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”

Gateway To Chrysanthemum Bliss?

Okay, what do you think THIS floral designer got in trouble for drawing in the margins of his schoolbooks…? If I’d come in through this portal, I might never have made it to the annual Shinjuku National Garden chrysanthemum displays, because I’d have died laughing, so it’s a good thing I entered from the otherContinue reading “Gateway To Chrysanthemum Bliss?”

Most Useless Subway Poster In The History Of Useless Subway Posters

Yesterday I was walking through Ueno Station, and I spotted this I’ve posted before about silly subway posters that warn against kicking the ticket wicket, pitching a beer in the station attendant’s face and walking while rockabilly, but this one takes the cake for sheer WHAT THE HELL? Because some faceless bureaucrat (yes, this is aContinue reading “Most Useless Subway Poster In The History Of Useless Subway Posters”

When You REALLY Hate Your Neighbors

Making my way back to Kamakura Station after tossing a  few plates at the Dish-Breaking Shrine, I was walking through a totally normal-looking neighborhood when I chanced upon this. A hedge. But not just any old hedge – isn’t this the freakin’ unfriendliest alt picket fence you’ve ever seen? I mean, it’s all thorns, all theContinue reading “When You REALLY Hate Your Neighbors”

The Slippery Slope, Illustrated

See, this is where tolerance will get you. Let them get away with putting ginger pickles and fish shavings on pizza, say nothing when your spaghetti comes topped with sea urchin eggs, and next thing you know, you’ll be waking up to every child’s worst nightmare: SPINACH PANCAKES. •

Pink Food Season Arrives In All Its WTF Splendor

It never fails – every time the big cherry things burst into bloom, I see foods that totally make me want to shout “What the pinkity pink?” I’m not talking about food that should be pink (like sakura ice cream) or is only slightly questionably pink (like strawberry lattes), I’m talking about the HELP EEK WHY IS THAT FOOD PINK specialties that appear everyContinue reading “Pink Food Season Arrives In All Its WTF Splendor”

Thanks For Destroying My Fantasies, Little Host Stickers

Okay, when I spotted this page of stickers at Tokyu Hands featuring smokin’ hot hostboys, I thought they were kinda fun. Even considered buying a bunch of them to give to my favorite hostboy fangirls. And then I looked a little…closer. Sheesh, leave me some illusions, will ya? •

The Drunken Pet Vending Machine

So, today I came home and found THIS. I don’t know what kind of shenanigans YOUR gacha-gacha toys get up to when they’re alone in the house, but… This series may be sold out by the time you’re next in Tokyo, but there will be plenty more to take its place! If you’d like to discover the latest,Continue reading “The Drunken Pet Vending Machine”

Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2016

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when you comb your list of friends & family for those who truly deserve that rare and awe-inspiring gift from Japan… 10. If there’s nobody on your list who needs a MANEATING VAMPIRE PURSE, you need to make new friends. 9. CUTEST WASHCLOTHS OF ALL TIME! Who could fail to smile after ripping the wrappingContinue reading “Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2016”

Japanese Food Styling Gone Wrong

Okay, as you know, I’ve long been fascinated with Japanese menu depictions of hot dogs, because they can’t seem to resist making them look a little, er, over-eager. But don’t you agree that these take hot dog styling to a whole new level? I mean, how do you even EAT these? They look  like scale models forContinue reading “Japanese Food Styling Gone Wrong”

Potatosaurus Rex

A few days ago I was climbing the escalators in the hated Skytree* in search of the Sumidagawa Aquarium, and was stopped in my tracks by this. An exhibition of fake food art! Best. Idea. Ever. All the art in this exhibit was made by the veteran food model experts at the Iwasaki Bei company. Apparently, they have a contest each year,Continue reading “Potatosaurus Rex”

The Gods Of Cuteness Anoint The Most Inexplicable Animal Yet

If there was a vote on which animal is least likely to be described as “fluffy, “winsome” and “cuddly,” I think tapirs would pretty much win the internet. So why are tapirs suddenly everywhere? Honestly, I’ve been trying to ignore this. How can tapirs be a THING? Of course, Japan has tasted the depths of cuteness desperation before, but this has to be a new low. •  

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”

Subway Manners…For Aliens

Because seriously, unless you were raised by Mechagodzilla, how could you not know that headbutting a station employee, grabbing him by his necktie and drunk-pitching your beer in his face are not exactly recommended by Miss Manners? (And if you were raised by aliens, expect a lump of coal in your next Xmas stocking if a wimpy poster convinces you to abandonContinue reading “Subway Manners…For Aliens”

Honest Abe Gets An Extreme Makeover

I thought playing Rhett Butler in an all-Japanese, all-female production of Gone With The Wind was about as gender-bendy as you could get, but now one of the esteemed actresses in the famed Takarazuka troupe is donning beard and top hat to portray America’s most gangly abolitionist! •

How About A Nice Cup Of Civet Poop Coffee?

