Tokyo

Exclusive video! RocketNews24 interviews Tokyo’s elderly residents about their love lives! 【Video】

If you’re feeling a little jaded on romance in these days of impersonal dating apps, casual hookups and seeing who can pretend to be the most indifferent, then pull up a chair and watch this heart-warming video! RocketNews24’s intrepid team of reporters hit the streets of Sugamo, Tokyo to interview some of the shopping district’s oldest and wisest residents on matters of the heart, touching on topics such as money vs looks, where to find hot guys in Tokyo, and why you’re never too old to fall in love.

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Free Wi-Fi now available on Tohoku Shinkansen, inside Tokyo’s Yamanote Line stations

Every now and then, Japan takes a shine to something that’s new to it but much more common overseas. Chairs, for example, were pretty much nonexistent in the country until the late 1800s, but now you’ll find them in just about every home except the most bare-bones of bachelor pads. Beer (one of the greatest beverages to enjoy while sitting on said chairs) is another foreign concept that’s gained mainstream popularity.

Likewise, although it’s taken some time to catch on, the number of places offering free Wi-Fi in Japan has been steadily increasing over the last few years, and is now available on the Tohoku Shinkansen and all of the stations on Tokyo’s most convenient train line.

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Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? Part 2: Please refrain from using the bathroom alone

It’s time once again for an episode of Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? If you missed the first installment (which we really should have given a clever name like Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? ~Unexpected Opening to the Truth~) you can check it out here.

Today, we’re taking a look at a hotel in Japan that seems to be clamping down on solo peeing, with a sign posted in its lobby that requests visitors “Please refrain from using the bathroom alone.”

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Otaku assemblyman elected in Ōta-ku, Tokyo

Excitement was in the air all over Tokyo as the votes for regional elections to council seats were talli–hey where are you going!?

Sure, local politics aren’t all that electrifying aside from the occasional eccentrics who throw their shark-tooth necklaces into the ring. But it’s also sometimes the place where small but inspiring stories of success can happen.

Such is the case with Minoru Ogino who was recently elected to Ōta Ward (aka Ōta City) or Ōta-Ku in Japanese. It’s a fitting district to win in as Assemblyman Ogino is Love-Live-lovin’ Kankore sailing otaku himself.

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Fashionista, DJ and androgynous style icon Usuke Devil is breaking hearts all over Japan

It’s no secret that Japanese women go crazy over cute, pretty, stylish things. And a lot of them like their men to be cute, pretty, and stylish, too. Take Usuke Devil, for example. He’s a model, DJ, and style icon who works at a boutique in Harajuku and drives girls wild with his lithe, androgynous beauty. Check out these pics and see for yourself!

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Halal ramen comes to Tokyo with Asakusa restaurant, and it’s so good anyone will enjoy it

For decades, the international perception of ramen was that it was something for lazy college students to buy in bulk for when they wanted a quick, hot meal, with only minimal thought given to flavor or presentation. And while ramen does sometimes take that form, assuming it’s all like that is sort of like basing your whole image of pizza on microwavable frozen varieties.

Thankfully, there’s a ramen renaissance going on, as the rest of the world is getting onboard with just how delicious Japan’s favorite noodle dish can be. In response, some restaurants in Japan are adapting to make their food more accessible to foreign visitors, such as this restaurant in Tokyo that serves halal ramen.

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Meanwhile, in Shinjuku…

Although Akihabara tends to get credit for a lot of the zaniness in Tokyo, Shinjuku has its own brand of odd that shouldn’t be ignored. After all, it’s where RocketNews24 laid its roots.

Case in point: this tweet of a young woman lying on a filthy street taking a low angle photo in a gap between a karaoke joint and sticker-encrusted vending machine.

Alright! Place your bets on what she could possibly be photographing and then click or scroll down to find out.

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New custom-made Sony earphones come with a price tag so high you won’t believe your ears

The latest in Sony Engineering’s product innovation line in inner-ear monitor (IEM) earphones has just been released with pre-sale advance orders available from April 29 at the Tokyo Hearing Care Centre in Aoyama.

The designers at Sony Engineering have developed “Just ear” earphones which are uniquely engineered and custom-built earphones designed for optimal sound quality to enhance the consumer’s listening experience. And they come with a price tag so high that you won’t believe your ears.

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Yamathon: See Tokyo on your own two feet for a good cause!

Without a doubt, Tokyo is a big city, and it’s hard for any one person to see all of it. Even long-time residents probably aren’t familiar with every nook and cranny of the metropolis. So if you sometimes find yourself wishing you could get a closer look at its various neighborhoods, Yamathon, an event that takes you to all the way around the Yamanote Line, might be a great way to spend a Saturday!

Not only will you get an up-close-and-personal look at the Yamanote Line’s 29 stations, but by participating in Yamathon, you’ll also be contributing to a great cause!

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We take the Toyota i-Road electric vehicle out for a spin, find out it’s awesome 【Video】

Not quite a car, not quite a motorcycle, the Toyota i-Road is a three-wheeled electric vehicle designed just for urbanites. Small, sleek and ultra slim, on paper the i-Road seems like the perfect solution to Tokyo’s traffic jams and woefully limited – not to mention expensive – parking.

