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I thought everyone was exaggerating about how great the airport in Seoul was until I actually went there

I thought everyone was exaggerating about how great the airport in Seoul was until I actually went there

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Since I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I try to fly out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport whenever I can. It’s just a 15-minute cab ride, and I can get through security quickly.

But, boy, is it a dump, especially in the United Airlines terminal. There’s an Au Bon Pain, but it’s really just a chow line without the regular storefront you see in most airports. That’s about it.

So the bar was set low when I flew to Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, on a recent business trip. Still, I had a lot of people, including two of my Korean colleagues, tell me it was the best airport in the world (it was ranked the world’s second-best airport by Skytrax, a high honor).

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Cute girls are universal! Japanese netizens rave over a Chinese girl who is “too cute”【Photos】

Cute girls are universal! Japanese netizens rave over a Chinese girl who is “too cute”【Photos】

Japan has never ceased to fascinate us with their truckloads of girl idol groups, gravure idols and, well, just cute girls in general. The Japanese population seem to be rather satiated with their ever-increasing troops of idols too. However, there has been some hype on some Japanese websites recently, with netizens uploading photos of a Chinese girl whom they think is “too cute”.

And the good news is, no “traps” are involved this time!

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Searching ‘Japan’ on Google Images in 17 different countries (Korea’s results? Just plain weird)

Searching ‘Japan’ on Google Images in 17 different countries (Korea’s results? Just plain weird)

Google operates hundreds of domain names for different regions around the world, from Australia (google.com.au) to  Zimbabwe (google.co.zw). And searching for the same keyword throws up different results depending on which country Google thinks you’re in.

So what happens when you search “Japan” in different countries’ Google Image Search? To find out, a curious Japanese netizen did exactly that. The image results reveal a little bit about how each country sees Japan – some just might surprise you!

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Japan’s pets approve of Muji bean bags, put on a masterful display of laziness 【Photos】

Japan’s pets approve of Muji bean bags, put on a masterful display of laziness 【Photos】

Last week, we brought you Japanese retail company Muji’s guide to getting nothing done thanks to the comfort and unparalleled lethargy inducing qualities of the mighty bean bag chair. Well, it seems that some of our canine and feline friends have been paying close attention, and no sooner had their owners picked one up, immediately began showing us all how to use Muji’s popular bean bag chairs properly.

Judging by these photos, these little guys are clearly the true relaxation ninjas of the land.

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Sad breakfasts the morning after a fight【Photos】

Sad breakfasts the morning after a fight【Photos】

“Never let the sun set on an argument”, they say, but we’re all guilty of going to bed angry sometimes. And what if, on waking up the next morning, you want to show your loved one you’re still really, really mad… but you also need to ensure they go to work on a full stomach?

It’s this awkward situation that’s led to one unfortunate soul in Korea getting up the morning after an argument to find one of these hilariously miserable meals for one waiting on the breakfast table. Join us after the jump for breakfasts that say “I love you – but I hate you a little bit, too”.

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Meet Marutaro, the most famous hedgehog in the world

Meet Marutaro, the most famous hedgehog in the world

Meet Marutaro, a pigmy hedgehog who lives in Japan with his hedgehog wife, Okomesan, and daughter, Kinoko. As you might be able to tell already, he isn’t any ordinary hedgehog. With 41,800 followers on Twitter and plenty more admirers around the web, Marutaro is the most famous hedgehog in the world.

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Travel through time from Shibuya

Travel through time from Shibuya

Most Japanese history buffs know that Kyoto is a must-see, but for those who prefer not to be one in a mob of tourists, it’s essential to find the hidden gems like the Kyū Asakura House. It is one of those rare places where you can experience what it may have felt like to live in another era—and this one is in the middle of Tokyo! Because it is relatively small and not too well known, visiting is a peaceful experience.

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The Real Barbie Army grows larger with the appearance of a Chinese recruit【Photos】

The Real Barbie Army grows larger with the appearance of a Chinese recruit【Photos】

There must be something in the water…or maybe in the atmosphere? Well, whatever it is, the ranks of the “Real Barbie” army seem to only be growing faster! All across the world, new recruits keep appearing, one after another, in the most…peculiar of forms.

