As you probably know gun ownership in Japan is quite rare, but it certainly does exist. The main reason for people to own firearms (almost always rifles or shotguns) is hunting–which is still mostly dominated by old men. However, one demographic is growing even as the overall number of hunters is shrinking: Young women!
Up north in Hakodate, Hokkaido, there is a restaurant chain called Lucky Pierrot, known around the country for their uniquely large hamburger and fried squid dishes. It’s absolutely delicious and a popular draw for tourists. However, this was not why our man Kuzo was sent to the town.
His mission was to track down a restaurant serving “Active Dancing Squid Rice Bowl” (Katsu Ika Odori-don). Videos of this dish have stirred up controversy around the world by using what appears to be a living squid atop a bowl of rice and other ingredients.
Apparently, when soy sauce is poured over the squid it begins to move and “dance,” much to the delight or horror of those watching.
If you’ve ever visited the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, there’s a good chance that you went through New Chitose Airport. Being the largest airport on the island, it serves as the gateway to Hokkaido for the numerous tourists that visit both from within and outside of Japan. Yes, when it comes to Hokkaido, we Japanese are just as enthusiastic about the beautiful snow, fresh seafood, tasty ramen, delectable sweets, relaxing hot springs and scenes of vast natural beauty as visitors from abroad.
But did you know that New Chitose Airport, which you may only briefly pass through as a traveler on a tour, could be a destination all on its own? After undergoing some expansion work in recent years between 2010 to 2012, the airport is now a seriously impressive shopping, dining and entertainment complex. Here’s a look at just some of the things you can enjoy at this airport that looks and feels like a theme park. If you thought that airports were nightmarish places where you want to spend as little time as possible, this may change your mind!
Obachan are a powerful force in Japan. While the term literally means aunt, it commonly refers to middle-aged women who have done their time in the lower ranks of the female order and are finally at an age where they can do and say as they please. Stories of strong-willed obachan are not uncommon in the news, with some forming their own political party and others even starting their own rock groups. Proving that nothing is out of their reach, one group of obachan in Hokkaido have now done something that no one ever imagined they would: They raised over 54 million yen (US$548, 000) and bought a giraffe for their local zoo.
A long time ago, in a place quite far, far away, there was an area of Japan so remote that the indigenous people called it sir etok; literally the end of the earth. Known today as Shiretoko, the peninsula at the northeastern tip of Hokkaido remains a place of untouched beauty, traversed by a unique population of brown bears.
So what does a visitor to the end of the earth bring back to the rest of civilisation as a reminder of the beauty and the bear? Given that live bears don’t act kindly to being captured, a cute alternative has popped up in miniature, edible form. Wrapped in a cosy doughnut ball, these little cubs are flying off the shelves like hotcakes. We bought a variety pack to take a closer look at what makes these adorable souvenirs so popular.
Without actually getting arrested and being thrust into the confines of a prison cell, there is little if any chance of us being able to taste real prison food. However, this doesn’t stop many of us wondering on the odd occasion what all those guys doing hard labor actually eat day after day. It could possibly be the most revolting thing known to man but if only there were a way to at least try it…. In this vain, our RocketNews24 reporter Kuzo searched high and low for a place where all of us upstanding citizens can try the stuff without resorting to breaking the law. Thankfully, this is Japan, so it didn’t take long for him to track down a cafeteria in northern part of Japan that specializes solely in Japanese prison food.
Hokkaido and its capital, Sapporo, are known for many great things: beer, chocolate, butter ramen, and a giant snow festival to name a few. Now the city is adding a fleet of extraordinary cabs to their long list of must-try experiences. The taxis, decked out in all sorts of wild, anime-inspired designs, are proving to be a hit with locals and tourists alike. But with nothing to gain from advertising, why are the cab drivers doing it?
On 16 May Kumiko Osawa was found guilty by Sapporo District Court after pleading guilty to the assisted suicide of her 70-year-old mother. According to the prosecution, Osawa had agreed to kill her mother after the two nearly ran out of money. In addition, about one year prior to this they had refused to accept government assistance as a matter of pride.
Even royalty can get a sweet tooth from time to time, and in the blistering heat of a Japanese summer, what could be a better way to satisfy the urge for sweets than a big bowl of ice cream? Of course, when dealing with the imperial family, not just any old brand of ice cream will suffice. That’s why in 1968 a special recipe for handmade ice cream was developed for their royal highnesses, the Emperor and Empress of Japan. It’s called Snow Royal and can still be purchased from Snowbrand-Parlor (雪印パーラー) in Hokkaido..
Japan’s 46th general election is a little over a week away, and if there’s one demographic that could care less, it’s the otaku. For the obsessive Japanese nerd, it doesn’t matter what political party wins the election, so long as they can buy the latest shiny toys and spend quality time with their 2-D lovers.
Still, while otaku may feel like the major political issues of this election, like energy policy and social security, are of no concern to them, their lifestyle isn’t completely unaffected by the decisions of the higher ups. For example, some worry that joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) would bring changes to copyright laws that could threaten the thriving doujin, or fan-made works featuring licensed characters, market. You hear that, otaku!? No more Final Fantasy porn!
