Shibuya Sky Building Will Give 230m High Rooftop View of Tokyo’s Famous Crossing

2018-11-16 Fri

Under plans for Shibuya’s redevelopment, various construction projects are taking place around the train station, including the Shibuya Sky Building. The tourist and youth heavy area is known for the iconic Shibuya Scramble (the crossing shown on literally any documentary about Japan) and the statue of Hachiko, the famously faithful canine who waited at the station for years after his owner’s death. The area has become synonymous with these tourist magnets, as well as fashion and youth culture. Source: まちゃー / PIXTA(ピクスタ) Despite its popularity, parts of Shibuya do look rundown, and city officials thought it was high time for a redevelopment project in time for Tokyo 2020. The slightly…


Tokyo’s Disney Princess Themed Illuminations Feature Frozen and Tangled This Christmas

2018-11-16 Fri

For Tokyo’s various districts, Christmas isn’t about presents or goodwill to all men. It’s a full-on battle to put on the most elaborate LED light show, with more bulbs, more cohesive themes, more immersive music, in order to be crowned the most romantic illuminations in the capital. A strong contender is always the Caretta Illumination in Shiodome, who put on light shows following the theme of certain Disney movies. Last year they wowed crowds with their homage to Beauty and the Beast, realized through a blue and gold colour scheme and candle-like LEDs. This year they’re upping the ante by taking on two well-loved animated films, Tangled and Frozen. The…


The Beautiful Creepy-Crawly World of Watercolor Illustrator Nishizuka em

2018-11-15 Thu

The Enticing Entomophilia of Nishizuka em Some people, especially in Japan, have a particularly strong aversion to caterpillars of all sorts. If you’re one of them, you may not enjoy the images below. And yet, with their striking spots and stripes, and their multi-colored designs, caterpillars can be beautiful to behold. With a stretch of the imagination, maybe you could think of them as cute and endearing, the way they move around slowly with their puffy bodies and tiny feet. And if you’re brave or if you’re actually an entomophile at heart, you could even consider cuddling up with a giant caterpillar or wrapping one around your neck like a…


Stunning and Heartwarming Photography From the ‘Bubble Uncle’ Who Spreads Joy Around Japan

2018-11-15 Thu

A man who calls himself Bubble Ojisan (a word meaning a middle aged man or uncle) on Twitter has been spreading joy with the simple pleasure of soap bubbles. Source: 3mss3mss His profile describes him as a bubbles artist. Based in Chiba, he performs bubble shows in various places around Japan and posts stunning photos on Twitter, combining the Japanese landscape with the dreamy aesthetic of the bubbles. Source: 3mss3mss He also shares wisdom to his followers, giving an insight into why he does what he does. 面白がってやっているヤツと、 苦労してやっているヤツと、どっちが勝つかな。 やっぱりさ、面白がってやっているヤツにはかなわないんだよ。 青島 幸男さんのこの言葉が大好き!!!好きなことをもっと好きになろうぜ…わーわーわー!! pic.twitter.com/N5LHCjCleZ — シャボン玉おじさん (@3mss3mss) 6 August 2018 Someone who enjoys himself and someone who works hard, who would win?…


Mochi Mochi Kirby and Waddle Dee Traditional Japanese Sweets Coming to Convenience Stores

2018-11-15 Thu

Wagashi is a term that refers to various traditional sweets and desserts. Distinctly Japanese ingredients and flavours are used such as matcha, adzuki beans and kinako (roasted soy bean flour), making them completely different from their counterparts found in other countries. They are often eaten as an accompaniment to green tea and seen in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. View this post on Instagram 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 But these traditional treats aren’t immune to modern updates, and from time to time character themed wagashi come along. Previously there were Rilakkuma sweets and even wagashi versions of the aliens from Toy Story. These latest ones are being sold at Japanese convenience…


Why This White Shiba Inu Has Become Instagram’s Favourite English Teacher

2018-11-15 Thu

Instagram pet celebrities aren’t exactly thin on the ground in Japan, and shiba inu, arguably the country’s favourite national breed, are among the most popular. Some are known for their stubborn habit of lying on the ground mid-walk and others gained fans for perfecting sexy poses. One famous twosome is Nana and Rin, a white shiba inu mum and daughter duo. View this post on Instagram 白柴凛と奈々(華)さん(@hanarin54)がシェアした投稿 – 2018年10月月21日午前12時00分PDT Generally the followers of the Instagram account enjoy photos of the fluffy antics just for calming and healing purposes after a stressful day, but one photo convinced Japanese Instagram that Nana is actually the cutest English teacher they’ve ever had. View…


grape Japan and Japan Shopping Now in Content Sharing Partnership

2018-11-14 Wed

Introducing our new content sharing partner: Japan Shopping Now Operated by the Japan Shopping Tourism Organization, Japan Shopping Now is a site offering the best, most relevant information and stories about “Shopping Island, Japan,” from high-quality technology to traditional crafts passed down from ancient times, or regional specialty goods to anime and gaming subcultures with fans around the world. The establishment of our content sharing partnership with Japan Shopping Now comes four months after that of our partnership with the online news platform JAPAN Forward, which began in July of this year. Partnership Starts on November 14, 2018 As of November 14, 2018, our new partner Japan Shopping Now will…


Japanese School Festival Devises Genius Way to Stop Littering and Promote Democracy to Kids at the Same Time

2018-11-14 Wed

Japan’s streets are famously litter-free. Even in an urban area like Tokyo, you can see a level of cleanliness completely unexpected of one of the most populated cities in the world. The Japanese people are proud of this reputation and any lapses are instantly denounced. A salient example is the recent Halloween festivities in Shibuya, which caused outrage online and in the media because of all the trash left on the street by revellers. With the older generation worrying about slipping standards, this elementary school festival came up with a genius way to make kids feel that properly disposing of rubbish is fun. Twitter user, @777_ponta spotted this and shared…


Each Page of Fist of the North Star Chapter One Made Into T-Shirts: 49 To Choose From!

