RocketNews24’s six top tips for learning Japanese

Love Japan? Want to learn Japanese? Check out RocketNews24’s six fundamental top tips for learning Japanese!

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Cheapo News: We found this supermarket chain selling stupid cheap bento in west Japan

If we had to pick one thing that represented how Japanese food maybe isn’t quite as healthy as generally perceived, it would probably have to be the bento lunchbox. Bento are readily available practically everywhere in Japan—when not being handmade for you by a parent or spouse, usually in the shape of Pokémon characters and the like—and are widely consumed by office workers and other day laborers as a cheap, convenient lunch.

Despite healthy origins back in the old days, bento—perhaps by design—have become increasingly unhealthy, with your standard box available from a retailer or food truck usually weighing in at a thousand calories (or frequently even more) and containing a bunch of fried food in addition to huge portions of rice.

But heck, when a filling, albeit cholesterol and calorie-packed bento sets you back only a measly 200 yen (US$1.50) over at discount supermarket Lamu, well, we’ll happily do the extra time on the treadmill.

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13 Chinese customs that are shocking to foreigners

Every country has its own culture and unique customs that come with it. Understanding the social etiquette of the country before visiting can help to make the experience less overwhelming.

In China, you might be surprised to find that burping is considered a way of complimenting the chef or that a gift will be refused several times before it is accepted.

Here are 13 customs to know before traveling to China.

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Troll levels still abound in Mario Maker, Nintendo releases another sassy pigeon comic to help

In an effort to help alleviate the massive amount of horrible levels that have made it into the Super Mario Maker universe, Nintendo tasked its pigeon friend/Mario Maker extraordinaire Yamamura-san to show us how to correctly create a level. In the first comic, Yamamura-san literally poo-pooed all over novice-creator Mashiko’s level, and then gave her some homework to help her become a better builder.

But the first comic did little to alleviate the amount of terrible levels online, so Nintendo Japan has put out a sequel comic to try and clean up the mess. This time around, Yamamura-san checks on Mashiko’s homework and continues to offer sage level-building advice.

Does he give her level a star? Or is it an insta-skip? Read on to find out!

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The top 10 drinking districts in Tokyo, as recommended by Japanese locals

The number of foreign visitors visiting Japan has increased recently, and with Tokyo set to host the 2020 Olympic Games that trend is likely to continue. Now is the perfect opportunity for the city to show off its offerings as a must-see destination.

In an effort to appeal to and satisfy more tourists, a recent survey of Japanese Tokyoites ranked the top 10 drinking districts that they think tourists to Japan should visit to see and experience the “real” Tokyo.

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4 freezer tips for beating the summer stink from everything from sweaty shoes to rotting garbage

Are Japan’s strict trash collection days getting you down this summer? Are you plugging your nose and counting down the days until the next burnables collection because your garbage is rotting away in the summer heat?

If you’re like me, you hate Japanese summers for a slew of reasons, one of which being all the putrid smells that come with the increased heat and humidity of the sticky summer months. You may also often rush out the door on the morning of burnables collection day and forget to take out your bag of raw and rotting garbage, leaving you to deal with the stench until the next trash collection day rolls around.

But there is a really simple solution to this problem, as well as quick tricks for dealing with other stinky situations like funky-shoe smells and unpleasant, grimy sinks. Find out how after the jump!

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Nine tips for surviving Japan’s hellishly crowded trains

If you have ever ridden a train during rush hour in Japan, you know it takes a certain amount of fortitude to survive it. If you are just visiting the country, sometimes you can avoid those super stuffed trains, buy if you live or spend an extended length of time in any big city in Japan you just can’t avoid taking a packed train. Whether it’s rush hour in the morning, rush hour at night, or the last few trains home, you will often find yourself in a position where you have to give up the luxury of personal space in exchange for a ride home.

It takes a certain amount of skill to stay upright as well as a bit of creative ingenuity to pass the time and avoid feeling claustrophobic in order to survive the crowded train. We’ve collated nine of the best tips to help you get through a hell-like train ride.

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Japanese cosplay photographer shares tips on taking amazingly ethereal photos

Japanese cosplay photographer Suzutama recently made the rounds online for his beautiful photos of Monster Hunter cosplay in the snow. In order to get the best shots possible, the cosplayer in the photos had to venture into the frozen woods in a skimpy costume and in return Suzutama was able to capture the most amazing and surreal images.

Apart from sharing his own works, Suzutama has also kindly offered tips to his followers who aspire to produce amazing photos like he does. Check out some of his tips on working with water and smoke below!

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Ten things we learned at USJ: A muggle’s guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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.

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Secrets of the sushi shops: 10 tips and tricks the chain restaurants don’t want you to know

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.

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10 tips to stop you from embarrassing yourself in China

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.

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Six random, but very cool, sightseeing spots in Japan

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.

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Get the most out of your visit to Japan with these tourist-only deals 【Ninja Life Skills】

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!

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Tried-and-tested ways to learn Japanese while having fun!

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!

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Japanese men dish on the sexy things other men do

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.

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Getting a haircut in Japan: A survival guide

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!

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Japan’s unfaithful women share tips on how to cheat without getting caught

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:

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Japanese food presentation: Pro tips on making dishes you can devour with your eyes and mouth

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.

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Life hacks from Japan: Cancelling a stop on an elevator, amazing curry and more

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!

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Ninja life skills: 7 tips to make learning Japanese that little bit easier

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.

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