While you might not see a lot of trick or treaters out in Japan, if you find yourself in Tokyo, specifically Shibuya, you’re sure to see some original and inspiring costumes. Let’s take a look at some of the best homemade and store-bought costumes spotted in Shibuya this Halloween.
Ask any Westerner what’s so special about October 31 and you will get the same answer: Halloween – a modern-day version of the ancient Celtic harvest festival Samhain. In Japan, however, October 31 was just any old day until fairly recently, with the haunted hijinks never really catching on until a few years ago.
But here’s the kicker: the Japanese might already be doing Halloween better than we do!
Oct 9, 2014
Twitter was set ablaze last night after dozens of people shared photos of “a beautiful foreigner walking a polar bear” between throngs of pedestrians at the world-famous Shibuya Scramble crossing in Tokyo.
Join us after the jump to see a video captured by an onlooker and learn more about the group to which this mysterious bear-keeping stranger apparently belongs.
For the ultimate Japanese food experience, sushi or ramen are certainly the top picks. And while sushi covers all the flavors of the ocean and even some less traditional meaty options, ramen remains a steady choice between four main soup stocks: miso, soy sauce, pork and salt.
Green beer is a staple of St. Patrick’s Day, much to the chagrin of the Irish. White beers, amber beers and dark beers are all pretty common, but blue beer? Thought that was just a one-off kind of thing. We’ve got blueberries, blue fins, bluegills, bluegrass, blue balls, blueprints and blue men. Blue beer is not all that common, and unless you live in Hokkaido (or are a curious internet shopper) you probably haven’t tried it either. Fear not! While the Ryuhyo Draft reviews were not all that positive, a Kirin beer garden in Tokyo wants you to sample their blue beer until the end of July!
May 21, 2014
The Shibuya crossing, also known as theShibuya scramble, is without a doubt one of the most famous locations in the world. Now the go-to location for establishing shots of Japan when producers aren’t focusing on geisha and picturesque temples, the intersection has been featured in numerous TV shows and movies, and is a must-see for any visitor to Tokyo.
Surrounded by tall buildings, each covered in giant screens and ads vying for pedestrians’ attention, the Scramble is traversed by an incredible 500,000 people each day, with roughly 3,000 pedestrians crossing every time the lights change during peak hours, making it one of the flashiest and most popular places to advertise in Japan.
And now, it’s about to get just a little bit flashier.
May 1, 2014
Earlier this month we posted an announcement about a special limited-time Kiki & Lala Cafe in Tokyo’s trendy Shibuya district. The photos from the preview were just so adorable that we almost had little hearts spilling out of our eyes, and had to send a writer from our Japanese sister site Pouch over to get the inside scoop. After four failed attempts, she finally managed to make her way inside and discover the magical secrets within for herself. The reason it took so long for her to get in? It’s because the place is just too darn popular!
If you’re a fan of Sanrio’s cute characters and are anxious to go for yourself but are a bit hesitant about the long wait, you’ll definitely want to check out our writer’s comments and eight practical tips for planning a visit.
Hello Kitty is turning 40, but her birthday is definitely not going by unnoticed. Fans in the Tokyo area are in for a treat with the Shibuya de Hello Kitty (“Hello Kitty in Shibuya”) event. In a collaboration with Shibuya department stores such as 109, Tokyu Hands and Hikarie, Hello Kitty fans will have a multitude of ways to help Hello Kitty ring in her 40th year. It’s enough to make Avril Lavigne explode.
From whoopie pies to champagne to photo events to wrestling gear, everyone’s favorite mouthless cat is making her presence known in one of Tokyo’s most popular neighborhoods. The event runs from April 24 to May 6 (depending on participant), so many people will be able to use the Golden Week holidays to check it out.
Most Japanese history buffs know that Kyoto is a must-see, but for those who prefer not to be one in a mob of tourists, it’s essential to find the hidden gems like the Kyū Asakura House. It is one of those rare places where you can experience what it may have felt like to live in another era—and this one is in the middle of Tokyo! Because it is relatively small and not too well known, visiting is a peaceful experience.
