swimming

Wacky Japanese beach culture: A ton of fun in the sun!

From whacking watermelons with sticks to burying your friends in the sand or holding sweltering Japanese style BBQs, Japan has a very specific beach culture. We’ve introduced some of these activities before on our site, but this time, we’ve supersized the experience by adding more activities–and extra cheese!

We’ll introduce 13 beach scenes that you’re bound to experience on any trip to a Japanese beach, and present most of them in a six-second Vine video. We picked one of our favorite places to Vine from: Shiraishi Island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea where one of our writers happens to live. This tiny island of 560 people in Okayama Prefecture, is one of Japan’s best kept secrets: the beach is never crowded, the sea is tranquil, the sunsets superb, and the beer never stops flowing.

Get ready to take the plunge into the sea of Japanese beach culture with a local to show you la plage–Japanese style!

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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.

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Visitors to this Wakayama beach get to swim with whales this summer

As comedian and noted lover of cinnamon rolls and burritos Jim Gaffigan famously said, going whale watching is kind of boring. It’s a handful of hours of waiting around, a brief glimpse of “something I wouldn’t even watch on television,” and then your most likely drunk tour captain whisking you back to shore in time for happy hour.

And maybe Jim’s right. Sure, whales are the most majestic of creatures, but is it really all that fun to spend all day on a swaying deck for a half-second glimpse of a tail or something? Scuba diving with whales would be much more exciting, but that’s sort of dangerous and you need a license. If only there were a place where whales would come right up to you on the beach and hang out for a while…

Oh, that’s right! That’s exactly what happens at Wakayama’s easy-to-read-and-pronounce Higashimuroguntaijichou Whale Beach.

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Fan of recent swimming anime, Free!, finds clever way to crawl into bed with the characters

September 26 of this year marked the end of the series finale of the popular swimming anime, Free!, though fans of the series remain highly active on the Internet and at doujinshi (fan comic) events.

Recently, there’s been a real flurry of excitement within the Free! fandom on Asian blogs and online gossip columns over one fan’s genius idea to get the series’ token sweetheart to lie between her sheets. Because who wouldn’t want to sleep next to such beautiful 2-D biceps, right?

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Welcome to summer hell: Chinese lake becomes a sea of humans and rubber rings

Summer in Asia is hot. Like, really, really hot. Seeing mirages hot. Cooking whole English breakfasts on the sidewalk hot. But no matter how hellish the summer heat gets, we will never, ever, ever set foot in this Chinese lake.

The above is the Hieronymus Bosch-esque hellscape of what is quite possibly the world’s most crowded summertime attraction: a lake in Suining City, China.

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Sony Unveils New Walkman for Swimmers– Light, Sturdy and on Sale for Under $170 this February

If you’re of the sporty persuasion and wish that you could take your tunes to the pool without having a funny-looking contraption strapped to your goggles or having your earphones fall out every other stroke, Sony’s newest addition to the Walkman series will definitely be of interest.

Scheduled for a February 16 release in Japan, the new NWD-W270 series features a compact, lightweight design and boasts 4GB of onboard storage space. Plenty of delicious images and details after the break.

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Chinese Public Pool is Aquatic Hell of Urine and Feces

Nothing beats the summer heat like a day at the pool…thought everyone in China, apparently, judging from these pictures posted to Chinese message board site Tiē Tiē.

It looks like pool visitors hardly have any room to move, let alone swim. Really they’re just soaking shoulder-to-shoulder in a giant soup of chlorinated water and each other’s filth. But that’s what public pools are all about, right?

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Disturbing Japanese Amazon Customer Reviews: the Girl’s One-Piece Swimsuit

The Amazon.com product review section has become something a creative writing outlet for the witty and sarcastic. In the right hands, these hilarious parody reviews can actually helps boost sales of the product (for all the wrong reasons) or even turn it into an internet phenomenon.

Yet every once in awhile — and this applies to Japan in particular — there will be a product on Amazon with reviews that are so disturbing, you can only pray for the sake of humanity that they are an uncoordinated series of cruel jokes.

This navy blue girl’s one-piece swimsuit offered on Amazon Japan is one such product, and anyone familiar with the word hentai can probably guess why…

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