Krista Rogers

Starting with a love of J-Pop and J-dramas when she was 13, Krista Rogers has left her quiet New England hometown in the States both to study abroad in Tokyo and to work on the JET Program in beautiful Yamagata prefecture. She misses chatting in the local dialect and staging Kamehameha battles in the hallway with her students. Although she's currently working on her master's degree in Boston, she will without a doubt be back in Japan before long and buying way too much at Book-Off and Tower Records again. When she needs a break from schoolwork, Krista enjoys eating yakiniku, figure skating, finding cute cafes, watching Big Bang MVs, and continuing on her quest to catch 'em all.

All Stories by Krista Rogers

A moving story about how meeting a “talking” cat changed one veterinarian’s life

Have you ever wondered what your pet would say to you if it could talk? What kinds of things would you want to ask it in return? One Japanese woman claims that she encountered a cat that could talk around the time when she first started working as a veterinarian. This cat shared many things with her that changed her whole outlook of the profession and view of animals. The vet recently decided to share her profound experience with the rest of the world on an online forum. Whether you believe her words or not, this introspective story is sure to touch your heart. Keep reading to decide for yourself.

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This man’s account of single-handedly digging his own well is oddly moving

Have you got what it takes to dig your own private well? Well, to be honest, the thought has never really crossed our minds before, but after watching this video we’ve sure been inspired to try (sounds like a good summer project for Mr. Sato). We’ve also learned that well-digging is not for the faint of heart. Here’s the video journal of one man’s long journey to create a well in his backyard over the course of a summer. His adventure was full of ups and downs and many frustrating moments, but the end result was worth all of the trouble, not to mention making surprisingly interesting watching. Join us after the jump for a slideshow of this strenuous undertaking!

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Foreign men share their reasons for divorcing their Japanese wives

Earlier this month, we brought you an article about foreign men sounding off on the difficulties of having a Japanese wife. While some of their complaints were understandable and others were just downright silly (you can’t deal with tofu? C’mon!), international relationships in real life don’t always end as happily as in the movie My Darling is a Foreigner.

Continuing the international marriage theme in a more unfortunate direction, we now bring you the voices of some foreign men who have gone through the experience of divorcing Japanese women. You might be surprised to learn that the main catalyst for divorce in each of their scenarios was rarely related directly to cultural differences. Instead, it seems that a combination of other factors played the decisive role.

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Join Sharla on a Japan love hotel adventure!

One of the weird, fascinating things about Japan that makes many foreigners giggle is the presence of so-called “love hotels.” In many Japanese cities, you and your lover can rent a hotel room for either a few hours of fun (less expensive) or overnight for  a whole lotta fun (more expensive). Often, love hotels will have a particular theme in decor throughout the building, which may even vary room to room. To get an idea of just how crazy the decorations can be, check out this photos collection of some of the most outrageous love hotel rooms Japan has to offer.

If you’re curious to learn more about the differences between a typical hotel room and a love hotel room, however, YouTuber Sharla in Japan has uploaded a video documenting her stay at a love hotel with a friend. Sharla wants everyone to know that you don’t have to go to a love hotel with your significant other or for clandestine nooky; it can be just as fun to go with your pal or use the places as a cheaper accommodation alternative! Hear more about what Sharla has to say and watch her fun video after the jump!

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This store’s attempt at encouraging students preparing for entrance exams creeps us out

Ah, it’s almost that time of the year again: the dreaded high school entrance examination season. In Japan, high school and college entrance exams, held in early March before the start of the new school year in April, are the bane of every student’s existence. To get into a top-notch school or university, students need to pass a grueling entrance examination, for which they will study months on end until they essentially become zombie slaves with no social lives.

However, Sofmap, a retailer of new and used electronics in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, is apparently using a different tactic to cheer on stressed-out students before their exams. The following twee, which shows a rather inappropriate sign found in the store, almost makes us question the sanity of the store’s employees.

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Epic win for live-action Attack on Titan video made by German fans【Video】

Live-action adaptations of your favorite anime series are sometimes painful to watch. On rare occasions, they’re actually pretty decent, even though stories with supernatural or sci-fi elements tend to be especially difficult to reproduce faithfully in real life…or so we thought until now. Before now, many people have commented that a live-action version of the insanely popular Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) would be impossible to execute well. But a group of enthusiastic German fans have proven everyone wrong with their amazing video which runs like a movie trailer! This production has truly raised the bar for fans around the world. One more important detail: they have real horses! 

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The “doya-gao” phenomenon and where you’re most likely to see it

A calm atmosphere, free Wi-Fi, and decent coffee – what’s not to love about Starbucks (unless you’re a staunch New Englander who swears by Dunkin’)? If you walk into any branch, you will see a line of people waiting to grab their favorite caffeinated pick-me-up. You’re also likely see a bunch of people hunched over their laptops typing away furiously, either by themselves or huddled together in groups. The laptop of choice to go with their steaming mug of coffee? From what we’ve seen, it seems to be a MacBook Air.

Have you ever watched people when they’re silently working on a computer, wondered what they’re up to, and then all of a sudden a smug little grin inexplicably breaks across their face? This self-satisfied look is known as a doya-gao in Japanese. One of our Japanese reporters, who is a frequent patron of Starbucks, recently began to notice a correlation between the frequency of people using MacBook Airs in Starbucks and those wearing a doya-gao expression. Intrigued, she started taking notes, and discovered that there are three branches of Starbucks in Tokyo where the doya-gao phenomenon is particularly common…

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36 historical photographs of geisha and apprentice geisha beauties

Without a doubt, the word “geisha” is one that even those who know little to nothing about Japanese culture are familiar with. Written with the kanji characters 芸 meaning “art” and 者 which represents “person”, geisha are masters of traditional dance, music, song, and even parlour games, making them quite the superstars of their day.

