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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Have cute cats swim in your coffee with these feline-shaped marshmallows

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Products on Tuesday 22 April 2014

An adorable cat peeking at you while it takes a bath in your coffee? You’ll need to have a heart of stone to eat that cute marshmallow. Nagano, Japan-based marshmallow company Yawahada has created its most endearing product yet, CafeCat, a feline-shaped marshmallow.

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The adventures of Marutaro, the Hedgehog

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Photography on Friday 18 April 2014

Move over, Sonic, there’s a new hedgehog in town – and his name is Marutaro. The pygmy hedgehog from Japan has become an internet sensation, already having 53, 500 followers on his Twitter account @hedgehogdays, and 28,900 followers on his Vine account. His owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, posts photos of him donning cute […]

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3D on the rocks: intricate ice cubes sculptures

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Art on Thursday 17 April 2014

Would you like your whiskey served ‘neat’ or on the Statue of Liberty? ‘3D on the Rocks’ is the latest ad campaign from liquor company Suntory, in which they used a high precision carving machine to create intricate ice cube sculptures to go along with that glass of whiskey. Talk about art on art! In […]

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Photos of a farmer and his 1,200 pigs will make you want to stop eating bacon

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Photography on Monday 14 April 2014

An adorable piglet chilling by the beach, a different piglet sleeping on its farmer’s chest, and another smiling for the camera. These heart-warming photos by Kagawa-based photographer Toshiteru Yamaji will definitely make you want to swear off pork for good. In his series, ‘Pigs and Papa’, Yamaji captures the tender bond between a farmer, Otchan, and his 1,200 pigs.

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This Gundam tombstone guardian is everything a dead person could ever want

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in Architecture on Wednesday 9 April 2014

Grave robbers, beware, an immobile suit Gundam is guarding this corpse. Located in front of a tombstone carving business in Yasu City, Japan, this very unique tombstone will make sure you’ll never be forgotten in the annals of history. The anime-inspired tombstone may be a lot more expensive than traditional ones, but hey, you only […]

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