Japan’s two Sanrio theme parks are holding a one-day event on December 4 filled with shows, special events and your favorite characters. The best part is that it will cost you absolutely nothing to get in that day!
Aren’t the words “free entry,” “costs nothing,” and “0 yen” exciting to hear? I think we can all agree that there’s nothing better than a good deal, especially when that deal happens to be completely, 100% free.
While attractions marked as free may set warning bells ringing for some people, Japan has plenty of high-quality, worthwhile places to visit that are such a blast, you actually wouldn’t mind paying money for admission—except that they really do cost absolutely nothing to enter!
There’s no denying McDonald’s Japan has had rough time these past few years, with incidents like the spoiled meat scandal contributing to declining sales. To complicate matters further, some of the fast food chain’s campaigns and initiatives, like the sudden removal of menus from its counters (which have since been reinstated), have been met with confusion if not outright anger from Japanese customers. Now, it seems McDonald’s has captured the Japanese Internet’s attention again with what could well be their strangest campaign ever.
McDonald’s Japan will be releasing a new line of “affordably priced” burgers on October 26. And while that’s all fine and well, it’s their special one-day promotion in which they’ll be giving away these new burgers for free that has been raising eyebrows due to its bizarre catch.
Ramen lovers in Japan will have something to be excited about this Friday, October 16. Popular ramen chain Hakata Ippudo is celebrating their 30th anniversary that day and will be offering complimentary bowls of ramen at 30 select locations. That’s right, we’re talking FREE RAMEN here, and come the 16th, we know there’ll be plenty of customers waiting for their bowl of steaming pork-broth noodles!
Japan is well-known for its unique hospitality culture, which partially stems from the concept of “ichigo-ichie” (lit. “one time, one meeting”), the tea master’s philosophy that every encounter is a once-in-a-lifetime moment to be cherished.
Now, Japan is flexing its hospitality muscles in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by rolling out new services and products to help visitors and reduce the stress that comes with travelling in a country where things can sometimes get lost in translation. The latest display of impressive hospitality comes from Saitama City, where the city council is offering free SIM cards to its foreign visitors.
Today (October 1) is Citizen’s Day in Tokyo, celebrating the independence and welfare of the area’s residents. And what better way to do that than by giving them free access to over 20 of Tokyo’s cultural attractions from museums to art galleries to gardens and even zoos.
Now, considering it’s Citizen’s Day you might be thinking that such a deal is only open to people living in Tokyo, but no! Anyone who can get out here today and today only can get free admission to the following places.
There are many instances of anime successes rejuvenating tourism in some lesser-known parts of Japan, and one of those towns that benefitted from an anime boom is Iwami of Tottori Prefecture, the setting location for the hit anime series Free!.
Even now, two years since Free! first aired, fans are still flocking to Iwami to drink in the atmosphere of the town where their favorite characters “live.” A Japanese fan recently went the extra mile to combine some of the anime scenes and actual locations into a single frame, creating awesome 2.5-dimensional images that went viral and triggered the feels in fellow fans. Check them out after the break!
Birds of a feather flock together, so the saying goes. And that concept applies to non-humans as well; it’s not uncommon for pets and their owners to act, and sometimes even look, somehow similar after spending years together. Even in the super popular anime and game series Pokémon, where the aim of the game is to collect as many pokémon as possible, many of the pokémon trainers in the series use pocket monsters that somehow resemble them.
But what the characters of the anime series Free! were pokémon trainers? Which creatures would they have under their well-toned wings? Find out as this Japanese fan puts her imagination to work in a series of awesome Pokémon x Free! crossover illustrations!
A few months ago, the announcement came that High Speed!, the light novel that serves as the starting point to the swimming anime/abdominal exercise motivator Free!, was being adapted into an animated theatrical feature. Unfortunately, the movie’s not scheduled to open until December, but that doesn’t mean fans will have to spend the whole summer without the tautly toned team of aquatic athletes, as a manga adaptation of High Speed! is set to go on sale before the fall.
Every now and then, Japan takes a shine to something that’s new to it but much more common overseas. Chairs, for example, were pretty much nonexistent in the country until the late 1800s, but now you’ll find them in just about every home except the most bare-bones of bachelor pads. Beer (one of the greatest beverages to enjoy while sitting on said chairs) is another foreign concept that’s gained mainstream popularity.
Likewise, although it’s taken some time to catch on, the number of places offering free Wi-Fi in Japan has been steadily increasing over the last few years, and is now available on the Tohoku Shinkansen and all of the stations on Tokyo’s most convenient train line.