Our most recent example hails from China and has garnered quite a bit of attention in her native country–and has gotten noticed in Japan as well. But what will her role be in the Real Barbie plans for world conquest?

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7 things that surprise a visitor to Laos 【Photos】

7 things that surprise a visitor to Laos 【Photos】

If you are visiting Laos, this is probably not your first rodeo in Asia, so I’ll skip the squat toilets and fleets of bicycles and get to seven things that this little SE Asian gem has to surprise even seasoned travelers.

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【TBT】China’s Photoshop experts will fix your bad photos, but be careful what you wish for

【TBT】China’s Photoshop experts will fix your bad photos, but be careful what you wish for

Thanks to the high level of image processing technology available, even a picture taken by an arthritic spider monkey can be made to look like something from Ansel Adams’ portfolio. Beyond that we can even create scenarios which stretch the limits of our imagination. With a little practice, one could create a seamless photo of Mickey Mouse punching Mr.T in the stomach while gold coins shoot out of his ears.

With this in mind, some Photoshop artisans have taken to the web in China and are using their unique skill sets to make right what once went wrong in the world of photography. However, sometimes wires intentionally get crossed, leading to some seriously hilarious results.
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Giant salmon refused admission, and more photos from this year’s cosplay graduation ceremony

Giant salmon refused admission, and more photos from this year’s cosplay graduation ceremony

I went to university in a sunny English seaside town, where the dress-code for graduation for some reason specified “no beachwear”. Makes you wonder how many people have to turn up to a formal event direct from taking a dip in the sea before the rules are updated to ban something new, doesn’t it? Well, outsized fish costumes are certainly off the menu at Kyoto University this year, as a student was refused entry to the graduation ceremony this week for turning up dressed as a salmon fillet.

The costumed attendee wasn’t without precedent: at Kyoto University, which is one of Japan’s most prestigious schools, students have been attending graduation in cosplay for a number of years. The quirky homemade costumes cause quite a buzz on social media, and are regularly picked up on old-fashioned Japanese TV news, too. But it looks like the university’s “anything-goes” dress-code has some caveats after all!

Let’s take a look at the best outfits from this spring’s graduation ceremony.

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Japan already makes awesome industrial robots — Here’s what happens when it looks…elsewhere

Japan already makes awesome industrial robots — Here’s what happens when it looks…elsewhere

Japan’s industrial robots and non-humanoid creations are already thriving — we’ll meet some of them shortly. But we’ll also take a look at the country’s eerie robotic human analogs that foreshadow a future where it might not be so easy to tell them apart from “real” people.

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A day in the life of a Japanese high schooler 【Photos】

A day in the life of a Japanese high schooler 【Photos】

Ah, high school. Acne, gangly limbs, and enough rampaging hormones to give you more shakes than a full pot of coffee. Can’t say I miss it. But by the looks of things, kids in Japan are totally owning high school, and today, hot on the heels of last month’s photo collection, we bring you a selection of photos of high school kids who clearly know how to have a good time.

May we present, in photo form, A Day in the Life of a Japanese High Schooler.

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‘Miss Korea’ ladies in the 1970s looked different, beautiful long before Photoshop existed

‘Miss Korea’ ladies in the 1970s looked different, beautiful long before Photoshop existed

Last April, a case of overdose on Photoshop caused a group of ‘Miss Korea’ contestants to look like cloned beauties produced by the same plastic surgeon. Though it is now clear that the ladies were not high technology clones created to take over the pageant, the incident made some of us feel that beauty pageants these days are geared towards finding a certain type of beauty standard, rather than celebrating the beauty in different women.

Is it really necessary to “enhance” the beauty of these already stunning women? Let’s take a look at the Miss Korea pageant ladies before the era of Photoshop and cosmetic surgery!

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OUCH! Here’s why you should never kiss a snapping turtle, in case you didn’t know already【Photos】

OUCH! Here’s why you should never kiss a snapping turtle, in case you didn’t know already【Photos】

There’s always someone who’s having a worse day than you. Like this poor Fujian man. When he ended up with a snapping turtle dangling from his top lip, his friends couldn’t resist putting the pictures online for the world to see.

