Normally, Shinkiba 1stRING features the physical feats of Japan’s pro-wrestling circuit. The ring is always packed with wrestling fans whenever there is an event, but what happens when there is no wrestling? Partying, obviously! On August 9, with the looming threat of Typhoon 11, people gathered for a one-of-a-kind party in Japan, possibly the first of its kind: a music festival that mixes bumping beats with…clear lube?!?
- KK Miller
Aug 7, 2014
Summer festivals all have one thing in common: there’s always a ton of people at them. That also means there are plenty of exciting booths to spend your money at. Besides food stalls, there are some popular carnival-type games that you’ll find at festivals in Japan, most of which are classic games of skill and luck which reward you with a variety of prizes. Perhaps one of the most famous festival games is a goldfish scooping game called kingyo sukui.
This year, however a slightly different “fishing” game was spotted at a summer festival held in Osaka. As you might imagine from a game requiring participants to “fish” for live hamsters, it is certainly generating a wide range of reactions.
- Fran Wrigley
Jul 29, 2014
Japanese soccer fans attracted plenty of praise at the World Cup last month when, having watched their team lose to Ivory Coast, they diligently cleaned up their trash from the stadium. Whether you think these supporters’ actions show how important it is to Japanese people to be considerate of others, or just good old-fashioned common sense that applies wherever you are in the world, everyone (well, almost everyone) agreed that taking your rubbish home with you is A Good Thing.
This week, however, Japanese Twitter users have breathed a collective disappointed sigh as photos of the trash left in the streets after the world-famous Sumida River Fireworks Festival show some people in Japan aren’t as super-considerate as we’d like to think. Is Tokyo an exception to the rules? Or is Japan’s reputation as a super-clean nation undeserved?
- KK Miller
Jul 17, 2014
For those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, three and a half years still might not be enough time separating the event from the present day. Each slight tremble in the earth, any loud alarm can be a painful reminder of all that was lost that afternoon. While the saying goes “time heals all wounds”, a bit of light-hearted fun always helps the process along. On August 11, 2014, on the 3 ½ year mark of the disastrous event, the LIGHT UP NIPPON event will be celebrating in remembrance, as it has for the past four years.
- Oona McGee
May 30, 2014
Have you heard of Tropfest? For thousands of Australians, the name conjures up images of picnics, green grass and long, warm days that turn into night, bringing out stars like Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush.
It’s the biggest short-film festival in the world, born in a small café in Sydney in 1993 and growing every year, travelling to places like New York, Abu Dhabi and Cape York. This year the outdoor film festival is making its debut in Japan, bringing with it Aussie food stalls and a great selection of film shorts.
Wow, Japan, is that a giant wooden phallus in your hot springs, or are you just happy to see m–oh. I see. Well, uh, I’ll just be on my way then. Um…maybe one quick photo…
As you are surely already aware, Japan has quite a few unusual, phallic festivals allegedly intended to be fertility rites for couples hoping for children. They’re also great attractions for curious tourists or anyone who wants to try frosted penis-bananas. Iwate Prefecture, perhaps not wanting to be left out, has a phallus festival of its own. Its standout feature? The phallus riding event! And, great news, ladies, they’re taking applications!
(Before clicking below, use your best judgement about whether or not this is something you should be reading at work.)
- Cara Clegg
Apr 5, 2014
It’s that time of year again! Spring is in the air, the cherry blossoms are blooming, and everyone’s feeling a little bit randy. What better way to celebrate life than with the Kanamara Matsuri, better known as the Penis Festival, to be held on April 6th from 11am to 6pm.
Every year on 15 March in Komaki City, Aichi the Honen Matsuri (Harvest Festival) is held. Unlike other harvest festivals this one is to celebrate all forms bounty from crops to cash to family.
Also unlike other harvest festivals, this one has a 2.5m wooden phallus that gets paraded through the city during the afternoon. It’s called “Ooowasegata” (lit. big guy stem figure) and this year it drew a crowd of 190,000 spectators according to a Tagata Shrine announcement.
