Japan

JAXA Invents Camera That Measures Radiation

On March 29th, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency announced that they have developed a prototype camera which detects gamma-ray emitting radioactive material such as cesium and shows the exposure distribution over an image. They hope that it can be used to make clean-up of contaminated areas around Fukushima Daiichi more efficient by locating places where radioactive matter has accumulated.
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Help the Police Find Grenades and Land Yourself  $1250 – Per Grenade!

In these hard economic times there aren’t many ways to make a buck.  The Fukuoka Prefectural Police are pitching in during these cash strapped times.  All you have to do is help them locate some deadly unexploded ordnance.

Yes, on 30 March, Fukuoka Prefectural Police announced that they will be giving cash rewards to anyone who can provide tips leading to an arrest of anyone in possession of grenades.  And I’m announcing that I’m cancelling my trip to Fukuoka.

In what’s called the Grenade 110 Incentive Program (110 is the emergency number for police in Japan) you can receive a whopping $1250 (100,000 yen) per grenade that they find on a suspect. It starts on 2 April and is open to anyone in the country.

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Does Japan Have New “Hottest Politician?”

The Japanese Internet is erupting with debate over whether newly elected 26-year-old Niiza City Councilwoman Asuka Tachikawa is more beautiful than Hachinohe City Councilwoman Yuri Fujikawa, previously dubbed “too hot for city council.”

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Japan Self Defense Force Recruitment Posters Kill with Cute

In recent years, the Tokushima Provincial Cooperation Office of the Japan Self Defense Force has created recruitment advertising posters featuring cute, adorable illustrations, and it wasted little time in releasing this year’s version.

The posters depict a girl texting her Self Defense Force member boyfriend after she sees him on a news show, in uniform and providing natural disaster relief. “That uniform made you look twice as dashing as you usually do,” she texts lovingly. Read More

Artist Makes Battleship Roll Sushi Into Actual Battleships, Devours Results

OK, sushi-lovers, have you ever eaten a gunkanmaki, or “battleship rolls”? They’re the ones with a little bit of rice surrounded by a sheet of nori to form a little bowl. Then loose toppings like sea urchin and salmon roe are piled in. They’re named after their resemblance to a battleship, but one artist is taking that verisimilitude even further by constructing battleships out of battleship rolls, and the Twitterverse can’t seem to get enough of them.
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The Japanese web portal goo recently asked its users their biggest regret from their college years. It seems in Japan as well, those heady days of freedom in university offer more than plentiful chances for screw-ups. Youth is one factor, but compared to middle school and high school students, university students have a whole lot more time on their hands and a whole lot less supervision, leading to a lot of navel-gazing, time-wasting and jack-assery. Some things are true the world over, I guess!
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8 Starbucks Hacks – Get More Bang For Your Buck

Of course everyone knows that coffee shop chain, Starbucks – good coffee, delicious food, comfortable atmosphere, top-notch service. If I had more money, I’d go everyday. Now we can all get a few steps closer to realizing this dream using these secret hacks: Read More

It’s a Wonderful Disney Life! Beautifully animated Japanese TV commercial receives critical acclaim from around the world

We’ve all come to expect the best of everything from the folks at Tokyo Disney Resort who operate Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Now, they’ve come up with a delightful TV commercial that is gaining very high praise from not just viewers in Japan but from overseas as well.

Here’s what the Tokyo Disney Resort official website says about the TV commercial that is attracting so much attention.

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Since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant following the terrible East Japan Earthquake in March last year, radiation has unfortunately been a topic of concern for everyone in Japan. It is therefore not surprising that a team of scientists at Tokyo University, where some of the top minds of Japan can be found, conducted a study on how radiation in seafood can be reduced. However, the results which have been reported in the media recently are not what you may expect from Japan’s premier academic institution.

According to reports, the team at Tokyo University, headed by Professor Shugo Watabe, concluded from their experiments that up to 95% of the radioactive cesium contained in fish can be removed by reducing the fish into very small pieces, close to paste form, and washing it repeatedly with water. Read More

Put the Tokyo Subway in Your Mouth!