The man certainly got more than he bargained for when he posed for these photos kissing a snapping turtle in China. The turtle latched its powerful jaws onto his lip, refusing to let go. Photos of the pair’s special moment were uploaded to Chinese microblogging site Weibo, and now even include updated “after” shots showing the poor man’s injuries.

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Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro shows us her Attack on Titan cosplay, steals our hearts

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro shows us her Attack on Titan cosplay, steals our hearts

Attack on Titan, the story of an ongoing battle between humankind and a race of ferocious, powerful giants, took not just Japan but most of the manga-loving world by storm last year, fast becoming one of the biggest sellers of 2013.

The combination of breathtaking action scenes, plot twists and genuinely fearsome adversaries has fans glued to their manga and TV screens, but there’s one female character that we could never forget about and who kept us coming back for more: Eren’s adopted sister, Mikasa.

We recently asked – nay, begged – a friend of ours, frequent variety show guest and actress Mihiro, to do us the honour of slipping into a Survey Corps uniform to show us her Mikasa cosplay skills. We knew it’d be good, but we had no idea that this 31-year-old Japanese celebrity could possibly resemble Attack on Titan‘s female hero so flawlessly. Come with us now as we stare open-mouthed and wide-eyed at the sheer cuteness that is Mihiro as Mikasa. We think you’ll be very, very impressed.

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Stunning rediscovered photos show life in Japan 100 years ago

Stunning rediscovered photos show life in Japan 100 years ago

A worker pulls a passenger cart over a wooden bridge, Mount Fuji’s snowy peak rising in the background. Men wear long dark robes as they catch fish from traditional Japanese boats, and women dive for pearls in the river. Looking at these photos of rural Japan, it’s hard to believe they were only taken 100 years ago.

The photographic techniques, however, are deliciously retro. Tinted in blue or sepia, the photos are overlaid with multiple exposures, soft-focused for a hazy glow. At the turn of the 20th century, this so-called “pictorial photography” was enjoying a brief international boom. Japan, meanwhile, was experiencing a period of rapid industrialisation which would see it move from a feudal to a modernised nation. These fascinating photos offer an insight into a way of life that was already disappearing.

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This 10-year-old schoolgirl’s “sexy” photos went viral – who’s to blame?

This 10-year-old schoolgirl’s “sexy” photos went viral – who’s to blame?

Photos of a 10-year-old girl posing in her underwear have been causing controversy online in Asia this week, with netizens quick to blame poor parenting and the influence of the media and social networking on children.

In the pictures, which were uploaded to Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo, the girl is pictured in her underwear, or sitting so her underwear is showing. Her face has been concealed by Japanese cartoon characters or toys. The photos are sexualised and shocking enough to make a huge storm on social media, but not hardcore enough that the mainstream media won’t print them. The perfect combination, therefore, for a troubling viral hit.

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(Just a few of) the craziest things seen on Japanese trains

(Just a few of) the craziest things seen on Japanese trains

Train transportation is both a blessing and a curse. Train networks make getting around extraordinarily easy, and much cheaper than owning a car. Compared to buses – which are well-known haunts of swindlers, witchcraft users and the very smelly – trains are also safe, clean and convenient.

But sometimes they present a problem, especially for those that don’t own private means of transport. Cosplayers, for instance, may have to get from A to B in costume – which, even on Halloween in Japan, can attract stares and scoffs. Or what if you want to hang out with your giant bird friends at the pub but your giant bird heads won’t fit into the car door? Circus performers, extremely drunk salarymen, movie monster extras and more have all faced this dilemma.

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31 Russians who are way more badass than you’ll ever be【Photos】

31 Russians who are way more badass than you’ll ever be【Photos】

Checked your Facebook privacy settings recently? You might want to after you see these photos taken from Russian social networks.

The Sochi Olympics may be over, but we haven’t forgotten about Russia just yet! From the bowels of the internet, we bring you 31 terrifying photos of people who should consider googling themselves before applying for a job any time soon.

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