Barbie, the popular fashion doll from America, has been a style icon ever since her creation back in 1959. Now, at the age of 55, the controversial bombshell is hitting the streets of Harajuku – quite literally – this time inside the clear soles of some amazing, if kind of creepy, shoes.
Walking down the street in Tokyo, you never know what you might bump into, especially if you happened to have been around Aoyama Itchome Station in Minato Ward on 14 November. During the afternoon, a masked palm civet was seen darting around the streets by several witnesses.
The masked palm civet was connected to the SARS outbreak about a decade ago and unleashes an anal spray when threatened. But that didn’t stop passers-by from trying to get the best photos for their Twitter feeds… Not at all.
Nov 14, 2014
Ramen is an amazing food, and nothing beats traveling around Japan and eating all the different kinds. Some are certainly better than other (tonkotsu FTW!) but they all are fighting for the top spot of “best bowl of ramen ever eaten“. Some bowls of ramen you can’t wait to go back and eat again, others are categorized as “one time is enough“. But there are some bowls of ramen that you shouldn’t even taste…let alone look at. Beware; these next pictures are not for the faint of heart.
Nov 13, 2014
Daifuku is a widely popular type of Japanese confection consisting mainly of an outer layer of mochi (gelatinous rice paste) with an anko (sweet bean paste) filling. The result is a mildly sweet treat with a comfortably smooth texture.
There are many variations of daifuku including ichigo daifuku containing a whole strawberry inside of the mochi and anko, which have become hugely popular all around Japan. However, do you know where this trend started?
Our hungry reporter Mr. Sato does, and he went down to the first store ever to sell ichigo daifuku, Tamaya, to try their wares himself. He found that not only are they the original, but they may just make best ichigo daifuku in all of Japan.
There’s a lot of freedom and innovation when it comes to dining in Japan. For every Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo, there’s an equally impressive place where you can dine with maids, hang out with cats or even watch boys make out.
Now there’s another must-visit eatery to add to Tokyo’s ever-growing list of unique cafes and this time the star of the show is the humble slice of bread. At Centre the Bakery in Ginza, you can choose your own toaster, take it back to your table and enjoy freshly made toast.
Nov 7, 2014
Sometimes, you’re surfing around on the Internet to find weird Japan news to write about and can’t seem to find anything except one of those old “I thought this thing was that thing, but it was another thing,” Twitter comparison pictures and you kind of just have to run with it. I know, oddly specific scenario, but we’ve all been there, right?
Like, check out this thing that looks like a bird. We already know it’s not a bird, but can you use some of the clues in the photo to figure out what it really is?
Nov 3, 2014
If you ever visit Tokyo, the district of Asakusa is a worthwhile spot to wander around in. It has a healthy mix of tradition, entertainment, food, and shopping that should please anyone looking for a small but all-encompassing Japanese experience.
But there’s one other unique feature that Asakusa has and it’s one that’s surprising even the most entrenched Tokyo residents. Apparently, Asakusa is home to an enormous selection of wildly unusual vending machines. And coming from a land positively peppered with automatic vendors, that’s saying a lot.
The whole concept of an all-boys high school is kind of cruel when you think about it. You take a bunch of young men who have only recently hit puberty and are practically oozing hormones out of their pores and lock them in a prison-like environment filled with nothing but other males for the majority of their teen lives.
So it’s understandable that at least one Japanese all-boys high school, faced with an utter lack of girls to ogle, chose to get a little creative… by holding an annual beauty pageant to determine the prettiest “girl” in school.
Imagine that you’re in Tokyo and having so much fun that you miss the last train home without even realizing it. You consider all the ways to kill time until the morning, but nothing appeals to you at all…so might we suggest some late-night all-you-can-eat yakiniku?
Join our intrepid reporter Mr. Sato as he tries out a yakiniku restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo which offers a special late-night all-you-can eat yakiniku deal. Even if you can’t make it there in person, don’t be afraid to live vicariously through his mouth-watering photos!
Although slightly paradoxical, there’s kind of nothing more American than the good ol’ Chinese buffet.
The Chinese buffet is an American fixture that takes an imported cuisine (basically the only thing America really has) and twists it to suit American tastes. Over the years, it’s become a classic staple of the American diet, fortune cookies and all. Also there’s probably something to be said about the American dream – “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” and all that – beneath all the MSG and faux duck meat. Whatever.
