Sink or drink? Japan celebrates arrival of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau with special wine-bath

Japan is becoming known worldwide for its natural hot springs and public bath houses. Lately, bathers have more and more soaking options with specialty baths popping up all over. We’ve seen snow-covered baths, tea baths, sake baths and herbal baths.

Every November however, a bathhouse near Tokyo has a unique 10-day wine bath to celebrate the release of France’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine.

Read More

11-year-old now youngest artist to join Dokuritsu Exhibition, teaches us to look on the dark side

One of the words for art in Japanese is bijutsu which contains the kanji character for “beauty” (美). That’s not to say that art is limited to images of beauty alone, however. Sometimes images considered superficially unpleasant can be seen as beautiful works as well. They have the power to push back the darkness of taboos and help us to overcome our own inhibiting fears and prejudices.

Those are pretty heavy concepts for sixth-grader Chifu Onishi, but she seems to have already excelled at them through her celebrated artwork such as Tsuki Ni Asobu (Play on the Moon) which was chosen as a part of the 82nd annual Dokuritsu Exhibition, an annual event that has featured some of Japan’s greatest artists in the past. This acknowledgement also earns the 11-year-old the recognition of being the youngest artist to ever take part.

Read More

Japanese sleep experts say we’ve been using our blankets wrong, help us hate winter a little less

I hate winter. 20-plus years of living in sunny southern California didn’t do anything to help me build up a tolerance for cold weather, and honestly, if I could make like the bears and just gorge myself on salmon for a few weeks and then sleep until spring, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Unfortunately, since hibernation isn’t really an option, I have to rely on a blanket and down comforter to make it through the freezing winter nights. Even still, the cold often leaves me shivering (plus grumbling, cursing, and generally complaining).

As it turns out, though, instead of blaming Old Man Winter for all my discomfort, I’m actually part of the problem, according to Japanese experts who say I’ve been using my comforter and blanket the wrong way.

Read More

Barbie head shoes: the new craze making heads turn in Harajuku

Barbie, the popular fashion doll from America, has been a style icon ever since her creation back in 1959. Now, at the age of 55, the controversial bombshell is hitting the streets of Harajuku – quite literally – this time inside the clear soles of some amazing, if kind of creepy, shoes.

Read More

Special 2015 New Year’s stamp shows adorable sheep completing a 12-year project

With November half over, it’s time to start worrying about the big holiday this season: New Year’s! While Christmas might be the big winter holiday in many countries, for those in Japan, the changing of the calendar is a far bigger event and everyone from school kids overworked salarymen gets a row of days off.

In addition to lazing about and eating way too much food, January first also means nearly mandatory New Year’s postcards in Japan. Next year is the year of the sheep (or goat, depending on who you ask), and the Japanese postal service has revealed their special postcard stamps featuring an adorable four-legged wool giver just for the occasion. However, eagle-eyed patrons with a good memory have noticed something special about the stamps…

Read More

Has this cat’s soul been stolen, or is this just another example of cats being weird? 【Video】

A few weeks ago, we saw a cat that could walk backwards on two legs like it was no big deal. At the time, we jokingly wrote it off as just another quirky cat thing that cats do, because cats.

But now that we’ve seen this video of another feline lying prone, belly-up, staring into the abyss as though it’s seen into the eyes of Cthulhu, we’re starting to wonder if maybe there’s some sort of strange otherworldly madness slowly destroying the minds of Japan’s cats:

Read More

One IKEA item, two prices: Customers in Korea paying as much as 80 percent more than in the U.S.

It’s a weird quirk of the global economy that sometimes the exact same item can sell for very different prices depending on what country you’re in. For example, in the U.S. Levi’s jeans cost about half what they do in Japan.

As a result, I always wait until I’m taking a trip back to L.A. before I buy a pair of Levi’s. Unfortunately, that’s probably not an option for travelers who want to take back furniture from IKEA, which in Korea sometimes costs 80 percent more than it does in the U.S.

