Japan

Korean Net Cafe Bans Japanese Customers Unless They Proclaim Korean Sovereignty Over Contested Islands

Japan and Korea have not been on the best of terms recently, thanks mostly to a territorial dispute over literally a couple of rocks known as Takeshima to the Japanese and the Dokdo islands to Koreans.

As so, now may not be the most welcoming time to visit Korea if you’re Japanese, and vice versa.

To cite an extreme, in Korea there is even one net cafe that has gone so far as to post a sign outside reading: “No Japs Allowed.”

But if you read the fine print, you’ll notice that the management isn’t being completely unreasonable with the ban.

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【Photos】 Japan Loves Their Olympic Athletes More Than You

The streets of downtown Tokyo were flooded with enthusiastic crowds on Monday as Japan celebrated its record haul of 38 medals (7 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze) at the 2012 London Olympics with a “triumphant return” parade featuring nearly all of this year’s Japanese medalists.

The athletes rode on open-air buses through the streets of Tokyo’s upper class Ginza shopping district, waving to the some 500,000 cheering supporters that were said to have gathered.

Check below for a collection of images showing the impressive scale of the festivities, originally shared on Japanese message board site Hamster Sokuho.

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“Slime” Flavored Gum Now on Sale in Japan, Grants 1 XP

Dragon Quest’s Slime was always one of the tastier-looking characters in the series. I mean, come on, he’s basically a blue gummi with a face drawn on—how could you not want to stick that in your mouth and chew on it?

Well now you can, with Fit’s MAGIQ Slime Flavor chewing gum by Lotte!

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First World Problem: Trying to Say Your Coffee Order, Becoming a Quivering Blob. Here’s an App to Help the Wannabe Coffee Connoiseur.

As we all know, part of Starbucks’ appeal is its big menu and many choices, which naturally lead up to customizable orders. Seeing people rattle off all the options that comprise their beverage of choice is almost enough to make you develop an inferiority complex for just wanting a plain coffee. Read More

Danish Variety Store “Tiger” in Osaka Can’t Keep Up With Japanese Shoppers, Shuts Down Soon After Opening

Danish variety store, Tiger, had recently opened up its first store in Osaka, Japan, in the shopping area known as American Village. Little did they know about the propensities of the Japanese shopper.

Or maybe they just didn’t give them enough credit. In this case, it was the intensity of Japanese shoppers that resulted in the store having to unexpectedly shut down. Despite having the experience of managing stores in 16 different countries, Tiger underestimated the insatiable drive of Japanese people to shop, even if it meant queueing in line for hours and hours.

All this trouble for the European answer to the 100 yen shop... Read More

Increase in Lightning Observed Across Japa… What the Hell Is That?!

In addition to two months of temperatures over 35℃, Japan has recently been hit with a spate of lightning storms. In fact, when writing a previous story my building was hit by lightning knocking out my computer and forcing a rewrite. The son of a…

Anyway, with all this lightning around and pretty much the entire population carrying cameras built into their phones, a person’s natural inclination is to try and take a picture of a bolt.

One person though was not only lucky enough to actually be able to catch a bolt in a photo, but found something far stranger.

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Thousands of Goldfish Exhibited Artfully in Nihonbashi

The art of goldfish exhibiting can be fully appreciated at this Art Aquarium and Night Aquarium Exhibit called Edo Cooling Goldfish. Sponsored by Diners Card and running from August 17th (Friday) till September 24th (Monday) at the Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall in Chuo-ku, Tokyo, the exhibit consists of artfully arranged aquariums where, the stars of this display, the kingyo, or goldfish, swim around demonstrating their own beauty, as well as being part of an intricate art presentation never seen before.

You have never, and may never again, see so many kingyo in one place at one time!

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Rey Ayanami’s Spear of Longinus is a Large and Unsightly Broken Churro

On August 15, Japanese convenience store chain Lawson launched a Evangelion tie-in campaign to promote the November release of the film Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.

Like any other Japanese convenience store promotion, Lawson is selling a small collection of limited-edition Evangelion goods and snacks. Among them is a package of 2 “churro sticks” called “Rei Ayanami’s Spear of Longinus,” supposedly modeled after the iconic weapon.

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What do Japanese People Put in Their Rice Balls? Top 22 Most Popular Onigiri Fillings!

If you ever visit Japan and want to sample one of the staples of local cuisine, find a convenience store and grab an onigiri, or rice ball. Easy to make, plentiful in variety and an essential component of any bento lunch, the onigiri is to Japan what the sandwich is to the West.

But with so many different fillings, how do you know which onigiri to try out? If you want a taste of the REAL Japan, you need to eat what REAL Japanese people are eating, which is why we’d like to share with you this REAL list ranking the most popular onigiri fillings in Japan.

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Hello Kitty Sent on “Tour of Hardship”, Still Manages to Put on Brave Face

We’ve reported several times in the past on some of the unusual jobs taken on by Hello Kitty, including cosplaying as characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Sadako (from the Ring series), or even getting baked whole into golden brown cakes.

Well, since Ms. Kitty, as we sometimes call her when she’s in business mode, is so willing to take on any job thrown at her, some people have apparently decided to send Ms. Kitty on a virtual “tour of hardship” to put her professionalism to the test, and we’ve found a collection of pictures showing some of the hardships she endures.

