IKEA Japan wants to go beyond just DIY furniture, and that’s why the company is jumping into the real estate market in a tiny way. They are offering 107-square-foot loft apartments in Shinjuku, Tokyo for less than $1 USD per month. This isn’t a bathroom-sized room either, but rather a fully-furnished mini living space, complete with a sleeping area, kitchenette as well as a bathroom. Read more for a video tour, additional pictures and information.
Balmuda’s steam toaster oven is what catapulted them to worldwide fame, but now, they are getting into the smartphone business. Called the Balmuda Phone, this Android 11-based device boasts a minimalist design and an ultra compact form factor that fits naturally in the palm of your hand, thanks to its curved back. Read more for a short hands-on video, additional pictures and information.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captured a stunning image in the constellation Sagittarius that resembles a famous prehistoric sea monster empowered by nuclear radiation…Godzilla. It may take you a few glances, but upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the stars located in the upper right form Godzilla’s eyes and snout, located some 7,800 light-years from Earth. The bright region in the lower left that looks like Godzilla’s right hand is called W33. Read more to see the entire outline drawn out and for a bonus.
Japan-based startup A.L.I. Technologies has debuted the XTurismo Limited Edition, a $680,000 USD hoverbike with a hybrid drivetrain. It’s powered by a standard engine, paired with four battery-powered motors, that when combined is good for up to 40-minutes of continuous flight as well as a top speed of 62.1 mph. The design features a motorcycle-style body that sits atop a set of propellers. When grounded, it is propped up on landing skids. Read more for a video and additional informaiton.
Photo credit: Kud Sai
SEGA Ikebukuro Gigo, a massive 8-story arcade located in Tokyo’s Toshima City, officially shut its doors on Monday (Sep. 20) after nearly 28-years of service. It first opened in 1993, but wasn’t rebranded with the SEGA name until 2013. This closure wasn’t due to any dire financial situation, but rather the expiration of the fixed-term building lease contract and future plans to renovate the building itself. Read more for two videos of a tour inside as well as one taken during the day of closing.
Photo credit: Breaking Brad
Do-Dodonpa is essentially steel roller coaster, located at Fuji-Q Highland in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan, that uses compressed air to propel its trains. It’s currently the world’s fastest accelerating as it can hit 111.9 mph in a mere 1.6-seconds. Unfortunately, it was temporarily shut down after four guests reported suffering broken bones. On the bright side, the attraction is undergoing a safety overhaul to ensure these accidents do not happen again. Read more for two videos showing what the roller coaster is all about.
Japan Railway Group’s Series L0 maglev train comes with a hefty price tag, but it did manage to hit a record-setting speed of 375 mph. When completed, it will be the first to cover the 178-mile route between Tokyo and Nagoya. Why will it cost $64-billion? Well, in addition to developing the actual train, the team needs to plan a new route between Tokyo and Nagoya, of which 87 percent will be underground due to seismic activity in the area. Read more for a video and additional information.
Takara Tomy is no stranger to robots, but they wanted to make their latest robotic creation something special, or at least for grandparents. Meet Ami-chan, a robotic grandchild that comes loaded with a 1,600 word vocabulary and AI-powered facial recognition technology that lets them accurately identify people. Why is the latter necessary? After identifying the person, it address them by name. Read more for a video and additional information.
Ramen shops can be found all over Japan, and a few of them are of such high quality that they earned Michelin stars. For those who prefer to enjoy a bowl in the comfort of their own home can now buy a frozen kit from the “Local Ramen Selection” vending machine installed in Toyama City’s Aris Shopping Center. Put simply, it features six types of ramen made by regional restaurants all over the country. Read more for a video to show how the machine works.
For those who watched the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony live, you may have noticed a swarm of lights near the end that eventually formed a giant Earth. Those lights are actually a swarm of 1,824 drones that eventually segued into a rendition of John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” performed by Angelique Kidjo, Alejandro Sanz, John Legend, Keith Urban, and the Suginami Children’s Choir. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on what kind of drones were used in the show. Read more for two videos and additional information.