summer

Summer is coming! Stay cool with this retro-style shaved-ice maker!

The cicadas are chirping, the sun is shining, and we’re starting to get sweaty – it can only mean one thing: summer is coming! And with it all kinds of delicious treats like ice cream, ice cream, and, oh yes, ice cream.

But when you only really want to cool down and don’t want to consume too many calories, shaved ice is a much lighter alternative source of summer snack. But why rely on others to do your shaving for you? Why not shave it yourself in style with this awesome retro shaved ice maker?

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What happens when a guy goes to a Japanese women’s swimsuit store and asks for their best bikini?

Japan has recently seen an increase in merchandise like “men’s bras” and “men’s panties” with designs that are practically the same as women’s versions. Which is all well and good, but it’s left us with one question: Why are we still separating men’s and women’s swimsuits?

While we suppose women probably can’t wear men’s swimsuits without Johnny Law giving them a citation or two, there’s nothing really stopping men from throwing on something like, say, a bikini. And that’s exactly what a writer from our Japanese site did! Take a trip to the beach with us and see how he liked his new swimwear!

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Starbucks Japan to release frozen drink maker for homemade cool refreshments

Who’s ready for the hot and humid summer? We’re approaching the second half of spring here in Japan, so that means it’s almost time to get out those Cool Biz clothes and your sweat towels, because this summer is bound to be as uncomfortably muggy as always.

Starbucks has your back this year though. Later this month they’ll be releasing the “Starbucks Frozen Drink Maker” – a reusable mug that doubles as a super simple frozen coffee mixer. It’s easy, it’s cold and it’s delicious. Let’s take a look!

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Sexy yukata amuse Japanese Internet users, leave us confused

One of the more disturbing stereotypes propagated about Japan is that of the “sexy geisha,” which can often be found around Halloween time in the form of unrealistically skimpy (and blatantly racist) outfits. Normally, we’d decry any version of these get-ups, but when they’re manufactured and sold in Japan, we find ourselves left scratching our heads.

Fortunately, Japanese Internet users also gave us something to smile about with their amused–and confused–comments.

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You know it’s hot in Japan when the birds are taking iced tea baths

During the summer in Japan, it’s a constant battle between trying to save energy and keeping yourself from melting in the hot, humid weather. Some choose to use deodorizing wipes to keep the stink and sweat away, others simply indulge in Japan’s irresistible ice cream for some eco-friendly relief. But what if you’re a pet bird with an energy-conscious owner who refuses to keep the house cool? This little parakeet has found the solution: a cool dip in someone’s glass of iced tea!

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Japanese viewers spot “real ghost” in TV broadcast, get all freaked out

As well as barbecues, rooftop beer gardens, and delicious ice-cream, summer in Japan is time for horror. No, not the fear of opening your August electricity bill after all those nights sleeping with the air-con on, but scary stories. Whether you get your scare fix by going to the movies, visiting a pop-up haunted house, or do it old-school by telling ghost stories around a campfire, in Japan, summer is the season to cool off by giving yourself the chills.

I’ve never quite seen the appeal of actual horror films, personally, and tend to find them mildly distressing, although not in an exciting way like other people do. “Well, that’s kind of gross”, is about the strongest reaction I can muster. I do love Japanese TV though, and there’s no shortage of scary programming here in summer. Honto ni atta kowai hanashi (“scary stories that totally actually happened”) – or Honkowa for short – celebrated 15 years onscreen this year with a summer special that went out on the night of August 16th. During the broadcast, something unexpected happened – and viewers took to Twitter to ask the eternal question into the internet ether: “Did anyone else see that, or was it just me!?”

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Make a clay Yoda figure to turn from the dark side of summer: boredom

While there is plenty to do during summer in Japan, the warmer months of the year can start to get on your nerves when poisonous creatures keep sun-loving crowds away from the beach, or those sweaty days in the office when you see a little more than you bargained for. And as owners of the beloved (providing the prequels are totally forgotten) Star Wars franchise, Disney has a solution for those summertime blues: a fun craft project to make a clay Yoga figurine.

Requiring little more than a printer and some modeling clay, this Yoda is sure to make any young padawan into a Jedi-level sculptor.

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5 awesome Japanese ice creams that are perfect for summer 【Video】

It’s the middle of August, and while the days we’ve been having recently aren’t quite as face-meltingly hot as those a couple of weeks ago, it is nevertheless still pretty toasty out there. Thankfully, just like when suffering with a cold or sore throat, the summer heat does afford us one very tasty luxury: a genuine excuse to gorge on delicious ice cream!

If you’re feeling the heat this summer, or are just curious about some of Japan’s go-to ice cream treats, join us after the jump for a special video featuring five of our frozen favourites.

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This summer, Japanese gaming site Dengeki Online invites you to vote for the No. 1 beautiful girl game app character in a swimsuit!

There are 85 entries in all, from a total of 35 games and 22 companies. We’ve got beach cuties, busty babes, and goddess types, all waiting for your viewing pleasure. Even if you don’t have a thing for anime-style girls, you can at least admire the gorgeous artwork! Which character do you think looks the cutest in a swimsuit?

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Host of bizarre video series tries to increase the size of her bust by massaging it with vegetables

No, this is not a joke. This is an actual video–number 28, actually–in a whole series of videos made for the sole purpose of trying to find the best ‘method’ to increase a small-chested woman’s bust size.

