We’ve seen impeccable displays of manners from Japanese high school baseball teams on many occasions before, from the respectful bowing of Yamagata Chuo High School to the classy stadium-cleaning deed of Kyukoku just the other day. It seems like the annual Koshien high school baseball tournament in Hyogo Prefecture really does bring out the best in the promising young players, as another team from Akita Prefecture has proven after being eliminated from this year’s tournament with their grand display of thanks in a regional hotel.
We’ve talked before about yuru-kyara, Japan’s adorable illustrated mascots. But cute manga-style horses and anthropomorphic pears aren’t the only local spokescharacters you’ll find in Japan, as some regions of the country are also represented by “Local Heroes,” (Gotouchi Hiro in Japanese), Power Ranger or Kamen Rider-like defenders of their communities.
One of the more popular Local Heroes is Neiger, whose mission is to protect Akita Prefecture’s people, mountains, and seas. Akita is a pretty safe and sleepy part of Japan, though, and not exactly the kind of place that’s under constant threats that require a superhero-level response. So what’s he been doing with all of his downtime?
Growing rice, apparently.
Akita Prefecture is a northern region known for its rice production and other agricultural pursuits. However, our reporter Nakano went out with a different goal. He heard rumors of a village that served a superb donburi (rice bowl) with horse meat.
It doesn’t take much more than that to get one of our reporters on the move, so Nakano booked a ticket and packed his bags to head out to the snow-laden town of Kamikoani. His mission: to try some of their legendary banikudon (horse meat rice bowl).
Here’s one you don’t hear every day – a man was arrested in Daisen City, Akita Prefecture last weekend on charges of entering the hotel room of a female acquaintance through the window before proceeding to strike her about the buttocks with a shoehorn that he found in the room. But just what could prompt such behavior?
Some people see things in black and white while others tend to judge each incident as a unique situation with its own parameters of right and wrong.
Take drunk driving for example. There are many who would say that under any circumstance getting behind the wheel of an automobile with significant levels of alcohol in the system deserves punishment. And then there are some that say there may be exceptions to the rule.
Luckily for some government workers who got picked up by police for drunk driving, more than a few district court judges appear to belong to the latter camp.
The ryokan [traditional Japanese-style inn] in Akita Prefecture called Miyakowasure (都わすれ; “forget the city”), also known as Natsuse Onsen, is unquestionably the best in all of Japan–at least according to our Japanese correspondent Yoshio. Out of all of the ryokan that he has ever visited, he can confidently say that this is his number-one pick.
Yoshio has stayed at literally hundreds of hotels and ryokan across the country for both business and pleasure, but he recently experienced an unparalleled level of hospitality and overall quality during his stay at this particular inn. He even thinks that hotel managers from across Japan and the world should spend a night there to learn a thing or two! That’s how enthusiastically he praises his most recent visit.
Join Yoshio for an in-depth look at this spectacular ryokan in northern Japan after the jump!
Summer in Japan means a few things. For some, the negatives, such as the endless days of heat and humidity, are what always weigh on their minds. But for others, summer means mainly two things: festivals and fireworks! While most cities have a summer festival to call their own, the most common and most popular type is the fireworks festival (hanabi taikai). RocketNews24 wants to introduce you to the fireworks festival that sits at the top of many peoples’ lists as the biggest and best fireworks festival of the summer! The location will definitely surprise you!
Even if you’re not an animal person, there’s a good chance that you’ll still like dogs. Or at least some kinds of dogs! We can understand people not enjoying being around smaller, shriller breeds, but everyone loves Akitas, right? Any animal that can inspire memes and cryptocurrency can’t be all bad, right?
And while there’s nothing quite as heartwarming as a happy Akita, it tuns out that they’re also the dogs you want by your side if you ever happen to run into a bear. At least if this adorable YouTube video is any sign!
Dog is man’s best friend, or so the saying goes. Nowadays, it’s sometimes hard to believe those words when your loyal canine is dragging your dirty pants, underwear included, out into the living room for all your guests to see (true story). But one dog in Japan proved his undying loyalty, waiting for his master’s return in the same location every single day for 10 years after his master’s death. The picture above, the last one ever taken of this loveable animal, is one of the saddest things we’ve ever seen.
On November 1, Lawson is opening a new store in chilly Akita Prefecture. Nothing particularly surprising about this–it seems like a new conbini opens nearly every day in Japan. However, this store will have some rather unique features.
In addition to solar panels, improved insulation, and LED light bulbs, this branch will also be testing out some new environmentally friendly features: Saving winter snow for summer air conditioning and using sunlight to heat the store!
This story probably isn’t coming to a theatre near you any time soon, but it certainly sounds like something straight out of a movie.
In the tiny village of Kamikoani, Akita prefecture, the sole medical practitioner has thrown her hands up and admitted defeat. Amid rumours of bullying and harassment, Dr. Ijiri has become the third doctor to hand in her notice in as many years. Previous GPs in the village reportedly left for similar reasons, and are quoted as saying that “the job was simply too much to bear” and that they were “slandered” by rumour and vicious talk amongst the townspeople.
But when word arrives that a 71-year-old specialist has decided to pick up the gauntlet, the tale takes an interesting turn…
The image you see above is that of a standard banana parfait in Japan. Pleasing to the eye and undoubtedly delicious.
The image that comes after the break in this article, which was retweeted over 13,000 times after going viral in Japan earlier this week, is that of a banana parfait arranged to like a giant…you know…
Just check the image below.
For the nights of August 5-7, the streets of Yuzawa, Akita prefecture, are illuminated with the soft glow of ukiyo-e-esque paintings on paper lanterns for the Tanabata Edoro (Picture Lantern) Festival, a 300-year-old festival that takes place near JR Yuzawa station during Tanabata every year.
Akita is known for having some of the most beautiful women in Japan and the hand-painted paper lanterns do the prefecture justice, portraying illustrations of beautiful Japanese women, often in seductive poses.
Take a look at some of the lanterns from previous years below:
Anyone thinking of traveling to the northern Japanese prefecture of Akita in the near future may want to make sure the power is online first seeing as an adult male Southern Cassowary — said to be the deadliest bird in the world — escaped into the wild early last Friday.
Did you know that Japan has 16 locations on the list of UNESCO World Heritages? Could you name them all with any sum of money on the line?
Survey Research Center, Co. Ltd. conducted a survey that showed that most people could not. When asked whether they were interested in Japan’s world heritages, 67.8% of those surveyed responded affirmatively. However, only 4% of respondents knew all 16 Japanese sites.
See how many you can name before looking at the list below: