Japan

gifs Japan trains - 8380716288
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The Central Japan Railway Company is in the midst of an 8-day testing period for its maglev (magnetically levitated) train, which can travel at speeds up to 311mph. Japan's bullet trains currently run at about 200mph.

One hundred passengers got to go for a ride this week during the first trail run in Yamanashi Prefecture.

But… should they really be "testing" this thing out with people on board?

If all goes as planned, the maglev trains will be operational 2027, providing a 40-minute trip between Nagoya and Tokyo (normally 80 minutes).

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The people of Japan were surprised Monday night by a giant fireball shooting through the sky.

Was it Godzilla warning of his arrival or an alien pod soaring down to Earth to initiate an invasion?

Not quite, but it was still cool to watch. Experts say it was probably a bolide or "fireball" meteor, a piece of an asteroid that ignites upon entering Earth's atmosphere.

But that's what the aliens would want us to think, right?

thomas the tank engine Japan Photo - 8247965184
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If you're planning to visit Japan this summer, you might want to check out the Oigawa Railway in Shizuoka Prefecture, as the railway line has dressed up one of its steam engines as Thomas the Tank Engine, and will be offering rides on the train as a special attraction.

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On July 1st, 2014, Japanese politician Ryutaro Nonomura held a press conference in which he aimed to apologize for his suspected misuse of 3 million yen. However, during the conference, this 47-year-old provincial politician started to break down in to tears while trying to defend his actions, and began wailing uncontrollably.

The shops and parodies are already rolling in:

Via SoftBank
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Created by telecoms company SoftBank, "Pepper" is programmed to recognize users' emotions based on voice recognition and facial analysis and respond in kind. Basically, Pepper is designed to make you happy, which is why he's primarily being marketed as a home companion or caregiver for children and the elderly.

wtf pillows Japan giant isopod - 8075881216
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Giant isopods (daiogusokumushi in Japanese) are passionately loved by some people in Japan. They found the creatures mysterious and cute. A giant isopod in Toba Aquarium has eaten no food for over 4 years. This giant isopod doll is close to the real ones in shape. The doll has cute round eyes and is very soft and comfortable to the touch.