Rain transforms Tokyo Disneyland into a kaleidoscope of breathtaking lights【Photos】

Don’t let the dreary weather dampen your day–your dreams will definitely still come true.

Everyone’s experienced the gut-wrenching disappointment of rain ruining their long-awaited vacation plans. While it might be easy to write off such a day as a failure, some recent photos snapped at Tokyo Disneyland prove that life always has a silver lining.

Twitter user @kah05disney, who happens to have an annual passport to the Tokyo Disney Resorts, visited Disneyland last week at night and happened to capture some of the most breathtaking scenery we’ve ever seen, all on her trusty Nikon D750.

▼ “Disneyland’s 35th anniversary celebration on a rainy day. The reflections in the puddles at my feet were exceedingly beautiful.”

The reflections of the buildings and lights on the wet ground make for a truly magical combination at the Magic Kingdom. In fact, dare we say that we hope it rains the next time we venture over?

It’s clear that @kah05disney has a penchant for both photography and Disney, as plenty of her photos illustrate:

▼ Both in the day…

▼ …and at night

▼ What a fun effect!

Incidentally, Tokyo Disneyland celebrated its 35th anniversary this year on April 15, which means visitors can enjoy a special anniversary celebration called “Happiest Celebration!” until March 25, 2019. Mark your calendars and don’t worry if the forecast predicts rain–you just might be in for a rare treat instead.

Source: Twitter/@kah05disney via ITmedia Inc.
Featured image: Twitter/@kah05disney

Mie man arrested for collecting photos he took of female coworker while at work

Charges cause many to wonder where the line between stalking and a secret crush lies.

Police in Kameyama City, Mie Prefecture, arrested a 25-year-old man on charges of violating the Anti-Stalking Control Law. He is said to have taken numerous pictures of a female coworker without her knowing using his smartphone camera.

The incident was uncovered in October of last year when a man doing some weeding in an area of thick grass stumbled across a plastic box containing several items including a USB memory stick. On the stick were over 100 images of a 24-year-old woman that appeared to have been taken without her knowing.

Police managed to trace the images back to the suspect who had secretly taken the photos of a coworker with whom he was infatuated while she was in and around their workplace. The man reportedly admitted to the charges saying, “I took the pictures because I liked her but I couldn’t bring myself to speak to her.”

Reaction to the news online sided largely with the suspect. Many felt that he was simply a shy person suffering from a case of unrequited love rather than a threat to anyone’s safety.

“You can get arrested for only that? Shocked.”
“I sympathize with him.”
“While it certainly is unpleasant to photograph someone without them knowing, does it really fall under the anti-stalking law?”
“This makes me furious. They regulate smartphone cameras like they were guns.”
“I know how he feels… that’s a terrible story.”
“The man who picked up the memory stick seems more suspicious. Why did he snoop around like that?”
“We live in an age where being shy is an arrestable offense.”
“That’s scary. So anytime I take pictures in public places where there are other people I can be arrested for it?”
“His motive seemed more cute than malicious.”

The investigation is still ongoing and police are looking into whether or not similar incidents involving other women exist. They also have yet to interview the woman whom he had photographed.

Perhaps the best lesson for men in this situation is to not become a victim of your own shyness if not only to avoid potential criminal charges, but to just know where you stand with the object of your desires and whether or not you’d be better off moving on with your life.

Our own writer Seiji Nakazawa is a good example of this. Although timid by nature, he never misses the opportunity to put himself out there and let women know how he feels.

Sure, he’s been shot down countless times, is still single, and has an ego more bruised an battered than Billy Batts after telling Tommy to go and get his shinebox, but he’s better off for it… At least we think he is.

I mean, he hasn’t been arrested yet, so he’s got that going for him.

Source: Tokai TV, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Inset image ©SoraNews24

Super blue blood moon appears over Tokyo, poses with Skytree, other landmarks for beautiful pics

Even if something happens once in a blue moon, it’s still not as rare, or gorgeous, as this.

Last night, people in Tokyo had their breath taken away, as well as several of their adjectives commandeered, by the appearance of a super blue blood moon. Rather than a celestial body born into extreme luxury, the super blue blood moon is the incredibly rare combination of a full moon that appears larger to the eye than normal (supermoon), the second full moon to come within a calendar month (blue moon), and the red color the moon is seen with during a lunar eclipse (blood moon).

