In Kyushu, Japan, there’s a tiny little village that’s drawing in visitors from across the world. Part Ghibli fantasy, part English Cotswolds, the town houses an Alice in Wonderland store, a Peter Rabbit petting zoo, and a bread shop modelled on the bakery in Kiki’s Delivery Service. And if you can’t bear to tear yourself away from the gorgeous shop-fronts and blossoming gardens, there’s a hotel where you can stay and gaze out at the cluster of cottages from the comfort of your own room. We step into the fantasy world and take a closer look at the shops, restaurants and services on offer in this special little town.
I can’t even remember the last time I “said Grace” before a meal. It must have been before my teens, when my parents realized I was a Godless, hopeless heathen that shoveled food into my mouth so fast I couldn’t even taste it.
Which, I guess, puts my manners one level below four Chinese dogs that dutifully bow and lower their heads as their owner/trainer says a few words of thanks for their meal.
We’ve all no doubt heard of the polite deer in the city of Nara that have learned to bow their heads to tourists in order to get food, but did you know that they also obey the law and know how to cross the road properly?
Check out these photos for one incredibly cute example of how to use a pedestrian crossing!
- Cara Clegg
Apr 17, 2014
The most popular images on the ‘Net are probably cats and cute girls, and the latest lovely ‘lady’ to draw the appreciative gaze of netizens is Lao Wan, the lead vocalist of a Taiwanese band called Green! Eyes. But of course, nothing is ever quite as it seems. Prepare to leave your gender preconceptions at the door.
- Joan Coello
Apr 16, 2014
Japan has never ceased to fascinate us with their truckloads of girl idol groups, gravure idols and, well, just cute girls in general. The Japanese population seem to be rather satiated with their ever-increasing troops of idols too. However, there has been some hype on some Japanese websites recently, with netizens uploading photos of a Chinese girl whom they think is “too cute”.
And the good news is, no “traps” are involved this time!
Unlike cats, dogs are usually pretty easy to win over. Constantly seeking praise and approval, with a few “good boy”s and a scratch behind the ear they’ll immediately cheer up and want to be friends again. You can praise a cat until you’re blue in the face — it neither wants nor needs your approval, and if it’s not in the mood, you’ll soon know about it.
This little shiba inu, though, looks especially irked, and is making no secret of the fact that he’s cross by ignoring his owner no matter what she says or does. All until…
- Philip Kendall
Apr 14, 2014
Last week, we brought you Japanese retail company Muji’s guide to getting nothing done thanks to the comfort and unparalleled lethargy inducing qualities of the mighty bean bag chair. Well, it seems that some of our canine and feline friends have been paying close attention, and no sooner had their owners picked one up, immediately began showing us all how to use Muji’s popular bean bag chairs properly.
Judging by these photos, these little guys are clearly the true relaxation ninjas of the land.
People in Japan love their soft toys. And with so many cute characters to choose from, it’s easy to understand why. But with love comes a sense of responsibility, which means there will eventually come a time when your favourite stuffed character will have to face the wash. The only thing is, with their adorable, life-like expressions, a wash-and-dry for a stuffed toy ends up looking like a day at the spa followed by a visit to the amusement park!
Check out the adventures of some crazy Japanese plushies, as documented by their owners, after the jump.
Everyone loves hamsters. From the Internet masses cooing over their adorable keisters to snakes who refuse to eat them, there’s something about their furry round bodies that reduces us to piles of squealing glee. They’re just so cuuuuuuuute!
And what’s the only thing cuter than a hamster? Well, if you said “Baby hamsters,” then you are clearly psychic! We’d tell you to get out of our heads, but we’re too busy “awww”ing over these photos.
- Cara Clegg
Apr 12, 2014
It’s the weekend! And one of these things is not quite like the others…
Apr 10, 2014
I’ve tried to crochet a cute little amigurumi animal in the past. In fact, I’ve had several attempts at it, but failed every time. I read a book on crocheting and even had someone teach me, but the end result was always the same: a tangled mess of yarn, a whole lot of frustration, and the shattered dream of creating a yarn buddy to call my own. So when I saw these micro amigurumi, I couldn’t believe that someone was able to crochet a unique animal pattern, let alone one that is so small it can balance on the tip of your finger.
Despite many of us considering them to be pets, with the immense power they wield over humans and their near total domination of the internet, cats are clearly the ones in charge. They appear with such frequency in ancient Egyptian iconography that many have wondered whether the Egyptians knew something about cats that we don’t, and no matter how many treats we give the felines we share our homes with, they just never seem to accept us as equals, let alone their masters.
And now, a photo of an ancient set of Chinese characters has given internet users in China even more reason to believe that cats were once the true rulers of the world. Behold: kanji characters depicting cats with ninja headbands!
You know it’s a cynical sales technique, so you try to be sensible and hold yourself apart, but sometimes commercials really know how to pull the heartstrings. We dare you to watch this spot for a Thai life insurance company and not get a little misty eyed.
It would seem that marketing in Japan is a far cry from the complicated psychological manipulation employed by the ad geniuses of Mad Men. Things, it would seem, are a lot simpler than that for advertising and promotions executives at Japanese firms, ever since someone came upon the brilliant idea of using cutesy anime girls to promote damn near everything.
The huge, innocent eyes and adolescent proportions of the common anime girl apparently trigger something deep in the dark recesses of the brain that makes people lose all rational control, buying up “moe”-promoted goods by the truckload and even making potentially life-endangering decisions like joining the Japan Self Defense Forces.
- Casey Baseel
Apr 9, 2014
In a way, small children are scary. Their language skills aren’t fully developed, so you can’t negotiate with them. When they’re angry, their lack of adherence to societal norms means they’re likely to scream at or even bite you. Really, the only thing that keeps them from being paralyzingly frightening is the superior size and strength we have as full-grown adults.
