Earlier this week, we took a look at some very gourmet blue chocolate ice cream. But what if you like your snacks sweet, blue, and Japanese in origin? Then you, adventurous/hard-to-please eater, need to get your hands on one of these aqua-colored sweet bean dorayaki cakes, with a flavor as unique as their vibrant hue.
Everyone loves strawberries, right? Not only are they pretty hard to beat on the deliciousness scale, but they have the ability to ward off allergy symptoms and can even occasionally taste like peaches. Not bad for a little red fruit–or big red fruit if we’re talking about the Guinness World Record-breaking strawberry recently harvested in Fukuoka.
As you may have heard, the population of Japan is getting older and smaller. While other (smarter) people have debated the problems and complexities of this issue, we do know one thing: It’s left a lot of prefectures without many young people. Some places are celebrating when the community has even a single wedding, but Tsuwano in Shimane Prefecture thinks they’ve hit upon an idea for injecting some new, young blood into their town. They’re giving houses away for (kind of) free! Of course, there are a few stipulations…
Japanese school uniforms are adored all over the world (well, all over the internet, anyway) for their cute sailor-suit styles and simple navy and white designs. Aficionados might tell you that school uniforms symbolise nostalgia for what they perceive as a simpler, more innocent time in life. Or, they might tell you that people like looking at high-schoolers in short skirts. It’s probably a bit of both, to be honest.
But I digress! The thing about uniforms, you see, is that they’re all the same. And if you’re buying a uniform as a fashion or dress-up item, you probably don’t actually want the same one as everyone else. So these new customisable designs from Maori Inokuchi could have the answer. Just don’t ask about the price…
On a recent trip to Shikoku, we heard about a small town tucked away in the Iya Valley called Nagoro. Like many small rural towns in Japan, the human population has dwindled to almost nothing in recent years. Unlike other towns, though, Nagoro doesn’t look empty. That’s because it’s populated by hundreds of scarecrows.
Remember Twintail Association Japan, the pro-cute organisation dedicated to all things adorable and pigtail-related? Last year they launched the idol group drop, a four-piece girl group who add “pigtail-wearing” to the usual idol skill-set trinity of singing, dancing, and smiling for the camera.
And one group member in particular has been attracting attention online for her doe-eyed smile and pigtail-wearing skills. Hikari Takiguchi has even been called a “once-in-2000-years idol”! (We’re going to assume that sounds a bit snappier in Japanese than it does in English).
What does one have to do to get someone to go out with them? Sometimes all you need is a sweet one-liner to go from acquaintance to significant other, and other times it takes the full force of the faceless Internet. The Japanese dating ritual is definitely different from the Western one, as it often begins with a full confession of one’s feelings and then “Please go out with me!” Most girls prefer that confession to be in-person, face-to-face, but in this fast-paced world of instant messaging, desperate times call for desperate measures, and this attempt is so crazy, it might even work!