Challenge Yourself, Make Friends or Make Enemies with these Space-Age Chopsticks

Actually, there are many possible motives to get these chopsticks, which will defy your sense of what is right in the world, presented by ES Corp. of Hiroshima. On the lighter end: they come in black and white boxes, which lined up side-by-side, form a picture of a torii (the gateway to Shinto shrines), and thereby make for a nice his-and-hers wedding gift. On (off?) the deeper end: they bring into question the reason for existence of chopsticks. Read More

Have a Double Dose of Nostalgia Listening to the Dragon Quest Theme Played On a Moog Synth Courtesy of Google’s Latest Doodle

On May 23rd, the world awoke to a new Google doodle daring us not waste our time pushing keys and turning knobs to make funky new sounds.  This doodle was of course a recreation of a Moog Synthesizer developed by Dr. Robert Moog who would have turned 78 had he been alive.

Thanks to one highly talented keyboardist, we were also treated to two blasts from the past, a flawless rendition of the Dragon Quest intro music as played on a Moog on Google’s top page.

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Rejoice! Deal with Two Flies Max under Beijing’s New Public Toilet Standards

If you’ve been to China, you probably have firsthand experience of the dirty toilets. So dirty you can’t wait go back home and use your local public restrooms. So dirty you can’t breathe. So dirty you wonder what chaos you’ve entered into. Beijing has recently announced some new standards regarding maintenance of its public restrooms. The standards themselves are attracting attention, and there’s also skepticism that probably has to do with their overall track record in this area.  Read More

Denta-Pride’s Electronic Tooth Brushing Coach uses Bluetooth to Make Teeth White, But May Go On A Power Trip

We probably all feel comfortable with the way we brush our teeth; after meals just like we were always told.  But how long do you brush for?  Do you brush with the right amount of pressure?  Are you sure you’re giving each part of your mouth its fair share of brushing time?

A recent development in electric toothbrushes the Oral B Denta-Pride 5000 allows us to answer these impossible questions, but then hits us with another puzzle – why 5000?

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Demand for “Mini-Dam” Rain Barrels Triples in Year-Plus Since 3/11, Municipal Subsidies Available

A movement toward storing rainwater for emergency use seems to be afoot throughout Japan. Sanei Build System has reported threefold demand for its user-friendly “Mini-Dam” rain barrels in the wake of the March 11 disasters. 

The manufacturer has suggested retail prices of 50,000 yen for the 200-liter model and 120,000 yen for the 1,000-liter model, but it adds that certain municipalities will subsidize as much as half the retail price. Read More

Sculptor Seems to Have Confused Beautiful Figure Skater Kim Yuna with the Dude from Sling Blade

Korea’s darling of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, figure skater Kim Yuna has been enjoying the fame and glory that comes with earning a gold medal.  She has even dubbed “the people’s little sister” by her fellow citizens of South Korea.

Blessed with good looks to boot, it seems nothing can cast a gloom on Kim Yuna brightly shining stardom.  Not until this photo was released on the internet that has sparked the righteous indignation or South Koreans everywhere showing a less than flattering depiction of their little sis.

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TripAdvisor Ranks Top 20 Japanese Travel Destinations For Foreign Visitors, Hiroshima Edges Kyoto For Top Spot

The Japanese arm of tourism website TripAdvisor gathered user comments and evaluations from the past year and used them to rank the Top 20 travel destinations in Japan over that time. Hiroshima Prefecture maintained its popularity with two destinations in the Top 5 while five Kyoto sightseeing spots made the list.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and A-Bomb Dome moved to the top of the list after coming in second last year. Read More

Interview With the Man Who, Rather Than Bottled Water, Received A Mysterious Remote Control from Vending Machine

May 16th was a day like any other on the platform of Koiwa Station in Tokyo.  But for a Musician/DJ who goes by the name Soeda Dyjean, a simple purchase of a bottle of water turned into a one-way ticket – to the Twilight Zone.

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Pack Your Boxes With Style: X Tape Gussies Up Plain Cardboard

In a world where all that existed to hold cardboard boxes together was normal brown packaging tape and cloth tapes, Korean designer Jeong-Min Lee saw a need and taped it up.

Lee’s snazzy “X Tape” spruces up spring cleaning and storage with eccentric designs printed on rolls of clear tape. Designs featuring metal hinges or leather straps can turn a plain cardboard box into a steamer trunk, and metal bolt and spiral notebook designs can add some fun to a gift or package. Read More

Lame Applicant Pool Plagues Don Quijote, Discount Superstore Posts Recruiting Fails

Part of the fun of visiting Don Quijote discount superstores is the vastly diverse clientele swarming the narrow aisles. People from all walks of life sort through the unique, chintzy merchandise and add a distinct flavor to the atmosphere inside the gaudy stores.

An atmosphere that Don Quijote apparently does not want to see behind the counter. The retail giant has put out an urgent call for “plain, normal people” on its online job postings after struggling to find even these very average folks in their latest round of recruiting in the Tokyo Metropolis.

