Welcome aboard the Hogwarts Express! Located in Osaka prefecture, this new attraction opened its doors in July of 2014. Thousands of Harry Potter fans have flocked to USJ since its opening, and RocketNews24 is here to provide you with some tips and tricks to make your visit as smooth as possible. Hold onto your wands, and join us as we enter the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- Fran Wrigley
Sep 23, 2014
With major restaurant chains hit by food safety scares, and a factory worker jailed last month for lacing frozen foods with pesticides, consumer confidence in the food industry in Japan is at an all-time low. Writer and food safety campaigner Hirokazu Kawagishi’s latest book is a timely contribution to this renewed skepticism about the food we eat, where it comes from, and whether it is what it claims to be. In Gaishoku no uragawa (literally, “the other side of dining out”), Kawagishi reveals the secrets behind Japan’s restaurant trade.
In an extract published in Toyo Keizai this week, Kawagishi lifts the lid on Japan’s kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) with 10 pro tips to help you decide which restaurants are worth your time — and which to avoid.
Let’s take a look at what he recommends, including why you should always take a closer look at the squid; the secret significance of the hole in the soy-sauce pourer, and more tips to make sure you don’t get scammed at the sushi counter.
Moving or traveling to a foreign country, especially one with a culture very different to your own, can be a nerve-wracking as well as exciting experience, especially with a country like China which has a long history of tradition. There’s so much that could go wrong and so many unintentional faux pas to make. Wouldn’t it be handy if someone put together a helpful list of the top ten things someone coming to China should know…? Read on to find out what conversation topics are as awkward as talking about hemorrhoids and why you should never give someone a green hat.
For most, a trip to Japan usually involves hitting as many of the big sights as possible. Tokyo Tower, the ornate temples of Kyoto, Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Dome, the “floating” torii gate of Hiroshima’s Miyajima Island, and of course the famous Shibuya Scramble intersection are all top tourist spots. But what if you’ve lived in Japan for a while or already seen most of the more famous sights? The good news is, there are tons of smaller locations that, while they may not top many people’s lists of must-see spots, are definitely worth checking out if you have the time or are simply looking for something a little off the beaten track.
Thankfully, a handful of Japanese net users recently provided us with a list of locations that they’d personally like visitors to their country to know a little better. Join us after the jump for six smaller, but equally cool, spots to add to your sightseeing list.
Jul 27, 2014
Japan has a reputation as a very expensive place to travel, but it is trying to raise its profile as an international destination with some deals available just for foreign visitors. We here at RocketNews24 have gathered all the information together in one place for your travel-planning pleasure, so now you have no excuse not to visit us!
Everyone has their own studying methods, but no matter which one you choose, learning a language boils down to mastering four things; reading, writing, listening and speaking. I know people who study so hard they literally memorize words out of a dictionary. There are also the people who think that the best way to pick up a language is to live in the native country and speak the lingo as much as possible.
I believe in practicing over studying. And by “practicing”, I mostly mean “surfing the internet”. If you’re currently struggling with learning the Japanese language, or if you hate studying but would like to improve your Japanese, read on!
What is “sexy”? It’s a question that no one person can definitively answer. But in much the same way that we know “art” when we see it, we also know “sexy” when it comes our way! Even if it’s from an unexpected place.
A recent survey asked of 150 Japanese men if they had ever felt attracted to another guy. Roughly 25 percent said yes, and even offered up their reasons for these rare moments of boy-love, which were so adorable that we just had to share.
Getting a haircut in another country – in a foreign language – can be a daunting experience. We’ve all heard stories about that one unfortunate soul who, just wanting a trim, indicated a few centimetres between thumb and forefinger, only for the hairdresser to think that was how much they wanted to remain on their head and start lopping off hair left, right and centre.
Japan being Japan, of course there are a few surprising and funny things they do at salons that are different from back home too! But with some simple words and phrases under your belt, you can visit a Japanese hair salon with confidence. Join us after the jump for a guide to surviving – and hopefully enjoying – a haircut in Japan!
Here’s a shocking fact: Despite decades of gender stereotypes insisting that men are disgusting pigs that would gladly hump anything without too much back hair even if they’re already in a relationship, recent studies suggest women are cheating about as much as men (presumably also provided there’s not too much back hair).
One reason for the persistent stereotype may be that women are just a bit smarter and better at hiding their affairs than men are. While a cheating man is liable to show up to his SO’s house with a pair of panties on his head, cheating women are apparently much more discreet, a Japanese survey of 50 unfaithful women reveals. The Niconico News survey also offers a few tips for girls who are currently cheating or who may be considering a little love on the side in the future:
Jan 9, 2014
Japanese food has been gaining in popularity all over the world, and with the induction of traditional Japanese cooking, or washoku, as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, locals are expecting interest to rise further.
