travel

Scheveningen or Sukebeningen? Dutch town sounds like “pervert” when pronounced in Japanese

A beautiful Dutch seaside resort has become well-known to Japanese people over the years and unfortunately it’s not due to any special campaigns or travel commercials.

It’s all due to the unfortunate way it’s written and pronounced, according to Japanese language conventions. The town is called Scheveningen, which seems innocent enough to western ears, but in Japan, the way it’s transliterated means it’s pronounced “Sukebeningen,” which happens to mean “lecherous people” in Japanese.

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Our Japanese staff members pick the top places in Japan they’d like to visit again someday

Figuring out where to go during your stay in Japan can seem like an insurmountable task. For first-time visitors to the country, there are so many famous places to visit that the task of deciding becomes overwhelming. On the other hand, if you’ve been living in Japan for a while, you’re probably tired of all the crowded, touristy places and would like to go somewhere off-the-beaten path.

To help out our readers who are struggling with this internal dilemma, we’ve asked three reporters from our Japanese-language RocketNews24 team to share with us the top three places in Japan they’d definitely like to visit again someday. These three have had ample opportunities to travel to various places around the country and experience the local scenes in the name of eclectic journalism, so you can think of them as seasoned experts on the matter. Let’s see what little-known travel recommendations they have waiting for us!

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Here’s what Kyoto’s subway looks like plastered with anime girls

As we recently reported, the bigwigs at the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau got together a while back and had a little brainstorming session regarding how to convince more people to use the subway. So what did they come up with?

Super-kawaii moe anime girls plastered all over the place! All part of the “Let’s ride the subway” advertising campaign, which hopes to bring in an extra 50,000 passengers a day. So how are people reacting to the sudden plethora of brightly colored cuteness all over their train platforms and carriages?

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A road runs through it: China’s first over-water highway almost complete

If you’re like me, you’re probably more accustomed to seeing bridges cross rivers rather than run along their length. But this stretch of highway which was recently completed in Xingshan County of China’s Hubei Province does just that. Are the bridge’s creators crazy, or crazy like an ecologically minded fox?

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Staggered by historical preservation survey costs, Kyoto turns to anime girls to save its subway

With over 300,000 people piling into its trains each day, you’d think the Kyoto Municipal Subway would be sitting pretty financially. That’s actually not the case, though. The city’s status as the former capital of Japan is both a source of local pride and a huge draw for travelers, but being literally built atop the foundations of Japanese history means that any subterranean construction can only take place after extensive surveys ensure that no cultural artifacts would be damaged in the process.

As such, maintenance and expansion costs for the Kyoto subway are more than double what they would be in a similarly sized, less historically significant city. So in order to help raise the revenue necessary to treat Kyoto’s past with the respect it deserves, the subway’s operators are turning to something with more modern appeal: cute anime girls.

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Time to quit your job – Company in Japan now hiring for the position of Ninja Master

Do you ever get a little down in the dumps immediately following a major holiday? The day after Christmas, for example, many people miss the goodwill and excitement they felt just 24 hours before.

That’s how we’re feeling right now, since we’ve got almost a full 12 months to wait until the next Ninja Day. Really, wouldn’t it be great if we could keep the spirit of Ninja Day in our hearts all year long?

Actually, there’s a way to do just that, as one company in Japan has put out an honest-to-goodness help-wanted ad for a ninja master.

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Mr. Sato channels his inner Elsa, books a night at a Hokkaido ice hotel 【Photos】

February: the time when most of us in the northern hemisphere look at the calendar in despair as spring takes its sweet time to arrive. It’s also the perfect month to get away to a warmer locale, soak up some sun and recharge yourself to be able to get through the last (hopefully) weeks of winter.

But instead of packing a swimsuit and sunscreen for that trip to the beach, our beloved reporter Mr. Sato instead decided to fully embrace winter and booked a stay at an ice hotel in Hokkaido for a vacation he’ll never forget or let (it) go.

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Stunning montage takes viewers through Japan’s own hidden wine country: Koshu, Yamanashi

With the long Golden Week holiday only a couple of months away, many residents of Japan may well be wondering where best to use their precious vacation days. Tokyo? Kyoto? Perhaps a traditional Japanese hotel? How about Koshu City, Yamanashi Prefecture?

A new video introducing the relatively small city of Koshu might just make people reconsider their travel plans. With stunning views of Mount Fuji, world-famous vineyards, and a wealth of cultural events, Koshu is the perfect place for both escaping the bustle of big city life and getting a glimpse of traditional Japan.

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If you could move Japan anywhere in the world, where would you move it? 【Video】

When you ask people where they would live if they could move anywhere in the world, a lot of times they’ll stick with their home countries. We don’t blame them! After all, their family is probably there, they are used to the culture and lifestyle, moving to a new country would, frankly, be tough.

But, what if you could move your whole country with you? Our RocketNews24 reporters braved the cold on the streets of Tokyo’s Shinjuku district to ask passersby, “Where would you move Japan, if you could?” 

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Mr. Sato visits the Retro Space Saka Hall, full of syringes, Mediocrity, and bittersweet memories

While visiting the city of Sapporo, our adventurous reporter Mr. Sato stumbled upon this bizarre looking complex called the Retro Space Saka Hall. The whole place looked incredibly sketchy, but that was right up his alley.

Little did he know, however, that this dingy-looking industrial complex nestled in snow would almost move him to tears.

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10 things foreign tourists do that annoy Chinese people

With it being the season of Chinese New Year, there are many tourists both leaving China for other lands and many people heading into China to enjoy the festivities. Perhaps that’s why the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper chose now to release an infographic on their website highlighting various incidents of rude behavior done by foreign tourists in China.

