The pursuit of beauty and the relentless quest to look younger is nothing new and has probably been around since the first human looked into a pool of water and realized that the disfigured beastly thing staring back was themselves. A couple of hundred thousand years and many medical technology breakthroughs later, we are spending massive amounts of money, time and pain on that quest to look younger and more beautiful. And last week a Japanese cosmetic company made an announcement that seemed to suggest they found the fountain of youth when they took 30 years off a 67-year-old man’s skin using a breakthrough technology.
Oct 15, 2014
A few days ago, we looked at a couple of cats that were mastering the art of pooping in the (people) toilet. When you stop and think about it, though, this is sort of a mixed bag for pet owners. Sure, on one hand, this frees you from the gross task of picking clumps out of the litter box. On the other hand, sharing a toilet with your cat means a lot of hair left on the seat where you put your bare butt.
If you really want an ideal cat pooping situation (and don’t we all?), you might instead want to go with this cool high-tech cat toilet that automatically sorts the litter for you after your cat does its business.
It’s raining in Yokohama right now. I’m about to go pick up lunch, though, which means that when I head out the door I’ll need to take my umbrella, which is a cheap collapsible model I bought for 500 yen (US$4.60).
But should I decide to upgrade, a team of engineers in China is developing an umbrella that shields you from the rain not with a sheet of flimsy nylon, but with blasts of air, in the form of the aptly named Air Umbrella.
Ever felt like you needed a little company or affection but didn’t want to go through the hassle of actually interacting with another human being face-to-face?
You might go for a new pet – a dog, cat, or, in even the creepiest of circumstances, an exotic reptile – or you might head to an online chatroom, some kind of hotline, a mobile app, or maybe even one of those newfangled virtual schoolgirl ogling simulators.
Or, if you’re a misunderstood serial killer, maybe you’d instead go for one of these incredibly disconcerting hugging clown chairs.
Oct 12, 2014
As of this writing Typhoon 19 is just about right on top of Okinawa. Classified as a “Super Typhoon” by NASA it is far greater in size and power than last week’s storm. The typhoon also goes by the name Vongfong, which we assume is Chinese for “killjoy” because of its incredibly bad timing.
If Typhoon 19 veers East and moves across most of Japan, it will do so right over the long weekend. With all the destruction and at very least wet nuisances brought by typhoons, the one sliver of light had always been that they often brought days off work and school with them too. Not this weekend, however, and many wait to see whether the weather will dash their holiday plans or not.
Luckily there is a plethora of online weather services for us to watch Typhoon 19 in near-real-time that are all both very informative and gorgeous enough to make you want to refer to them even after the storm has passed.
Sep 26, 2014
The Superconducting Magnetic Levitation Train (SCMaglev) has been in development by Japan Railways for decades and has already broken various world speed records for railed vehicles during test runs. However, it won’t begin operation in Japan until 2027.
That is unless you are one of the lucky few chosen for a series of test runs being conducted in November and December of this year. If you apply by midnight on 30 September you’ll get a chance to ride the train of the future today! What are you waiting for?! Go!
Actually, wait! There’s some useful information you should probably read here first. Then go!
Sep 25, 2014
Almost none of the streets in Japan have names, and even when they do, civil planners are pretty haphazard about putting up signs to let you know what they are. As a result, it’s hard to get anywhere in a car without a GPS system guiding you.
But after enough time behind the wheel, you might find yourself getting bored of the default voice chirping out you to “make a right turn in 30 meters.” So if you’re feeling a little burned out on your navigation system, or nabi as it’s known in Japan, now might be the time to update it with the voice of Evangelion’s Asuka, Attack on Titan’s Arumin, or one of dozens of other available anime characters.
Sep 25, 2014
There are few things in life more competitive than Super Smash Brothers (and, like, hot dog eating contests with hamsters). So, even though you can now Smash Brothers on the go with the new 3DS version, truly competitive players don’t want to settle for the 3DS’s inferior, cramped D-pad and button layout.
A clever Japanese Twitter user recently openly dreamed of a better way to Smash Brothers on his 3DS by connecting an old-school Gamecube controller to the portable handheld and, shockingly, another even more genius Twitter user responded with a real-life prototype he made with plentiful engineering skills, his own two hands, and what appears to be a bunch of fresh spaghetti.
Sep 24, 2014
Fights have broken out all over the world in the last couple of days in front of Apple Stores as people queued for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Sep 24, 2014
Apple iPhone releases have been known to make people do crazy things. Whether it’s dressing as a blue slime and sleeping on the street for days or using your nipple to unlock your phone, there’s a sense of excitement and ceremony surrounding each new model that makes us want to push the boundaries and just have fun.
The latest release on the weekend was no different, and in our excitement to test out the much-anticipated ‘Digital Image Stabilization’ (DIS) on the iPhone 6, it seemed entirely sensible to line up two different models side-by-side and give them both a good shake. And how better to do that than by strapping them onto a vibrator?
Sep 24, 2014
If you’re an Apple fanboy living in Japan, you may have noticed – while waiting in a ridiculously long line for your latest gadget – that there was a huge number of Chinese nationals waiting in line along with you.
That’s because, for the last couple of years, heading out to other countries to buy up the latest Apple products and sell them for a profit back in China has become a popular pastime for China’s more enterprising scalpers.
But this year, when Apple stores unexpectedly sold out of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 + before lines could dissipate, things got a little out of hand with the remaining Chinese customers, who reportedly stormed at least one Tokyo-based Apple store and wrecked the place – in addition to leaving piles of garbage out on the streets. Which would not have gone down well had it not been for the actions of one man.
Sep 22, 2014
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went on sale last Friday, and we were pretty psyched. In fact, our very own Mr. Sato was so excited about the launch that he was, once again, first in line to get his hands on the latest version of Apple’s smartphone, and we’re sure others in the U.S. and Hong Kong felt just as happy with their new purchases.