If you’d like to branch out a bit from your usual sushi rolls and try your hand at some washoku recipes, not only taste but also presentation is key. We’ve collected a handful of simple tips from the pros on how to make your Japanese cooking look as good as it tastes.
- Preston Phro
Oct 28, 2013
Have you ever gotten on an elevator in the lobby, pressed the button for the seventh floor, and then groaned with the realization that you needed the sixth? Or had to throw out a pair of scissors grown dull through years of use?
There are millions of small annoyances and frustrations that seem basically unavoidable. They’re not really serious, but wouldn’t it be nice if someone could go around making our lives easier? While that probably won’t happen until the robot revolution (come on, WALL-E!), there are a few tricks that you can use to fix these tiny frustrations, so join us after the break for some awesome life hacks from Japan!
- Philip Kendall
Oct 18, 2013
Despite its apparent difficulty, Japanese is fast becoming one of the world’s most desirable languages to learn, with more and more Westerners studying it every day. Eventually, though, we all hit a wall with our studies and feel like we’re not making any progress. The books you threw yourself into with such enthusiasm start to become a chore to open, the army of kanji characters you have yet to study stare back at you with mocking disdain, and despite all the hours you put in you still can’t quite keep up with that anime you were determined to watch without subtitles. It happens to the best of us, but there are ways to break out of this rut, not to mention rekindle that love for studying Japanese, or any other language for that matter.
So today we’d like to bring you our short list of tips and tricks for boosting your Japanese language ability and make studying less of a chore. The following is a combination of both tips and experiences of foreigners who have achieved varying degrees of fluency in the language and our combined knowledge. It’s by no means the final word in language study, but give some of these a try and we’re sure you’ll be surprised at how quickly your Japanese proficiency improves.
- Philip Kendall
Sep 24, 2013
Being the most earthquake-prone country in the world, earthquake drills are as common in schools in Japan as fire drills are in the West. Knowledge of what to do and how to prepare for big quakes is essential, but many foreigners visiting or living in Japan are simply not used to larger tremors and have little or no idea how to respond should the earth start to rumble. Thankfully, even in Japan the chances of being hurt or killed in an earthquake are relatively slim, but it’s important to know what you can do to prepare. Combining our own first-hand experience with the expert advice of a seismologist from the California Institute of Technology, the following article not only discusses how best to respond in the event of an earthquake, but also lists the essential items that anyone living in Japan or any other earthquake-prone country should have stowed away in their earthquake preparedness kit.
Talking safety is never the most exciting subject, and no one’s asking you to go all Dwight Schrute and build a nuclear fallout shelter here, but it pays to be ready. And if the thought of tooling up in the name of earthquake preparedness fails to get your heart pumping, simply substitute the word “earthquake” for “zombie outbreak” and the process will become infinitely more fun.
Jul 30, 2013
Do you love to travel? I do! I even love long plane flights, since you’re basically free to eat, sleep or watch as many movies as you like while flying. In fact, the only aspect of traveling I’m not keen on is having to lug around heavy pieces of luggage, and I can certainly understand if some people out there prefer to travel as light as possible. However, there may be some useful items that are worth taking with you on trips, even if it means your luggage becomes slightly heavier. According to a post on Japanese information compilation site Naver Matome, here are seven such items that experienced Japanese travelers say can be a godsend, which they recommend you pack with you on your next trip!
- Casey Baseel
Jul 17, 2013
With Japan being an island country, even in the heat of summer most of the population thankfully isn’t that far from a beach, and there are numerous public pools that open up during the season to help people stay cool.
But while nothing beats a refreshing dip in the water, there’s also the stressful flipside of being seen in public wearing a lot less fabric than usual. In a recent Internet survey, a whopping 94 percent of Japanese women in their 20s and 30s said they don’t have enough confidence in their figure to feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit. Thankfully, they also passed along their tips for dealing with this problem.
Hot enough for ya!? Despite having enjoyed an extremely mild spring, summer in Japan has kicked off with the ferocity of a right-wing tiger with a bad case of hemorrhoids and a stinging mouth ulcer. If you’re from more tropical climes and currently living in Japan you’re likely wondering why everyone keeps moaning “atsuiiiii” (“It’s hoooot!”) and dabbing their faces with handkerchiefs like politicians struggling to explain cross-dressing photos published online. For the rest of us, though, summer is a sweaty nightmare than can not so much be beaten as endured.
Thankfully, we’re here today to help you out with 10 tips for getting through summer without melting into a sad little puddle. Read on, my sweaty friends.
Just when he thought it was safe to go back in the water – a girl’s guide to gettin’ a guy at the beach
- Cara Clegg
Jul 8, 2013
Summer’s the perfect time for romance. You’ll catch couples snuggling on the train, at the department store, in the corner of the café where they think nobody can see them – newsflash, we can. There’s so much sweaty, bare flesh on show, people just can’t keep their hands off each other. And the absolute worst place for sickening displays of “get a room” is at the beach. What is it about the swelling waves and blazing sun that makes people stick together like sand to your bikini bottoms.