- Fran Wrigley
Mar 8, 2014
Japanese children enjoy many rite-of-passage celebration and age-specific holidays. This week it was Girls’ Day (hina matsuri) on March 3rd; next up in May will be Children’s Day (kodomo no hi). Another children’s holiday comes along in November: shichi-go-san, for children who have turned 3, 5 or 7 that year.
Once Japanese young adults turn 20, they have a special holiday to celebrate the beginning of adulthood, too. Coming of Age Day (seijin no hi) celebrates those who have reached the Japanese age of majority by turning 20 the previous year. And now growing in popularity is the “halfway to adulthood” festival, held when a child is 10 years old.
So what is this new(ish) celebration, where did it come from, and what does its burgeoning popularity tell us about Japan today?
- Master Blaster
Mar 1, 2014
Have you ever watched the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan and thought to yourself: “Man, that looks like one hell of a party”? If your answer is yes, then you might want to check out the annual Yanshui Fireworks Festival in Taiwan every February.
The event has gained notoriety for not only shooting its fireworks into the sky, but also directly at the faces of people watching them. Although such interactivity makes this the next level in fireworks displays, this festival actually dates back nearly two centuries.
- Joan Coello
Dec 17, 2013
Over the weekend, I stopped by the End of Year Cosplay Festival (EOY) held at Marina Barrage in Singapore. Although I love anime, I’ve never been to an anime convention or cosplay festival for one simple reason: I hate crowds. But this time around I had a friend, who coincidentally is a cosplay photographer, to show me the ropes of treading through a people-packed cosfest, so I braved the crowds to bring you guys (and girls) some fabulous cosplay photos!
- Casey Baseel
Sep 19, 2013
Located in a remote section of a remote prefecture of Japan, Kumamoto’s Amakusa City faces the same problem a lot of rural towns do: its population is dwindling as children born there generally have to leave to pursue an education or career, and few move back.
As part of an effort to boost the remaining residents’ spirits, as well as hopefully garner a little tourism publicity, Amakusa recently held a World Santa Congress.
They’re usually the epitome of seriousness and order, but it seems even military men can find Japan’s summer heat a little overwhelming…
New fad in Japan: Posting your phone number, bank account, and other personal information on Twitter
- Preston Phro
Aug 13, 2013
Even as more and more people complain about how unsocial social network services have become, some Japanese Twitter users have put their faith in humanity and opened up a new line of communication with their fellow Tweeters.
How? By publicly posting their phone numbers, some going as far as posting their bank account information and address.
Over the years, Thailand has gone by many names. Until 1939 it was Siam, and the country’s friendly citizens have earned it the nickname “The Land of Smiles.”
For a few days each year though, Thailand is also “The Land of the City-Wide Splash Fights.” Read More
- Master Blaster
Apr 9, 2013
On the first Sunday of April in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, the Kanayama Shrine holds a festival known casually as the “Penis Festival” on account of its huge array of multi-colored members.
Known as one of Japan’s oddest festivals, the Kanamara Festival draws huge throbbing crowds from around the world. We sent a reporter to this year’s festival for a glans-on experience. The following is her report, along with more photos and videos than you could shake a wang at.
Coming just days after we brought you images of visitors at a zoo in China tormenting lions by throwing snowballs at them, we receive a collection of photos taken earlier this week showing tourists at China’s Jilin festival shooting arrows at live roosters tied to a wall of ice.
The brutal practice is allegedly part of the yearly festival where visitors are invited to pick up a bow and take a few shots at the squirming birds. Although some of the tourists reportedly refused to take part, there were others who, sadly, weren’t afraid to spill a little blood.
Some readers may find the following images disturbing.
- Philip Kendall
Nov 13, 2012
Tori no Ichi is an open-air market festival held in Japan on the day of the Rooster in November, as determined by the Chinese calendar. At the festivals, markets are set up in front of or near to Shinto shrines, and charms- most often decorated bamboo rakes called kumade- that are said to bring the owner good fortune in the coming year are sold to visitors.
