With bookstores in Japan overflowing with manga, novels and non-fiction, it takes a lot to stand out and get noticed. However, with the advent of the three styles of book stacking we’re going to show, it’s impossible for passersby not to stop and take a gander at these literary works.
Christmas is coming up, and if you are wondering whether you should get gramps another boring old tie pin or golf shirt, may we humbly suggest a skull- or dragon-shaped walking stick of death?!
If you are a regular RocketNews24 reader, you may already know that there have been a lot of changes to Japan’s consumption tax system this year. For those of us who live here, it’s meant an annoying price hike for nearly everything, but for visitors, there is some good news.
Starting today, October 1, new rules regarding consumption tax exemptions for foreign visitors go into effect, and for once, these are actually changes that work in your favor. More details after the jump.
I’m not really the most organized person around; my desk looks like someone who hates me with a dark passion sneaks in every night just to sweep papers around and knock stuff over. So I’ve never really had much interest in or need for one of those little random odds-and-ends plates to hold trinkets (the floor does a pretty good job of that, for me).
But, if you are an organized person, have a lot of trinkets or just like having cool stuff around to decorate with, you’re probably going to love these awesome dishes that can be molded into any shape your heart desires and returned to their original state over and over again.
- Cara Clegg
Aug 22, 2014
Target is America’s second-largest retailer, and its humongous stores have everything you could possibly need, from food to clothing to household goods. For a Japanese person visiting America for the first time these stores can be a tourist attraction in themselves as they gaze at the enormity of it all, and then leave without buying anything because it’s too overwhelming and they’re scared of doing something wrong.
However, our writer Japanese found something in a Target store that may even surprise Americans too.
Aug 15, 2014
“Why should only big-breasted girls get all the fun of lingerie shopping?” is apparently the question that led Japanese fashion school student Gomi Hayakawa to design and sell these stylish lingerie sets, tailor-made for flat chested girls, under the brand name of “Feast.”
Now, I understand that, in English, “flat-chested” has mildly derogatory connotations (imagine how a guy would react if you described him as having “micro junk” or something), but trust me, in this case I’m literally just directly translating. Japanese has so many words for varying sizes, textures and shapes of breasts your head will spin.
Jul 15, 2014
Just recently, we brought to you the sailor swimsuit which seemed to masterfully combine two well-loved fashion elements into one. Well, we’re happy to say that one of the reporters from our sister site Pouch have found more adorable swimwear to share with you, and this time, they come in some very “flowery” designs!
We’re not talking about ordinary flower prints here, though. These beautiful swimsuits are actually from Thailand, and we think you’ll understand why they’ve been selling extremely well online here in Japan once you see the amazing three-dimensional patterns which really look like flowers have blossomed all over the suits. So prepared to be dazzled by some eye-opening bikinis — plus, they have some adorable accessories to match the swimwear perfectly as well!
Kagurazaka is one of the most attractive and interesting enclaves in all of Tokyo. Its name in kanji, 神楽坂, literally translates to “God Music Slope”, referring to kagura, the spiritual music traditionally dedicated to Shinto gods. Located at what used to be the outer edge of Edo Castle, the gentle slope that still runs through Kagurazaka today was once filled with the sounds of music emanating from the Imperial Court.
Today, this is one of the few remaining areas of Tokyo where you’ll find exclusive geisha houses hidden off the main street and kimono-clad women shuffling through narrow cobblestone alleyways. It’s also the best place to experience a taste of France, as it has the largest concentration of French restaurants in Tokyo, and a vibrant French expat community. You’ll even hear the strains of accordions as they pipe Parisian music through speakers on the street!
Join us after the jump as we take a stroll through the area and reveal why a visit to Kagurazaka should be on your list of places to see in Tokyo.
After a grueling nine year wait, the two dozen or so hardcore fans of Lemon Coke can finally triumphantly shrug their shoulders and go, “Meh,”, as the company has announced it’s bringing back the mildly tolerated legend after a long hiatus.
The new Lemon Coke, now with slick new packaging that includes a spiffy yellow cap, will be re-introduced to 16,622 7-Elevens throughout Japan, probably to the glorious, collective nonchalant grunts of thousands. Based on promotional photos, the Coke seems a little more transparent than usual, indicating that there must be a whole lot of lemon juice in there.
The rainy season is upon us in Tokyo, which means the smart commuter always has a fold-up umbrella in his or her bag. Their small size and portability makes them great for just-in-case days of dubious weather forecasts, but then there’s always the issue of what to do with them after you’ve used them. You can’t just fold them up and pop them dripping back into your bag, holding them by the strap usually means they end up dripping down your legs, and tossing them on the luggage rack means ta shower for the passengers below.
