Omiya Station’s Platform 8 Becomes the Scene for a Rare Mass Influx of Train Enthusiasts, Things Get Ugly

23 June, 2012, marked the 30th anniversary of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line. Its original first stop, Omiya Station, acted as a lightning rod for Japanese railfans called toritetsu (lit. Photographers of Iron). A normally peaceful trainspotter, when packed into small spaces the toritetsu can become noisy and obnoxious to those around it.

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New Glasses Designed Exclusively for Hackers

Glasses maker JINS have announced that on 2 July they will sell a limited release of 1,500 pairs of their confusingly named JINS PC for Hackers, which are glasses tailored to meet the needs of hackers.

JINS makes it clear on their website that they are referring to hackers in the traditional sense of someone with a lot of experience and skill using computers and networks, rather than the criminal sense often used in the media.

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No Escape! Fuji-Q Highland’s New Unforgiving Maze

This July 28, Fuji-Q will open the doors to its new attraction, “Fortress of No Hope”. They say they’re aiming for a 0% success rate of escape from the walk-through maze building. Guests will contend (presumably enjoyably) with innumerable doors, halls, and rooms, all under a time limit. In addition, you progress through levels of increasing difficulty, with more and more hidden clues and invisible doors. Read More

Tsukuba University Claims New Method for Artificial Rain Is a Success

Although we are currently going through our rainy season here in Japan, other parts of the world face sever threats from drought, and desertification.  Luckily, Tsukuba University research team has announced the on 23 June their attempt at making rain was successful.  All they had to do was use an ingredient found in a can of Coke.

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TOYOTA Shows Off the Ultimate Family Car, Even the Kids Can Drive it!

At a recent auto show Toyota had unveiled its latest concept car, the Camatte (pronounced like latte), which they boast as the first ever true family car.  Not only can mom and dad use it for their daily transportation needs, but little Susie can get a kick out of playing dress-up with it and little Johnny can practice driving it himself in the back yard.

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Restaurant Found In Tokyo Serving Dog Meat, We Investigate

It’s certainly become a widespread belief that dog is eaten in some Asian countries, most notably China and Korea.  However, it never caught on in Japan, which is why we were blown away to learn that there’s a restaurant in Ikebukuro, Tokyo that offers a selection of dog meat dishes.

The name of the restaurant is Fun Fun Shop and despite the signboard that reads “Chinese Cooking” they actually offer a range of dishes into Korean and Japanese as well.  Having none of us ever eaten dog before, we sent our most iron-gutted reporters to see if the taste could possibly justify the unpleasant act of eating man’s best friend.  And we answered your three most likely questions, before you ask them!

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No wonder We Crave Sweets Under Stress! Twitter Post Offers Linguistic Proof that Stress Causes Craving for Sweet Foods

Feeling stressed out? Well, I’m sure most people (now be honest, everyone) have had the experience of feeling an uncontrollable urge to consume ridiculous amounts of cake or ice cream after being under stress or just extremely tired from having a million things to take care of in a day. Now, a Twitter post that has been attracting attention in Japan reveals to us the reason why we crave sweet foods when we’re stressed. Read More

Japan’s Latest Culinary Trend: Canned Food Cantinas?

Let me describe a scene for you: a crowd of Japanese are gathered around steel drums in a little shanty of a building open to the summer air. Some are drinking beers in plastic cups, others disposable one-cup sakes. Most are eating from unheated cans of food with plastic cutlery, chasing it with sips of their chosen brew. Around them are shelves of unfinished wood, stacked high with a stupendous assortment of cans, probably enough to last several months. Think this is a scene from a disaster shelter in Tohoku? Perhaps an end-of-the-world movie? Think again. It’s Saturday night at one of Osaka’s most unique “restaurants”, the long-standing and popular Kanso, where there’s no menu except the cans on the shelves. Try to contain your excitement, because this monument to apocalypse-chic may be coming to a city near you. Read More

Thousands are Buying Up a Toy Fan That Pumps Out Some Serious Wind Power On The Cheap

Since its release on April 28th people have been flocking to toy stores across Japan to get their hands on toymaker Takara Tomy’s Kuru Kuuuuru Eco-Fan (Round and Rooooouuund Eco-Fan), so much so that their original 60,000 units had to be upped to an additional shipment of 120,000 to meet the demand.

It seems since abandoning much of the nuclear power in Japan, people’s minds are set on alternative means of keeping cool while saving electric costs or during potential black outs.  The reason everyone wants this particular toy fan is because of the sheer wind power it has.  For every one turn of the hand, the fan blade spins 100 times.

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Karaoke’s Not Just For Singing Any More, Guitars Now Welcome at Joysound f1

Anyone who’s played one of those music based games, be it Guitar Hero, Rock Band, or even Donkey Konga, surely enjoyed it but also felt that mild pang of guilt.  The reality that if we spend the same time and effort learning a real instrument we could actually have a skill we would be proud of.