Tokyo, as you know, is a huge metropolis where millions of people work in countless offices. But did you know that there are also some winged critters keeping busy every day in the middle of Tokyo to provide us with sweet nourishment? Yes, there are honey bees actually being cultured here in Tokyo for honey production, and at the shopping/dining/entertainment complex Hikarie in Shibuya, some special honey products were recently offered in connection with the date of March 28, which they designated honey bee day (because the numbers three, two and eight can be called mi for three, tsu for two in English and hachi for eight, which when combined sound like the word mitsubachi for honey bee in Japanese).
One of the items was a very special cake called the Miel Baum, created by renowned Japanese patissier Toshi Yoroizuka. And what made this cake so special? For one thing, it was made using honey collected right there in Shibuya, and secondly, it was sold on one day only – March 28. A cake made by a famous patissier using Shibuya-grown honey and available for just one day? Now that, we just had to try!
On the surface, a lot of guys don’t seem to put much effort into their appearance. This is often mistaken for sheer laziness or apathy, but in these cash strapped times, many men simply lack the funds to look as stylish as they want to.
One such man is Omocoro’s Yoppi, or as he’s known to the rest of the world, “that Japanese guy who was caught looking at cartoon porn on the train.” Struggling on a blogger’s budget he resorts to bland colors and patternless pants. That is until one fateful day when he heard of a contest in the fashionably elite area of Shibuya which promised to make his dreams of looking good come true.
Here is his story.
Oct 18, 2013
Have you ever wanted to start dancing like a madman in the middle of a crowded urban street, but felt restrained by the conventions of society? Our reporter Mr. Sato sure has. So when he learnt about the Halls throat lozenges’ YOUareLIQUIDMAN campaign, he got right on it.
YOUareLIQUIDMAN encourages sheepish individuals to upload a photo of themselves to the Halls website. Their photo is then displayed on liquid man who proceeds to dance like Michael Stipe in front of total strangers.
Aug 7, 2013
This year’s finalists for the Kanto region Miss Cutest High School Girl contest were decided on August 3. Never heard of the contest before?
Miss-Con, the Japanese nickname for the contest, was started in order to figure out who was the cutest high school first year in the Kanto region. Because if there’s one thing Japan can agree on, it’s that there’s nothing cuter than a high school girl. In the past, the contest was a part of a different event “Love Sunshine” or LoveSun, meant for followers of the gyaru fashion, a form of extreme fashion in Japan, often involving heavily dyed hair, tanned skin, lots of make up, and daring clothing choices. Now in its third year, Miss-Con has two separate categories for their contestants: cutest gyaru and cutest “natural” high school girl (i.e. without the crazy hair and signature outfits).
Friday afternoon your friend sends you a quick text asking if you want to go dancing. She tells you it will be wild and suggests getting dressed up as crazy as possible! (“But no fur suits after last week.”) Your head swirls with possibilities…but, man, wouldn’t it be great if you could dye your hair bright pink and throw in some sexy black tips? You glance at your uptight boss, prowling the halls like the most boring, fun-sucking vampire since Twilight, and sigh.
If only you had a more relaxed job. Or hair chalk!
Apr 9, 2013
My high school economics teacher once told us that “Masturbation is a recession-proof business.” Even as he was taken away in handcuffs, those words resonated with me, which is why I wasn’t surprised to see the above photo.
However, Japanese Twitter users were both aghast and amused by the presence of an enormous ad for Tenga brand masturbatory aids hanging on the Shibuya 109 building in Tokyo.
Okay, this is a question for you francophiles out there. Where should you go if you’re in Tokyo and you want to eat and feel like you’re in France? Ask Tokyoites, and chances are they’ll say Kagurazaka, where the official Institut français du Japon–Tokyo is located and where you’re liable to find many French nationals as well as numerous French restaurants. But according to an article that appeared recently on Japanese news site Excite Bit, there’s another rather unexpected area of Tokyo with a surprising concentration of shops offering a taste of France.