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, er, leaves the rest for industrious pooper-scoopers to turn into the world’s weirdest brew. Of course, once I spied a weird old-fashioned coffee bar near Shinjuku station withContinue reading “How About A Nice Cup Of Civet Poop Coffee?”

The Deli For Dogs

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 and duck muzzles could grab a bite, but when I looked closer, all the artfully styled food models above the refrigerator case were intended for dogs! I know. I shouldn’t beContinue reading “The Deli For Dogs”

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. •

Eat ALL The Bugs

Aieee, what is this, AUSTRALIA? I mean, what if you got up in the morning and snagged your bread from the toaster before you’d had your coffee and when you went to take your first bite, there was a giant BEE LEG staring right up at you? Or, even worse, what if you were deleting your spam while you ateContinue reading “Eat ALL The Bugs”

Jolly Despot Costumes I Would Regret

Recently I discovered this primo autocrat disguise, so you can give fellow revelers a choice: laugh at your jokes…or quake in fear as missiles are pointed in your general direction. Saw these at Don Kihote store in Shibuya. •

Haunted Prison Restaurant? Yes, Please!

Do you even have to ask? Of course Tokyo has a restaurant where you get locked into a cell and made to drink cocktails with eyeballs in them! Every group gets their own private cell, and each seating features a monster show with live cast members roaming the prison. Food is fairly decent, with well-executed prison-themed names andContinue reading “Haunted Prison Restaurant? Yes, Please!”

The Angry Cat Ghost Vending Machine

Walking through Shinjuku station today, I discovered I had a burning need for angry cat ghosts. Fortunately, there was a bank of gacha-gacha vending machines smack in the middle of the concourse, ready to cater to all my feline spiritual needs. This series may be sold out by the time you’re next in Tokyo, butContinue reading “The Angry Cat Ghost Vending Machine”

Tokyo Design Festa 2015: Seriously, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Last weekend, Tokyo’s Design Festa delivered a level of craziness so far beyond words that once again, I’m just going to have to show you pictures. First, from the double rainbow world of animal goods… Design Festa is held twice a year, in May and November. Admission is ¥1000 for a one day ticket, ¥1800 for a two-day pass, childrenContinue reading “Tokyo Design Festa 2015: Seriously, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up”

The Triple-Decker Noodle Burger

Just when you thought America had cornered the market when it came to eating ALL the carbs, Japanese burger chain Loteria one-ups the red-white-‘n-blue with this tri-deck noodle monster. Yes, it’s that carbo-load favorite, noodles on a bun. Times three. Enjoy. •

Sexy Red Undies Opposite Day

So, there’s this street in Tokyo I’ve written about before that’s known as the “Grandma & Grandpa’s Harajuku” because it’s where all the oldsters go to stock up on the latest elderly comforts and fashions. My favorite store on Koshinzuka Street is the “Red Underpants” shop, which specializes in many, many, MANY styles of lucky red underwearContinue reading “Sexy Red Undies Opposite Day”

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”

Ten Best Stocking Stuffers From Japan!

10. SUSHI SOCKS 9. DIY CROSS STITCH PHONE CASE 8. ANIMAL SKELETONS 7. DEVIL WAX 6. EYELID EXERCISER 5. EMOJI EYE MASK 4. DEODORANT CANDY 3. NINJA SNACK PICKS 2. THE STATUE OF TOO MUCH LIBERTY 1. PIGGY ZAPPER • Still need a gift idea? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense onContinue reading “Ten Best Stocking Stuffers From Japan!”

Top Ten Only In Japan Holiday Gifts 2014!

