Pile It On! Beef Rice Bowls May be Japan’s Favorite Rice Bowl Dish, But This Pork Bowl Certainly Offers a Tasty and Voluminous Alternative

Okay, it’s a fact that the Japanese love “gyu-don— braised beef and onions on rice, sometimes topped with a raw egg. All over Japan, you can find a gyudon shop on almost every street. But what if you’re in a mood for something other than a beef rice bowl? Well, we’ve found a shop that offers an excellent alternative, “buta-don“, or pork on rice. And we’re not talking about just any regular buta-don. At this shop, you can order an extra-large buta-don that really piles the pork on – so much, in fact, that you can barely see the bowl beneath all the pork! Read More

Hey Guys, You’re Being Predictable – And this Picture Proves It!

Okay, it can be embarrassing when you realize you’re being predictable – like when you were being extra nice to your Mom as a child and she would say, “Thanks for being so sweet, but you’re still not going to get that toy/video game/bicycle (or whatever it is you’ve been coveting for the past month),” or when as a teenager, you tried too hard to be kind to the girl you had a crush on and your friends would tease you saying, “Man, you’re so easy to read!” Aren’t you glad that phase of your life is over? Well, all of you guys out there, you may not know it, but you’re probably being predictable right now, even as you read this post! Read More

There’s a Camel that Drinks Coca-Cola? RocketNews24 is There!

Tunisia as we recently discovered by their beautiful can designs, seems to be a loadstone of Coca-Cola related paranormal activity.  For now our intrepid reporter has found a camel renowned for its love of Coke.  It chugs the stuff down in one swig!

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Smarter, Better, Faster, Stronger: Roachbot 2.0

The hottest toy of 2012, Roachbot, was released earlier this year amid great fanfare with its eerie resemblance everyone’s favorite kitchen guest, the cockroach.  But as Japan enters the middle of cockroach season, we find ourselves casting aside our robotic roaches to play with the real ones.

Sensing this, Japan Trust Technologies have given it a severe amping up, including support for the iPhone and iPad.

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One Man’s Junk Food is Another Monsieur’s Gourmet

There’s this new potsticker (aka gyza, aka dumpling) restaurant that opened in Paris, that people are actually lining up to get into. We wondered what all the fuss was about, so we went there to check it out ourselves. Read More

Your Favorite Nintendo Games As You’ve Never Seen Them Before, As Traditional Japanese Prints

Ukiyo-e Heroes are a group of artists who work in the medium of tradional Japanese woodblock printing (ukiyo-e), a style most strongly associated with Japanese culture.  This group has turned their facebook page into a virtual gallery displaying their favorite muse: video games.

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Take the “Public” Out of Public Bathing and Make a Natural Hot Spring in the Comfort of Your Own Home

One of Japan’s greatest features is its many natural hot springs called onsens. Thanks to its highly volcanic location, Japan’s countryside is dotted with resorts welcoming tourists all year round.

For some foreigners visiting or living in Japan, public bathing isn’t a very appealing recreation.  Reasons for this include tattoos which are considered verboten in many onsens, and the fact that foreigners tend to stick out like a sore thumb and might draw uncomfortable stares while bathing.

Now there’s another way to enjoy the relaxing and curative properties of a natural hot spring in the comfort of your own bathroom.  If you want to know how, then give our easy manual “How to Set Up an Onsen in Your Own Home” a quick read.

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Mankind Dealt Further Blow As Robot Which Never Loses at Rock-Paper-Scissors Is Developed

Rock-Paper-Scissors, the longstanding arbitrator of riding shotgun or eating the last slice of pizza has been celebrated for hundreds of years for its simple yet elegant balance of psychology and chance.

It’s such a part of the human experience that a robot could never out match the human mind in the RPS arena.  Until now that is, as Engineers from the University of Tokyo decided to stick their noses in and build a robot that never ever loses at Rock-Paper-Scissors – ever! So how does it do it?

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A Couple of Train Stations Create Their Own Cutie Gods in an Effort to Boost Tourism

Sadly with Japan’s many recent economic woes, visitation to the remote stations of Kofuku and Aikoku has been low.  So in an effort to drum up some visitors, the local communities did what anyone would do in this situation.  They made some gods.

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Treat Yourself to this Japanese Delicacy if You Dare – Ovaries From a Poisonous Fish!

You may think it’s crazy to voluntarily eat poisonous fish, but in the case of pufferfish, or “fugu” in Japanese, it’s something the Japanese have been doing for a long time. We understand how the idea of eating a potentially deadly poisonous fish could be off-putting to some, but most Japanese people wouldn’t think twice about going to a restaurant and having pufferfish; in fact most of us would welcome it as a treat, as a full-course fugu meal usually doesn’t come cheap. Well, this time, we have a story from one of the reporters at the Pouch website about an unusual way to have pufferfish, and this is definitely a recipe you won’t be able to recreate at home! Read More

Maybe, along with the drive to to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before, we also want to explore our minds and consciousness. And maybe inevitably that sometimes comes out to be inventing new ways to mess with our own heads. And so, the eggheads at Riken Research have developed the “Substitutional Reality System“. Read More

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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