Japanese Twitter is loving this hilarious photo.
Whenever international artists step foot in Japan, they should always know to expect the unexpected. Whether it’s Lady Gaga receiving an exclusive Hello Kitty designed in her image, or Ed Sheeran singing to felines at a cat cafe, Japanese people are always looking for ways to surprise visitors with unique gifts and experiences to remind them of their time in the country, even long after they’ve returned home.
For English-born musician Sting, he’ll always have this photo to look back on. It might not be something the well-respected musician may have ever wished for, but it certainly is weird, unexpected and quintessentially Japanese all at the same time.
ユニバーサルインターナショナル (@UNIVERSAL_INTER) November 29, 2016
The photo was posted to Twitter by the international branch of Universal Music, who was obviously keen to promote both Sting and Piko Taro, two of its big-name artists. Whether or not the two knew what was happening when the picture was being taken, however, remains unknown. Did Sting know the singer of the PPAP viral hit was actually standing behind him? Was Piko Taro too starstruck to approach Sting for a selfie? Or was the exuberant Japanese star asked to stand a safe distance away from the visiting artist? Whatever, the case, Japanese Twitter users have been loving the hilarious picture.
“I cracked up seeing Piko Taro in the background!”
“Piko looks tiny in this clip!”
“I can’t believe this guy gets to appear with a huge artist like Sting!”
“Piko Taro is sparkling in the background like a golden statue of Buddha!”
“He really looks like a divine Buddha.”
While Piko Taro’s apparent lack of height in the photo might indeed be an allegory for his stature in the music world, the reason the two were actually breathing the same air here was because they were both making separate appearances on the Best Artist 2016 programme which went live to air on Nippon TV on 29 November. This wasn’t the only official engagement for Sting while in Japan, however, with the musician performing “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” from his new album “57th & 9th” on Japanese TV show Sukkiri! a day earlier.
▼ Sting shared a picture of his band at sound-check for Sukkiri! on his official Instagram account.
Sting also appeared on morning TV talk shows and spoke to J-WAVE 81.3 FM during an event at Tokyo’s Hard Rock Cafe.
As this was his first visit to Japan in six years, one of Sting’s more enjoyable engagements was a stop at one of his favourite ramen restaurants, where he shared a few pictures of himself enjoying a big bowl of ramen.
Judging by the image, it appears that Sting was filling his belly with noodles at the Harajuku branch of the Santouka ramen chain. Whether or not this was because the PPAP cafe closed its doors on 20 November, we will never know, but if you’d like to slurp noodles like an international star, check out the restaurant information below!
Ramen Santouka Harajuku / らーめん山頭火原宿店
Address:Tokyo-to Shibuya-ku Jingumae 6-1-6 Kakuda Building 1F
東京都 渋谷区 神宮前 6-1-6 角田ビル １Ｆ
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.