Until now that is. Someone has finally invented a workable solution! Introducing the Susu microfiber dry case for wet brollies!
How many times have you been at a friend’s house, or eating out with someone and you see a really fantastic T-shirt but thought, “if only it was a little different?” You’re jealous, to say the least, because that’s the kind of T-shirt you’ve always wanted to own, with a few changes. The colors, the graphics, the way it looks like it was randomly splattered with other things, it all rocks. Of course, you could go to a T-shirt design shop and work with them to make your own, but it’s too time-consuming and let’s face it, you’re lazy.
Uniqlo, the store that seems to be expanding to more parts of the globe every day, has your back. And it’s really as simple as swiping your finger across the screen of your smart phone. Oh, and of course, shaking it.
- Oona McGee
May 20, 2014
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the bustling, beautiful megalopolis of Tokyo, then the city really is yours – you just have to know where to look. And if you want to get away from the tourist trail and get down close to the beating heart of the capital, a journey into the back streets of the 23 wards is where you’ll wind up.
Come with us as we take you into different neighbourhoods and spend an afternoon exploring some of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets. Today we’ll take you around some of Shibuya’s lesser known backstreets, where you can chow down on falafels, pick up some of the best coffee and soak up a hip, laid-back atmosphere.
When you think about fashion, there’s a good chance that the first place you think of is Paris–and with good reason! France is certainly one of the leading fashion centers in the world, but Tokyo isn’t far behind. Though it may not be at the very top of the list of fashion cities, we’d reckon that the Japanese metropolis is at least in the top ten. So, it’s hardly any surprise at all that Hermès, one of France’s most celebrated fashion companies, has over ten locations in Tokyo proper alone, with a few more in Narita and Haneda airports as well.
Of course, high fashion is an art form, so it’s only fitting that Hermès stores also feature eye-catching displays to match their mesmerizing goods. But we think they might have gotten a bit too eye-catching with a few of these showcases…
The “Cool Japan Promotion Organization,” an organization dedicated to bringing traditional and popular Japanese culture to countries overseas through various business projects, has announced their plans to open a Japanese mall in the Chinese city of Ningbo, Zhejiang. The mall will provide shoppers with a unique Japanese shopping experience, including clothing stores and anime theaters, alongside other distinctly Japanese businesses.
Apr 29, 2014
So, apparently numerous ’50s and ’60s B-Movies (and one glorious ’80s cartoon) and a popular, genre-defining video game weren’t enough to deter scientists from playing God with plant-life if the growing number of hybrid vegetables available on Japanese store shelves is any proof.
These days, most hybrid vegetables are created over a roughly 10-year period of crossbreeding certain seeds in what we presume is some kind of laboratory setting, although the practice has been alive for centuries – yielding some hybrids that the general public isn’t even aware are hybrids. The Romanesco, for example, is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, and was created in the 16th century. Side note: It’s also probably mind blowing to look at while high.
But the things we’re seeing increasingly often in Japan these days are just plain weird.
- Joan Coello
Apr 27, 2014
There are some things that children do that can ruin a nice day out for an adult or for the whole family, and such behavior is generally tolerated only because they’re kids and they have no idea what a nightmare they’re causing. But when a fully grown adult throws a tantrum in public, you can be sure that it’s probably going to end up on YouTube…
Don’t see what I’m trying to get at? You might have a better idea after watching this couple arguing at an auto show, the woman screaming and pulling at her man’s shirt because he won’t buy her the car she likes.
We can all agree that being lazy is the best. There’s nothing quite like spending a weekend catching up on Game of Thrones, stuffing your face with pizza and taking care of certain, uh… solo carnal needs (Just me?). That said, laziness can be a slippery slope. One too many unproductive weekends can easily turn into a vicious cycle of booze, potato chips and Three’s Company reruns just as addictive as any illicit substance.
That’s why this all-in-one lazy-enabling bed is probably downright dangerous. With the proper placement, this bed allows you to do practically anything other than go to the bathroom without ever taking a single step away from your mattress.
- Master Blaster
Apr 23, 2014
This stylish chain of stores has seen branches popping up all over China and boasts “Japanese brands” and “100% Japanese quality” all for the reasonable price of 10 yuan (US$1.60). It’s called “Meiso” in its native language of Japanese where it is said to have found major success… which is interesting because there doesn’t seem to be a single Meiso outlet in the whole country of Japan.
