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“It’s just like Disneyland!” Our Japanese reporter visits the love hotel where dreams are made

If Japan’s love hotels range from cheap ‘n’ cheerful to downright bizarre, Sky Paradise Rakuen must rank as one of the most marvellously ridiculous. While enjoying a discreet tryst with your partner of choice, you can also take a ride on a gondola under a sparkling jewel-encrusted sky and gaze from your balcony out over theme park-style attractions.

Disney don’t do love hotels, but if they did they’d probably look like this!

Naturally, our Japanese reporter couldn’t resist heading down to Sky Paradise to check in and check it out. Just for research, of course.

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“Too Cute” Tokyo City councilwoman has Japanese Netizens swooning

Judging by the sheer volume of these kinds of posts we do, one does get the impression that, while bored westerners are inclined to seek out cute cat videos on the Internet, Japanese Netizens with nothing better to do apparently like to scour the web for pictures of very attractive women working in jobs where being cute isn’t a prerequisite. While you’d think this would be a relatively niche interest when there’s perfectly good adult material available around the corner, “Beautiful Woman Doing Things” posts are everywhere on the Japanese net.

So, without further ado, here’s the latest Beautiful Woman Doing Things from Japan: Hachioji City councilwoman Azusa Sato.

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Twitter photo collection of Hollywood celebrities doing Japanese things in Japan

If there’s one thing Japanese people love more than Hollywood celebrities visiting Japan, it’s Hollywood celebrities visiting Japan and doing Japanese things.

Japanese Twitter user @syerinngamu recently posted a collection of photos of international celebrities doing just that. From wearing yukata to beating taiko drums to breaking open barrels of sake with a hammer and more, the pictures prove that nothing warms Japanese people’s hearts more than seeing someone internationally famous doing something cultural in their homeland.

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Luhu – the little cat who always looks sad 【Photos】

Luhu is an adorable kitty from Beijing. But this pet has a problem. Even when he’s having a great time, Luhu looks like he’s having the worst day ever.

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All-real pictures show why Japan’s “Lady of Eternal Youth” doesn’t need photoshop【Photos】

Masako Mizutani , also known as the “Lady of Eternal Youth”, is a Japanese model with legions of international fans. Mizutani is famous for supposedly looking young enough to be in her twenties – the same age as her daughter. The youthful-looking 46-year-old regularly updates her blog with photos and selfies, but as well as praise and admiration, these pics have attracted allegations of Photoshop fakery.

Determined to prove that Masako’s beauty is the real deal, our reporter Nakano grabbed his camera and headed to a special “age-measuring” event the model was appearing at. Let’s take a look at his photo report!

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Upcoming photo book captures the postwar journey of recovery for Nagoya

A new photo book titled Nagoya in the Showa Era: Showa Years 20-40 (昭和の名古屋 昭和20~40年代) captures all of the struggles and efforts to rebuild the city, which is the capital of Aichi Prefecture, between 1945-1965. If you or someone you know has a connection to Nagoya, this book may provide an interesting and relevant glimpse into the past.

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Chinese women proudly show off natural look for “2015 Armpit Hair Competition”

Believe it or not, the practice of women shaving their armpit hair in the United States is only about a century old. Before, apparently, around 1915, society didn’t really expect women to shave their underarm hair at all. This had a lot to do with the fact that razor companies weren’t shaming women into doing it yet, but also because, according to sources, back in 1915, even the mere mention of female underarm was enough to give men of the time an extreme case of the vapors.

Perhaps even more surprising, though, is the fact that the shaving of armpit hair among women didn’t catch on in China until the 1990s – a mere two decades ago! And despite, or perhaps because of, the practice’s relative newness, Chinese women are taking to the Internet in droves to proudly post photos of their armpit hair as a show of gender empowerment in the 2015 Armpit Hair Competition!

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Kitty mistakes cat tower for launch pad, tries to blast off for space

You might think that this is a post about cool cat tree for your living room, but take a closer look and you’ll see something even more… interesting.

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Police dogs in China better at lining up for chow than we are

Dogs are already known for their discipline. At least when humans are around to make sure they don’t eat garbage and lick their genitals all day long, they’re pretty good about following the rules their human masters set out before them – Marmaduke notwithstanding.

But perhaps no other type of dog is as disciplined and well-trained as the police dog. Police forces and militaries all over the world utilize these highly trained pups, not only for drug, bomb and suspicious butt sniffing, but also for search-and-rescue operations and even mine clearing. This type of highly specialized work unsurprisingly requires highly trained dogs, and police dog training is a fair bit more rigorous than getting Fido to roll over on command.

We had no idea, though, that this rigorous training regimen apparently even extends to doggy mealtime…

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu goes to Tokyo DisneySea dressed like a total creeper

Perhaps it’s not to the extent that celebrities have it in the United States, but Japanese celebs – especially pop idols of the female persuasion – are regularly accosted in public if they’re recognized. And while most stereotypically meek Japanese might be content with taking surreptitious photos from afar in the event of an idol sighting, the possibility of running across an unhinged fan or aggressive paparazzi on the streets means most Japanese pop stars will conceal their faces somehow when strolling around in public on their own.

