Zao Fox Village: Where all your cutes are belong to us

Foxes, as you may already know, have long played an important role in Japanese culture. Appearing in myths, literature, theater, video games, and even music videos, the adorable-yet-mysterious creatures have long captured people’s imagination.

And now, they’ll capture your heart, leaving you “awwwing” in a catatonic state of cute-overload at the Zao Kitsune Village!

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Cats invade Japanese convenience stores to prove we are merely their servants

In case you thought humans were the dominant species on this planet, some Japanese Twitter users have posted a collection of “cats doing whatever they damn well please in convenience stores” sightings, reminding us that our position at the top of the food chain is merely tolerated by our true feline overlords.

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Pet sitting service extends into Nagoya, Japan

When leaving the house for days on end, whether it be for work or for pleasure, those who have pets face an additional problem in planning. Someone has to feed the critters and make certain that they don’t leave any stinky surprises. Japan offers a number of different services for traveling pet owners, but one man, Mr. Haruna from Okazaki City in Aichi Prefecture, hated to see how upset his pet became after being left in a pet hotel.

In order to limit the stress of lonely pets, Haruna quit his job as a salary man and started the Pet-Sitter Gentry. “It’s the pet version of a babysitter,” he explains, and although the business has seen some hardships, the recruitment of additional staff has now allowed him to expand his pet-sitting service area into eastern Nagoya City.

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Kirobo: To cutely go where man has gone before

Meet Kirobo, the International Space Station’s newest and tiniest astronaut.

Don’t worry; we’ll wait for you to finish “Awwwwwwwwwwing.”

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Enjoy latte art at home with cute marshmallow cats!

From colourful anime designs to awesome 3-D creations, exciting things are going on in the drinkable art world of Japan. Now, there’s a new trend that’s melting our hearts: latte art in adorable take-home designs. Created by a marshmallow company in Nagano Prefecture, the range includes cute cats and fluffy cat paws that gradually dissolve into 2-D latte artworks. The only skill you’ll need for these is an ability to stand the cuteness!

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Say what? Animal figures live in your fridge, speak in adorable Japanese regional dialects

Regional dialects can be a powerful thing. Call out “partner” or “boyo” and I might not even realize you’re talking to me, but just say the word “dude” and you’ve got my complete attention.

Despite its small land mass, Japan’s language is filled with dialects, largely the result of mountains, not to mention centuries of civil war and travel restrictions, making it hard for people different from different areas to mix for much of the country’s history. Occasionally these unique speech patterns pop up in unexpected places, like when a coworker from Osaka stubs his toe in the office, or a drinking buddy from Akita’s accent starts showing after the fifth round of beers.

And now, you can hear Japanese dialects in your refrigerator.

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Little Danbo cleans up and gets a job with exclusive BEAMS collaboration figure

The popular manga character and customizable toy Danbo has finally decided to move out of his parent’s house and get a real job, after spending his angsty teen years traveling Japan in search of enlightenment.

This collaborative figure from toy maker Kaiyodo and clothier BEAMS outfits little Danbo with chic, modern-casual business attire, preparing the box boy for his new career – we’re guessing somewhere in the logistics field.

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Dude, you ‘otter’ check this out! It’s ‘otterly’ adorable!

While the Internet may run on cats, they’re certainly not the only cute creatures on the planet. (We’ll leave it up to you to decide if they’re the cutest or not…)

One of the underdog challengers to the Internet Cuteness Throne is the otter.

And this otter, named Piisu-kun, is bringing more than cuteness—he’s helpful, too!!

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Hot selling ‘Tattoo Stockings’ making millions of Japanese girls’ legs look hot as @#&%

The permanent kind of tattoo will get you kicked out of a lot of establishments in Japan, where inked skin evokes Yakuza traditions and images of violent biker gangs. Nevertheless, as Western culture – with its inked-up celebrities and musicians – continues its decades-long slow creep into Japan, a lot of teens and 20-somethings are longing to go under the needle without suffering discrimination.

That might explain why these stylish and novel “tattoo stockings” have been selling like sexy hotcakes since 2011 in Japan and are so far showing no signs of slowing down.

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Proof that not all cats hate water – Korean kitty takes a dip 【Video】

Since the average domestic cat’s experience of water is limited to being shut out in the rain or being pinned down and bathed by their owner because, after one too many garden adventures, their fur is a filthy, matted mess (and that was not a fun afternoon, let me assure you), it’s little wonder that there’s a commonly held belief that all cats hate H2O. As the following video proves, however, there are some cats out there that love nothing more than a nice, long dip in the hot water.

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Kyoto Aquarium serving up cute breads…and tadpole soup?

