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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That perfectly normal Tokyo day where everyone was a giant pigeon

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Events on Tuesday 1 April 2014

Is anyone even surprised that this happened in Japan? It all began last year when Japanese comedy site, Daily Portal Z, immortalized themselves in Google Street View fame by wearing pigeon masks (you can check it right here).

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Starbucks Japan plans to release a mug that always looks like it’s full

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Design on Thursday 20 March 2014

You’ll never have to spend money on an overpriced cup of coffee ever again. Just buy these Starbucks mugs from Japan and it will always be full. Sorta. Japanese studio ‘Nendo’ redesigned the classic white Starbucks mug by imprinting a pattern on the base. When you hold the mug upside-down, it will look like the mug is full.

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Satirical azuki bean beards are the latest weird Japanese trend

Inigo del Castillo Contributor

By Inigo del Castillo in New Trends on Wednesday 12 March 2014

Since 2007, artist Takao Sakai has been documenting a weird Japanese sub-culture of people who go out in public wearing odd beards inspired by the popular ingredient, Azuki bean. These bean beard wearing people are called ‘Azurers’, and Sakai has amassed hundreds of photos of them.

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