That’s right; you can always count on porn to get otaku moving. That’s why PC Shop MK, a software shop in Sapporo, Hokkaido that specializes in new and used erotic games, is offering huge discounts for customers who vote in the December 16 election.
Isonokatsuo is a ramen shop in Suskino, the drinking district of Sapporo, Hokkaido, that opens its shutters around the time the city night life starts revving up into full swing and continues to serve up hot bowls of noodles until 7 o’clock the next morning.
All-night ramen shops are not unheard of in Japan, but Isonokatsuo is known for making ramen so delicious that people line up for it in the middle of the cold Sapporo night. On a recent trip to Hokkaido, one of our reporters decided to burn the midnight chili oil and try out Isonokatsuo for himself.
Check his report below!
About half of the milk in Japan is produced in the beautiful and vast countryside of Hokkaido, the largest of Japan’s 47 prefectures and northernmost of Japan’s four main islands. As such, cows have become a symbol of the prefecture. Walk into any souvenir shop in the prefecture and you’re bound to find a few locally-produced snacks with bovine-inspired packaging.
On a recent trip to Hokkaido, one of our reporters came across one such snack that was a little less run-of-the-mill than your usual butter cookies: “Cow Poop?” chocolate mochi.
It may not be the most bustling of towns, but for those of you in the market for real-estate, have we got a good deal for you!
Your own plot of land from just one yen per square-metre!
Yup, one yen! That’s 0.01 US dollars!!! 0.009 Euros!!! 0.01 Panamanian balboa!!! Holy bargains, Batman!
Bizarrely, there’s no catch. No “but it’s infested with rabid ferrets!” or “but you must spend the night in a haunted house with Rosie O’Donnell!” punchline. The town of Chippubetsu in Hokkaidō is genuinely offering habitable land for the incredible price of one, single yen. And, as a result, is receiving an unprecedented amount of attention from both the media and Japanese internet users. Someone in Chippubetsu is getting a lot of pats on the back for coming up with this initiative, we’re sure… Read More
Installed on the recently released OS X Mountain Lion is a breathtaking image of an aquamarine pond with trees growing out of it. We previously gave you the impressions of the photographer Kent Shiraishi, but now we went straight to the real Blue Pond in Biei, Hokkaido to see if it lives up to the photo.
One of the MacBook Pro desktop backgrounds featured on Apple’s website shows an astoundingly exquisite azure pond with bare trees coming out of the water, covered in snow. It will be one of the backgrounds included with OS X Mountain Lion, to be released this July. We’ve found out a bit about the photographer responsible for this particular work… Read More
The Japanese arm of tourism website TripAdvisor gathered user comments and evaluations from the past year and used them to rank the Top 20 travel destinations in Japan over that time. Hiroshima Prefecture maintained its popularity with two destinations in the Top 5 while five Kyoto sightseeing spots made the list.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and A-Bomb Dome moved to the top of the list after coming in second last year. Read More
The Japanese version of the popular travel information site Trip Adviser recently published a list of the best factory tours in Japan. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the nation’s most popular exports makes it to number one. Read More
Did you know that Japan has 16 locations on the list of UNESCO World Heritages? Could you name them all with any sum of money on the line?
Survey Research Center, Co. Ltd. conducted a survey that showed that most people could not. When asked whether they were interested in Japan’s world heritages, 67.8% of those surveyed responded affirmatively. However, only 4% of respondents knew all 16 Japanese sites.
See how many you can name before looking at the list below:
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China1
- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour2
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong3
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】4
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right5
- Three Women Get Identical Plastic Surgeries and Take Over-Coordination to Scary New Places6
- 10 obvious Photoshop fails from North Korea 【Photos】7
- Subway mini skirt peeping tom found innocent8
- Restaurant in China offers pay-what-you-want pricing model, loses over $40,0009
- The last photo of faithful dog Hachiko breaks our hearts10
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】1
- Nine unusual products from Japanese designer, Oki Sato2
- Cute credit cards could send you to the slammer3
- Woman with alone time on an elevator does something incredibly unexpected4
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China5
- Gundam creator has harsh words for manga and anime hit “Attack on Titan”6
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】7
- Seven things that surprise Japanese people working in foreign offices8
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong9
- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour10
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】1
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】2
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs3
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong4
- Thinking about plastic surgery? This ad may make you laugh – or it could make you think twice!5
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right6
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!7
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】8
- The amazing disaster relief equipment of Japan’s Self Defense Force9
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】10
- 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
- Three Women Get Identical Plastic Surgeries and Take Over-Coordination to Scary New Places
- 10 obvious Photoshop fails from North Korea 【Photos】
- Subway mini skirt peeping tom found innocent
- Restaurant in China offers pay-what-you-want pricing model, loses over $40,000
- The last photo of faithful dog Hachiko breaks our hearts
- Nine unusual products from Japanese designer, Oki Sato
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea
- Behold: the saddest Christmas tree in all of Japan
- What Do Pickup Artists Around The World Think Of Japanese Girls? “Easy Targets”
- Japanese Artist Paints Breathtakingly Lifelike 3D Goldfish Using Layers Upon Layers Of Resin
- A Japanese perspective: 11 things that startled me about America
- Japanese Egg Vending Machine Vends Eggs