Not everyone in the world got to be in on the fun, though. Apple is staggering the launch of the iPhone 6, and while Japan was lucky enough to be in the first batch of territories where it has become available, mainland China wasn’t. This has led to some extra cash for iPhone resellers, as well as customs officials who spent the weekend steadily confiscating smuggled iPhones.
Something many visitors to Japan notice is the abundance of overhead power lines. Whether you’re in the suburbs, city center, or even rural communities, it’s rare to look up at the sky or towards the horizon without the view being crisscrossed by thick, black cables.
So why does Japan have so many above-ground power grids when so many other countries have gone subterranean? The easy answer is cost, but there’re also some purported advantages to stringing cables up on poles, and the country hasn’t quite reached a consensus on which is the better option.
Scott R Dixon
Sep 15, 2014
Sitting on several fault lines, Japan is no stranger to natural disasters and the havoc that ensues afterward. While these tragedies can’t be prevented, their effects can be lessened by making a disaster preparedness kit to handle several days without power or access to food and water.
A key item in these kits is usually batteries, and a Japanese company’s recent announcement about a new kind of battery is expected to completely change the way we prepare for disasters. Only needing to be filled with water, the “Mg Box” battery can be used to charge smartphones, and the invention has made the Japanese company’s stock skyrocket as investors rush to back the game-changing technology.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Sep 11, 2014
Apple just announced its new generation of gadgets, including a smartwatch called the Apple Watch. Not wanting to wait for its 2015 release, Japanese Twitter user Shoji Hiromichi decided to make his own…out of a real apple.
Apple has officially announced the iPhone 6, and also its big-screen sibling, the iPhone 6 Plus. This is great news for technophiles who’d already started lining up for the new device before it was officially unveiled, but there’s one slice of the Japanese population that’s completely unimpressed: hard-core fans of idol singer video game and anime franchise Aikatsu! The otaku subset has compiled a list of seven reasons why, compared to one piece of Aikatsu! merchandise, the iPhone 6 is a piece of junk.
China’s latest military robot looks like a grotesque mutant, attracts the attention of cynical Japanese netizens
Hayashi 'Fang' Hougi
Sep 10, 2014
This mutant robot was featured at the 2014 Beijing International Emergency Rescue Expo and was described by Chinese media as ‘eye-catching’. It certainly is that, but we wouldn’t say it is exactly pleasing to look at. As you can see, the robot looks like a bizarre combination between a mutated four-legged spider and the dried squid I am having with my end-of-summer beer.
Sep 9, 2014
About this time last year, we brought the story of a group of fans who spent over a week camped out on the sidewalk, just so they could be first in line to snag an iPhone 5S on launch day at the Apple Store in Tokyo’s Ginza. But while we can understand the appeal of the fun and comradery that comes from braving the elements with your fellow technophiles, we were a little shocked when we recently strolled by the same store in the swanky neighborhood and saw there’s already a line forming for the iPhone 6, which Apple hasn’t even announced yet.
Scott R Dixon
Sep 8, 2014
Working hard every day in offices all over the world, the humble printer rarely gets its due. While the flashier (and sometimes more scandalous) 3-D printers tend to capture most of the attention, everyday office printers continue their humdrum existence just under the radar of most of the world.
But that all changed the other week when the Internet caught a glimpse of a printer seemingly catching its own paper as the sheets were about to fall to the ground. The printer, made by the Japanese company Kyocera, awed netizens worldwide and made them wonder if the Kyoto-based electronics manufacturer had other secret printer features.
Scott R Dixon
Sep 8, 2014
Ever sit down to eat a meal and wish you knew how many calories or salt were in your food? Ever cooked a piece of meat or fish only to later wonder whether it might have gone bad? Last week, Chinese Internet giant Baidu announced that it has been working on a pair of wi-fi-enabled high-tech chopsticks that will be able to detect the nutritional makeup of the food it touches as well as warning consumers of any safety issues such as contaminants or expired food.
- How to cook miso soup (the right way) in a few simple steps【RocketKitchen】1
- Question reveals how foreigners feel about speaking Japanese, getting English in return2
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours3
- Our Japanese reporter visits an American sushi restaurant in Japan4
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute5
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters6
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick7
- Want to make music, but can’t play an instrument? Casio app turns your hums into full tracks!8
- Make sure to visit this historical onsen once before you die, or just do it right now with Google9
- The weirder the better? These Japanese zakka are hot sellers in Korea10
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours1
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world2
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer3
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters4
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make5
- Japanese sleep experts say we’ve been using our blankets wrong, help us hate winter a little less6
- Budding Japanese student artists impress us with chalkboard works of art7
- Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence8
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute9
- Controversial pick-up artist breaks silence as campaign against him continues10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises5
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit6
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make7
- One Piece manga sends off Naruto with a classy secret message8
- Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】9
- Just a bunch of adorable cats riding on trains in 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
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher3
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”4
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】5
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China6
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later7
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons8
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea9
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked10
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick
- Want to make music, but can’t play an instrument? Casio app turns your hums into full tracks!
- Make sure to visit this historical onsen once before you die, or just do it right now with Google
- The weirder the better? These Japanese zakka are hot sellers in Korea
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer
- “We don’t want to be girls. We just want to be cute!” The future of crossdressing in Osaka
- “Common habits of Japan’s low earners”: What this survey tells us, and what it doesn’t
- Who knew frozen apples could taste so good!: Simple dessert recipe for the diet-conscious
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make
- Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence
- 10 Japanese foods you can make at home!
- New Lotte chewing gum promotion features cool guys to suit every taste
- Tokyo train delayed due to the strangest of reasons