Specialty Shop Charges You 80 Cents to Destroy Your Secret-Filled Hard Drive

Japan is home to a variety of weird shops, from ones offering magic love-granting apples to others selling hoof sandals, but when it comes to services, this hard-disk crushing shop definitely stands out.

Dark Past Final Disposal Site is a unique shop where anyone can safely destroy their potentially sensitive digital data by crushing their old drive in a special machine, for just 100 yen ($0.80). The Akihabara-based shop introduced the service in 2020, when a growing number of personal computer owners began raising questions about what happened to their personal data when they changed their PCs. The owners of Dark Past Final Disposal Site bought a professional hard drive destroying machine and began offering people the chance to safely dispose of their potentially compromising data.

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Real-Life Elastigirl Can Stretch Her Earlobes to Hold an Umbrella or a Selfie Stick

A Japanese woman has been compared to The Incredibles’ Elastigirl because of her ability to stretch her earlobes enough to wrap them around things like umbrellas or selfie sticks.

Ayumi Takada, a 37-year-old woman from Tokyo, first noticed that her earlobes were super-elastic when she was in elementary school. It was a rainy day, and her hands were full, so she tried holding the umbrella with her ear as a third hand and it worked. That was only the beginning, as the Japanese woman has since used her unusually stretchy ear lobes to hold selfie sticks, calligraphy brushes, cleaning appliances and others.

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Japanese Company Creates Smart Eyeglasses That Cure Both Myopia and Hyperopia

Japanese smart eyewear company Vixion has been working on an innovative pair of eyeglasses that can adjust the focus of the lenses, thus helping wearers overcome both myopia and hyperopia.

Suffering from either shortsightedness or farsightedness is bad enough, but as we age, many of us have to deal with the symptoms of both conditions. That means trouble seeing details up-close and in the distance. Unfortunately, the only way to deal with this is to get two pairs of eyeglasses – one for reading and another for seeing distant things more clearly. Having two pairs of prescription glasses is not only expensive, but also cumbersome. You need to have both with you at all times and switch between as necessary. Luckily, a Japanese company is working on a pair of smart eyeglasses that can help you deal with both myopia and hyperopia.

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Impossible Rubik’s Cube Might Make Your Brain Explode

If you’re the type of person who struggles with the classic Rubik’s Cube, you should stay far away from this “impossible” version that recently went on sale in Japan.

Designed by the wicked minds at Bandai Namco’s MegaHouse Co., the Rubik’s Cube Impossible is being marketed as the most challenging variant of the popular toy invented by Hungarian sculptor Ernő Rubik. The differences from the original are hard to identify at first glance, as the principle is exactly the same, the number of facets is identical, with the only different thing being the coloring. The difficulty of the Rubik’s Cube Impossible lies in the duality of the colors. Nearly all 54 facets are iridescent, meaning that they change color when looked at from different angles. That apparently makes it a lot harder to align all the colors, as the rules of the classic cube no longer apply.

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Japanese Butcher Shop Makes People Wait Years for Its Delicious Beef Croquettes

A legendary butcher shop in Takasago, Japan allegedly makes Kobe beef croquettes so delicious that people are willing to wait years, even decades just to try them.

Meat & Delicatessen Asahiya, a popular butcher shop in Takasago, Japan’s Hyōgo Prefecture, has been making crispy beef croquettes since it opened, in 1918. You can go right in and order yourself a couple of these fried treats, and you’ll most likely love every bite, but if you’re looking to try the very best croquettes Asahiya has to offer, you’ll have to wait in line. The butcher shop’s famed Kobe beef croquettes are in such high demand that people have to wait years, even decades to receive their order. 

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Capsule Machine In Japan Dispenses Faces of Strangers

An unusual capsule machine in Shinjuku, Tokyo has been getting a lot of attention on social media for dispensing ID photos of total strangers for 300 yen ($2.30).

Gachapon capsule toys are really popular in Japan, so popular that you can find them virtually everywhere, dispensing all kinds of collectibles, from small action figures and dolls to souvenirs. The concept has become so popular that it has been incorporated in the majority of mobile phone games, where users have to pay real money for the chance of receiving a missing character or skin. Capsule machines have been around in Japan for decades, but back in March, one particular such machine in Tokyo went viral on social media for dispensing something very unusual – ID photos of total strangers.

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IT Amulet Promises to Keep Computers Virus-Free and Working Smoothly

Japanese Shinto shrine sells low-tech IT amulets that promise to keep computers from freezing and restarting randomly, as well as free from viruses and malware.

Kanda Myojin, a popular Shinto shrine in Akihabara, Tokyo sells a variety of amulets and prayers, but none as intriguing as the “computer function amulet”. Consisting of a small, CPU-shaped sticker meant to be stuck onto the gadget in need of divine protection and a larger piece of cardboard meant to be worn by the computer operator, the amulet is one of the most popular items offered by Kanda Myojinm. If used correctly, the amulet will allegedly protect your machine from viruses, malware and random errors, as well as keep it from freezing up.

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Smart Chopsticks Use Electrical Stimulation to Enhance Food Flavors

Japanese beverage maker Kirin Holdings teamed up with researchers at Meiji University in Tokyo to create smart chopsticks that reportedly make food taste more savory.

Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita has been researching electrical stimulation as a way to alter the way people experience food and flavor for years. In 2016, along with fellow researcher Hiromi Nakamura, he made international news headlines for developing a revolutionary electric fork that could make any food taste saltier than it actually was. And last year, he got even more attention for his Taste the TV (TTTV) project, a lickable TV screen that could imitate the taste of various foods. Now, he’s once again the talk of the interwebs thanks to his latest invention, a pair of smart chopsticks that can allegedly make food more savory.

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Unique Tokyo Café Only Serves Struggling Writers Working on Tight Deadlines

The Manuscript Writing Café in Tokyo, Japan only caters to writers working on tight deadlines, providing the motivation and assistance required to make sure they meet those deadlines.

Japan is no stranger to offbeat cafes that sometimes inspire worldwide trends. Remember cat cafes? That popular trend originated in the Asian country, as did, maid cafes, owl cafes, reptile cafes, and even a cafe dedicated to female thighs. And those are just a handful of examples; in reality, Japan has come up with a plethora of intriguing cafe concepts, and somehow keeps coming up with new ones. The latest example is the Manuscript Writing Café in Tokyo’s Koenji neighborhood, a venue that only welcomes writers struggling to meet their deadlines.

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Japanese Restaurant Goes Viral for Serving Dessert Shaped Like Pieces of Plaster

The Opuses restaurant at The Royal Park Hotel in Ginza, Tokyo recently got a lot of attention because of an intriguing dessert shaped like pieces of wall plaster.

On the list of least appetizing things in the world, wall plaster ranks pretty highly, so most people wouldn’t call it the most inspired choice for designing a dessert. Still, that’s exactly what the chefs at Opuses, a high-class restaurant in Tokyo, Japan seem to have done. Photos of this dubious-looking dish were recently posted on Twitter by user @mimimimimitsu32 and ended up getting over 200,000 likes, 26,000 retweets and hundreds of comments. The general sentiment was that the dessert looked remarkably like plaster.

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Master Welders Create 1mm Metal Die, Leave Internet Stunned

A team of welders from Mazda Motor Corporation in Japan recently showed off their skill by painstakingly welding the faces of a 1mm die.

Photos of a metallic die barely visible on a person’s fingertip and a magnified up-close photos showing the elegant welding keeping all six facets together recently went viral on Japanese social media, leaving a lot of people impressed. Although you’d be hard-pressed to use this type of die in a real-life situation, the fact that people are actually capable of this sort of impressive feat is incredible. It goes to show you that nothing is impossible, regardless of how hard it is.

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Japanese Couple Divorce and Remarry Every 3 Years to Take Turns Using Their Family Names

A Japanese couple who can’t agree on their last name has agreed to divorce and remarry every three years so they can take turns using their respective last names.

Japanese law clearly states that couples must agree on a single last name to use after they get married, but what happens when two lovers just can’t decide which one of their family names to use? That was the conundrum a young couple from Hachioji city, on the outskirts of Tokyo, found themselves in when they decided to tie the knot, after a few months of dating. Only when it came to settling on their last name, she made it clear that she intended to keep her maiden name, something that her husband didn’t agree with at all. They argued about it for a while, but then they decided that they weren’t the first couple to have this problem and that there was a way to solve it.

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Japanese Factory Lets You Knit Your Own Socks by Riding a Bicycle

Souki Socks, a small sock factory in Japan’s Nara Prefecture, has devised a machine that allows people to knit their own socks by pedaling on a stationary bicycle.

Unless you’re a fan of knitting, making socks doesn’t exactly sound like a fun experience. This was the reality that the brilliant minds Souki Socks were confronted with when they set out to make sock-making exciting for the masses. Luckily, despite having the odds stacked against them, they managed to come up with an ingenious contraption that combined a mechanical sock knitting machine and a bicycle to allow virtually anyone to knit their own socks just by pedaling. Named “Charix,” the machine has been very popular with tourists ever since it was inaugurated in 2017.

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Japanese Company Unveils Rideable Robot Goat

Japanese tech giant Kawasaki caused a lot of raised eyebrows at the world’s largest robot trade show in Tokyo, with Bex, a rideable robot goat.

The 2022 International Robot Exhibition featured a lot of ingenious creations, but few as attention-grabbing as Kawasaki’s latest invention, a robot goat that can carry approximately 220 pounds of cargo. Named after the Ibex, a species of large wild goat native to parts of Eurasia and Africa, the Kawasaki Bex can transport human riders or different materials, but it also has a fully modular top half, so it doesn’t need to be a rideable goat. But let’s be honest, why would you want to ruin a good thing? After all, what’s cooler than a robot goat?

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This Indoor Nuclear Shelter Fits Even in a Tiny Apartment

A Japanese company is selling metallic shelters that can be installed in apartments and small houses, for protection against natural disasters and even radiation and missile strikes.

You’ve probably heard of millionaires and doomsday preppers building their own luxury underground bunkers, but one Japanese company claims you can ride out the nuclear apocalypse from the comfort of your own home, with one of their indoor shelters. WNIshelter specializes in compact shelters designed to resist anything from natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, to missile strikes and radiation. They come with their own air filtration system and come in a variety of sizes, to accommodate anywhere from one to seven people.

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