The kopi luwat civet poops coffee. Or, to be more precise, it climbs to the top of coffee trees, eats the ripest beans, digests the fruity bits around the seed and, … Continue Reading How About A Nice Cup Of Civet Poop Coffee?
I was cutting through my favorite crazy pet store in Odaiba, when I spotted what I thought was a deli counter where pet owners who had become famished while stocking up on camouflage dog strollers … Continue Reading The Deli For Dogs
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 … Continue Reading Level Up, Halloweenies!
True confessions time. I was just reading my fellow blogger Ben’s account of climbing Mt. Fuji (it’s pretty excellent – check it out here) and it occurred to me that, as an … Continue Reading My Worst Foreigner Moment
…for your water bottle! (*_*) Yes, Japanese PET bottles have suddenly developed a taste for modesty after years of flaunting their unseemly summer nudity, and now there are gachagacha vending machines devoted to … Continue Reading Vending Machine Panties
Tokyo Metro’s subway safety posters always crack me up, because they all seem to be earnestly designed by Captain Obvious, but this one actually made me laugh with it, not at it. I mean DUH you’d … Continue Reading Subway Safety For Rockabillies
Walking home late one night, a flicker of unexpected movement caught my eye. When I looked up, there was something scampering along the phone lines above my head! A cat? A rat? No it was … Continue Reading I Saw A New Wild Animal In Tokyo!
I never expected to be ambushed by cuteness at a highway rest stop bathroom, but check out this tiny toilet for tots!（≧∇≦） • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
On my way to check out the rooster shrine, I chanced upon these sight-challenged Jizos and a celebrity Kannon, chilling in a parking lot. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
Warning: when you’re in Japan, be careful never to say, “Just bite me!” because THIS might happen. If you walk out of the Tokyo Midtown exit of Roppongi Station right now, you too can … Continue Reading Suddenly, Godzilla!
So, today as I wandered around the Sunshine City Aquarium, I couldn’t help but overhear a few conversations between my fellow fish enthusiasts. • When not eavesdropping on Japanese peoples’ … Continue Reading What Japanese People Talk About At The Aquarium
When it’s a shoji screen with a tear in it, of course! This is how people mend paper screens after those inevitable situations where an object in motion tends to stay … Continue Reading When Is Something More Beautiful After It’s Broken?
Used to be – if you were a Japanese man – you had it made. Food magically appeared on the table every mealtime and you never even had to learn how to push … Continue Reading Forever Alone Appliances
Sometimes Tokyo street art is so awesome, there’s nothing more to say. • Read a novel set in Tokyo
It was a rainy autumn morning in the mountains of Gunma, but I didn’t care because I’d just spent a half hour soaking in punishingly hot mineral water at a Japanese inn … Continue Reading Hot Springs Latte Art
Any foreigner who lives in Japan by choice has been there: Oh no, oh no, quick, put up the hoodie! Inch away from that loud foreigner doing something that’s making everyone stare at the ground and cringe. Desperately wish for the ability to telepathically project “I may … Continue Reading In Which We #takedownjulienblanc With The Hot Blue Flame Of Loathing
Looks totally real, doesn’t it? In fact, it’s the artistry of one of the students at the Amazing School JUR’s special effects table at Design Festa! I opted for the … Continue Reading How To Make A Wickedly Scary Gash On Your Arm In Seven Easy Steps!
Here, you don’t need to go out and commune with nature to know when autumn has arrived – all you have to do is check your corner vending machine to see how many of the cold … Continue Reading Fall Is When The Vending Machines Change Colors In Japan
Last night I went to see what I thought was going to be a modest art-light event on the Yokohama waterfront, secretly expecting that the photos from past years were exaggerating the quality of … Continue Reading 「Yokohama Smart Illuminations」: Wow. Just…wow.
Be forewarned all ye who enter here: Strange Love is the spookiest store in the world. And I don’t mean cute-spooky, I mean spooky-spooky. The owner combs the flea markets, haunted … Continue Reading Knick-Knacks Of The Damned
In the cosmic battle between epic thirst and historic preservation, these vending machines make a heroic effort to deliver the goods in stealth mode. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
Poo rules at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation! Their current special exhibit tells you everything you always wanted to know about that most human and unmentionable of subjects, and … Continue Reading An Afternoon At The Poo Museum
Seriously! According to the package, this “Body Fragrance” confection “aromatizes body with a sweet fragrance.” I imagined it to be kind of like eating raw garlic – except your skin is supposed … Continue Reading Do I Smell Like A Grapefruit Yet?
Yes, the famed all-female Takarazuka troupe is back on stage, mustachioed and corseted and ready to kick some Civil War butt! After mind-bendingly taking on the roles of handsome male scalawags (Oceans Eleven) … Continue Reading Frankly, My Dear, I Don’t Give A Damn (That We’re Both Female And Japanese!)
