fun

Make a clay Yoda figure to turn from the dark side of summer: boredom

While there is plenty to do during summer in Japan, the warmer months of the year can start to get on your nerves when poisonous creatures keep sun-loving crowds away from the beach, or those sweaty days in the office when you see a little more than you bargained for. And as owners of the beloved (providing the prequels are totally forgotten) Star Wars franchise, Disney has a solution for those summertime blues: a fun craft project to make a clay Yoga figurine.

Requiring little more than a printer and some modeling clay, this Yoda is sure to make any young padawan into a Jedi-level sculptor.

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The top 10 anime that people in Japan never tire of watching

Stuck inside due to the blistering Japanese summer heat? Why not kick back under your aircon and watch something on TV? If you’ve already seen all the hit shows and don’t want to take a chance on something new, how about watching some of Japan’s favorite anime of all time?

A new survey polled Japanese anime fans and asked them to name the anime they can watch over and over again and never get bored. Click on through to find out which one tops the list!

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Life-size Totoro FOUND! Live out your Ghibli fantasies in Tochigi Prefecture

While the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka is a truly whimsical place, transporting you into the magical world of animator Hayao Miyazaki and friends, an adult may feel that their immersion is incomplete. In particular, the children-only play area that features a “life-size” cat bus practically begs you to step over the velvet rope and throw the makurokurosuke in the air like a kid on a sugar high, but to do so would likely result in your ejection from the building.

But fear not! There is one other place in Japan where even grown-ups can wander happily through the imaginary world of My Neighbor Totoro: The Teddy bear Museum in Tochigi Prefecture.

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Japan’s new water slide has to be seen to be believed!

There is no better way to beat the heat of the summer than a day at a water park! Ice cream and cold drinks only cool-down your mouth, whereas at a water park, you can jump into a refreshing pool of water again, again and again! You can’t do that with ice cream. For those people that love roller coasters and are always on the lookout for brand new adrenaline pumping attractions, a new ride at a famous water park has “funneled” into our sights!

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Step aside, Air Bud! Purin the Super Beagle is here to score some bea-goals!【Video】

There are two great things to look forward to in February in the US. The first is the Super Bowl; the second is definitely the “Puppy Bowl,” an American football game “played” exclusively by puppies. Who doesn’t like watching a bunch of extremely cute canines trying to move toys to their opponents’ end zone?

With over 13.5 million viewers in 2014, it only makes sense that the FIFA World Cup should have its own dog-based representation of the game. They could even call it the “Canine Cup”. If that ever does happen, countries will be scrambling to find their own representatives to put their country at number one! Lucky for Japan, they already have their own soccer-playing dog superstar who is ready to take the field!

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Japanese airline rolls out its summer 2014 Pokémon-themed travel deals!

Pikachu invites you to create wonderful memories with your family this summer as part of All Nippon Airways (ANA)’s 2014 Pokémon-themed travel campaign! The summer campaign has proved popular with families with small children in the past (and with the adults, too…), and 2014 promises to be no exception. Some of the notable features include the chance to fly in a one-of-a-kind Pokémon jumbo jet, a special in-flight animated video, hotel rooms decked out in Pokémon paraphernalia, and other cool surprises! If you’re a Pokémon fanatic, this might just be the perfect vacation plan for you.

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Food art so cool you don’t want to eat it, but mmm…pancakes!!!

Food, although mostly delicious, doesn’t always look beautiful. But what if food that was tasty also looked cool? Something as simple as the humble pancake, always delicious, was turned into some pretty wicked art by a few artistic chefs on the Internet. It’s definitely making us impressed and hungry!

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You beautiful fatty! — Doraemon character teaches us to speak nicely with new smartphone app

There are days you wake up and just want to table-flip the entire world. You want to scream at the top of a mountain about how people are such dumbasses! You’re just so irritated with everything that the next person you come in contact with will feel your wrath. Your conscience kicks in (usually before anything terrible happens) and whispers that Golden Rule in your ear: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” However, sometimes the lack of face to face contact during text message conversations allows us to forget that there is a real person on the other side. Just because you can’t see the reaction of the other person, it doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want.

For Japanese speakers, the solution is here. And it comes in the form of Shizuka-chan, our favorite character from Doraemon, and a smartphone app.

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LEGOLAND: Not just for kids anymore (not that it ever was…)

Do you love Lego? Are you an adult living Tokyo? Don’t you wish that “no admission to adults unaccompanied by children” rule didn’t exist so you could stop “borrowing” kids from the local playground just to hang out at the LEGOLAND in Odaiba?

If so, we have some excellent news for you! Starting in May, the LEGOLAND Discover Center in the Decks Mall will host an adults-only night once a month!

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Video of dancing girls reminds us of Japan’s weird ’90s street fashion

Once a common sight on the streets of Tokyo’s Shibuya youth district, women decked out in the alternative ganguro style are now rare…which makes it all the more strange that an online video of five ganguro girls dancing in a classroom has recently popped up!

Apart from its randomness, the video is actually pretty fun and infectious, and makes us nostalgic for other wacky Japanese street fashions. After seeing their moves, you might even want to get up and dance, too!

