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Watch Japan's Explosive Asteroid-Sampling Mission Take Off

While the rest of the world has been busy shedding a bitter tear over the early demise of Europe’s comet-sampling probe, the Japan Space Agency has been busy launching another mission to sample distant celestial bodies.


Japan's Rocket Launch Site Looks Like A Bond Villain's Secret Lair

Someone mentioned on Twitter that Japan’s Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center looks like the lair of a Bond villain. And indeed it does: Check out the photo I found while searching for information about Hayabusa 2, JAXA’s second mission to retrieve asteroid material.


Train Etiquette Posters From 1970s Japan Are Just As Relevant Today

Don’t smoke in the train station. Don’t spit your gum on the floor. And please don’t splay your legs out like no one else is around you. These sound like basic rules of today’s public transport, but they’re actually messages that graced the walls of Tokyo’s subway 40 years ago.


Tokyo Is Now Like Real Life Akira

If you think Akira’s glowing vehicles were just a fantasy coming from Katsuhiro Otomo’s mind you are wrong. Bōsōzokus — biker gangs — existed before Akira and, as you can see in this video, they still drive their extravagant modified vehicles through the roads of Tokyo.


The Meticulous Process Of Making A Japanese Wooden Doll Is Impressive

I’m not exaggerating the tiniest bit when I say I want to fly to Japan right now and park myself right in front of this man’s handmade wooden doll shop in Japan and just watch him work. Imagine the earnest smell of the woodworking, the sound of the lathe spinning and the beauty of his concentration in making art.


Inside Muji's Beautiful, Affordable Prefab Houses

The Japanese retailer Muji has built a cult following by offering nearly any object you could want in your home for not much money and proportionately great design. Now, the company is offering one more item to its line of 7500 housewares: actual houses. And there’s a very good economic reason for the ambitious new venture.


Watch The Biggest Firework Ever Explode Into An 800m Ball Of Fire

You are looking at the biggest firework ever fired, weighing a total 460kg — a new world record. According to NHK, it exploded over the city of Konosu — in the island of Honshu, Japan — into a breathtaking rosette about 800m in diameter.


New Software Lets The Visually Impaired 3D-Print A Map To Go

You probably get pretty frustrated when you catch your parents printing out Google Maps directions even though they have a smartphone, but the notion seems less ridiculous when those same maps are coming off of a 3D printer as a way to let the visually impaired safely navigate a city by foot.


Realistic Japanese Doll Dispenses Drinks When You Squeeze Her Breasts

Video: Check out the latest hit at Japanese parties: $5000 latex dolls that pour drinks from their nipples when you squeeze their boobs. It looks disturbing. What’s going to be next, Japan? Male and female android fountains wandering around parties serving drinks from their lower naughty bits? But of course.


Japan Tests New 500km/h Maglev Train

Maglev trains have been promised as the future of public transport since about forever, but high-speed magnetic levitation systems are rapidly gaining a serious reputation — something Japan’s public demonstration of its high-speed maglev system is only going to help.


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