Osaka

Who’s Stealing our Flags? Osaka Prefectural Police Look for Clues

Having ruled out Colonel Mustard with a candlestick in the dining room (thanks Hasbro), Osaka prefectural police at the city’s Taisho station are trying to figure out who made off with national flags from two of the district’s elementary schools on April 16.
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This Robot’s Got Soul! We Discover an Animatronic Ray Charles Sittin’ on a Bench in Osaka

Japan has made quite a name for itself in the world of high-powered technology. It’s no lie that seeing the words “Made in Japan” stamped on the back side of any camera or other electronic device gives one the immediate impression of superior quality. Why, Japan is so advanced that even their street performers are technological geniuses! No really, imagine our surprise when we heard that a creative craftsman in Osaka developed his own life-size singing robot, the likes of which are rarely found outside of the enclosed passages of Disney’s “Small World” attraction. Brimming with intrigue, we immediately took to the streets of Osaka to find out more about this singing robot and the man who created it. Read More

In Search of Osaka’s 11 Cent Vending Machine

Legend has it that in the urban center of Osaka there sits a vending machine so cheap that it boggles the mind. Here a tasty beverage can be purchased for a measly 10 yen (US$0.11).

RocketNews24 had sent a reporter, Usagi Yumeno, to Fukushima Ward in the port town in search of this machine.

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Japanese Man Arrested on Suspicion of Giving Kids a Paper Route

Back in the day, delivering the morning newspaper was an honor bestowed on one lucky neighborhood child who could earn some cash and tips of peanut-butter M&M’s in exchange for providing their neighborhood with news from the world.  Now, the local paperboy is a rare, if not extinct, breed.

In Sakai City, Osaka, one father has been arrested on suspicion of violating the Child Welfare Act after allegedly deciding to instill the values of hard work and responsibility which come with a paper route in his own children.

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T is for Thievery: Surprising Identity of Osaka Elementary School Bandit Discovered

From November last year until this January, Nozato Elementary School in Osaka City had been the scene of a string of robberies. In 16 different incidents, up to 235,000 yen (US$2,500) was stolen from the wallets of teachers who worked there.

However, thanks to the efforts of one vigilant teacher, the culprit was finally identified and dealt with on 28 February.

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Second Unbelievable Piece of Architecture Found Right Next to Namba Parks

Previously we reported on the global reaction regarding a beautiful piece of architecture in Osaka, the shopping center Namba Parks (pictured above), which looks especially stunning when viewed from a high place.

However, another amazing photo surfaced on 9GAG a while back. Taken from a high angle it revealed an even more shockingly designed building that’s arguably even more impressive than Namba Parks.

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Register Rage: Osaka City Official Arrested for Allegedly Punching Out Register’s LCD Display

On 6 February, Osaka Prefectural Police announced that a 45-year-old man working for the Osaka City Construction Bureau had been arrested on suspicion of destruction of property.

In what could best be described as “register rage” the man was upset with the speed of the cashier and took his aggression out on the store’s age verification check with his fist.

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Violent Panty Raider Arrested in Osaka Again, Just Seems Begging for a Good Ol’ Chemical Castration

Osaka Prefectural Police picked up 37-year-old Takashi Yamaoka for stealing a woman’s panties… while she was still wearing them… again.

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Public Toilet Transformed into a Hotel, Opposite Side Remains a Public Toilet

For a limited time only, one side of a public restroom in Osaka’s Nakanoshima Park has been turned into a one-room hotel.

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Need Motivation to Lose Weight? How About Cheaper Rent?

Anyone who’s ever tried to shed a few pounds knows how hard it can be to stay motivated. Sometimes you just can’t reach down and find the fortitude deep inside to put down the doughnut and pick up your dumbbells without a more immediate payoff.

A recently opened rental property in Osaka has come up with a novel idea to help dieters keep their motivation up: a discount on rent for weight lost.

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Japanese Thieves Steal Thousands of Lottery Tickets, “Hardly Won a Damn Thing”

For those of you who enjoy playing the lottery, here’s a story that should help put your odds of winning in perspective.

Last December, painter Shigeru Aikoh was arrested from robbing a Kushikatsu (deep fried snacks) restaurant in Settsu, Osaka.  However, prefectural police later discovered he was a part of a four man group responsible for a year-long crime spree around the prefecture totaling 4.5 million yen (US$572,000).

However, much to Aikoh’s dismay a fair chunk of that loot had turned out to be totally worthless.

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Namba Parks Gets Rave Reviews from Overseas

Some photos recently posted on reddit of a shopping mall in central Osaka surprised those not living Japan some of whom wanted to live in the mall. This, in turn, surprised Japanese people who didn’t know it was that amazing to others.

The mall, aptly named Namba Parks certainly looks beautiful from this angle but there is actually function as well as form at work here.

