summer

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

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】

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

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

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!

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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Bring the beach to your room this summer with these cute new “fan accessories”

Bring the beach to your room this summer with these cute new “fan accessories”

We don’t know you guys, but we’re already starting to wish summer only lasted a week or so, and have started spending most of our waking hours in close proximity to our desk fans so as not to melt in the heat and humidity.

Thankfully, though, we now have something to entertain us while we sit with our faces inches from the fan trying to resist the idiotic compulsion to jam pencils in it. Now on sale in Japan, these “fan accessories” let you transform your household appliance into a relaxing beach scene, with miniature gulls, ships, shark, surfers and more that attach to your fan via lengths of coloured card, wafting along in the cool, life-restoring breeze it creates.

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Here are Japan’s favorite ice creams from last month! Vanilla wins by a mile…

Here are Japan’s favorite ice creams from last month! Vanilla wins by a mile…

Like any other country, Japan loves ice cream. Especially in the summer months, the delicious treat just flies out of the freezers. And thankfully this year, no reports of errant freezer divers have appeared online! Maybe they finally got it out of their system–or at least learned not to post photos on Twitter…

So, which flavor of ice cream is the most popular in Japan? While that’s certainly a question with an amorphous answer, there is one way to come up with a satisfying conclusion: Take a look at ice cream sales!

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Japan’s new water slide has to be seen to be believed!

Japan’s new water slide has to be seen to be believed!

There is no better way to beat the heat of the summer than a day at a water park! Ice cream and cold drinks only cool-down your mouth, whereas at a water park, you can jump into a refreshing pool of water again, again and again! You can’t do that with ice cream. For those people that love roller coasters and are always on the lookout for brand new adrenaline pumping attractions, a new ride at a famous water park has “funneled” into our sights!

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PSA: Electronics hate hot cars too – don’t leave your smartphone locked in this summer

PSA: Electronics hate hot cars too – don’t leave your smartphone locked in this summer

Like much of the Northern Hemisphere, Japan is now entering into the deep summer and the unbearable heat and sunlight that come along with it. This means that it’s time again to remind people not to leave their loved ones – human or animal – inside the car on a hot day, as even over a relatively short period of time the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to lethal levels.

Electronics, too, have a particularly strong aversion to the summer heat, as proven by a car-related mishap reported on 2-channel yesterday. This technologically tragic tale doesn’t have a happy ending, but hopefully it will save others in the future from suffering a similar fate.

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Gundam water pistols turn squirt gun fights into galactic battles

Gundam water pistols turn squirt gun fights into galactic battles

At one point in the Gundam franchise, there’s a scene where cadets are shown training with the hit anime’s giant robots by shooting humongous paintballs at each other. Until today, you could have made the argument that it was the silliest use of guns in the hundreds of hours of animation that make up the complete saga.

But not anymore, because now there are Gundam water pistols.

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15 beautiful Japanese sweets to cool you down this summer

15 beautiful Japanese sweets to cool you down this summer

Japanese summers are hard to bear. With high humidity levels, the energy-sapping heat has such an overwhelming effect on the body there’s even a word for summer lethargy in the Japanese lexicon: natsubate.

Luckily for us, Japan has developed a number of unique ways to fight the summer heat. One of the best ways to cool down is in the sensory pleasure of traditional Japanese sweets featuring watery wonderlands, night skies and gorgeous hues of blue. We’ve found 15 of the best summer sweets that are so amazing they’re more like edible works of art.

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Always live where the sun doesn’t shine with the ultimate in weird parasol technology

Always live where the sun doesn’t shine with the ultimate in weird parasol technology

People from other countries may be surprised by the number of people using umbrellas on a sunny day in Japan. However, after experiencing the scorching summers in many urban centers across the land, it’s not surprising why so many carry their own shade.

Of course there’s the obvious UV protection reasons where people wish to avoid melanoma and maintain that deathly pale complexion that’s all the rage here. There’s also the simpler reason that the sun can be freaking intense during the dog days and shade is a rare commodity on city streets.

In fact it can be so powerful that even with your standard parasol, daylight can manage to creep in and threaten your well-being. That’s why someone developed the next level in umbrella technology with Rain or Shine Umbrella for Use at the Game. With a name that catchy, you know it’s gonna be good!

