travel

Japanese Netizens (and the rest of the world) confused by America’s imperial measurement system

Last year, one of our Japanese reporters went on an extended visit to the United States. While he had plenty of nice things to say about the country, he also had some complaints, and, as an American myself, I can’t really say that I blame the guy. Having to drive literally everywhere unless you live in one of maybe three specific cities is a major hassle and a huge drain on your budget, certain services seem staffed entirely by people who are barely even aware of your existence or what’s going on more than a few inches on either side of their smartphone, and yes, the police are a little on the brutal side and drunk on their own power a lot of the time no matter how you slice it (annnnnd… now I’m on an NSA watchlist. Hi, guys!).

But, there’s one complaint our reporter had that I just can’t relate to: how crazy America’s systems of measurement are.

I mean, I grew up with feet, inches, pounds and whatnot, so I can’t really speak to our reporter’s profound confusion. Is it really so bad? We had to find out, so we donned our troll-proof vests and dove deep into the smelly, dark recesses of 2chan to see what other Japanese Netizens thought of America’s wacky measurement systems:

Read More

Abashiri: Home of Japan’s Prison Museum, Prison Cafeteria, and Prison Beer

Hokkaido, Japan’s rural, northernmost island, has a wealth of tourist attractions. But while most travelers spend their time enjoying the natural beauty of the region’s mountains, forests, and oceans, visitors to the city of Abashiri often spend their time in a very different way.

That’s because in contrast to the sense of freedom Hokkaido’s wide-open vistas are so evocative of, Abashiri is home to the Abashiri Prison Museum. Aside from exhibits on the history of incarceration, the museum also has a cafeteria, where diners can eat a recreation of modern Japanese prison food, and even knock back a bottle of Abashiri Prison Stout beer.

Read More

Get a pen pal because Japanese post offices are about to launch super cute regional postcards

If you haven’t been in a Japanese post office lately, you might not have heard of the annual Regional Form Cards postcard series. Since 2009, there has been a new set every year that depicts every one of Japan’s 47 prefectures through postcards shaped like a local food, landmark or well-known citizen.

The seventh edition of the series is going to launch this week, so you might want to get yourself a pen pal or two from Japan to send you some of the cool postcards that show what makes every prefecture famous!

Read More

Oblivious tourists wander back into Japanese airport’s departure area, mass chaos ensues

Delays at airports are often inevitable due to congested air traffic or technical difficulties, or because the evil cabal of airline operators deemed it time for more delays. Whatever the reason, it’s certainly frustrating to have to wait an extra hour on the tarmac while children scream, people shuffle around, and someone possibly has an Alec Baldwin-esque outburst.

But these woes are nothing compared to what people at Japan’s Naha Airport endured when three tourists accidentally wandered back into the departures area and single-handedly put the entire airport on lockdown March 9.

Read More

Crazy station’s 290 steps from gate to platform make it the deepest and spookiest in Niigata

Japan is in the middle of a luxury train boom, but that doesn’t mean every station in the country is a palace of creature comforts. In the most rural areas, the station is often little more than an unstaffed slab of concrete poured next to the rails.

Things are just a bit more infrastructure-intensive at Tsutsuishi Station, however. That’s because while its above-ground facilities may not be much to look at, the platform is located at the bottom of a stairwell that descends 40 meters (131 feet) into the earth.

Read More

Mixing anime with travel — the ultimate girls’ Evangelion trip is happening in May!

If you have even a passing interest in Japanese pop culture, you’re probably aware that Neon Genesis Evangelion has been a long-standing hit anime series with a huge fan base. It’s been 18 years since it originally finished airing on TV, but the anime still has a strong following, with many female fans. Now, Japanese travel agency Musee Travel has come up with the perfect break from reality for such female Evangelion lovers — the “Evangelion Hakone Trip for Girls“!

Read More

Village in Taiwan has dozens of anime and children’s characters painted on its houses!【Photos】

Don’t you agree that our surroundings influence our mood? Being in a bright, vibrant environment usually makes one feel more positive and happy, and the positive energy in us in turn has the power to influence the mood of others around us.

