Japanese farmer uses Google AI to sort cucumbers

Google has an interesting article describing how a cucumber farm in Japan employed Google’s open-source Tensorflow machine learning technology to help with sorting the cucumbers, a difficult and mundane task that usually takes months to learn.

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Museum dedicated to architecture models opens in Tokyo

A museum of architectural models has opened this summer in Tokyo’s Shinagawa ward. It’s called Archi-Depot and it’s Japan’s first and only museum of its kind. The “depot” part of the name makes it sound more like a warehouse than a museum, and that’s exactly what the facility looks like. This makes it quite unique — it doubles as a storage space where architectural companies can pay to rent the shelves and store their building models instead of keeping them in cramped offices, while the guests can enjoy the exhibits.

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Back in the day, the phones were simpler


A little girl having fun pretending to talk on the telephone, Japan, 1958. Photograph by Marc Riboud.

From the photo archive by Astonishing Pictures.

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Stunning view of glowing shrimps trickling down rocks in Japan

Even though this scene looks like it came straight from another planet, what you see here are bioluminescent shrimps flowing like waterfalls down rocks in the Seto Inland Sea in Okayama, Japan.

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Unique tea bags that look like sea creatures

A fishery company Daisho Suisan from Toda City in Saitama has decided to put an end to the classic square-shaped tea bag. With a goal to get younger people more interested in tea, being a fishery company, they came up with an idea to make the tea bags shaped like sea animals.

The idea picked up quickly. Just at the time of this writing, they secured the funds for production via Makuake, a Japanese crowdfunding platform, reaching 2.5 million yen (well over their goal of 500,000 yen).

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'Cinderella Girls' take over the Shinjuku Station underground

This morning, a glorious giant advertisement for The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls mobile game appeared in the underground promenade of the Shinjuku Station. They transformed the entire passageway into one giant ad, everything including the floor, the walls, the pillars and the ceiling. That’s how you do advertising (when you have a seemingly unlimited budget). Have a look.

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A rare rainbow appears on Lake Yamanaka near Mt. Fuji

This Twitter user has recently posted a photo of an extremely rare looking rainbow hovering above Lake Yamanaka near Mt. Fuji. I’ve never seen one like that before. Looking closely, it’s actually a double rainbow, with the outer arch barely visible.

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Restaurant creates pancake art for customers

Ever wondered what your favorite character would look like as a pancake? Now here’s your chance. An Italian restaurant La Ricetta in the city of Zama, Japan, offers customers to turn their favorite character into a pancake. Thanks to the artistically talented chef, the results are stunning.

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Japanese art student creates a wire portrait of a character from 'Your Name' animated movie

Tokyo University of the Arts student Dawiki Tsutamoto (you can follow his art on Twitter at @tdaiki1216) has created a sketch — or better yet, a wire sketch of Mitsuha, one of the main characters from this year’s animated movie Your Name, or 君の名は). The movie, the latest from director Makoto Shinkai, was a big hit this summer.

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Now that we have self-driving cars, how about self-peeling bananas?

Currently, these two bananas are the most famous fruits in Japan. At a first sight, this looks like some sort of a futuristic Kickstarter-powered banana peeler (the world doesn’t really need a banana peeler, I think — don’t get any ideas). The device is actually just your regular banana hanger.

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Japanese man's childhood dream of making a giant 'Suika Bar' comes true

Suika Bar (literally “watermelon bar”) is an icy watermelon flavored popsicle that you can buy pretty much anywhere in Japan. A man who goes by the name ARuFa has decided to realize his childhood dream of making a giant version of the popular summer treat, and he documented the whole manufacturing process.

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Real or... real? Artist duo unveils the latest 2016 version of ultra-realistic virtual human Saya

Saya is no ordinary schoolgirl. In fact, she’s not even human. But you couldn’t tell that just by looking at her picture. She’s a creation by Tokyo-based 3D artist couple Teruyuki and Yuka Ishikawa (you can follow them on Twitter at @mojeyuka). The first pictures of Saya they twitted back in October 2015 became an instant sensation and now, with this year’s upgrade, it’s practically impossible to tell whether this is an actual person or not. The details are impeccable.

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A dragon brought to life by Kentucky Fried Chicken

Twitter user @honeoyaji has discovered a novel new way of enjoying his Kentucky Fried Chicken meals, and Japanese Twittersphere is going wild. Basically, what he did is he crafted a skeleton version of King Ghidorah purely out of bones found in the fried chicken (King Ghidorah is the three-headed dragon and Godzilla’s archenemy, for those not in the know). The thing looks so realistic you’d think KFC’s chicken is in fact made of little dragons.

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Straw monsters invade Niigata

In Niigata Prefecture, every summer they have an annual Straw Art Festival (Wara Art Matsuri or わらアート祭り) where they put on display massive sculptures made of straw. This year’s one was held last weekend. Here are some highlights, take a look.

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Amazing miniature edible dishes from Japan

Miniature Space from Japan has an awesome cooking show on YouTube where they make miniature dishes using real ingredients. Very impressive! You can watch some of the videos below, and more are available in their channel.

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