this style of bag snatching was a first.
In Japan, summer is seen as the time when the line between the living and the dead becomes blurry and paranormal activity is said to be at its highest. This is the season when studios like to put out horror movies, restaurants like to put out drinks based on horror movies, and youngsters like to share ghost stories online.
Recently, one place in particular has been the setting for eerie rumors based on a tragic past. It’s also a place where you can get a good deal on a massage chair and a digital picture frame. Everyone’s talking about none other than Bic Camera, a massive electronics superstore which towers over downtown Osaka. Sit back, turn out the lights and take in some these quick Japanese summer ghost tales.
The principal of an elementary school in Osaka recently resigned under pressure from the city’s board of education after using physical violence as a disciplinary measure against seven of the school’s students for enacting and concealing the event of a knife threat within the school.
July and August tend to be the seasons where summer festivals get kicked into full swing. Much like festivals in any country, the festivities are often accompanied by various stalls selling drinks and snacks. Other stalls can be found offering games that you know are probably rigged, but just can’t help trying.
For one such stall runner, 45-year-old Tsutomu Morikawa, poor price planning led to a date with the police.
Last month a man was caught red-handed groping an innocent office lady on a train in Kyoto, in violation of the region’s laws against causing public disturbances. The man was put under immediate arrest, and while this admittedly unfortunate event may seem a bit too tame to be newsworthy, the offender was none other than the head patrol officer of Osaka’s police force! Apparently, this groping incident was far from the first for this once-respected officer.
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- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】10
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- 252 of Japan’s favorite animated gifs2
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】3
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong4
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs5
- Thinking about plastic surgery? This ad may make you laugh – or it could make you think twice!6
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- Subway mini skirt peeping tom found innocent
- Ramen characters prove there’s more to Fukushima than just nuclear sadness
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong
- We buy a pair of glasses from up and coming idol Kanna Hashimoto
- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea
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