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Throw Away That Alarm Clock, You Can Now Have a Real Japanese Fisherman Wake You Up in the Morning

Waking up in the morning is tough, and sometimes a ringing alarm clock just isn’t enough to jolt you out of a blissful slumber. Luckily, snoozers in Japan now have a better alternative – an energy-inducing phone call from a fisherman at sea.

Fisherman Japan, an organization whose main purpose is to make fishing cool again, recently launched an interesting wake-up call service aimed at people who have trouble waking up in the morning. Called Fisherman Call, the service literally has Japanese fishermen from the Sanriku region – one of the world’s top three fishing grounds – call registered users at a specified time to wake them up and strike up a short conversation that is sure to get them out of bed and boost their energy level for the entire day. Sounds awesome!

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The Cat Man of Kyushu Walks His Nine Furry Felines in a Baby Stroller

Taking nine pet cats on daily strolls through the city is kind of unusual, but having them sit in a baby stroller while you’re pushing them around is bound to catch some eyeballs. So it’s no surprise that the Cat Man of Kyushu attracts attention wherever he goes.

Masahiko Suga, a 55-year-old retired electronics company worker, first made headlines back in 2014, when photos of him walking nine beautiful cats in a baby stroller on the streets of Tokyo went viral. Japan is no stranger to weird sights, some of them involving cats, but this was new, even for them, so everyone took out their cameras and smartphones and started snapping photos. They made the rounds online for months, and Masahiko earned the nickname the Cat Man.

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Japanese Train Enthusiast Converts Room into a Realistic Train Car Replica

This might look like an unimpressive photo taken in a train car, but it’s actually a room in the house of a Japanese train enthusiast.

The tetsudo fan (Japanese translation of the term “railfan”) community in Japan is known for its obsession with everything related to trains. Some members travel all over the country snapping photos of as many train models as they can, attending ceremonial events where old train cars are commissioned out of service and trying to get their hands on collectible memorabilia. But some tetsudo fans go even further. Like Twitter user @igaigaadjmadjml, a train enthusiast whose entire social media page consists of train-related photos and message. He recently decided he shouldn’t have to travel to a train station to be in a train car, so he converted one of the rooms in his house into a life size-replica of a Japanese train car.

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82-Year-Old Japanese Woman Spends Her Days Making Dumplings and Her Nights Dropping Beats as a Nightclub DJ

82-year-old Sumiko Iwamuro runs a Chinese restaurant in Tokyo, where she spends her days making “gyoza” dumplings, but when the sun sets, she turns into DJ Sumirock, an energetic party-starter dropping beats in popular nightclubs around the Japanese capital.

Sumiko discovered her passion for techno music 12 years ago, while choosing the music at her son’s birthday party, and apparently found it fascinating enough to dedicate a whole year of her life to learning the tricks of DJ-ing at a school for disc jockeys. She then started making her own tracks, most of which consist of techno beats mixed with jazz, French chanson and classical music. These combination proved a hit with Japanese nightclub-goers and 82-year-old DJ Sumirock is one of the most popular disc jockeys in Tokyo.

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Japanese Video Game Lets You Marry Your Virtual Reality Anime Girlfriend in a Real Life Wedding

To make its newest romance video game stand out from the competition, a Japanese company is giving users the chance to marry their virtual girlfriends in a real life wedding ceremony, with the help of VR technology.

At first glance, Niitzuma LovelyxCation is a romance and dating simulator like many others in Japan. It lets players court one of three anime protagonists – Yuki Isurugi (long black hair), Aiko Kurihara (short brown hair), or Nono Naruse (blond hair) – and eventually get married to them, but in order to make the illusion of a virtual marriage more believable, it plans to organize a real-life wedding for the “grooms” in an actual chapel, where they can exchange vows with their cartoony betrothed.

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This Buddha Sculpture Is Made from 20,000 Dead Beetles

Japanese artist Yoneji Inamura spent six years of his life collecting 20,000 beetles of different varieties and using them to create a five-foot sculpture of a popular Buddhist deity.

