Hilton’s Odawara Resort & Spa, tucked away in Kanagawa Prefecture’s southwestern Odawara City, is offering something that you and your children simply can’t refuse: the opportunity for them to participate in special ninja training during your brief stay at the hotel!
Kanagawa Prefecture has some of the most popular beaches in Japan, especially along the section of the coast known as Shonan. A magnet for both locals and day trippers from Tokyo, when the sun is shining you’ll find a cross section of Japanese society in and around the water, including surfers, partying college students, couples, and families,
And, some claim, a ghost that was captured in the background of this photo a foreign traveler took of his daughter.
A “musical road“? What the heck is that?
The Ashinoko Skyline is a private toll road in Hakone which boasts panoramic views of Lake Ashinoko and bordering Mt. Fuji. Just in time for Golden Week in Japan, a stretch of the Skyline will be converted into a musical road which plays the theme song from anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” when driven over by a car. Nothing like a catchy melody to enhance your scenic tour!
If I told you there’s a place in Tokyo Bay called Sarushima, and that its name means Monkey Island, how many of you would be ready to get on the boat right now? And how many of you would then be crushingly disappointed you made the trip when you found out there aren’t actually any monkeys living there?
I’m guessing the answer to the first question would be “most of you.” As for the second? Only as many of you who, heartbroken at a lack of monkeys, didn’t walk far enough into the island’s interior to see that what Sarushima lacks in monkeys it makes up for with a mix of natural beauty and preserved architecture that makes it look like it’d be a suitable filming location for a live-action version of Studio Ghibli’s classic anime Castle in the Sky Laputa.
Located about a half hour south of downtown Tokyo, the city of Yokohama has a couple of big tourist draws, like its gigantic Ferris wheel and bayside parks with panoramic views. If you’re hungry, though, you’ll want to head to Yokohama’s Chinatown, which is one of the biggest in Japan and is made up almost entirely of places to eat.
As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to grab a seat in a restaurant to fill your stomach, since the streets are lined with stalls selling all manner of munchies. Some of these you might see elsewhere in Japan, like the steamed pork buns that are also convenience store mainstays. But there’s at least one treat you can’t find anywhere but Yokohama’s Chinatown, and that’s these adorable sweet dumplings shaped like tiny hedgehogs.
To many visitors, both coming from elsewhere in Japan and abroad, Yokohama seems quaint and relaxed. Sure, it’s the second biggest city in the country, but Yokohama is best known for its bayside parks, giant Ferris wheel, and Chinatown (plus its occasional Pikachu outbreaks).
But Yokohama has also been the entry point to Japan for some of its largest cultural and technological influences. It was the site of Japan’s first gas lamps, photography studio, and even brewery as the country opened itself to outside visitors and innovations in the latter half of the 19th century. Viewed from that historical perspective, it’s fitting that technology giant Apple is setting up a new research and development center in Yokohama.
Japanese people love to take pictures. Whenever you see them on vacation, no matter if it’s their first time or their thousandth time, they are always taking them. In fact, Japan was one of the first countries to sell mobile phones equipped with a camera back in 2000. Having a camera on you at all times sure does come in handy, as you’ll always be able to capture that special moment wherever you are.
Unfortunately, sometimes that special moment is a peep-shot or a scandalous photo which is certainly a violation of privacy. Japan has taken a very no-nonsense approach to help stop these highly inappropriate photos, and it comes in the form of the Anti-Nuisance Ordinance. So powerful is this law that the latest person to be arrested has caused a bit of commotion. His crime? Taking a picture of a fully-clothed woman sitting beside him on the train.
Having grown up a quick drive from southern California’s miles and miles of prime coastline, I’ll admit Japanese beaches can sometimes be a little underwhelming. Among other problems, they’re crowded with day trippers during midsummer, and infested with jellyfish as the season winds down.
One great thing about beaches in Japan, though, are the umi no ie, temporary restaurants/lounges built right on the sand and only operated during July and August. Due to their temporary nature (the buildings are completely disassembled come September), umi no ie used to be pretty bare-bones. In recent years, though, the ones at Japan’s more popular beaches have been attracting some well-known corporate sponsors and collaborative partners, such as Israeli bath and beauty product manufacturer Sabon, which is set to open its first umi no ie next week.
Certain types of Japanese food, like tempura or grilled yakitori chicken skewers, are pretty agreeable to Western palates. In recent years, sushi has made inroads into the international dining scene, too.
Many non-Japanese diners, though, still feel a little hesitant about kamaboko, or fish cake. Despite its mild flavor, there’s just something incongruous about it in many people’s minds. It’s actually pretty tasty stuff, though, and if you’re on the fence about trying it, we should point out that it has a surprisingly mild flavor.
Or, perhaps we could entice you with this special variety of kamaboko that, when cut, reveals an elegant hydrangea pattern.
Japanese aquariums are a pretty popular destination for families during the summer break in July and August. As a part of Enoshima Aquarium’s 10th anniversary celebration, it is putting on a show called “Night Aquarium” where 3D projection mapping will make it seem like visitors have traveled to the deepest parts of the ocean.
Beginning on July 20, the special show will use the aquarium as a backdrop during the evening and project moving images of sea life around the awestruck sightseers. Although other aquariums have given visitors a rather intimate look at deep-sea creatures, this is the first time an aquarium has use this projection mapping technology and is sure to draw big crowds.
The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize has an unprecedented nomination: the Ninth Article of the Japanese constitution. The Ninth Article renounces the right to engage in war or to maintain a military. The group advocating the nomination, the “Constitution’s Ninth Article for the Nobel Peace Prize,” is based in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Housewife Naomi Takusu (37) came up with the idea. She started an online petition last May and garnered 1,500 signatures in just five days. She contacted the Nobel Committee, from whose response she learned that candidates can only be nominated through certain channels and must be individuals or groups. She changed her strategy and tried again for 2014.
Has Hello Kitty finally buckled to hipster fashion trends? Has she been tapped to replace the aging Harrison Ford in an upcoming new Indiana Jones movie, under the logic that if the franchise can include aliens, why not anthropomorphic cats, too? Or has she simply decided to make a living as a hard-boiled private eye?
That third theory actually isn’t so far off the mark, but as with any good mystery, the real culprit behind Kitty-chan’s throwback headgear is someone, or in this case something, you’d never expect: custard pudding.
It’s generally agreed that few members of the animal kingdom can quite match the level of cuteness offered by the humble otter. Watching those little guys floating on their backs and eating off their tummies makes you just want to snatch them up from the water and take them home.
Well, now Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park is still not letting you do that, but they are giving you the next best thing without violating poaching laws. From now until 13 September, you can get a little touchy feeling with their otters by letting them grab your finger.
It looks like winter is behind us in Japan now and we can soon look forward to taking a dip outdoors. However, it looks as if these people jumped the gun by a month or so and took the plunge early… with all their clothes on… carrying bags and sinking to the bottom like a stone…
What on earth is going on here?
It looks like people are getting their freak on in Kanagawa Prefecture these days. In the past two months a couple of truly unconventional sexually natured crimes took place that left police scratching their heads and going “huh.”
Our first tale involves a gay robber arrested on 13 November who slipped sleeping pills up the rumps of his victims. This incident was quickly followed by the 14 November arrest of the manager of a rub & tug parlor for women which I guess would be a rub & rub?
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
Earlier this month in Kanagawa Prefecture, a high ranking government official was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife’s “male acquaintance.” The attack took place when Mr. Noda (47) discovered his wife entering a hotel with another man (44) after following her when she left home late in the evening. In the heat of the moment, Mr. Noda confronted them and allegedly ended up severely beating the man in the face and chest, breaking several ribs.
A few days after the confrontation, the alleged victim filed a complaint with the authorities. After Mr. Noda was arrested, the story hit blogs across the internet and triggered a landslide of support for him.