Russia

Why was Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 flying over Ukraine? NHK explains

Why was Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 flying over Ukraine? NHK explains

The recent tragedy of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has capture the attention and sympathy of people across the world, leaving many wondering how such a horrible accident could have occurred. While fingers are being pointed and world leaders are looking for someone to blame, many in Japan are also wondering why a flight from Amsterdam to Malaysia was going through Ukrainian airspace in the first place.

Read More

Nine countries, tons of food, one mode of transportation – From Beijing to London by train

Nine countries, tons of food, one mode of transportation – From Beijing to London by train

This spring, our Japanese-language correspondent Kuzo travelled to Thailand, where, among other things, he treated himself to the largest hamburger we’ve ever seen. All that beefy goodness must have given him plenty of energy, since he’s back on the road again, this time travelling all the way from Beijing to London by train.

Read More

Russian crocodile hospitalized after woman falls on it

Russian crocodile hospitalized after woman falls on it

It’s one of those tragic accidents that seems to replay itself far too often. Not a week goes by that I don’t open up the newspaper and hear yet again about how a crocodile has been injured by a woman not wearing her seatbelt.

Whelp, here we go again… On 20 May in Murmansk, Russia a two-meter-long crocodile named Fedya was treated for injures after a 120kg (265lbs) woman fell on it. This incident started off like they always do, with a minibus full of circus performers driving through the Arctic.

Read More

Crimean attorney general responds to the Internet’s attempts to turn her into an anime character

Crimean attorney general responds to the Internet’s attempts to turn her into an anime character

Japan’s infatuation with Natalia Poklonskaya, Crimea’s newly appointed and unusually photogenic attorney general, is still going strong. In the week since we first reported on it, fan art based on Eastern Europe’s comeliest stateswoman has continued to proliferate.

But how do Poklonskaya, and for that matter her anime-loving daughter, feel about the unique sort of attention she’s been getting?

Read More

17 Mind-Blowing Facts About Russia

17 Mind-Blowing Facts About Russia

Russia has been all over the headlines recently. Earlier this year, it was for the Sochi Winter Olympics. More recently, it’s because president Vladimir Putin has been flexing his muscles again, this time in Crimea.

As the world’s eighth largest economy Russia can’t be ignored. The sheer scale of its pipelines, for instance, its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, or its population decline are mind-boggling.

We put together some key facts about Russia.

Read More

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.

Read More

Mao Asada’s flawed program met with support from fellow skaters, criticized by Japanese official

Mao Asada’s flawed program met with support from fellow skaters, criticized by Japanese official

Silver medalist, Mao Asada, is the ice skating sweetheart of Japan. Loved by millions across the tiny island nation, she was expected to do great things at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. However, an unfortunate fall during her triple axel took Mao out of the running for the podium and the skating beauty finished 16th in the ladies short program. Witnessing a world-class skater make a huge mistake at such a crucial moment on the world stage was nothing short of heartbreaking. But Mao’s fellow skaters, including Michelle Kwan and Kristi Yamaguchi, took to Twitter to show their support of the young skater. Unfortunately, Mao didn’t receive the same outpouring of sympathy from one prominent Japanese official.

Read More

Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya is a firecracker both on and off the ice

Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya is a firecracker both on and off the ice

Earlier this week, 19-year-old Sendai-native Yuzuru Hanyu overcame a slightly flawed program to grab the first-ever men’s Olympic gold medal in figure skating for Japan. Japanese fans celebrated the victory with a plethora of fanart dedicated to Yuzuru by both professional manga artists and amateurs.

