Kanagawa

Don’t point that camera at me! Man arrested for taking “normal” picture on train

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.

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Israeli bath and beauty product maker Sabon opening beach restaurant in Kamakura

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.

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Beautiful hydrangea pattern adds a touch of elegance to traditional Japanese fish cake

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.

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New 3D aquarium show to let visitors experience a trip to the deep sea in Enoshima

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.

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Japanese constitution nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

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.

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Yes, Hello Kitty really does need a fedora, and the reason why is delicious

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.

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Marine park offers chance to shake hands with a loveable otter

It’s generally agreed that few in the animal kingdom 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.

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Pool Season is Just Around the… Dear God! Someone Help Them!

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?

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A Tale of Two Sex Crimes, Kanagawa Home of Back to Back Kinky Criminal Mischief

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?

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TripAdvisor Ranks Top 20 Japanese Travel Destinations For Foreign Visitors, Hiroshima Edges Kyoto For Top Spot

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.

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