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Japanese Man Gets Arrested After Calling Telecom Provider 24,000 Times to Complain

A 71-year-old pensioner from Saitama, Japan, was recently arrested and charged with obstruction of business after allegedly calling the toll-free number of his telecom provider a whopping 24,000 times over the last two years, to complain about the service and demand apologies.

In the month of October alone, Akitoshi Okamoto, a 71-year-old man from Kasukabe City, allegedly called the toll-free number of Japanese telecom giant KDDI 411 times in a single week to complain about his phone not being able to pick up radio broadcasts. Over the last two years, KDDI registered around 24,000 calls from Okamoto, which works out to an average of 33 phone calls a day, but the corporation had been reluctant to press charges until last week, when the frequency of complaints became too much to bear.

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The Japanese City Where Beautiful Koi Fish Swim in Drain Channels

Can you imagine an inhabited city where the water running through the the drain channels is so pure that beautiful koi fish can swim in it? Well, such a place exists on Japan’s Kyushu island. It’s called Shimabara, and it’s quite a sight to behold.

When the area around Shimabara was affected by the natural disaster known as the “1792 Unzen earthquake and tsunami” which killed 15,000 people, no one imagined that the dozens of fresh water springs that started gushing out would one day put the city on Japan’s travel map and inspire its now famous nickname – the “City of Water”. There are at least 60 known springs throughout Shimabara, making clean water one of the city’s most abundant resources. There is so much of it, in fact, that it flows through the drain channels along some streets. But that’s not even the craziest thing about this place; because the water is so pure, at one point authorities decided to put some koi carp in the channels, and Shimabara became the City of Swimming Carp.

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Japan’s Cheapest Hotel Will Charge You Just $1 Per Night if You Don’t Care About Privacy

Getting a hotel room for $1 a night can be considered a bargain pretty much anywhere in the world, and especially so in a country like Japan. But getting the huge discount comes with a catch, and it’s a big one.

Tourists visiting the Japanese city of Fukuoka on a budget can get a stellar deal at Business Ryokan Asahi, a welcoming inn located about a 15-minute walk from the city’s shopping and entertainment area. For just 130 yen (about $1.20) anyone can book a room there for a night, as long as they don’t mind giving up their privacy. That’s because in order to take advantage of this amazing offer, you have to agree to let the hotel live-stream your whole stay on its YouTube channel.

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Onionade – The Onion-Based Lemonade You Never Knew You Craved

Onion hardly seems like the best vegetable to base a soft drink on, but Onionade doesn’t contain the kind of onion you’re used to, but a new type that not only doesn’t make you cry when you chop it, but it unusually sweet as well.

Back in 2016 we reported on one of the most interesting inventions to come out of Japan in the past few years – a tear-free onion named “Smile Ball”. Developed over a period of 14 years by scientists at House Foods Group, Smile Ball onions release almost no tear-inducing compounds when chopped or eaten raw, and have a much sweeter taste than regular onions. Available in Japanese grocery stores for the past two years, Smile Balls have been marketed mainly as tear-free alternatives to the common onion, but now its producers want to promote the vegetable’s sweetness and pleasant flavor as well. And what better way to do that than by producing an onion-based drink called Onionade?

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Kumitaiso – Japan’s Controversial Human Pyramids

Kumitaiso, a gymnastic formation in which students climb on top of one another to create a pyramid, has at the center of growing controversy in Japan, due to the high number of serious injuries reported by schools.

At its core, kumitaiso is a routine supposed to encourage teamwork and endurance among young students, and as such it has been a mainstay of annual school sport festivals across Japan. However, problems began to occur as the human pyramids organized by schools started getting higher and more difficult to support by the students at the bottom. Seeing dozens of students working together to create these complex structures is undoubtedly impressive to behold, which is why many schools kept pushing the limits over the years, with some devastating results. With hundreds of reported injuries reported every year, many in the Asian country are asking authorities to ban kumitaiso.

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The Alien of Ariake Sea – Japan’s Xenomorph-Like Delicacy

The mud flats of Japan’s Ariake Sea are home to a creature that is reportedly as delicious as it is disgusting-looking. Introducing the “Warasubo”, an eel-like fish that for obvious reasons is known as the “Alien of Ariake Sea”.

If you’re familiar with H.R. Giger’s Xenomorph (the extraterrestrial creature featured in the ‘Alien’ movies), more specifically its iconic “inner mouth”, one look at the warasubo fish is enough to explain its comparison to the fictional alien. It literally looks like the piston-like appendage that Giger’s ferocious predator uses to pierce its victim’s bodies and even metal. The warasubo is a terrifying-looking thing, especially in dried form, which only makes its use as an ingredient for ramen and other Japanese foods that much stranger.

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Man Collects Nail Clippings for a Year to Create Unique Engagement Ring “Diamond”

If you can’t afford a diamond ring, or if you simply want to propose to your beloved in a really special manner, you may want to check out this tutorial for creating an engagement ring out of a year’s worth of nail clippings.

Kiwami, a Japanese DIY master famous for posting detailed how-to videos for making sharp knives out of virtually anything imaginable, recently took on a different kind of challenge – creating an engagement ring with a gem made out of nail clippings he allegedly collected for a year. He kept them all in a jar, and this summer turned them into a black gen that any woman would consider herself lucky to wear on her finger, provided she didn’t know what it was made of, of course.

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Tokyo Bar Only Lets People In if They Come Alone

Nights out on the town are much better when shared with friends or loved ones, but while most bars and clubs around the world welcome groups, one particular Tokyo establishment only welcomes parties of one.

