Nocturnal Ramen Shop in Sapporo, So Yummy That People Line Up For it in the Middle of the Night!

Isonokatsuo is a ramen shop in Suskino, the drinking district of Sapporo, Hokkaido, that opens its shutters around the time the city night life starts revving up into full swing and continues to serve up hot bowls of noodles until 7  o’clock the next morning.

All-night ramen shops are not unheard of in Japan, but Isonokatsuo is known for making ramen so delicious that people line up for it in the middle of the cold Sapporo night. On a recent trip to Hokkaido, one of our reporters decided to burn the midnight chili oil and try out Isonokatsuo for himself.

Check his report below!

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【News Bite】 South Korea Now Imports More Than Half of Its Own National Dish

Stereotypes; you have to love them.

Americans all own guns; every Brit has bad teeth; Asians make bad drivers; Koreans all eat Kimchi.

Usually stereotypes are utter nonsense- none of my American friends have ever held a real gun, let alone own one; a Japanese friend of mine once piloted my car along possibly the narrowest mountain road known to man when I was too freaked out to do it myself; and, as far as I can tell, my teeth are not in need of any urgent dental work.

But with 18kg (40lbs) of kimchi consumed per person in Korea each year, there might just be a grain of truth to that last  stereotype.

So when news broke earlier today that Korea now imports more of its own national dish than it makes, it’s understandable that there were a few raised eyebrows… Read More

Man with Dachshund Exposes Wiener (the privates not the dog), Still at Large (the man not the wiener)

Thanks to Hyogo Prefecture’s “Security Net” the public can easily access reports of crime occurring in their communities as it is reported. Earlier it had alerted local residents to a suspicious person resembling and acting like a motorcycle cop.

Now an odd case of indecent exposure involving a middle-aged man, school girl and a dachshund had occurred in Hamanomiya Park in Kakogawa city.

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Tokyo Station Newly Renovated to Its Former Splendor, But Where are the Remaining Four Zodiac Signs?

Tokyo Station, with its attractive red brick structure, is a place where eastern and western Japan come together.  People from all over the country and all over the world pass through Tokyo Station daily.  It is representative of the extensive Japanese railway system which branches out to all places in Japan.

Anybody passing through the station within the last few years probably couldn’t help but notice the sounds and wonder about what they were doing behind those walls.  After five years of this construction, renovations were finally completed on October 1st.  Tokyo Station has been restored to its original splendor from when it first opened 100 years ago. Read More

Tokyo Electric Couldn’t Get Battery during Fukushima Meltdown, Made Trip to Hardware Store the Next Day

Recent tapes released have sent ripples across Japan’s news programs showing first-hand Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) handling of the Fukushima Disaster.  Many were outraged over TEPCO management’s muddled communications with plant director, an increasingly frustrated Masao Yoshida.

Among the hours and hours of footage there’s one particularly odd incident in which one of the largest electric companies in Japan couldn’t seem to get their hands on a battery.  In fact, it took about a 24 hours and trip to the hardware store to buy it while on the brink of meltdown.

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Face-Blurring Tech Goes Rogue: Google Maps Shows Its Respect For Colonel Sanders’ Privacy

Remember the first time you zoomed in on Google maps and realised that you could see actual photos of your street? When you discovered that you could take a virtual stroll down pretty much any road in the world, or check out the street in front of that new apartment you just spotted an ad for?

While all of the images taken by Google’s magical multi-direction photo car were technically taken on public property, there have been numerous complaints over “invasions of privacy” as, in the process of snapping the world’s streets, many ordinary people going about their day- be it gardening, walking the dog or leaving a sex shop with an armful of porn mags- were caught on camera and immortalised forever for the entire world to see.

Naturally, Google took steps towards protecting the privacy of the unlucky few caught in embarrassing situations and blurred out the faces of those who happened to be out and about, so it’s not unusual to see shots of busy cities like Tokyo populated by people who look like they could be in a Japanese Adult Movie.

But when they go so far as to blur out KFC’s Colonel Sanders’ face, it just looks weird…

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One Car Parking Lot in Tokyo Gets Confused Reviews Overseas, Disappears Suddenly

Following a number of reddit users fawning over the greenery topped architecture of Namba Parks, this photo of a tiny single car parking complex also made a splash in different way.

Located by a pedestrian near Kanda Station people all over were perplexed and amused by this little business.  Many were confused over the inclusion of a vending machine, security camera, extensive signage, and space numbering system – for one space.

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Wait… Did Someone Just Sell a Human Skull on Yahoo Auction?!

A pretty rare item popped up on Yahoo Japan’s auction page recently seemingly just in time for the Halloween season.  From 26 September to 3 October, users were able to place their bid on a real human skull – at least I think it’s real according to the eerily vague product description.

At the closing, the winning bid was for 104,000 yen (US$1,300) which may or may not be a bargain. I haven’t been following the human bone index recently.

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Japanese Thieves Steal Thousands of Lottery Tickets, “Hardly Won a Damn Thing”

For those of you who enjoy playing the lottery, here’s a story that should help put your odds of winning in perspective.

Last December, painter Shigeru Aikoh was arrested from robbing a Kushikatsu (deep fried snacks) restaurant in Settsu, Osaka.  However, prefectural police later discovered he was a part of a four man group responsible for a year-long crime spree around the prefecture totaling 4.5 million yen (US$572,000).