Well, actually that’s not completely true. Much like how the spirit of Santa Claus lives in every child’s heart, the spirit of Meiso can be found in three of Japan’s largest retailers – Uniqlo, Mujirushi Ryohin, and Daiso – in it’s eerily similar design to all three. And that’s just the tip of the weirdness iceberg.
Apr 21, 2014
As a two-party democracy, the United States can be a fickle place for marketers. Republicans and Democrats are so different ideologically that certain words and phrases on your product label or in your ad campaign are practically guaranteed to alienate half of the market; or, if you’re especially unlucky, all of it. Take the word “immigrant,” for example – it’s a loaded word that will make Republicans shun your product believing that it advocates rights for immigrants (Remember, this is the same party whose leaders sometimes suggest in all seriousness building a moat – complete with cartoonish man-eating alligators – around the US to keep illegals out), while Democrats might see the word “immigrant” on a product and suspect some type of labor exploitation going on.
Luckily, Americans – and Japanese – of all stripes are united in their love of beer, so Chiba, Japan’s Loco Beer brewery’s rendition of an old American beer recipe, originally brewed by German immigrants, gets a pass from American expats and Japanese consumers alike on the unfortunate naming of its new Immigrant Pilsner craft beer.
Alibaba, the enormous Chinese e-commerce company, is about to file for an IPO in the U.S.
The two most popular Alibaba websites — Taobao and Tmall — are Chinese marketplaces and rather inaccessible if you don’t know the language, but there’s also Alibaba.com, an English site for sales between importers and exporters in more than 240 countries.
Alibaba.com has been known to sell different types of well-disguised counterfeit goods. Not only that, but a lot of the stuff on the site is just straight up bizarre or oddly labeled (we found quite a few normal products that for some reason had the phrase “hot” or “girl” tacked onto them).
We dug around Alibaba.com, and here are some of the gems we found:
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China1
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea2
- New tax exemption system for foreign visitors to Japan starts today!3
- Shonen Jump surprises readers with literal booby traps in new online manga service4
- Maruyama Zoo tries to mate two spotted hyenas for four years, recently learns both are males5
- To handwrite, or not to handwrite? Recruiter lays into ‘laziness’ of young Japanese job hunters6
- Expat’s video “Our Japan” beautifully captures why we love it here7
- We try Riedel’s glass which unleashes the true flavor potential of Coca Cola8
- Japanese town promotes itself as a cosplay-friendly destination9
- 【TBT】The avant-garde art of book stacking in stores of Japan10
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China1
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea2
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls3
- We troll a scammer online, make him wish he’d never tried to take our money4
- Japanese women reveal their methods of raising a guy’s bedroom technique5
- Japanese illustrated cookbook teaches you how to cook “mother and daughter”【Photos】6
- New tax exemption system for foreign visitors to Japan starts today!7
- The ugly truth of goukon, Japan’s group blind dates8
- Chinese cadet is beautiful enough to make you want to join the army9
- Teen job hunter learns: Do not screw around at an interview with McDonald’s Japan10
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea3
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady4
- Lifehack: Transform a Starbucks paper bag into a fully functional wallet!5
- Scholars confirm first discovery of Japanese sword from master bladesmith Masamune in 150 years6
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China7
- Japanese actor’s unfortunate choice of t-shirt has net users amused, doubting his English ability8
- You’re in for a big surprise if you fall for this bikini wearing DJ’s sexy poster!【Photos】9
- Chibatman called in by police, receives their official approval10
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】1
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star2
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!3
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls4
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later5
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons6
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker7
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea8
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady9
- The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】10
- To handwrite, or not to handwrite? Recruiter lays into ‘laziness’ of young Japanese job hunters
- Expat’s video “Our Japan” beautifully captures why we love it here
- We try Riedel’s glass which unleashes the true flavor potential of Coca Cola
- Japanese town promotes itself as a cosplay-friendly destination
- 【TBT】The avant-garde art of book stacking in stores of Japan
- Strawberry and beef? We try Lotteria’s new Tochigi Wagyu Steak Hamburger with Strawberry Sauce
- The awesome Soccer Samurai is back, and this time he’s fighting ninjas in Manchester 【Video】
- One Direction’s Harry Styles imports Japanese to the United States
- Of course Japan wants you to use the Oculus Rift to look up girls’ skirts
- OUCH! Here’s why you should never kiss a snapping turtle, in case you didn’t know already【Photos】
- 27-year-old in Japan arrested for 3-D printed pistol, says he didn’t know it was illegal
- Teen job hunter learns: Do not screw around at an interview with McDonald’s Japan
- We troll a scammer online, make him wish he’d never tried to take our money