photos

Model and TV star Kayo Police went to Singapore to wish you a hot Christmas from the beach

One of the most envied perks of being famous has to be international travel. So while we’re sure being a model is just as hard work – if not more so – than heaps of other jobs, we can imagine that opportunities to escape the recent cold weather in Japan and jet off to warmer climes goes some way to make up for it.

So forgive us for being more than a little jealous of these pics from Kayo Police’s trip to Singapore. Sure, posing for pictures is work. But she also got to go to Universal Studios and go to a bubble spa. Merry Christmas!

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Wish you could check out Tokyo’s Christmas illuminations? Well now you can! 【Video】

We appreciate that while many of you are interested in Japan and Japanese culture, not all of you are able to visit the Land of the Rising Sun quite so easily. But Christmas is a great time of year here in Tokyo, what with all the lights, decorations and hand-holding couples, so in order to share the various seasonal sights with you we took the liberty of putting together a little slideshow.

Join us after the jump for a photo tour of Tokyo’s best Christmas illuminations!

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Ninja-cat poised for attack, puns and a difficult dismount

We recently learned about some ninja tools and techniques that made use of cats, but maybe cats are actually the original ninja. This picture is more than enough evidence to prove that this theory is spot-on.

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39 looks at the lighter side of Asia

As you’re probably well aware, we at RocketNews24 strive to tackle only the most serious issues of the day. Whether we’re breaking down the complexities of the TPP and its effects on soy bean subsidies, or providing in-depth analysis on how modern Japanese silk arts have deviated from their traditional routes, we never stop thinking about important matters. Even though we cover these topics with deadly seriousness, however, we have been known to let our hair down once a year or so.

With that in mind, today we’d like to bring you a collection of photos which pretty much no point or underlying theme aside from the fact they all come out of Asia and are really weird. Don’t worry though, we’ll be back to our usual coverage of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests of Japan soon enough. For now just sit back and enjoy these little pieces of Novocaine for the mind.

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Photos from 140 years ago show Tokyo’s skyline was amazing long before the Skytree was ever built

In 1853, the rulers of Japan ended the country’s more than two centuries of isolation from the rest of the world. But while foreigners could now get into Japan for trade and commerce, it would take more than 10 years until Japanese citizens could leave the country, meaning that outside cultural influences were still slow to find their way into the half-opened nation.

As such, there’s a brief, time capsule-like period in which Japan’s culture was still almost entirely of indigenous origins, but foreign visitors had the technology to visually document it, as shown in these beautiful photographs of 19th century Japan.

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Japanese pets find ways to keep warm despite the cold snap 【Photos】

It’s been unseasonably cold around Japan this week, sending most of us scurrying for those wooly mittens and knit caps in the back of the closet lest we lose a finger or ear to frostbite.

You’d think with the layers of fur and feathers they are already schlepping around, pets wouldn’t feel the falling temps quite as much, but if Twitter photos are any indication, they are looking just as hard as we are for ways to ward off Old Man Winter.

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All we want for Christmas is a 1/6 model Spider-Man to take photos with

They say a dog is man’s best friend. But if these pictures are anything to go by, Spider-Man’s best friend is a cat.

Not only does this 1/6 scale Spider-Man come with a puffer vest, he’s also the perfect size to take all kinds of adorable pictures. Join us after the jump for Spider-Man hanging out with pets; tucked up in a cat bed; and showing what an awesome dad he is.

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Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin

It will come as a surprise to many that the biggest online shopping day in the world is not Cyber Monday, but November 11.

China’s Singles Day, held on a date made up of auspicious number ones, has evolved into an online shopping bonanza for retailers (remember the guy who chose to declare his love by buying 99 new iPhones?). And Singles Day spending keeps going up and up: this year, Chinese consumers spent a record-breaking 57.1 billion yuan (US $9.3 billion) with Alibaba Group in 24 hours.

Not everyone was happy with their purchases, though, as disgruntled shoppers took to social networking sites to post sad selfies of clothes that weren’t quite as fabulous as they were expecting.

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Cute or creepy? Yuki Aoyama’s new photo book ‘Taiwan Kawaii School Girl’

Japanese photographer Yuki Aoyama is best known for his ‘Schoolgirl Complex’ series – pictures of uniformed girls taken from the perspective of a teenage boy. Like much of his photography, it focuses on teenage schoolgirls as an icons of everyday Japan.

And Aoyama’s latest project took him abroad to a country that loves school uniforms almost as much as Japan does: Taiwan, where he shot these arresting, curious portraits, which at once draw on his earlier work, and move subtly away from it.

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Bonsai treehouses look like something out of Howl’s Moving Castle 【Photos】

Even without adornment, a well-done bonsai is a sight to see. It’s amazing how something as massive and powerful as a tree can be hemmed and trimmed to create a delicate, miniature version of itself. But for some, that level of artistry doesn’t go far enough.