In a frustrated cry for help, Don Quijote posted reasons why previous applicants had failed to measure up to its expectations on FromAnavi (the post has since been removed). Read More

New iPhone App Lets Users Throw Darts at Expensive, High-Tech Equipment

Want to let off some steam by throwing dangerous sporting equipment at expensive entertainment devices? Want to indulge your destructive, decadent side while testing your fine motor skills and depth perception? “Play Darts!” is the perfect iPhone app for you.

Play Darts! (“Daatsu Ni Shiyagare!”) is a new kind of game application that links iPhones to Smart TVs or computers. The user “throws” a dart shown on his iPhone to a target displayed on a distant Smart TV or PC by moving the iPhone through the air the same way he would throw an actual dart. The game is available for free on iTunes for users with iOS 4.3 or newer.

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Mitsubishi’s Newest Line of Cars Asks: Guys, Just How Comfortable Are You With Your Sexuality?  Hello Kitty Comfortable?

What ever happened to the days of cars that weighed several tons, burned obscene amounts of fuel and had some style and personality to them.  Most cars these days look like blandly colored Tylenol gelcaps devoid of any of the raw machismo of their forefathers.

That’s why Mitsubishi’s third annual My i-MiEV Design Wrapping line of i-MiEV electric cars deserves applause for bringing some personality and more importantly testosterone automobiles once again.

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A&G Diner’s “Best Burger in Tokyo” Hijacks Taste Buds, Takes Them for a Wild Ride

Everyone seems to agree that the best burger joint in Tokyo is A&G Diner in fancy-schmancy Jingumae. It tops the lists on Gourmet and B Gourmet blogs and gossip sites and is the first name out of the mouths of my restaurant critic friends.

I decided to check it out for myself to see if the taste lived up to the hype and glam of Jingumae. I went in to attack an A&G Diner burger with abandon, but, as it turns out, the burger attacked me . . .

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Get a Load of Those Melons! Rabid Bidders Paid Up To US$12,000 For a Pair Yubari Kings

For the first time this season the legendary Yubari King melons have gone to market and the bidding was fierce to get a taste.  Yubari Kings are sometimes referred to as the “Cadillac of melons” for their beautiful design, sweet taste, and exorbitant prices. In this instance one pair of melons fetched a winning bid of 1,000,000 yen (US$12,500).

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Life-sized Anime Figure Draws Criticism for Price, Creepy Face

A life-sized figure of manga and anime character Fujiko
Mine has been drawing criticism from fans on the Web.
Comments have ranged from “Why did they make her like that?” to the more succinct, “Who the hell is that?” Apparently, she’s looking a bit off-color. Read More

Lakeside Resort Accentuates their Scenic Beauty with Some Freakishly Huge Funhouses

A lot of older people complain that the younger generation spends far too much time on their Z-Boxes and Nintendo Wee-Wees.  It’s not hard to imagine why when younger people are presented with fantasy worlds full of castles and dungeons they aren’t too keen to go to the farmer’s market.

Finally, Sagami Lake Resort is doing something about it by adding two colossal real world attractions to tempt kids to give their thumbs a rest and take their legs out for a spin instead.

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Get ready to rock ‘n’ roll with the new line of alcoholic drinks from Suntory!

Okay, so the economy may be down, it may be a drag go to work each morning on the murderously crowded trains (or the impossibly jammed highways), and you may be feeling tired of everyday life in general, but you can’t let things like that kill the rock ‘n’ roll spirit inside you, can you? Well, now there’s a new line of alcoholic beverages from Suntory Holdings Limited that will help you get back into the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll – in Rolling Stones fashion! Read More

Your Face on a 10000 yen bill! Bolster Your Delusions of Grandeur, Anyway

Whether you’re needing to boost your self-esteem, or you’re just awesome thank you and want some more proof of the fact, you can now get your lovely mug on some snazzy-looking cash. At Otona Ginko (“grown-ups’ bank”), you can order 10,000 yen bills with your portrait printed on them. You send in your picture and it gets converted to the kind of line-based monochrome graphic you see on real currency. (For those living outside of Japan, 10,000 yen is about 85 US dollars, though realistically speaking you use them like $20 bills here.)

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Truly Embody Your Love with this Ring

You want to have a symbol of your love for a significant other, but there are so many designs to choose from. You can now impress upon others as well as yourself, literally, your feelings with the Inner Message line of rings from Yoon Jungyun Shop. While the outside of the ring looks plain and unassuming, the inside surface of the ring imprints a message on your finger, which you can see after removing the ring. So even after you’ve taken off the ring, you’re still reminded of your significant other. Another part of the gratification of this ring is having the very exclusive knowledge of the message, possibly a secret to everyone but you and the person who you gave the ring to. Read More

Extreme Sashimi: Frog Edition

When we hear “sashimi”, usually what comes to mind is fish. But there are actually a wide variety of sashimi, such as horse sashimi and chicken sashimi. And, since ancient times in Japan, there is frog sashimi. (Here is where we try it out so you don’t have to.) We went to a Tokyo restaurant that we heard serves frog sashimi, “Asadachi” (which means morning wood, you know), about 3 minutes walk from Shinjuku station in ‘Piss Alley‘.

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