Certain sports seem like obvious choices for an anime series. Baseball, for example, has a team-first atmosphere that meshes with Japan’s cultural value of putting the group before the self, and has enough breaks in the action for lengthy conversations between characters on the same team. Boxing, being all about two dudes trying to punch each other into submission while taking a breather every three minutes in which the focus can shift to the hero’s internal monologue, also makes for an easy translation to dramatic animation.
Swimming, on the other hand, seems like a hard fit, as the athletes’ actions are fundamentally repetitive, and being underwater precludes any snappy dialogue. But what the sport does have going for it is slim, toned, almost naked competitors, and anime studio Kyoto Animation has ridden the fangirl fever-inducing cast of swimming saga Free! to critical and commercial success. Next up for the franchise: a brand-new theatrical feature that’s scheduled to be released before the end of the year.
It’s almost that time of the year! The time of the year that people who work for postal services probably dread the most. Tis’ the season for greeting cards, be it for Christmas or for the New Year. While electronic greetings have become a major trend, what with the wide range of social networking platforms we have access to nowadays, handwritten snail-mailed cards just pack that much more warmth and sincerity than mass sending a copy-and-paste kind of generic message to every friend, family member and I-don’t-remember-who-you-are on your contact list.
If you’re a manga or anime fan who likes to send cards with a touch that represents who you are, or if you know someone who would be thrilled to receive an anime-inspired greeting card, these awesome hand-crafted anime/manga-inspired cards would probably be your best bet!
Even if you’re not an anime fan, you’ve no doubt heard that the hugely popular ninja series Naruto has finally reached its climax after more than 15 years. It’s never fun when a beloved show or serial comes to an end, and fans are often left searching for something new to fill the void in their lives that opens up when they do, but when you have a back-catalogue as rich and extensive as Naruto‘s, revisiting older instalments is sure to provide hours, if not weeks of pleasure.
Which, it seems, it precisely what Naruto‘s publisher is hoping both diehard fans and latecomers alike will do next, and is providing them with free issues of the manga and anime episodes direct to their smartphones via a brand new app for iOS and Android.
Recently, we brought you the news that McDonald’s Japan is offering free chicken nuggets in a bid to restore consumer good will in the wake of the “Chickengate” scandal. As reported, expired Chinese chicken found its way into a range of fast food eateries’ products, sparking public fears of food poisoning. We’ve been curious as to how many people jumped at the chance for free but potentially tainted nuggets, (although McDonald’s Japan has now switched their chicken supplier from China to Thailand) and how many decided to steer clear. Luckily for us, Livedoor has conducted a survey of 1,000 participants to see how many would be willing to cash in a free chicken coupon. The results are… kind of a mix.
This summer, consumers in Japan were shocked by the news of “Chickengate”, the Chinese food scandal that revealed a dirty secret behind our favorite Chicken McNuggets. Since then, McDonald’s Japan has tried to win back customers with Tofu McNuggets, and more recently introduced the “Hiru Mac” or “Lunchtime Mac” to encourage patrons to come for lunch and enjoy great discounted prices.
But, the public still worries about where the chicken is coming from. The sales of McNuggets haven’t recovered since McDonald’s Japan revealed that the chicken comes from Thailand, so they’re trying a new tactic of…giving away free Chicken McNuggets.
“There’s nothing more beautiful than these two cosplayers,” sums up the general consensus of fans around the world. But they’re not talking about a pair of women–they’re talking about two men.
Photos of a Chinese duo recreating perfect snapshot scenes from hit anime series such as Kuroko’s Basketball, Free!, Detective Conan, Reborn!, and Sailor Moon, among others, have recently been taking the internet by storm. It’s not hard to see why–their combined skill at convincingly portraying fictional characters in real life, along with their attention to detail in everything from costume to facial expression, is unparalleled. Unsurprisingly, they’ve also picked up more than a few female fans along the way, who can’t stop gushing things like “They’re so cool I’m gonna explode!” and “GODS!” in comments online.
Prepare to be dazzled by these ultimate masters of cosplay!
The snow in Japan may be starting to melt (unless you live in Hokkaido), but that doesn’t mean the snowmen have to go away. Thanks to Megmilk Snow Brand Company, you’ll be greeted by a chilly friend every morning with their limited edition snow mug campaign.
Expensive Tokyo living got you down? Are you staring another three-day weekend in the face and wondering what havoc it will wreak on your wallet? You’re in luck! There are plenty of places to enjoy yourself for free all over Tokyo, if you know where to look. RocketNews24 has sifted through the many options and has come up with 12 suggestions that will not disappoint. Try them next time you have a last-minute date or cobwebs in your billfold!
The first version of Square Enix’s Lady Lora-saving slime-battling RPG, Dragon Quest, is now available on your smartphone…for free! But hurry up and download it fast, it’s only available to the first one million downloaders.