This is the first time we’ve ever seen a levitating bonsai.
Japan may be a small country in terms of area, but it certainly makes up for it with 47 distinct prefectures that have their own vibrant personalities. Prefectures like Tokyo and Osaka dominate with their big city lifestyles, while Kyoto and Nara rely on their richly preserved history. Some have festivals that have survived for hundreds of years, others have geological formations that make them stand out or new attractions that you can’t find anywhere else.
For prefectures to separate themselves from the rest and showcase what makes them special, they have to do something grand. In Oita Prefecture, this means presenting their world-famous hot springs with a synchronized swimming team in what can only be known as “synchronized bathing”.
Japan’s beautiful mountainous scenery and relaxing hot springs are all thanks to volcanic activity, and even today there are still a handful of active peaks to be found in the country. One of the most famous, Kyushu’s Mt. Aso, is even a popular tourist destination. We don’t recommend visiting today, though, because the 1,592-meter (5,223-foot) volcano is currently erupting, as seen in these photos taken by locals.
Following the success of the Attack on Titan Exhibit at the Ueno Royal Museum last winter, the exhibit and the Titans are moving down to Kyushu just in time for summer vacation.
Although it mostly remains the same as the one shown earlier in Tokyo, this time around the exhibit includes extra shots of the Titans out and about exploring some of the southern island’s most famous tourist spots. Apparently even Titans need a break from attacking and devouring mankind every now and then!
If you’ve ever visited Japan, surely you’ve ridden on at least one of the many Japan Railway (JR) train lines, where you probably noticed the serious and stoic faces of the company’s conductors and staff. So it might be hard to imagine that JR Kyushu has it’s own very energetic, award-winning yosakoi dance oendan, or cheering squad, that frequently competes in some of the biggest yosakoi traditional dance festivals around the country.
This past weekend the JR Kyushu Oentai performed and won the top prize at the Sapporo YOSAKOI Soran Festival in Hokkaido (Japan’s northern-most island), and as soon as footage and pictures of their performance hit the internet, Japanese netizens were abuzz about just how cool the group looked.
When it comes to sex, people like it all kinds of different ways. Some people don’t even like it at all, but as long as it’s consensual, we don’t care, as long as you’re happy! Nevertheless, we’re also pretty curious about it–maybe we’re busybodies or maybe the idea of people smooshing themselves together is just too funny not to think about.
Regardless of the why, we are naturally curious about sex in Japan. And we bet you are, too! So here’s a recent survey done with 3,000 Japanese women to find out how many have had one-night stands!
We like to think of ourselves as pretty capable bargain hunters. After all, we still think back fondly on the day we got a car for 980 yen (US$8.25) and the night we got liquored up with unlimited sake for 3,000 yen (thankfully that wasn’t all within the same 24-hour period).
But as attractive as those deals were, we think we’ve found something even more enticing: a house in a coastal town in Japan that’s completely free.
Wassup young people, I’m speaking your language today to tell you about to totally tubular deal from JR Kyushu! They’re offering some super-rad discounts of up to 40% off on train fares around the island of Kyushu for a seriously limited time.
It’s called the Gachi Ticket, where “gachi” is a new word the kids in Japan are using that’s hard to translate to English but somewhere along the lines of “for realz!” and “aww psssht it’s on!”
Welcome to Unzen, Kyushu, a sulphurous field of geothermal activity so inhospitable to life that its boiling hot springs and gas jets go by the name of jigoku or hells. This Halloween, allow us to be your Virgil and guide you through this strange world where eerie noises drift from hellish craters, clouds of foul-smelling gas confuse the mind and Christian martyrs were once boiled to death!
You may have thought that the Loch Ness Monster had cornered the market on fresh-water cryptids, but Japan has one of its own mythical lake beasts. There may be a monster lurking in the depths of Kyushu’s Lake Ikeda, a monster who goes by the terrifying name of… Issie-kun.
In many cases, the Japanese language uses the word umi, literally “sea,” to mean “beach.” For example, if your friends extend the invitation, “Hey, let’s go to the umi next Saturday!” they’re expecting you to show up with a towel and sunscreen, not a compass and cutlass for fending off pirates as you sail your ship full of cargo to the Bahamas to exchange for molasses.
So when we first heard about a restaurant in Kyushu right in the middle of the umi, we thought it was built on the sand. And while we like an eatery with an ocean view as much as anyone, the reality is even cooler, as the restaurant is actually built off-shore, with half of its seating area below the surface of the water.
Even though the prefecture is home to barely a million residents, Oita has not one, but two famous hot spring resorts. Yufuin is generally held to be the more refined and tastefully restrained of the pair, while Beppu, despite having some of the most popular hot springs in Japan, gets saddled with the reputation as the more touristy town.
While there may be some truth to the labels, there’s one thing Beppu has that you won’t find in Yufuin, or anywhere else in the country for that matter: Japan’s only hot spring with three Michelin stars.
If you are still mourning the loss of Japan’s Pokémon jumbo jet and prefer to fly the friendly skies in something overbearingly cute, look no further than Amakusa Airlines and its dolphin-themed airplane. Although the Kyushuu-based company is the smallest airline in Japan, Amakusa more than makes up for its size with a strong social media presence, a unique all-day flight challenge and its lone Bombardier Dash 8 turboprop plane painted up to look like a dolphin mother and two dolphin babies. Click below to find out why this tiny airline has captured the hearts of aviation fans in Japan!
Saga Prefecture lies in the northwest corner of Japan’s island of Kyushu. This past week, in an unusual attempt at self-promotion, the Saga Prefectural Office uploaded a video of hundreds of workers from its various divisions happily dancing to the new AKB48 single, Koi Suru Fortune Cookie (Love Fortune Cookie). With more than 480,000 views on YouTube so far, the up-beat video certainly beats a boring old poster campaign!
For years, crop circles have been a topic of mystery to surface-dwelling humans, but how many people have spared a thought for under the sea?
Off the coast of Amami Ooshima in Kyushu, divers and tourists alike have spotted strangely intricate geometric circles without knowing their origin. Was it paranormal activity or possibly locals with a shovel and too much time on their hands? Guess again! The culprit, it seems, is a particularly artistic new species of pufferfish!