2018-11-13 Tue

Fans of the legendary post-apocalyptic manga and anime Fist of the North Star who happen to be in Japan between now and Monday, November 19th have an opportunity to buy something very special. All 49 pages of Chapter One: “A Cry from the Heart” are being made into individual T-shirts, including the first four color pages. © Buronson, © Tetsuo Hara | © PR Times, Inc. For example, here is the opening page with the line: “In 199X the world was covered with atomic fires.” © Buronson, © Tetsuo Hara | © PR Times, Inc. Or the page where we are first introduced to Kenshiro’s trademark attack, the Hokuto Hyakuretsu…


Tokyo Winter Illuminations Guide 2018: For a Sparkling Japanese Christmas

2018-11-13 Tue

Although Japan doesn’t strictly celebrate Christmas, come winter it’s become a steadfast tradition for various districts of Tokyo to furiously attempt to outdo each other, with dazzling LED light displays. The Best Illuminations in Tokyo This Winter These are the capital’s major players in the wintery battle for seasonal supremacy. Shinjuku Terrace City Source: PR Times The area around Shinjuku station’s new south exit will become a twinkling, flower themed spectacle and the walkway between the west exit and south exit will have multicoloured lights that express the motif of flower fairies. Dates: 14th November – 14th February 2019 Nearest Station: Shinjuku or Shinjuku Sanchome Omotesando Hills Christmas 2018 with…


Video of Munchkin Cat Sleeping in a Tiny Japanese Bed is So Wholesome

2018-11-13 Tue

Cat owners the world over grapple with the same problem. Spending a ton of money on elaborate cat toys, beds, towers and other trinkets that you were sure your pet would just love. Only for them to completely ignore it. Or just play with the box it came in instead. But this cat video has gone viral because it shows this, the rarest of victories for cat lovers. After buying an adorable cat-sized bed, the kitty is actually sleeping in it. View this post on Instagram 茶太郎💓きなこ💕短足兄妹🐾さん(@amaccho5160)がシェアした投稿 – 2017年12月月4日午前12時39分PST What makes it even cuter is that the bed is in the style of a traditional Japanese futon set. Munchkin cats…


Japanese Artist’s Charming Bunny Illustrations Will Hop Into Your Heart

2018-11-13 Tue

It’s hard to express the joy of living with a pet unless you actually have one, but Japanese illustrator and bunny lover Schinako (@schinako) may be doing as great a job as possible with her charming artwork. In her illustrations, Schinako shows some of the simple pleasures that these adorable and fascinating animals can bring to daily activities such as cooking, reading, or simply relaxing around the house. In her profile, she writes that she loves drawing “the happiness of bunny and bunny lovers”, and her delightful art style captures that perfectly. Source: Schinako The Fukushima based artist clearly understands the curious and affectionate nature of rabbits (inspired by her…


s**t kingz: This Japanese Dance Crew Wants the World to Sit Up and Watch

2018-11-13 Tue

(by Arielle Busetto, JAPAN Forward) You might imagine my slight amazement when I found out that a comedy dance crew by the name of s**t kingz agreed to an interview. What was in store for me? I shouldn’t have worried. I was greeted by four easy-going, cheerful Japanese guys who seemed to be very excited to be touring the country. Photo by Takanori Tsukiji | © JAPAN Forward As we sat down, tea in hand, I tried to figure out what this crew was all about. Before they started talking about their activities, I needed to ask: where does the name come from? “It comes from the Japanese word shikkin,…


Japanese Artist Creates Traditional Kiriko Style Glasses in Miniature Form

2018-11-12 Mon

It would seem Japanese people have a knack for creating incredibly detailed works of art in miniature form. We’ve already seen artists creating sculptures on the tip of a pencil, artists creating miniature Zen gardens and miniature sushi food samples. From time to time, these works are showcased on Twitter through hashtags which gather momentum. The most recent example was a hashtag ハンドメイド界隈のテンション上げてく為に自分のイチオシ作品画像を貼ろう which translates to “let’s post images of our favorite works to get people psyched in the field of handmade [art]” Miniature Kiriko Glasses Miniature artist megu (@meguxmini) participated in the hashtag campaign, promoting her own minuscule yet detailed reproductions of traditional Kiriko style glasses. Kiriko, or Satsuma…


‘Nose-hair’ and Other Japanese Family Names That Make People Hate Their Ancestors

2018-11-12 Mon

Japan is a country with a population of about 130 million people and about 300,000 different family names. You’ve probably heard of the common ones like Takahashi or Watanabe, but have you ever come across a rare name with a strange meaning? In contrast to other Asian countries like China and Korea, whose family names come from ancient clans and noble families, Japanese family names mostly date from the 19th century, after the Meiji restoration. When it was decreed that everyone should have a surname, people were given free rein to decide their own names, resulting in a wide range of monikers. Despite the name free-for-all, it seems most people…


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