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Educational Dining – Learn Your Cuts of Beef as You Eat!

Going into a Yakiniku restaurant (a Korean-style BBQ joint) in Japan, you’re usually greeted/slapped in the face with a long menu with many different choices – various parts from various edible animals. Actually, unless you have some strong or specific dislikes, choosing at random can still be a very delicious and fun experience. You may even start to remember which cuts of meat you prefer. One restaurant has now come up with a clever way you can enjoy a taster from all the various parts of a cow while learning exactly where they all came from. Read More

Danish Variety Store “Tiger” in Osaka Can’t Keep Up With Japanese Shoppers, Shuts Down Soon After Opening

Danish variety store, Tiger, had recently opened up its first store in Osaka, Japan, in the shopping area known as American Village. Little did they know about the propensities of the Japanese shopper.

Or maybe they just didn’t give them enough credit. In this case, it was the intensity of Japanese shoppers that resulted in the store having to unexpectedly shut down. Despite having the experience of managing stores in 16 different countries, Tiger underestimated the insatiable drive of Japanese people to shop, even if it meant queueing in line for hours and hours.

All this trouble for the European answer to the 100 yen shop... Read More

Okonomiyaki Mayonnaise Art is the New Latte Art, We Visit Pioneer Restaurant in Osaka

Some talented baristas are able to draw beautiful patterns or designs on the surface of a latte. This “latte art” isn’t easy to pull off, but the extra artistic effort is sure to captivate customers and keep them coming back for more.

That doesn’t just apply to cafés, either: in Osaka, there is an okonomiyaki shop where the chef enchants locals and tourists alike with stunning displays of mayonnaise art.

If you’re unfamiliar with okonomiyaki, you need to stop reading this article, head to your nearest Japanese restaurant and introduce yourself because you have been missing out. Often referred to as a “Japanese pancake” or “Japanese pizza,” okonomiyaki is of conglomeration of veggies, meat and whatever else you want grilled in batter and topped with, among other things, sweet okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise.

Osaka in particular is proud of its style of okonomiyaki and this particular restaurant, “Okaru”, is said to hold a favorable reputation with the locals. If Osakans approve than you know it must good—and you get a bit of entertainment to boot!

So just how skilled is this condiment technician? We visited Okaru to find out!

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Osaka Temple Offers Visitors Visions of Hell, Tasty Sweets

At the moment there’s a picture book that’s very popular in Japan called “A Picture Book of Hell.” It’s intended to teach kids good manners, and it’s become something of a hot topic, if you’ll excuse the pun. Popular illustrator Akiko Higashimura even mentioned it in her manga series “Mama wa Tenparisto”, loosely translated as “Momma With a Short Fuse”. As you can imagine, there’s been a lot of interest among mothers and educational professionals.

I suppose terrorizing your kids with two-dimensional representations of hell is OK, but did you know there’s a place you can take them to experience it in real life? Read More

We Check Into the Cheapest Hotel in Japan, US$6 a Night

Located near the center of Osaka City is an area called Kamagasaki which was once known to be a gathering place for day laborers.  Now, it’s a rather charming place where street cars run that kind of takes you back half a century.  On the other hand, beneath the surface runs some violent energy as this area is often ground zero for riots and other acts of civil disobedience.

It’s here that I went in search of the cheapest hotel in Japan, The Kimiya, where it is said one could spend the night for a mere 500 yen (US$6).

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Back in 2008, at an Osaka elementary school there was an incident involving a 3rd grade student who smashed two bottles of milk together during lunch time.  As a result, the bottles shattered sending a shard of glass into the child’s eye and leaving him disabled. It’s certainly a terrible accident but what followed had turned the public’s sympathy into outrage.

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Japanese City on the Verge of Bankruptcy Puts Name Up For Sale

They say the only thing you have after losing everything is your name.  Not so, says the Izumisano City officials who in the dying moments of their failing economy are considering a plan to sell their naming rights off amongst other ideas.

Residents of the Osaka Prefecture city will be pleased to know that they wouldn’t be selling it to just anyone with money, so the threat of the name becoming Poopiehead City is minimal. From June till the end of November they will be accepting proposals from both foreign and domestic businesses interested in unique ways to advertise using their city’s government and resources.

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Hello Kitty Hotel Rooms Ensure Sweet Dreams on the Road

So you’re taking a vacation to Japan via the Hello Kitty Jet to buy some Hello Kitty stationary, knick knacks, clothing, and accessories, but you don’t have a place to stay?  The Shinhankyu Hotel in Osaka has got you covered!

Starting March first they are making Hello Kitty themed Prince Kitty Rooms available, each decorated wall-to-wall with the infamous kitten along with her childhood companion Dear Daniel.  Everything in the room from the curtains to the sheets to the cushions is touched with the pink and white essence of Japan cutest cultural icon, all of which are exclusive designs for this hotel.

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