But what’s it like to actually drive one of these things? Our Japanese team headed out to try an i-Road for themselves. Check out their video after the jump!

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Six things Tokyo has less of than any other city in Japan

Being the capital city, Tokyo very often tends to come out on top when it comes to rankings – it’s the top tourist destination for foreign visitors, the safest city in the world, the most populated (in fact, the most densely populated place on earth), has long been one of the most expensive (that dubious honour now belongs to Singapore, apparently), was recently declared the most satisfying city…we could go on.

But the student section of Japanese website MyNavi published a list this week of six national rankings that Tokyo comes at the bottom of – things it does worse at than any other city in Japan. Let’s take a look at what they found!

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There might be a Jedi running for mayor of Shibuya

So we all know that Tokyo-area political races can attract some pretty, um… eccentric candidates.

We’ve got perennial Tokyo Governor candidates like Mac Akasaka, representing his own Smile Party (often while dressed like Superman), leader and probably the only member of the World Economic Community Party, Mr. The Only God Matayoshi Mitsuo Jesus Christ, and Rock ‘n Roll Samurai – aka TOKMA – whose big shtick is to dress like a samurai and play war-mongering rock ‘n roll music.

But, despite their crazy antics and lofty-sounding, self-appointed nicknames, these men are all mere Earthlings. What Tokyo needs is a true leader. A man of stellar moral character. Someone who can protect Tokyo from the inevitable threat posed by evil empires from other galaxies. In other words, Tokyo needs a Jedi. And that’s why Mutsuto Imajo gets our vote for Shibuya Mayor!

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TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO (Asakusa) will hold their second free gallery event, “Ambiguous☆Bishoujo Art Exhibit,” for artists from April 29 until May 10. If you’re in Tokyo and into cool, sexy, and unusual art, you won’t want to miss it.

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Is this the coolest kindergarten in the world? Probably 【Pics & Video】

Does the architecture of a building have an effect on the lives of the people inside of it? One famous Japanese architect thinks so and we’re pretty convinced now too.

Takaharu Tezuka, a Tokyo-based architect, designed a revolutionary kindergarten building that not only lets the kids run free, but also teaches them about life.

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A room with a (terrifying) view: Visiting the hotel that overlooks Godzilla’s giant head 【Photos】

When we reported a while back about the giant Godzilla head that has taken up residence atop a Shinjuku skyscraper, we also mentioned how a nearby hotel, the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, has been quick to set up special Godzilla Viewing Rooms to cash in on its proximity to the fanged monstrosity. Naturally, we headed over there as soon as we could to get a good look at that ugly ol’ head up close and personal!

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The times they are a-changin': Snapshots of Tokyo 50 years ago vs. today【Photos】

Once upon a time, Tokyo was nowhere near the sprawling megalopolis that it is today. Long ago, it wasn’t a sure thing that the small fishing village known as Edo would someday become one of the most bustling cities in the world.

But let’s skip Tokyo’s early years and fast-forward to a slightly more recent age. Ever wondered what the city looked like half a century ago, before the towering skyscrapers and iconic neon lights? Today, we are proud to present a visual comparison of Tokyo, 50 years ago versus the modern day!

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Six ways to spot someone who just moved to Tokyo

Spring is the start of both the school year and the business years in Japan. That means that right about now thousands of newcomers are pouring into Tokyo, as they move to the capital to start college or their professional careers.

But the hustle and bustle of Tokyo is on a scale unlike any other town in the nation. Even people who’ve grown up in Japan sometimes stick out like a sore thumb when they first move to the capital, as illustrated in this six-point guide to spotting someone who just moved to Tokyo.

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Stunning video of Tokyo shows the charm of how it mixes the traditional with the modern

As if you need more reasons to love Japan, 100 Tokyo, an online “curated cultural guide,” recently supported a beautiful video that highlights the perfect blend of traditional culture and modern technology of Tokyo, which makes it one of the most unique and charming big cities out there.

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High art or crime scene? More photos of passed-out salarymen 【Pics】

A late-night stroll through the streets of Shinjuku or some other lively Tokyo neighborhood usually involves flashing neon signs, groups of people heading to and from drinking parties, and cries of “Otsukarasamadeshita!” (“You’ve worked hard!”) between red-faced coworkers as they part ways. As the evening wears on, a new creature makes its entrance onto the scene. Curled up on the sidewalk or spread eagle on a bench, it’s that curious big-city phenomenon, the passed out salaryman.

Photographer Kenji Kawamoto recently shined a new light on these hard-working, hard-partying company men with a series of photos depicting their various states of repose. While the result is surprisingly artistic, context really is everything; more than a few of these look like shots of crime scenes. 

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Tokyo chain puts french fries on soba noodles, proves dreams really can come true

Ramen burgers. Bulgogi tacos. Cronuts. Sometimes the stars align and the gods see fit to bless the world with visionary new dishes–the kind that make people say, “Is that even possible?” Eventually, those same people end up wondering why no one came up with the concept sooner.

One of our Japanese writers was able to experience the joy of culinary experimentation firsthand during a recent trip to Tokyo’s Nadai Fuji Soba, which is now serving… wait for it… French fry soba! Though at first glance you might think someone spilled their Happy Meal over a plate of noodles, the tasty result is sure to make you a believer.

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