The free-roaming deer of Nara Park in Nara, Japan (said to contain at least 1,500 wild deer that sometimes wander into train stations and use crosswalks) have become somewhat of an emblem of the area. Visitors to Nara often purchase shika senbei (deer crackers) to feed the deer, who very much welcome the attention.
Another reason they’ve become the symbol of the area is Nara Park’s proximity to Todaiji Temple, where the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue and the UNESCO World Heritage Site is enshrined. Deer are sometimes said to be the messengers of Shinto deities, and so it’s a fitting spot for them to hang around.
A gorgeous shot captured by talented Japanese photographer Hisa (@Hisa0808) might just back up that claim. The photographer recently visited Nara Park and snapped a picture of what he is calling “the most stylish deer in history”, and that certainly seems to be true!
The perfectly set up show captures the beautiful autumn scenery of Nara Park in full glory, and the cover of a the rest area in the background looks like a halo above the deer’s head. The photo has gotten a lot of deserved praise on Twitter, with some saying it’s like a scene out of Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, and that it has a divine quality.
Cause bathing with a rubber duck is too mainstream!
In the list of #OnlyInJapan activities, please add bathing in onsen with real ducks..
It may sound like a joke but this is very real. 😀
Arai-san, Tamagawa Onsen manager, was raising two cute little ducks at home. For the 10th anniversary of the onsen, he thought why not bring these lovely creatures to the onsen!
Well, as you can imagine, the regular customers of the bathhouse were a bit surprised to see these new guests. But they loved them, specially the kids.
From that point, the ducks started to make regular appearances during the weekends and holidays.
Who needs a rubber duck anymore? 🙂
To get a bit more info about Tamagawa Onsen, it is located in Saitama prefecture, in the North of Tokyo. Here’s the exact location of the onsen: Tamagawa Onsen On Google Maps.
So, would you soak in an onsen with real ducks next to you? Let us know in the comments!
Traditional Japanese Sushi Rolls – Sushi is to Japan what a croissant is to France. Both types of food have become somewhat of a symbol of the nation’s promise to deliver an unimaginable food experience. Whilst you’ve probably eaten these types of food multiple times, there is something rather exciting about finally being able to experience it at its origin.
In most countries around the world, adaptation of traditional sushi has meant that types such as California rolls, prawn tempura rolls, and tuna mayo rolls are amongst the most popular.
However, in true Japanese fashion, most traditional sushi rolls are modest in filling and don’t contain many fried options.
If getting the full traditional sushi experience is on your list, then we recommend you run through this list. Familiarise yourself with these 12 most traditional Japanese sushi rolls and let us know which one you prefer!
Before to read our list, if you want to make sushi rolls at home, get our Sushi Making Kit and enjoy preparing and eating yummy sushi rolls at home with your friends and family!
1. Tuna Roll (Tekka Maki)
Tuna rolls are probably one of the most common and most popular types of sushi rolls you can get around the world. However, whereas you would probably be more used to cooked tuna mixed with mayonnaise with a side of cucumber, the traditional tekka maki roll has only one filling: raw tuna.
Raw tuna is enjoyed in Japan as a common delicacy due to its soft flesh and easy availability. Around the world, it might be a pricier menu item, but in Japan you will find it readily available at most sushi stores.
It’s a simple sushi roll with only raw tuna encased in sushi rice, rolled within one sheet of nori.
2. Cucumber Roll (Kappa Maki)
<img title="Traditional Japanese Sushi …continue reading
Japan Etiquette – Japan is a country that welcomes tens of thousands of visitors as its peak. It’s fast becoming one of the most popular countries to visit in the world and has even landed on the list of becoming one of the most popular places that people want to move to!
It’s incredibly alluring lifestyle and perfect mix of traditional culture with modern-day advancements continues to fascinate people from all around the world.
However, as you may have heard by now, it’s a country that runs on fairly rigid rules. Most of the time, foreigners are forgiven for breaking some of the social etiquette expected to be upheld in Japan. It is still polite, though, to make the effort to understand what some of these are so that you can actively avoid offending locals.
Below we’ve listed the top 20 things you should not do when you visit Japan.
Don’t be too hard on yourself and expect that you will be able to remember every single one, every single time. However, be conscious that this is how the Japanese people live and they will appreciate you making the effort!
1. Remove shoes when entering most indoor areas
Removing shoes when entering a home is a common rule for most Asian households. This is no exception in Japan. However, this country may take it a step further than you are used to.
Some workplaces, restaurants, and even schools and accommodations will expect you to take off your shoes when entering.
For most of the public places, there will be a shoe locker for you to store your shoes in before entering, so there is a safety measure in that. Most of the time, with any restaurants that have tatami mat floors, this is the case.
Many readers may be wondering what exactly Masahiko Kondo did to be hated by housewives across Japan so much. It wasn’t like he had killed anyone so clearly the anger is out of touch – or so I used to think.
I was incredibly naive.
Trigger Warning for mentions of suicide!
