This shrine in Japan is adorned with thousands of fortune cats

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in Cool Travel on Monday 21 July 2014

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’.

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KitKat bars as train tickets in Japan’s north

Darwin Cosico Contributor

By Darwin Cosico in Cool Travel on Thursday 10 July 2014

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.

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Never lose your luggage again by transforming them into giant sushi

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Products on Tuesday 8 July 2014

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!

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Aw, this Shiba Inu dog might just be the happiest dog alive

Low Lai Chow Contributor

By Low Lai Chow in New Eco on Monday 30 June 2014

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 […]

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Fabulous costumes donned by Japanese football fans

Low Lai Chow Contributor

By Low Lai Chow in Cool Travel on Thursday 26 June 2014

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 […]

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At this hospital in Huai-an, China, nurses dress up as flight attendants

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in Cool Travel on Friday 13 June 2014

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 […]

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This zen rock garden is actually a bunch of Japanese sweets

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Food and Packaging on Thursday 12 June 2014

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?

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This is not a drop of water, it’s a cake!

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Food and Packaging on Tuesday 10 June 2014

‘Mizu Shingen Mochi’ is a new breed of Japanese rice cake that’s bound to get people scratching their heads and wondering what the hell they ordered. Though it might look like a water droplet served fancy, it’s actually a cake that uses water harnessed from the Japanese Alps!

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Japanese company provides women’s clothing to men then photographs them in it

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in New Fashion on Tuesday 10 June 2014

Mary Mariee is a very special Japanese company that caters to a select group of Japanese men with very specific tastes. For about US$600, the company offers their male clientele a chance to dress up in the company’s vast collection of women’s wear and be photographed in them. They have a wide variety of styles to choose from, be it an elegant wedding gown, a traditional kimono or a prom night frock. Before they get to be professionally photographed, these men are carefully made up and a nearby barber shop is also roped in to shave the men’s faces and shampoo their hair.

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A Japanese village where dolls outnumber humans

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in Cool Travel on Monday 9 June 2014

Nestled deep in the valleys of Shikoku Island in Japan is a small and almost forgotten village called Nagoro. Once a bustling center with a dam, a big company and hundreds of inhabitants, the village slowly became deserted as its residents moved to bigger cities in search of better jobs, while those who were left behind continue to die. Such was the forlorn situation that greeted Japanese artist Ayano Tsukimi when she returned to her beloved village eleven years ago.

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Get totally sloshed in Japan and become an advertisement

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in New Design on Friday 6 June 2014

To the average tourist, Japan seems to have more than her fair share of drunken salaried men, impossibly cute girls and geeky college kids passing out on the streets, in stairwells and inside train carriages pretty much every weekend. The Yaocho Bar Group has been diligently looking for these comatose drunks. When they spot one, […]

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Train your kids in the art of sushi with this woodblock sushi set

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Food and Packaging on Wednesday 4 June 2014

You know what they say, ‘Better start those sushi chefs young!’ Or so I think that’s how it goes. Japanese design firm ‘plaplax’ created this 45-piece wooden tsumiki-sushi set, composed of ‘shari’, referring to rice, and ‘neta’, which means ‘fish’. Kids on the road to sushi stardom will have a fun time learning the craft […]

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You can literally sit amongst the clouds at this Japanese resort

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in Cool Travel on Thursday 29 May 2014

Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, in the Yūfutsu District of Japan, is a multi-complex family resort that is open all year round. It is popular for its expansive slopes and famous for its finely powdered snow. But what draws new and repeat visitors to the resort even more is the stupendous Sea of Clouds phenomenon that envelopes them completely. The resort’s terrace, located at 1,088 meters above sea level, is reached via chairlifts that carry skiers up the mountain in winter.

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Elephants give ice creams in Japan a much-needed nose lift

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Food and Packaging on Tuesday 27 May 2014

In Yokohama, Japan, the Zou-No-Hana Café serves a one-of-a-kind desert: the ‘zou no hana’, which translates to, ‘elephant nose ice cream’. It’s a regular soft serve – or soft cream as they call it in Japan – but with a mammoth difference. It has waffle cone for ears, two chocolate dots for eyes, and a […]

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57 year old Japanese man learns to scuba dive to fulfill his promise to bring home his missing wife’s remains

Lost At E Minor Contributor

By Lost At E Minor in Video on Monday 19 May 2014

57 year-old Japanese man Yasuo Takamatsu tragically lost his wife, Yuko, to the 2011 tsunami, one of 2,636 people that remain missing to this day. She was at her office when the 9.0 earthquake that generated the tsunami struck and sent Yasuo an email saying: ‘Are you OK? I want to go home’. It was the last time he heard from her.

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