- Experience your own “miracle romance” in one of these Sailor Moon summer kimono sets
- Eight beauty products recommended by Japanese Twitter for a great “au natural” look
- Japan now has French fry ice cream sundaes thanks to fast food chain First Kitchen
- We try the heavenly Starbucks pink latte in Japan 【Taste Test】
- Touching Twitter manga shows how all the bad things about having a cat make having one wonderful
- Teacher says Japanese schools’ mandatory extracurricular activity rules don’t benefit students
- Toyota proposes a future where cars become pizza shops, hotels, and occasionally cars too
- Busty cosplayer makes Japanese dreams come true with super real Super Sonico cosplay 【Photos】
- Peach Coca-Cola coming to Japan in a world-first for the company
- Japanese athlete caught after slipping steroids into rival’s drink to further Olympic ambitions
Posted: 10 Jan 2018 08:00 PM PST
In the name of the moon, you should wear these yukata!
Magical girl anime fans are in for a difficult decision. While their summer wardrobe was initially all set with last year’s release of a Cardcaptor Sakura yukata, or summer kimono, their options have now multiplied with the introduction of a new fashion line that even Princess Serenity herself would undoubtedly be seen in.
The good news is that longtime kimono maker Kyoto Marubeni has teamed up with the Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Project for a collaboration worthy of all Pretty Guardians! They’ve really outdone themselves this time, too. The collection includes not one, not two, but a whole line of yukata ranging from the adorable to the sophisticated, all of which pay subtle and stylish homage to the beloved series.
The collection includes yukata sets (a yukata plus an obi, or sash), folding fans, single yukata, and single obi. Let’s take a closer look at each separate product.
First, the most affordable option is the yukata set, which comes in six variations and retails for 16,800 yen (US$150). The designs on these yukata include large ribbon motifs in vivid colors that were inspired by the four “inner” guardians who form Sailor Moon’s main comrades in battle–Sailors Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus. The special Sailor Moon pattern comes with a base color of either deep blue or white. In addition, each set comes with a pre-tied obi (to save you the hassle of tying it yourself) which is reminiscent of the guardians’ transformation outfits.
While you’re at it, why not add a matching ribbon-motif folding fan for 3,800 yen? They come in two color patterns, both of which are sure to cool you on a humid summer night if they don’t vanquish enemies of the Moon Kingdom as well.
Next, the line of “à la carte” yukata features seven elegant varieties which are geared towards the slightly more sophisticated crowd with a bit more cash burning in their pockets. Each yukata is made of 100% polyester and retails for 38,000 yen. The variations include the following four patterns, pictured left-to-right, top-to-bottom in the image below:
Finally, you can order a half-width obi to go along with your yukata for 15,000 yen each. The four varieties include red x black, yellow x purple, light blue x wine, and pink x white color combinations. One side of each obi is decorated with the planetary symbols, and a pattern of moons and stars is woven into the other side.
Premium Bandai is currently slated to release the line in February. Other online retailers, department stores, and kimono specialty stores throughout Japan will begin releasing it in April. Notably absent from the collection is any reference to Sailors Saturn and Pluto, along with Sailor Chibi Moon. But with the plethora of choices that are available, all fans are bound to find a suitable yukata to wear during their own moonlit summer romance.
Source, images: Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Project Official Site
Posted: 10 Jan 2018 07:00 PM PST
Japanese netizens recommend these products if you prefer a lighter make-up style.
There are different kinds of ladies (and gentlemen) in the world, who each subscribe to various levels of grooming. Some don’t bother at all, some bother (but only a little), and some take advantage of the full breadth of what makeup has to offer. If you’re somewhere in between “lazy applier” and “devout enthusiast”, and prefer a lighter use of makeup that still looks great, but is also easy to apply, then Twitter users know eight products you might like. These products are great for daily wear, if that’s your style, or if you still want to look good during a day in, or for when you’re running late and don’t have much time to do your makeup.