In Tokyo, the phenomenon began to manifest shortly before 9 p.m., and was punctuated by office workers on their way home, as well as downtown diners and drinkers, turning their eyes skyward to appreciate the view.

Some of the most striking images were captured near the Skytree, the 634-meter (2,080-foot) spire that rises from the city’s Sumida Ward.

With its futuristic design, the Skytree adds an even more otherworldly look to the blood moon, which, depending on the angle, sometimes seemed to be almost balanced atop the tower’s tip.

▼ Skytyree (right) and Tokyo Tower (left)

▼ A time-lapse video of the moon moving across the heavens behind the Skytree

The orange glow of Tokyo Tower made for less contrast with the blood moon, but also imparted a warmer, more relaxed atmosphere to the sight.

Meanwhile, over on the west side of downtown, the scarlet moon appeared to pass through the paired towers of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, also known as Tocho.

And for those watching in less urban parts of the country, the blood moon looked less sci-fi and more mystical when sharing a field of vision with structures such as Ibaraki’s Toyoda Castle and a pagoda in Nagano Prefecture.

The next morning, it was back to overcast conditions with snow in the forecast, but at least when it needed to, the weather cooperated and gave Tokyo a gorgeous reason to step outside and look up in the cold.

Source: IT Media
Featured image: Twitter/@tetsu_skytree

Goodnight, Kitty: We stay in a hotel room dedicated to the queen of kawaii【Photos】

Hello, Kitty. And hello, crossover branding!

We’ve written before about the Hello Kitty hotel room in Osaka, but did you know that Tokyo, home of Sanrio, has its own Kitty-chan rooms at the fancy Keio Plaza Hotel? Recently, we were lucky enough to be invited to stay at one of them and have brought you back this photo-packed report.

We stayed in a Princess Kitty room at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku; a frilly, pretty-in-pink confection that somehow has a grown-up feel despite its fairy tale imagery. It’s one of two Kitty-themed rooms they offer. The other is called the Kitty Town room and is also available at the Tama location, next to Sanrio’s Puroland theme park. Kitty Town embraces a bright colored pop esthetic and has a larger-than-life-sized stuffed Kitty kids are sure to love.

Image: Keio Plaza Hotel

Arriving at the hotel, I got to check in via the dedicated express check-in desk, which was a nice touch. In moments, a bellhop was taking me up to my room, easily identifiable from the other rooms by the Hello Kitty bow on the door. The eight Kitty rooms are located on corners of the building, giving them a slightly larger floor plan than the standard rooms.

The first thing you notice in the Princess Kitty room, other than the giant 3D Kitty-chan looming over the beds, is the high-heel lounge chair and bow-shaped couch.

Surprisingly comfortable for a piece of furniture shaped like a foot torture device.

Even the water bottles are sporting that famous bow.

In fact, there is very little in the room that isn’t Hello Kitty branded or related to the character in some way. The attention to detail is honestly impressive. About the only thing without Kitty-chan’s face on it is the carpet, which the PR person tells me later is because they thought guests would feel bad about putting their dirty feet on her cute mug.

Hello Kitty appliances in the room included the hot water pot, the hairdryer, the bathroom scale and this funny little humidifier.

▼ Some tart signed the bathroom mirror in lipstick!

Although I am not a huge fan of Kitty myself, I can’t deny that this room is working some magic on me. It does feel fun and fancy, and I’ve laughed out loud a few times, having found those little button eyes peeping out at me from unexpected places.

Hello Housekeeping

Another perk of this room is a bundle of limited edition goods that you are encouraged to take home with you, including a very cute doll. The PR rep tells me that the Keio Kitties are the only ones in the world with those cute cheek blushes and eyelashes. At various times, the outfits on the dolls change to match holidays or promotions. I also got one wearing a Keio bellhop uniform.

▼Is there any job Kitty hasn’t tried?

Image: Keio Plaza Hotel

The stationery set. When was the last time you absolutely had to take one of these home from a hotel room?

There was also a lot of stuff for primping princesses and princes, including a large vanity area outside of the bathroom and a well-stocked amenity box. Considering this and the adult ambiance, I can see this room being more popular with young women on a girls’ weekend than a family with kids, for example.

