From a cultural perspective, the preparation of a bento, or home-packed meal, is a pretty big deal in Japan as it reflects how highly capable and super efficient mummy really is. The idea of a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich is alien when only the cutest lunchbox can past muster!
This unique festival lets you try out coffins, funeral clothes and makeup in preparation for your death
So, how would you like to go? With growing interest in ‘shukatsu,’ a coined Japanese term that means activities to prepare for ‘one’s end,’ a ‘try-before-you-die’ festival called Shukatsu Festa has been steadily growing in popularity in Japan. The event this year attracted over 5,000 visitors, with 50 companies competing for their business. Many were eager to lie inside a coffin filled with flowers.
If you, like Sir Elton John, feels that ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’, you’re probably not alone. Nobody cheers up at the thought of apologizing for one’s misdeeds in our personal and professional lives. But if you live in Japan, you can pay someone else to do it for you. And they can play a role while they’re at it, too. For example, these agencies you hire may send someone pretending to be your mum to apologize on your behalf and declare your wish to break-up with a clingy lover.
The Onagadori, also known as the ‘most honourable fowl’ in Japan, has been a bird protected by the Japanese government for many years. To breed the Onagadori properly, one must keep a number of roosters in tranquil, non-stressful, temperate conditions in order to select the birds with the best and longest tail growth. Indeed, their feathers must not be ruffled as more aggressive birds will destroy their own tail feathers if they are in distraught!
Ladies and gentlemen, please may we have your attention. We have some extremely confusing news: Hello Kitty is NOT a cat… You read that correctly. The majority of us will have never even spared a thought for the world-famous Japanese icon, and it’s unlikely that any of those that have will have questioned whether or Hello Kitty is indeed feline.
Every few years we hear of some incredibly bizarre subculture we can’t wrap our minds around, but this one takes the cake. This subculture in Asia is called “Asian Nazis” and it’s basically what it sounds like-a bunch of young kids with an affinity for militarism, anti-semitism and a love for all things Hitler.
When you hear of some flights being fully packed, it is quite unlikely that sumo wrestlers would come to mind. But apparently, they do fly. And in packs too. Recently, 29 of them from the historic sumo neighborhood of Ryogoku in Tokyo boarded a plane to Okinoshima in Shimana Prefecture of Japan for some heavy workouts with their trainers on the rural island.
Near the Mushashi-Koganei station in Tokyo is a tobacco store that employs the most adorable – and most unexpected – door greeter. Upon reaching the Shimada Cigarette Shop, a Shiba Inu by the name of ‘Shiba’ will open the window and greet you!
If lucky cat figurines are to be believed, then the Gotoku-ji Temple in in Setagaya, Tokyo should be the luckiest place in the world, as it has over thousands of these little statues left behind by worshippers! Travel bloggers Michel Powell and Jurgen Horn of travel blog ‘For 91 Days’ recently featured the shrine that is home to these ‘Maneki Neko’, or translated as ‘lucky cat’, ‘fortune cat’, or ’beckoning cat’.
London has Oyster Card, New York has MetroCard, Melbourne has Myki, and the folks using the Sanriku Railway network have KitKat. That’s right, Starting from June this year train travellers in northern Japan can use KitKat as train tickets.
The secret to never losing your luggage at the airport baggage claim area? Camouflage! Japanese company Omise Parco created a suitcase cover concept that will disguise your luggage into giant pieces of sushi, which in turn, will hilariously transform the baggage claim area into a giant sushi conveyor belt!
Step aside, Boo. Is this the happiest, most photogenic canine in the world? Perhaps. Seven-year-old Maru, a Shiba Inu dog from Japan, looks like he’s beaming all the time, whether he’s sitting in a playing with kids, smelling the flowers or rolling over on his back to take a cat nap. That look of happiness […]
Japanese football fans are getting a neat reputation these days for their unparalleled sporting spirit — they recently stayed behind after a World Cup match to clean up their litter, despite having just watched their team lose to Ivory Coast. As this photo roundup in The Huffington Post shows, Japanese fans also appear pretty winning […]
In the city of Huai-an, China, there must have been a boardroom meeting conducted within a hospital whereby a board of director must have been worried sick about the fear and depression of patients having to stay in their hospital. ‘I know!, said he, ‘Let’s have our nurses dressed up like flight attendants so our […]
I guess you could say that this box of chocolates totally… rocks? Designer Tomonori Saito has created a line of sweets that resemble the iconic zen rock gardens of Japan. While your typical zen rock garden may evoke relaxation and serenity, this variation also gives you hunger pangs and sweet tooth cravings. The rocks are composed of black sesame while the bed of sand is plain sugar. Who knew zen gardens could be so filling and fattening?