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Genka Bar, where your drinks never cost more than what they’re worth!

Friday night means going out for a drink with your buddies from the office or your favorite classmates. It also means a large chunk of cash is missing from you wallet when you wake up with a pounding headache on Saturday morning. As much fun as a night on the town is, it’s often ridiculously expensive–especially in Tokyo! And it doesn’t help things that bars and restaurants love to mark up their drinks by…well, a lot. If only you could get your booze and snacks at cost.

Well guess what, thirsty and hungry readers? You can at the Genka Bar! At least, that’s what they claim. We sent one of our Japanese writers to find out the truth. Check out the results below.

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Attention, all artists! Design your own New Year’s postcards on this awesome website

If you’ve ever been in Japan over the New Year’s holiday, you’re probably familiar with the Japanese custom of exchanging nengajo, or New Year’s postcards. People exchange nengajo with friends, coworkers, and others to whom they are indebted or with whom they wish to maintain a good rapport in the coming year. There is a deadline to mail nengajo, usually around December 25, so that they will be delivered to each house on New Year’s Day precisely. If you still haven’t gotten around to sending them out this year, then never fear, because this incredibly cool website lets you design your own nengajo!

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This inappropriate lamp gives new meaning to the phrase “turn you on”

In 1994, the product design company, Propaganda, was established in Thailand to fill the need for playful products in home and work environments. Since then, the fun-loving brand has expanded immensely. Stores can be found in more than 30 different countries, including Japan, the US, and many parts of Europe.

Today we’d like to focus on one of Propaganda’s many tongue-in-cheek trinkets. This peculiar lamp is certain to brighten your day.

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Prison Culture Festival: All the fun of incarceration, none of the crime!

The first weekend in November, Japan’s largest prison facility, Fuchu Prison, will be holding its annual culture festival! Everyone’s invited to visit the grounds and experience all the fun, food, and friendly atmosphere – things that are not often attributed to prison life. It’s just like the cultural festivals run by high school students, but imagine that the students are all convicts dressed in grey pajamas and locked up in their classrooms. Flyers for the event list educational exhibitions, musical guests, and even a “prison adventure” bus tour behind the heavily guarded walls!

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New cosplay seller enters stores across Japan, just in time for Halloween

We’re well into fall now, and it’s time to start preparing for some horror-filled festivities on October 31. Japan is getting all geared-up with ghosts and skeletons clearly on display and plenty of Halloween parties planned for the days leading up to the turn of the month. But of course, what’s a Halloween party without a good costume? And what’s a good costume without a band of beautiful girls ready to promote it?

Clearstone costume maker recently released a new cosplay series called Tokimeki Graffiti, modeled and promoted by the idol group, DenpaGumi.inc. Already, whether for the quality of the costumes or the influence of idols, sales are really skyrocketing!

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This cat wearing glasses is quite the looker!

There’s no discrediting the fact that dogs can achieve a wide range of expressions when you draw on some eyebrows, but the fact of the matter is that cats still maintain a higher level of sophistication than dogs could ever even dream of. Don’t believe me? Check out this fancy feline wearing some really sleek spectacles! No dog could ever achieve an expression that harnesses such critical disdain and yet sends you head-over-heels in love.

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Download punk rock classics played in 8-bit – for free!!

Who here is a fan of ‘90s punk rock? How about old school gaming from the NES and Sega Genesis eras? If you have an interest in one or both, there’s a new album up on Bandcamp, music community and selling outlet for self-releasing musical artists, called Punk Goes 8-Bit: Level 1. Tracks include popular punk hits from well-known artists, such as Blink 182, Less Than Jake, and The Offspring as you’ve never heard them before. Better yet, they’re absolutely free!

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Rodin’s “The Thinker” goes thoughtless in Japan

This fall, Takara Tomy Arts is releasing a new line of funny figurines inspired by one of the world’s most well-known statues, “The Thinker.” Only in this case, the chiseled man appears much too preoccupied to be thinking much of anything, turning this thinker into The Thoughtless.

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Marionette Miku brought to life on Niconico Douga 【Video】

In a video recently uploaded to Japan’s Niconico Douga, Hatsune Miku appears as a marionette from the Edo period. The video is a period-style tribute to videos created with MikuMikuDance, a free 3-D animation program often used in the creation of Vocaloid music videos and other fan videos. This particular clip doesn’t actually feature any synthesizers or computer animations but brings Miku to life with true Edo flair.

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This cat looks amazingly like Dragon Ball’s Korin!

This is not your average cat meme. So soon after our exploration of Master Roshi’s secluded island, we’ve stumbled upon a picture that we’re convinced is the immortal cat from Dragon Ball, Korin (aka Karin, for those of you more acquainted with the original Japanese or manga).

Now, I know what you might be thinking. There are a lot of smiling white cats in the world. What makes this one so special? Honestly, it’s hard to say. It could be the overall accuracy and the appropriately mysterious air of the picture. Or, it could be the cat’s steady approval from Japanese Netizens! Take a look and decide for yourself!

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