Hitori, a small bar in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood, has a very particular admission system – everyone is welcome as long as they come alone, no groups allowed. They make that abundantly clear from the front door, where a sign informs would-be patrons that this is a “bar limited to parties of one”. If you and your work buddies want to get a beer after a long day, or if you’re on a date with a special someone, this is most definitely not the place for you. But that doesn’t mean Hitori is a bar for loners or the socially awkward, quite the contrary…

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Obsessed Fan Allegedly Tracks Down Japanese Pop Star by Studying the Reflections in Her Pupils

Japanese Police arrested a man suspected of assaulting a young pop star he was obsessed with, after allegedly figuring out where she lives by analyzing her social media photos, specifically the reflections in her pupils.

Hibiki Sato, a 26-year-old unemployed man from Saitama, a city north of Tokyo, has been arrested for allegedly attacking Ena Matsuoka, a 21-year-old pop singer with the group Tenshi Tsukinukeni Yomi. It is believed Sato was able to narrow down the area of Tokyo Ms. Matsuoka lived in by going through her social media profiles, enlarging her photos and analyzing the reflections in her pupils. He was thus able to recognize some Tokyo scenery and a bus stop, which he then located using Google Street view. Some sources claim that the alleged stalker had even approximated the storey Matsuoka lived on based on the windows and the angle that sunlight hit her eyes.

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Elderly Man Steals 159 Bicycle Seats Because Someone Stole His

A 61-year-old man from Tokyo’s Ota Ward was recently arrested by Japanese police for allegedly stealing no less than 159 bicycle seats, as a bizarre way of taking revenge for having his own seat stolen last year.

Earlier this month, Akio Hatori was apprehended for the alleged theft of a bicycle seat on August 29. Surveillance camera footage showed him casually removing the seat of someone’s bike, placing it in the basket of his own bicycle and pedalling away. Unfortunately for him, the victim called the police and they started investigating the minor theft. However, when officers identified Hatori and raided his house last week, they only expected to find the one seat, not a stash of 159 of them.

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Ninja History Student Gets Top Marks for Writing Essay in Invisible Ink

A Japanese student of ninja history was recently commended by her teacher for handing in a blank sheet of paper on an assignment that required her to write an essay on ninjas.

Ninjas were famous for their covert operations, so when Eimi Haga’s ninja history teacher at Mie University asked her to write an essay about a visit to the Ninja Museum of Igaryu, she decided to do it in a way that would reflect her passion for everything ninja. Plus, the teacher said he would reward students for creativity, so she had extra motivation to come up with something that would make her assignment stand out. Her essay was so ingenious that it left even her teacher scratching his head for a while.

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This Japanese Restaurant Has Been Using the Same Broth for Nearly 65 Years

Otafuku, one of the oldest oden restaurants in japan, has been heating up the same batch of broth every day since 1945, only adding more water to it as it evaporates. It may sound gross to most westerners, but it apparently makes oden stew taste amazing.

Oden is a traditional Japanese stew that is simmered in broth until served. It’s enjoyed by vegetable and meat lovers alike, as it can contain all kinds of ingredients, from from eggs, tofu and vegetables to shark meat, beef, fish balls and whale tongue, but the secret to its deliciousness is the broth. Many Japanese restaurants rely on master stock – a broth that has been repeatedly reused to poach or braise meats – to give their oden a rich flavor, but none have been using the same batch for longer than Otafuku, a Tokyo based eatery that has been reheating the same oden broth since the previous batch was lost in 1945.

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Ruby Roman – The World’s Most Expensive Grape Variety

There are hundreds of grape varieties cultivated in japan, but only one so coveted that it can sell for several hundreds of dollars per grape (that’s individual grape, not bunch). The Ruby Roman was developed in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture and is considered one of the world’s most expensive fruits.

The story of  Ruby Roman began in 1995, when Ishikawa grape farmers appealed to the Prefectural Agricultural Research Center to create a large red grape variety. 400 experimental vines were planted into a test field, and two years later, they started bearing fruit. However, out of the 400 vines, only 4 turned out to be red grapes, and only one of them was deemed large enough to meet the farmers’ expectations. Over the next 14 years, researchers selectively bred this grape variety, constantly enhancing its size, taste, color and ease of cultivation, and today Ruby Roman is considered a “treasure of Ishikawa”.

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This Japanese Coffee House Serves 22-Year-Old Coffee for $900 a Cup

The Münch, a small coffee house in Osaka, Japan, is probably the only place in the world where you can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed 22-year-old coffee. That’s if you can afford it, as a cup will set you back a whopping $914.

The story of what many consider the world’s most expensive cup of coffee started decades ago, totally by mistake. Kanji Tanaka, the owner and sole employee of The Münch, used to a type of ice coffee in the refrigerator so he could serve it to customers right away, only one time he forgot a batch of it in the fridge for over half a year. He couldn’t possibly serve it to paying customers anymore, but before throwing it out he decided to take a sip and see how it tasted. To his surprise, the coffee was still good and had acquired a special flavor.

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Monet’s Pond – The Japanese Pond So Beautiful It Looks Like a Real-Life Monet Painting

Up until four years ago, Monet’s Pond, a small body of water just outside Seki City, in Japan’s Gifu Prefecture, didn’t even have a name, but thanks to social media and a catchy nickname, it has become one of the most popular tourist destination in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Before it became known as Monet’s Pond, this hidden gem was called Namonaki, or “Nameless Pond”, and what’s even more interesting is that it was never meant to be a tourist attraction. It was originally designed as an irrigation reservoir, but after it fell into disrepair during the 1990s, the owner of the neighboring  Itadori Flower Park took it upon himself to clear the overgrown weeds and clean it up. With the help of the neighborhood council, the man filled the lake with clean water from Mt. Koga, and planted beautiful water lilies. Later, Japanese carp were donated by local owners who could no longer care for them. But it would take over a decade and a half for this pristine body of water to reach its full potential as a tourist attraction.

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