Hokkaido

Sapporo police speechless after discovering one man’s creative use for a bomb: a door stopper

In this age of mass consumption where wasteful packaging is overused and people pour perfectly clean water over themselves for attention on the Internet, one of the best ways to counteract our increasingly wasteful society is to simply reuse items that would otherwise be headed for the dump.

But one wannabe environmentalist in Sapporo may have taken his pledge to save the earth a little bit too far when he “recycled” an old Japanese Imperial Army bomb into a rustic, and extremely dangerous, door stopper.

Read More

Maruyama Zoo tries to mate two spotted hyenas for four years, recently learns both are males

Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo, Hokkaido was the scene of awkwardness on 26 September when it was learned that two spotted hyenas slated for making babies were actually both males. At first this might seem like a major oversight of really basic biology, but in the unique case of the spotted hyena it’s actually fairly understandable.

Read More

Great hotel in Hokkaido has hot spring, all you-can-eat seafood for under 10,000 yen a person

With beautiful natural scenery, delicious food, and an unhurried atmosphere, Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido is one of the country’s most popular vacation spots. There’s one big drawback, though, which is that airfare to and from Hokkaido can eat up a big part of your travel budget, leaving you less cash to spend on a hotel with nice amenities or local delicacies like fresh salmon roe and scallops.

Recently, though, we found a hotel in Hokkaido that offers it all, with soft beds, all-you-can-eat seafood, an all-night hot spring, and even a price that makes it a very affordable luxury.

Read More

Lose hair, save big! Hokkaido hotel offers discounts for bald guests

In a society that celebrates long and luscious hair, those who lose their locks prematurely are at a bit of a disadvantage. A person’s lack of hair can be caused by any of number of things: stress at work, illness, shaving it off for charity, or simply plain old genetics. But with so many products out there that promote flowing locks and even more for hiding hair loss, it’s easy to feel like a loser when you don’t have hair in Japanese society.

Well it’s time to start turning “less hair up there” into “more money in your wallet”! Hot on the heels of the Tokyo bar that gives generous discounts to bald patrons comes a hotel in Kamikawa, Hokkaido which is set to offer reduced rates to the follicly challenged! And it’s not just pure generosity behind these savings, either!

Read More

Visit Elsa’s Frozen world at the Snow Crystal Museum in Hokkaido

Frozen has taken Japan and the world by storm, smashing through sales records and bringing a flurry of promotional items. One of the most iconic scenes in the film is Elsa singing Let it Go while giving rise to a beautiful ice castle. It’s too bad we can’t visit her frigid fortress in real life, but we can go to the next best thing: Hokkaido’s Snow Crystal Museum.

Read More

Japanese photographer captures tiny whimsical water worlds in macro【Photos】

Photographer Miki Asai lives in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s four main islands. It’s an area known for its expansive natural beauty, and although Asai does sometimes turn her lens to the broad vistas Hokkaido has to offer, some of her most engaging work focuses on much, much smaller subjects like beads of water, bits of dandelion fluff and even the humble ant.

Says Asai, “Through a macro lens, I am trying to show the beautiful world of the small. I am always surprised when I look through the camera’s viewfinder to see things normally unseen.”

Read More

So that’s what they mean! SWAT hand signals as explained by a working Japanese mother

If we had a 100 yen for every action movie that showed scenes of SWAT teams sneaking around waving hand signals at each other, we’d probably have, um, a lot of yen. At least enough to buy a Happy Meal or something. But have you ever looked closely at those hand signals? For most of us, they could be making it up on the spot and we’d probably never know! Fortunately, this is the Internet and everything you could ever want to learn about anything is probably available online.

And that includes hand signals! For a few years now, charts explaining the hand signals that sneaky tactical groups use to communicate silently have floated around on the web, though their explanations have always been a bit…straightforward. “Stop.” “Look over there.” “Holy crap, they’re shooting at us!” All pretty standard fare, we suppose. But standard fare is never good enough for the Internet, and thus “Hand signals commonly used by mothers with babies” was born!

Read More

Hokkaido police on look out for creepy one-man game show

Who wouldn’t want to be a game show host? It’s a relatively easy gig, making money while making other people happy with fabulous cash and prizes. But with only a few shows to go around it can be a highly coveted job.

Perhaps that’s why some people decide to start their own game on the streets. However, without all the slick production value of a major studio backer you’re bound to look like some kind of wack-job. Sure enough, that’s what happened to one young man who’s now gotten the attention of Hokkaido law enforcement.

Read More

Girl who lost father in last year’s deadly Hokkaido blizzard pens heart-wrenching thank-you letter

While Tokyo’s recent blizzard showed us the lighter side of natural disasters with amusing snow sculptures and insane images of overly panicked urbanites, these kind of storms have the potential to be very deadly and serious if you are caught outside. Last March, a violent storm hit the northeast part of Hokkaido and took the lives of nine people.

One of the most tragic stories to come out of this storm was a young girl who lost her father after he used his own body to protect her from the freezing temperatures and strong winds. On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, the girl asked one of Japan’s biggest newspapers, the Yomiuri Shimbun, to publish a heart-breaking letter thanking the country for the huge outpouring of support over the past year.

Read More

Meanwhile, in Hokkaido…

There has been a lot of news over the record snowfalls in many parts of Japan. However, from people all along the Northwestern coast and in Hokkaido a collective “What about us?” could be heard.

As a reminder, one Hokkaido resident tweeted out this photo of their local Lawson. We’re sure of that because the sign is the only visible part on the store. It looks as if it worked too as the photo is currently doing the rounds on the internet and getting retweeted over 16,000 times.

Read More

Seamen in Hokkaido shocked to discover bright lavender crab

On 18 January, a shipment of crabs from Russia arrived at a port in Japan, some of which were bought up by wholesaler Marusan Mikami Shoten. After opening up their haul of red king crabs (an expensive favorite of Japanese seafood lovers) workers were surprised to see one of the large arthropods was shaded a rich lavender color all over.

Read More

Mysterious Santa puts smiles on childrens’ faces with a generous gift of 3,000 books!

Christmas is just around the corner, and ’tis the season to be giving! While some of us have yet to even start on our Christmas shopping, an anonymous Santa has already presented three schools in Hokkaido, Japan, with a whopping gift of over 3,000 books in total!

Read More

Virtual date DVD features real crab and tons of creepiness

At least once a week, it seems as if a story breaks and sets off every Japanese commenter with a keyboard, leading them to bemoan the fall of their once proud nation. It could be anything from freezer divers to Pokémon cheaters that gets people going, but most of us usually just shake our heads and move along.

This time, though, they might be on to something. The release of a new choose-your-own-adventure-style “dating sim” DVD has left us utterly bewildered.

Read More

Hunting: The newest growing hobby of Japanese women

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!

Read More

We try a rice bowl served with a still-moving squid

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.

Read More

The airport that’s practically a theme park — Shop, eat, play at the New Chitose Airport!

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!

Read More

Obachan power strikes again as middle-aged women buy giraffe for local zoo

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.

Read More

These doughnuts from Hokkaido are unbear-ably cute!

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.

Read More

Ever wondered what Japanese prison food tastes like? Try it firsthand at the “Prison Cafeteria”

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.

Read More

Need a ride? Take a trip to Awesome Town with Japan’s new fleet of anime taxis!

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?

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 16,256 other followers