weird

Poop quietly: One-room Tokyo apartment’s toilet has only a curtain for privacy

When hunting for an apartment in the Tokyo area, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re really looking for in a living space. Housing is expensive in general in Japan, and that goes double for the neighborhoods in and around its biggest city, so after picking out a few features or aspects you have to have, it’s best to be willing to compromise on other factors.

For example, you might have your heart set on a corner room, but don’t mind tatami reed floors. Maybe you can deal with having a wall-mounted water heater if your living room gets a lot of natural light. Or perhaps being less than a 15-minute train ride from downtown Tokyo will instantly seal the deal, even if the trade-off is that the apartment’s bathroom doesn’t have any walls.

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Swiss otaku is as crazy as he can be, and his Twitter followers can’t get enough

There are “impressive” people in every fandom, but Japanese anime, manga and game fans certainly know how to take things over the top. There are more volumes to read, more episodes to watch, and more merchandise to buy than for just about any other fandom out there. You never knew you wanted a mint case cover adorned with your favorite character until you saw it there in the store.

If you have the money to spend, Japan will have made something for you to buy. A self-proclaimed Swiss otaku seems to have some extra cash, and he often uses it to take his fandom beyond anything you could possibly imagine. His recent set of tweets are causing a ruckus on the Internet and most people can only muster one simple question: Why???

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Abashiri: Home of Japan’s Prison Museum, Prison Cafeteria, and Prison Beer

Hokkaido, Japan’s rural, northernmost island, has a wealth of tourist attractions. But while most travelers spend their time enjoying the natural beauty of the region’s mountains, forests, and oceans, visitors to the city of Abashiri often spend their time in a very different way.

That’s because in contrast to the sense of freedom Hokkaido’s wide-open vistas are so evocative of, Abashiri is home to the Abashiri Prison Museum. Aside from exhibits on the history of incarceration, the museum also has a cafeteria, where diners can eat a recreation of modern Japanese prison food, and even knock back a bottle of Abashiri Prison Stout beer.

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Fans break confectioner’s website in scramble for “kiss-flavored” candies from dating sim hotties

Last Saturday was White Day, the annual Japanese celebration in which men give gifts to women who gave them gifts for Valentine’s Day. As such, confectioners rolled out a huge selection of special offerings for the occasion, and while chocolate is a perennial favorite, shoppers could also choose from strawberry, green tea, cherry blossom, and a variety of other gourmet options.

Among female dating simulator fans, though, the big hit flavor this year seems to have been “kisses.” No, not Hershey’s Kisses, but candy that actually claims to tastes like locking lips with one of six virtual boyfriends. Even stranger, gamers were clamoring to buy them even though no one really knows what “kiss-flavored” means, except that apparently the anime-style heartthrobs’ kisses don’t taste like shellfish.

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Crazy station’s 290 steps from gate to platform make it the deepest and spookiest in Niigata

Japan is in the middle of a luxury train boom, but that doesn’t mean every station in the country is a palace of creature comforts. In the most rural areas, the station is often little more than an unstaffed slab of concrete poured next to the rails.

Things are just a bit more infrastructure-intensive at Tsutsuishi Station, however. That’s because while its above-ground facilities may not be much to look at, the platform is located at the bottom of a stairwell that descends 40 meters (131 feet) into the earth.

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Spot the difference: This gif of Miss Korea candidates is pretty much what we were expecting

It’s probably common knowledge by now that South Korea is one of, if not the most, cosmetic surgery-obsessed countries in the world. It’s a topic that has been touched on pretty regularly here on RocketNews24; last year alone we brought you news of a Korean clinic that makes art out of patients’ jawbones, a girl who underwent an enormous amount of plastic surgery to turn herself into Miranda Kerr, and a Korean reporter who changed her looks so drastically that many were left aghast.

Korean cosmetic surgery, on the whole, is geared towards achieving a standardised set of features that are considered beautiful. And while the entries for Miss Korea may or may not have had a little bit of work done at some point, it’s startling how similar they all look in their competition portraits.

