In Western countries, when the time comes to decorate the streets with strings of sparkling lights, it’s a sure sign that Christmas is drawing near. But for countries like Japan, where Christianity has far less presence, though the desire to adopt Western practices is pervasive, what many of us think of as “Christmas lights” or simply “holiday lights” are embraced as annual “winter illuminations.” Every year, parks and town districts across Japan light up the night with large-scale displays, bringing a new sense of beauty to the barren, winter landscape. The greatest of these is undoubtedly Nabana no Sato, located in Mie Prefecture.
Summer in Japan is all about kimonos, fans and fireworks. There really are few better ways to beat the heat than getting outdoors in a light cotton robe, eating and ton of festival grub and settling in to watch pictures being painted on the black night sky. And although fireworks festivals themselves are nothing out of the ordinary here in Japan, the blast that brought Kumano City’s Hanabi Taikai fireworks festival to a close this year was truly spectacular, with the excited crowd’s countdown to the final moment immediately followed by gasps and cheers almost as loud as the explosion itself. Check out the epic firework in all its glory after the jump.
People have the amazing ability to see human traits in nearly anything. From the anthropomorphism of cartoons and nature to cursing at your car when it won’t start, there’s almost no limit to the things we see as human-like.
But safety pins? Surely only someone with a less-than-firm grip on reality could take a safety pin for person-like or even having any human qualities?
The following photo album might just convince you otherwise!
Written with the kanji characters 七 and 夕, Tanabata literally means ‘seventh evening’, and according to Japanese legend is the one day of the year that the young couple Orihime and Hikoboshi are permitted to meet, otherwise separated by the great 天の川 (Ama no Gawa, lit. river of the heavens). And it just so happens that some lucky star gazers in Hokkaido were granted front row seats.
If you haven’t seen them already, the images of Disney villains given a more attractive spin have been making the rounds. In fact, some think they appear so beautiful that despite their notorious villainy, they’re probably out of most people’s league… especially Ursula, the half-woman, half-octopus from The Little Mermaid, and Jafar from Aladdin, who’s now a dead ringer for Omar Borkan Al Gala, one of the men allegedly kicked out of Saudi Arabia for being too ridiculously handsome.
Anyway, from Cruella de Vil to Shan Yu, they’ve all been given an extra tszuj and they’re absolutely fabulous. While many find the combination of bad and beautiful well-nigh irresistible, you could also draw a few conclusions as to society’s obsession with beauty (and Disney). Sigh.
Check out these dramatic before-and-after makeovers!
When people think of Japan they often think of Hello Kitty, portable watermelon fridges, or haircuts that look like tomatoes. It’s a country often under-appreciated for all the nature it has to offer.
It being the Golden Week holidays here in Japan and time to kick back, we’re going to take you on a whirlwind tour of the nation, making stops at some of the most beautiful natural areas around. These places range from local favorites and national treasures, to some places even Japanese people aren’t aware of.
We’ll be working our way right down to the Ryukyu region, but let’s begin our photo journey at the northernmost tip of the country in the vast, unspoiled wilderness that is Hokkaido…
Recently a video titled Where is Dobayashi’s Ball Going… Home Run Girl Stares as She Waits Her Turn was uploaded onto the official YouTube channel for Nippon Professional Baseball’s Central League. Within days it became the most watched video on the channel with 286,249 views and counting. The reason why this video of a failed home run became so popular is clear from the image above.
However, you might be wondering what this stunningly beautiful woman is doing in full uniform clutching a doll of what appears to be the Phillie Phanatic and intensely staring at player, Shota Dobayashi.
“Seen this way, Tokyo really is beautiful.”– A comment from the Japanese Niconico Video user who originally posted photographer Samuel Cockedey’s video “Inter States” to the social video site.
The time-lapse video shows splashes of neon interspersed with orange street lamps, streaking red taillights and rushes of black figures, painting detail onto the concrete canvas that is Japan’s capital city. Hives of energy and movement, it sometimes takes an outsider’s perspective to recognise that even a sprawling metropolises like Tokyo can be quite breathtaking when we stop to notice them. The full video after the jump.
As April gets underway and Japan is finally able to thaw itself out, people across the country watch eagerly as a wave of delicate pink flowers gradually makes its way north, signalling the arrival of spring and — perhaps more importantly — the opportunity to have hanami drinking parties in public spaces. Apart from in a handful of especially sheltered areas, Tokyo’s cherry blossom has almost all disappeared from the branches above our heads, but for those in the north and naturally colder regions of Japan, the cherry blossom season is only just beginning.
Imagine their shock, however, when our friends in Nagano opened their curtains this morning to discover their towns covered in a thin layer of snow.
Surrounded by multi-story buildings and forever glued to our computers and smartphones, we often forget that the world we live in was once a much simpler place. People took time over writing letters, arranged to meet with friends and loved ones well in advance and, without streaming video and compact, waterproof music players to keep us entertained, took the time to appreciate the little things in life.