Now bonsai artists are adding fantastical tree houses and other structures around their vegetative creations, resulting in multi-level, gravity-defying feats of architecture that still fit under a garden cloche.

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Neko Montage! The most fun you can have with a cat and a sharpie【Photos】

It’s often the simple things that bring us most pleasure in life – like these giggle-inducing ‘neko montage’ photos making waves on Twitter in Japan.

Join us after the jump for delightful paper-augmented cats looking cute, angry, surprised, and plain old baffled!

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Endangered critters in China get health check, diagnosed with acute cuteness 【Photos】

Remember when you were in school and had to do that dreaded health and fitness check in PE class? Turns out those trials aren’t just for little homo sapiens.

A few days ago, workers at the Pu’er Sun River national park were checking the health of their endangered charges ahead of some research projects and got some pretty adorable snaps in the process.

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How to take a post-surgery “transformation” shot: A guide to faking it【Photos】

There’s another batch of shocking “before and after” pics of plastic surgery doing the rounds: transformation pictures of Chinese women, accompanied by captions listing the procedures the women have had, from double eyelid surgery to rhinoplasty.

I’m not a doctor, but I do have eyes, and surgery is not the only thing going on in these pictures. There are heaps of other factors that make these amazing post-surgery photos look better than the “before” shots. Here are but a few.

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Taiwan Rugby Union’s naked calendar: Because men have butts too【Photos】

As the internet implodes with the news that Kim Kardashian’s naked posterior is on the front of Paper magazine, we thought we’d jump right on the nudity bandwagon and bring you this exciting missive from the clothes-free front line.

That’s right, Taiwan’s rugby union players are releasing a naked calendar, and we’ve got the pics to prove it!

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Cute cat warms harbles, achieves Nirvana in front of heater

We posted earlier this week about how Japanese cats survive the cold winter months by bogarting the sweet, sweet warmth of the space heater, but this cold little fellow is lucky enough not to have to share his oasis of warmth with any other felines or even a pesky human. How happy does that make him? Photos of kitty bliss after the jump.

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Mount Aso: I heard you like volcanoes, so I put some volcanoes in your volcano【Photos】

Japan is a country with a whole lot of volcanoes of all shapes, sizes and persuasions. From the iconic Mt. Fuji to the recently erupted Mt. Ontake, you really can’t swing a koto around here without hitting a geological pressure cooker. And nowhere is that truer than the Aso-Kuju National Park in Kyushu, where they literally have volcanoes on top of volcanoes.

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We think he’s purr-fect! Meet Monty, the cat born without a nose bone【Photos】

Monty is a four-year-old rescue cat who’s amassed fans from all over the world. He suffers from a rare chromosomal abnormality causing him to be born without a nasal bridge. And Monty’s owners are hoping their cat will show the world that ‘looking different doesn’t mean you can’t be fantastic!’

Join us after the jump for more adorable photos of this happy little chap!

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No offense, Russia, but some of your food-art can be pretty terrible

Okay, so first off, I just want to start by saying I promise to avoid any “In Mother Russia, xxxx eat you!” jokes in this article, as tempting (and as easy) as it may be to do so.

But, that said: come on, Russia! You’re jockeying with China for worst food-art fails of all time here. While Japan has been busy cranking out new and innovative ways to create beautiful and sometimes seemingly impossible food-art masterpieces, other regions are definitely falling behind with, at best hilarious fails and, at worst, nightmare-inducing food abominations.

Let’s take a look at a few food-art fails from Russia:

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Real China dolls! Lolita fashion turns Chinese in a fusion of East meets East【Photos】

Lolita fashion is one of Japan’s most famous cultural phenomena. And lolita style, characterised by intricate, lace-adorned dresses and a doll-like look, has an off-shoot sub-genre for almost every day of the year. There’s gothic lolita, punk lolita, ‘sweet’, classic, princess, even pirate…and coming full circle, “Japanese-style” wa lolita, which incorporates elements of traditional Japanese dress such as kimono fabric, long sleeves and obi sashes.

But what happens when you mix lolita with Chinese cheongsam dresses? You get ‘qi lolita‘, a sub-genre which looks not to Japan or Europe, but to China, for its inspiration. It’s bold, different, and seriously cute.

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Go to hell: Unzen Hot Springs invites visitors to take an infernal stroll through a field of deadly hell-mouths

Welcome to Unzen, Kyushu, a sulphurous field of geothermal activity so inhospitable to life that its boiling hot springs and gas jets go by the name of jigoku or hells. This Halloween, allow us to be your Virgil and guide you through this strange world where eerie noises drift from hellish craters, clouds of foul-smelling gas confuse the mind and Christian martyrs were once boiled to death!

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