Among both train nerds and the general public, the bright red 300-series cars that originally ran on the Marunouchi subway line in Tokyo are much beloved. This year, that line celebrates the 50th anniversary of the completion of its full length, and someone has fittingly made it a cake. Literally.

The cakes, called Marunouchi Line 300-Series 3D Cake, are being sold for a limited time at the price of 7980 yen (about $97).
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Recharge In Style! Cool Futuristic Cable Unveiled

Xenon has just started selling a futuristic USB recharging cable for iPad, iPhone, and iPod, which not only lights up, but you can see how fast your device is recharging by how fast the light pulses along the cable. And when your charge is full, the light turns off. Read More

Take Your Relationship With Your iPhone To Strange New Levels With Bandai’s Smartpet App and Robot Dog Body

They say that dog is man’s best friend. However, as the number of smartphone users continues to grow that title may soon be challenged, especially if you consider Bandai’s newest iPhone development, Smartpet.

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Kirin Releasing Fat-Busting Cola

This month, beverage maker Kirin announced that it will be releasing the first ever health food cola on April 24th. The drink will be called Kirin Mets Cola. No connection to the MLB team, although fans will find the font suspiciously familiar.

According to the company, the drink contains an indigestible form dextrin sometimes used as a fiber supplement, which restricts the body’s ability to absorb fat while eating. It contains no sweeteners and has strong carbonation for a refreshing feel. They also claim that blood tests performed in house after consuming the beverage prove the drink keeps levels of neutral fats low after eating.
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JoJo fans rejoice! Special 25th Anniversary JoJo Exhibit to take place in Sendai and Tokyo

You have to say 25 years – a quarter of a century – is a very long time to be working on a single story telling project. Well, that’s exactly how long manga artist Hirohiko Araki has been producing the series “JoJo no Kimyo na Boken – or JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, commonly referred to as “JoJo” by fans.

Not surprisingly, after 25 years in the making, the comic has a huge following of loyal fans of varying ages. The story line, which revolves around battles of good vs. evil fought between characters with supernatural powers spanning over several generations, is certainly unique, but the comic is also loved for Araki’s distinctive sense of graphic style and color, which leaves quite an impression and which once seen, is not easily forgotten.

Fans of the comic will be delighted to hear that a special exhibition of original JoJo artwork by Araki will be held later this year in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture and in Tokyo to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series.

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Goose That Laid the Golden Egg Hiding Somewhere in Japan

Have you ever seen such a lustrous gold egg before? I’m willing to bet most people would answer “no” to that. And yet, this shiny egg is the real thing! Well, at least it’s a real egg, anyway.
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New Major Faults Found Near Japan Coast

Two active and sizable faults were discovered east of Tokyo, a bit more than 100 km off the coast of Chiba Prefecture, measuring 160 km(99miles) and 300 km(186miles) long respectively.

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Fun Do-It-Yourself Mini Cherry Blossom Kit

Who doesn’t love cherry blossoms (sakura) and cherry blossom season? That exquisite pink everywhere. Refreshing, energizing, even. It’s fun just to wander around checking out the different parks with cherry blossoms. Sadly, time flies and the petals blow away… Read More

Lil’ Miss Environmentally Friendly Can Wash Away All Your Unwanted Toilet Sounds

Let’s face it; using public toilets is never a pleasant experience.  Putting aside all the legendary messes you have encountered, even if the restroom is immaculate you still have to worry about yourself.  As stealthily ninja-like you try to be on the can it is virtually impossible to do it without making any embarrassing sounds.

This is especially true of the fairer sex who often do a courtesy flush but in these ecologically sensitive times it’s hardly a sensible use of a gallon of water.

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Marriage in Wonderland! Now you can have a real life fairytale wedding in the land of Magic and Fantasy

Dreaming of a truly one-of-a-kind wedding in a magical setting? Well, there’s exciting news for people who want just that. Now you can get married at the ultimate fantasy lover’s venue — none other than the land of magic itself, Tokyo Disneyland. Read More

Free Umbrellas With A Purpose

Since March 8, you may have been seeing umbrellas around Tokyo printed with graphics for a new Xbox 360 and PS3 mahjong game.

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