Tokyo

Fetishes as art?! Joint photo exhibit “Ambiguous☆Bishoujo Art Exhibit” opens

TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO (Asakusa) will hold their second free gallery event, “Ambiguous☆Bishoujo Art Exhibit,” for artists from April 29 until May 10. If you’re in Tokyo and into cool, sexy, and unusual art, you won’t want to miss it.

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Is this the coolest kindergarten in the world? Probably 【Pics & Video】

Does the architecture of a building have an effect on the lives of the people inside of it? One famous Japanese architect thinks so and we’re pretty convinced now too.

Takaharu Tezuka, a Tokyo-based architect, designed a revolutionary kindergarten building that not only lets the kids run free, but also teaches them about life.

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A room with a (terrifying) view: Visiting the hotel that overlooks Godzilla’s giant head 【Photos】

When we reported a while back about the giant Godzilla head that has taken up residence atop a Shinjuku skyscraper, we also mentioned how a nearby hotel, the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, has been quick to set up special Godzilla Viewing Rooms to cash in on its proximity to the fanged monstrosity. Naturally, we headed over there as soon as we could to get a good look at that ugly ol’ head up close and personal!

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The times they are a-changin': Snapshots of Tokyo 50 years ago vs. today【Photos】

Once upon a time, Tokyo was nowhere near the sprawling megalopolis that it is today. Long ago, it wasn’t a sure thing that the small fishing village known as Edo would someday become one of the most bustling cities in the world.

But let’s skip Tokyo’s early years and fast-forward to a slightly more recent age. Ever wondered what the city looked like half a century ago, before the towering skyscrapers and iconic neon lights? Today, we are proud to present a visual comparison of Tokyo, 50 years ago versus the modern day!

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Six ways to spot someone who just moved to Tokyo

Spring is the start of both the school year and the business years in Japan. That means that right about now thousands of newcomers are pouring into Tokyo, as they move to the capital to start college or their professional careers.

But the hustle and bustle of Tokyo is on a scale unlike any other town in the nation. Even people who’ve grown up in Japan sometimes stick out like a sore thumb when they first move to the capital, as illustrated in this six-point guide to spotting someone who just moved to Tokyo.

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Stunning video of Tokyo shows the charm of how it mixes the traditional with the modern

As if you need more reasons to love Japan, 100 Tokyo, an online “curated cultural guide,” recently supported a beautiful video that highlights the perfect blend of traditional culture and modern technology of Tokyo, which makes it one of the most unique and charming big cities out there.

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High art or crime scene? More photos of passed-out salarymen 【Pics】

A late-night stroll through the streets of Shinjuku or some other lively Tokyo neighborhood usually involves flashing neon signs, groups of people heading to and from drinking parties, and cries of “Otsukarasamadeshita!” (“You’ve worked hard!”) between red-faced coworkers as they part ways. As the evening wears on, a new creature makes its entrance onto the scene. Curled up on the sidewalk or spread eagle on a bench, it’s that curious big-city phenomenon, the passed out salaryman.

Photographer Kenji Kawamoto recently shined a new light on these hard-working, hard-partying company men with a series of photos depicting their various states of repose. While the result is surprisingly artistic, context really is everything; more than a few of these look like shots of crime scenes. 

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Tokyo chain puts french fries on soba noodles, proves dreams really can come true

Ramen burgers. Bulgogi tacos. Cronuts. Sometimes the stars align and the gods see fit to bless the world with visionary new dishes–the kind that make people say, “Is that even possible?” Eventually, those same people end up wondering why no one came up with the concept sooner.

One of our Japanese writers was able to experience the joy of culinary experimentation firsthand during a recent trip to Tokyo’s Nadai Fuji Soba, which is now serving… wait for it… French fry soba! Though at first glance you might think someone spilled their Happy Meal over a plate of noodles, the tasty result is sure to make you a believer.

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Sega to turn the addicting Puyo Puyo puzzle game into a live show in Tokyo for its 24th anniversary

If you live outside of Japan, you’d be forgiven if you said you’d never heard of a wildly popular tile-matching video game Puyo Puyo. The puzzle game may have been initially inspired by Tetris, but the combination of competitive gameplay, cute characters, and a fun storyline have gained a huge following in Japan since it was first launched there in 1991.

And to celebrate the 24 years since gamers first got addicted to arranging rows of colorful, little blobs, Sega is turning the game into a live show next month with a cast of Japanese idols, actresses and models.

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Facepalm News: Japanese Twittersphere thinks Tokyo Disneyland’s Alice might be a (male) imposter

The Japanese Internet thinks there’s something strange in Wonderland these days, if a handful of photos doing the rounds on Twitter are any indication.

A Disneyland enthusiast – of which there are a great many in Japan – recently uploaded several close-up photos of Alice in Wonderland‘s Alice standing atop a parade float with the open question, “Am I the only one who thinks Alice might be a man?”

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Survey asks Japanese people where they’d most like to “live” after death

Whenever people ask me what I want to happen after I die, I always tell them I want a Super Mario-themed funeral where, at the end of the ceremony, the Mario death music plays and my casket is launched a few feet up in the air, then allowed fall down into the earth. I’ve always thought that would be a pretty cool way for friends and family to send me off, but the actual location of the funeral – or even really what happened to my body afterwards – has never been all that important to me.

Westerners have surprisingly little ritual when it comes to death. There’s usually a wake or a funeral, and then, if you’re lucky, every couple of years Solid Snake comes by to stand in front of your grave, look grim and deliver a two-hour monologue about the horrors of war. The Japanese, on the other hand, make a point to visit and pay respects to the dead every year through somewhat ritualized ohakamairi, so the location of your grave is an important thing to consider.