1. Maybelline Brow Ink Gel Tint
For a natural-looking, easy way to color your eyebrows, Twitter users say that this gel tint is a great option. This one works for the lazy girls too! Simply paint it on, wait for it to dry, peel it off, and voila, you have eyebrow coloring that lasts for up to seven days. Supposedly it doesn’t hurt to peel off either; no pulling out eyebrow hairs! It’s available for 1,296 yen (US $11.50) at most drugstores.
2. Kate CC Lip Cream
While primarily offering relief for dry lips and UV protection, this lip cream is also a light lipstick. It comes in four seemingly bright colors, but it doesn’t seem to paint on too thickly, which is perfect for that natural look. Twitter seems to love it, at 432 yen ($3.84) per stick.
▼ How it looks on one netizen
3. Cezanne CC Lip Balm
If you’re wondering what the “CC”‘s are all about, it actually indicates that the cosmetic is meant to be a light coating or base coat (as opposed to BB which is much thicker, and intended to be used as the main product). That’s why CC products are convenient for natural looks, like this lip balm from Cezanne, which is not only a balm but also a gentle lip color that comes in pink and red. It’s also made with shea butter and lots of natural extracts, so it’s good for your lips, too. It sells for 518 yen ($4.60).
4. DHC Eyelash Tonic
For those who want to have longer or fuller eyelashes but want to forgo the dark or painted mascara look, DHC Eyelash Tonic would be what you need. It uses plant extracts to provide nutrients to your eyelashes, keeping them long and preventing them from breaking or falling out. It serves as a replacement for mascara, but you can use it as a base before applying mascara as well. It’s available for 1,058 yen ($9.40).
5. club Suppin Eye Care Stick
“Suppin” in Japanese means “no-makeup”, so you know if a product has this word in it, it’s going for a natural look. The Suppin Eye Care Stick from club is a concealer for brightening up the skin around your eyes, to cover blemishes and wrinkles, and to serve as a base for eye shadow, but it is also a great natural-looking replacement for eye shadow if you want a lighter makeup style. You can find it at drug stores for 1,080 yen ($9.59).
6. MiMC Moisture Milk
Retailing at 5,200 yen ($46.18) per bottle, this is undoubtedly one of the more expensive cosmetics on our list, but Twitter can’t recommend it enough. MiMC Moisture Milk is a lotion in powder form. According to the packaging, it’s made only with silk powder, and contains 18 kinds of amino acids, so using this powder will apparently make your skin super smooth and soft, but also springy and full at the same time. It’s a super moisturizing, nutrient power-packed powder lotion that can be used as the final touch to your skin-care routine or as the foundation for your make-up for the day, or simply as a way to get your skin looking make-up fresh, without the make-up.
7. Albion White Conditioning Powder
This product is intended to be a whitening agent for sun spots or other skin damage caused by the sun, so our dark-skinned readers may want to skip this product. But if your goal is to stay as white as a sheet like most geisha (whose painted-on pale skin represents ideal beauty in Japan), then this product will likely help you. Not only will it whiten dark spots, but it will also give your skin a nice translucency. By the sound of it, when you pat it on, it just melts right into your skin, creating a refreshing glow for maximum beauty, without the need for foundation. It retails at 5,400 yen ($47.95).
8. Ettusais Medicated Acne Nighttime Defense
To keep that natural look, you’ll want to avoid using layers of foundation and cover-up. But those with skin problems are loath to let all their blemishes just hang out for everyone to see. That’s why Japanese Twitter recommends this acne fighting powder. Just pat it on after your skincare routine at night, and while you’re sleeping it’ll help prevent breakouts and blemishes, all while moisturizing. You can buy it for 2,500 yen ($22.20).
