Oona McGee

Half-Japanese Oona McGee hails from Sydney, Australia, where she worked as a journalist and copywriter before making the move to Japan over a decade ago. Now she spends her days exploring the streets of Tokyo with her laptop and camera, always in search of new cafes, restaurants, events and stories to share with our readers. As an experienced food and travel reporter, Oona has travelled extensively through all 47 prefectures of Japan, and is constantly researching new destinations and drawing up itineraries for her next adventure.

All Stories by Oona McGee

New Attack on Titan Tsutaya point card looks awesome, offers special members-only merchandise

If there’s anyone who should be celebrating the upcoming Attack on Titan live-action movie release, it would have to be Japan’s largest DVD, CD and bookstore rental chain, Tsutaya.

Specialising in multimedia, and with a huge selection of anime and manga titles to choose from, the company is anticipating increased interest in all things Titan-related and is marking the occasion with a special point card we can’t wait to get our hands on.

Not only does the card feature a stunning image of our beloved Survey Corps, it can also be used to accrue points at various stores around the country. And with accrued points comes the chance to receive a variety of special, limited-edition merchandise!

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New Sailor Moon Prism necklaces to include chocolate, retail for 98 cents!

Team spirit is everything in Japan. Whether it’s your workmates agreeing to a nomikai with the boss for the umpteenth time or a troupe of Sailor Moon schoolgirls fighting undercover to save the planet, group mentality is always at work, with everyone striving for success under pressure and looking for ways to please everybody else whenever they can.

Now that the Sailor Moon crew are turning 20, they’re reaching out to a number of teams to help share in the celebrations. The latest group to join them is a company known for combining two of our favourite things: pendants and sweet, sweet chocolate. Add Sailor Moon to the mix and you’ve got the release of the millennium: 10 senshi-inspired designs in five different colours that will retail for 120 yen each (US$0.98)!

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Kyoto Gakuen University entices students with TV ads featuring official anime character

Thinking of applying for higher education in Japan but don’t know where to start? We’re sending our applications off to Kyoto Gakuen University, the education providers with an official anime character called Sono Uzumasa, who features in TV commercials, billboard advertising and even on city transport cards.

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Shibuya Station 2019: one step closer to the Neo-Tokyo of our dreams

If you’ve been to Shibuya Station recently, you’ll have seen one area in particular that’s filled with crowds, noise and trucks; and it’s not the meeting place around the famous statue of Hachiko.

It’s the massive redevelopment project currently underway to revitalise the district and deliver a completely new-looking Shibuya by 2027. Latest pictures of the next high-rise in the pipeline reveal just how amazing life in Neo-Tokyo will be.

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Celebrate the arrival of the Mt Fuji climbing season with a mini mountain for cats

July in Japan means Mt Fuji is open for business. For the next two months, shops at the 5th station become bustling hives of activity, hikers line the various trails up to the summit and tour buses start jamming the roads.

But what about the dreams of our feline friends who yearn for the thrill of scaling Mt Fuji? Well now they don’t even have to leave their air-conditioned homes because compliant owners can finally bring the mountain to their cats. Kitty’s goal of dominating Japan’s highest mountain can be achieved at last!

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Meowrse code: when you want to send an SOS filled with cute cats

In the past, we’ve brought you news of cat alphabets, cat fonts and even cats that teach us Japanese. Now our cheeky feline friends are continuing to jam our communication systems and ensure they have all of our attention by popping up in Morse – sorry, Meowrse code.

Whether you want to liven up your LOLs or simply need to send an SOS to save yourself from all the furry cuteness, this neat generator will turn any message into a series of dots and dashes in cute kitty forms.

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Attack on Titan hot dogs! Because the best way to celebrate is with an extra-large sausage

The only thing better than the upcoming live-action Attack on Titan movie is all the related merchandise that’s slowly being pumped out ahead of its release.

The latest offering from the giants is coming to us from Aeon cinemas, who’ll be bringing us two gigantic hot dogs as part of the celebrations. Netizens, however, are pondering why they’ve chosen to use extra-long sausages to promote the film when a similar-looking appendage is so obviously missing from between the Titans’ legs.

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Ebizo Ichikawa XI unmasks the world of kabuki with amazing collection of behind-the-scenes images

Kabuki is well-known around the world as one of Japan’s most distinct forms of traditional theatre. The elaborate costumes, dramatic makeup and stylised poses have been captivating audiences for more than four centuries, yet when it comes to finding out what goes on behind-the-scenes, very few people have been able to step behind the curtain.

Now, one of today’s most popular kabuki stars is keen to change all that by letting the world share his dressing room, follow his daily routine and even peek inside his family home. Come with us as we take a look at some of the fascinating photos from Ebizo Ichikawa XI, one of Japan’s most revered cultural icons.

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Welcome to the world of cats in kimonos

In a country where pets outnumber children, animals in Japan are some of the most spoilt in the world. It’s not uncommon to see owners carrying dogs like babies, pushing them in specially-made prams and taking them on onsen hot spa holidays. The nation even has 11 cat islands where felines roam free and locals lavish them with attention.

So when big events and special holidays roll around, Japan’s furry friends also get dressed up for the occasion. Pet parents know no bounds when it comes to dressing their little ones and what better way to share the joy than with tiny elaborate kimonos? Join us as we take a look at some of Japan’s most stylish kittens below!

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The best way to tie up your kimono? With a cat obi, of course!

Japanese kimono come in countless designs and colours, but it’s often the elegant obi  (sash) that takes centre stage. Whether it’s colourful or subdued, simply tied or intricately folded, the sash is more than just a way to tie the outfit together; it’s the element that lets you show off a bit of your personality in an otherwise restrictive garment.

