Starbucks Espresso Journey in Harajuku Provides a Unique Coffee Experience at the World’s First Starbucks Pop-up Store

Starbucks Japan invites you to enjoy a “supreme espresso experience” at the chain’s first-ever pop-up store in Tokyo.  Created by designer Oki Sato, co-founder of design company Nendo, and nestled in the trendy Harajuku district of Tokyo, this unique Starbucks event is aimed at providing visitors with a memorable coffee drinking experience.  Visitors can enjoy back-to-basics coffee drinks which highlight the richness of Starbucks espresso and are even able to try their hand at making Starbucks coffee and sample Starbucks Via flavored coffee in the second floor’s “experience space.”

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Sharp Corporation Potentially Not Doomed After All, Unveils Amazing New Solar Energy Panels

Not seven days ago, netizens were chuckling away at the expense of electronics giant Sharp Corporation’s efforts to install anti-bacterial air purifiers on top of photocopiers, with many forecasting the end for one of Japan’s once greatest innovators.

But recent news of affordable, ultra-efficient and easy-to-install solar panels from the very same company has brought those fervently blogging fingers to a sudden halt.

Solar panels, while very effective in the right environment and conditions, are hardly the most reliable of energy sources. Add to this the cost involved to purchase and install the panels, as well as their less-than-appealing aesthetic design, and it’s little wonder that few people take the idea seriously or are willing to invest the capital to get their home hooked up.

Sharp, it seems, has come up with solutions to the majority of these problems, and have a few extra surprises for us… Read More

Hello Kitty Gets Naked with Giant Anthropomorphic Mushroom on Your Chest

From baked goods to blue hedgehogs, there’s nothing international superstar Hello Kitty won’t do to make a quick buck.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, our beloved “Kitty of All Trades,” the face of untainted feline innocence herself, has gone full-frontal.

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The Perfect Gift for New Parents: 20-Year Birthday Card Box-Set Guaranteed to Jerk a Few Tears

In my native UK, while we’re permitted to drink, smoke, vote and watch (reasonably) naughty movies from the age of 18, our 21st birthday is still recognised as the moment when we become real adults, and are expected, as a result, to stop getting upset when Simba’s dad dies in The Lion King, and to brush our teeth a minimum of twice a day.

In Japan, a seijinshiki (coming of age ceremony) is usually held for a birthday boy or girl on their 20th birthday. They may have long since left school, found a job, started smoking and staying up later than their own parents, but until a person is 20 years old, they are not considered a true adult.

With this in mind, Japanese “Woman Smile Company” Senshukai’s “mama & baby for baby” catalogue has recently listed a new item: a special wooden box-set of 20 birthday cards that a mother (or father!) can pass over to their child upon their “coming of age”.

Already proving to be a big hit with young parents, the box-set has seen a sudden and huge increase in customer orders. Read More

Birds Reclaim Social Networking Site Twitter, Leave Cryptic Messages and LOL@stupidhumans

Perhaps irked by the fact that we humans are tweeting almost as much as they are, perhaps just victims of the information age like the rest of us, birds have taken to keyboards to share their thoughts through micro-blogging site Twitter. No word yet as to whether they’re just telling us what they had for lunch or the topics they’re trending…

A bird lover in Latvia has set up a twitter account just for his local birds, and let’s them do the typing, with the account having already attracted more than 2,000 followers. Read More

Japan Starts High Seas Squirt-Gun Fight With Taiwan, Pushes Fishing Boat Flotilla Out of Contested Waters

Alright, let’s recap.

Last Tuesday, a flotilla of Taiwanese fishing boats was rumored to have set off for the disputed Senkaku islands, located near the Japanese islands of Okinawa, seeking to assert their ownership among China and Japan.

At around 6 a.m. on Sept. 25, the 50-strong Taiwanese flotilla arrived in the disputed waters. At least eight patrol ships were sailing alongside the fishing vessels and many of the boats were displaying banners reading “We swear to defend the Senkaku islands!”