Well there you have it. Eight products for a light, natural makeup look, including some skincare cosmetics to facilitate that look. There’s no better way to choose new cosmetics than hearing what people using them think about them, right? But if light makeup is less your style, or if you like to shake it up every once in a while, there is also a whole host of awesome Japanese makeup products for anime and game fans, like Princess Peach’s personal line or blush inspired by Sailor Moon’s brooch. Japan certainly has makeup products for everyone’s needs!
Posted: 10 Jan 2018 06:00 PM PST
Oft-forgotten burger joint now has our full attention with its decadent Western and Japanese-style combinations of fried food and ice cream.
Japanese fast food chain First Kitchen has a bit of an image problem, in that it really doesn't have much of an image. McDonald's is everywhere, with its high-profile cross-promotions. Mos Burger has a reputation for high quality ingredients, and Lotteria has outright insanity as its marketing hook.
By comparison, First Kitchen is often so low-key that it's easy to overlook the chain, but we're sure that its newest item, French fry sundaes, will help keep it in people's minds.
Going on this week at First Kitchen and First Kitchen/Wendy's branches nationwide are two types of Dessert Potato, both of which start by taking a plate of French fries and adding a swirl of Hokkaido dairy-sourced vanilla ice cream. From there, the Choco Sundae Potato adds chocolate sauce and sprinkles. If you're looking for a more Japanese taste, the Cream Zenzai Potato adds a second dash of Hokkaido flavor with azuki sweet red beans supplied by the northern island plus kuromitsu syrup for even more tempting sweetness.
First Kitchen is touting the new desserts as a delicious exercise in contrasting extremes, with the bed of hot, crisp potatoes covered with cold, melty ice cream. Some of the fries still have their skins, which means there'll probably also be some interplay between bitter and sweet flavors, likely giving the new desserts more complexity they'd seem to have at first glance. And while you could say that adding ice cream to fried potato slices screws up their nutritional balance, French fries aren’t really all that healthy anyway, so you may as well make them as delicious as possible.
Both Dessert Potato offerings will be available from January 11, priced at 450 yen (US$4) each. First Kitchen hasn't specified whether they'll become permanent parts of the menu, though, so you probably don't want to dally if you're looking to compare these to your memories of McDonald's dearly departed chocolate sauce French fries.
Posted: 10 Jan 2018 05:00 PM PST
It looks like a sakura drink, but it gets its colour from a different blend of ingredients.
Every time Starbucks adds a new beverage to their menu in Japan, we can’t wait to head out as soon as it’s released so we can see what it tastes like for ourselves. That’s exactly what we did today, when the global coffeehouse chain started offering a colourful new latte to help brighten the short winter days here in Japan.
Called the Pink Medley Tea Latte, this frothy new beverage looks absolutely beautiful once it’s served. If you’re thinking of ordering one of these, we recommend asking for it to be served up in a mug so you can enhance its beauty and its delicious flavour.
The unusual pink colour here comes from the fact that the drink is made from a fruity tea blend called the Teavana “Joyful Medley”. Each teabag contains ingredients like peach and strawberry, mixed with a black tea, jasmine tea, and oolong tea base.
Plenty of foamed milk is used to balance the strong fruit and tea flavours, creating a delightfully frothy light pink surface. Peering underneath the pale pink topping reveals a richer pink colour that permeates throughout the entire drink.
The tea itself is incredibly fruity, with the peach and strawberry punching right through the milk to make it taste like a delicious hot fruit juice. It’s both creamy and refreshing at the same time, and is definitely a drink we’ll be coming back for again before the end of winter.
The Pink Medley Tea Latte is available in four sizes, from Short to Venti, ranging in price from 464-504 yen (US$4.17-$5.33). The limited-edition beverage will be on menus at Starbucks outlets around the country until 14 February.
Photos © SoraNews24
Posted: 10 Jan 2018 09:30 AM PST
Illustrations show that sharing your life with a feline is one of our world's happiest heartbreaks.
In small doses, just about everyone thinks spending time with a pet is fun. But those who've cohabited with an animal companion will tell you that it's not all smiles and playtime.