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Keep kitty cool this summer with the nyanko nabe cooling pot

Keep kitty cool this summer with the nyanko nabe cooling pot

It’s not easy being covered in fur. Especially when you have to endure the stifling heat of a Japanese summer! Now hot kitties are sure to get some respite, thanks to a new product that’s already selling out online. While it may look like an everyday bowl, this is actually a whole lot more, with a special ergonomic design that’s especially effective at supporting and cooling a cat’s body. It’s called the Cooling Aluminium Kitty-Cat Pot, and it’s sure to be your cat’s favourite piece of furniture this summer.

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The top 20 most eagerly anticipated anime of summer 2014, as chosen by fans!

The top 20 most eagerly anticipated anime of summer 2014, as chosen by fans!

Summer is almost here! In Japan, that means it’s almost time for fun summer festivals, wearing cute cotton yukata, chowing down on kakigōri until inducing brain freeze, smashing watermelons on the beach, and just generally lazing about the house with fans on full blast and complaining about the insufferable heat.

In the anime world, summer means a whole new season of shows to look forward to (and the obligatory “boobikinis-at-the-beach-swimsuit-episode”). In fact, popular anime informational website Charapedia asked 10,000 fans to pick their most anticipated anime show of summer 2014, and we’ve got the results.

Which series do you think made the No. 1 spot?

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This year’s most popular bikini design sure is… different

This year’s most popular bikini design sure is… different

In Japan, fashion trends seem to come and go almost before you notice them. With summer rapidly approaching, many people are already planning their summer swimwear. One of this year’s most popular bikinis is a bit of a departure from last year’s styles, and it might just make you do a double-take.

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Starbucks Japan releases yet another drool-worthy Frappuccino flavor for summer

Starbucks Japan releases yet another drool-worthy Frappuccino flavor for summer

Starbucks Japan does it again with another seasonal item: the Crunchy Cookie Frappuccino. It’s like milk and cookies in a cup, but it’ll also keep you cool this summer. With a vanilla base, chocolate chunk cookie clusters, and even almonds, it sounds like it’ll be another tempting option on their menu…with an entire cookie crumbled up and blended in!

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It’s an epidemic! Worldwide freezer diving!

It’s an epidemic! Worldwide freezer diving!

Avid readers of RocketNews24 might have noticed our series of articles earlier this month about Japan’s latest fad, freezer diving. This year’s summer heat wave has inspired a whole string of idiotic people to climb into convenience store freezers as a way to beat the blazing weather.

Now, whether it’s a result of Japanese media hype or individual inspiration, pictures of people inside fridges and freezers are popping up all over the world. The latest country to join in the craze was China.

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Hellish Chinese summer heat causes sad pandas, exploding cars, and people literally retreating into caves

Hellish Chinese summer heat causes sad pandas, exploding cars, and people literally retreating into caves

Oddly, while there are plenty of disaster movies about earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, sharknadoes, sharktopi, even unexpected ice ages – honestly, how does an ice age sneak up on you? – there has never been a disaster movie in our memories that focused on deadly heat waves. Which is weird, because here in Asia, deadly heat waves occur every single year. And this year, it’s so bad, it’s literally causing society in China to come to a grinding halt.

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When fruit meets cute: China’s watermelon babies battle the summer heat

When fruit meets cute: China’s watermelon babies battle the summer heat

In case you’ve been in cryosleep for the last month and somehow missed us moaning about it, Japan and a number of Asian countries are currently experiencing one of the hottest summers on record and are a horrible sweaty mess. Like a bunch of restless pets wandering around the bedroom at night looking for a cool place to sleep, people are crowding into air-conditioned public areas, crashing out on treadmills in otherwise respectable department stores, and even wedging themselves into ice-cream cases.

In China, though, some clever parents have solved the heat problem for their little ones by dressing them up in the coolest, most thirst-quenching fruit of them all, with adorable results. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the watermelon babies.

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Suika Bar vs watermelon: which popsicle will win?

Suika Bar vs watermelon: which popsicle will win?

It’s summer in Japan and that means everyone is on the lookout for ways to cool down and cope with the stifling heat. For many Japanese, relief comes in popsicle form, and one of the most popular and refreshing is the Suika Bar, literally “watermelon bar”, which featured in our recent Japanese convenience store ice-cream ranking.

But what happens when you have a craving for the crunchy watermelon treat and the blistering walk to the shops is too much to bear? Our Japanese reporter recently faced this dilemma and tried to recreate the popsicle with just the fruit instead. How will the humble frozen watermelon measure up next to its manufactured cousin? We bring you the answer to this summer’s most pressing question after the break.

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