cool

Stop the itching from a mosquito bite in minutes with this cool trick!

For the most part, there’s very little danger from the animal kingdom in Japan. Even hiking in the mountains far from civilization, bears are rare and wolves are non-existent. Sure, the poisonous fugu blowfish can kill you, but it only poses a threat if you’re too stingy to eat it at a restaurant and insist on catching and cleaning one yourself without the proper know-how.

The are a couple of animal annoyances though, such as massive, territorial crows that claim suburban trash pickup sites like street gangs, plus schools of jellyfish that don’t have the courtesy to wait for summer to be completely over before showing up to ruin the fun of playing in the surf. By far the worst offenders though are the mosquitoes that are prevalent during the warmest months of the year.

But this year we’ve got a secret weapon to deal with the itchiness of the inevitable mosquito bite, and we bet you’ve got one in your kitchen already, too.

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Would you like paper, plastic, or a Captured Alien for your groceries?

Soon to be released by Japanese novelty goods maker Cube is a pair of cute Captured Alien Eco Bags. These bags help reduce waste and make you look like you’re dragging a little green man away to a secret facility in Roswell, New Mexico. It’s win-win!

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Feed your heart, mind, and stomach at Roppongi Hills’ LOVE Exhibition and Hatsune Miku Café

Aside from being an upscale shopping center, Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills complex is also home to the Mori Art Museum and a 54th-floor observation deck. We recently paid the building a visit to check out two concurrently running events, the LOVE Exhibition and Hatsune Miku Café.

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We design and field-test a hands-free burger holder

Here at RocketNews24, we like to keep abreast of the pioneering developments in the separate but equally important fields of technology and hamburgers. Having already marvelled at the fries holder from McDonald’s and recently hearing that Burger King had developed a hands-free Whopper Holder, we were immediately filled with a level of avarice that usually makes people buy a pair of overalls and move to the Yukon to pan for gold.

Unfortunately, Burger King’s shoulder and neck-mounted hamburger holder is only available as a giveaway for customers lucky enough to win one, and since the promotion isn’t being held in Japan, we were left with only one option: design and built one of our own.

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We try 400-year-old Ghost Child Care Candy – so good it’ll raise the dead

In the Higashiyama area of Kyoto City stands a candy shop which boasts a unique regular customer, the specter of a woman who comes for their candy. The legend began in 1599 and has been handed down from generation to generation to the present day.

The shop, now called Minatoya Ghost Child Care Candy Main Office, only sells its legendary Ghost Child Care Candy. RocketNews24’s Kuzo decided to head down to Kyoto to investigate the bittersweet story behind this candy shop’s connection to the other side.

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The Japanese government teaches us the proper way to dry a book

Despite its image as a high-tech country, a lot of Japan’s government paperwork still takes the form of bound collection of hard copies of legal documents. The National Diet Library has the responsibility of housing countless numbers of these collections.

However, like a fiery balrog, water is the bane of physical printed documents (which admittedly have a bit of a problem with fire, too). The National Diet Library occasionally has to deal with restoring books that have become wet before water damage sets in. Recently, the library revealed its simple, easy to copy technique for properly drying out a soggy book.

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The restaurant that powered the team behind one of Nintendo’s biggest hits

Kyoto has a long-standing reputation as a center of traditional culture, justified by its numerous significant temples and shrines, not to mention the artwork they house and their surrounding gardens. However, the city is also home to a site of great importance to modern pop culture: the headquarters of video game maker Nintendo, responsible for many of the titles that shaped modern gaming.

There’s a saying in Japan, though, that you can’t win a battle on an empty stomach, and that goes for designing great games, too. We recently visited the restaurant that powered the development team of one of Nintendo’s biggest hits ever.

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Unfortunate Google employee forced to wander alone on eerie abandoned island for Street View photos

Google Street View seems to have its priorities all out of whack. While only just getting around to snapping the more remote areas of mainland Japan and having yet to cover the majority of Canada, Google sent out one intrepid employee to explore the completely abandoned Japanese island of Gunkanjima.

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Fire up your fish roe: the battle tank sushi inspired by an anime series

Ōarai, a town in Ibaraki Prefecture 130 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, was an area hit hard by the devastating Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. After the tragedy though, the port town received support from around the world, including an unexpected show of encouragement from an anime series set in Ōarai and screened on Japanese TV last year. The intriguing storyline, about a group of local girls who compete in battle tank championships, sent a surge of tourists to the area, with one sushi shop taking out the big guns and offering up a unique, and entirely edible, battle tank creation.

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Dragon Quest slime salt and pepper shakers ironically perfect for keeping your spices dry

Despite “dragon” being right there in the title, the Dragon Quest video game series doesn’t really have an iconic dragon. Japan’s most widely-loved role-playing franchise doesn’t feature a particularly popular protagonist either, as each installment features a new, mostly mute hero.