Taking care of a pet involves a lot of responsibilities and compromises, and that goes double if you're the owner of a cat, who's likely to think that the home you paid for, as well as all the things you bought to put inside it are at least as much its property as yours.
Manga artist and Twitter user Koyo Watanabe (@akuta0716) has put together an illustrated list of the unpleasant parts of cat ownership, but this gripe session ends up taking a sharp turn before reaching its final destination (translations below).
▼ "I've drawn a four page manga showing how difficult having a cat is."
▼ Your cat will [left to right]:
▼ Become clingy only when you've got something else you need to get done.
▼ Insist on sleeping in your bed…then taking over all the blankets.
▼ Have no interest in your foolish human desires or concerns.
But as Watanabe shows, there's something more painful than these minor aggravations waiting for cat owners who’re in it for the long haul.
▼ Doctor: "There's a tumor next to your cat's heart…And there's a possibility that it will continue to grow…"
Your cat will hide that it's sick, as much as it can. The bills for veterinary examinations and medicine will be expensive. The time you used to spend playing with your cat will change into time you spend taking care of its health issues.
▼ When your cat passes away, it won't have any way of telling you whether it was happy to have lived with you or not.
▼ Former cat owner: "Oh, wow, lemme see this cutey pie right here!"
And yet, your cat will still have put a spell on you, and make you want to have another cat someday.
Considering how many cat lovers have had multiple feline pets, there definitely seems to be some truth to Watanabe's assertation that once you've fallen in love with one kitty, the cycle is likely to repeat itself again and again. Just remember that, as alluded to in the illustrations, your pet can't tell you when it's feeling sick, so make sure your furry friend gets regular checkups at the vet.
Source, images: Twitter/@ akuta0716
Posted: 10 Jan 2018 08:00 AM PST
Exasperated educator takes workplace survey and is depressed by rationale for forcing students to join after-school programs.
Japanese society is often described as being group-oriented, and that's something that extends all the way down to youth education. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in school-administered extracurricular activities such as sports, art, and music programs, and students that don't are sarcastically, and somewhat pejoratively, referred to as being members of the kitakubu or "going-home club."
Many schools even go so far as to mandate that all students must join a club of some sort. That's the case at the high school where Japanese Twitter user @kimamanigo0815 works as a teacher, but she wondered what the real rationale is for forcing the students to participate in extracurricular activities.
To investigate, @kimamanigo0815 took a faculty opinion survey, asking her colleagues if they felt a compulsory extracurricular activity system was necessary, and if so, why. Roughly 80 percent of her coworkers responded that they believed the school should keep the requirement in place, with the four major reasons they cited being:
1. The students will be more likely to misbehave if they aren't made to participate in extracurricular activities.
2. Without the requirement, some clubs won't be able to attract members and will be discontinued.
3. Without the requirement, it will be harder to attract new students/their parents to the school.
4. The school will no longer be able to collect an "extracurricular activities fee" from all students' households if some of them are not participating in any such activities.
While those are all pragmatic reasons to keep the current requirement in place, @kimamanigo0815 couldn't help but notice something missing from the responses. "No one mentioned anything about the mandatory extracurricular activity system benefiting the students themselves," she tweeted.
Online reactions included:
In their defense, many of the teachers in the survey who supported compulsory extracurricular activities probably feel that keeping kids out of trouble, as well as introducing them to athletic or cultural activities they wouldn't have otherwise tried, give the children fuller, more wholesome lives, and thus do, in fact, qualify as benefiting the students themselves. However, @kimamanigo0815 and critics also make a compelling point that you can't force someone to like something, and trying to do so with extracurricular activities might make students hate school in general.
Posted: 10 Jan 2018 07:00 AM PST
The future is looking mighty bright for Toyota in this cartopia.
Toyota Motor Corporation unveiled their new concept car, the e-Palette, at this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show). This fully autonomous and electric vehicle is the centerpiece to their wider spanning Mobility Services Platform (MSPF), which aims to broaden the horizons of the humble automobile considerably.