And just where might that be? Well, the article informs us that quite a few famous French gourmet establishments have set up shop in Shibuya, that mecca of young pop Japanese culture. Read More
Jan 15, 2013
Arriving in Japan late last week for two nights of shows, English band Muse – whose tracks have been featured on comedian-cum-doodler Tekken’s videos on multiple occasions – decided to let their hair down and take a walk through the streets of Tokyo.
Dressed, as one Japanese Twitter user comments, “like flamingoes”, however, they stuck out like a sore thumb and were soon snapped by fans and confused passers-by alike. Amateur photography and excited quotes a-plenty after the jump.
Nov 8, 2012
Japanese food manufacturer Nissin, maker of incredibly popular “like fresh” instant noodle brand Raō, has taken the unusual step of opening a tiny restaurant of its own in Shibuya station, Tokyo. The restaurant opened just yesterday and is situated, of all places, in the very centre of the busy Yamanote line platform.
The miniature restaurant’s menu consists of just two items: two flavours of regular, shop-bought instant ramen, each costing just 250 yen (US$3).
Always eager to try out new food and discover interesting new locations, our intrepid RocketNews24 reporters headed down to see the restaurant for themselves.
Jul 17, 2012
If you see anyone wearing a trench coat lumbering through the streets of Tokyo muttering “S.T.A.R.S…” this summer, chances are they’re either a deadly mutant bent on revenge or a satisfied (yet inappropriately-dressed) customer of Biohazard Café & Grill S.T.A.R.S, a new Resident Evil themed restaurant that opened in Shibuya on July 13.
Jun 12, 2012
Japan is a cigarette smoker’s paradise. More than a quarter of the adult population is said to smoke and, unless specifically stated, smoking in restaurants and public places is widely permitted.
Yet while cigarettes are so popular here that you can even buy packs of them from vending machines on the street, there is virtually no tradition of hand-rolling tobacco, also known as shag.
However, this could start to change as “Japan’s first hand-rolled cigarette bar”, Smoke Friends House, opened in Shibuya earlier this month with the hope of adding a little refinement to Japan’s smoking culture.
We attended a special pre-opening reception event to get a first taste of shag and were quite impressed with the taste and depth of this gentleman’s tobacco.
And if that weren’t luxurious enough, at Smoke Friends House you can have your tobacco rolled and lit by sexy Japanese women!
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute1
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours2
- The top 10 spots in Tokyo to make an anime pilgrimage3
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters4
- “Common habits of Japan’s low earners”: What this survey tells us, and what it doesn’t5
- Who knew frozen apples could taste so good!: Simple dessert recipe for the diet-conscious6
- Question reveals how foreigners feel about speaking Japanese, getting English in return7
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world8
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer9
- Our Japanese reporter visits an American sushi restaurant in Japan10
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours1
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make2
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world3
- Budding Japanese student artists impress us with chalkboard works of art4
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer5
- Japanese sleep experts say we’ve been using our blankets wrong, help us hate winter a little less6
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters7
- Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence8
- Controversial pick-up artist breaks silence as campaign against him continues9
- Cat got your tongue? 10 unusual Japanese phrases that use the word ‘cat’10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises5
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make6
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit7
- One Piece manga sends off Naruto with a classy secret message8
- Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】9
- Just a bunch of adorable cats riding on trains in Japan10
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher3
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”4
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】5
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China6
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later7
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons8
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea9
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked10
- Who knew frozen apples could taste so good!: Simple dessert recipe for the diet-conscious
- Question reveals how foreigners feel about speaking Japanese, getting English in return
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer
- Our Japanese reporter visits an American sushi restaurant in Japan
- “We don’t want to be girls. We just want to be cute!” The future of crossdressing in Osaka
- Beautiful faces and floors – Five great ways to reuse the water from rinsing rice
- Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence
- Deal of the day – Give this hamster’s Vine video six seconds, and he’ll give you a huge smile
- Nearly five percent of Japanese are addicted to gambling – even though it’s still “illegal”
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker
- Can you spot the problem that led to the recall of this otherwise cute Japanese New Year’s card?
- 12 gender-bent Disney and Ghibli characters that are utter perfection
- Filled to bursting point? Rush-hour crush on Tokyo subway leaves train with broken window