Kyoto may be well-known for its traditional buildings and breathtaking temples, but there’s also a different side to the city; one that’s totally modern and cute! Kyoto Aquarium is giving us a peek into the cute innovations going on in the city with an adorable range of sweet breads, available exclusively from their on-site cafes. This month, they’re paying homage to the frogs of Kyoto and the world with a new exhibit and some very unique additions to the menu.

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Vote for your favourite Sanrio character!

Cast your vote in one of the cutest elections around! A total of 100 characters are in the running to be named crowd favourite in Sanrio’s annual popularity poll this year, each one primped and ready with the standard political sash and some imaginative campaign promises. We take a look at some of the elected delegates, from well-known favourites to brand new faces and some unique characters we never even knew existed. Will Hello Kitty come out on top? Or will she be knocked off her perch by a smiling high speed train, a group of android beetles, or a dog that resembles a custard dessert? Take a look and choose your favourite for 2013!

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Dragon Quest slime hourglass makes interminable wait for cup noodles a little cuter

Square-Enix is offering this adorable, limited edition slime hourglass for Dragon Quest series fans with the munchies. The company says the hourglass is timed at about three minutes, which is around the same amount of time it takes to perfectly cook a cup of instant ramen noodles.

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Koi-Yamagata Station is for lovers

Koi-Yamagata Station, nestled deep in Tottori Prefecture where few people reside, now has a bold new makeover. The once drab station, mostly devoid of staff or passengers, has been given a hot pink paint job and a heart-shaped monument for love.

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These Chinese-style steamed buns have adorable animal faces

Japan has a healthy habit of adopting food from other cultures and making it fit for a Japanese palate. We see it with their sweet-brand curry, rice filled omelets, and corn and mayo topped pizzas. Think too of Japan’s many adorably decorated coffees and character-shaped steamed buns.

Four-rue is an authentic-style Chinese food stall that’s often found on the basement floor of Japan’s large department stores. In a move to appeal to Japan’s cute-conscious consumer base, they’ve created a series of animal-shaped steamed buns that far surpass the quality of those mass produced and sold in convenience stores. These cute little critters are handmade with loving care to capture the soft edges and utter adorableness of a stuffed toy. We sent one of our animal-loving RocketNews24 staffers to four-rue to purchase a set of these delectable creatures and give us her thoughts.

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Rogue Roomba escapes captivity, streets near Kanda station now sparkly clean

We’re not sure if the singularity has finally happened or if this Roomba vacuum cleaner’s owners are just particularly careless. Regardless, it appears the Roomba, sick of being trapped in the same dull house like an animal in a zoo, triumphantly escaped the confines of the home and made a mad 3-mph dash for freedom.

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Bird’s got talent! Cockatiel belts out karaoke favourite ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ 【Video】

Many a foreigner living in Japan has attempted and mangled this classic karaoke favourite, the theme song from popular Japanese animated film My Neighbor Totoro, just so they can let their vocal cords rip in the chorus. Even with limited language skills, you can probably belt out “Totoro, totoro” one million times and manage to mumble through the rest of the words.

But this cockatiel Poko-chan’s sense of pitch and inner pizzazz puts humans to shame. Accompanied by her owner on piano, she warbles through a song that few have fully mastered. What would Simon Cowell say? You be the judge.

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Cats are so last year — Introducing Konatsu the Bunny! 【Videos】

If you’re getting a bit sick of seemingly endless cat videos and GIFs (although we can’t imagine why!), then maybe it’s time for something different. Perhaps this could be the Year of the… Rabbit?! (Yes, we know that was technically two years back, but it’s catchy).

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The adorable Suica penguin bread —  Too cute to eat but too good not to

If you’ve ever used public transport in Japan, you may have seen the Suica card, the smart card you can use to pay the fare on Japanese transport systems, named after the onomatopoeic phrase “sui-sui“, meaning to swim or glide smoothly. You may even have noticed that they come adorned with an adorable mascot penguin character, known simply as the “Suica Penguin“. But did you know that the Suica Penguin has now been transformed into a form of delicious confection?

Apparently, the Suica Penguin is irresistibly cute in edible form as well, and the penguin bread is selling like crazy! Naturally, we had to get our hands on a couple and see for ourselves what made it so special.

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Cat spots: A bucket list of travel destinations for cat lovers

Ahhh, cats! Also called “Internet fuel” by those in the know (i.e. no one), our furry feline friends are objects of affection both online and “In Real Life,” as the kids say.

Though you probably won’t be able to hit every one of the entries this year, we’ve found a list of 15 “cat spots” that may soon shoot to the top of your bucket list. Not only are these places a veritable cornucopia of adorableness, they’re all great tourist destinations too!

Get ready to say “awwww!”

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