Tokyo’s best-dressed nude statue: It’s that Santa time of year

Tokyo’s best-dressed nude statue changes into the jolly old elf for the month of December, but sometimes his costumers get a bit…creative. When they started in the year 2000, the first few years were pretty tame… Then someone gave him a pet reindeer Which ushered in a period of hog-wild experimentation… that provoked some sortContinue reading “Tokyo’s best-dressed nude statue: It’s that Santa time of year”

Fresh Acts Of Santa Blasphemy

Once again, Japanese costume purveyors are outdoing themselves with even more WTF ways to impersonate Saint Nick, which (I think you’ll have to agree) is a pretty heroic effort if you dispense with the red suit, the beard, and even the tiniest nod to jolly… Happy holidays, fellow Japan warriors! And don’t forget that… •

Department Of Seasonal Pet Humiliation: This Year’s Santa Cat Costume

Sporting all the premium quality you’d expect from a ¥400 vending machine, this Santa Claws capelet just might be the perfect gift for someone who dreams of #catsofinstagram glory (and is willing to risk the kind of revenge that will certainly be extracted after uploading Growler’s humiliation for all the world to see). •

Looks Like Santa’s Been Skipping The Gym This Year

As you know, I take an avid and unnatural interest in Japanese holiday costumes, and this year is no exception. There were the usual acts of Santa blasphemy – including Sexy Santa, Emo Santa and Thong Santa – but this year there was a decided trend toward puffiness, even in the outlying Xmas characters. • “A fascinating mixContinue reading “Looks Like Santa’s Been Skipping The Gym This Year”

Sexy Santa Roundup!

Ladies, just because those gold lamé and leopard print Santa costumes are made for men doesn’t mean you can’t play fast and loose with the jolly old elf this Christmas season! The Sexy Santa is a holiday tradition in Japan, and no party would be complete without a few of these beauties in attendance… •

Various Acts Of Santa Blasphemy

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for creativity and such, but some things are just W.R.O.N.G.! These line-crossers join the other less-than-trad incarnations in my Japanese Santa Hall Of Fame:  Thong Santa, Scary Santa, Emo Santa, and my perennial favorite, Colonel Santa. •

Emo Santa

“Deck the halls with boughs of hemlock, fu-fu-fu-fu-fu, fu, fu, fu, fu…” Do you find red to be just too unbearably cheery? Think “Jingle Bells” ought to be remixed as “For Whom the Bell Tolls”? Well, finally there’s a Santa costume for those who would prefer to be The Un-Jolly Old Elf! Now Goths, death metalContinue reading “Emo Santa”

Scary Santa

You know how some kids are afraid to go sit on Santa’s lap, even if they really really really want a pony? Well, I bet all the Santa phobias in the known world can be traced back to an early childhood experience with someone like THIS. What was the package designer thinking, casting a massContinue reading “Scary Santa”

Fake Fur Santa Miniskirts

It’s the time of year when young Japanese women are shopping for their Christmas Eve outfits, and nothing says “romantic holiday” more eloquently than a bright red, fake fur miniskirt. Nobody wants to look like every other Sexy Santa on the block, though, so it pays to consider the sequined, strapless, and lace-up models beforeContinue reading “Fake Fur Santa Miniskirts”

Colonel Santa

The day after Halloween, I knew it was a bad sign when I heard music in my local supermarket that sounded suspiciously like “The First Noel,” but when I spotted The Colonel duded up in his Santa suit today, Season Creep was confirmed. Without Thanksgiving as a sort of cultural moat between Halloween and Christmas, JapaneseContinue reading “Colonel Santa”

This Year’s Burning October Question: What’s The Peeing Statue Wearing For Halloween?

I had to go check to make sure that the best-dressed nude statue in Tokyo made it through the typhoon safely. And he did! Not only that, he already knows what he’s going to be for Halloween. But…huh? As you can see, “witch” costumes in Japan are subject to the same considerable creative interpretation that hasContinue reading “This Year’s Burning October Question: What’s The Peeing Statue Wearing For Halloween?”

Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2018

These days, everyone wants “experiences,” not “stuff,” so how about digging into your Santa sack for presents that deliver #youllneverguesswhatwedids that could only come from (where else?)…Japan! This year, give the gift of… 1 …making your own Panda Face sushi and finding out who’s the fastest panda-grabber in the land Level up by slipping in aContinue reading “Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2018”

Where To See The Best Illuminations In Tokyo 2018

Free displays of holiday illuminations have become a huge attraction in Tokyo  – probably because they’re the most instabae invention since selfie sticks – and every year they get bigger and better. Here are this year’s offerings from my favorite places to see them… • • Most Entertaining • TOKYO MIDTOWN But let’s not mess aroundContinue reading “Where To See The Best Illuminations In Tokyo 2018”

The Best Dressed Nude Statue In All Of Tokyo

Sometimes you’re trudging home and dreading getting on a crowded train, then you find THIS! How great is it that they have a peeing boy statue smack in the middle of the train platform at the otherwise grim Hamamatsucho Station? As if that weren’t cheering enough, for over fifteen years this bronze nude taking a perpetual whizz has been dressedContinue reading “The Best Dressed Nude Statue In All Of Tokyo”

Level Up, Halloweenies!