Japanese coastguard patrol boats moved in to intercept the tiny fleet and warned them to vacate the area. However, the Taiwanese boats maintained their position, asserting that they were in Taiwanese waters and their presence perfectly legitimate. Tensions were running high and it seemed only a matter of time before the conflict turned hostile.

And that’s when Japan decided to bring out the big guns.

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Yet More Unnecessary Ways to Estimate the Size of a Man’s Junk: Childhood Rumours Both Quashed and Verified by Science

It’s been a funny sort of week here at RocketNews24. While it was never agreed upon at any of our meetings, the issue of our private parts and their relative size has cropped up more than a couple of times within the space of a few days. And this post is no exception.

“Penises on the brain…” as The Office’s Dwight Schrute, a personal hero of mine, once put it…

We’ve talked about breasts and how they, and attitudes towards them, have changed over the years, and we’ve seen innovative Chinese methods of calculating the length of a man’s old chap without need of a ruler or any special equipment.

But Japanese website News Post Seven, it seems, has struck upon some rather interesting information that, potentially, blows all other theories out of the water when it comes to the issue of John Thomas’ dimensions. Read More

Korean Baby Got Back for About Twenty Bucks at the Market

South Koreans like big butts and they cannot lie, but those Japanese brothers try to deny.  That’s right. It looks like the big butt trend has finally hit this side of the Pacific.  The first nation to fall victim to a big ol’ badonkadonk: South Korea.

One of our reporters got a first-hand experience while travelling there recently, when she stumbled across a pair of padded panties designed to give you that extra junk for your trunk.

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Amazon Japan Reviewer Shares Thoughts on Bulletproof Riot Shield: “Ideal for Snowboarding and Domestic Disputes”

We don’t know about you fine people, but when our old bulletproof riot shields start looking a little worse for wear, we usually turn to good old Amazon for a replacement.

Just last week, in fact, I was buffing a few scratches out of my trusty ArmaLite-R50 model when my boss informed me that he’d stumbled upon a bargain on Amazon JP– a brand new bulletproof shield for just 650,000 yen (US$8,300 )…

Rather than the item itself, however, it’s one particular customer review of the shield that’s making headlines online this week… Read More

How Many Little Bears Can You Get Snuggly With? Many, With These 3D Teddy Bear Pants!

Can you guess what the product pictured above is?

If you really, really love teddy bears, you may be interested to know that it’s a picture of a very unique clothing item sold by major sports brand Adidas. Read More

Getting Directions Home from High School Girls: K-On! Anime-Themed Car Navigation System Helps Drivers Reach their Destination

Tired of listening to the same, soulless car navigation systems while you drive? Wouldn’t you rather listen to someone a little cuter while you’re trying to track down your nearest Guns ‘n’ Ammo store? Wouldn’t it be fun if your favourite animated high-school girls could be the voice of sense and direction!?

If you’re a K-On! fan, you’re in luck- a new portable car navigation system has just arrived in stores, ready to drive you home and everyone else up the wall. Read More

Japanese Tourists Share 15 Impressions of Traveling Abroad With Limited English Ability

While living in Japan and working as an assistant English teacher, I’ve lost track of how many times Japanese people have asked me why most people in Japan can’t speak English. Due to compulsory education requirements, every Japanese citizen must take 6 years of English language courses. What’s more, starting from the 2011 school year, elementary school fifth and sixth graders are also required to have an English class once a week. Some school districts even offer English classes for kindergarteners and elementary school students in grades first through fourth.

But even after spending half or more of their adolescent years studying the English language, many Japanese struggle to carry out an everyday conversation in English. This isn’t just a casual observation by Japanese citizens, either. Japanese students have among the lowest English TOEFL scores in Asia.

So when Japanese tourists want to take a trip abroad, many are unequipped with the practical language tools necessary to go about daily life in English.  The reality of this can be discouraging and even come as a shock to people who have spent years studying back home in Japan, especially when they realize phrases like “Is this a dog? No, It’s a pen.” don’t come up in conversation as much as their textbooks had suggested.

The following is a compilation of impressions of Japanese tourists who have limited English ability while traveling abroad.

