Only in Japan

Enjoy the Height of Japanese Desserts With The Tallest Matcha Parfait in Japan

2017-09-20 08:18

Matcha is probably one of the most recognized of Japanese flavors, even beyond Japanese borders. While it is a delight to sip matcha in the traditional style, sweets containing matcha are a more accessible way to enjoy the rich and concentrated powder. And while cakes, cookies, donuts, macarons and other varieties of sweets containing matcha continue to appear on Japanese store shelves, one combination stands out among all others as a perennial favorite with matcha lovers: matcha ice cream! For example, ice cream giant Haagen Dazs created a bittersweet matcha crumble ice cream bar, Shizuoka-based gelato shop Nanaya prides itself on offering the darkest (and most intense) matcha ice cream…

The Mystery of Cup Noodle’s Mystery Meat is Finally Cleared

2017-09-20 01:31

When Cup Noodle released its Mystery Meat Festival noodles last year to celebrate its 45th anniversary, fans of the ubiquitous instant noodles were surprised by Nissin’s bold move. After all, for the past 45 years since it first appeared on store shelves, all it took for customers was a cursory glance at the ingredients list to realize that Cup Noodles original flavor contained pork. And yet, the tasty pieces of protein floating in their cups clearly contained other ingredients which were not yet identified. For the company to embrace the “mystery factor” and make it into a selling point created a renewed interest in the true identity of this “mystery…

Set Sail on Yokohama Bay for a Pirate-Themed Anime Song DJ Party

2017-09-19 06:39

Since the mid-2000s, Japan has developed and refined a unique spin on club culture called anikura (a term combining “anime songs” and “club”), in which DJs play anime songs or other genres within the Akiba-kei, or Akihabara style spectrum (namely, anime songs, songs from tokusatsu and action hero shows, video game and PC game music, idol songs, songs by anime voice actors, dempa songs, chiptune, etc.) — either in their original form or as remixes with EDM — and VJs plays clips from anime or other media matching the tunes. At first limited to clubs like MOGRA Akihabara and Club Tsukiakari Yumeterasu in Kawasaki, anime song DJ parties can now…

It’s a Fukui Sharknado! Or is it?

2017-09-19 01:49

Sometimes, certain less populated prefectures of Japan which are less commonly frequented by tourists and less commonly known by average city-dwellers are characterized in popular culture as wild and dangerous. For the most part, such characterizations are tongue-in-cheek, and even the locals enjoy playing it up. This seems to be the case with Fukui, located in the central Chubu region of the Honshu island facing the Sea of Japan, and one of the least populated prefectures. This picture posted on Twitter last Saturday by @oyayubi_814, along with the caption: “Fukui…dangerous!” caused quite a stir. It would seem to be a hammerhead shark lying on a street gutter, clearly far removed…

Absolutely Stunning Photos Of Hokkaido’s Fire Walking Festival Bring Japanese Folklore To Life

2017-09-19 11:33

Japanese festivals seem to put a priority on spectacle, whether they be magical lantern festivals that seem like they came right out of Spirited Away, or penis festivals with giant marching phalluses, guests always walk away with a sight to remember. Japan’s most northern prefecture of Hokkaido is home to a many regional festivals, but it’s dramatic fire-walking festival held in the town of Furubira may be one of its most spectacular. Source: @katuka2 While not the only fire-walking (hi no watari) event in Japan, Furubira’s festival adds a theatrical flair by having a Tengu cross a barrier of towering wall of flames. Tengu (“Heavenly Dog”) are somewhat disruptive spirits…

“Blackface Potato Chips” Leave Questionable Aftertaste

2017-09-15 05:03

One of the features characterizing the Japanese commercial food and beverage industry is that new variations of products, whether in flavor, packaging, or size, continually appear on the market, some lasting a whole season, others only lasting a few weeks. In other words, consumers can expect to see something new at all times. A stroll through the aisles of a Japanese convenience store is never boring. Right now, this is what you’re likely to see in the potato chips section of your local store: source: Grape Inc. “Wait a second? What’s a Japanese man in blackface doing on the cover of that bag of chips?” you may wonder. It turns…

Japan’s Scariest Haunted House Experience Has Guests Wander Through An Abandoned Hospital

2017-09-15 04:49

Japan’s fascinating lore of vengeful spirits and abundance of spooky abandoned spots has resulted in some particularly interesting horror-themed services (as well as Instagram accounts), such as a taxi cab tour that drops you off at a series of haunted spots. Sometimes it’s the basics that are most terrifying, and that can be seen at Fuji-Q Highland’s Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear, an abandoned hospital-themed maze that claims to be the longest and scariest house of horrors in the world. Located in Yamanashi prefecture, the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park is most known for its adventurous roller coasters, it’s 900 meter long labyrinth of terror is one of its most sought-after…

New and Improved Shrine Maiden Loungewear is Back by Popular Demand

2017-09-14 07:16

The miko, or shrine maidens, who assist in various capacities in Shinto shrines, are probably one of the more iconic images of traditional Japan with their simple red and white robes. The miko is also a favorite and recurring character type in manga and anime, from Rei Hino / “Sailor Mars” in Sailor Moon, Kaho Mizuki in Cardcaptor Sakura, the Hiiragi siblings in Lucky Star or Nozomi Tojo in Love Live! This popularity has made miko or miko-inspired outfits a common sight in the cosplaying community. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way you could indulge in the miko fantasy within the comfort of your own home? The…

Japanese Nerd And Fetish Brand Releases Gakuran School Uniform Swimsuit

2017-09-14 05:54

While by no means a booming fashion trend, in recent years Japan has seen a growing interest in the colorful niche of themed swimsuits. While they are obviously attention-getters at any beach or poolside gathering, they also function as valuable pieces for cosplayers and models, as seen with the Shrine Maiden Bikini. Japanese fetish and design brand School Fiction has been leading the way with a fashion lineup of “sexy” swimsuits with the aesthetic of traditional Japanese school uniforms. The latest in their series takes another classic Japanese school uniform, the gakuran, and transforms it into a stylish and very convincing swimsuit. Source: School Fiction The gakuran is a stand-up…

Beautiful Mirror Landscape Rivaling Bolivia’s Salt Flats Found in Niigata Prefecture

2017-09-14 11:53

One of the most beautiful and otherworldly landscapes on our planet, the Salar de Uyuni in the Bolivian Altiplano is on the list of places to visit for many tourists headed to South America. When covered with a thin layer of rainwater, the largest salt flats in the world famously create perfectly smooth mirror-like vistas which are a favorite among photographers. However, as it turns out, Japan also has its own mirror landscape providing a breathtakingly beautiful scene. Niigata Prefecture-based photographer and Twitter user Shin Uehara posted these amazing shots of the Sasagawa Nagare coastline. source: @fuehrsn source: @fuehrsn source: @fuehrsn 新潟のウユニ 新潟県村上市の笹川流れで撮影した写真です! 岩場に囲まれた場所があり、とても美しくリフレクションしていました😆 #美しき新潟の風景 #写真好きと繋がりたい #ファインダー越しの私の世界 — uehara shin (@fuehrsn) 2017年9月11日…

Universal Studios Japan Is Opening Up Final Fantasy And Sailor Moon Attractions

2017-09-14 10:18

As part of their Universal Cool Japan initiative (an effort to promote popular Japanese entertainment around the world), Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan has often tapped into the appeal of popular Japanese video game and anime fiction, building attractions inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion and even offering up a Super Nintendo World complete with Mario Kart racing. Now the park has announced that it will be introducing attractions inspired by two mega-popular franchises in Final Fantasy and Sailor Moon. 【更新】ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン®の大人気イベント『ユニバーサル・クールジャパン 2018』にセーラームーンの参加が決定しました!世界観をリアルに体感できるイベントです。 — セーラームーン25th公式 (@sailormoon_25th) 2017年9月13日 Starting on January 19th of 2018, USJ will offer a variety of Universal Cool Japan 2018 attractions inspired by Final Fantasy, Great Detective Conan, and…

Ninja-like Ice-Maker is Speedy, Ultra-Compact and Quiet, Delivers Ice in Six Minutes.

2017-09-12 12:06

There’s nothing more frustrating than opening up the freezer and discovering that you’re out of ice, especially when you know it will take hours to make new ice from scratch. Specialized ice makers already exist on the market, but they also take time, and can be noisy and cumbersome — not exactly a welcome addition to your home or a crowd-pleaser if you’re having friends over. Thankfully, the wise folks at Thanko have a solution to your problem. The IceGolon, in spite of its name vaguely reminiscent of an ice golem, is an ultra-compact and quiet ice maker that can produce bullet-shaped ice cubes in just six minutes. source: Thanko,…

“Re:Zero” x Lawson Collaboration Will Make September a Month to Rem-ember

2017-09-12 09:53

Fans of the ever-popular blue-haired part-coiffed younger sister maid demoness, Rem, from the anime “Re:Zero: Starting Life in Another World” have been treated to some exciting news lately. Not only was there an announcement on Sunday of a new original OVA episode, but there’s a delightful collaboration with convenience store mainstay Lawson to look forward to as well! source: (C)長月達平・株式会社KADOKAWA刊/Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活製作委員会 (C)Lawson, Inc. From September 13 to October 16, Lawson is coming out with several types of Rem collaboration goods, some of them sold in select stores and others available for purchase online. Here is what has been announced thus far: Acrylic Figure Stands source: (C)長月達平・株式会社KADOKAWA刊/Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活製作委員会 (C)Lawson, Inc. These attractive acrylic…

Wanted: Apprentice to Last Living Expert in Shabari, Artisanal Craft Crucial to Japanese Textile Tradition. All Nationalities Accepted.

2017-09-11 04:11

In a tweet which got shared over 46,000 times, Ise-Katagami textile stencil artist and self-styled “hybrid craftsman” Atsushi Kimura sent out the following desperate plea for help: “Isn’t there anyone who would like to be the only craftsman in Japan? For shabari, a craft necessary for Ise-Katagami. The only living craftsman is here in Shiroko (a district in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture) and he’s already in his late 70s. Every day, he says: “I want to quit” but he can’t because he keeps getting job requests from all over Japan. Someone help!” 誰かさ〜日本で唯一の職人になりたいっ!ってひといませんか?? 伊勢型紙に必要な紗張り職人。これ、日本全国みても白子に1人しかおらず、その1人ももう70後半。「もう辞めたい」と言いながらも、全国から仕事がくるから辞めようにも辞めれず… だーれーかー!! — ハイブリッド職人 木村あつし (@atsushi800) 2017年9月1日 Ise-Katagami Ise-Katagami (伊勢型紙), the Japanese craft of making paper stencils for…

This Inspirational Dancer Isn’t Bound by her Wheelchair

2017-09-10 09:52

Meet Ayananana. She dances as an odorite, following a performance genre that has blossomed in the past ten years. Fans of mostly Vocaloid or J-pop upload dance videos to popular video sharing sites like NicoNico Douga and YouTube. Here she is performing “Onegai Daarin” (Please, Darling) by ONE: Ayananana was already interested in dance since she was 13, although she didn’t perform for the public. However, she later faced a life-changing event which cast a shadow over her aspirations. She was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nerves, causing numbness in limbs and other parts of the body….

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