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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An adults-only ‘night library’ with beer has been crowdfunded in Japan

Rachel Oakley Contributor

By Rachel Oakley in Cool Travel on Tuesday 13 May 2014

Shunsuke Mori had a brilliant idea of a special night library in Shibuya, where adults could unwind in the evening with a drink in one hand and a classic book in the other. And thanks to the Japanese crowdfunding site Campfire, his dream is becoming a reality.

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Limited edition, serial-numbered, gift-wrapped bananas sold for $6 in Japan

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Food and Packaging on Monday 12 May 2014

Think of these bananas as the survivors in The Hunger Games. They are the best of the best, the most fragrant and the most delicious bananas ever. While most bananas weigh in at 100g, these babies are heavyweights at 200g. They were also raised 500 meters above sea level in the Philippines. When the time […]

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Kintsugi: the art of repairing broken ceramics

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Art on Saturday 10 May 2014

Did you know that in Japan, the act of repairing broken ceramics is an art form? The 16th century ‘Kintsugi’, or ‘Kintsukuroi’, is a repairing technique that celebrates the broken item’s rich history by decorating its cracks instead of hiding them. This is done by applying a mixture of urushi (lacquer resin), rice glue, and […]

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Designer Nori: laser-cut seaweed with stunning geometric patterns

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Food and Packaging on Friday 2 May 2014

Now this, this deserves to be called food porn! In the wake of the tragic 2011 tsunami that hit Japan, ad agency I&S BBDO and seaweed shop owner Umino Hiroyuki designed a series of laser-cut seaweed to help boost the weak sales of local nori manufacturers. ‘Japanese people are eating less seaweed than before and […]

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The Japanese are going nuts over these weirdly cute sausage people

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Food and Packaging on Tuesday 29 April 2014

Why am I not even surprised these sausage people popped up in – surprise, surprise – Japan? The latest trend there right now involves slicing sausages to give them arms, legs, eyes, a mouth, and sometimes, hair. They are then cooked (alive!) and set alongside other food items inside bento boxes, waiting for their eventual demise.

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Chocolates that look like the 8 planets

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Food and Packaging on Thursday 24 April 2014

Poor Pluto, even in culinary circles it’s still not considered a planet. Chocolatier L’eclat of the Righa Royal Hotel in Japan is selling chocolates that look like the planets in our solar system. The delicious, celestial collection includes: Mercury (coconut mango), Venus (cream lemon), Earth (cacao), Mars (orange praline), Jupiter (vanilla), Saturn (rum raisin), Uranus (milk tea), and Neptune (cappuccino).

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B-stylers: Japanese teenagers who want to be black Americans

Marta Millere Contributor

By Marta Millere in New Trends on Thursday 24 April 2014

So apparently there is a trend quietly roaming the streets of Japan: B-style. B-style—a contraction of the words ‘Black’ and ‘Lifestyle’ refers to a subculture of Japanese teenagers who love American hip-hop culture so much that they do everything in their power to look as African American as possible. Strange? Hell no!

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