Instead, mascot duties fall to the weakest enemy in each of the games, the lowly slime. Because of its cuteness and the almost complete lack of threat it poses to the player, the slime has become a fan favorite, with a shape as instantly recognizable as a Coca Cola bottle.

The franchise’s numerous titles for home and handheld consoles allow gamers to get their fix from the sofa or on the train, but now there’s even a way to enjoy Dagon Quest at your kitchen table.

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Stay cool guys! Just in time for summer, we find the best deodorizing sheets

Right now, the temperature and humidity in Tokyo are in a race to see which can climb faster. Yes, Japan’s hot, sticky midsummer is on the way, and for most of us, the deodorant we put on before we leave the house isn’t going to last more than a few short hours before it washes away in the rivers of sweat pouring off of our bodies.

Thankfully, men’s grooming product maker Gatsby is here to help with their deodorizing sheets. One of our reporters recently tried out several items from the company’s curiously extensive lineup of “body paper,” as the products are called in Japan, and then gave us his impressions on which is the best to keep yourself from smelling like the locker room after the annual joint training session of the varsity Greco Roman wrestling team and hot yoga club.

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UNESCO declares Mt. Fuji a World Heritage site, we celebrate with unique Fuji-related gifts!

After years of waiting in the wings, Mt. Fuji is now basking in UNESCO’s privileged spotlight, finally receiving recognition for its cultural contribution to the art and spirit of Japan. What better way to celebrate than with a look at some of the modern designs inspired by the sacred mountain? From dishes to beer glasses to wind chimes and umbrellas, we’ve got some of the cutest and most unique finds for you to enjoy.

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Enjoy sushi doughnuts at Mister Donut in Thailand

Kind of looks like sushi, tastes 100 percent like a doughnut. Mister Donut, the popular doughnut chain in Japan, has created a special sushi-themed menu for their stores in Thailand. Officially named SushiDo, these sweet treats have won over sushi and doughnut fans alike.

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An easy expression to read: The amazing phone book sculptures of Long-Bin Chen

This may look like a stone sculpture, but in fact New York-based artist Long-Bin Chen used nothing but paper to produce the following series of carvings. That’s right, this is actually a stack of phone books, cut, shaped and coloured to form the face of Buddha. Check out the full gallery of Chen’s incredible work after the jump.

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Fructose and water: The recipe for invisibility!

When sitting around drinking late at night, the conversation inevitably turns to superpowers and which one everyone wants.

Aside from a super healing factor and flight, one of the top picks is surely invisibility–though usually for some pretty diabolical reasons, like stealing your neighbor’s newspaper.

While we’re still not quite at the level of full-on invisibility cloaks, scientists have developed a way to make cells transparent! Invisible Woman this isn’t, but maybe it’s enough to sneak a midnight snack?

(Warning: some images may not be for the squeamish.)

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Japanese dancer becomes Internet sensation, and all he had to do was defy most laws of physics

After Japanese “performer” Miu GaGa’s laughably over-enthusiastic “dance” appearance on America’s Got Talent, Japan was in desperate need of a representative to show Las Vegas – where the show is based – and America at large that many Japanese, in fact, can dance. And as it happens, a handful of them can even literally defy the laws of physics when they do it.

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Inside a hero – creative modeller takes a scalpel to Super Mario

Honestly, the only things we ever thought we’d find inside Super Mario were copious amounts of barely chewed mushrooms and maybe some ravioli. Upon cutting him open, though, this creative netizen felt that Mario’s insides were severely lacking, so decided to go to work filling him out with a pint-sized skeleton and some vital organs.

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Extremely organized desktop background is actually pretty cool

What’s on your desktop background? If you forgot, I’ll give you five seconds to minimize this screen and check. Go on, I’ll be right here where you left me.

…three, two, one.

Ok, so really, what’s up there? A photo from your latest trip? Some hot girl? One of the default pictures that came with your computer? But I bet you never thought to use your desktop background as a way to organize your folders like in the picture above.

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Stop motion car chase has all the thrills of a Hollywood action film

Through some elaborate camera work, realistic sound effects, and the use of small figures and buildings, this stop motion video made by YouTube user LUXE37 is impressing netizens around the world. Filmed in a retro-style with cars from the 70s and 80s, this superb stop motion film is a throwback to the golden era of car chase scenes.

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Tokyo temple with planetarium lets you ponder the cosmos while you gaze at it

Shoganji Temple in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward has the standard trappings you’d expect from a place of Buddhist worship that was founded over 400 years ago. Traditional prayer hall? Check. Surrounding garden with pebble ground cover? Yup. Graveyard with solemn gray tombstones? Of course.

And a functioning planetarium? Sure, why not!

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