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From Ham Fighter to panty thief? Ex-pitcher accused of trying to steal undies with fishing pole

It’s probably safe to say Yukihito Nakanishi’s life hasn’t turned out exactly ike the 37-year-old Kyoto native planned. A baseball player in his student days, he was selected by the Nippon Ham Fighters with the overall seventh pick in the 1996 draft, but struggled to raise his game to the level required to be a star, or even a regular, in the Nippon Professional Baseball league.

Nakanishi was cut in 2000, having never pitched in an official game. Still, he’s managed to transition to life as a non-professional athlete, finding a job and moving back to Kyoto. He even seems to have found a new hobby, fishing, which ordinarily would be great, except that the police are claiming that instead of going after bass or trout, Nakanishi recently cast his line in hopes of hooking the lingerie his neighbor had hung out to dry.

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Avocados and ice cream: the newest gross food trend hitting Twitter in Japan

A while back we reported that Japan’s Twitter users couldn’t stop eating peaches with mozzarella cheese. We were creeped out at first, but the flavour combo even made its way into the legitimate snack companies’ repertoire, so there must have been something in it. This time, however, it seems the crazy tastebud thrillseekers out there have gone a step further by combining vanilla ice cream with avocado (and occasionally, even soy sauce).

But why would any sane person do this, and what does it taste like?

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Paper cranes sprout legs and boogie in this bizarre video

In Japanese culture, it’s believed that folding one thousand paper cranes will make your wish come true, leading this particular origami creation to represent hope and healing during challenging times. We’re not quite sure if the following video featuring five dancing paper cranes has the ability to heal anything, but it definitely has enough whimsy to make you smile.

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Buyer keepers? Photos of returned mail being sold on the street go viral in China

Ordering things online or through the mail always has an element of uncertainty to it. If you walk into a store to buy a new computer, you can be fairly certain that the package you walk out with is actually a new computer. But when ordering online, there’s always a chance that it’s a scam or that the post office will simply never get it to you. We’re not trying to disparage our beleaguered postal workers, but it’s inevitable that something will fall through the cracks in any large organization.

But have you ever wondered what happens when your mail doesn’t get to you? Where the heck does it all go? Well, if you’re really unlucky, it might end up being sold in the street.

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Forget the dress, how many shades of blue do you see here?

The internet was all aflame last week with debates over the color of a certain dress, so we should know by now that our eyes are damn, dirty liars. In case you want more proof of that, take a look at the picture above. How many shades of blue do you see? Are you sure about that?

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Italian man kisses woman on train in Wakayama “as a greeting,” gets arrested instead of her number

Assuming it’s done in a gentlemanly manner, I don’t see anything wrong with a man who spots an attractive woman politely introducing himself. Good manners of course dictate that if she appears bothered or uninterested he should abort with all haste. As long as the initial overture is made in a respectful manner, though, I don’t see the harm in taking a shot, low-percentage as it may be, to see if the woman is receptive to a little conversation.

In my time in Japan I’ve even seen a few instances of men and women who just met on the train chatting happily with each other, then exchanging phone numbers or email addresses before one gets off. Still, even I draw the line somewhere, and it’s at a point well before suddenly planting your lips on a woman you’ve never spoken to, as one man recently did while riding the rails in Wakayama Prefecture.

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Creepy or cute? Come face to face with deep sea creatures as gachapon sushi toys!!

Perhaps befitting an island nation surrounded by the ocean, Japan seems to have a fascination with deep sea creatures. One of our favorite deep ocean dwelling critters, the giant isopod, has made regular appearances on the Japanese Internet in various forms from toys to sausage snacks, and even as actual cooked food.

Other creatures of the deep such as the oarfish and the giant squid are also relatively popular here in Japan, possibly because much about them remains an elusive mystery. So it’s not entirely surprising that someone should come up with a series of gachapon toys featuring deep sea creatures. But these particular vending machine-dispensed trinkets that have recently been released from Japanese toy manufacturer Re-ment come with a  twist — they’re sushi-shaped and seriously bizarre-looking!