At the time of this writing, the ladies short program is just underway in Sochi. Japan’s Mao Asada is back, and looks to claim gold after falling short to her longtime rival, reigning “Queen” Yuna Kim of South Korea, in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Although the field is filled with several seasoned veterans, 15-year old overnight celebrity Julia Lipnitskaya of Russia in particular promises to put up a good fight. Yulia dominated the competition last week, helping her country claim gold in the new Olympic team figure skating event held for the first time at these games. If you recall, Tara Lipinski was only 15 when she won the 1998 Nagano Olympics…

One thing that sets Yulia apart is her incredible composure and focus despite participating on the world stage at such a young age. And she’s certainly not afraid to speak her mind, as some reporters recently found out the hard way…

Read More

Moscow’s First Maid Cafe is Russian-Made, Japan-Approved

Moscow’s First Maid Cafe is Russian-Made, Japan-Approved

Maid cafes have become a quintessential symbol of Japanese otaku culture and many foreigners who visit Japan make a trip to one an essential stop on their travel itinerary.

In recent years, some enterprising foreigners have even opened maid cafes back home, though some argue that they don’t translate well into other cultures and that foreign girls look awkward trotting about in stylized French maid costumes. In some cases, it is (see the video at the end of this article).

However, doubters need only look to Moscow’s first ever maid cafe, Otaky, which boasts a staff of young Russian maids so cute that even Japan acknowledges they’re doing it right.

Read More

Taking the Ferry From Japan to Foreign Lands: a New Adventure!

Taking the Ferry From Japan to Foreign Lands: a New Adventure!

If we asked you your travel plans for your next trip abroad, you would probably come up with a flight plan.  It wouldn’t occur to most of us to take a boat.  The fastest way to get from point A to point B particularly when B is overseas would have to be flying.

A ferry ride to foreign lands, compared to air travel ,may not be the most efficient way to go, but the sense of embarking on an adventure on the high seas, makes up for it!  From an island country like Japan, surrounded on all sides by water, taking a ferry trip overseas is actually very reasonable.

Although it is not widely known, there are several  ferry routes leaving at regular intervals from various ports across Japan.  Where do these ferries go?

According to information from the Travel site Tripgraphics, ferries leave regularly for destinations in China, Korea, and Russia.  There are frequent ferry departures to 8 ports of call in these three countries.  Doesn’t it tickle the imagination?  At the very least, you can’t help but be curious.  What would a sea voyage be like? Read More

Obama Family Matryoshka Dolls Found in Sakhalin, But Something’s Wrong With Bo…

Obama Family Matryoshka Dolls Found in Sakhalin, But Something’s Wrong With Bo…

Nothing says traditional Russian fold crafts like Matryoshka dolls. Go to any gift shop in Russia and you’re sure to find a set of the little wooden figures on sale.

Sometimes you can even find dolls painted with a quirky theme, such as famous musical acts or soviet leaders. One of our reporters came across a set of President Obama & family Matryoshka dolls on sale for about US $30 at a souvenir shop in Sakhalin.

Needless to say, he bought it on the spot.

Read More

In Soviet McDonald’s, Delicious Rye Bread Hamburger Eat You

In Soviet McDonald’s, Delicious Rye Bread Hamburger Eat You

Russia is one of the less commonly visited countries by Japanese travelers and so when we put the sleeping bear on our itinerary, we made sure to hit up all the important historical landmarks: St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, McDonald’s

That’s right: RocketNews24 went to Russia to eat at McDonald’s and we have no regrets, thanks to the Beef a la Rus, a delicious rye bun hamburger introduced 2 years ago to celebrate McDonald’s 20th anniversary in Russia.

So come McKomrades, let us share with you the glory that is the Beef a la Rus.

Read More

From Starbucks Russia With Love: Cute Nesting Doll Tumblers!

From Starbucks Russia With Love: Cute Nesting Doll Tumblers!

You’d have to be living in a cave not to know Starbucks Coffee has stores all over the world, but did you know that there are limited edition Starbucks tumblers and mugs that are only available in certain countries? Among those much-in-demand merchandising items, the one often said to be the cutest and most desirable comes from Russia.

On a recent trip there, we decided to check them out for ourselves. Entering the shop, we immediately clapped eyes on them! Designed to resemble traditional Russian matryoshka, or nesting dolls, these tumblers were a hot cupful of cute. It would be hard to see one and not want to put your morning latte in it. They come in three sizes, and lined up next to each other, they looked so much like real matryoshka, I couldn’t resist buying the set. Read More