It’s unclear how and when exactly Inamura started catching and collecting beetles. Some sources claim that it was during his days working for the local railroad, in Itakura, Japan’s Gunma Prefecture, after noticing that the rhinoceros beetle’s horn resembled the fingers of the Buddhist deity, while others say that he was helping local children collect beetles and just became fascinated with them. Living in a rural area of Japan, Inamura was always surrounded by various types of beetles, including rhinoceros beetles, winged jewel beetles, drone beetles, longhorn beetles, just to name a few, and he dedicated most of his free time to catching and adding them to his collection.

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This Cotton Candy Pizza Makes Pineapple Topping Seem Mighty Delicious

If you thought pineapple was the worst thing to put on a pizza, you were very wrong. A restaurant in Japan is offering pizza topped with cotton candy and seasoned with honey sauce. Sounds “devine”!

Schmatz Beer Dining, a German-themed restaurant in Tokyo, Japan, is changing pizza as we know it. Instead of classic ingredients like prosciutto, peppers or tomato sauce, it uses spun sugar as the main ingredient for one of its pies. And if you’re thinking that this is probably just a pizza-shaped dessert, you’re wrong again. The bizarre dish consists of a thin-crust pizza dough pie, cheese and cotton candy. The ketchup is replaced by a special honey-based ginger sauce that is poured over the cotton candy, melting the candy floss and allowing the sugar to really get into the pizza.

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Japanese Company Offers Fake Friends to Make You Look Popular on Facebook

Want to brag about your active social life on Facebook, when you really have no friends? Trying to make your ex jealous by posing with an attractive new partner, but can’t find a date? No need to worry, this Japanese company will happily send you some fake friends or lovers for a fun photo shoot that will make your online friends green with envy. You’ll have to pay for it, though.

Keeping up appearances on social media is apparently very important to a lot of people, and Japanese company Family Romance is committed to helping its clients do just that. Whether they are looking to show co-workers that they are much more fun to be around than they appear to be at the office, or trying to impress a special someone with their active social life, the company’s Real Appeal service aims to help them succeed, by providing some fake friends for impressive photo shoots. Clients can then post these pics on their Facebook or Instagram pages to show everyone how fun their life is, without anyone knowing it’s all a paid-for illusion.

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Meet FORPHEUS, the World’s First Robot Table Tennis Tutor

An advanced robot developed by Japanese electronics company Omron has recently been certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s first robot table tennis tutor. FORPHEUS (Future Omron Robotics Technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmonized Automation with Sinic Theoretics) used machine learning to asses the skills of a human player, adjust its game accordingly and provide tips to help opponents improve their technique.

Unveiled at the Ceatec electronics show in Japan in 2014, FORPHEUS has come a long way in the last three years, especially after developers made a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. Originally designed to showcase Omron’s sensor technology, the table tennis-playing robot has now become a Guinness-certified tutor thanks to machine learning. It analyzes data like the human player’s movement, the speed of the ball and the trajectory to determine his opponent’s skill level with around 90% accuracy. FORPHEUS then uses this information to adjust its play style – slow and and easy for beginners, faster and more unpredictable for advanced players.

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Man Stabs Himself in the Hip So He Could Skip Work, Gets Arrested

A 54 year old man from Kasugai city, in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, was recently arrested after he confessed to stabbing himself in the hip area as an excuse to skip work. He had previously told police that a stranger had attacked him with a knife.

It happens to the best of us, we wake up one morning and at least think about emailing or calling the boss to tell him we’re too sick to come to work, and spend the rest of the day binge watching our favorite TV series. But some people really go all-out in order to make their excuses seem more legit. Case in point, 54-year-old Masaru Miura who wanted to skip work on February 22 so badly that he stabbed himself with a kitchen knife in the bathroom at Nagoya Municipal Subway station, Kasugai. He then proceeded to call the police and tell them that he had been attacked by a total stranger while he was relieving himself.

skip-work

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Japanese White T-Shirts Promise to Finally Conceal Men’s Nipple Properly

Fans of white T-shirts have long been looking to a solution to their transparency problem. No matter how thick the fabric is, you can almost always see through them, and the nipples, being slightly darker than the rest of the skin, are the most visible. Well, a Japanese company claims to have come up with an answer to this issue.