But learning a musical instrument is a long hard practice that often lacks the pizzazz and gratification the games offer.  Perhaps, karaoke company Xing’s new Joysound f1 can help in that area, as their new karaoke system offers support for guitars and bass guitars.

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Like Spicy Food but Bummed by the Summer Heat? Try Some Frozen Kimchi

Summer seems to get hotter every year. For those of us who like spicy food it can be too burdensome to eat after working up enough of a sweat from the cooking alone.

To help this dilemma, a popular Korean Barbeque restaurant, Gyukaku, has announced that it will start selling a new style of frozen kimchi from 20 June.

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Lemony Life Hack – Squeeze More Juice From Your Lemons!

Whether it’s a savory slab of salmon, or a sweet cheesecake, lemon juice can enhance a multitude of foods. But the squeezing of lemons to get their fresh juice is often tedious and seems to bear little reward. How do you all normally squeeze lemons? Most people typically cut it in half and get to squeezing straight away. But there’s a method that will yield much much much more juice, as we present below:  Read More

Get Ready for the Olympics by Revisiting Current World Records

One of the best parts of the Olympics is when a world record is broken, but with the 4 year gap between Olympic summer games it’s easy to forget what has happened before.  So RocketNews24 would like to offer you a quick recap of the greatest achievements from the best of the best athletes from around the world in Olympic events and beyond.

To make these statistics more accessible we compared some of them to various zoo animals and everyday objects.

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Actually, the subject is quite pertinent and the method of reporting isn’t quite fantastical or illogical. A group of doctors in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, conducted a survey of what people reported just before they passed away. The overall finding was that about 40% reported seeing their parents and other such deceased people before dying themselves. The subjects perceived them as coming to meet and escort them into the afterlife, resulting in a more comfortable transition into death. Read More

Smokers Find New Haven in Japan, But for a Price

It’s getting tougher to be a smoker in Japan. It was once a paradise for tobacco lovers, who were free to light up in workplaces, restaurants, bars, on the street, and pretty much any darn place they pleased. Add to that the low price of cigarettes and the ever-present vending machines, and you couldn’t swing a tanuki without hitting a smoker. In recent years, though, smoking has been banned on the streets and in offices, the taxes on tobacco have gone up, and more and more public spaces are going smoke free. The government even announced recently that they are launching a 10-year plan to cut the smoking rate nearly in half.

While this trend has tobacco companies shaking in their boots, one company has turned it into a golden business opportunity. For just 50 yen, Ippuku (roughly “a cig” in Japanese) offers smokers a comfortable, indoor place to take a 15-min smoke break. Read More

46 things that surprise foreigners in Japan

Japan is a weird, amazing, amusing and confusing place, and I’m not just talking about the maid cafes and pornographic manga. Even things that your average Japanese would consider completely commonplace and boring can be captivating for foreigners. After exhaustive research (well, some research anyway), Rocket News has compiled this list of 46 things visitors to Japan find surprising.

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Check Out a Topless Pic of This Top Model!

The model pictured here has appeared in numerous catwalk shows, including some for top designers like Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs; ranked number 18 on models.com’s Top 50; and was also ranked 98th in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World for 2011.

Normally we at RocketNews24 don’t display topless pictures in an effort to be all inclusive in our hard hitting reporting.  But for a new model of this caliber, we just have to throw half our readership a bone.

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Toyota announced this month that it will be a releasing a system for using your Prius plug-in hybrid as a big ol’ battery. The key feature is an inverter which will allow you to plug household electronics directly into the car through a water-proof cable. Read More

New Cyber-Attack Warning System Makes Cyber-Warfare Look as Cool as It Does in the Movies

Have you ever watched a movie where a group of unbelievably attractive looking hackers broke into some government organization by constantly typing on their keyboard like they were typing an essay? Yet according to the display they were opening and closing executable files.

Sadly when alleged cyber-attacks occured during the South Ossetia War there were probably no fancy CGI effects showing neon blue wires interacting with each other while Scarlet Johansson with a poor Slavic accent convinces a Putin-looking Sean Penn to move all the nuclear data to a back-up server – constantly typing all the while.

No, the reality is probably just a bunch of sweaty Russians crowded around a blinking DOS prompt. That is, until now, as Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have developed a new cyber-attack alert system called Daedalus.  And let me tell you, cyber warfare has never been sexier!

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The Story Behind the Beautiful Photo of the New MacBook ‘Mountain Lion’ OS

One of the MacBook Pro desktop backgrounds featured on Apple’s website shows an astoundingly exquisite azure pond with bare trees coming out of the water, covered in snow. It will be one of the backgrounds included with OS X Mountain Lion, to be released this July. We’ve found out a bit about the photographer responsible for this particular workRead More

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