Shizuoka

Japanese tea house creates gold-leaf covered matcha green tea gelato dessert

Green tea lovers are going crazy for the taste and look of this unusual new dessert.

Read More

Early-blooming sakura cherry blossoms create pink-tinged wonderlands in Japan

People around the country are sharing stunning photos of the early-blossoming sakura in full bloom.

Read More

Japanese restaurant wows customers by serving meals on water instead of a revolving conveyor belt

People have fallen in love with the charm of floating tubs at this unusual eatery in Japan.

Read More

Got tattoos, but still want to experience a Japanese hot spring? It’s no problem here!

At this enlightened facility, the management would rather people gaze at Mt. Fuji than worry about their fellow bathers’ body art.

Read More

Japan creates Umeboshi Pickled Plum and Takuan Pickled Radish colas to pair with rice dishes

The unusual new flavours are designed to go down well with traditional Japanese meals.

Read More

Service area in Shizuoka goes all out for the biggest and baddest Evangelion collaboration ever

Many Japanese service areas along major highways are well-stocked with (surprisingly) decent food courts and souvenir stands chock-full of local specialties. Some of them even take it to the next level and incorporate themes into their layouts, such as the Edo Period townscape service area in Saitama Prefecture.

One such stop, the EXPASA Ashigara Service Area located in Shizuoka Prefecture, is currently in the midst of a collaboration with the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise—and according to travelers who have already stopped by, they’ve spared no expense for this mind-blowing project.  
Read More

We brave fastballs from the world’s fastest (and most terrifying) pitching machine

If there were ever going to be some kind of cheesy, baseball-themed horror movie, we’re almost certain the mechanical antagonist would be this Shizuoka Prefecture pitching machine – the world’s fastest at a pitching speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) – which would probably be depicted firing a fastball directly through the torso of some cocky coed.

Record-setting and somewhat terrifying? You bet we had to go and take a shot at hitting one of those blazingly fast pitches. Well, like, not us. We’re too young and handsome to die. We sent one of our Japanese-language writers, instead.

Read More

The world’s most matcha-intense ice cream experience is waiting for you in Shizuoka

Even though Japan has been widely enjoying green tea for centuries and Western-style desserts for decades, it’s really only in the past 10 or 15 years that green tea sweets have really exploded in popularity. Out of the many varieties of green tea, matcha is considered to be the most luxuriously gourmet, with a richly deep aroma, flavor, and color.

The problem, though, it that matcha can be strongly bitter, which is why it’s usually served with Japanese confectionaries to take a little of its edge off. As such, a lot of sweets are billed as matcha fumi, or “green tea-taste” to show that while they’ve got a hint of matcha flavor, they’re not so heavily loaded with the stuff.

But if you want to unleash the full, unbridled force of matcha on your palate while you satisfy your craving for dessert, this shop in Shizuoka Prefecture boasts it has the most matcha-intense ice cream in the world.

Read More

Japanese man goes missing at sea for 20 hours, then gets rescued by a lucky lifebelt

While there’s nothing quite like a dip in the ocean on a hot summer day, this man’s quick swim-turned missing person’s case will serve as a great reminder why you should always be careful in Mother Nature’s swimming pool.

Earlier this week, a 29-year-old man from the city of Kobe was enjoying some sea-side bathing with his friends when a strong wind came, sweeping him far from the coast. His friends acted quickly, called the local police and a search ensued for 20 hours until the missing man turned up on a beach 40 kilometers to the south thanks to an incredibly lucky discovery.

Read More

We travel to Shizuoka to come face to face with the real-life Thomas the Tank Engine locomotive!

Well, it looks like train fans in Japan have something to be excited about — the real-life Thomas the Tank Engine, which has already attracted considerable attention on the Internet and media, is now in service! The Thomas steam locomotive, designed with a large face in the front to quite accurately recreate the well-known children’s character, started on its very first journey on July 12 with about 560 passengers on board. And since we knew this was a ride that would be sure to delight kids as well as adult train fans, one of the reporters from our Japanese site traveled to Shizuoka Prefecture in the center of Honshu, the main island, to see the “real Thomas” on his very first day in operation!

Read More

Park’s new water attraction is a dream come true for capybara lovers

Haven’t you ever secretly wanted to play with a pack of the world’s largest rodent? Even if you’re one of those people who don’t quite understand the allure of the water-loving capybara, a native of South America, the folks at Shizuoka Prefecture’s Izu Shaboten Park are on a mission to change your mind. The park is already famous for its capybara hot spring during the winter months, and it will soon add another capybara-themed attraction to its roster–the “Cabybara Rainbow Plaza,” in which you can actually engage in water play with the animals! How can you pass up this chance to play with Mickey Mouse’s bigger, perpetually spacey-looking cousins??

But don’t book your tickets quite yet, because the “Capybara Rainbow Plaza” opens on July 19. More details after the jump.

Read More

No grown-ups allowed! Chef with a very sweet motive opens a kids-only sweets shop

Children in Sanda City, Hyogo Prefecture currently have good reason to celebrate, as a huge new sweets shop officially opened in their town on December 7. But the news gets even sweeter: only kids in sixth grade or younger are allowed inside! Sounds like any child’s wildest fantasy come true, right? Parents must wait outside (and no doubt prepare themselves for the inevitable sugar-high antics to come) while their children explore the hidden wonders within.

Join us after the jump for a rare glimpse inside the shop and read what inspired the owner to open it in the first place.

Read More

Hamamatsu train station unveiled in miniature form

There’s no denying that the world looks a whole lot cuter when it’s scaled down to miniature form, and even ordinary train stations are no exception to the rule. Hamamatsu station, in Shizuoka Prefecture, has been given the mini-me treatment, thanks to one of its renowned residents, award-winning modeler Takuji Yamada. On display in the city centre, people from all over Japan are gushing at the model’s remarkable quality and it’s amazing likeness to the original.

Read More

This Tomato Looks Like a Duck

Gather around kiddies, today we’d like to tell you the story of “The Ugly Tomato Duckling.

One sunny day in the peaceful city of Numazu in Shizuoka prefecture, old lady Chieko Saito was working in her restaurant “Hakuba” when one of her customers presented her with a bag of fresh tomatoes. Among the fruit, all red and plump, was a homely little creature that resembled something of a duckling more than a tomato.

That’s right children, it was the ugly tomato duckling.

Read More