A small village in Tainan City of Taiwan has been attracting attention online and attracting visitors because of the cheerful vibes that emanate from its brightly colored walls. With walls covered in colorful paintings of SpongeBob, Totoro, Doraemon and other characters and motifs, there’s no doubt this village must be a happy place!

Read More

Saga Prefecture targets foreign tourists with weirdly unimpressive commercial 【Video】

Marketing is often billed as a creative job. Agencies are paid to come up with the most eye-catching, unique advertising possible in order to better capture the attention of potential customers. Nevertheless, all too often it seems commercial producers can’t resist the low-hanging fruit of lukewarm, gimmicky gags that anyone would get without too much trouble. Obviously, this isn’t always the case, but when something works once for one company, you can expect to see others adopt similar tactics over and over. Dead horses and whips and all that.

Now, I have to admit, it can’t be easy to make a hit commercial every time, but after watching this tourism ad, I think Saga Prefecture needs to go back to the drawing board.

Read More

Osaka railway creates superhero to attract foreign tourists, makes name unintelligible to them

A new superhero has arrived to save the people of Osaka from evildoers. This is great because just the other day some savage left an empty can in my bicycle’s basket while I parked it.

Unfortunately for me, his beat is just on the Rapi:t express train running between downtown’s Namba Station and Kansai International Airport. But if you happen to find trouble on the way to or from KIX there’s only one name to call out for help: Rapi…Ra…Rapee-itl-dee-yer!!?

Read More

Visiting Osaka’s Umeda Sky Building, one of the “Top 20 Buildings in the world”

Built in 1994 and standing just a few hundred meters from Osaka Station, the Umeda Sky Building drew large crowds when it first opened, thanks to its unique design of two high-rise buildings connected at the top by the Floating Garden Observatory.

Once pulling in around a million visitors each year, in the days since attendance had dropped to about half that as the building’s novelty wore off and people became used to its towering presence. Having lived nearby for around a decade myself, I have to admit that I’d never been to see it. It looked nice and all but there didn’t seem to be much of a draw.

But it appears I was wrong. In 2014, attendance to the Umeda Sky Building has shot back up to about 975,000, and there are hopes that it will hit the million once mark again this year. Interested to see what this new fervor is all about, I hopped on a train to have a look around this possibly under-appreciated landmark.

Read More

Six outdoor Japanese hot springs you can visit right now (with Google Street View)

Almost everyone loves soaking in an outdoor hot spring bath, called rotenburo in Japanese. The combination of soothing natural mineral water and being buck naked outside is enough to wash all your stress away. Just look at those little capybara in the photo above. Don’t they look so relaxed?

If you ever have the chance to visit Japan, we highly recommend you take a dip in a rotenburo. But if you aren’t able to make the long journey over to this wonderful country right away, might we suggest taking a virtual tour of six outdoor hot springs in Japan?

Read More

Godzilla appears in the Tokyo skyline atop new Shinjuku skyscraper! 【Photos】

Each neighborhood of Tokyo has its own unique feel, but it’s hard to top Shinjuku. Located in the heart of downtown, Shinjuku has just about everything you could ask for in a modern metropolis, boasting such attractions as a beautiful garden, extensive shopping options, an uncountable array of restaurants and bars, and the RocketNews24 offices.

And now, there’s one more reason to come to Shinjuku. A big one in fact, as the King of the Monsters, Godzilla himself, is literally watching over the district in the form of a life-size replica of the creature’s head peering down from one of its skyscrapers.

Read More

Ditch the Batcave and book yourself a night at this Batman hotel room in Taiwan

Isn’t it a little weird that Batman spends so much time in a Batcave? After all, by night he may be fighting crime as the Caped Crusader, but deep down inside, he’s still multi-millionaire Bruce Wayne (ummm…spoiler for the unsuspecting citizens of Gotham who didn’t know that about their local captain of industry).

Wealthy enough to be used to the finer things in life, we imagine that at the very least, he wants more luxuriously appointed accommodations when he travels. Thankfully, the next time Wayne Enterprises has business to attend to in Taiwan, their dashing young CEO can have his assistant book him a night in this Batman hotel room.