So American expats, nostalgic for their weekly family fix of spicy staples like General Tso’s chicken and other incongruous Asian fusion dishes, must be rejoicing at the news that there’s now a Chinese buffet in Tokyo serving all-you-can-eat Chinese classics for a measly 600 yen (US$5.50).
Oct 25, 2014
Niconico is Japan’s biggest video sharing website – apart from that other one – and this week sees their unique café and creative space re-open in Ikebukuro, Tokyo.
The new nicocafe aims to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds with its online interactive ordering system, which allows viewers watching at home to order items to be delivered to the guests at the bar!
We’re not sure how happy you’d be to actually receive some of these menu items, though…
Oct 21, 2014
Hey everyone, how has 2014 treated you? Did you finally get that dream job you wanted? Or maybe you moved, or found a significant other?
With only a little over two months left in the year, you might find yourself already looking forward to what the new year has to offer. If you’re especially eager to get a ‘sneak-peak’ of what 2015 has in store for you, then this new Shrine Cafe located in Tokyo’s Takadanobaba neighborhood may just be the perfect place for you. It only opened its doors on the 14th of this month, but it already promises to fill a niche in Japan’s already abundant and eclectic cafe scene.
But wait–just what the heck is a shrine cafe??
Every year, a small number of Japanese tourists in Paris are struck by an extreme form of culture shock. This psychological distress, caused by the gap between the idealised, romantic image of the French capital, and the reality of the noisy, dirty city, is known as “Paris Syndrome”, and at one point, the Japanese embassy was even running a 24-hour hotline for distressed citizens requiring assistance.
Next year, however, Paris comes to Tokyo, as some of the finest masterpieces of the Louvre museum are to be shown at the National Art Center, Tokyo. The exhibition is entitled ‘Louvre Museum: Genre Painting – Scenes from Daily Life’, and will be the first Louvre exhibition in Japan for six years.
Oct 16, 2014
Mashable recently put out a neat list called ‘The 20 Coolest Arcades in the World’, and Tokyo took more spots than any other place! Well, we wouldn’t expect anything less from the birthplace of the video game industry, really.
Turns out though, Japanese netizens were a bit baffled by Mashable’s choices: “That’s cool??” they spluttered into their keyboards. “That’s not even an arcade!”
Hayashi 'Fang' Hougi
Oct 14, 2014
The first time I went to Tokyo alone, I got lost within the first five minutes of arriving at Shinjuku Station, unable to comprehend why there were so many transfers to different lines going in different directions. Without mobile data on my phone, I was basically one of the ‘internet-less lost gaijin’ crippled by the lack of Google Maps who ended up befriending the station master at every transfer station because, without them, I would probably have had to spend the night hanging out with the buskers on the streets.
The maps in Japanese subway stations are not only confusing, they also look like multi-colored spaghetti or weird roller coasters, and I can clearly recall thinking how nice it would be to have a better-looking representation of the city’s train lines. Thankfully, it looks like South Korean design company Zero per Zero has fulfilled my wish with their subway map designs, which are becoming a hot topic on Reddit.
Oct 13, 2014
Last year, we brought you news of a court ruling in Yokohama which stipulated that anyone who owns a device capable of receiving a TV signal, regardless of whether they’ve entered into a contract with NHK (Japan’s public broadcasting station) or not, is legally obligated to pay the NHK licensing fee. An important point to note is that the fees are only paid once per household, and not according to the number of TV sets or devices capable of receiving a signal in the house.
However, a recent court decision seems to be taking the issue of NHK licensing fees in a whole new direction. On October 9, Tokyo District Court ruled in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit that the management company behind three Tokyo hotels must first enter into a contract with the public broadcaster. Furthermore, the hotels, all three of which had refused to enter into contracts despite repeated requests from NHK, must also pay their overdue licensing fees in proportion to the number of hotel rooms with TVs.
Just wait til you read how much money that all comes out to be…
Japan is known for having a unique culture that perfectly balances two extreme worlds of tradition and fun. From cat cafes to cosplay-clad posers in Harajuku, it’s the light-hearted, anything-goes attitude on the streets of Tokyo that brightens the serious, traditional side of society which likes to rein in anything different and out of the norm.
It’s little surprise then, that people have been drawn to one of the newcomers to the street scene in Tokyo, a recently retired man who goes by the name “Kyushu Neko Ojisan” (lit. The Cat Man from Kyushu). Retirement for this gent means he’s now free to walk his nine adorable cats in a baby buggy around Tokyo. And his crowds of admirers are growing with every stroll he takes.