According to a 2013 Japanese study, 84 percent of women find looking at male nipples through their see-through white shirts disgusting, and men don’t like wearing transparent white clothes too much either, but they don’t really have too many options, especially when it comes to t-shirts. But now, a Japanese company called the the Seiso Shiro T Production Committee claims to have come up with the ultimate male nipple-concealing technology. Developed over a period of two years, using special Japanese stitching techniques and high quality, pesticide-free cotton from Japan, the USA, Uganda, and India, their new white t-shirts promise to make visible nipples a thing of the past.

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Cat and Dog Paw-Themed Ice Cream Is Now a Thing in Japan

From jellyfish to miso ramen, Japan has some of the most bizarre ice cream flavors in the world, but a frozen treat that’s supposed to replicate the texture and smell of soft cat and dog paws is a bit too much, even for the Land of the Rising Sun.

Japan’s longstanding fascination with cat paws is not exactly new. To many Japanese feline lovers, cat paws smell like nice things (right from caramel crepes, to wheat and sunflowers) and their soft, smooth texture is considered mysteriously soothing. Cat paws are so popular that a couple of years ago, a company came out with a hand-cream that not only left the users’ hands as smooth to the touch as a cat’s paw, but also made their skin smell like it too. But now, the organizers of the 2017 Japan Pet Fair, are taking this obsession one step further with two unique ice creams designed to have the texture and flavor of cat and dog paws.

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This Pocket-Sized Device Connects to Your Phone to Let You Know When You Stink

The KunKun, Japanese for “sniff sniff”, is a bizarre device developed by Japanese corporation Konika Minolta that detects bodily odors like smelly feet or underarm sweat and notifies the user about them via a smartphone app.

So, yeah, the days of smelling your own armpits when nobody’s watching to see if they stink are over, thanks to modern technology. Now you can just wear the KunKun everywhere you go and find out when you’re starting to stink just by checking your phone. It’s small enough to fit in a coat pocket, so no one will ever know you’re carrying it, and features sensors that pick up specific chemicals associated with three types of bodily odors. It can detect ammonia and isovaleric acid, chemicals known to produce that nasty sweaty locker-room smell, but also 2-nonenal, which is associated with old age and diacetyl, a controversial organic compound that makes yo smell like “rancid cooking oil”.

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Japanese Buddhist Temple Holds Techno Memorial Services

In an effort to make his Buddhist temple more accessible to the wider public and draw younger generations to religion, a former DJ turned Buddhist priest has been holding “techno memorial services” at his temple in Fukui City, Japan.

Attending one of the unconventional memorial services organized at the Shō-onji Buddhist temple by 49-year-old Gyōsen Asakura feels more like a warehouse rave than a traditional religious experience. A kaleidoscope of psychedelic lights bathes the golden decorations of the temple, and electronic music ranging from IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) to breakbeats blends with chantings of Buddhist scripture.

The sight of a Buddhist priest wearing his traditional garb, but also sporting a pair of large headphones while operating a DJ station during his sermon only adds to the psychedelic feel of attending a techno memorial service at Shō-onji. It’s definitely a strange experience, but one that it is fulfilling its purpose of bringing people, especially youths, back to religion.

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The Japanese Train Station Built Around a 700-Year-Old Tree

Kayashima Station, in Neyagawa, a north-eastern suburb of Osaka, is one of the most unusual-looking train stations in all of Japan. Despite being located on an elevated platform, Kayashima has a giant broccoli-like tree pocking out through a rectangular hole in its roof.

The Big Kusu Tree of Kayashima, as the camphor tree is commonly known in Japan, is older than most records, but officials estimate that it has been around for at least 700 years. In 1910, when Kayashima train station was originally opened, the tree stood right next to it, offering travelers some much needed shelter on both sunny and rainy days. It didn’t bother anyone for the next 60 years, but as Japan’s population increased at an accelerated rate, overcrowding became a problem and local authorities decided that the train station needed to be expanded. Plans were approved in 1972, and the old camphor tree was going to be cut down.

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