114 posts tagged Japan
114 posts tagged Japan
This magnificent white castle is entirely made of paper. The awesomely intricate work of papercraft was created by Japanese artist Wataru Itou, who spent four years on the project. Entitled Umi no Ue no Oshiro, which translates to mean ‘A Castle on the Ocean,’ the 2009 installation featured a moving train and enchanting internal lighting structure.
[via Twisted Sifter]
These adorable Sushi Trucks are the work of Japanese artists Yasuhiko Hayashi and Yusuke Nakano. They created this awesomely kawaii method for transporting pieces of delicious sushi to hungry customers in order to demonstrate how serving food can be a fun and creative enterprise.
Of course, no matter how hungry we were, we wouldn’t be able to resist the opportunity to drive our sushi trucks around the bar, pretending to be voracious kaiju, before driving them right into our mouths. Om nom nom nom!
Dark Roasted Blend recently assembled an impressive collection of Extremely Weird Bus Stops & Shelters. Our favourites include the fabulous disco bus stop, kawaii fruit and fish-shaped bus stops (that are, of course, located in Japan), a hungry bunny bus shelter (caught in the act of devouring two ladies oblivious to their peril, and the ferocious great white shark bench in Bangkok, Thailand (previously featured here).
Visit Dark Roasted Blend to view many more strange and wonderful bust stops.
Japanese embroidery artist Hiroko Kubota stitches the images of cute Internet kitties onto white button-down shirts and sells them via her Etsy shop. It all began because of her son, who really loves cats and requested that she sew the images of some of his favourite found felines onto his shirts. Because she often couldn’t find ready-made clothing that fit him properly, Hiroko was already making clothes for her son, so enhancing them with cute kitties was a fun addition.
After posting her creations online they quickly went viral (like most Internet cats do), prompting Kubota to open an Etsy shop 6 months ago. Despite the hefty price tag for a shirt ($250 – $300) she quickly racked up 15 sales and her current inventory is looking a bit slim.
Act quickly if you want to snag a hand-made kitty shirt while you still can.
[via Spoon & Tamago]
The arrival of wintertime in Japan doesn’t just bring the sweetness of mandarin oranges, or Mikan, for snacking, it brings another outlet for ridiculously cute art as well. Mikan Art is the Japanese practice of tearing, cutting, and twisting the peels of mandarin oranges so that they resemble kawaii creatures and objects. The orange snail is so wonderful and simple, we feel like we’re now going to be unable to peel an orange without briefly creating a snail friend first.
In 2010, Yasuhiro Okada published a book entitled Atarashii Mikan no Mukikata or New Ways to Peel a Mikan, which provides 25 diagrams and instructions for creating entertaining shapes using mikan peel.
These cute, if perplexing, photos were each taken in places called Squirrel Gardens (“risu-en” or リス園 in Japanese). Who’s ready for another Geyser of Awesome field trip? It’s clear that we’ve found yet another reason why we should all get together and travel to Japan, and this time we need to pack a suitcase full of Squirrel Underpants.
Squirrel Gardens are “zoos that specialize in squirrels, and depending on where you go, they have different breeds of the critters as well as other small furry animals like guinea pigs and rabbits.”
As you can see from these photos, some places even allow visitors to touch and feed the squirrels (other locations specifically request that you don’t do either). We aren’t sure if the protective mittens are provided by the gardens or if people bring them themselves. Either way, they seem like a pretty good idea.
Squirrel Gardens can be found throughout Japan, but the most famous squirrel garden is located in Machida, Tokyo. Called Machida Risu-en and open since 1988, it has roughly 200 squirrels which roam around the main plaza. That is a lot of squirrels. In fact, maybe we should pack two suitcases of Squirrel Underpants instead.
Visit Kotaku to view many more photos of Japan’s awesome Squirrel Gardens.
Lots of people love to travel and plenty of people do, but there are also lots of people out there who, sometimes because of physical or psychological challenges, can’t get out very easily, if at all. That’s where a tender-hearted, 38-year-old, Japanese entrepreneur named Sonoe Azuma comes in. Three years ago she started a business called Unagi Travel, a self-described “travel agency for stuffed animals.” Sonoe arranges vacations and day-trips for stuffed animals, taking photos and videos all the while, so that their owners may vicariously experience the adventures of their plush friends.
Travelogues are uploaded to Facebook, where the owners can follow what activities their stuffed animals are up to.
"So far, more than 200 stuffed animals have participated in the trips, and some of them sign up regularly. I would say 40 percent of my business is repeat customers," Azuma told The Yomiuri Shimbun. She now organizes ten trips a month and has even taken stuffed animals abroad to the U.S. and Europe.
These trips aren’t just entertaining for Sonoe’s customers, some of whom suffer from depression and/or social anxiety, they also encourage people to work up the strength/courage/motivation to get out and travel themselves.
"I want to see and walk around the sights that I viewed through my stuffed animal’s journeys someday,” a 51-year-old woman from Saga Prefecture told Yomiuri. The woman had become a recluse because an illness had made walking difficult. However, she was inspired to rehabilitate her legs and go out in the world after seeing her stuffed animal on an Unagi Travel tour.
"Seeing my stuffed animal traveling encouraged me," she said. "I began to think that I should do what I can do, instead of lamenting over things that I can’t.
We just found the work of another awesome coffee artist. These tantalizing latte portraits are the work of Japanese latte artist Mattsun, currently treating people to delicious works of caffeinated art in Tokyo. Mattsun began creating drinkable works of art back in 2009 while working at an Italian restaurant. In 2011 he held a very popular solo exhibition, entitled Blue Sky Latte Art, in Dōtonbori, Osaka, Japan. To date he has created over 500 pieces of latter art and hopes to one day own a mobile cafe so that he can use his artwork to “bring smiles to people all across Japan.”
"The product itself comes with all the ingredients required, and a large bucket to prepare in and create a twenty serving crème caramel intended to be shared.”
What sort of pudding do we want? Anthropomorphic Giga Pudding! The kawaii treat that’s so eager to be eaten by you, it starts eating itself first. Strange and awesome.
Would you care for a piping hot bowl of ramen? Let’s hope not because these bowls contain only sweet, deliciously deceptive cake. We’re always delighted by cakes that look like anything but cake. And these examples of Japanese Ramen Cake (ラーメンケーキ) are mouthwateringly awesome.
The Ramen Cake seen in the top photo was created by ochikeron of Create Eat Happy. She also made a fascinating How to Make Ramen Cake instructional video. The video’s description includes a complete recipe, so now you can go make your own tricksy bowl of noodles.
Visit Kotaku to see more examples of Ramen cake from around Japan.