Read More

Lost dog appears to turn itself in to local police, recruit their help with finding its owner

Usually, it seems, the standard procedure for reuniting a lost pet with its owner is to put up posters on every streetlamp you can find, begging people to let you know if they’ve seen your wayward canine/feline family member.

It’s nice, then, that the owner of a large Alaskan malamute in Suzhou, China had an animal that was smart and proactive enough to basically do all the legwork for him, by essentially turning itself in to the police.

Read More

Sichuan university displays the confiscated cookware of frustrated students

One of the great things about college is living in the dorms with all your friends and being able to walk down to the cafeteria for ready-made meals. It has all the convenience of living at home with your family, but without anyone telling you when to come home! Of course, that’s not to say that there were no rules–and one of the big ones is the prohibition of items that may cause fires, like hot-plates and toasters. As much as we all love grilled cheese sandwiches at 2 am, I think we can agree that it’s not exactly paranoid to worry that someone will forget to turn theirs off and start fire.

However one university in Sichuan is apparently a bit…zealous when it comes to enforcing the rules. They’ve even displayed the confiscated contraband on campus as a warning to would-be rule breakers. It turns out, though, that there was a good reason why so many students were cooking secretly in their rooms…

Read More

Change your perspective: A quartet of videos from little-known Japan

If you’re a regular RocketNews24 reader, then chances are you’re already a fan of Japan and Japanese culture. But ask the average person on the street to tell you what they know about Japan, and most likely all you’ll hear are things like “geisha,” “sumo,” and “anime.”

With that in mind, today we’d like to share with you a selection of videos from our special website, “Another Side of Japan” from NHK World, which feature three of Japan’s little-known wonders and demonstrate the importance of perspective when looking at not just Japan but the world in general. The video tour starts after the jump!

Read More

Disney’s Big Hero 6 gets anime short by comedian Tekken in Japan

Disney is introducing its latest animated film, Big Hero 6, in Japan with a video animated by Tekken, a comedian famous for emotional flip-book-style anime shorts. The short features the song “Story” by popular singer AI.
Read More

Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki opposes relocation of military base in Okinawa

Locals, citizens, and politicians continue to clash regarding the proposed relocation of a U.S. military base to the Henoko (辺野古) district of Nago City, Okinawa. A recent movement to oppose the base sought to gain support from famous Japanese people, including (sort-of) retired Studio Ghibli Director, Hayao Miyazaki.

Read More

Celebrating washoku and rice — an evening with master chefs and sushi roll creators (Part 2)

We recently had the opportunity to attend the delightful reception “Celebrating Worldwide Recognition of Washoku and Rice” aimed to present the appeal of rice and its importance in Japanese cuisine (washoku). In our first article covering the event, we gave you a round-up on the talks and demonstrations made by three guest speakers during the first part of the evening’s program, including the serving of a traditional Japanese meal prepared by a master chef. Now, it was time for us to get active and try our hand at a bit of sushi rolling!

In this, the second and final article in this two-part series, we’ll attempt to create a special futomaki sushi roll  known as Futomaki Matsurizushi (“thick roll festival sushi”) like the one made by Ms. Eiko Ryuzaki, president of the Chiba Traditional Local Cooking Study Group, in one of the presentations earlier that evening.   

Okay, so we weren’t going to be able to create an entire plate of colorful festive futomaki rolls like the display in the picture above, but we were excited about the chance to make even just one pretty little roll! So, were we ready to get our hands sticky with rice? You can bet we were!

Read More

Budding Japanese student artists impress us with chalkboard works of art

Give any kid a piece of chalk, and they’re likely to draw some quick doodles on the board. Some stick figures; the logo of some group or team they’re especially fond of; perhaps even a wang or two if there are no adults around. But some kids will use that same piece of chalk to create veritable masterpieces that are so good, you’ll never want to erase them.

You won’t want to miss this collection of impressive chalk art after the jump! Here’s celebrating the talented work of artistic Japanese students.

