Kumamoto, a rural prefecture on Kyushu Island off the mainland of Japan, is one of the remaining “car societies” in a country using more and more public transportation. It is also home to one of the country’s roving party locations: the Beer Garden Train. While it’s nothing unusual to see drunk people on public transportation in Japan, this one-car trolley actually encouraged us to imbibe!
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.
As much as Japanese people love to go on about how “Japan has four distinct seasons, you know!” (yes, so does the UK…), the gap between summer and winter – that fantastic period when you’re neither dripping with sweat nor trying to get the feeling back in your fingers - is mercilessly short, and we already seem to be at the end of it.
Japanese buildings are usually made from lightweight materials and, outside of places like Hokkaido in the north, have very little insulation, which means they start getting cold as early as late October. By the time January arrives, you’re wearing a wooly hat in bed and putting off getting up as long as possible since it means surrendering your body to the icy air in the kitchen while frantically boiling the kettle to make a cup of anything hot.
While most of us try to be sparing in our use of our heating (except my neighbour who runs her air conditioner 24/7 so that it constantly sounds like there’s a car idling outside…), more often than not we burn more gas and electricity than we really need to, locked away in our private little sanctuaries.
With this in mind, a number of businesses, shops and community centres in Japan have launched a new campaign for winter, known as Warm Share, which encourages people to switch off their heating at home and head out to a heated public area where, as the name implies, they share the warmth with everyone else.
It’s good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet, it gets you out of the house.
But perhaps the coolest thing about Warm Share is the fact that many locations offer discount coupons and completely free hot drinks to visitors who simply utter the magic words: “I switched off my heating and came here instead.”
Have you ever bumped into an acquaintance and asked how their spouse was, only to find out they got divorced a month earlier. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to avoid these social landmines which multiply with the ever growing divorce rate?
Divorce Newspapers have been developed in Japan which allow couples to distribute a report of the demise of their marriage to friends and family quickly and easily. It’s also a way for the newly divorced to save the embarrassment of telling each person individually and helps people to avoid social blunders like above.
- Godzilla remake trailer released! Aims to stay true to the original movie【Video】1
- 13 surprising Japanese translations of American movie titles2
- Your holiday (counterfeit) gift-buying guide!3
- Biker/Photographer gives Google Street View car taste of its own medicine4
- Men’s butts are shaped like green peppers, according to this butt illustration guide5
- 92-year-old grandmother creates gorgeous traditional Japanese toys6
- Onsen trivia! Finding the hottest, highest, and healthiest hot springs in Japan7
- Japanese Character Toast is the Cutest Thing Since Sliced Bread, All You Need is Aluminum Foil!8
- An amazing 1,300-year old way of fishing involving birds diving underwater is going extinct9
- Cat Massage Techniques Promise Happy Endings10
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China1
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】2
- Nine unusual products from Japanese designer, Oki Sato3
- Cute credit cards could send you to the slammer4
- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour5
- Live-action Attack on Titan gets release date, new director6
- The last photo of faithful dog Hachiko breaks our hearts7
- Girl runs away from home to stop her parents from buying a Japanese car8
- Woman with alone time on an elevator does something incredibly unexpected9
- Subway mini skirt peeping tom found innocent10
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】1
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】2
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】3
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs4
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!5
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong6
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right7
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China8
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】9
- The amazing disaster relief equipment of Japan’s Self Defense Force10
- 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
- 92-year-old grandmother creates gorgeous traditional Japanese toys
- Onsen trivia! Finding the hottest, highest, and healthiest hot springs in Japan
- Japanese Character Toast is the Cutest Thing Since Sliced Bread, All You Need is Aluminum Foil!
- An amazing 1,300-year old way of fishing involving birds diving underwater is going extinct
- Cat Massage Techniques Promise Happy Endings
- Let’s learn a little Japanese with this dead squid in a parking lot
- McDonald’s Japan now serving delicious balls of cheese and potato
- Live-action Attack on Titan gets release date, new director
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China
- Adorable chinchilla causes Japanese netizens to have cute attack 【Photos】
- First full-length trailer for live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service shows off sets, cast, new theme song