One auction bidder just won themselves a huge haul of classic PlayStation games.
Every time I visit my home country and talk about my life in Japan, one thing becomes clear to me: Japan remains incredibly misunderstood overseas. With this in mind, today we’ll be discussing three stereotypes of Japan: the country’s apparent disdain for those who stand out from the crowd, the notion that Japan is a strict society, and that the idea of ‘losing face’ is a quintessentially Asian concept.
We’ve all heard about how safe Japan is. But unless you live here, you may not understand why Japan is considered so safe. The uninitiated may presume that safety is enforced through a rigid society that doesn’t allow freedom of expression, that Japanese people are too worried about losing face to commit a crime, or that the government comes down unnecessarily hard on people who step out of line. In reality, none of these rings true.
But we can’t deny that there’s one thing that Japan does better than anyone else. Join us after the jump for some insights and our own observations.
Translates announcements into English, Chinese, Korean.
Japanese airlines All Nippon Airways (ANA) has teamed up with Disney to create an in-air experience that’s perfect for the ultimate “Star Wars” fan.
Covered in an R2-D2-like designs and a “Star Wars” logo on the outside, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft also has some fun galactic details inside, such as customized headrests, cups, and lighting. While in the air, passengers can even stream all six of the currently released “Star Wars” films.
Drones have sort of exploded in our cultural conscious over the last few years, garnering both media and political attention. Like many other countries, the skies of Japan seem to be full of the whirring, buzzing devices, and while the government and society are still trying to figure out exactly how they feel about these all-seeing sky robots, YouTube is quickly filling up with gorgeous videos shot with drones!
Though it may not seem like it, Japan is actually a fairly sizable country, with a lot of ground for sightseers to cover. It’s so big, in fact, we imagine it’d be difficult to a regular tourist to see all of it.
But what if you grew up in Japan and spent all your free time traveling around the country? Well, in that case, we bet you’d get to see a whole lot more of it, and for one Japanese Internet user, that exactly describes their life—but with one very cool addition. It turns out this anonymous traveler loves to take photos of cats at their various destinations.
Check out the awesome and adorable photo album below!
One of the most wonderful things about a Japanese winter is the abundance of hot drinks that become available at convenience stores and vending machines on street corners. There’s nothing quite like popping a coin into a machine on a freezing cold night or while making your way to work, only to have a piping hot can delivered into your frozen palms; it’s an experience that’s almost as satisfying as actually drinking the hot beverage and warming yourself from the inside out!
Stumbling across a good hot soup other than corn potage when scouring the drinks display is always a rare bonus and now that’s something we can look forward to, especially after a night of drinking, with the new canned miso soup from Nagatanien. Filled with the power of ornithine, an amino acid abundant in clams, this is a traditional hangover remedy from Japan, now packed in a can!
It’s not every day that an enormous blonde-haired bear of a man comes to your school, agrees to play a quick game of rugby with you and then proceeds to knock you on your 10-year-old arse rather than let you win the ball.
But then, it’s not every day that London mayor Boris Johnson is visiting Japan…
Walking through Japan can be a truly uplifting experience. You see so much more by walking through places, especially sacred places. It’s different from walking to them, seeing, and then leaving. Another bonus is (unless you’re climbing Mount Fuji), there are no crowds since, in our modern world, it just doesn’t occur to most people to see things on foot. As we learned previously, quite a few of Japan’s World Heritage Sites are on hiking trails, and the World Heritage Sites of the Kii Peninsula are also located conveniently along ancient pilgrimage routes of the past.
The Kumano Kodo (actually a network of trails) has been traveled by Japanese worshipers for over 1,000 years. By following the route, you not only get to see ancient Japan, but you’ll encounter nature worship everywhere you turn. You’ll feel more like you’re experiencing ancient Japan, rather than just looking at it from the outside.
Come with us now as we hike our way along the Nakahechi route, the well-groomed, often cobble-stoned path that connects a string of quaint little towns where you can book into comfortable ryokans serving gourmet food and offering hot spring baths to soothe your tired muscles. This is glamping—Japanese style!
