What do Japanese People Put in Their Rice Balls? Top 22 Most Popular Onigiri Fillings!

If you ever visit Japan and want to sample one of the staples of local cuisine, find a convenience store and grab an onigiri, or rice ball. Easy to make, plentiful in variety and an essential component of any bento lunch, the onigiri is to Japan what the sandwich is to the West.

But with so many different fillings, how do you know which onigiri to try out? If you want a taste of the REAL Japan, you need to eat what REAL Japanese people are eating, which is why we’d like to share with you this REAL list ranking the most popular onigiri fillings in Japan.

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Hello Kitty Sent on “Tour of Hardship”, Still Manages to Put on Brave Face

We’ve reported several times in the past on some of the unusual jobs taken on by Hello Kitty, including cosplaying as characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Sadako (from the Ring series), or even getting baked whole into golden brown cakes.

Well, since Ms. Kitty, as we sometimes call her when she’s in business mode, is so willing to take on any job thrown at her, some people have apparently decided to send Ms. Kitty on a virtual “tour of hardship” to put her professionalism to the test, and we’ve found a collection of pictures showing some of the hardships she endures.

So, let’s see what torments our beloved Ms. Kitty has been going through! Read More

Overseas Edition of “Prince’s Proposal” Getting Turned Down by Fans: “Princes Look Disgusting”

Unlike American game makers, Japanese video game companies often sweat over every detail before selling their games overseas to make sure it fits the culture.  Although the sentiment is appreciated the results are often poor, as people in other countries enjoy those cultural differences more often than not.

Case in point is Prince’s Proposal’s (Ojisama no Puropozu) treacherous journey abroad.  Prince’s Proposal is an otome game where your character, a university student, has a chance encounter with six princes whom you must find romance with by making the right choices throughout the story.

Its recent westernized incarnation called Be My Princess, however, decided to replace the stylish anime princes and characters with rubbery, emotionless ones.

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New Hatsune Miku Music Video “ODDS&ENDS” Leaves the World in Tears 【Updated】

There are literally tens of thousands of songs out there that use the Hatsune Miku Vocaloid software for vocals, but few can inspire and touch people’s hearts like the work of Japanese 11-member music group Supercell.

On August 14, Supercell released the music video for their new single “ODDS&ENDS,” their first song to feature Hatsune Miku in over a year and the opening theme for the upcoming Playstation Vita game “Hatsune Miku Project DIVA-f.”

Check out the video below and be sure to grab a box of tissues because Supercell has once again managed to pour more emotion into this virtual singer than can be found in most pop songs today.

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Free Underwear! Innovative Business Set to Give Away Up to 7 Pairs a Month

I have to admit, I’m the kind of guy who clings to his underwear until it’s little more than two threads attached to a stretched out, useless elastic band. Guys tend to be creatures of habit and would rather put up with worn down shorts than go to the store to buy new ones.

Freepan (short for Free Pants) is a totally new patented service prepared to send up to seven free pairs of underpants every month – with free delivery!

Catch? Yes, there are a couple catches but not as bad as you might imagine.

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iPhone App “Burner” Let’s You Keep Your Original Number Clean or Get into All Kinds of Mischief

With mobile phones steadily evolving into smart phones the days of prepaid units may one day slip away from us.  However, a new app called Burner keeps the tradition of making and receiving anonymous phone calls alive on your regular smart phone.

The app is named after a slang term for a cheap prepaid mobile phone that could be untraceably used in illegal dealings.  Once the job is done, you can just toss the burner in a dumpster severing all connection with that number.  This app saves the trouble of getting and disposing of a handset by putting the burner inside your iPhone side by side with your regular service. Yet this app surely can be used for legal purposes too… right?

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Bill Gates Building a Mansion in Japan!? We Investigate!

Rumor has it that the world-famous Bill Gates has started building a vacation home in Japan’s premier mountain resort town Karuizawa, Nagano!

After it was substantiated in an article in Shinken Shinbun, a local construction periodical, the Bill Gates Mansion became the talk of the town. The land for it includes an area of 19,979 square meters. It will be one-storied and go down two stories into a basement.  There will be a heliport and a private underground road accessing the grounds where a 2000 square metered garden is planned.  

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Website Lets You Check if Anyone Was Murdered or Committed Suicide in Your Home

None of us wants to live in an apartment or house where someone was killed, also known as stigmatized properties. It’d be pretty creepy in the least.  However, in Japan the desire to not live in a place like that is so intense that you’d think Poltergeist was a documentary.

Oshima Teru is an up and coming website that also must be a real estate agent’s worst nightmare.  Its main purpose is to map out every property where unnatural deaths occurred. Originally only focusing on the Greater Tokyo Area, they have expanded into nearly worldwide coverage including North America and Europe.

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Domino’s Pizza “Manager of Excellence” Pawns His Domino’s Themed Rolex Reward, Company Appears Shaken

There are many pizza places in the world but very few have achieved the worldwide notoriety of Domino’s Pizza.  So it’s comforting to know that they reward their workers handsomely when outstanding work is done.

In Japan, a manager deemed “excellent” by the corporation gets rewarded a Rolex watch.  Granted the Rolex is engraved with the Domino’s logo in places, but it’s still a Rolex, and it’s worth a pretty penny too according to the pawn shop one was sold to.

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Horror Movies Recommended to Scare Away the Summer Heat! So, Which Horror Movies are Popular in Japan?

It’s a fact of life that summers in Japan are hot and humid, and the Japanese people have a long history of trying to find ways to cool down in hot weather. One tradition that has come about as a result is the telling of terrifying horror stories in the summer, for the purpose of getting “chilled with terror”. And right now with the summer in full swing in Japan, we are indeed in need of some “chilling”.