So, you know how Everycountry has an Everyman and Everywoman? Well, in Japan, its… • Read a novel set in Tokyo
Gotta say, in the land where people don’t even ask the gods for a favor without turning their prayer plaque into a piece of manga, the street art in Tokyo … Continue Reading Tokyo Street Art Redux
Do you think the artist who carved these beasties had ever actually seen one? I guess it doesn’t matter, as long as the guy who paid the bill hadn’t either. These elephants … Continue Reading Furry Elephants. With Claws.
I saw this sign, and was quite nervous that Arisugawa Park was suffering from a dangerous infestation of owl ghouls, just waiting to swoop down on unsuspecting walkers’ heads waving their ghostly yuurei hands. While this … Continue Reading Beware Of Ghost Owls!
In case you need proof that “the harder a garden is to get to, the more spectacular it is,” look no further than Ashikaga Flower Park. Two solid hours from Tokyo … Continue Reading Yes, This Is One Wisteria Plant!
So, yesterday I’m walking around, and suddenly I encounter a Sidewalk Whale. My theory about this little-known hazard of Ningyo-cho is that it tends to happen on Fridays, when they surface to … Continue Reading Suddenly…A Whale
On a fine spring day, how can you not be cheered by spotting koi nobori swimming through the sky? It’s Children’s Day again, here in Japan, and fathers & sons everywhere are celebrating … Continue Reading Fish Flag Day!
You know how it goes when a VIP comes to town: streets unexpectedly blocked, swarms of shifty-eyed men in dark suits with little curly wires in their ears, cavalcades of … Continue Reading Japanese Invent A New Way For VIP Visits To Annoy The Populace
Hello there, bunnies! Wow, you are cute and friendly. Please don’t poop on me. Fortunately, lap diapers are dispensed at the door, so you can enjoy the lovely bunnies without … Continue Reading A Rabbit A Day At The Bunny Cafe
You know how there are whole books filled with people wearing weird outfits on the streets of Tokyo, and you think yeah, sure, they probably shot all those outside some fringe-y fetish … Continue Reading Fashion Statement From Another Dimension
So, I’m trudging back to the bus stop after catching Sankei-en having the Japanese garden equivalent of a bad hair day,* when I spot this odd little shrine tucked between two houses. The altar … Continue Reading The Scrub Brush Shrine
Admit it – don’t you want to try it, just once? Well guess what? Now you can get your Lolita on for around a hundred bucks, with professional hair, makeup, and photos! And … Continue Reading How To Be A Lolita For A Day!
So, during cherry blossom season, people naturally flock to places with maximum pink fluffiness. But if you don’t have any real blooming cherry trees of epic proportions, how do you … Continue Reading Alt Cherry
The cherry trees are readying their onslaught, and it’s almost time for the annual beer-fuelled frolicking to commence. What better way to say, “I am a wild and crazy guy” than … Continue Reading Cherry Blossom Party Costumes I Would Regret
Went to robot restaurant. Missed last train. Left camera in cab. Noooo! Although I would rather drink poisonous dried snake tea, have my feet eaten by small brown fish, or … Continue Reading Lost
Tokyo isn’t a beautiful city, except when it rains at night. Then the neon flows into the streets, brighter than liquid gold. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
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 … Continue Reading Changing The World, One Tag At A Time
Today it was raining. But I went to Shinjuku Gyouen garden anyway. If you’d like to visit Shinjuku Gyou-en garden the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map is on my website, The … Continue Reading Early Spring At A Beautiful Garden
Surfing and golfing, yep, those go together like coffee and bananas. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
I saw this video by Daito Manabe at the Tokyo Art Fair today: thirty-six electrode-wired faces twitched in time to a modernistic percussion soundtrack. It was a symphony of facial … Continue Reading Electro-Shock Face Art
Tokyo SkyTree. You can’t miss it. It’s that gigantic over-hyped TV tower rearing its unremarkable, yet insistently lit-up head out beyond Asakusa. For twenty bucks you can go up it … Continue Reading How Underwhelming Can You Get?
Every convenience store in Japan sells clothes. Emergency clothes. Say you missed the last train home and have to prop yourself in a comic book café cubicle all night, then … Continue Reading Emergency Funeral Tie
Where I come from, the kind of hotels that charge by the hour instead of the night are ultra-shady and tend to get raided by the cops a lot. Not … Continue Reading All About Love Hotels!
All kinds of great non-snowmen appeared around Tokyo after the last big dump of snow – from transforming Snow Pikachus, to Snow Shrines Dedicated To Crossdressing TV Celebs – but … Continue Reading Snow Dog
Yep, now that everyone’s hopes of an early spring have been crushed by the blooming plum trees getting their inevitable smothering in snow, it’s that time of year when the … Continue Reading This Year’s Cherry Blossom Forecast
Before we move on to 2014 madness, check out this insanity! Here are the top viewed posts from the past year… #10 Extreme Pancakes In a “foreign food” breakthrough worthy … Continue Reading Top Ten “Only In Japan” Posts of 2013