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Land-Grab!!! Plots of Land in the Hokkaidō Countryside from Just One Yen per Square Metre

It may not be the most bustling of towns, but for those of you in the market for real-estate, have we got a good deal for you!

Your own plot of land from just one yen per square-metre!

Yup, one yen! That’s 0.01 US dollars!!! 0.009 Euros!!! 0.01 Panamanian balboa!!! Holy bargains, Batman!

Bizarrely, there’s no catch. No “but it’s infested with rabid ferrets!” or “but you must spend the night in a haunted house with Rosie O’Donnell!” punchline. The town of Chippubetsu in Hokkaidō is genuinely offering habitable land for the incredible price of one, single yen. And, as a result, is receiving an unprecedented amount of attention from both the media and Japanese internet users. Someone in Chippubetsu is getting a lot of pats on the back for coming up with this initiative, we’re sure… Read More

Ten Reasons Why Iranians are the Kindest People in the World (to Foreign Tourists)

Iran has always fascinated me. A rich history inherited from one of the world’s oldest civilizations, cities filled with beautiful Islamic architecture, delicious cuisine—and the people!

Okay, while my acquaintanceship with Iranians has been limited to a few Persian friends back home in America, they’ve always been some of my favorite people, which is why it’s a shame our respective countries just can’t seem to get along.

Japan, on the other hand, has maintained a favorable relationship with Iran over the years and travel to the country is perceived to be easier for the Japanese than it is for Westerns. Our own globetrotting Japanese corespondent Photographer Koach recently wrote to us about his recent travels in the country, in which he affirms my positive impression of the people with a list of ten reasons why Iranians are the kindest people in the world.

Check his report below! Read More

Trick or Treat? This Unholy Looking Piece of Wood May Look Like It’s Cursed, But It Could Be a Treasure!

Strange things are found washed up on sea shores around the world all the time. Take the occasional bizarre occurrences of massive numbers of fish washing up dead, or unusual species of deep-sea fish being found washed up on shore, which some people consider to be an omen of impending disaster.

But this time, pictures of a certain object found on a beach, which is creepy in an entirely different way, have come to our attention. In this case, you’ll probably agree that a picture is worth a thousand words – you only have to look at the picture above to see how uniquely strange the object is.

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“A Computer Thinner than a ¥1 Coin!!!” Toshiba’s Way with Words Raises Eyebrows Across the Internet

Picture the scene- a businessman walks on to the set of reality TV show Dragon’s Den (which, would you believe, originated in Japan as Manē no Tora?). He sets a briefcase down on a black leather stool, adjusts his necktie and, staring the affluent entrepreneurs straight in the eye, confidently proclaims:

“Dragons, I am here today to present to you a marvel of modern technology. The pinnacle of human engineering. Never before has humankind witnessed such a feat of industry. I am about to present to you… a notebook computer thinner than a single one yen coin!”

The dragons look at one-another in awed silence. All five of them lean forward in their seats.

“Thinner than a coin?? That’s incredible!” splutters one of the millionaires, his hungry eyes flashing.

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Give Japan a High-Five with this Fun and Simple Recipe: Land of the Rising Sun Omu-Raisu!!!

What with the recent troubles and disputes in China concerning the Senkaku islands, and with many of the fervent anti-Japanese demonstrations often escalating into violence, Japanese both at home and abroad are understandably feeling a little delicate right now.

Japanese-owned stores and factories in China have borne the brunt of many nationalists’ anger, suffering considerable damage to property, and a number of Japanese businesses with locations in China are incurring significant losses.

With this in mind, we here at RocketNews24 are doing our bit to cheer Japan up and get back some of that lost pride.

As well as buying plenty of Japanese-produced goods to give the economy a helping-hand, we’ve decided to add a dash of patriotism to our plates and bring you a recipe for possibly the most patriotic, yet easy to make, dish ever: Land of the Rising Sun Omu-Raisu (omelette rice).

So grab a frying pan, put on your apron, and let’s cook up a little cheer for Japan! Read More

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