photography

Strange lights appear in the skies of Japan, but thanks to fish, not aliens

Way at the western tip of Honshu, the main island of Japan, you’ll find the town of Shimonoseki. Shimonoseki is especially famous for its always delicious, naturally poisonous, and occasionally canned blowfish, but fishermen catch all manner of tasty seafood there in the waters off the edge of Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Wherever you have boats and coastlines, you’ll also want to put a lighthouse too. But on a recent night the beacon of Shimonoseki’s Tsunoshima lighthouse wasn’t the only thing shining in the darkness, as observers also roughly a dozen mysterious-looking lights in the night sky.

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Meanwhile, in Shinjuku…

Although Akihabara tends to get credit for a lot of the zaniness in Tokyo, Shinjuku has its own brand of odd that shouldn’t be ignored. After all, it’s where RocketNews24 laid its roots.

Case in point: this tweet of a young woman lying on a filthy street taking a low angle photo in a gap between a karaoke joint and sticker-encrusted vending machine.

Alright! Place your bets on what she could possibly be photographing and then click or scroll down to find out.

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Stunning in cosplay — photographer gives us beautiful look at cosplayers in Russia

We’ve certainly grown accustomed to seeing people in cosplay at various anime and game-themed events in Japan. Cosplayers have been known to go to great lengths to get their costumes and make-up just right, not to mention the care and planning that goes into taking truly awesome looking cosplay pictures.

But of course, cosplay isn’t just limited to Japan. A series of photos taken by Russian photographer Mariya Kozhanova has recently been introduced on the Japanese Internet, giving us a stunning glimpse into the world of cosplayers in Russia.

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Foreign tourist in Japan snaps a photo of the sea, his daughter, and maybe a ghost

Kanagawa Prefecture has some of the most popular beaches in Japan, especially along the section of the coast known as Shonan. A magnet for both locals and day trippers from Tokyo, when the sun is shining you’ll find a cross section of Japanese society in and around the water, including surfers, partying college students, couples, and families,

And, some claim, a ghost that was captured in the background of this photo a foreign traveler took of his daughter.

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Manga goes 2.5-D with artist’s awesomely clever paper cutout photography 【Photos】

These days, we’re seeing more and more manga and anime being adapted into live-action movie, stage, and musical versions. In other words, Japanese animation and comics are going from the 2-D world to the 3-D one.

But it turns out there’s an intermediary step that we’ve been forgetting. Here with a reminder is one talented comic artist who’s using illustrated cutouts of his characters, settings, and even sound effects to create an amazing 2.5-D manga.

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“Japanese Harry Potter” hopes to fly around the world on a broomstick, document it on Instagram

Everyone loves a good themed Instagram account. Especially when the subject matter is both simple and intriguing. It doesn’t hurt when the photographer has a great eye for framing a shot, either. And if you throw a hint of cuteness in there, you’re practically guaranteed followers.

Take Instagram user halno‘s account, which features a plethora of beautiful shots of himself and friends leaping gleefully into the air with a broomstick jammed between their knees. This “Japanese Harry Potter” has over 263,000 Instagram followers who can’t get enough of his adorably goofy aerial antics!

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Cosplay paradise! Haco Stadium Tokyo complex has 33 themed rooms waiting for your photo shoot

Last week, we took a look at the amazingly accurate recreation of a room from popular anime Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. That’s was only one limited-time room at the awesome Haco Stadium cosplay complex, though.

Haco Stadium actually has 33 permanent cosplay rooms, meaning you can make the cosplaying rounds of a Japanese high school, samurai residence, fantasy castle, and science fiction backdrop, all without ever having to leave the building.

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The most magical images we’ve ever seen on Instagram, created with only an iPhone!【Photos】

Do you use Instagram? If so, who, apart from your friends and family, do you follow? Celebrities, famous YouTube personalities, artists, or perhaps adorable cats and dogs? If you’re into the artsy stuff, or simply like looking at beautiful, whimsical pictures, here’s one Instagram account you shouldn’t miss.

Ali Jardine, a mom and an artist, creates some absolutely breath-taking pieces of digital art with just her iPhone and her very own brand of artistic flare. Check them out after the jump!

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Japanese girl finds “school love,” but with a surprising “partner”

Oh, the teenage years; raging hormones, confused identities, and the endless search for that special someone. One Japanese high school girl seemed to not only find herself a boyfriend, but also documented their relationship via a cutesy array of pictures posted on Twitter. Apparently, people love seeing young love blossom, but wait a second, things are not quite as they seem! 

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“The Inappropriate Avengers”: Marvel/DC heroes like you’ve never seen them before 【Photos】

How did the Civil War in the upcoming Captain America film really start? If these photos are any indication, everyone’s favorite Marvel superheroes are largely at fault.

The social media sites of Indonesian photographer Edy Hardjo have experienced a recent surge in popularity for his hilarious renditions of Marvel characters (with the occasional DC character thrown in) in some not-so-innocent situations. Wolverine acting naughty? Spidey (“the new guy”) being picked on? Hardjo’s photos are sure to tickle your funny bone, whether you’re a fan of the comic book characters or not!