For the typical celeb, this generally means wearing dark shades or even just wearing a fashion they’re not normally seen wearing on TV, while others still will walk around with their faces totally uncovered like the rest of the unwashed masses. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, on the other hand, wasn’t taking chances on a recent trip to Tokyo DisneySea, choosing to conceal her face entirely and looking like a total creeper in doing so.

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Harry Potter and the Selfie Stick of Douchery

Ah, the selfie stick. No piece of consumer gadgetry in recent history has received quite as much hate as this doodad. It seems to many the embodiment of the narcissism of the digital age, not just because it’s used to take photos of oneself, but because users often manage to heedlessly whack and prod bystanders in their search for the perfect angle.

To witness the corrosive power of the selfie stick, see how all your warm fuzzy memories of Harry Potter are completely ruined when wands are replaced by selfie-sticked iPhones.

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Just six Shiba Inu chillin’ out at a pizza party【Photos】

Here at RocketNews24 we advocate responsible pet ownership. So don’t rush out and buy a Shiba Inu just because they’re totally, incredibly, frickin’ adorable. Stay at home instead! And look at these amazing photos of a family in Hong Kong that has six Shiba.

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Beauty queen and “too cute to be true” Japanese model Ami Takeuchi released her first idol DVD on May 17 at a handshake and photo event for fans. Takeuchi’s DVD is not only the model’s first – it’s also being touted as the first ever idol DVD by a “new half” – the Japanese term for a trans female.

And at the launch event, Takeuchi spoke of the need for change, and her hope that Japanese society can become a place where it is easier for trans people to come out.

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36 more humorous glimpses of Asia 【Pics】

Need a little laugh to help ease yourself into the week?

In the past, we’ve featured some photo fun from Asia35 signs you might be in Asia, as well as 39 looks at the lighter side of Asia. This time, we’re bringing you 36 more bizarre, comical, and downright nonsensical scenes from around Asia!

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Someone help this poor, dying cat! Oh, wait, never mind 【Trollcats】

A Japanese Twitter user was in for a gruesome surprise on Thursday when, while out getting some fresh air, he stumbled across an exceedingly unfortunate cat that appeared to have been heinously murdered in the streets (perhaps by some Bad Rats).

The doomed feline was lying on its side near what appears to be a parking lot, with copious amounts of “blood spatter” forming a grisly trail to the poor kitty.

But, there’s more to this crime scene than meets the eye.

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In pictures: Everyday life in China and Hong Kong, 1868-1872【Photos】

Scottish travel writer and photographer John Thomson was one of the first western photographers to travel to the Far East. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, he travelled extensively in China, recording what he saw for posterity.

From elaborately dressed brides to working fishermen, Thomson captured landscapes and city scenes, people and places. The result is a captivating insight into the everyday lives of Chinese people almost 150 years ago.

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Here are the 15 most amazing home made robots, tanks, and vehicles in China

China is known as an industrious nation and, after pictures surfaced of one Chinese teacher who built a phenomenal “Iron Man” Hulkbuster replica in his garage, it seemed like the right time to take a look at some of the country’s most impressive home made inventions.

From full size, working airplanes to wooden, yet electronic cars, the Chinese have spent anything from a couple of months to several years, knocking up some pretty impressive modes of transports and robots.

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Valley of the (creepy) dolls: Nagoro has hundreds of scarecrows but almost no people

On a recent trip to Shikoku, we heard about a small town tucked away in the Iya Valley called Nagoro. Like many small rural towns in Japan, the human population has dwindled to almost nothing in recent years. Unlike other towns, though, Nagoro doesn’t look empty. That’s because it’s populated by hundreds of scarecrows.

Of course we had to go check it out.

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Ami Takeuchi is a beauty queen with pageant awards under her belt, legions of fans and a new idol DVD out, and boy, is it sexy. She also happens to be a “new half”, which in Japan refers to a trans female. Her catchphrase, in fact, is “the new half that’s just too cute!”

Warning: Things are about to get a little bit NSFW (unless you work at RocketNews24, in which case, congratulations! Pretty much nothing is NSFW!)

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NHK host, bullied for being “too busty”, quits, sticks it to the man with new photo book

Apparently, the Okinawan branch of oft-despised broadcaster NHK (Nihon Hoso Kyokai or Japan Broadcasting Corporation) had been receiving complaints, starting around 2008, from concerned parents about a morning host who was boasting some exceptionally large assets and making men and teenage boys feel all funny and conflicted while tucking in to their morning cereal.

Former announcer Tomoka Takenaka says viewers would regularly call in to complain about her (Japan size) G-cup breasts, with such gems as, “I can’t concentrate on the news [with those things in my face]!” and “It’s not good for kids to see [huge breasts] first thing in the morning”.

After additional on-set bullying from co-workers, Takenaka decided she’d had enough and called it quits to ironically pursue a career where her endowment would be more appreciated: modeling.

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