Any fan of Akina Nakamori knows about the infamous 1989 suicide attempt, wherein Akina had attempted to commit suicide at Kondo’s apartment in July 1989. Like most I had not thought too much into this, simply assuming that it was due to FRIDAY publishing reports in February of that year that Kondo had been cheating on her with Seiko Matsuda, long known to be Akina’s major rival. During a time when even a regular relationship between idols was scandalous, this sort of love triangle – with Akina‘s main rival, no less – was absolutely earth shattering.
But according to the republished articles that FRIDAY is running this week, the problems were much worse than I could imagine. While it was well known that the couple, who by that point had been going out for six years, had very different attitudes towards marriage, what is less known is the fact that Akina had financed much of Kondo’s side hobbies, including car racing. In fact, this was later confirmed in the 90s when journalists from FRIDAY spoke with staff at Akina’s former agency confirming the existence of debts Kondo owed to his ex-girlfriend and her agency to the tune of several tens of millions of yen.
Even after the tragic suicide attempt, it was clear that the two were still in touch, and Kondo was still living far beyond the means afforded even to a Johnny’s idol at the peak of his career. This is the backdrop to the infamous “golden screen incident“. …continue reading
In Japan, a chimpo has a whole other meaning.
It’s now been just over a year since Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle officially stepped back as senior members of the British Royal Family. Since then, the couple, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, made the move over to the U.S., where they’re now expecting their second child, and Harry has landed a new job as a Chief Impact Officer for a Silicon Valley mental health services startup called BetterUp.
Like many job titles, the role of Chief Impact Officer can be shortened to an acronym, and in this case it’s being referred to as “CHIMPO” in the U.S. While a lot of people in Britain have mused over the odd-sounding acronym, here in Japan, the musing has turned into stifled giggling, with even local media outlets tittering at the news.
That’s because, in Japan, the word “chimpo” is slang for “penis”.
Yes, that’s right–Prince Harry is now a “chimpo”, and you can bet people in Japan weren’t going to let the news go without a laugh.
A situation like that last one there would leave any Japanese-speaker red-faced, so let’s hope Harry gets the memo on what the word “chimpo” means in Japanese. But given that he was once mistaken for a wax figure by a Japanese newspaper, a trip to Japan probably won’t be on the cards for a while.
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NOW BACK TO BUSINESS
School principal appears to be laying the blame on the 12-year-old girl and her family environment.
On 13 February, second-year junior high school student Saaya Hirose disappeared from her house in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, at around 6 p.m. when temperatures were minus 17 degrees Celsius (one degree Fahrenheit).
Police began a public investigation and family, friends and volunteers searched for over a month for the 14-year-old, whose body was eventually discovered in a snow-covered park on 23 March. An autopsy deemed hypothermia to be the cause of death, and experts say it’s likely Hirose had succumbed to the cold on the day of her disappearance, with the body only being found once the snow began to melt.
▼ Hokkaido is one of Japan’s snowiest regions, receiving an average of 3.83 meters (12.56 feet) of snow each year.
As investigators attempted to piece together the reasons why Hirose had gone to the park on a freezing night, disturbing details of bullying came to light. Weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun received permission from Hirose’s mother to publish her daughter’s real name and report on the details to share her daughter’s plight, and the extent of what the young teenager had to endure has shocked everyone around the nation.
According to Shukan Bunshun’s report, Hirose’s mother first noticed a change in her daughter’s character when she entered junior high school in April 2019. Very few students from Hirose’s elementary school entered this school, which made it hard for her to adjust.
In mid-April, Hirose became acquainted with a student at the school, two years her senior, while at a children’s park nearby, where Hirose would often study or read in the time between the end of school and the start …continue reading
Moon-viewing pavilion offers out-of-this-world sight.
Generally, temples in Japan close their gates once the sun goes down. On special occasions, though, they’ll stay open later, and these events are a real treat for photographers, since the temple grounds take on a timeless quality as the surrounding modern world fades into the shadows.
So when Mii Temple, also known as Nagarasan Onjo Temple, in the city of Otsu, Shiga Prefecture announced it’d be open after sundown earlier this month, Japanese Twitter user @auki999 grabbed her camera and headed out to snap some pictures.
The glow of the lanterns imparted a comforting warmth to the gateways and courtyard, and what was really special was that the temple, for the first time, was allowing visitors access to its mitzuki butai, or “moon-viewing pavilion.” Built in 1849, as the name implies the structure’s primary purpose is a spot from which to admire the moon on clear nights, but the night of @auki999’s visit coincided with the height of cherry blossom season, allowing her to capture this amazing image.
But as soon as your brain finishes shouting “Wow!”, the next thing it’s going to say is probably “What?” There somehow seem to be sakura both above and below, but this is actually some awesomely clever camera placement at work.
Because of the age of the moon-viewing pavilion, the temple took the precaution of laying down protective acrylic panels in the center of its floorspace. Since the panels are clear, they take on a mirror-like quality when viewed from certain angles, and so it’s …continue reading