Well, to help those of us desperate to feel just even a little bit cooler, Japanese entertainment group Culture Convenience Club (CCC), which operates TSUTAYA, one of the largest Video/DVD rental chains in Japan, has released a list of the 20 most-rented horror movies in Japan over the past three decades (1983 to 2012 to be exact). So, let’s see which movies made the list! Read More

Turntable Rider Converts BMX Bike Into Musical Instrument

Yo dawg, Japanese smartphone-based bike-sharing service Cogoo heard you like freestyling, so they stuck a DJ mixer into your BMX bike so you can freestyle while you freestyle.

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Why Do Foreigners Like Japan so Much? We Head to Comiket 82 to Find Out!

Many foreigners view Japan as some marvelous dreamland of technology and culture; a place where crazy is the norm and embracing fantasy in everyday life is acceptable.

But to Japanese people, Japan is just that place you were born. Everyone and everything is routine, and it’s often difficult to see why the rest of the world get’s so worked up about “Japanese culture.”

Earlier this month, we sent one of our Japanese reporters to Comic Market (or “Comiket“), the world’s largest self-published comic book fair and otaku mecca, to interview real live foreigners and ask them what it is they really think about this country.

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Limited-Edition Pikachu Yellow Nintendo 3DS XL Coming to Japan in September

While North America and Australia are still have a week to wait before they can get their hands on the Nintendo 3DS XL, Japan is already getting its first limited edition version of the little giant: Nintendo 3DS LL Pikachu Yellow.

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Beautiful Japanese City Councilor: “I don’t wash my face or go to the bathroom”. Loses Job, Might be a Yakuza Alien.

Asuka Tachikawa, 27, famous for being a “beautiful city councilor,” has had pressure put on her to quit her job because she is actually an alien in disguise trying to ruin the city of Niizu in Saitama (near Tokyo).

Elected as a city councilor in February this year, the Saitama Prefectural Electoral Office has decided that her election is invalid because she may not have lived in the city for more than the required 3 months. In other words, she is an alien.

But what evidence do they have?
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Internet Ladies Going Nuts Over Gymnast’s Arm Pit Hair, Fantasies Involve Using It as Seasoning

Move over Ryohei Kato! There’s another male gymnast whipping women into a frenzy online.  His name is Kohei Uchimura, and while his boyish good looks and personality scores points with the ladies, it’s a certain part of his body tucked away that sets him apart from others.

That’s right. Women can’t seem to get enough of Uchimura’s arm pit hair.  In fact, there’s a lot of talk of using it a garnish as one person commented “I want to sprinkle his fresh pit hair over my soba and savor the taste.”

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Annoyed by Buzzing Mosquitoes? A Smartphone App May Be the Answer to Your Problem

We’ve introduced some unique smartphone apps in one of our previous posts, but here’s one more unique app that’s caught our attention and may even be useful, if you believe what the developers say. If you’ve ever been annoyed by mosquitoes in the outdoors, and I believe most of us have at one time or another, then the Mosquito Buster app may be the solution to your pest problem. Yes, those small, buzzing blood-suckers can really be a pain, can’t they? But can a smartphone app really help you avoid mosquitoes? Well, the people at TABROID, a Japanese site that focuses on Android-related news and information, have apparently tested the app out in the field to see if it actually works. Read More

Regional Culture of Japanese Food Varies Widely From East to West

If you know a little about eating in Japan, you know about the set menus, particularly popular at lunchtime in many eateries all over Japan.  Its called a Teishoku, or set meal, always including rice, pickles and miso soup, plus a ‘main’ dish.  The main dish varies from meat, like pork cutlets, to grilled fish, to sashimi, the kind of fish depending on availability and season.  All kinds of side dishes can also be included, including a variety of stewed vegetables.  The price of this set meal is usually very reasonable.  It is understandable why the ‘Teishoku’ is such a popular meal all over Japan.

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Cute (and Maybe a Little Creepy) Legged Paper Planes Now the Trend on Japanese Internet

I’m sure you’ve all had the experience of folding paper planes as a child. But the paper planes we’re going to show you here don’t look at all like the typical paper plane you might imagine. In fact, we have to warn you, you may even think these paper planes look a bit creepy. Why? Because these planes have legs! Yes, that’s right, they’re two-legged paper planes! But how ever did such a trend begin? Read More

Hatsune Miku Steamed Meat Buns Don’t Hold Up Well in the Summer Heat

Another month, another convenience store nikuman (steamed meat buns) modeled in the likeness of a popular character. Just in the past year we’ve seen Dragon Quest’s Slime, Puyo Puyo, Spiderman and Toy Story’s Little Green Men.

This time, everyone’s favorite blue-haired digital diva, Hatsune Miku, has offered her face for your consumption as a part of an ongoing promotional campaign between the popular Vocaloid and Family Mart.

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Bottles? We Don’t Need No Stinking Bottles! In China Everyone Carries Cucumbers to Beat the Heat

In these dog days of summer it’s a pretty good idea to carry around a bottle of water or sports drink to stay safe from heat stroke.  However, in China, home of the melt-proof ice pop, people are into a much more low tech way to keep cool.

One of our reporters was standing at a traffic signal in Shanghai when he spotted an attractive businesswoman rummaging through her purse.  Finding what she was looking for, she pulled out a huge cucumber and started munching on it as nonchalantly as one would drink a cup of coffee from Starbuck’s.  Mildly aroused, he decided to investigate this spontaneous act more deeply.

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