Additionally, since the hotel is located right next to Shinjuku Station, it’s an ideal place for exploring Tokyo and the nearby nightlife district of Kabukicho. Or for something a little fancier, the hotel has the Aurora Sky Lounge on the 45th floor, where all the seats face out towards the killer night view of Tokyo. That’s where I ended up on the night of my stay, enjoying the view despite some drizzly rain.

Image: Keio Plaza Hotel

Finally, each plan associated with these themed rooms has some special food and beverage treat included, like a Kitty-shaped cake, special cocktails only available for guests in these rooms, or a posh room-service breakfast. We opted for the last one, having found out about the Kitty cocktails a little too late.

▼ Despite her youthful image, since Kitty White was created in 1974, she is actually old enough to drink.

Here again, the attention to detail is impressive. There was the cute tablecloth, of course, but every dish had also been Kitty-fied in some way. The brand on the omelet and the bread on the sandwich stand out, but the vegetables in the salad and the crouton for the corn pottage had also been cut in the shape of Kitty-chan’s face and the fruit and yogurt had been topped with a pink chocolate bow.

▼ Treading on Kitty’s face is a no go but eating it is fine, apparently.

It also bears mentioning that the breakfast was really good! The orange juice was freshly squeezed, the coffee was thick and plentiful, and it was all still piping hot when it arrived in my room. Lounging around in my pajamas, enjoying the view from my room and my third cuppa, I was feeling very royal indeed. Guests in the Kitty rooms can also go to the restaurant for the standard breakfast buffet if they prefer, but it would be a real shame to miss this fun experience.

I had initially been a little dubious about staying in a Kitty room, thinking it was too childish for me, but as I was getting ready to check out, I found myself feeling a bit sad to be going back to the “real world.” It’s probably a rare hotel room that can foster that sense of attachment so quickly, so whether you are a Kitty fan or just looking for a unique experience during your stay in Tokyo, I can definitely recommend a night with Kitty White at the Keio Plaza.

Coming from Taiwan? You can fly here on a Kitty-branded jet!

Images ©SoraNews24, except where noted

Can you guess the age of Taiwan’s “Never-fading Beauty”?【Photos】

Taiwanese model and actress Lin Chi-Ling has fans in her native Taiwan and abroad in a tizzy at her Instagram photos.

Lin Chi-Ling first came to the attention of Japanese audiences for her performance in the Tony Woo-directed Chinese-language epic war film Red Cliff. But it was her part in the 2010 television drama Moon Lovers that really brought her fame in Japan as she starred opposite SMAP member Takuya Kimura, showing off not only her stunning looks, but also her proficiency in the Japanese language. Her role in a 2013 movie remake of the TV drama 101st Proposal only added to her legions of besotted Japanese fans.

Let’s take a look at some of her more recent photos, all shared through her Instagram account this year.

▼ Her she is, just Chi-ling by the pool.

Proving that you can have brains and beauty, Japanese isn’t the only foreign language that Chi-Ling has mastered, as she also has English under her belt, having graduated from Toronto University.

▼ Getting some beauty sleep, presumably at least 22 hours a day.


A post shared by 林志玲chiling (@chiling.lin) on

While her acting ability has won her fans, it’s her ageless beauty and style that has really worked them in a frenzy. In popular Japanese women’s weekly magazine an・an, Lin Chi-ling took first place in an 2012 reader survey of Asian beauties.

Japanese fans have been vocal in their appreciation of Chi-Ling’s good looks and fashion sense, attributing her unchanging aesthetic qualities to nothing less than the supernatural:

“She’s a perfect goddess.”
“She’s just too pretty!”
“It must be magic, she’s like an elf.”

▼ With, and without, make-up, proof it’s not all smoke and mirrors.


A post shared by 林志玲chiling (@chiling.lin) on

▼ Showing off all of her height of 5 feet, 7 inches (175 centimetres), compared to the Taiwanese average of 5 feet 2 inches.


A post shared by 林志玲chiling (@chiling.lin) on

So, any ideas as to her age? Lin Chi-Ling was born in November 1974, making her 42 years of age and yet looking half that (much like she did at age 40). Witchery, surely. With beautiful Taiwanese models and busty cosplayers a plenty, there must be something in the water.

Source: Instagram/chiling.lin via NetLab
Featured image: Instagram/chiling.lin

New Zealander finds photos in antique Japanese sewing box, requests Internet’s help tracing them

Twitter wants you to help find the people taken in these beautiful black-and-white photos from Japan’s past.