So, let’s see what torments our beloved Ms. Kitty has been going through! Read More

Overseas Edition of “Prince’s Proposal” Getting Turned Down by Fans: “Princes Look Disgusting”

Unlike American game makers, Japanese video game companies often sweat over every detail before selling their games overseas to make sure it fits the culture.  Although the sentiment is appreciated the results are often poor, as people in other countries enjoy those cultural differences more often than not.

Case in point is Prince’s Proposal’s (Ojisama no Puropozu) treacherous journey abroad.  Prince’s Proposal is an otome game where your character, a university student, has a chance encounter with six princes whom you must find romance with by making the right choices throughout the story.

Its recent westernized incarnation called Be My Princess, however, decided to replace the stylish anime princes and characters with rubbery, emotionless ones.

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New Hatsune Miku Music Video “ODDS&ENDS” Leaves the World in Tears 【Updated】

There are literally tens of thousands of songs out there that use the Hatsune Miku Vocaloid software for vocals, but few can inspire and touch people’s hearts like the work of Japanese 11-member music group Supercell.

On August 14, Supercell released the music video for their new single “ODDS&ENDS,” their first song to feature Hatsune Miku in over a year and the opening theme for the upcoming Playstation Vita game “Hatsune Miku Project DIVA-f.”

Check out the video below and be sure to grab a box of tissues because Supercell has once again managed to pour more emotion into this virtual singer than can be found in most pop songs today.

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Free Underwear! Innovative Business Set to Give Away Up to 7 Pairs a Month

I have to admit, I’m the kind of guy who clings to his underwear until it’s little more than two threads attached to a stretched out, useless elastic band. Guys tend to be creatures of habit and would rather put up with worn down shorts than go to the store to buy new ones.

Freepan (short for Free Pants) is a totally new patented service prepared to send up to seven free pairs of underpants every month – with free delivery!

Catch? Yes, there are a couple catches but not as bad as you might imagine.

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Bill Gates Building a Mansion in Japan!? We Investigate!

Rumor has it that the world-famous Bill Gates has started building a vacation home in Japan’s premier mountain resort town Karuizawa, Nagano!

After it was substantiated in an article in Shinken Shinbun, a local construction periodical, the Bill Gates Mansion became the talk of the town. The land for it includes an area of 19,979 square meters. It will be one-storied and go down two stories into a basement.  There will be a heliport and a private underground road accessing the grounds where a 2000 square metered garden is planned.  

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What Are These Things Washing Up On Shore?

This photo has been showing up on various websites recently depicting glowing blue objects lining up along a shore. This beach is in Toyama, Japan and for the locals this isn’t such a crazy sight.

Before clicking “more” place your bets on what you think this is; algae, radioactive waste, aliens?

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Police Stand By as Korean Man is Assaulted by Extremists for Protesting Japanese War Crimes, Japanese Internet Approves

A Korean man protesting at the infamous Yasukuni Shrine was assaulted by a group of Japanese men on August 15, the 67th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.

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Domino’s Pizza “Manager of Excellence” Pawns His Domino’s Themed Rolex Reward, Company Appears Shaken

There are many pizza places in the world but very few have achieved the worldwide notoriety of Domino’s Pizza.  So it’s comforting to know that they reward their workers handsomely when outstanding work is done.

In Japan, a manager deemed “excellent” by the corporation gets rewarded a Rolex watch.  Granted the Rolex is engraved with the Domino’s logo in places, but it’s still a Rolex, and it’s worth a pretty penny too according to the pawn shop one was sold to.

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Horror Movies Recommended to Scare Away the Summer Heat! So, Which Horror Movies are Popular in Japan?

It’s a fact of life that summers in Japan are hot and humid, and the Japanese people have a long history of trying to find ways to cool down in hot weather. One tradition that has come about as a result is the telling of terrifying horror stories in the summer, for the purpose of getting “chilled with terror”. And right now with the summer in full swing in Japan, we are indeed in need of some “chilling”.

Well, to help those of us desperate to feel just even a little bit cooler, Japanese entertainment group Culture Convenience Club (CCC), which operates TSUTAYA, one of the largest Video/DVD rental chains in Japan, has released a list of the 20 most-rented horror movies in Japan over the past three decades (1983 to 2012 to be exact). So, let’s see which movies made the list! Read More

Turntable Rider Converts BMX Bike Into Musical Instrument

Yo dawg, Japanese smartphone-based bike-sharing service Cogoo heard you like freestyling, so they stuck a DJ mixer into your BMX bike so you can freestyle while you freestyle.

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Why Do Foreigners Like Japan so Much? We Head to Comiket 82 to Find Out!

Many foreigners view Japan as some marvelous dreamland of technology and culture; a place where crazy is the norm and embracing fantasy in everyday life is acceptable.

But to Japanese people, Japan is just that place you were born. Everyone and everything is routine, and it’s often difficult to see why the rest of the world get’s so worked up about “Japanese culture.”

Earlier this month, we sent one of our Japanese reporters to Comic Market (or “Comiket“), the world’s largest self-published comic book fair and otaku mecca, to interview real live foreigners and ask them what it is they really think about this country.

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