However, much to Aikoh’s dismay a fair chunk of that loot had turned out to be totally worthless.

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Can’t Be Bothered with Halloween Decorations? Celebrate with These Cute Mini Pumpkin Dumplings!

We’ve already shared with you recently on our site the tasty ice cream treats in Halloween flavors available this month from Baskin Robins Japan. Not to be outdone by the ice cream chain in getting into the Halloween spirit, one of our reporters at Pouch decided to make her own special Halloween sweets – an excellent idea if you want to celebrate Halloween without the hassle of putting up and taking down decorations, and also storing the ornaments, which can take up valuable space.

Our reporter shares with you below how you can make adorable, bite-sized Jack O’ Lantern dumpling cakes using actual pumpkins. Not only are they cute to look at, they’re super easy to make, requiring the use of only a microwave and simple toaster oven. Read More

Chinese Super Mario: Wonderful Things Can Happen When Martial Arts Meet Mushrooms

OK, Rocketeers, the first person who can count the number of times I’ve mentioned Super Mario in my articles since joining the RocketNews24 crew gets a prize!*

Maybe it’s because I grew up with the games; maybe it’s because I wanted an NES for so, so long but had to be content with occasional two-minute stints on my friend’s console until my parents finally caved in and bought me one years later…

Whatever the reason, Super Mario is kinda my thing. So when my editor mentioned that someone had made “a Chinese Mario movie”, I was on it in a flash.

This movie is immensely silly, and it’s not Super Mario Bros. But even so, it is kind of wonderful…

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Rural Rest Stop Aims to be the Premier Location for Jet Black Food

Rest stops in Japan tend to be a little different from their western counterparts.  Aside from offering drivers a chance to stretch their legs and powder their noses, they often offer unique goods characteristic of the area.  Sometimes the rest stops are even the final destinations for summer road trips.

A perfect example of a unique rest stop is the Ranzan Parking Area (RPA) in Saitama prefecture along the Kanetsu Expressway.  Here you can get your hands on two specialty dishes, ice cream and curry, both black as midnight.

And before you say it: no, neither dishes use squid ink.

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School Lunch in Japan 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!

Ah, school lunch in Japan.  I’ve had some of the best meals served to me on those plastic lunch trays.  I’ve also had some of the worst.  You might remember my post from last week that talked about the worst school lunch in the world. But for the most part, school lunch in Japan is surprisingly delicious and enjoyable.

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Japanese Couple Arrested for Stealing $300 in Hotel Amenities

One of my favorite things about staying at a hotel is all the complimentary stuff they let you take home. From toiletries to beverages, bathrobes to coffee makers, each visit to a hotel is like a smorgasbord of free everyday items—the only limit is your suitcase!

Some people claim that not everything in the hotel is free. That aside the cheap toiletries  everything in the room is hotel property and taking it home is “stealing.”

Yeah, sure. Even if that is true, what are they going to do, call the Hotel Gestapo?

No, but they will call the police, as one Japanese couple found out after being arrested for stealing nearly $300 worth of hotel amenities.

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People of the World Speak: 9 Random Reasons to Love Japan

A few months ago, we found the top 25 things in Japan most likely to blow foreigner’s minds. This time, we asked foreigners (all men) to tell us what makes Japan such a great place.  Those surveyed came from France, the United States, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Malta, and Ireland.

Ranging from seemingly mundane to large-scale societal characteristics, our readers explain why they love Japan.

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Extremely Rare Hermaphrodite Stag Beetle on Display in Chiba Prefecture

Stag beetles have a special place in Japan. Looking like little monsters, children love to collect, raise, and maybe even battle them with other bugs.  An entire industry is built around these little critters in the country.

An incredibly rare stag beetle will be put on display in Chiba starting 6 October.  This beetle has the head of a male and the body of a female and may be the first ever of its kind discovered.

According to teacher Toshio Shimizu who works on the exhibit, stag beetles that are sexually divided from left to right are common, but a cleanly separated head and body hermaphrodite is a once in a lifetime find.

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Viral Video Worlds Collide: Hitler Raps to Gangnam Style

Hey! You got your Hitler videos in my K-Pop! You got your K-Pop in my Hitler videos!  Who would have thought that these two viral video titans would blend together so well?

The Chinese genius who created Dictator Rap: Gangnam Style from Hitler, that’s who.

The maker goes by the name Fei Yu from Luoyang, China, who posted the video on Chinese video site, bilibili.tv. From there it spread to YouTube and infamy.

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Weird Buttless, Crotchless Panty Hose is Perfect for Summer in Japan

Why didn’t I have these in the summer?  I’m not going to sugar coat it, summer in Japan is THE WORST!  It’s so hot that people send out “please don’t die this summer” greeting cards, so humid that you feel like you are swimming through the air.  If you’re unlucky enough to work in a place that strives to be ecofriendly (like my school), you’ll be unable to get any work done all summer long, spending your entire day staring longingly at the motionless air conditioning unit. 

If you’re a woman and have to dress up for a formal occasion in the dead of summer, you might as well wrap yourself up in plastic wrap and sit outside in the sun all day.  Wearing panty hose while summer is in full force is a sweatfest for your–excuse the scientific terminology–crotchular region.

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