Scott R Dixon

Scott Dixon is a writer/reporter living in New York and misses his celebrity lifestyle in rural Sasayama, Hyogo where he taught English and remixed the junior high English textbook's videos into an H.P. Lovecraft soap opera. His first experience with Japan was at 14 when he accidentally signed up for Japanese class at his Kansas high school. Two school district Kanji competition championships, one study abroad year in Tokyo, several home-stays in Iwate prefecture, three years of Sasayama boar meat and a few chuu-hais later, he considers it a pretty good mistake.

All Stories by Scott R Dixon

Days of thick smog leave Shanghai residents gasping for fresh air

Air pollution in China is a serious problem, especially in urban areas in the east like Shanghai. Over the past week, the city has been dealing with a particularity nasty bout of smog that has far exceeded safe levels according to its own Air Quality Index. The smog has been heavy since around the beginning of the month, with one of the worst days on December 6 that saw pollution levels over ten times that of the air in neighboring countries.

Read More

Tokyo enlists civilian “water monitors” to prove its water is delicious

Even though tap water in Tokyo is perfectly safe to drink, and in most cases indistinguishable from bottled water, the metropolitan government is concerned about the bad rap it gets from citizens who will not give it a try. In October, the Bureau of Waterworks, charged with providing clean and tasty water for Japan’s largest metropolitan area, wrapped up a 25-year-long project to connect the majority of Tokyo residents to great-tasting and specially treated water from the Tone River system.

According to an NHK article, the government agency wants to get the word out that their water is just as good as any store-bought bottled water and has asked 700 private citizens all over Tokyo to become “water monitors” and test their home’s tap water for minerals and judge its quality.

Read More

The 6 best frozen foods at a Japanese grocery store

Have you taken a look in your freezer lately? Has that carton of ice cream from last summer grown into an ice fortress yet? What about that mean-looking freezer burn on that mystery meat? Maybe it is time to clean out the chiller and fill it up with some surprisingly yummy frozen foods from your local Japanese grocery store.

While this is far from world-class gourmet dining, the following six foods will definitely make your stomach happy on a night when pushing the microwave’s “start” button is all the cooking you want to do. Click below to find out which Japanese frozen foods are worth your hard-earned yen!

Read More

16 films based on popular manga series hitting Japanese cinemas in 2014

Manga fans have plenty to look forward to in 2014 with 16 live-action films adapted from well-loved and popular manga series being released next year. From action comics about police robots to romantic stories about high schoolers who bond over body hair removal, there is something for everyone in these upcoming manga-based films. And since some in the academic world are beginning to see the positive side of Japanese comics, you have one more reason to get your non-manga-loving friends hooked through the power of the silver screen.

Read More

“Knockout Game” invading Japan? Violent attacks in Kobe, Osaka spark debate

With so many cool toys coming to stores this year, it is hard to believe kids would be so bored that they create a game where the “players” score points for each real-world stranger they render unconscious. But two recent attacks in Kobe and Osaka are making Japanese netizens scared that the so-called “Knockout Game,” which has been widely reported in American media, has now landed on Japanese streets. Some academics are concerned that this is just another sign of America’s “society of violence” importing itself to Japan.

Read More

Bedroom tents helping South Koreans keep warm this winter

We here at RocketNews24 are no strangers to finding new ways to both keep warm and save a few yen on our heating bill through the harsh winter months, but our friends in South Korea, encouraged by a recent unusually cold spurt, have found an ingenious way to lower their thermostat and stay toasty all night—indoor tents. And the tents are becoming so popular that some retailers are selling out!

Read More

8 endangered foods you should probably appreciate a lot more

There are few things worse nothing worse than going to the grocery store and finding out that your favorite food item is sold out, but with rising food costs, climate change and increased demand around the world, get ready for a new reality of some of your favorite foods getting a whole lot more expensive and harder to come by. Click below to find out which eight foods you should probably put in your shopping basket before they run out!

Read More

50 stunningly spooky scenes of abandoned sites in Japan 【Photos】

Even though abandoned buildings seem more appropriate for movie villains, there is something undeniably soothing about seeing the quiet and still remains of a place abandoned by people. These deserted places, called “haikyo” in Japanese, can be stunningly beautiful in their serenity.

After documenting rundown schools, forgotten amusement parks and abandoned hospitals in Japan for his blog Totoro Times, French photographer Jordy Meow has turned his urban exploration into a book, “Nippon no Haikyo.” From haunted hospitals and silent schools to deserted hotels and creepy fun parks, click below to check out 50 images of these amazing haikyo sites throughout Japan.

Read More

7 odd and uniquely Japanese restaurant experiences

 

Although visitors to Japan routinely compliment the country for its world-class hospitality and excellent customer service, dining in Japanese restaurants can be a confusing experience for tourists and residents alike. Even the most seasoned long-time expats can still be put off by some of these strange behaviors. Of course, everything is relative as Japanese tourists overseas complain about the opposite, but click below to find out seven ways that a visit to a Japanese restaurant may surprise you!