New Zealander Twitter user @irisshackleton got a surprise when she opened up a beautiful antique Japanese sewing box she had bought and discovered some old, black-and-white photographs inside. Determined to return them to family members, @irisshackleton has put on her sleuth’s hat and requested outside assistance.

The shop in Christchurch where the piece was purchased no longer exists, and so after reaching that dead end, @irisshackleton decided to enlist other Twitter users’ help in hunting down the descendants of the mystery man, woman and child in the photographs.

People have been quick to offer their help by posting the images to their Facebook pages or retweeting the message, and Twitter user @Snfm23 offered to send the story to Japanese television news stations, with others sending the information to Japanese-language newspapers. With over 34,000 retweets at time of writing, and even having been featured on Japanese television, the story has started to spread across Japanese social media.

▼ The antique Japanese sewing box that contained the photographs

Since neither the photographs nor the box have any writing or marks from which to guess the provenance, Twitter users have tried to help out by deducing the location and time-frame the photos were likely taken in. Several have suggested that the style of clothing suggested the late Meiji or early Taisho periods (late nineteenth century through to the early twentieth century). Others speculate that the child’s toy might give some clue as to the era or region.

▼ The photos show a man, a woman, and a child but have no clues as to their identities.

Twitter user @suwadaisuke translated the news into Japanese to help spread the word.

Before the Internet came along, it was said that there were only six degrees of separation between any two people in the world. With social media like Twitter and Facebook, that number may have gotten even smaller, so while the chances of finding relatives of the family in the photographs (a family who would have to be able to recognise their grandparents or possibly great-grandparents) are understandably slim, there’s always a chance, so if you or someone you know has any clues, let your voice be heard. It also shows the role the Internet can play in allowing people to help out a stranger or get two people together. When it isn’t filling our computer screens with cats, that is.

Source, images: Twitter/irisshackleton

Google Street View captures hilarious before-and-after of person cycling into a ditch 【Photos】

Poor cyclist’s embarrassing tumble caught on camera.

While laughing at someone else’s misfortune is a guilty pleasure, anyone who has cycled in Japan can relate to the constant danger of collisions, potholes and just falling off and looking stupid. One of the Google Maps Street View cars, on its travels around a rural part of Japan, managed to capture just such an accident for posterity and the hilarity or sympathy of those who come across the hidden gem.

Japanese Twitter user @ichigoKJC decided to see if anything had changed in Fujieda, the town in Shizuoka Prefecture where she used to live, by using Google Maps‘ Street View function. When she did, she got a surprise.

▼ The Google car captures a woman cycling along in a perfectly everyday scene.

▼ The Google car moves over slightly to the right to give her more space, as she’s perilously close to the verge.

▼ It captures the lady as she half-falls, half-hops off the bicycle.

▼ Gravity, aided and abetted by a slippery grass verge,
wins the battle and in the next shot she’s in the ditch.

▼ The Google car, oblivious or simply uncaring, zips away leaving the poor woman
standing there, probably with muddy feet and a red face.

Most Japanese netizens were full of concern for the woman, who was likely surprised at the sudden appearance of a camera-bedecked Google car on her quiet street, but also worried for their own privacy if Google Maps could perhaps hold their own little embarrassing vignettes. Twitter user @Shogo7 checked to make sure the woman survived the accident relatively unscathed afterwards by checking later photographs, and thankfully she seemed to be alright!

Several Japanese netizens placed the blame solely at the cyclist’s (muddy) feet, pointing out that as a road user the cyclist should really have been on the left-hand side, and that she had pulled out into the road without properly checking whether there were any cars or not, something all too common amongst cyclists in Japan. Others questioned whether it was an accident at all; had she done it all on purpose to gain Internet notoriety or cause a chuckle or two amongst those lucky enough to stumble across this magical moment? We’ll never know, but safe in the knowledge that she lived to tell the tale, we can get a good laugh out of it, until it’s our turn to fall over in front of other people.

Google Earth is full of other hidden Easter Egg-like surprises, including the only-in-Japan scene of a happy-looking sumo wrestler pursuing the Google car on foot, or the even weirder spectacle of loitering pigeon people.

Source: Twitter/@ichigoKJC
Images: Google Maps