We Tried Haruki Nakamura’s Pop Up Penguin

2018-08-17 07:54

Last year, we wrote about an amazing pop-up penguin made only of paper and rubber bands which had a surprising pop-up action. Made by papercraft artisan Haruki Nakamura, the toy is called Penguin Bomb Adelie Penguin. On our visit to the amateur model and crafts event Wonder Festival last month, we were surprised to see Mr. Nakamura manning his own booth. As it turned out, he was selling the pop up penguin, together with other new products, so we bought one and brought it in to the office. Assembly The instructions are available in other languages if you download them from the official website but we used the Japanese version….

Halloween in Tokyo: How and Where to Get Your Spook On

2018-08-17 05:48

Halloween is a fairly recent import to Japan, but the American way of celebrating all things spooky has arrived and is definitely here to stay. Young Japanese people love dressing up (see cosplay, Harajuku fashion, visual kei etc.), so really it was only a matter of time before they jumped on this excuse to get costumed up. If you’re in Tokyo during Autumn, there’s plenty of ways to get seasonally spooky. Tokyo Activities for Halloween 1. Shibuya Street Party © Grape Japan The biggest Halloween party in Tokyo is completely free to attend and doesn’t take place in a club. Scores of young people in costume descend on Shibuya and…

Sanrio and Converse Team Up on Iconic Hello Kitty Collaboration

2018-08-17 03:31

Press Release from sanrio.com used with permission Global lifestyle brand Sanrio and internationally recognized footwear and apparel brand Converse have teamed up to create Hello Kitty x Converse, a collection of footwear, sportswear and accessories for fans of all ages. The collaboration combines two iconic brands that celebrate self-expression and originality. Hello Kitty x Converse will arrive just in time for back-to-school – making its debut on sanrio.com and converse.com as well as global retailers on August 16. The Hello Kitty x Converse collection fashions three of Converse’s most celebrated silhouettes – the Chuck Taylor All Star, Chuck 70 and One Star – into must have styles for the multi-generational…

Japanese Shichi Go San Ceremony for Children Can Now be Performed for Pets Too

2018-08-17 02:31

Shichi-go-san (meaning seven five three) is a rite of passage for Japanese children. Boys aged three and five and girls aged three and seven are taken to a temple or shrine on November 15th to pray for their continued health and growth. The children are dressed in their best traditional wear and receive auspicious sweets with special meanings. One shrine in Tokyo is offering the ceremony, not just for children, but another demographic altogether. Now animal lovers can also celebrate the age milestones of their pets as Ichigaya Hachiman shrine in Shinjuku are accepting reservations for pet shichi-go-san. yossy.nakanakaさん(@hayasayu.shi_ba)がシェアした投稿 – 2016年11月月25日午前7時17分PST CHIFFON D'OR ゆりさん(@yuri_chiffondor)がシェアした投稿 – 2017年12月月10日午前5時51分PST Some pet owners just…

Brewing Satsuma Shochu Liquor: A Proud Kagoshima Tradition

2018-08-17 01:40

For the longest time, sake has taken center stage around the world. However, shochu is in fact Japan’s national alcohol, enjoyed more commonly than sake at popular eateries, bars, izakayas and pubs all over Japan. Unlike its more internationally famous cousin sake which is brewed, shochu is distilled mostly from starches such as rice, barley, sweet potatoes or buckwheat, or brown sugar. In Kagoshima, they brew Satsuma Shochu, made from locally grown sweet potatoes, known as satsuma-imo in Japanese. These potatoes are usually harvested in late autumn and early winter. Under the official recognition of the World Trade Organisation, the name “Satsuma Shochu” may only be used for Shochu liquor…

Nara’s Famous “Child Granting” Temple Reveals The Nature Of Japanese Power Spots

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2018-08-17 12:58

In Japan, some of the most celebrated sightseeing areas are not simply tourist attractions, but what are known as “power spots”. Power spots are believed to provide visitors with a healing or rejuvenating energy, and while some are simply areas where one may feel in tune with nature, many are sought out with the hope of answering a wish or prayer, meaning they can be found at spiritual spots like ancient shrines. Just one look at the “wall of joy” at Jouganji, a Buddhist temple in Nara, will tell you what wish travelers from all over the country have in mind. On Ema, or wooden wishing plaques, visitors leave notes…

These Shiba Inu Figures Will Help You Through The Hot Summer Months

2018-08-16 07:07

Twice a year, mostly amateur figure modelers and sculptors display and sell their latest “garage kit” creations at Wonder Festival in the Makuhari Messe convention center. Earlier this year, we covered some of the amazing creations you can find there and we were so impressed that we decided to return for the summer edition. We’ll have our full coverage of the garage kits at Wonder Festival Summer 2018 in a separate article, but first, we wanted to show you some adorable shiba inu figures: Atsuiinu This summer has been particularly hot in Japan as well as many other parts of the world, and shibas, like humans, can only take so…

Watch Eevee Take On Pikachu in Pokemon Sports Day

2018-08-16 05:46

This summer’s Pikachu Outbreak in Yokohama is winding down. Pokemon fans braved the heat for the chance to see dances and parades performed by over 1500 pikachu mascots, and for the first time ever another Pokemon got in on the action. Eevees got a parade of their own and also turned up during some pika-performances. If you missed the chance to see the characters’ impressive choreography paired with the charming ungracefulness that comes with the ungainly costume, never fear. You can find more pikachu and eevee antics online. The official Pokemon Japan YouTube channel saw the chance for a further pikachu and eevee collaboration and created Pokemon Sports Day. The…