Read More

Anime fans ecstatic over Taiwanese fan-made short “Attack on Railgun”

A Taiwanese film production group has released their short film Attack on Railgun, which merges two popular anime series into an incredibly well made and high quality homage. The short combines the worlds and characters from Attack on Titan and A Certain Scientific Railgun to create an exciting new story in the live action movie. Japanese fans of the anime series have been impressed with the CGI, the plot line and especially the fact that all of the actors speak Japanese in the short film!

Read More

Samsung’s naughty ad: When autocorrect strikes back

Typographers and moral crusader beware! A risqué Samsung billboard promoting their Galaxy 3 notepad has been, ahem, erected in four countries, leaving the South Korean company with a potentially embarrassing public relations mess. The offending ad must have been designed by someone who forgot to turn off the autocorrect feature before editing, making for an unintentionally hilarious billboard. Click below to find out what the racy sign says!

Read More

Teacher accidentally fires confiscated “fake” gun in Fukuoka Prefecture school

In Japan where guns are an incredibly rare sight, toy guns and replicas can often look like the real thing. So when a teacher at a middle school in Fukuoka Prefecture confiscated what they thought was a fake gun from a student, the teacher handled the “toy” with very little care, and ended up accidentally discharging it in the staff room.

Read More

Check out this nightmarish sea creature caught in the Canadian Arctic

With all of the weird and horrifying animals that seem to be coming out of the ocean recently, we thought we had seen it all. But a Facebook user recently posted a picture of a fish that looks straight out of Silent Hill.

The mysterious sea creature was caught in the Arctic water of the northern territory of Nunavut in Canada. Are you ready to see a fish that could give you nightmares?

Read More

Forget coffee, this Tokyo Starbucks now sells booze!

Normally known for a spot to get a sugar-fueled caffeine fix, Starbucks recently opened a new outlet in Tokyo that is serving alcohol. The new coffee shop is part of a concept line of cafés the company is establishing in Japan to offer customers something a little different from the usual Starbucks experience. In addition to serving upscale coffee drinks and homemade desserts, this shop will be selling wine and beer after noon in the fashionable Shimokitazawa neighborhood.

Read More

Missing 80 kg of nose candy? Huge cocaine stash found off Japanese beach

The beach can be a great place to go to get away from it all. From listening to the gently rolling waves to smelling the ocean air and picking up seashells, there is nothing quite like a relaxing visit to the shore. Usually the most surprising thing found in the sand or water is a strange-looking sea creature, but one man stumbled upon a record-breaking 80 kg of cocaine on November 19 off the shores of Yokosuka City in Kanagawa Prefecture. Police say its street value is about 4.8 billion yen (US$47 million) and they are now looking into whoever was wishing for an apparently very white Christmas.

Read More

Need extra yen? Conveyor belt sushi restaurant will buy your freshly-caught fish!

It’s no secret that we here at RocketNews24 love sushi and especially kaitenzushi, or conveyor belt sushi restaurants. There is nothing like the joy of watching plates and plates of delicious sushi go around like a train while you anxiously wait for your favorite kind to be delivered by conveyor belt.

Although we have been to the supposedly best conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Japan, we are always on the lookout for the next best thing in automatically delivered fish on rice. That is why we were very excited to hear about a restaurant in Matsuyama City that has a standing offer to all local fishermen: the shop will buy your freshly caught without the hassle of going to a fish market!

Read More

Chinese artist blends into background with chameleon-like ease 【Photos】

Have you ever had one of those moments where you wish you could just disappear and the let the world pass by? Like Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility, Chinese artist Liu Bolin has perfected the art of being unseen. Liu uses his chameleon-like skills (and a great deal of paint) to make himself barely noticeable even in some of the world’s busiest cities. Get ready to test your eyesight and take a look at 38 pictures of Liu hiding in plain sight!

Read More

Turn cleaning into a Nintendo video game with Roomba covers!

The robotic vacuum cleaner Roomba has already made life easier by cleaning floors on its own (when it is not running away), but a U.S. art exhibition recently showed how the device can turn household chores into a replay of childhood video games. At the art show, an artist crafted Nintendo-inspired covers and turned the cleaning robots into four of the most feared, but beloved video game enemies from the Super Mario and Legend of Zelda series.

Read More

Can video games really help “level up” your beauty stats? 【Poll】

It has been a great year for gamers. Two new game consoles—PlayStation 4 and Xbox One— have ushered in a new generation of living room gaming, and then scientists gave us some delicious data to throw back in mom’s face about how spending all that time glued to the NES was actually making us smarter. And to add to the year of good news, a very (un)official poll of about 50 couples at Joypolis arcade in Tokyo said that playing video games actually makes you more attractive on a date!

But which games are best to impress, and does it really work? Click below to find out as well as to participate in our official RocketNews24 poll to test this theory of video games’ effects on beauty.

Read More

20 horrifyingly tempting seafood specialities from Japan

Are you bored of the same old Japanese food and looking to try something new, exciting and a little strange? From potentially life-threatening to overwhelmingly pungent odors to just plain odd, here’s a list of 20 of the weirdest Japanese delicacies from the sea. If you are feeling a little bit curious and want to expand your Japanese cuisine horizons, click the link to find out more!

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9