Join us after the jump for a look at a selection of picture cards of both famous and anonymous geisha, at the height of their fame and while still in training.

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Escape the chill of winter with these dazzling seascape photos

When the following pictures popped up on a Japanese news site, we found ourselves enraptured by the breathtaking and surreal scenery depicted within. In the photo above, the water is so transparent that the children seem to float over an endless cloud of seaweed. But it’s not an optical illusion. That is indeed water, and it is in fact actually part of the ocean. Can you figure out which country this gorgeous photo was taken in? Here’s a hint: it’s somewhere in southeast Asia. The answer is after the jump.

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No grown-ups allowed! Chef with a very sweet motive opens a kids-only sweets shop

Children in Sanda City, Hyogo Prefecture currently have good reason to celebrate, as a huge new sweets shop officially opened in their town on December 7. But the news gets even sweeter: only kids in sixth grade or younger are allowed inside! Sounds like any child’s wildest fantasy come true, right? Parents must wait outside (and no doubt prepare themselves for the inevitable sugar-high antics to come) while their children explore the hidden wonders within.

Join us after the jump for a rare glimpse inside the shop and read what inspired the owner to open it in the first place.

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Gotta size ’em all? Image of all 718 Pokémon depicted to scale leaves us awestruck

Haven’t you always secretly wanted to know what a puny Caterpie would look like next to the legendary Lugia? And I bet you didn’t know just how much of a pipsqueak Pikachu actually is. Well, thanks to one artist on deviantART, now you can compare the sizes of all six generations of Pokémon in one picture! We were blown away by the amount of work it must have taken to research the dimensions of all 718 Pokémon and compile their silhouettes into one image. Can you guess which are the biggest and smallest Pokémon?

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Busted on national TV! South Korean celebrity’s CT scan reveals she had plastic surgery

All woman want to feel beautiful, and as we’ve seen before a surprising number of women in Asia are willing to go the extra mile in their quest to achieve physical beauty by turning to cosmetic surgery. Once achieved, few of them would be willing to admit to having gone under the knife, but last week the truth about one female South Korean celebrity’s plastic surgery was exposed on national television. Seemingly by accident. Uh-oh…

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Super cool photo of someone using Twitter… on a Nintendo Game Boy?!

If you’re a 90s kid, chances are you spent hours of your life glued to the monochrome screen of Nintendo’s original 8-bit Game Boy handheld console (feel the nostalgia?). In those days, we were content guiding a tiny Mario around and striving to collect all 50 Pokémon. But little did we know the unforseen capabilities of the Game Boy. Last week, Twitter user Kinako uploaded a picture of herself using Twitter on a Game Boy screen. What sorcery is this??

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This funny Pikachu pancake is a perfect flop

If you’re a Pokémon fan, this “Let’s make Pikachu pancakes!” mould is sure to excite you. One Japanese fan recently tried to make her own Pika-licious snack, but her resulting creation went terribly wrong. We wanted to share these fail-blog worthy pictures with you.

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Godzilla is finally discovered in the ocean’s depths!

Well, sort of. OK, so that title is a bit misleading. But an article on Yomiuri Online the other day confirmed that researchers have discovered a new underwater geological formation, the largest of its kind in the world, south of the Japanese mainland. Furthermore, they have named it after everyone’s favorite King of the Monsters! This “new Godzilla” could even shed light on some secrets about the inside of the earth. Keep reading to find out more about this amazing scientific discovery.

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Hypnobirthing: A way to give birth without fear or pain that is gaining popularity in Japan

Have you ever heard of the term “hypnobirthing“? And no, it doesn’t involve hypnosis in the traditional use of the word. It’s a trend that has recently been catching on with mothers-to-be in Japan. Read on to learn more about this technique which aids women in having a more comfortable childbirth, as well as some comments from Japanese women who have tried hypnobirthing for themselves.

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Can you guess the most densely populated city in the world?

The capital city of this island nation is said to be the most densely populated major city in the world, with a mind-boggling 35,000 people living per sq km. Can you guess which country it’s in?

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This cool freeze-dried food shop lets you customize your own unique miso soup

At the end of a long, cold winter day, have you ever found yourself craving a bowl of steaming hot miso soup to go? If you live in Tokyo, then you happen to be in luck. There’s a shop selling freeze-dried products that lets you customize your own miso soup, and even down it on site. Furthermore, you can try different varieties of miso soup from around Japan. Read on to learn more about this awesome jewel right outside Tokyo Station.

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The good, the bad and the ugly: Japanese kids rate their own country【Survey】

Last year, Japan was thrust into the international spotlight after Tokyo won the 2020 Olympics and traditional Japanese cuisine was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO (only the second national cuisine after France’s own!). With all of this increased attention on the global stage, one Japanese corporation was curious to know what thoughts Japanese children harbored about their own country. Keep reading to find which things about their country Japanese kids liked and disliked the most.

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“Oops, I just ate my phone!”: A compilation of delectable iPhone cases from Japan

We’ve all the seen the amazing displays of plastic food outside restaurants in Japan. Sometimes they’re so detailed, it’s genuinely difficult to tell whether they’re real or not.

Well, if you’ve always secretly wanted to steal one of those food models to decorate your room, then you’re in luck, because someone had the great idea to turn plastic food into iPhone cases. We wanted to share this awesome compilation of fake food iPhone cases with you that look just good enough to eat.

Warning: no matter how hungry you are, do not attempt to consume these phones.

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