Read More

Scheveningen or Sukebeningen? Dutch town sounds like “pervert” when pronounced in Japanese

A beautiful Dutch seaside resort has become well-known to Japanese people over the years and unfortunately it’s not due to any special campaigns or travel commercials.

It’s all due to the unfortunate way it’s written and pronounced, according to Japanese language conventions. The town is called Scheveningen, which seems innocent enough to western ears, but in Japan, the way it’s transliterated means it’s pronounced “Sukebeningen,” which happens to mean “lecherous people” in Japanese.

Read More

Our Japanese staff members pick the top places in Japan they’d like to visit again someday

Figuring out where to go during your stay in Japan can seem like an insurmountable task. For first-time visitors to the country, there are so many famous places to visit that the task of deciding becomes overwhelming. On the other hand, if you’ve been living in Japan for a while, you’re probably tired of all the crowded, touristy places and would like to go somewhere off-the-beaten path.

To help out our readers who are struggling with this internal dilemma, we’ve asked three reporters from our Japanese-language RocketNews24 team to share with us the top three places in Japan they’d definitely like to visit again someday. These three have had ample opportunities to travel to various places around the country and experience the local scenes in the name of eclectic journalism, so you can think of them as seasoned experts on the matter. Let’s see what little-known travel recommendations they have waiting for us!

Read More

Here’s what Kyoto’s subway looks like plastered with anime girls

As we recently reported, the bigwigs at the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau got together a while back and had a little brainstorming session regarding how to convince more people to use the subway. So what did they come up with?

Super-kawaii moe anime girls plastered all over the place! All part of the “Let’s ride the subway” advertising campaign, which hopes to bring in an extra 50,000 passengers a day. So how are people reacting to the sudden plethora of brightly colored cuteness all over their train platforms and carriages?

Read More

A road runs through it: China’s first over-water highway almost complete

If you’re like me, you’re probably more accustomed to seeing bridges cross rivers rather than run along their length. But this stretch of highway which was recently completed in Xingshan County of China’s Hubei Province does just that. Are the bridge’s creators crazy, or crazy like an ecologically minded fox?

Read More

Staggered by historical preservation survey costs, Kyoto turns to anime girls to save its subway

With over 300,000 people piling into its trains each day, you’d think the Kyoto Municipal Subway would be sitting pretty financially. That’s actually not the case, though. The city’s status as the former capital of Japan is both a source of local pride and a huge draw for travelers, but being literally built atop the foundations of Japanese history means that any subterranean construction can only take place after extensive surveys ensure that no cultural artifacts would be damaged in the process.

As such, maintenance and expansion costs for the Kyoto subway are more than double what they would be in a similarly sized, less historically significant city. So in order to help raise the revenue necessary to treat Kyoto’s past with the respect it deserves, the subway’s operators are turning to something with more modern appeal: cute anime girls.

Read More

Time to quit your job – Company in Japan now hiring for the position of Ninja Master

Do you ever get a little down in the dumps immediately following a major holiday? The day after Christmas, for example, many people miss the goodwill and excitement they felt just 24 hours before.

That’s how we’re feeling right now, since we’ve got almost a full 12 months to wait until the next Ninja Day. Really, wouldn’t it be great if we could keep the spirit of Ninja Day in our hearts all year long?

Actually, there’s a way to do just that, as one company in Japan has put out an honest-to-goodness help-wanted ad for a ninja master.

Read More

Mr. Sato channels his inner Elsa, books a night at a Hokkaido ice hotel 【Photos】

February: the time when most of us in the northern hemisphere look at the calendar in despair as spring takes its sweet time to arrive. It’s also the perfect month to get away to a warmer locale, soak up some sun and recharge yourself to be able to get through the last (hopefully) weeks of winter.

But instead of packing a swimsuit and sunscreen for that trip to the beach, our beloved reporter Mr. Sato instead decided to fully embrace winter and booked a stay at an ice hotel in Hokkaido for a vacation he’ll never forget or let (it) go.

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. ...
  9. 23
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 18,654 other followers