As a reminder of Japan’s once much more subdued yet intrinsically beautiful lifestyle, RocketNews24‘s sister site Pouch presents us with the following collection of photographs, which feature stunning Japanese gardens, arching wooden bridges over rivers, and ordinary folk just going about their day some 100 years ago.
So grab yourself a cup of tea, switch your phone to silent mode and take a few minutes to appreciate just how different life in Japan used to be.
Every year during the summer solstice, the night skies of Poland are filled with thousands of paper lanterns being released into the heavens. People write their wishes on the lanterns before sending them up into the sky in the hope that their wish will some day come true.
Yi Peng is a similar festival that takes place in Thailand, but instead of being used to make a wish, lanterns are used to symbolize the release of one’s troubles. It’s true that the customs and traditions surrounding these two festivals are different, but the sight of thousands of paper stars embracing the night sky is surely a universal beauty.
As a man whose handwriting could be defined as infantile at best, I can’t help but admire those who can wield a fountain pen like a paintbrush. Thanks to the bizarre way in which I hold my pen (I’m right-handed but people often ask if I’m a lefty purely because my grip is so odd), writing with any pen whose ink is wetter than a cheap ballpoint’s results in my hand turning blue and an enormous horizontal smear of ink across the page as if the letters were warping through time.
After seeing this short video from Japanese pen makers Namiki, though, I’m genuinely tempted to sit down and practice writing my ABCs all over again if it means that I can correct my awkward grip and learn to write as beautifully as this…
Asuka Tachikawa, 27, famous for being a “beautiful city councilor,” has had pressure put on her to quit her job because she is actually an alien in disguise trying to ruin the city of Niizu in Saitama (near Tokyo).
Elected as a city councilor in February this year, the Saitama Prefectural Electoral Office has decided that her election is invalid because she may not have lived in the city for more than the required 3 months. In other words, she is an alien.
But what evidence do they have?
In these days of digital media the world is losing more and more brick & mortar shops, which is a shame. Take ebooks for example. Sure they’re infinitely more convenient and less space consuming. But half the fun of reading is going to the book store to find hidden gems and what could be your next favorite. No matter what book store you go to you can’t help but get filled with a sense of elegance and tranquility.
With that in mind, photographer Koach, before capturing the second most beautiful bookstore in Argentina, started his journey in Portugal at the oppositely designed but equally beautiful, Livraria Lello & Irmão (Lello for short).
Around the world women often turn to bizarre-looking contraptions in the quest to look more beautiful and Japan is perhaps home to some of the strangest. Sometimes it even seems like beauty product makers are playing a huge joke on their customers by making them look more ridiculous than beautiful.
The latest of such products is Hana-Tsun (Pointy Nose), produced by Glim Inc., who are no strangers to thinking outside the box when it comes to beauty products.
- Chinese man leaps to his death during five-hour shopping trip with girlfriend1
- Your holiday (counterfeit) gift-buying guide!2
- 92-year-old grandmother creates gorgeous traditional Japanese toys3
- Let’s learn a little Japanese with this dead squid in a parking lot4
- Onsen trivia! Finding the hottest, highest, and healthiest hot springs in Japan5
- What Apple and Microsoft Would Look Like if Personified as Anime Characters6
- 10 Japanese foods you can make at home!7
- 13 surprising Japanese translations of American movie titles8
- Beijing man caught on camera groping commuter from beneath her seat 【Video】9
- Men’s butts are shaped like green peppers, according to this butt illustration guide10
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China1
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】2
- Nine unusual products from Japanese designer, Oki Sato3
- Cute credit cards could send you to the slammer4
- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour5
- Live-action Attack on Titan gets release date, new director6
- The last photo of faithful dog Hachiko breaks our hearts7
- Girl runs away from home to stop her parents from buying a Japanese car8
- Subway mini skirt peeping tom found innocent9
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea10
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】1
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】2
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】3
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs4
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!5
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong6
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right7
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China8
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】9
- The amazing disaster relief equipment of Japan’s Self Defense Force10
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】1
- 252 of Japan’s favorite animated gifs2
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】3
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong4
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs5
- Thinking about plastic surgery? This ad may make you laugh – or it could make you think twice!6
- Meet the new model set to make manga artists’ lives a whole lot easier7
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right8
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!9
- Snake being pickled to create healing liquor awakens after 3 months and bites woman10
- What Apple and Microsoft Would Look Like if Personified as Anime Characters
- 10 Japanese foods you can make at home!
- 13 surprising Japanese translations of American movie titles
- Beijing man caught on camera groping commuter from beneath her seat 【Video】
- Men’s butts are shaped like green peppers, according to this butt illustration guide
- Biker/Photographer gives Google Street View car taste of its own medicine
- Live-action Attack on Titan gets release date, new director
- Video game maker’s Akihabara pizza joint has great food, not a single maid
- Fashionable fairy tale cosplays could pass as adorable dresses
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China
- HEMORRHOIDS! The Best of Comically Bad Japanese T-Shirts on Non-Japanese Torsos
- We compare global attitudes about cosmetic surgery
- 16 films based on popular manga series hitting Japanese cinemas in 2014