10. What do you give the person who has everything? They’ve already got a one-shot coffee maker. And a one-shot tea machine. But I bet they don’t have a ONE-SHOT MISO SOUP MAKER! 9. Landing a blow for equal opportunity character pillows, the otaku girls on your list will love sleeping with the SINGING PRINCE DREAM CUSHION! 8.Continue reading “Top Ten Only In Japan Holiday Gifts 2014!”

Tokyo Design Festa: Zombie Matryoshika & More

If you’re in Tokyo, get thee to Design Festa RIGHT NOW! It’s on through Sunday the 9th, out in Odaiba at Big Sight. You definitely don’t want to miss seeing (and buying!): Design Festa is on from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. through Sunday November 9 at Tokyo Big Sight convention center, near Kokusai-tenjijo Station.Continue reading “Tokyo Design Festa: Zombie Matryoshika & More”

The Statue Of Too Much Liberty

These have got to be the most awesome gacha-gacha vending machine snags of all time! These little plastic figures depict Lady Liberty morphing into “Too-Free Goddess” and assuming unseemly poses! But forget trying to blackmail her with threats to tweet her indiscretions far and wide – there are already stop-action videos up on YouTube… For even more weirdness, there are videos that go withContinue reading “The Statue Of Too Much Liberty”

Spicy Tomato Filled Doughnuts?

Aieeeee, when I saw this on the menu at Krispy Kreme, I knew I’d have to strap on my Try Anything Once Cojones and take one for the team! So I bit into it and it was…odd. Not bad, exactly, but it definitely didn’t trigger the usual Step Away From That Bag O’Doughnuts warning sirens either. The doughnutty partContinue reading “Spicy Tomato Filled Doughnuts?”

Yes, Even The Cheese Is Black

I finally tried Burger King Japan’s most recent all-black, all-the-time burger offering, and OMG please don’t look now, but I wolfed it down in record time. It looks pretty weird (especially the BLACK CHEESE) but the taste was I-think-I’d-better-have-another-in-the-interest-of-science good. Bun, cheese and sauce are all flavored with bamboo charcoal and squid ink – two things I’d normally avoid like theContinue reading “Yes, Even The Cheese Is Black”

Frankly, My Dear, I Don’t Give A Damn (That We’re Both Female And Japanese!)

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) and all-American soldiers fighting the Japanese (South Pacific), it’s not so much of a stretch to imagine a dashing Rhette-ette sweeping Scarlett off her feet. ButContinue reading “Frankly, My Dear, I Don’t Give A Damn (That We’re Both Female And Japanese!)”

I Hope You Wanted Marlboros

This vending machine offers you a choice between Marlboros and…Marlboros. It could be a glimpse of some horrible apocalyptic future in which the only beer left on Earth is Miller Light and the only mayo is Miracle Whip, or it could be the latest example of a popular Japanese advertising trend: make the product stand out on the shelf by…buying up all the shelves. This is the first time I’ve seenContinue reading “I Hope You Wanted Marlboros”

Veggie Ice Cream?!

From the land of snacks with tentacles and fish bone crackers comes the latest healthy food disguised as a snack: carrot and tomato ice cream! Haagen-Dazs Japan hit the subways with a “secret” poster campaign this month, introducing the latest way for even the most dedicated junk food addict to get some stealth vegetables. The carrot one is mixed withContinue reading “Veggie Ice Cream?!”

World’s Worst Popsicle

If spaghetti-flavored ice on a stick isn’t the world’s worst idea for a snack, I don’t know what is. But, in an act of supreme self-sacrifice, I tried it, so you don’t have to! Supposedly, the “Napolitan Rich” Gari-Gari contains pockets of tomato jelly, but I was unable to detect them in the short time the instantly-regretted biteContinue reading “World’s Worst Popsicle”

Salty Dragonblood Toothpaste

But what I want to know is, how do they KNOW the dragons only ate pesticide-free virgins? Is the blood harvested from organically-certified, knight-armor-free, farm-grown dragons? You can get your very own Toothpaste Of Targaryens at the Tokyu Hands store in Ikebukuro. •

Cuddle Up With An Adorable Slice Of Raw Fish

Okay, I thought the stuffed animal wizards were pretty much scraping the bottom of the vertebrate barrel when they came up with Kapybara-san a few years ago. I mean, how many of your childhood friends were really dying to invite the world’s largest rodent into bed with them? I rest my case. And I thoughtContinue reading “Cuddle Up With An Adorable Slice Of Raw Fish”