Jul 29, 2014
Japanese soccer fans attracted plenty of praise at the World Cup last month when, having watched their team lose to Ivory Coast, they diligently cleaned up their trash from the stadium. Whether you think these supporters’ actions show how important it is to Japanese people to be considerate of others, or just good old-fashioned common sense that applies wherever you are in the world, everyone (well, almost everyone) agreed that taking your rubbish home with you is A Good Thing.
This week, however, Japanese Twitter users have breathed a collective disappointed sigh as photos of the trash left in the streets after the world-famous Sumida River Fireworks Festival show some people in Japan aren’t as super-considerate as we’d like to think. Is Tokyo an exception to the rules? Or is Japan’s reputation as a super-clean nation undeserved?
Is Japan’s recycling system the most complicated in the world? It sure feels like it sometimes. Household waste must of course be separated into burnable and non-burnable, but after that there’s a dizzying array of recycling categories to break your non-burnables into. Since Japan is a relatively small country without masses of land to use for burying waste, the vast majority of waste used to be incinerated. However, with increasing ecological awareness in the 1990s came new legislation to minimise the amount of waste being burnt, and promote recycling.
Public awareness of the need to recycle is high, but the system can be baffling for new foreign residents. The problem lies not only in the array of recycling categories, but also in the apparent overlap between them: the grey areas. Is an empty pizza box considered recycled paper? Or is it burnable? Paper packages? “Other”? And if a bottle is made of a different type of plastic to the standard PET, is still a “pet bottle”, or is it just “plastic”?
Today we bring you six reasons to learn what goes in what box, and a few hints for getting it right along the way.
Another winter Comiket has come and, unfortunately, gone. Though we have to say that fans probably welcome a break after a few days of hustling from booth to booth, and the convenience stores are most definitely glad for some respite. On the other hand, we can only imagine how overwhelmed the cleaning crews must be right now.
If only more fans were more like this sexy, young gentleman; the cleaning crews’ work would be cut by half!
When life give you lemons, make lemonade. When it gives you soggy trash…make a trash man?
Oct 10, 2012
As much as it might sound like a speech that one of those creepy, smile-flashing, tracksuit-wearing guest speakers might have given at your school when you were a kid, it genuinely is cool to be seen cleaning up your town in Japan right now.
In a joint venture between Garbage Bag Artwork and Columbia Sportswear Japan, a range of artistically-designed garbage bags has been launched, along with a swanky new website that aims to encourage both local groups and handsome folks like you and me to get out and clean up our towns. Read More
Sep 11, 2012
Japan is known for being one of the cleanest countries in the world, surely a point of pride for many Japanese people. But is it enough to pull a knife on someone for littering?
Last month, Tokyo police arrested a 60-year-old man for threatening a female high school student with a knife after they threw their trash on the ground of a public park.
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】1
- Japanese model builder wins at Gundam, makes a 3D model look like a flat drawing2
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!3
- Tokyo adding free Wi-Fi to 143 subway stations for foreign travelers4
- Love curry? Why not wear it around your neck? Plastic food neckpieces get netizens talking5
- Scope out which love hotel to take your next date to right now in Google Street View6
- Super generous Japanese megastore keeps boxes of change at register for you to use7
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so8
- The newer, cheaper Kakureya II: The perfect secret fort/box for studying, drinking, or napping9
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons10
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours1
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】2
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer3
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!4
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute5
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters6
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick7
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world8
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so9
- Can you spot the problem that led to the recall of this otherwise cute Japanese New Year’s card?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
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit6
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make7
- One Piece manga sends off Naruto with a classy secret message8
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】9
- Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】10
- 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
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea10
- Scope out which love hotel to take your next date to right now in Google Street View
- Super generous Japanese megastore keeps boxes of change at register for you to use
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so
- The newer, cheaper Kakureya II: The perfect secret fort/box for studying, drinking, or napping
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons
- Store employee uses barcode scanner to defeat knife-wielding robber
- Yokohama restaurant serves fried axolotl, along with giant isopod, camel, and crocodile
- Shimotsuki Matsuri: The extraordinary winter festival that inspired Ghibli’s ‘Spirited Away’
- Artist creates “PokeMonstrosities” that are the stuff of nightmares
- Anime-loving mum takes kyara-ben to a new level with these well-drawn anime bentos
- Make sure to visit this historical onsen once before you die, or just do it right now with Google