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Tokyo ramen shops trying serving “boob ramen,” ends up looking like “phallic ramen” instead

Japan, like most of the world, loves boobs. Sure there are disagreements over whether or not anime breasts are too big, or real-life breasts are too small, and sometimes the whole boob-obsession can borderline on creepy, but at least for the most part it’s usually pretty easy to tell what is and isn’t supposed to be a breast.

Except now. To celebrate the latest release in the Senran Kagura cute girl-ninja fighting game series, ramen shops all over Tokyo are serving special, limited-time only bowls of “boob ramen.” While that may sound awesome and hilarious at first, unfortunately the reality is quite different. Just take a look at what they’re offering.

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New game lets you save the world with your vacuum and toaster…who are also beautiful anime girls!

Released a little less than two months ago, smartphone game Touken Ranbu, with a cast of characters made up of famous swords from history transformed into handsome young men, has proven itself to be a solid hit. It’s just the latest success story, though, in the established video game genre of “many attractive people who’re actually anthropomorphized [something].”

Still, samurai swords seem like a pretty good well to draw from in creating heroic video game characters. But can you replicate that kind of enthusiastic response with  household appliances and consumer electronics though? We’re about to find out, with the upcoming title Kaden Shojo, which has you saving the world with a the help of a toaster, washing machine, and refrigerator, all of whom, of course, take the form of cute anime girls.

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Dutch restaurant’s odd ramen with soybeans has one ingredient we didn’t expect, lacks one we did

As the cuisine of one country becomes popular inn others, sometimes it picks up new ingredients and variations of part of its journey around the globe. For example, spaghetti bolognese is incredibly popular in Japan, but so is pasta with mentaiko (spicy cod roe).

The fact that the latter isn’t something you’d ever find in an authentic Italian restaurant doesn’t make it any less delicious. So when our Japanese-language reporter Yuichiro spotted a restaurant in the Netherlands advertising ramen with one very unusual ingredient, he decided to give it a shot. Little did he know, though, that the surprises were just beginning.

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Ginger Ale-flavoured soy milk sneaks into stores in Japan

Because Japan loves its bizarre flavour combinations, Kikkoman’s range of “Tonyu Inryo” soy milk drinks has been expanded again this month, to include plum, peach and… ginger ale flavours.

When we brought you the news of this impending taste sensation back in January, we envisioned a future in which uncarbonated gingery soy milk would be jumping off conbini shelves into our grabby little hands. It turns out that the ginger ale-flavoured soy milk is being slightly elusive, and eager tastebud thrillseekers have been going crazy trying to get their hands on one of the little cartons.

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Frog burgers join the earthy line-up at cafe in Yokohama

Now you can eat the world and a deep-fried frog, too. If you love to sample strangely colored foods or fried critters, look no further than nature museum/activity center Orbi Yokohama where you can take a bite of their bizarre burgers.

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Creepy news: Estimate a complete stranger’s breast size with this new plastic folder!

“Oh Japan.” It’s a phrase you hear pretty much anytime something boob-related is brought up. Like the breast exercise hand, the oppai mousepad, the iPhone boob-squeezer, and of course, straight-up virtual reality breast-groping.

But in all fairness, even though all those products are a little bizarre, at least they’re meant to be used in private. However the latest product released by Soft on Demand, adult video distributor and owner of a chain of adult shops in Japan, seems like it would only be used on strangers: it’s a clear plastic folder with a chart to estimate the breast size of a woman standing nearby you when viewed from the side.

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Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby

A proper anime character huggy pillow seems to have become a critical component of the full fetish and fantasy regalia of a well-rounded otaku, but there are certain things you just can’t do with such a 2-D crush. Sure, anime girl pillows will let you squeeze them and passionately insert your sweet nothings into their non-existent eardrums, but no matter how fervently romantic you become, you can’t expect any sort of pillow talk from your pillow.

Unless, that is, you’re curled up beneath the sheets with the Ita-Supo, the first talking huggy pillow that responds to your touch with verbal responses, including angry outbursts if you get too grabby.

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