So when we first heard about toddlers practicing judo, which would eventually allow them to use our strength against us, we assumed they must be terrifying. Then we watched this video, and learned that they’re somehow even more adorable as a result of their training in Japanese grappling techniques.
- Angelina Lucienne
Apr 8, 2014
The recent news that Denny’s Japan is offering Pikachu pancakes—but only on the kids menu—has some readers, and us too if we’re being honest, pining for Pokémon sweets. While store-bought kits have had less than perfect results, even when they’re for cakes, we are determined to produce cute ones at home!
Thankfully, with this recipe, you can make your own “Peachu” pancakes! Pichu is essentially a baby Pikachu, making it even cuter, right?
- Philip Kendall
Apr 8, 2014
Don’t even bother getting up on stage; this kid has just stolen the show.
Three-year-old Zhang Junhao blew audiences away recently with a genuinely impressive performance at a Chinese talent show. After handing the judges the remote control to flick between audio tracks at will, the pint-sized performer showed his skill on the stage, wowing the judges with an array of cute dances before revealing that his dream is to “make people happy.”
- Joan Coello
Apr 8, 2014
Let’s be honest, if selfies (self-portrait photographs) were a crime, most, if not all of us would be found guilty. With a million and one smart phone applications created to satisfy our narcissistic photography habits, catering to the needs of every possible user group; from hardcore selfie maniacs to tech-newbies, even preschool kids are selfie experts these days.
If you are one of the rare few who have yet to jump on to the selfie bandwagon, get this. Even cats are taking selfies, and they’re surprisingly good at it! Not only do they look cute and fuzzy as always, they make some of the most hilarious expressions too!
Meet Marutaro, a pigmy hedgehog who lives in Japan with his hedgehog wife, Okomesan, and daughter, Kinoko. As you might be able to tell already, he isn’t any ordinary hedgehog. With 41,800 followers on Twitter and plenty more admirers around the web, Marutaro is the most famous hedgehog in the world.
- Joan Coello
Apr 7, 2014
An uninhabited island, Big Major Cay, located in Exuma of the Bahamas, is home to what are arguably the world’s happiest pigs! More commonly known as Pig Island or Pig Beach by the locals, this tropical getaway is famous for none other than its adorable swimming pigs!
- How to properly pronounce “Ghibli” and other fun trivia about the legendary animation studio1
- Basement Jaxx’s bizarre Japan-based music video freaks us out, makes us want to dance2
- Some flights are more cramped than others – 29 sumo wrestlers pack into one tiny plane3
- “I know how it’s done!”: Japanese TV guest learns what not to say to a magician on live TV【Video】4
- McDonald’s Japan just released Tofu Nuggets, and they taste… 【Taste Test】5
- Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】6
- Live-action Attack on Titan confirmed for 2 films7
- The top 20 most eagerly anticipated anime of summer 2014, as chosen by fans!8
- Hairy armpit selfies have invaded China’s biggest social networking platform【Photos】9
- Mysterious fire materializes inside Saitama train station on Tuesday10
- Little kid causes a stink after parents tell him to poop in his seat during Delta Airlines flight1
- 16-year-old girl arrested for beheading classmate in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture2
- This watermelon might be the most disappointing thing you see today3
- Gamer discovers his deceased father’s ghost on an old Xbox game, challenges it to a race4
- Internet survey sheds light on how Japanese women deal with the hair ‘down there’5
- Vietnamese man, angry at wife, hatches bizarre revenge scheme: Cut off his own penis6
- What turned Tokyo Disneyland into the Loneliest Place on Earth last weekend?7
- Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】8
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker9
- Hairy armpit selfies have invaded China’s biggest social networking platform【Photos】10
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!1
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker2
- Life’s not perfect? Says who? This woman’s life is too perfect to be true!3
- Japanese politician screams and cries at press conference as he defends expenses claims【Video】4
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!5
- “Retweet if you thought I was a girl”: This beautiful young man, in his own words【Photos】6
- Little kid causes a stink after parents tell him to poop in his seat during Delta Airlines flight7
- Japanese giant salamander caught taking a stroll on land8
- German team hero Mario Gotze wins World Cup, later loses dignity thanks to gross pic9
- These anime mascots are just what the World Cup has been missing!10
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker1
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!2
- Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup3
- Doggy gets upset over his new haircut, walks around on hind legs like a boss for two days4
- Russian crocodile hospitalized after woman falls on it5
- Internet falls in love with Chinese cosplaying beauty, disappointed to hear she’s a guy 【Updated】6
- Not your average Bulbasaur: Mayan-style Pokemon7
- Chinese student asks for cooked sushi at Sukibayashi Jiro, gets flamed by Chinese netizens8
- The official Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist trailer just made our day【Video】9
- This amazing water cake just may be the most delicate sweet ever created!10
- Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】
- Live-action Attack on Titan confirmed for 2 films
- The top 20 most eagerly anticipated anime of summer 2014, as chosen by fans!
- Hairy armpit selfies have invaded China’s biggest social networking platform【Photos】
- Mysterious fire materializes inside Saitama train station on Tuesday
- Sumida River Fireworks Festival aftermath: Not everyone in Japan has perfect manners after all
- Blogger’s silly video of types of dancers at Singapore clubs is trending in Japan
- That awkward moment when your phone rings on live TV… and then you make it worse 【Video】
- Baked Kit Kats now showing up in cakes, parfaits, and crepes across Japan
- Ryokan etiquette: What not to do when staying at a traditional Japanese inn
- From Sailor Moon to Freddy Krueger – The lovely cosplayers of Wonder Festival
- This watermelon might be the most disappointing thing you see today
- Want a bit of One Piece magic? This real-looking Devil Fruit is sure to set the right mood!