They broke it down in an easy-to-follow top-10 list of things foreigners were spotted doing around the country so we can all learn what not to do when visiting.

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February 22 is Ninja Day, as these cosplaying civil servants at Koka City Hall just reminded us

Are you feeling bummed out that February’s two most high-profile holidays, namely Twin Tail Day and Valentine’s Day, are both already over and done with? Cheer up! While it may not necessarily tug at the heartstrings like February 2 and 14, what’s arguably the coolest holiday of the month is coming up this weekend.

That’s because February 22 is officially Ninja Day, and one town in Japan is helping people get into the spirit with a bit of shinobi-style cosplay at its city hall.

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Resort in Philippines has literally giant Gundam rip-off, plus Disney and Marvel knockoffs galore

Although the Philippines have plenty of seaside travel destinations, Jed’s Island Resort isn’t one of them. Being located in the landlocked municipality of Calumpit means that while Jed’s isn’t far from Manila Bay, it doesn’t have any coastline to call its own.

That’s OK, though, because you can still relax in one of the resort’s nine advertised swimming pools. And while you may not be able to enjoy listening to the sound of the waves, you will be able to look up at Jed’s gigantic Gundam statue that’s as tall as the one in Tokyo yet far, far skinnier. Not into anime? Not a problem! Jed’s is also home to beloved characters from Disney, Marvel, and DC…or at least their disturbingly off-model, knockoff doppelgangers.

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Tokyo Disneyland Hotel set to enchant guests with new character themed rooms!

We all know that the people at Disney are masters of enchantment and magic. Well, it seems they’ve done it again, this time putting their formidable powers of imagination to full use to renovate part of their rooms at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. For the first time since its opening in 2008, rooms at the iconic hotel have been redone and were opened to the public this week. As you might expect, the new rooms indeed look magical, worthy of the Disney reputation for turning fantasy into reality. So, let’s take a look at the lovely rooms designed to make guests feel like they’ve stepped into a Disney story!

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Pot-sticker paradise, hot-spring hotel just outside of Tokyo makes for a tasty retreat

Ask a Japanese person to give some examples of Chinese food, and they’ll likely reply with things like chaahan (fried rice) and the quintessential gyoza (pot-stickers). With their crispy fried outsides and juicy, flavorful insides, you can’t go wrong with gyoza, and many would say that Chinese food chain GYOZANOMANSYU (餃子の満州), based in the Kanto region of Japan, is the leader of them all.

Those wishing to take the gyoza experience a bit further can visit the hot-spring hotel Toumeikan in Gunma Prefecture, managed by GYOZANOMANSYU, and for a mere 5,900 yen per night (roughly US$59) you can stay in one of their cozy Japanese-style rooms, take a relaxing soak in the onsen hot springs, and get your fill at their breakfast buffet. Located deep in the mountains of Gunma, yet within a two- to three-hour drive from Tokyo, makes this a great place for a weekend getaway. Albeit one involving lots of garlic and chives.

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Beijing reveals design for new international airport – it’s going to be huge, and beautiful

It’s fairly safe to say that airports are not necessarily everyone’s favorite places to be. There’s often traffic to fight through just to get there, and once inside you have to deal with long lines, painfully slow security checks, and weary travelers who hang their undergarments on the chairs at the gate. In short, airports, especially international hubs, are severely crowded and no fun.

China is setting up to deal with those crowds, however, and is working hard to make its newest airport somewhere that people don’t immediately want to leave. Designs for what will be the biggest airport in the world have recently been unveiled, and it looks like the new gateway to Beijing will be a thing of real beauty.

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As the Sapporo Snow Festival ends, the Sapporo Demolition Festival begins!

As sad as we are to say it, the 66th Annual Sapporo Snow Festival has now come to a close. In case you missed our coverage this year, this is when people from around the world come the snowy city of Sapporo, Hokkaido to create massive and gorgeous works of art out of ice and snow.

However, a lesser-known festival has been spreading around Twitter recently. It’s the unofficial Sapporo Demolition Festival, where excavators come in and mercilessly rip apart these massive and gorgeous works of art. While it doesn’t have the same international drawing power of the Snow Festival, many people have been on hand at the Demolition Festivals past and present to take plenty of video and images of the fun.

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The top 10 rural regions of Japan that Tokyo residents would like to move to

There’s a widespread belief in Japan that if you want to achieve educational or economic success, you come to Tokyo. As a matter of fact, it’s such a common move that Japanese even has a verb for it, joukyou, or to “move on up to the capital.”

But for some people, always-lively Tokyo is just too bustling. It’s not just the elderly who feel the appeal of a rustic lifestyle, either. Even some residents in their 20s find themselves wanting to move away from the constant hum of the big city, and a recent survey reveals the top 10 rural regions of Japan that Tokyoites would like to move to.

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Hideous werebeast “attacks” Indonesian palm oil plant workers 【Video】

In what might be the first ever case of one of those viral cryptozoological animal videos actually being real, a bunch of Indonesian palm oil plant workers recently recorded a run-in with some sort of crazy-looking, hairless werebeast that supposedly charged them.

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Coffee wizard performs snack alchemy in not-so-secret lair

Last week, we gave you a recipe for the tasty caffeinated treat called coffee jelly. This week, we’d like to introduce a coffee shop that is taking that quotidian treat to the next level of taste and presentation. Behold Coffee Suzuki, where the coffee jelly forms right before your very eyes!

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