Attaching a penguin to your floor wipe will make you look forward to house chores

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Products on Thursday 16 October 2014

If a penguin belly flopping all over the house doesn’t motivate you to do the chores, I don’t know what will. This penguin floor wipe cover is an adorable accessory for your mop. Simply attach the tuxedoed bird through the handle of your floor wipe, and watch it slide on its belly as you clean your home. Remove it from the handle, and it becomes a tissue box cover!

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Take a peek into the world’s most expensive one-bedroom apartment at US$21.8 million

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in Architecture on Saturday 11 October 2014

Would you like a quick tour of the world’s most expensive 1-bedroom apartment? It’s being listed at 1.8 billion yen (US$21.8 million) as we take a peek. Simply called The House, it’s located at the most exclusive district of Tokyo – Minami-Azabu. At 4,434 square foot (411.932 sq m), we did the math and it came up to a jaw-dropping US$4,920.75 per square foot.

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In Japan, you eat the leaves of autumn before it goes away

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in New Food and Packaging on Wednesday 8 October 2014

The Japanese love their autumns so much they’ve found a way to eat them – in the form of maple leaves fried tempura style. The snack is considered to be a must-try delicacy for visitors to Osaka, where it is fried in sizzling vegetable oil with lightly sweetened maple batter. The recipe gets even more […]

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The Japanese make book stacking into an art form amidst a sea of competition

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in New Trends on Tuesday 7 October 2014

Bookstores in Japan are constantly launching new titles of manga, novels and non-fiction. In this whirlwind of stiff competition, the bookshops work hard with the different publishers to push their publications to the number one spot. And this is where book stacking comes into the equation.

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You can wear this while kissing if both your eyesight isn’t 20/20

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in New Products on Monday 6 October 2014

This pair of eyeglasses launched by Blinc Vase in Japan is perfect for bespectacled smoochers who need to retain their eyesight when rubbing each other’s faces raw. Although the promo video is rather cute, I’m not betting it will be a best seller anytime soon. Each pair is sold for an eye-popping 68,000 yen (US$620), […]

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Dishes you can mould into whatever shape you want, and change them again and again

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in New Products on Wednesday 24 September 2014

Launched in Japan, these rather arty Suzugami dishes are made from aluminum that’s stretched wafer-thin by pounding them flat with a hammer. The result is an amazingly flat, square sheet that’s not just pliable but also tough enough to retain the shape you’ve moulded it into according to your heart’s desire.

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In Japan, mums get really competitive over how their kid’s bento box is packed and presented

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in New Art on Thursday 11 September 2014

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!

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This unique festival lets you try out coffins, funeral clothes and makeup in preparation for your death

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in News on Wednesday 10 September 2014

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.

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If you really can’t say you’re sorry, this Japanese company will do it for you

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in New Trends on Saturday 6 September 2014

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.

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Meet the most honourable fowl in Japan (but don’t expect to take its eggs out of the country)

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in New Eco on Thursday 4 September 2014

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!

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This revelation about Hello Kitty is completely baffling

Milo Sumner Contributor

By Milo Sumner in New Trends on Sunday 31 August 2014

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.

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Facepalm! Fascism is a fashion accessory in certain parts of Asia

Rachel Oakley Contributor

By Rachel Oakley in New Trends on Wednesday 20 August 2014

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.

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Welcome on board to a flight filled with sumo wrestlers

Kenny Ong Contributor

By Kenny Ong in Cool Travel on Monday 11 August 2014

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.

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Shiba Inu shows he is the cutest employee ever by greeting customers at the store’s window

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in Video on Thursday 7 August 2014

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!

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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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