Japan is often known by tourists for its most popular attractions, like Mount Fuji, the cities of Tokyo and Kyoto, and its amazing shrines and temples.
But there’s a lot more to the island nation than that.
We took a look at a Quora thread that asked, “what are some of Japan’s best kept secrets,” and rounded up some places that might not be in all the guidebooks, but are definitely worth a visit.
Considering soccer is one sport Japanese athletes both male and female excel at compared to others, it’s easy to see why there’s so many fans of the Japan National and Women’s National Football Teams.
That’s why it may not be so surprising that after the men’s soccer team’s humiliating 0-4 defeat against Brazil last year, fans were feeling a little sour. But just how long do sports grudges last? Apparently quite awhile if you go by this picture of a certain popular Brazilian player that someone stuck in one of the urinals at the most-recent Tokyo Game Show.
Giraffes are some of the most awesome animals on the planet, if you ask us. With their long necks, not-quite-horse-not-quite-cow-like faces and beautiful long eyelashes, they’re the sort of creature you’d expect to find in the pages of a Walt Disney sketchbook after the artist “accidentally” ingested a few magic mushrooms. And yet there they are, as real as any of us, and have existed for thousands upon thousands of years.
But one thing that some might not believe is real is the cry of a giraffe. Think about it: have you ever heard the sounds a giraffe makes? Well, we suppose you may have, but many have not, in Japan or otherwise. And that’s why this video of a baby giraffe calling out has attracted so much attention online.
If you’ve never heard a giraffe’s voice, you’ll want to check this out!
A notice posted at the Kamata bus station in Tokyo revealed that buses will not stop as usual at the station on Sunday morning, due to the filming of a movie titled “Shin Gojira” (New Godzilla).
Considering it’s the same country that gave us movies like Battle Royale, Tokyo Gore Police and Ichi the Killer, Japan’s method of handling violent video game content can be quite perplexing at times.
Despite being able to attack the undead hordes in survival horror beat-em-up Dead Rising with everything from ‘wet floor’ signs to katanas, decapitations were notably absent from the Japanese version of the game when it released back in 2006. More recently, Japanese Metal Gear Solid and Gears of War fans were shocked to see that numerous scenes and animations were cut from the versions released in their homeland, even though the games were clearly marked as “adults only”.
Japan’s video game censors have struck again this week, this time taking their (presumably family-friendly) hatchets to newly released PlayStation 4 horror game Until Dawn—and the method of censoring the scenes deemed too much for Japan is startlingly bad.
When someone mentions GIFs, it usually calls to mind one of two things; funny TV show clips posted as responses on forum threads, or a burning desire to assert to anyone and everyone that it’s definitely g-if and not j-if, no matter what the creator says.
However, despite their usual inanity, these sputtering animations can actually be mini works of art in their own right. One Japanese ‘gif artist’ has used modern-day computer wizardry to bring to life traditional ukiyo-e scenes in humorous and entrancing ways.
On August 14, 1945, US President Harry Truman announced the unconditional surrender of Japanese Emperor Hirohito, thereby ending World War II.
The surrender came after months of bombing raids across the Japanese countryside, two atomic bombs, and the Soviet Union’s declaration of war on the island nation.
The iron resolve of the Japanese was a major factor the US anticipated while planning the invasion of mainland Japan. The culture known for literally putting death before dishonor with practices such as hara-kiri would not, by any stretch of the imagination, go softly into surrender.
Comiket 88, the world’s largest dojinshi fair, is now underway at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition centre. And while thousands of people are already rushing to buy some of the best and rarest anime, manga and video game merch money can buy, others were there for one thing only: cosplay.
Despite the beating sun and intense humidity that comes as standard with Summer Comic Market (you did read our Comiket survival guide, right?), the almost complete lack of shade outdoors did not deter Tokyo’s cosplayers, who stood out for photo after photo, striking their best poses and wowing our reporters with their incredible outfits.
Join us after the jump for a look at some of our favourites!