So important, apparently, that specialty online grave retailer Ohakamagokorokakaku (“ohakamago”) is considering offering a service to move the graves of loved ones, and recently conducted a survey among Japanese people asking: “Where would you most like to ‘live’ after death?”

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Group of ISIS-inspired kids abuses, attempts to kill a goat as “practice for killing a person”

Earlier this month we saw what was beleived to be the first ISIS-inspired murder in Japan when a group of teenagers brutally killed a fellow classmate. However it has recently come to light that in the middle of February, a different group of Tokyo middle school students broke into an elementary school with the intent of murdering the school pet goat as “practice” for killing a fellow human being.

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Flyer for May dōjinshi fair brings together beloved childhood anime… Tokyo, here we come!

It’s been a little over three months since the fantastic Comiket 87, which certainly didn’t fail to disappoint with everything from toilet plunger cosplay to the usual slew of dōjinshi. Yet, just as with Christmas, the end of such a big event can leave one feeling empty in the aftermath. “I have to wait until August?” you moan as you count down the months to the next Comiket.

We think the wait just got a little easier, thanks to a recent flyer advertising an upcoming dōjinshi fair. Featuring all our favorite childhood anime, including Yu Yu Hakusho, Soul Hunter, and Rurouni Kenshin, the flyer is sure to set dōjinshi fans scrambling to book tickets to Tokyo in time for the May opening.

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Moving to Tokyo? Real estate agent picks five best neighborhoods for single residents

Tokyo is a big place, both in terms of population and area, and if you’re moving here from anywhere else, you might be at a bit of a loss in terms of where to look for an apartment. Obviously, a large part of that decisions is up to personal preference, but we do happen to have some advice for areas to look at if this will be your first time living alone!

These five areas were selected by a local real estate agent, so you know they must be good, right?

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We visit a reasonably-priced sushi shop so good you’ll forget all about that “Jiro” guy

With a whole documentary devoted to him and a coveted place in the Michelin Guide, the (reportedly) rather ornery owner of renowned sushi shop Sushi Jiro has ruled the sushi world with a nori-wrapped fist for some time now. Jiro’s tiny shop, located in an underground mall in Ginza, commands about US$300 per 30-minute “omakase” meal and reservations need to be made months in advance – which is a pretty huge investment for a meal.

That daunting investment seems downright silly, though, when you realize that you can get incredible, world-class sushi in your maw for around a third of the cost just down the road!

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Old execution grounds become popular place to tell someone “I love you”

When taking big steps in relationships, like confessing your true feelings to a friend or asking someone to marry you, the setting is important. You want to set the mood, and getting the right atmosphere may mean the difference between delighted acceptance and “Where did that come from??”

Among some high school girls, this statue in Tokyo is considered a great place to take an amorous risk. It might not look like the most romantic place, located on a rather busy intersection and nestled between the NHK Broadcast Center, Shibuya Tax Office, and Amway Japan, and in fact this very spot is actually the memorial of a bloody attempt to overthrow the Japanese government. Nevertheless it is said to have a “supernatural” ability to create strong couples.

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This video of Tokyo shrouded in fog is the most beautiful commercial you’ll see all week 【Video】

When it comes to beautiful landscapes, one of the best is anything with rolling banks of thick fog. Now, we imagine some people who live in places like Seattle or London might not agree with the sentiment, but for many of us, the heavy mist of a spring morning is like meandering through a dream. Maybe not the best way to get yourself ready for a day of work, admittedly, but it’s definitely affecting.

Of course, many in Japan would agree–from 12th century emperors to contemporary filmographers. Just check out this stunning video titled “TOKYO DENSE FOG” to see how something as simple as the weather can turn Japan’s modern capital into a mystical realm.

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If you could move Japan anywhere in the world, where would you move it? 【Video】

When you ask people where they would live if they could move anywhere in the world, a lot of times they’ll stick with their home countries. We don’t blame them! After all, their family is probably there, they are used to the culture and lifestyle, moving to a new country would, frankly, be tough.

But, what if you could move your whole country with you? Our RocketNews24 reporters braved the cold on the streets of Tokyo’s Shinjuku district to ask passersby, “Where would you move Japan, if you could?” 

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Honest Tokyo: 3.3 billion yen of lost cash handed in to police in 2014 alone

Imagine this. You’re at a fireworks festival with almost one million people in attendance. Everyone is scrambling for a place to sit and stampeding for the exit when it’s over. In between standing in line for a tasty treat and being dazzled by the fireworks spectacle, you realize something terrible. You’ve lost your wallet. Now what?

In Japan, you just go to the nearest police box, or koban! In 2014 alone, a stunning amount of cash and lost possessions was turned into police stations around Tokyo. In cash alone, over 3.3 billion yen was turned in. That’s a whopping US$27.8 million picked up and taken to the authorities. Could that happen anywhere else in the world?

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7 surprising images of Tokyo without its billboards and neon signs 【GIFs】

If you’ve ever walked the streets of Tokyo, you’ll know how the buzz of people, street signs and giant screens can heighten all your senses and fill you with a rush of excitement that stays with you well after you’ve returned back home. While travel brochure photos can never truly prepare you for the dense onslaught of visual and aural stimuli that envelop you when you visit the megalopolis, one creative photographer has come up with a clever way of highlighting the main features of the city by showing us just how bare the city landscape looks without them there.

Come with us as we take a walk through day and night in Tokyo and see just how different the place looks when the neon signs and billboards are taken away. You’ll never see Tokyo in quite the same way again.

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