Anything worth doing in excess is worth overdoing in excess. Or at least that seems to be the motto for this gathering in Taiwan. An entire street is covered in what looks like red scraps of paper, or if you’re feeling more poetic, flower petals. Turns out it’s neither of those things, and as the following video will show, “Boom Boom Pow!”
Nov 26, 2014
Shimotsuki Festival is held every December in the remote mountains of Nagano Prefecture, Japan. But as well as locals, the festival also attracts visitors from farther afield, all ooking for the magic and fantasy of the world of Studio Ghibli.
That’s because this ancient festival, featuring boiling cauldrons and dancing monsters, has an unlikely and little-known claim to fame: it inspired Hayao Miyazaki to make Spirited Away.
Sep 27, 2014
Some of our readers may be aware of Pixiv, the popular Japanese online community that provides a forum for artists to share and receive feedback on their illustrated works. Well, we certainly think such a community is a meaningful use for the Internet, and now, we’re even more excited to hear that Pixiv will be putting on a real-life festival! It’s the “Pixiv Festival – where drawing is fuuuuuuuuun!!!!!!!!!!!!” scheduled to be held in Roppongi next month, and while the event is sure to provide plenty of opportunity for artistic action, it seems there’ll also be some very interesting food options available as well — yes, you’ll be able to sample dishes that have actually been recreated from illustrations shared on the site, so let’s take a closer look at some of the unique culinary creations that have been brought to life especially for the festival!
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Sep 12, 2014
Hassaku Matsuri is a festival in Japan reserved for asking the gods for a bountiful harvest and happy life. It occurs every year during the first day of the eighth lunar month, usually falling during the beginning of September. Just as dialects and traditional foods vary depending on the region, Hassaku Matsuri is celebrated in vastly contrasting ways, especially in Kumamoto, Fukui, and Ibaraki prefectures. From intricate structures made of natural materials to an extremely inappropriate goblin, join us as we explore a few of the many Hassaku traditions in Japan.
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?!?
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.
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?
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.
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.)
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.
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?
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.
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!
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
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
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.
- No more photo retouches! New makeup for cosplayers claims to create photo-perfect skin1
- How many do you know? 12 delicious foods in Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores2
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”3
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time4
- Ritzy Japanese cop breaks Rolex wristwatch during arrest, sends suspect US$6,000 repair bill5
- Mexican apparel company offers sweet Dragon Ball Z sneakers6
- Cross-dressing Cosplay Idol Group a Huge Hit in China7
- We swear you’ve never seen Tokyo like this before 【Video】8
- The detail on these Japanese dollhouses is amazing!9
- Japanese granny attempts to trash treasure trove of old photographs, is thwarted by grandkids10
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”1
- Edo era Samurai were pretty gay2
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time3
- Attack on Titan’s Universal Studios Japan attraction opens4
- Disney Store is all grown up with new branch designed for adult women opening in Tokyo5
- Netizens hatch adorable baby birds from supermarket eggs, provide evidence6
- Secret backmasked message found hidden in Dragon Ball Z ending song7
- No more photo retouches! New makeup for cosplayers claims to create photo-perfect skin8
- Cross-dressing Cosplay Idol Group a Huge Hit in China9
- Is “Ago-kui” the next “Kabe-don”?10
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing1
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”2
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】3
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones4
- Edo era Samurai were pretty gay5
- Ugly-cute makeup genius feeds off negative troll comments on Twitter6
- “Malaysian girl holding things” is our new favourite Instagram account 【Photos】7
- Teacher draws over students’ doodles to make red pen masterpieces8
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time9
- Photos of people lining up outside of the Sapporo Apple Store make us feel positively frozen10
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”1
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher2
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood3
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin4
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours5
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】6
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school7
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing8
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”9
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises10
- Mexican apparel company offers sweet Dragon Ball Z sneakers
- Cross-dressing Cosplay Idol Group a Huge Hit in China
- We swear you’ve never seen Tokyo like this before 【Video】
- The detail on these Japanese dollhouses is amazing!
- Japanese granny attempts to trash treasure trove of old photographs, is thwarted by grandkids
- Unreal “animation dancer” makes Japanese salarymen breakdance with the power of magic sunglasses
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China
- Evangelion couple rings let you tell your sweetheart you love him or her like Shinji loves Kaworu
- Sailor Moon sweetness arrives as Babbi chocolates for Valentines, and with extra goodies too!
- Team Japan’s goal keeper is awfully good at catching cats
- We try beer with whipped cream on top…because we’re fancy
- Inside China’s Mission Hills Golf Club, the largest golf resort in the world
- Autistic teen artist creates masterful sketches with help of photographic memory