japan

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This anime-style chibi Harry Potter stuff from Japan is so cute you guys.

The first releases will be these 12 plastic files (I’m guessing they’re like laminated cards?) featuring Harry, Ron, Hermione, Snape, and even Hedwig. Later this spring, the line will expand to include other small trinkets like pins and acrylic keychains.

Basically, a lot of cute for not a lot of money. It’s all officially licensed and adorable.

See more below.

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The original 1996 Pokémon card game starter pack is making a comeback for its 20th Anniversary in Japan.

Yay nostalgia! Boo geography.

The starter pack will include a 60 card deck, a coin, and an instruction manual. They’ll also be releasing a play mat for those of you who want to get the full experience.

Both will be released in Japan on February 27, 2016.

Product Page: Pokémon starter pack 1300 yen (approx. $10 USD) Play Mat 5,000 yen (approx. $40)

(via Destructoid)

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If you’re a diehard Gundam fan, then you would probably love to book a few nights at the Tokyo-based Grand Pacific Le Daiba hotel, located in the city’s Odaiba neighborhood. The hotel features a specialized Gundam-themed suite, and as you’ll see in the video tour below, it’s really something else.

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As part of a promotional campaign for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Japanese Nankai Rapi:t train service hopped aboard the hype train (quite literally).

See Also: R2-D2 Boeing Jet Christened With Cosplaying Passengers

The train runs between Namba Station in Osaka City and the Kansai International Airport. As you can see below, every single part of the train, from the exterior to the cabins, boasts an eye-catching Force Awakens-themed makeover.

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Tokyo has a new bookstore-library-hostel-bunk-hang-out-mecca for sleepy book lovers.

The Book and Bed Tokyo, set to open on the seventh floor of a high-rise in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighborhood, will house a library of 1,700 books (expansion to 3000 is planned) with comfy couches and built-in beds among the shelves. The hostel will have 12 single-person”Book Shelf” sleeping compartments which measure 6.7-feet long and 2.79-feet wide for the Compact bed or 6.7 feet long and 4.2-feet wide for the Standard bed space. There are also 18 bunk-bed style spots.

The rooms will be offered ranging from $32 to $50 for a night, and the library will contain Japanese and English language books. There’s also free Wi-Fi and it’s conveniently located to Ikebukuro Station. Seems like a cozy place to stay (if you aren’t claustrophobic).

Check out more pics of this book-lovers hostel after the break.

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Everyone knows that minivans aren’t the coolest vehicles on the road. However, you would be the baddest parent at soccer practice if you were driving around in Char’s MS-06S Zaku.

This Gundam-themed Nissan Elgrand looks like something Char Aznable might drive if he ever decided to settle down. It popped up this month in Osaka, Japan at an auto show, and I’m going to guess and say that the bazooka mounted on the back and the machine gun on the roof are super useful during a hectic carpool.

Check out a video and additional pics of the minivan after the break…

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Adding to my already long list of reasons I need to move to Japan, Osaka will soon be home to the first real-life Pokémon gym.

The Pokémon Expo Gym is slated to open on November 19th, and is described by Inside Games as a “hands-on edutainment [facility] that offers Pokémon training tips and related activities, as well as the chance to [enjoy] a conversation with Pokémon.”

The gym’s programs even have themed-names like “Charizard’s Battle Colosseum” and “Gardevoir’s Control Score.” And the “Pokémon Expo Gym Gear” app will allow Trainers to track their progress and rankings.

Check out more pics after the break…

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pikachu sleeping bag plush

Check out these super adorable Pikachu sleeping bag plushies! It’s a Pikachu plush in it’s very own Charizard, Eevee, or Ekans sleeping bag –– basically, it’s cuteness wrapped in cuteness.

The new plushies are part of a contest starting September 19 in Japan where shoppers can buy a lottery ticket for 620 yen ($5.17 USD) at participating stores for a chance to win Pokémon prizes.

The prizes include the adorable Pikachu with Sleeping Bag Plushie, bath towels, socks, palm-sized plush sets, hand towels and more. Of course, you need to be in Japan to buy the tickets to enter, so most of us will just have to look at the cute, be happy and hope that these become available to purchase one day.

See more pictures after the break.

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Inspired by the mechas from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Japanese train operator JR West is giving one of their super-fast bullet trains a mecha makeover. The design for his 500 Type EVA train will match the mecha Evangelion Unit-01 both inside and out.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Neon Genesis Evangelion, the blazing purple and green makeover is scheduled to start in autumn 2015 with completion in March 2017. This date also marks the 40th anniversary of the Sanyo Shinkansen line which connects Osaka and Fukuoka. Aside from the wild “party” decorations for these two momentous occasions, JR West also plans to sell commemorative memorabilia, with Evangelion animator Hideaki Anno supervising the project.

Check out more concept art after the break.

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godzilla citizen

Godzilla, at the ripe old age of 61, has been officially recognized as a citizen of Japan. He was awarded honorary citizenship by Toykyo’s Skinjuku ward earlier this year and it was finalized last week. Not only is he now an official citizen, he will be acting as Shinjuku’s tourism ambassador. According to his citizenship papers:

Reason for special residency: Promoting the entertainment of and watching over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe in the form of the Godzilla head built atop the Shinjuku TOHO Building.

I’m not sure the presence of Godzilla and the assorted monsters that follow in his wake would make me want to pay a visit.

Check out the video after the break…

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