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Every Sunday we gather the week’s weird and interesting Japanese news and present it to you in our Sunday News column. It might not always be hard-hitting news, but we hope that it still informs and entertains you. Enjoy!

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Photo by dejahthoris

Japan Airlines to Serve Kentucky Fried Chicken on Select Flights: What’s better than heart-stopping, cholesterol-rich, artery-clogging fast food? Heart-stopping, cholesterol-rich, artery-clogging fast food on a plane. For a limited time, Japan Airlines is serving the most Japanese of foods: Kentucky Fried Chicken. Japan Airlines won’t be serving some of KFC’s more interesting dishes, like its Famous Bowls or its Double Downs, but it’ll definitely scratch your American junk food itch.[/threecol_two] [threecol_one_last]Sakai, Japan Becomes Sister City To The Hobbit’s Shire: In case you didn’t know, the first Hobbit movie is fast approaching (December 14th!) and people are doing plenty in the meantime to celebrate. The city of Sakai, Japan, whose sister city is Wellington, New Zealand, the country where Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were shot, so it only makes sense that Sakai also make the Shire its sister city. Whether or not Sakai will also embrace the Shire, the Australian reality-drama TV show, is still to be seen.


Japanese Groom Ritually Destroys Love Plus Save Data on His Wedding Day: For most people, getting married means big life changes, things like opening a joint bank account, signing a lease together, or other significant decisions. For others, it means destroying your dating sim in front of an audience to prove that you won’t neglect your real-life wife for virtual pursuits. To each, his own, I guess.[/threecol_one_last]

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[threecol_one]5 Things Nobody Tells You About Living in Japan: Cracked has quickly become an internet staple with lists like “The 6 Most Spectacular Dick Moves in Online Gaming History” and “6 Mental Illness Myths Hollywood Wants You to Believe,” but a Cracked article this week that’s surprisingly insightful about life in Japan, covering topics like technology, culture, and architecture. Read between the lines, and I hear you can find 10 Ways You Can Tell That You’re a 90s Kid.


Japan’s Kobe Beef Bound for U.S.: Kobe beef has been en vogue recently, although technically nothing served in the US is actually real, official Kobe beef. (Check out our write-up about it for more.) But now, Japan is finally allowing exports of its world-renowned Kobe beef to the United States, allowing American restaurants to at last advertise Kobe beef on their menus without lying about it. Good news for US diners, bad news for Hyogo cows.[/threecol_one] [threecol_two_last]
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Tokyo is Michelin’s most gourmet capital for sixth year: For the sixth year in a row, Tokyo claims its spot as the culinary capital of the world. Tokyo has once again claimed the most restaurants with three Michelin Stars – the highest honor in the culinary world – beating out other gourmet capitals like Paris and New York City. Among the three-star restaurants are traditional Japanese restaurants like Sukiyabashi Jiro, along with more contemporary restaurants. And as for Portland, Oregon, my home city: let’s just say that Michelin might not be big on food carts. [via News On Japan][/threecol_two_last]

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  • Ruben

    5 Things Nobody Tells You About Living In Japan: Japanese hospitals are not open 24/24 ! Just as with my first attempt to learn kanji, I was pretty shocked !

    Searching the internet I also found some disturbing stories about Japanese hospitals. I was seriously rethinking my plan of ever visiting/living in Japan. Is it safe !? Luckily I discovered that the bad reputation isn’t always correct.
    For local hospitals it’s absolutely a fact, they close in the evening, so consider that before going to a local hospital. Not only that, you’re also supposed to look at the prices, they vary with the time you go to the hospital. If it’s not an emergency you have the time (and you should) check all that. Worst case scenario: you wait a few days, fighting pain ;)
    However in bigger cities they do have 24/24 service. And the Japanese red cross also has a good reputation. A relief !

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    In defence of hospitals, it’s hard to keep anything open for 24 hours a day, 24 days a week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joel.alexander.980 Joel Alexander

    To be fair to Sakai, Australia certainly hasn’t embraced The Shire TV series. The Shire itself didn’t even want it to be made. =P

  • John

    This header image is awesome.

  • Ruben

    It’s hard indeed, and it’s something I don’t ask when visiting a store or something.
    But in case of medical emergencies, it’s a different story, isn’t it ?
    It’s why (at least here in Europe, Belgium) doctors earn a lot of money, and also because of the hard studies during their time at university. By the way I totaly agree on that, doctors deserve all the money they earn !

    In Japan it seems to be a little more “exotic” but having said that, Japan is far from horrible, if you need a treatment quick, you can have it, and that’s important.

  • ジョサイア

    24 days a week? Where do they find the time? :b

  • http://twitter.com/tokumeiyamada Tokumei Yamada

    In response to the “artery clogging” thing, everyone here needs to watch Fat Head. I can’t hear people talking about cholesterol and what-not after seeing that movie. That is all.

  • http://www.tofugu.com/ Hashi

    Aya hit this one outta the park!

  • http://www.tofugu.com/ Hashi

    The Beatles had a hard enough time doing it 8 days a week

  • DAVIDPD

    Japanese beef finally hitting US shores is a bad thing because we do not cook our meat like Japan so when you see burgers and soups made with Kobe, people will be disappointed as that is not how it was designed (intended) to be eaten (read: too much fat). It lends itself to quick (or no) cooking on a very hot surface. // Kara-age > KFC. //

  • http://mistersanity.blogspot.com Jonadab

    Technically, the Shire isn’t a city. It’s a region, dividied into four main subregions (the north, south, east, and west farthings) and one territory (Buckland) and containing several a number of cities and/or villages (Hobbiton being the most famous; others include Michel Delving, Bywater, Tuckborough, Buckleberry, Woodhall, Hardbottle, Crickhollow) as well as a good bit of countryside.

  • http://twitter.com/paretsong Aya

    KFC?! WHY WON’T THEY SERVE LECHON ON A PLANE

  • http://www.tofugu.com/ Hashi

    IKR?!?!?!

  • WhiteRice

    I know this has nothing to do with your topics, but recently the news has been bombarded with news on Kate Middleton’s pregnancy. I just realized that no one really reports on the Japanese royalty. How do Japanese people feel about their royal family? Do they feel love for them like the UK, or mainly British people do? From my vague knowledge I know that Japanese people have a liking to the royal family, I just don’t know to what extent. On that same topic, I wonder how many countries still have royal families that live royally.

  • http://www.tofugu.com/ Hashi

    The Japanese are fond of the royal family, but they’re not tabloid bait the way that the British Royal family is.

  • Anon

    Sakai-shi fuguyeah!