Read More

Can you name 5 traditional Japanese arts that are distinctly female? 【Women in Japan Series】

If asked which traditional Japanese arts are female-only, the first thing that comes to mind for most foreigners is probably geisha. Following that, most people might guess tea ceremony, ikebana (flower arrangement) or calligraphy. But tea ceremony and ikebana had connections to Buddhism and were started in Japan by Buddhist priests. Still today many masters in these two disciplines are men. Calligraphy was brought over from China and both men and women practiced by copying Chinese letters. Only later did Japan develop its own form of calligraphy which is still practiced today by both sexes.

In this article, we introduce five strictly female Japanese arts, a couple of which you may have never heard of before. In addition to everyone’s favorite, the geisha, we introduce the world’s only all-female revue, naginata swords for women, itako female fortune-tellers and the mysterious naked sea nymphs: the ama pearl divers.

Read More

Animals, cars, and anime: Japanese salons give kids the VIP treatment

As an adult, I never really find myself attached to one particular hairstyle. Every time I get a cut, that’s a one or two-month commitment at best before I get to change it around all over again. But for kids, the barber can apparently be a pretty harrowing experience. After all, especially for younger kids, they’ve been rocking the same ‘do for almost their entire lives. Also, it probably takes some learning to overcome the instinctual aversion to sharp objects being brandished near your face.

Not that I have kids or anything, but I’ve heard taking them to the hair salon can be… let’s just say a bit of a handful.

That’s why many Japanese salons have decided to go the extra mile and give kids the VIP treatment:

Read More

Police called in for civet disturbance in Tokyo

Walking down the street in Tokyo, you never know what you might bump into, especially if you happened to have been around Aoyama Itchome Station in Minato Ward on 14 November. During the afternoon, a masked palm civet was seen darting around the streets by several witnesses.

The masked palm civet was connected to the SARS outbreak about a decade ago and unleashes an anal spray when threatened. But that didn’t stop passers-by from trying to get the best photos for their Twitter feeds… Not at all.

Read More

Where’s my Christmas cake?! Seasonal celebrations threatened by nationwide butter shortage

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Japan currently has a pretty severe butter shortage and it’s been going on for a long time. For months grocery stores around the country have been limiting customers to one box of butter at a time, and even then, people are paying hugely inflated prices.

Generally, Japanese cooking doesn’t really use that much butter, so what is all of this stuff being used for exactly? Cakes and cookies. With Christmas just around the corner, and the butter shortage expected to continue for the foreseeable future, a new and very important question has arisen: Will we still be able to eat Christmas cake?! 

Read More

Glowing skirt lets you cosplay Hatsune Miku, show off your sexy thighs

Hatsune Miku has been portrayed in nearly every way imaginable, from highly detailed Final Fantasy-esque character model to gorgeous anime-style re-imaginings. She’s also one of the more popular characters for cosplaying, with results that range from the adorable to the slightly insane, so if you want to show your love for the animated singer, you’ll need to put in a bit of extra work to stand out. But don’t worry, we have just the thing to help the next time you plan to don a teal wig: A glowing Hatsune Miku skirt!

Read More

Shinagawa Station sells unappetizing fish butt onigiri, netizens nauseated

It’s hard not to love onigiri, those handy little triangular parcels of rice and seaweed stuffed with tasty fillings ranging from plum to fish to chicken and more. Onigiri are a ubiquitous snack in Japan, available at every convenience store in a range of varieties for the cost of a few coins. But even though conbini onigiri are usually fresh and tasty, it’s also nice to run across smaller stands and stores selling hand-made onigiri sometimes. Unless you happen to stop by this establishment inside Shinagawa Station in Tokyo – because their onigiri leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to presentation. That is unless you like eating something with a big fish butt hanging out of it…

Read More

  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 111
  4. 112
  5. 113
  6. 114
  7. 115
  8. 116
  9. 117
  10. ...
  11. 606
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,177 other followers