Word of the Week: ルンルン

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Japanese sweets maker’s edible zoo and aquarium is filled with creatures almost too cute to eat!

SoraNews24

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Okay, we know we’ve already introduced on our site countless Japanese treats which we think are irresistibly cute, but once again, we’ve found a little sweet something that we just had to share with you. Take a look at these lines of confectioneries sold by Japanese sweets maker Namikoshiken — they’re called the “Zoo” (dobutsuen) and “Aquarium” (suizokukan) series of  sweet steamed buns, and when you see the confections, we think you’ll understand why.

Yes, the zoo and aquarium packages are a collection of animals and critters alright, and the only problem is that they just may look almost too cute to eat!

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“Let them eat furikake!” says Mayor Hashimoto as Osaka school lunch saga rumbles on

SoraNews24

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He’s known for his outspoken and often controversial opinions, from saying that civil servants who have tattoos should resign, to denying the forcible recruitment of South Korean “comfort women” during the second world war.

But it was an intense debate about whether students should be allowed to have furikake seasoning with their school lunch that left city mayor Tōru Hashimoto scratching his head this week as he asked the Osaka Board of Education: “What’s wrong with furikake?!”

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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building now accepting applications to watch first sunrise of 2015

SoraNews24

With 2014 winding down, it’s time to make plans for the new year holidays. For many people in Japan this means finding a place to watch the first sunrise of the year, or hatsu hinode; a common custom of the season.

However, many Tokyoites may be unaware that the perfect spot to view the sunrise is standing in plain view: The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. This 243-meter (797 ft) building has a pair of observation rooms which offer the greatest views in the city and is a spot popular amongst tourists, though few ever think of when it comes to New Year’s Day, assuming that because it’s a government building it would shut down for the holidays.

But ever since 1995 the building has been opening its doors to a handful of visitors, giving them the chance to take in the first sunset of the year from high above…

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Japan’s 10 best ryokan inns and top 10 hotels, as chosen by foreign visitors

SoraNews24

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Ask any member of the RocketNews24 team, and we’ll tell you: Japan is awesome. A lot of people seem to agree, too, seeing as how Japan gets more and more visitors from abroad every year.

But as much as we love all of our readers, and hope you all get a chance to come visit, our staff doesn’t quite have the collective living room floor space for you to crash at our apartments. Thankfully, the country has plenty of amazing accommodation, as shown by this list of the top 10 inns and hotels in Japan, as picked by foreign travelers.

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Guy asks Twitter to decode late uncle’s encrypted message, gets results in matter of hours

SoraNews24

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Call us jaded, but usually when we think of the Internet, we think of a cesspit of erotic fan fiction, toxic message boards and comments sections filled with ignorance, anger and bad grammar, punctuated by the very occasional glimmer of the web’s potential for greatness, usually in the form of reddit AMAs.

One of those glimmers came a few days ago when a Japanese Twitter user posted a plea for help from fellow net users in decoding a message left behind in his late uncle’s diary.

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Cute snowman-pan will bring a little sweet joy to your dreary winter

SoraNews24

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France may have delicious bread, but Japan has cute bread (even if it doesn’t always turn out as planned). I mean, they are the creators of Anpan-man, after all!

Adding yet another almost-too-cute-to-eat bread treat to the already long list, a bakery called “Cafe Blue Jean” located in the Hotel New Hankyu Osaka, brings us “Snowman-pan.” These seasonal treats are breads, shaped and decorated to look like darling, little snowmen.

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