SoraNews24 is a Tokyo-based news site. In 2008, our sister site, RocketNews24 published its first Japanese-language article, and two years later came the start of our English site, which originally existed exclusively to translate articles from our Japanese colleagues. Over time we’ve expanded the amount of English-language content we produce while maintaining a focus on fun, weird, and intriguing news from Asia, particularly Japan.

All Stories by SoraNews24

Rental Wife: A Job Option For Young Women in Thailand

Searching for “rental wife Thailand” in Google produces an overwhelming amount of results.  With websites titled “How to Find a Girlfriend or Wife in Thailand” and “How much is it if I rent some girl for one weekend?” it’s enough to make you feel sick (or excited if that’s your thing).

In Thailand, the job of “rental wife” has been established as a viable occupation for young women.  Also known as “black pearls,” rental wives are hired by male foreigners living in Thailand to fill the role of an actual wife.

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9 ways to have fun playing video games with your girlfriend (according to Japanese women) and why they are dumb

Otome Sugoren, a Japanese women’s website featuring love and advice columns, has just released a list of nine ways for boyfriends to enjoy playing video games with their girlfriends. The article explains, “there are so many men who love to play video games, but what’s a non-gaming girlfriend to do? These boyfriends make the mistake of inviting their girlfriend to play without knowing how to have fun with a beginner.” To help out all those hardcore gaming boyfriends, Sugoren asked female readers to take a survey and outlined the best way men can help their non-gamer girl have a fun time playing video games.

The following are the top nine responses to Otome Sugoren’s survey, along with reasons why this author, a gaming girl herself, thinks these women are idiots.

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Would You Like Some Floor Ramen? China’s Leading Ramen Company, Ting Yi, Thinks You’ll Love the Extra Flavor

Pictures of the inner workings of the Ting Yi factory, one of China’s largest food companies, have surfaced on the internet this week, shocking many ramen fans.  If you happen to find yourself enjoying an exceptionally delicious bowl of instant ramen with a flavor that you can’t quite put your finger on, take a look at the following pictures.

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Anti-Japan Protesters in China:  Oops! We Thought Samsung is Japanese


Quick, what country does Samsung come from?  

If you said Japan, you’re wrong.  Samsung is actually headquartered in South Korea.  But no worries, it’s just a missed trivia question.  However, if you’re an angry mob hell bent on destroying all things Japanese and you make this same mistake, you’ve committed a major faux paus.

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On May 24 the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the “Your Better Life Index,” a customizable tool to rank countries around the world according to your personal standards of living. While several other similar ‘happiness indexes’ exist to evaluate countries beyond their GDP, this is the first one based on personal preference.

Soon after North Korea released its own world happiness index. Personal preferences are also heavily reflected in this ranking—that is, the preferences of whichever loyal government official threw the list together. Read More

Normally, when one has a craving for crêpe they head to their local crêperie to have one made fresh, or drop by the convenience store to pick one up on the go. If you’re a bird of prey, you may even resort to criminal methods.

Now, thanks to that good old Japanese let’s-put-anything-in-a-vending-machine ingenuity, you can feed your appetite for French pastries with just the push of a button. Read More

Wanna Try Frog Ramen?

Have you ever eaten frog meat? Frog is a common ingredient in the cuisines of some of the world’s cultures, but would you think of frog meat as a topping for Japanese food such as ramen?

A ramen restaurant in Nagoya does exactly that. The owner loves the taste of frogs so much that he started using fresh frog meat for his main ramen dish. He even changed the same of his restaurant to “Kaeru”, the Japanese word for frog.

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On December 1st, Capcom released the popular “Monster Hunter Freedom 3” in Japan for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) system. The game is almost a national icon. People camped-out in front of stores over the night before the release. Read More

How well do you know your cat?

Humans have been living with pets for a very long time. We especially love our dogs and cats. We think of them as friends, companions– even as family members. You may think you know everything about your furry friend, but there are facts about your pet’s characteristics and history that you may have never heard. In particular, here’s some interesting trivia about man’s trusty rodent controller, the cat: Read More

“Something seems very very wrong”, said Mr. S. who had been shopping online frequently for 8 years. He recently found a new online clothing store, but was shocked at what he found they sold there. Read More

Let’s say that you need to write something down, but the only pen you could find doesn’t work. All too often this is the case. However, there is a a trick to bringing the pen back to life that may be useful to try: Read More

Undoubtedly, the most anticipated feature of the Nintendo 3DS is…well, the stereoscopic 3D! No longer oppressed by plastic glasses, the common man is now free to enjoy three-dimensional vision with his naked eye.

Yet, while the 3D may be the main appeal of Nintendo’s new handheld, there is another feature we think should stoke your fire: the Augmented Reality (AR) function. The 3DS includes six specially designed paper cards, five of which bear well-known Nintendo characters. Thanks to the rear-facing cameras and a bit of magic, viewing one of these cards through your 3DS screen causes the respective character to appear in 3D space. Read More

McDonald’s China Price Costs Leaked, French Fries 17¢

It can be said that the McDonald’s Dollar Menu is a true testament to the fruits of modern civilization. When we live in an era where an individual can purchase a McChicken, Small Fries and Hot Fudge Sundae for the price of one United States dollar a piece, it’s difficult to imagine how much further mankind can really progress. Some of us may even think, ‘At such low prices, how can McDonald’s even turn a profit? Surely they must be sacrificing themselves for the greater good of everyday values!’ Read More

A Tale of Japanese Customer Service

The following is a translation of an article written by one of our Japanese coworkers:

I am crazy about Calbee Lightly Salted Potato Chips. I find their balance of saltiness and crispy texture to be really addictive. Some of my friends are fans of other chip brands, but I have stuck to Calbee’s for quite a long time.

But the other day, I was enjoying a bag of chips when I happened to feel something like a hair in my mouth. I spat it out and saw something that looked like a thread attached to a chip. There was little doubt that what I saw was an accidental artifact of the production process.

It wasn’t a big deal to me at the time, but after a little while I began to wonder what would happen if I called Calbee’s Customer Service number. I was overtaken by simple curiosity and called the number printed on the back of a nearby bag. What happened next, I could never have expected…

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In Japan, the act of sitting in a car’s side window so that the upper body is exposed outside is called “Hakonori”. It’s popular with Japanese vehicle gangs (known as “Bosozuku”). It’s also highly illegal in Japan. Read More

Possibly the most internationally famous food of Japanese cuisine is sushi. In Japan, sushi is so popular that there is a huge variety in the way it is served.

Cheaply priced moving-sushi-boat style (called “kaiten sushi” in Japanese), more moderately-priced deli-style packed sushi, and expensive “omakase”-style (literally, the sushi chef picks the cuts for you) at a sushi counter are just a few of the wide variety of styles of serving sushi in Japan. Read More

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