Naruto, One Piece, My Hero Academia and More At Weekly Shonen Jump Exhibition Vol. 3 [Photo Report]

2018-08-15 08:08

Shonen Jump Exhibition Is A Must-See For Manga and Anime Fans Many manga and anime fans probably know that Weekly Shonen Jump has consistently published manga series that have become mega-hits with fans around the world. Captain Tsubasa, Fist of the North Star, Dragon Ball and City Hunter mostly in the 1980s, Slam Dunk, Yu-Gi-Oh, Yu Yu Hakusho, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure mostly in 1990s, and then Death Note, The Prince of Tennis, Bleach, Naruto, One Piece and recent favorites like Assassination Classroom and My Hero Academia in the 21st century. While the earlier works of the 80s and 90s are still popular (some due to ongoing or recent adaptations…

Watch 7-Year-Old Japanese Girl Perform Emergency Surgery on Her Bear

2018-08-15 12:08

As children we all played make-believe, imagining all the cool jobs we could do as adults. It’s amazing to think now, how powerful kids’ imaginations are and this video that went viral in Japan is a perfect example of just how boundless it is. It was posted by a father who was so impressed with his daughter’s set-up he decided to share it with everyone. うちの子がクマの緊急手術を行ったときの映像です。 pic.twitter.com/bnBMyGIQI8 — k ⊿ z y (@Kazzy_com) 12 August 2018 It seems his daughter realised her dream of becoming a doctor after watching medical dramas, watching all of the shows that have been broadcast over the last few years. When her dad posted this…

Comiket Cosplay Roundup: Our Favorites From Summer 2018

2018-08-14 10:28

Twice a year in Tokyo, literally hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts of anime, manga and games, as well as countless other hobbies converge on the twin inverted pyramids of Tokyo Big Sight for the bi-annual Comic Market, otherwise known as Comiket. The attendance for Comic Market 94, which concluded last Sunday, surpassed 530,000, which is 10,000 more than last summer. Comiket also happens to be one of the most important events for cosplayers. Not to be outdone by the astounding number and diversity of the fanzines and goods for sale within the halls, an incredible variety of cosplayers gather outside the halls at several locations around the Big Sight grounds,…

Soba Restaurant with Possibly the Narrowest Entrance in Japan Puzzles Twitter

2018-08-14 05:37

Picture the scene. You’ve been travelling around Nagano prefecture and you’re in a random countryside station called Shiojiri. You’re starving, you’ve just had a long train ride and you need some filling grub to keep you going. Then out of the corner of your eye you notice something promising. A sign reading ‘soba’. Delicious, hot buckwheat noodles will give you the energy you need to continue. You greedily start to walk faster, picturing them swimming in a hearty broth. Only to be met with this. ここですか pic.twitter.com/hlDVmsp6Fg — 魔除けに写庵@C94東S44a(委託) (@63factory) 4 August 2018 To paraphrase Zoolander, ‘what is this? A soba restaurant for sticks?’ This is surely the narrowest entrance…

Harajuku LINE Store Tokyo Opens BT21 Merchandise Floor to Everyone

2018-08-14 05:07

Japan’s Flagship LINE FRIENDS store in Harajuku was reopened after a renewal this year in March, with a whole floor dedicated to BT21, the characters designed by the members of popular K-pop group BTS. Official BT21 merchandise can be difficult to get your hands on, with only a few licensed outlets in the world, mostly in South Korea. Due to this, the LINE store in Harajuku had an especially chaotic re-opening, with die-hard ARMY (BTS fans) queuing from the night before. It was the first time the characters were being sold in Japan, and the line stretched all the way down to Omotesando and caused a bit of a nuisance,…

Totoro’s Cat Bus and Ponyo Join Line of Studio Ghibli Embroidered Vintage Japanese Jackets

2018-08-13 01:39

While some may prefer to show their love for celebrated animation giant Studio Ghibli with cool souvenirs such as the No-Face Piggy Bank that gobbles up coins and plays music from Spirited Away or charming Totoro-themed traditional Japanese pottery, last year longtime Ghibli fans worked themselves into a fever over the release of a vintage Japanese sukajan jackets embroidered with Studio Ghibli characters. Two new jackets give beloved characters Ponyo and the Cat Bus an old school look. If you’re not familiar with sukajan, just looking at some may jog your memory. Sukajan resemble vintage Letterman jackets or even baseball jackets, and are typically embroidered with imagery such as tigers,…

Wagashi: 7 Traditional Japanese Sweets You Have to Try

2018-08-10 05:19

If you come to Japan you have to try traditional sweets. Wagashi is an umbrella term for various traditional sweets and desserts. Apart from just artisanal presentation, they taste exquisite too. Using distinctly Japanese ingredients and flavours such as matcha, adzuki beans and kinako (roasted soy bean flour), they are completely different from their counterparts found in other countries. Usually less sweet, they match perfectly with a cup of green tea for a sublime Japanese teatime. Best Wagashi to Pick Up While in Japan 1. Mochi Ami_Tateishiさん(@ami_tateishi1118)がシェアした投稿 – 2018年 8月月8日午後10時22分PDT You’ve probably heard of mochi before, a contender for the softest material on this earth. In wagashi this super springy…

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