Because in Japan, dressing up is no joke! Real cosplayers scoff at Halloween as Amateur Night, but for most people, the Big H is a chance to flaunt their secret zombie in public, and even ordinary citizens put serious effort into Doing It Right. •

I Love Japanese New Year’s Decorations!

In Japan, the frenzy of weird Santas and blue poinsettias are whisked away the day after Christmas, and replaced with something far better…new year’s decorations! I never saw them before I lived in Tokyo, but it was totally love at first sight. New year’s decorations are sold in November & December at small shops in Asakusabashi, andContinue reading “I Love Japanese New Year’s Decorations!”

Changing The World, One Tag At A Time

I started taking pictures of work by the street artist known as 281_Antinuke a couple of years ago because I thought it was beautiful. Now I shoot it because I think it’s the voice of young Japanese saying to their society: we don’t want prosperity at the price of environmental destruction. While the government triesContinue reading “Changing The World, One Tag At A Time”

Nyan-tastic Cat Wares!

I knew Kappabashi was the acme of destinations for obscure kitchenware and plastic food models, but it turns out they’ve got killer nyan-ware too! Next Christmas I bet Santa will fork over everything on my list when he sees that I left out nyancat cookies instead of boring old reindeer! If you’d like to visit KappabashiContinue reading “Nyan-tastic Cat Wares!”

Dinosaur Head, Half Price!

Surely I must know someone who would love to receive a life-sized dinosaur head! On sale for only ¥18,900, it’s so hard to pass up! I mean, who wouldn’t want a tyrannosaur hanging over their fireplace? This shop on Kappabashi street in Tokyo’s restaurant supply district specializes in custom-made props. In addition to Rex theContinue reading “Dinosaur Head, Half Price!”

Rude Gnomes

As a sort of matter/anti-matter reaction to the See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil Gnomes, the same artist presents the F U Gnome. The Xmas-seasonal appearance of these, er, art objects suggests there has been continuing elf/dwarf/gnome cross-cultural confusion with regard to Santa and his workforce. I admit I’m quite curious aboutContinue reading “Rude Gnomes”

All I Want For Christmas Is A Magical Body

And all I need to do to get one is stop by the Shibjuya Loft store and plonk down ¥6000! Magical Socks are apparently included, as an extra bonus. On the other hand, maybe it would be better to display my Christmas spirit by dressing as a Creamy Tonikai! And if I feel like kickingContinue reading “All I Want For Christmas Is A Magical Body”

Holiday Lights Just Don’t Get Any Better Than This!

Forget the plastic Santas and bobbing dwarves mistaken for elves – let’s skip right to the computer-choreographed field of lights that pulses and ripples to wintry electronic music! The display at Tokyo Midtown this year is jaw-droppingly spectacular, with shadowy shapes that flicker across the twinkly landscape like clouds passing in fast motion, punctuated byContinue reading “Holiday Lights Just Don’t Get Any Better Than This!”

Back To The Future, With Engrish Subs

Please forgive the out-of-focus-because-walking-while-trying-not-to-get-big-pink-finger-in-front-of-lens phone shot, but this t-shirt was too awesome to pass up! Delorean We came from Santa Ana Orange County Carifornia We will supply fine quality Clothing for All of Board Riders Hope springs eternal! Forget the iPhone 5 – you know the product announcement we’re all REALLY waiting for is MartyContinue reading “Back To The Future, With Engrish Subs”

Elf/Dwarf Confusion

While we ‘re on the subject of Christmas in November, every year these sinister nodding dwarves appear outside the Meidi-ya supermarket in Hiroo. They’re definitely of the Snow-White-and-the-Seven variety rather than the elvenfolk who slave away helping Santa come across with the Christmas goodies. I learned today in my Japanese class that there’s a wordContinue reading “Elf/Dwarf Confusion”

Little Red Riding Colonel

In Akihabara, apparently even Colonel Sanders is into cosplay. This is a somewhat homemade-crafty-looking attempt to draw attention to KFC’s current apple pie promotion. Must check my other favorite life-sized Colonel in Hiroo to see how widespread this little costume is! He always dons a Santa suit in December at the Hiroo branch, but I’veContinue reading “Little Red Riding Colonel”