Leave it to Japan to make a bowl of rice absolutely adorable. The Volkswagen Japan official Facebook page has recently been the topic of conversation on the net thanks to the publication of a bowl of chirashi-zushi, or “scattered sushi”, with the image of a VW Beetle. However, that’s not the only edible auto to show up on the site.
Meanwhile, residents of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, sat back and chuckled at the weather-based hijinks of their urban cousins in the capital. After all, this sort of thing is no big deal in Japan’s coldest prefecture. It takes something really special to make people in Hokkaido stop and take notice of the snow. Something like an angelically beautiful pillar of light.
A few weeks ago, Häagen-Dazs began treating Japan to a special edition Rose flavored ice cream. While it was pretty delicious overall, many people felt it tasted too similar to a bathroom air freshener.
This came as a surprise to people from countries more accustomed to rose flavored treats as well as Kracie. This confectionary company had been selling rose flavored candies and rose water mix for years. So, starting 3 March they are releasing their own Fuwarinka Ice which not only tastes like a rose but also empowers your body with its lovely aroma.
We’ve seen our fair share of interesting and often downright weird snacks in Japan, from Mountain Dew poofs that actually fizz in your mouth to chocolatey dried squid. Now we’ve got one more for you: Chocolate covered shrimp chips. If you wrinkled your nose at the thought of crunchy shrimp snacks, you’ll double over at the sight of these sweet and savory snacks that smell of the sea.
Mar 4, 2014
At a recent budget meeting in the Japanese Diet, a member asked Prime Minister Abe to explain his growth strategy. As you probably know, the prime minister has been focused on improving the Japanese economy, though he’s not having the greatest of luck. As Abenomics–the cheeky name given to Abe’s economic policies–fluctuates in and out of favor, many are wondering if it’s working at all. We’re not sure the Prime Minister’s response is going to assuage anyone’s fears…
Mar 4, 2014
The Japan Chibi Weekend, held in February in Madrid, is a relatively small player in the anime convention world. Entry costs just 7 euros (US$10), and its name even means “mini” in Japanese. That doesn’t stop anime and manga fans having a blast though, with a great mix of Japanese and western characters on show in the cosplay competition and around the convention.
Although the two-day event focuses on manga, anime and Japanese culture, the competitors’ handmade costumes included an impressive line-up of Disney and Dreamworks characters, too! Let’s take a look at what was on offer in the Spanish capital at this year’s event.
Mar 4, 2014
Call me materialistic, but one of the biggest desires I’ve had since I was a teen is to be rich. But to be absolutely honest, I’m so horribly bad with numbers, I’m not even sure how many zeroes are there in a billion, much less a trillion. So when Asia’s wealthiest man, Ka-shing Li, said that the media is “underestimating” his net worth at US$32 billion, the only thing on my mind was, “Wait, how many zeroes is that again?”.
So, how much is Ka-shing Li really worth? Take a guess, or not, since you know we’ll tell you anyway.
Make love not war. Isn’t that what the T-shirts say? And the new record-breaking condom making waves in China could encourage people to do just that. The Japanese-made world’s thinnest condom has been quite a hit overseas, sparking an underground trade in prophylactics. At just 0.01 millimetres thick, it’s probably the only product where the less you get the happier you are.
What’s wrong with a little bacon, you say? Pork is one of the most widely consumed meats around the world. But not all pork is the same, as was brought to light recently in Japan.
On a trip to southern Japan a few days ago for a US-Japan joint satellite launch, United States Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy commented that she would like to try a local pork delicacy famous to Kagoshima Prefecture. However, her comment became a hot issue, prompting many Japanese netizens to take their confused and even angry comments online. Keep reading to find out why this seemingly simple comment became such a big deal in light of recent events.
Mar 4, 2014
Before moving to Japan, I got to dip my toes in the overseas lifestyle by spending several summers at a U.S. military installation in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The base was a long walk from the nearest train station, making bicycles an attractive way of getting around town. Even if you didn’t want to shell out the money to buy one, you could always get one for the day at the local bike rental shop.
Unfortunately, the rental bikes tended to be old, heavy, and not always in the best state of repair. The locals referred to them as “banjo bombers,” since benjo is a Japanese slang word for “bathroom,” and the rental bikes were pieces of…feces.
Little did I know there was another vehicle even more deserving of the benjo bomber title, a radio-controlled toilet.
While his heyday predates anime’s big break in the English-speaking world, manga artist Leiji Matsumoto is still the creator of some of the medium’s earliest titles to be translated into English, including Space Battleship Yamato (known overseas as Starblazers) and Captain Harlock.
One of Matsumoto’s most enduring hits is Galaxy Express 999 (pronounced “three nine”). It’s been entertaining fans for decades, and now true devotes of the epic sci-fi odyssey can further their ambitions to eat, sleep, and breathe 999 by spending the night in a special anime-themed room at a luxury hotel in the middle of Tokyo Bay.