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Photohoku: helping northeastern Japan rebuild, one picture at a time 【Photos】

After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan, Tokyo-based photographers Brian Scott Peterson and Yuko Yoshikawa were frustrated by the limited impact of volunteer options close to home, so they decided to head up to Tohoku with the vague idea that people in temporary housing might be interested in having family portraits taken.

Clearly, that tapped into an unmet need, because four years later that one-off trip has become Photohoku, a ballooning volunteer organization that takes monthly trips to Tohoku, has gifted over 10,000 instant family portraits, and has even inspired similar groups overseas.

Today, as we remember those who lost their lives in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami four years ago, we take a brief look at how this truly inspired project continues to bring a little bit of extra sunshine into the lives of those who survived one of Japan’s greatest natural disasters.

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Of umbrellas and back scratchers… DIY selfie sticks that don’t cost a penny!

All right hands up, how many of you own selfie sticks? And how many of you ever entertained the idea of getting one of those sticks-of-the-moment, but eventually decided that you would rather spend ten dollars on a meal than a stick that enables you to take self-portraits from a distance greater than the length of your own arm?

If you fall into the latter group, here are some fantastic examples of budget DIY selfie sticks that would set you back just two dollars or less!

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Why do most concerts held in Japan prohibit taking pictures?

For anyone who enjoys live music, part of the fun is taking photos of the band or recording video to relive the experience at home or show off on Facebook. It’s a tradition that strengthens the connection between bands and their fans long after a concert is over. Especially in this digital age, many bands depend on the power of social media to connect with new audiences they could never reach before.

If you’ve ever attended a concert in Japan, you know this is not the case. You will almost always see “No photos” and “No video” signs posted all over concert venues. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching a foreign artist or a local one, you are not allowed to take pictures, and a host of security personal will remind you of the fact.

Find out why this is the case, and which big musical act might be turning the tide, after the jump.

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Wander through the forest with Princess Mononoke in these beautiful photos from Oregon cosplayers

Tesla Cosplay are an all-female group who describe themselves as “five girls from Oregon who decided to add a little ‘awesome’ to their lives”. And looking at these photos from their recent Princess Mononoke shoot on location, we think they’ve achieved that aim!

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“Panchira,” the Japanese word for “panty-shot,” usually conjures up images of creepy guys on the train trying to angle their smartphone cameras under the skirts of schoolgirls. But to be fair, while that’s certainly an unfortunate part of panchira culture, that’s not all there is to it. When panchira is done tastefully, it can be considered art, just like any other form of photography.

To prove that point, “Panchira 2015,” a photography exhibition devoted exclusively to pictures of panty-shots, was held last week, and they recently announced that they had over 20,000 attendees. With the incredible enthusiasm of both the guests and the people running it, it’s not hard to see why.

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7 surprising images of Tokyo without its billboards and neon signs 【GIFs】

If you’ve ever walked the streets of Tokyo, you’ll know how the buzz of people, street signs and giant screens can heighten all your senses and fill you with a rush of excitement that stays with you well after you’ve returned back home. While travel brochure photos can never truly prepare you for the dense onslaught of visual and aural stimuli that envelop you when you visit the megalopolis, one creative photographer has come up with a clever way of highlighting the main features of the city by showing us just how bare the city landscape looks without them there.

Come with us as we take a walk through day and night in Tokyo and see just how different the place looks when the neon signs and billboards are taken away. You’ll never see Tokyo in quite the same way again.

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You may never look at Japanese fried chicken the same way again: What do you see?

When it comes to Japanese cuisine, sushi often gets most of the attention. However, within izakaya (dining bars), restaurants, even bento boxes around Japan, there is another menu item that everyone loves, kara-age, Japanese friend chicken.

The succulent, juicy, breaded chicken pieces are so irresistibly delicious that they don’t often last long enough to get their photo snapped and uploaded to social media (as is the trend). However, some Twitter users recently managed to take pictures of kara-age, played with the color a bit and discovered something remarkable… they don’t look like pictures of chicken, they look like pictures of explosions!

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Beautiful works by French street artist disappear from Shanghai demolition site

Street art, whether it draws criticism or praise, is widely ephemeral in nature. After appearing overnight on a blank wall or beside a forgotten drainpipe, once it makes its début in a public space, street art belongs to the community and the elements, where it’s free to be defaced, altered or torn away at any given moment.

The fleeting beauty of the art form was seen in Shanghai recently, where a number of large-scale murals by French street artist Julien Malland were destroyed almost as soon as they were discovered. Join us as we take a look at the before and after photos of some of his beautiful works, now gone but captured forever on camera.

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Woman’s best friend: Possibly the sweetest photos of a grandma and her cat you will ever see

For over a decade, Japanese photographer Miyoko Ihara has been capturing the amazing bond that has developed between her grandmother, Misao, and Fukumaru – the white, odd-eyed cat her grandmother found as a stray kitten. The two have remained nearly inseparable, and the bond they share shows in the beautiful photos that Ihara takes.

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We swear you’ve never seen Tokyo like this before 【Video】

Art can appear in the strangest of places and what qualifies as art is as wide and as varied as the works themselves. So, what about a city? Can a city be art? You might not think so, but artist darwinfish105 is about to prove you wrong with his breathtaking shots of Tokyo.

You are about to see the largest city in the world change into a futuristic technological metropolis. In addition, all of this is accomplished with just a camera and some mirrors.

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