Oct 9, 2014
Deep beneath the ground, 19 miles north of Tokyo, lies a truly incredible feat of engineering. The G-Cans Project is the largest storm drain on earth, a colossal series of underground silos and tunnels, built to protect Tokyo from flooding during typhoon seasons. Its main hall (actually an enormous water tank) is held up by 59 columns each 25 metres high, and is known as the “Underground Temple”.
The facility is free to visit by guided tour, and the folks at Another Tokyo, a Japanese website introducing off-the-beaten-track places from around the country, recently went to check it out. This is what they found!
Scott R Dixon
Oct 6, 2014
If you’re a fan of the wildly popular manga and anime series Attack on Titan, then you’ll be more than familiar with the violent and jarring scenes of gigantic monsters biting off and chewing human heads, arms and various other body parts. But while you might expect such gruesome images in your comic books, commuters riding the Tokyo subway might not appreciate seeing such gory poster images on their way to work every morning.
So when advertising a new Attack on Titan exhibit opening next month at a Tokyo museum, the poster designers decided to creatively self-censor their own work with some very cleverly placed food items.
Oct 5, 2014
Here’s something to make “Not Sure if…” Fry’s head explode out of sheer confusion. It looks like there may or may not be a zombie epidemic spreading throughout Tokyo which affects only young, college-aged girls.
…Or it could be a strange, niche soft porn site for lonely Japanese lovers of horror and very cute girls.
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map1
- Past and present photos of Japanese fashion models make us wonder, where have all the gyaru gone?2
- South Korean media wants the world to know that “cherry blossoms originated there”3
- What if Elsa was from some other country? 24 Hetalia variations of the Frozen queen4
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls5
- Nine of our Japanese writers share the restaurants they absolutely must visit again!6
- Superheroes invade Thai wedding, guests just smile for the camera 【Photos】7
- Gift giving fails: Japanese girls tell you what NOT to buy8
- Naruto’s not over yet with new manga chapters, anime series coming soon!9
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker10
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map1
- Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives2
- Inspirations for April Fools’ pranks (you can thank us later)【Photos】3
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker4
- Japanese girl finds “school love,” but with a surprising “partner”5
- Buyer’s remorse? Not if you’ve got confidence like this girl6
- Japanese women list the top 10 lies they can spot the second a guy says them7
- 10 weird and wonderful things you can find in a Japanese drugstore8
- Bizarre video series gives pervy weirdos a glimpse of girls’ panties in very specific situations9
- Six anime songs people are sick of hearing at karaoke, according to new poll10
- Marine park offers chance to shake hands with a loveable otter1
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby2
- Cats sitting politely outside Japanese convenience stores restore our faith in felines3
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map4
- What’s your type? Photo of two Japanese models spurs netizens to talk body type 【Poll】5
- Forget the dress, how many shades of blue do you see here?6
- Half-Japanese beauty chosen to represent Japan at Miss Universe 20157
- Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives8
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin9
- Get a haircut, a manicure and an eyeful at this saucy salon in Vietnam10
- Marine park offers chance to shake hands with a loveable otter1
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo2
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby3
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】4
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”5
- Cats sitting politely outside Japanese convenience stores restore our faith in felines6
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing7
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map8
- What’s your type? Photo of two Japanese models spurs netizens to talk body type 【Poll】9
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】10
- Nine of our Japanese writers share the restaurants they absolutely must visit again!
- Superheroes invade Thai wedding, guests just smile for the camera 【Photos】
- Gift giving fails: Japanese girls tell you what NOT to buy
- Naruto’s not over yet with new manga chapters, anime series coming soon!
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker
- New Sailor Moon cafe in Tokyo has live public anime viewing and themed food and drinks
- How to perfectly recreate the death of Dragon Ball’s Yamcha using baked goods
- This adorable cat commercial answers the question: “What would a cat conversation sound like?”
- Doting cat owner buys his kitties a present, finds out all they want is the box it came in
- We sample blue Drift Ice Curry from the India of the Okhotsk Sea
- Bad Disney girls: Fan artist reimagines princesses as the seven deadly sins
- Even adult men are snapping up girls’ comic magazine’s new issue, and for an unexpected reason
- Have you foresaken sleep and completed Bloodborne already? Now you can move on to PvP mode!