Tokyo looks eerily awesome in the fog 【Photos】

Or should that be awesomely eerie?

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“Painter x Lyrics: Flower Edition” art book turns music lyrics into gorgeous illustrations

Lovers of Japanese music and art rejoice, because the second volume of the Painter x Lyrics (絵師×歌詞) art book series went on sale on November 20!

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How to make sushi that looks like real-life swimming koi fish【Video】

Have you ever wanted to make sushi that looks just like a swimming fish? This video shows how to make the stunning dish in your very own kitchen!

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Enjoy NISHIKIGOI — the sake that comes in a stunning bottle that looks like a colored carp!

Can you tell what this eye-catching white bottle decorated with bright red patterns is supped to be? While the look isn’t exactly conventional, this is actually a sake product called NISHIKIGOI, and the bottle is artfully designed to look like a beautiful colored carp.

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37 amazing photographs of the people of old Japan living their daily lives 【Photos】

Earlier this month, we looked at a collection of photos taken by the late Kusakabe Kimbei that showed the cityscapes of Japan as they looked in the late 1800s, right before the country’s rapid modernization. But Kimbei didn’t just photograph Japan, he also photographed the Japanese, so today we’re taking another trip back in time, but with a more personal touch, with dozens of photographs that show what daily life was like for the people of Japan generations ago.

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Epic lantern festival in Niigata rivals the Yi Peng festival in sheer beauty【Photos & Video】

If you are in Niigata this March, you can live out your Tangled fantasy with a breathtaking view of floating lanterns that rival the beauty of the Disney movie and the festival in Thailand that inspired the film’s iconic scene.

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Galaxy in a bauble: Japanese artist creates spacescape pendants from glass, opals, and gold

Satoshi Tomizu calls his amazing creations Space Glass, and there’s really no better way to describe them.

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These gorgeous photos of 19th century Japan might as well be a time machine 【Photos】

Take a trip back to 1800s Japan with this collection of breathtaking photographs.

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Ramp up your drinking game with beautiful Mt. Fuji rocks and tumbler glasses

Anyone who has climbed Mt. Fuji knows that besides the view, the best feeling is cracking open a drink at the summit. Is there anything more picturesque than standing on top of Japan and taking a nice long pull from a drink you most certainly earned?

Now you can bring back those memories while at sea-level with this beautiful glass that will turn all your drinks into a scene so beautiful you’ll want to write a haiku about it.

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Four awesomely beautiful shrines for your next trip through off-the-beaten-path Japan

Any proper itinerary for a trip across Japan should include stops in its three most famous Shinto shrines: Hiroshima’s Itsukushima Shrine, Kyoto’s Heian Shrine, and the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. Those, however, are just the tip of Japan’s iceberg of breathtaking sacred Shinto spots.

Even if you’ve got no pressing interest in Japan’s indigenous religion, its shrines are often sites of breathtaking natural and architectural beauty, and here are four that, while off the beaten path, are not to be missed.

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Kyoto’s Rurikoin Temple to offer stunning views of autumn leaves for a limited time next month

Tourists flock to Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto during the cherry blossom-viewing days of spring, but equally stunning are the sights of brilliantly colored autumn leaves amidst ancient structures that have remained undisturbed for hundreds of years.

One particular temple, Rurikoin, stands on the edge of the city and is a paradise for photographers during the autumn months, as well as visitors who didn’t even know they had an artistic side yet spend hours playing with different lighting effects there. While Rurikoin is not always open for general admission from year to year, we’re in luck because this year the building will indeed open its doors for the span of one short month.

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Don’t be fooled by the rocks they got, the Final Fantasy team needs more from around the block

It’s hard to say which game is more highly anticipated, Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts 3, but with both of them tentatively scheduled for a 2016 release date, we just might find out. Or not…because a recent tweet about the latest Final Fantasy game is causing us to believe that a 2016 release date could be a pipe dream. Although there has been no delay announced, if the date is pushed back it might be in part due to the rocky situation they are in: they need more rocks!

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Brilliantly designed chopsticks are going to change the way you set the table

One of the things Japan is known for is good design. You’ll see it in electronics, cars, home appliances, and home furnishings. There is a simple elegance to Japanese products that makes you break out into a little smile when you use them.

