Goya champuru, unlike its name, is extremely simple. The dish consists of only a few main ingredients: goya (bitter melon), tofu, egg and spam. It’s a homey comfort food from Okinawa, Japan that highlights the island prefecture’s long history with the United States. Susan Hamaker, writer and editor over at JapanCulture•NYC, an online resource for “all things Japanese in New York City,” let us know about a wonderful booth they ran at Japan Block Fair showcasing this down home dish. Let’s take a look!
Our reporter was strolling through Ginza one afternoon and found herself in an Okinawa specialty goods store. As she was browsing through the aisles, she couldn’t help but notice a brightly colored can of Coca Cola with a red shisa (lion dog) printed on the front. Upon further inspection of the can, she realized that she had stumbled upon Okinawa Coca Cola, made with the waters of Okinawa. How would this special Coke taste? She just had to buy one and find out.
If you’ve ever longed to go back to an old Japan, where samurai stayed at old ramshackle inns and merchants filled the air with the scent of food, then some of these traditional streets will be right up your alley. We take you to five of Japan’s most-loved streets, from well-worn paths in secluded valleys to bustling pilgrimage routes in scenic villages, all with an amazing history and atmosphere. Let’s take a stroll together and see what they have to offer.
It’s time to put on your detective pants and try to figure out what happened in this strange death of a man in his 70s in Okinawa. Details are sketchy but police are leaning towards an accidental death.
The Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCVB) along with the prefectural government have cancelled their plans to use space on women’s bare thighs for marketing the islands as a graduation trip destination to students outside the prefecture. Citing criticism, the two bodies stated January 24, “Placing temporary tattoo-like stickers on the thighs of young women to advertise Okinawa is not in line with prefecture’s brand image.”
Coming of Age Day is a public holiday held in Japan in the first week of January each year. The holiday has existed since the late 1940s, and, with most of the country given the day off work, those who have recently turned 20 are encouraged to celebrate their entry into adulthood by wearing traditional clothes and throwing parties with their friends and family, perhaps even paying a visit to a temple. Proud parents look on as their once rosy-cheeked cherubs stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them as mature men and women, ready to join the workforce and steer the country towards greatness.
This year’s crop of adults on the island of Okinawa, however, have become cause for concern in the Japanese media this week as a number of seijin-shiki (coming of age ceremony) parties got just a little too rowdy. What is normally a day of dignity and teary-eyed parents looked more like a public demonstration or protest as Japan’s newest adults filled the streets of Naha city, prompting lines of police and camera crews to show up.
The full video of the mayhem and despairing cries of “what is this country coming to!?” after the break.
On a recent trip to Naha, Okinawa, our correspondent spotted a Starbucks t-shirt which, at first glance, looked like a factory reject, but turned out to be a clever tip of the hat to traditional Okinawan culture.
Since 16 October a curfew has been in place on all US soldiers stationed in Japan restricting them from leaving their bases from 11pm to 5am. This was in response to an incident where two soldiers allegedly raped a young Japanese woman in Okinawa.
However, on 2 November what appeared to have been a drunk American soldier trespassed into a room and struck a young boy. The police investigation is ongoing.
It’s easy to understand why residents of the southern Japanese island of Okinawa would be upset with the deployment of twelve new Osprey hybrid aircraft to the Futenma U.S. military base.
While the U.S. assures the Japanese government that the aircraft are safe, an accident in Morocco that killed two U.S. Marines in April and then another in Florida in June make them a hard sell for Okinawans, especially since the Futenma base is surrounded by crowded residential areas.
So it wasn’t surprising when hundreds of protesters raised banners and chanted outside Futenma on Monday to show their concern over the safety of the aircraft, the first six of which arrived at the base that morning.
It was surprising, however, when, the next day, two groups of Okinawans gathered at a park near Futenma to protest the arrival of three new Osprey by flying kites near the aircraft as they attempted to land.
According to South Korea’s Far East Daily newspaper, China’s public radio broadcast an interview with a currently active Major General who spoke like many Generals do, with much aplomb and sabre rattling to be heard. Let’s see what he has to say.
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
Yes, people all over the world love cola, and once again, we can look forward to a new cola beverage coming onto the market in Japan. We’ve already told you about the fat-busting cola which came out in April. This time, the new cola has an exotic twist with ingredients from the tropical islands of Okinawa Prefecture. Read More
The Japanese version of the popular travel information site Trip Adviser recently published a list of the best factory tours in Japan. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the nation’s most popular exports makes it to number one. Read More
Did you know that Japan has 16 locations on the list of UNESCO World Heritages? Could you name them all with any sum of money on the line?
Survey Research Center, Co. Ltd. conducted a survey that showed that most people could not. When asked whether they were interested in Japan’s world heritages, 67.8% of those surveyed responded affirmatively. However, only 4% of respondents knew all 16 Japanese sites.
See how many you can name before looking at the list below:
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China1
- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour2
- Only in Japan? Controversial mystery vegetable you’ve probably never heard of3
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】4
- We buy a pair of glasses from up and coming idol Kanna Hashimoto5
- Taiwan’s annual IT show lasts a whole month! Booth babes galore! 【Photos】6
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right7
- The last photo of faithful dog Hachiko breaks our hearts8
- Boxers, manga, umbrellas… ABSOLUTELY FREE!9
- Watch this Adorable Video of a Shiba Inu Taking a Bath (Rubber Duckies Included)10
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】1
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China2
- Nine unusual products from Japanese designer, Oki Sato3
- Cute credit cards could send you to the slammer4
- Woman with alone time on an elevator does something incredibly unexpected5
- Gundam creator has harsh words for manga and anime hit “Attack on Titan”6
- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour7
- Seven things that surprise Japanese people working in foreign offices8
- The last photo of faithful dog Hachiko breaks our hearts9
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】10
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】1
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】2
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs3
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right4
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong5
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】6
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!7
- Thinking about plastic surgery? This ad may make you laugh – or it could make you think twice!8
- The amazing disaster relief equipment of Japan’s Self Defense Force9
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】10
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】1
- 252 of Japan’s favorite animated gifs2
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】3
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong4
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs5
- Thinking about plastic surgery? This ad may make you laugh – or it could make you think twice!6
- Meet the new model set to make manga artists’ lives a whole lot easier7
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right8
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!9
- Snake being pickled to create healing liquor awakens after 3 months and bites woman10
- Taiwan’s annual IT show lasts a whole month! Booth babes galore! 【Photos】
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right
- The last photo of faithful dog Hachiko breaks our hearts
- Boxers, manga, umbrellas… ABSOLUTELY FREE!
- Watch this Adorable Video of a Shiba Inu Taking a Bath (Rubber Duckies Included)
- An Illustrated Guide to the 12 Creatures That Haunt the Crowded Trains of Tokyo
- Restaurant in China offers pay-what-you-want pricing model, loses over $40,000
- Seven things that surprise Japanese people working in foreign offices
- Life imitating art (badly): If only they’d tried harder… 【Photos】
- Pet owner builds tiny ninja house for hamster, escape panels and hidden doors galore
- These Guys Keep All Their Cuteness Even When Cooked! We Try Deep-Fried Axolotl in Osaka
- Visually stimulating Japanese variety show pushes the limits of TV censorship
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea