What did you do this weekend? I spent my Sunday here in Osaka shopping for a fax machine. No time travel was involved.
The 2016 Rio Olympics are underway, and athletes from around the globe are competing for gold. Many of those Olympians are inked, as are those spectators who have flocked to the games. All are giving hope to those who want Japan, host of the next Summer Games, to become more open-minded about tattooing.
Japan has come up with some truly fantastic English product names. “PlayStation,” for example, is terrific. Then, there are some product names that are bad. Wonderfully so.
You’ve might have seen the super lucky cat in restaurants and shops. But did you know the cat has its own temple in Tokyo?
Grade schoolers across Japan carry leather backpacks called “randoseru” (ランドセル). Traditionally, kids have carried one of two colors: black for boys, and red for girls. In recent years, however, that’s changed.
Did you just arrive in Japan? Oh dear. Bad timing. I’m sure you’ll have fun, but there are better times to visit. Why, you might ask. Because this is Golden Week, when the entire country goes on vacation.
If you are visiting Japan, stay in a capsule hotel. At least for a night. It’s part of the experience. And here are some of the coolest-looking capsule hotels the country has to offer.
Last year, 15 million people visited Japan, setting a new record. Millions more are expected. Many foreigners, eager to see the sights and spend cash, are tattooed. Most Japanese are not. This is where things get problematic.
It’s something I’ve noticed. I’ve noticed it in the US, and I’ve noticed it among Westerners who visit Japan. After breaking apart chopsticks, they begin rubbing them together.
This is Smap. Sorry, SMAP. Last night, the pop stars appeared on television to apologize, garnering massive television ratings, and resulting in a comment from the Prime Minister of Japan. This is a very big deal.
I don’t care if you are a guy or a gal, please do not wear high heels in snow. Just don’t!
Could you live like these Japanese minimalists? Then again, maybe you already do.
First time visitors notice them right away: Sickness masks. People in Japan wear them for numerous reasons, including to prevent illness. Some even wear them because they think the masks make them more attractive. Now, a mask promises just that.
In Japanese, they’re called “igyou-atama” (異形頭) or, literally, “strange-looking heads.” They are oddly wonderful.
There’s nothing worse than being caught out in the rain without an umbrella. (There are worse things, but whatever.) If you happen upon a DyDo vending machine, however, you can borrow one for free!
In Japan, there’s one rule that, more than anything, will probably make people upset when broken. These fashion photos destroy that rule.
Hot springs and public pools in Japan have long denied people with tattoos. But now it’s 2015. The future! Are attitudes in Japan changing? Some are, but in one recent poll, the majority’s opinion has not.
Japanese retailer Shimamura has stopped selling Nazi-style swastika pendants. For the time being, apparently.
This week, one Japanese Twitter user Sativa_high decided to turn eggplants, cucumbers, and a bunch of toothpicks into vehicles from Mad Max: Fury Road. This was to welcome his dead ancestors back to this world. And what a welcome!
English is not an easy language for Japanese people. But you’d think that Fuji TV, one of Japan’s biggest television networks, would have a native English speaker check things. You’d think.