So what better way for kimono-wearing cat lovers to draw some attention to their wardrobe than with an adorably folded feline? And with such a variety to choose from, there’s bound to be a kitten that’s purr-fect for you!

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Celebrate Usagi-chan’s birthday at the Sailor Moon Crystal café that’s open for four days only!

Every year on June 30 there’s one particular girl who receives birthday messages from thousands of people around the world. Rather than respond to them all personally on Facebook like most of us would, this young lady gives back the love by protecting the planet in the form of Sailor Moon.

This year, a special cafe will be opened in her honour for a four-day long birthday party featuring themed drinks, desserts and even a special birthday cake for visitors to enjoy. We take a look at what’s in store for Usagi-chan’s birthday party after the break.

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Iron Man Samurai is the most awesome thing you’ll see today 【Video】

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent some of your daydream time contemplating awesome collaborations like Colossal Titans morphing into toy cars, Crayolas whittled into Star Wars character heads or even cats flying through space on pieces of sushi.

While we may not have the graphic design skills to visually realise half of our crazy awesome ideas, there’s one lucky man who can. Jack Lee, an artist from Hong Kong, has successfully melded Iron Man with a Japanese samurai warrior and the image he came up with is simply amazing. We take a look at his time-lapse video to see just how much effort went in to creating the perfect Iron man samurai.

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Attack on illicit substances! Colossal Titan stars in Tokyo Government anti-drug campaign 【Video】

Anti-drug posters and commercials usually have a way of getting us down. Dark images of despair, death and homelessness rely on realism to get the message across, leaving us with tiny mental scars as a warning to stay away from the dark side and walk on the right side of life.

Here in Japan, though, anti-drug tactics are very different. Instead of scaring citizens, animated images are used to inform and empower people. And when the Tokyo Metropolitan Government enlists the help of the Survey Corps and Colossal Titan to fight the war on drugs, you’ve got a campaign that catches everyone’s interest.

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The secret reason why this Pikachu tattoo is one of the best you’ll ever see

Tatts, booze, and Pikachu. It’s not always a combination that goes down well but in this case, it’s given birth to something very special.

Netizens around the world are going crazy for the artwork above, praising the artist for the creative design and commending her for helping a customer out with an embarrassing problem. Can you guess what secret is hidden within the image?

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Gigantic girls take over your favourite Tokyo tourist spots 【Videos】

As a tiny island packed with millions of people, Japan knows all about the small things. From compact serving sizes to tiny houses on narrow streets, everything here is designed for convenience to help cope with the stress of overcrowding and the real possibility of stepping on someone else’s toes.

Now, as Japan throws itself into the 21st century, it’s looking towards the bigger things: its place in the wider context of Asia and the Pacific Region; the 2020 Olympics and, why not; gigantic girls.

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Video trailer brings us a city overrun with terrifying Miffy zombies

Miffy, the adorable fluffy white rabbit from Holland, has several reasons to be angry. Not only has she been to court to kill off Cathy, the doppelgänger bunny character created by Sanrio, she also has to put up with people confusing her for Hello Kitty, and then to top it all off, her creator, Dick Bruna, announced his retirement last year. Sometimes, it’s all too much for a bunny to bear.

So it’s not hard to imagine that Miffy would one day be out for blood, especially if she were to become a flesh-eating zombie. And when you multiply one zombified Miffy with an army of hundreds, things become genuinely terrifying. Take a look at the bunny apocalypse that’s threatening to take down the citizens of Hong Kong and cheer for the group that fights them after the break.

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Japanese professor specialising in bone structure thrills students with skeleton Pikachu sketch

What would Pikachu look like under the flesh? It’s a question that’s, weirdly, been asked a number of times over the years, with several hypotheses appearing online in the form of cute yet macabre drawings, usually sketched by talented artists and anime fans.

But what if we asked for a professional opinion? As far as we know, Pikachu’s official X-ray slides are yet to be discovered, but if they ever were, they would probably look just like the image above. Because this latest rendering of the electric Pokémon’s skeletal structure comes from the mind of a professor who studies bones and vertebrae for a living.

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Everything is awesome when you own an Akira bike built entirely from Lego

If you’re equal parts anime fan and Lego enthusiast, this amazing motorised model will be right up your alley. It’s Kaneda’s iconic motorcycle from the animated cult film Akira and it’s made entirely from 1,091 Lego pieces.

The bike is so unique it can only be made with a guidebook and several limited-edition parts that are no longer in production, making this one of the most sought-after items amongst Lego-building Akira fans. Sightings are understandably rare so when we found a detailed video on the internet, we had to take a closer look.

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Cute Korean girls share before and after photos with a simple beauty technique that takes seconds

Everyone loves a makeover. From Cinderella to Grease to the Devil Wears Prada, the story of the dowdy girl who gets a haircut, throws on a new outfit and becomes a different woman is one that never ceases to entertain.

Now we don’t have to sit through the suspense of an entire movie to get to the big reveal, because girls in South Korea are going from ugly duckling to jaw-droppingly cute in a matter of seconds. How do they do it? It’s called “gagdoui jung-yoseong“, and the difference it makes to these pretty ladies is absolutely astounding.

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Japanese diners are raving about “fish parfait” made with grilled bonito and ginger

People in Japan love parfait. From massive concoctions topped with an entire slice of cake to more inventive creations designed to represent Japanese bonsai, we’ve always been keen to share the best of our frozen dessert finds with our dear readers, and today is no exception.

Because today we bring you the fish parfait. To be specific, this is a lightly grilled sashimi bonito parfait, which combines the rich, succulent flavours of seared fish and garlic with the sweet taste of ice cream. So what is it that makes this such a successful combination?

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