Mar 3, 2014
An investigation is currently underway after it became clear that more than 300 copies of The Diary of a Young Girl, the book containing the writings of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, have been torn and severely defaced over what is thought to be the past few weeks across a number of public libraries in Tokyo.
Despite the traditional image of anime fans as couch potatoes whose consumption of junk food is only rivaled by their consumption of panty-flashing animation sequences, it’s only recently that gastronomy and Japanese animation have officially combined forces. Recently we heard about the giant, 10-patty Attack on Titan burger, but what if your tastes run less towards towering monsters and meat and more in the direction of giant robots and sweets?
If that’s the case, maybe you’d prefer a Gundam donut.
We’re used to seeing a lot of unbelievable-sounding coverage concerning the Cobra-style antics of North Korea’s totalitarian dictatorship. But the country’s tightly-closed borders make many reports difficult to verify, so a lot of patently false stories end up circulating through legitimate outlets. This means that, sadly, what you’ve read about North Korea putting a man on the sun and finding a unicorn lair are less than legit.
Some stories, however, are frighteningly real: Like the one about Pyongyang launching a series of Scud missiles over the Japan Sea recently as a show of military might.
Recipes are invaluable resources for daily life that with just the right focus can empower even the most kitchenphobic person to slap together semi-decent meal. However, recipe books can be unwieldy and weak to the heat and fluids flying around the cooking space. The advent of the internet has helped, but we’re still left nervously trying to swipe at a touch screen with flour-and-egg-caked fingers.
This is where DJ Misoshiru & MC Gohan (DJ Miso Soup & MC Rice) come in. Their unique brand of recipe rap takes up only the space in your ears and with their nostalgic old-school beats those instructions will be hard to get out of your head afterwards. Come, join us on this Japanese hip-hop gourmet journey.
It’s a well-known fact that cats think they’re cleverer than us. Even when it comes to playing one of our popular childhood games, hide-and-seek, cats think they’ve got us beat. This collection of hilarious photos shows that cats should really come down off their proverbial high horses and take a lesson or two from the human world because when it comes to hiding, these kitty cats really have no idea. Ten points for trying, especially with their creative and body-defying efforts, but no points for hiding because when it comes to hiding, peek-a-boo we see you!
At the same time that director Hayao Miyazaki’s drectorial swan-song, The Wind Rises, opened in wide release in North America, the live-action version of Kiki’s Delivery Service was released in Japan. The coming of age story of a young witch in training is best known internationally for the 1989 Studio Ghibli animated film of the same name, but how does the new version, from production company Toei, compare with the anime classic?
Eager to see if Kiki was better left in two dimensions, we checked the film out for ourselves.
Mar 3, 2014
Heads up, gamers and fans of all things old-school! Video game accessory maker Datel Japan has announced a new pair of earphones modelled on none other than Nintendo’s classic Famicom (the NES in its native form) games console, complete with cable extender and an in-line mic designed to look exactly like the 8-bit console’s controller.
A Wednesday press conference at Tokyo’s Akagi Shrine announced that Masayuki Ochiai (Parasite Eve, Shutter, live-action TV The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) will write and direct a new Juon/The Grudge horror film. Juon: Owari no Hajimari (The Grudge: Beginning of the End) will begin shooting on Tuesday and will open in Japanese theaters on June 28.
- Question reveals how foreigners feel about speaking Japanese, getting English in return1
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours2
- Our Japanese reporter visits an American sushi restaurant in Japan3
- The weirder the better? These Japanese zakka are hot sellers in Korea4
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute5
- “We don’t want to be girls. We just want to be cute!” The future of crossdressing in Osaka6
- Want to make music, but can’t play an instrument? Casio app turn your hums into full tracks!7
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters8
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world9
- New Lotte chewing gum promotion features cool guys to suit every taste10
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours1
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world2
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer3
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters4
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make5
- Japanese sleep experts say we’ve been using our blankets wrong, help us hate winter a little less6
- Budding Japanese student artists impress us with chalkboard works of art7
- Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence8
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute9
- Controversial pick-up artist breaks silence as campaign against him continues10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises5
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit6
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make7
- One Piece manga sends off Naruto with a classy secret message8
- Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】9
- Just a bunch of adorable cats riding on trains in Japan10
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher3
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”4
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】5
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China6
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later7
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons8
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea9
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked10
- “We don’t want to be girls. We just want to be cute!” The future of crossdressing in Osaka
- Want to make music, but can’t play an instrument? Casio app turn your hums into full tracks!
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world
- New Lotte chewing gum promotion features cool guys to suit every taste
- “Common habits of Japan’s low earners”: What this survey tells us, and what it doesn’t
- Who knew frozen apples could taste so good!: Simple dessert recipe for the diet-conscious
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer
- The top 10 spots in Tokyo to make an anime pilgrimage
- Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence
- 252 of Japan’s favorite animated gifs
- Nearly five percent of Japanese are addicted to gambling – even though it’s still “illegal”
- Normal Behavior in Japan, Taboo Abroad
- We don’t know what Vanadium is either, but Asahi put it in a drink for you anyway