Looking at a pair of chopsticks, it doesn’t seem like there are any changes that need to made. They might be a little tricky to get the hang of, but they are mostly just two finger-held poles. That’s where this brilliant innovation comes in, though.

When you want to put your chopsticks down, you need to put them down on a rest so that you don’t get anything dirty. But what if they designed a chopstick that doesn’t need a rest?

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Japan chooses its top 3 night views【Photos】

The votes are in! Approximately 4,500 night-view enthusiasts submitted their votes for what they think are the best areas to take in Japan’s sprawling, twinkling cityscapes after dark, and the results were revealed at the Night View Summit 2015, held on October 9 in Kobe.

Which cities do you think made it to the top three? Click to find out, and enjoy some of the stunning photographs that prove each city’s worthiness of the honor!

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We ordered a box of koi-shaped sushi to see if they taste as good as they look 【Taste Test】

Last week we saw the amazing koi-shaped (carp-shaped) sushi created by one sushi shop in Japan. While they were certainly beautiful and life-like, one question was on our mind: How do they taste?

To find out, we ordered a box of the koi-shaped sushi and gave it a try. Does the fish-shaped sushi’s taste live up to its appearance? Read on to find out!

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Gifu Prefecture’s “Monet’s Pond” is the perfect picturesque place to paint a picture【Photos】

When planning a vacation to Japan, it’s certainly exhilarating to visit big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kobe, but sometimes there are special locations that aren’t in all the guide books which have just as much, if not more, beauty and appeal. Japan is a gorgeous country with breathtaking nature that can be seen just by taking off in any direction. Perhaps one of those directions will lead you to a beautiful pond like the one in Gifu Prefecture that has been nicknamed “Monet’s Pond“.

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7 incredible Japanese destinations that tourists haven’t discovered yet

Japan is often known by tourists for its most popular attractions, like Mount Fuji, the cities of Tokyo and Kyoto, and its amazing shrines and temples.

But there’s a lot more to the island nation than that.

We took a look at a Quora thread that asked, “what are some of Japan’s best kept secrets,” and rounded up some places that might not be in all the guidebooks, but are definitely worth a visit.

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Nagasaki’s hundreds of beautiful islands get newspapers from boats, planes, 2,285 delivery people

Although Nagasaki is one of the most populous cities on the island of Kyushu, many neighborhoods are built on steep coastal hillsides that are inaccessible by car. Then there’s the rest of Nagasaki Prefecture, which is dotted with isolated communities on its hundreds of islands.

But with the prefecture’s unique beauty and culture, it’s not hard to see why many residents of Nagasaki are happy living where they do. And while there may be some inconveniences that come with living in such remote homes, they can at least be assured of receiving their newspapers every day, as this surprisingly moving video of the incredibly complex delivery process shows.

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Google Street View now lets you tour the glowing samurai, dragons of the Nebuta Matsuri festival

Just about every community in Japan puts on a local festival in the summer, but few are as spectacular as Aomori City’s Nebuta Matsuri. For almost a solid week, gigantic floats topped by lanterns shaped like samurai and dragons are paraded through the streets, accompanied by dancers and musicians.

But while Aomori is one of the largest cities in the largely rural Tohoku region of Japan, its relatively remote location in the northeastern corner of the country’s main island of Honshu means not everyone can make it out to see the festivities in-person. As long as you’ve got an Internet connection, though, you can get a taste of the fun with Google’s awesome Nebuta Matsuri Street View that lets you see the amazing floats even closer-up than spectators standing on the sidewalks the towering works of art are carried by.

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Stunning merger of animation and music “nowisee” is gorgeous, hypnotic, perplexing【Video】

Japan is a pro when it comes to creating confusing things. Whether it’s food, anime, toilets, or even methods of relaxation, it’s not uncommon to be baffled at the beginning, still not quite sure what happened at the end, and yet, for some reason, craving more when it’s all over.

So let’s welcome the latest awesome but very confusing thing Japan made: nowisee (pronounced “noise”). Is it an anime? A music video? A promotional video? Something… else? The answer to all of the questions is a resounding maybe, and the only way you can begin to understand is by watching it.

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