Although it played a key role in transportation and as a human reproduction module throughout the 20th century, the car as we know it will soon cover a slew of new uses. As the following video shows, cars may soon also become your own private shoe store or mobile office space.
For example, a current problem with online shopping, particularly for shoes, is that you can’t actually touch or try on the product before purchasing. However, with an e-Palette fitted to become a shoe store on wheels, it will show up at your doorstep and let you try them on before you hand over your money.
Furthermore, all the troubles of setting up a giant holographic boxing match in the middle of nowhere will finally become a thing of the past with Toyota’s innovative system.
Of course, these are mere branches of the entire envisioned “mobility ecosystem” that Toyota wants to create. Although, if they really wanted to tout the performance of the vehicles they should have included a mobile LASIK e-Palette scooting by in the video.
All that aside, the traditional purposes of getting from point A to point B for people, as well as goods, is still present and enhanced under the e-Palette system, as the following video shows.
The e-Palette concept vehicle itself is basically a room on wheels, available in lengths from four to seven meters (13 to 23 feet). Since no driving controls are necessary, the interior can be decorated or have whatever needed equipment installed.
▼ With a Mobile Hotel you can stay while you go.
Vehicles are also intended to have a flexible control scheme shared between Toyota and other companies who have signed on to potentially use them, such as Amazon, Pizza Hut, Uber, and DiDi. Depending on the licensing agreement, Toyota’s system can handle as much or as little of the automated driving as partner companies want.
▼ So, if this Handcraft Market frequented by Sims characters happens to already have their own automated driving software developed, Toyota can accommodate it.
The e-Palette vehicle is only a concept, however, so we can’t expect the future to be exactly as sterilely white as the video depicts, nor with quite the same soothing Silicon-Valley-twinkly-piano soundtrack.
▼ But if there’s a future without Fab Lab, then baby, you can keep it.
However, the underlying system is certainly the way of the future because – let’s face it – there is money to be saved. In fact, Japan’s leading courier service Yamato Transport is already well into testing their own fleet of robotic delivery cars.
Toyota is just looking to get in on the trend in a big way, and with this open car concept, they have the potential to please both customers and companies alike.
Source, images: Toyota Motor Corporation
Posted: 10 Jan 2018 06:00 AM PST
This photo collection shows just how revealing a fantasy wedding dress can be.
23-year-old cosplayer Jennyan, from Leipzig, in Germany, has been heating up on social media for several years now, with a photo collection filled with characters from Japanese manga, animes and video games. Her latest inspiration, though, has thrust her into the spotlight in Japan, making news for its realism and revealing nature, and it’s all based on a limited-edition 10th anniversary figurine.
Jennyan’s cosplay is an homage to the character Super Sonico, who first appeared as a mascot for the Japanese computer and video game software company Nitroplus back in 2006. Since her debut, Super Sonico’s popularity has exploded, with the buxom character now appearing in manga, anime, and computer and video games. To celebrate her 10th anniversary, a special limited-edition figure of Super Sonico was released, featuring the star in a wedding dress especially designed for the occasion.
▼ The Super Sonico 10th Anniversary Figure Wedding Version.
After Jennyan announced her plans to cosplay as this very special Sonico figurine, fans were immediately excited, sending off donations to express their support.
Her cosplay didn’t disappoint, as she filled out the dress perfectly, making sure to match the character’s straight, light-pink hair and large amber eyes, and adding a garland of flowers and headphones to complete the look.
Though Jennyan was able to transport fans to a world where Sonico might exist in real life, she wasn’t afraid to be honest about the tricks used to create the realistic images, telling everyone she added fake boobs to match the character’s buxom size.
It looks like Jennyan may have used a breastplate like this one to create these “oppai” breasts.
Fans didn’t seem to mind this admission at all, expressing their love for what she created.
The look was so popular, in fact, that she even produced some dakimakura body pillows for fans to purchase.
To keep up to date with Jennyan’s latest looks, be sure to give her a follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And if you’re thinking about adding a lift to your chest size for your next cosplay, you might want to take a look at these impressive body parts, which can be used by women and men too!
Posted: 10 Jan 2018 05:00 AM PST
People in Japan will be the first in the world to find out what the unique flavour combination tastes like.
Customers in Japan are always spoilt for choice when it comes to exclusive limited-edition releases from big international companies. In the past we’ve seen amazing products like Japan-only Frappuccino drinks from Starbucks, Sakura-flavoured Pepsi, and even a Full Moon cheeseburger from McDonald’s, and now it’s time to reach into our pockets again, with the announcement that Coca-Cola will be releasing the world’s first Peach Coca-Cola in Japan for a limited time.
Japan was said to be chosen as the first country to receive the new product due to their longstanding love of peaches. Japan’s Hinamatsuri “Doll Festival“, celebrated on 3 March every year, is also known as Momo no Sekku, “the seasonal festival of peaches“, when houses are decorated with pretty Hina dolls and plum flowers, to help mark the changing of the seasons.
According to the company, peaches are believed to have the power to sweep away evil, according to ancient Japanese legends and mythology, making them one of the most popular fruits in the country. Research shows that demand for peach drinks is highest in Japan from January to March, so the 22 January release date for the new Peach Coca-Cola fits right into the peak season.
The new beverage will feature a pink-red label, combining an image of a plump, round peach with fizzy, carbonated bubbles. The drink itself is said to be an exquisite blend, pairing fragrant peaches with the refreshing taste of Coca-Cola.
The new Peach Coca-Cola will go on sale around Japan from 22 January, with the 500-millilitre (16.9-ounce) bottle retailing for 140 yen (US$1.25), and the 280-millilitre bottle (limited for sale at vending machines) available for 115 yen.
Source, images: PR Times
Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:00 PM PST
Kayak racer achieves rare feat of getting suspended because someone else used steroids.
With the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics just over two years away, athletes across Japan are already looking for ways to distinguish themselves and earn selection for their national teams. Even within that demographic, 32-year-old kayaker Yasuhiro Suzuki was probably feeling more pressure than most. Canoe/kayak racing is a sport that only gets any real time in the spotlight during the Olympics, and at his age, Suzuki would probably be past his physical peak by the time of the 2024 Games in Paris.
Unfortunately, Suzuki's search for a competitive edge led him down a dark path: steroids. The Japan Anti-Doping Agency has just handed down an indictment of the athlete for his use of banned muscle enhancers, although Suzuki himself didn't take the drugs.
In September, during the Japan Canoe Sprint Championship held in Ishikawa Prefecture, Suzuki secretly slipped a measure of metandienone, an androgen and anabolic steroid also known as Dianabol, into the beverage of fellow kayaker Seiji Komatsu, one of Suzuki's competitors in the singles category. The 25-year-old Komatsu unknowingly consumed the substance, and went on to win the competition, but subsequent tests revealed the presence of metandienone in his system, leading to his disqualification and temporary suspension.
▼ Seiji Komatsu (center)
Suzuki's actions came to light during the subsequent investigation, and the Japan Canoe Federation says that Suzuki has admitted to the accusations. While Suzuki and Komatsu were competitors, the two did not have an antagonistic relationship before the incident. "The two of them got along very well," says JCF managing director Osahiro Haruzono. "When Komatsu found out he'd tested positive for steroids, he contacted Suzuki [for moral support] right away. That's how close they were."
The scandal is the first known incident in Japan of an athlete spiking another's drink with a controlled substance, and in light of the new revelations, Suzuki has been suspended from competition for eight years, meaning that he won't have a shot at making an Olympic team until the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. Komatsu's ban has been lifted, and he's now clear to return to competition.
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