But no matter how much you might have the urge to cling, it’s no good if you don’t have a partner to endure your affections. For anyone looking for some summer lovin’, this guide–penned by our very own sister-site writer and native Japanese, Kanako–is for you.
Though some have questioned the advisability of pairing up with a Japanese guy, there are definitely those of us who would love nothing more. For girls looking to nab a Japanese fellow,website Yahoo! has recently investigated what sweet nothings make nihonjin weak in the knees, and have come up with nine lines that supposedly do the job.
Get out your notebooks, ladies (and gaydies), and let’s go hunting. Read More
- Philip Kendall
Dec 13, 2012
Taking the train during weekday rush hours is a grind in pretty much any country, but Tokyo and Osaka are almost in a league of their own. We’ve all seen pictures and videos of station staff wearing white gloves leaning against walls of commuters and stuffing them inside trains to the point that the entire carriage tilts dangerously to one side, and no doubt many of you have experienced the sweaty, space-invading hell that is Japanese inner-city transport firsthand, but did you know that it doesn’t always have to be such a miserable experience?
Thanks to the knowledge being shared by Japan’s commuting elite this week, you might just be in with a chance of grabbing a seat – and with it a few cubic inches of breathing space – during your next rush-hour journey!
All eight seat-scoring secrets after the jump >
Any Japanese curry fans out there? If you’ve tried it, you know it’s in a whole separate class from the Thai and Indian curries most Westerners are used to. The sauce is dark brown and generally thicker and sweeter than other Asian curries, though the taste varies from shop to shop, and is served with rice. Along with some onions, carrots and potatoes, you can usually find some nice chunks of pork or beef in your basic curry, and then you can choose from a variety of toppings to make it your own.
For curry connoisseurs there’s nothing sadder than when you are enjoying your plate of curry rice and suddenly realize that you’re running out of curry faster than rice. You’re left rationing the last of your curry or finishing your meal with a couple of bites of disappointingly plain rice. Most people don’t know this, but if you are eating at the popular chain CoCo Ichibanya–affectionately known as CoCo Ichi–you can order more curry for free! Read More
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- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked2
- Robot rebellion begins with a cranky Roomba, Internet users too busy laughing to fight back3
- We still don’t feel bad for you, Emperor: Photos of actors and their historical counterparts4
- Has a Japanese company found the fountain of youth? One man’s youthful skin suggests so5
- The Simpsons Halloween episode pays tribute to popular anime6
- Shocking footage of accident on Japanese highway reminds us of the fragility of life 【Video】7
- Korean stylist’s secret to volumizing your hair in just five minutes! 【Video】8
- 35 fascinating photos of Korea from 100 years ago (before K-dramas took over Asia)9
- When first-try character bentos go wrong 【Photos】10
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls1
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked2
- Clever font sneaks pronunciation guide for English speakers into Japanese katakana characters3
- Awesome Air Umbrella from China keeps you dry with blasts of air4
- Why does Engrish happen in Japan?5
- The 10 best anime of the fall season, according to Japanese otaku6
- Somebody turned a Disney Channel cartoon into an anime and it’s pretty awesome7
- Beautiful old footage shows “God of Judo” Kyuzo Mifune gracefully defeat young challengers【Video】8
- Cat man from Kyushu walks nine cats in a stroller, draws crowds in Tokyo9
- Chinese woman’s catty comeback to Korean colleague gets netizens talking10
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】1
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China2
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked3
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea4
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls5
- Watch liquid turn into food at Japanese sample food factory 【Videos】6
- Japanese mothers react to being called by their first names after years of just being “Mama”7
- 10 things foreigners do that Japanese people find amusing8
- “Beautiful foreigner walking a polar bear” spotted at Shibuya’s famous crossing9
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls10
- “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
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls3
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】4
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China5
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later6
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons7
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea8
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady10
- The Simpsons Halloween episode pays tribute to popular anime
- Shocking footage of accident on Japanese highway reminds us of the fragility of life 【Video】
- Korean stylist’s secret to volumizing your hair in just five minutes! 【Video】
- 35 fascinating photos of Korea from 100 years ago (before K-dramas took over Asia)
- When first-try character bentos go wrong 【Photos】
- Rising star of Japanese horse racing is as ridiculously fast as he is comically scatterbrained
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls
- Revealed! Japan’s top 10 handsome samurai【Photos】
- Raw, frozen eggs are the new food trend in Japan, apparently
- Ten things we learned at USJ: A muggle’s guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- A little perspective: Malaysian graphic designer cleverly mixes movie posters and real life
- Fukuoka’s “Wisteria Tunnel” delights visitors with pretty pastel petals
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