In this particular excerpt, our unfaltering host Ryoko tries out one of her ideas for natural enlargement by massaging her chest…with summer vegetables?! All of you interested ladies (and men; we know that y’all secretly want to increase your chest size so you can wear one of these little gems), join us after the jump to learn more about this “Method to increase your breast size when harvesting summer vegetables”!

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Singing, ticking timebombs – 5 facts about the special significance of cicadas in Japan

Coming from the UK where the largest insect you’re likely to encounter is a slightly overweight bumblebee, I was quite taken aback the first time I saw a semi, or cicada in English, in Japan. Having arrived in the middle of summer, at first the ear-piercing racket coming from the tree outside my window drove me to distraction, but over the years I came to enjoy the sound these little bugs made, even if their appearance still gives me the creeps.

As it happens, I’m not the only one who appreciates these little bugs’ songs. Cicadas hold special significance here in Japan, and are considered to be almost synonymous with summer, so join us after the jump for five quick-fire facts about Japan’s summer bug.

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Genius Chinese college students use indoor inflatable pools to beat summer heat

I thought summers in America were hot, until I moved to Asia and learned firsthand what a hot summer is really like. In Japan, China and other parts of East Asia, the summer can be brutal to the point that people flock to public pools by the thousands, risking other people’s disgusting mud butt and possible drowning by crowd crush just to enjoy a few moments in the tepid water.

But a number of enterprising Chinese college students have apparently figured out a genius workaround: Just put a pool in your own dorm room.

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Don’t get your lips stuck to this Coke bottle made entirely of ice

In an effort to convince all of Japan to enjoy an ice-cold Coca Cola during the hot and humid summer months, Coca Cola Japan has created a campaign giving anyone the chance to win a Coke bottle made out of ice. Click on to find out how they’re made, how to get your hands on one, and how not to enjoy a solid block of ice!

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Heatstroke countermeasures already being prepped for 2020 Olympics

As Japan continues to bake in soaring temperatures, Tokyo 2020 Olympic and government officials have begun discussing measures to avert heatstroke cases during the Olympics which will run for two weeks from July 25, 2020.

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Japanese man goes missing at sea for 20 hours, then gets rescued by a lucky lifebelt

While there’s nothing quite like a dip in the ocean on a hot summer day, this man’s quick swim-turned missing person’s case will serve as a great reminder why you should always be careful in Mother Nature’s swimming pool.

Earlier this week, a 29-year-old man from the city of Kobe was enjoying some sea-side bathing with his friends when a strong wind came, sweeping him far from the coast. His friends acted quickly, called the local police and a search ensued for 20 hours until the missing man turned up on a beach 40 kilometers to the south thanks to an incredibly lucky discovery.

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Not so fun in the sun – Cases of heatstroke hit a year-high last week in Japan

The end of July has brought soaring temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) to certain parts of Japan. As we saw this past weekend, the oppressive heat was even enough to make Tokyo Disneyland look almost deserted, an unheard-of feat.

While your first temptation may be to cool off at the beach, remember to take precautionary safety measures anytime you’re under the sun–last week also saw the highest number of cases of heatstroke in Japan this year-to-date.  

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Japanese Twitter users report an increase in ninja cat sightings as summer settles in【Photos】

It’s summer in Japan! How do you like to spend the season? Many Japanese enjoy going to the beach or having fun at the public pools and water parks to take a cool dip in the scorching weather. Natsu-matsuri (summer festivals) and fireworks displays held at various locations are also events that many Japanese look forward to in the summer.

Climbing on screen doors, however, seems to be the favorite summer pastime of these Japanese house cats!

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Fashion advice – Almost half of Japanese women say they don’t like guys wearing tank tops

Last week, Japan’s CyberAgent invited women to share their thoughts regarding men’s summer fashion via a survey on anonymous online bulletin board GIRL’S TALK. While the poll in itself was in no way earth-shattering, the results showed that guys who are wanting to impress the ladies may want to think twice before putting on that tank top or swimsuit before heading out for the day.

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Visitors to this Wakayama beach get to swim with whales this summer

As comedian and noted lover of cinnamon rolls and burritos Jim Gaffigan famously said, going whale watching is kind of boring. It’s a handful of hours of waiting around, a brief glimpse of “something I wouldn’t even watch on television,” and then your most likely drunk tour captain whisking you back to shore in time for happy hour.

And maybe Jim’s right. Sure, whales are the most majestic of creatures, but is it really all that fun to spend all day on a swaying deck for a half-second glimpse of a tail or something? Scuba diving with whales would be much more exciting, but that’s sort of dangerous and you need a license. If only there were a place where whales would come right up to you on the beach and hang out for a while…

Oh, that’s right! That’s exactly what happens at Wakayama’s easy-to-read-and-pronounce Higashimuroguntaijichou Whale Beach.

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New in time for summer: Sparkling tomato booze!

Personally, I can’t stand the taste of tomato juice. Even if I try to be healthy and buy a mixed fruit-and-vegetable drink, if there’s even a hint of tomato going on, the carton gets immediately shoved back in the fridge for my wife to try (read: finish off for me).

But if you’re one of those folks who just can’t get enough of that curious red stuff, there’s a new drink you may want to try this summer: Toma Toma Sparkling. Oh, and it has alcohol in it.

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