Kumade literally means “bear hand”, since, when you think about them, rakes are shaped rather like a large hand with claws. Rakes were chosen generations ago as a sign of good luck since they can be used to draw things– in this case wealth and good fortune– towards us, and the practice of buying ornamental rakes has been common in Japan since the Edo period (1600-1867).
Wanting to check out the lively festival and ask for continued success for the website next year, our reporter Mr. Sato headed over to the famous Hanazono shrine in Shinjuku to purchase a kumade on behalf of RocketNews24.
However, having never purchased one of the charms before, he discovered that he had more than a couple of things to learn…
Sep 24, 2012
When Chinese officials were deciding how to handle the over-100,000 visitors expected to show up for the Xishan Wanshou Palace Temple Fair, an annual religious festival held in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, there was one problem: what to do with the beggars?
The scale of the event in recent years has made it a magnet for the impoverished and homeless seeking alms and many visitors have complained the constant pleading for pocket change ruins the festive atmosphere.
Unable to just throw the beggars off the street (this is a religious festival, mind you), organizers decided to take the humanitarian route and erect a 165 foot-long iron cage to keep them in during the duration of the festival.
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:
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- When cosplay meets computer graphics, all we can do is gawk in awe【Photos】3
- Gaming culture takes a hit as Sony demos its virtual reality headset with schoolgirl leering sim4
- Chinese parenting posters from 1952 gave insightful advice that still makes plenty of sense today5
- Stripped of title, Miss Asia Pacific winner goes on the lam with expensive prize tiara 【Update】6
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later7
- Eight-year-old boy gets stopped at the airport for a suspicious bulge in his pants8
- Living tree bridges and other breathtaking scenery at the rainiest place on Earth9
- Insane selfies taken from the top (the very top) of a Hong Kong skyscraper 【Video】10
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons3
- Hello Kitty isn’t a cat!? We called Sanrio to find out!4
- Taiwanese Tsunade cosplayer sparks debate about public decency at events5
- Visiting the South Pole and 14 other lesser known crimes in Japan6
- Sanrio says, “Hello Kitty is not a cat.” Whaaa?7
- Chinese parenting posters from 1952 gave insightful advice that still makes plenty of sense today8
- Master drummers are lurking in Japanese game centers9
- Say goodbye to carved pumpkins because fruit faces will scare your socks off this Halloween10
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】1
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later2
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls3
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons4
- The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】5
- Hello Kitty isn’t a cat!? We called Sanrio to find out!6
- Taiwanese Tsunade cosplayer sparks debate about public decency at events7
- We swear we won’t tell anyone if you buy one of these super lifelike love dolls from Japan8
- Visiting the South Pole and 14 other lesser known crimes in Japan9
- Sanrio says, “Hello Kitty is not a cat.” Whaaa?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
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】3
- Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup4
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later5
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls6
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons7
- The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】8
- Life’s not perfect? Says who? This woman’s life is too perfect to be true!9
- Brass section rejoice! Your ideal smartphone accessory has arrived10
- Stripped of title, Miss Asia Pacific winner goes on the lam with expensive prize tiara 【Update】
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later
- Eight-year-old boy gets stopped at the airport for a suspicious bulge in his pants
- Living tree bridges and other breathtaking scenery at the rainiest place on Earth
- Insane selfies taken from the top (the very top) of a Hong Kong skyscraper 【Video】
- Kansai scraps “power off” mobile phone ban on trains; Kantō won’t budge
- Stay safe on the cheap with a disaster preparedness kit put together at the 100-yen shop
- Terrifyingly terrific haunted house’s puzzles are so tough it has a continue system
- “No ball games” & “No practicing comedy routines”: City Parks in Japan let you do less and less
- Hello Kitty isn’t a cat!? We called Sanrio to find out!
- Move over Beats, there’s a new overpriced set of headphones on the market
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls
- Abandoned newborn rescued from drainpipe in China