Japan loves all things kawaii, it’s deeply ingrained in all aspects of modern day living. But what is kawaii? And where did it come from? Read on to discover why kawaii is so much more than just a word.
A Shop of Different World Views – Irregular Rhythm Asylum and the Heartbeat of Japanese Counterculture
The moment you venture into the infoshop, be prepared to gaze upon reams of posters, books, “zines,” t-shirts, and other goods that favor countercultural ideas. From anarchist thinkers such as Mikhail Bakunin to early Japanese nonconformists like Noe Ito and Kotoku Shusui, you’ll find something to sink your political teeth into without much trouble.
Massively popular toy dispensing capsule machines known as “Gachapon” can be found all around Japan. Named onomatopoeically “gacha” represents the sound that the machine makes when you put a coin in and twist the handle, and “pon” represents the noise of a little plastic ball falling out.
Manga Souko is a chain of second hand stores found throughout Japan. Touted as a “recycle store”, they buy and sell games, DVDs, manga, books, clothing, furniture, toys, decor, textiles, musical instruments, leisure equipment, electronics, and collectibles. With stores located in the Chubu, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa regions, you aren’t too far away from experiencing one of these magical places.
Having never been to either of Tokyo’s Disney resorts, we weren’t sure which of the two to start with, but ended up choosing Disney Sea. Here is how we maximised our fun and minimised the waiting time.
From 8th December 2018 to 24th February 2019, the Studio Ghibli Exhibition is entertaining young and old fans in Toyama City. Come to the Toyama Glass Art Museum and soak in the magic! This creative exhibition draws visitors into an intricate maze. As you figure out your way to the exit, the world of Ghibli envelops you with a wealth of history, culture, arts and philosophy. Don’t worry about getting lost, you’ll be presented with a road map at the entrance.
Virtual Reality is a relatively new concept, with many experimental titles still in the works by both large companies and independent developers. VR is the future of gaming, with hand devices and headsets to take you from just watching a screen to being fully immersed in the game’s world.
At the Ishinomori Manga Museum, visitors can see a special exhibit featuring one hundred of Sanrio’s iconic characters. There is everything from cute displays of illustrations, company history, vintage character goods and merchandise, and advertisements for Sanrio’s most recent mobile dating sim, manga, and anime titled Sanrio Danshi: Never Without My Favorite Friend.
Sayama Hills is a forest park about one hour outside of Tokyo located in Saitama prefecture. It was the forest that inspired Hayao Miyazaki to create the movie “My Neighbor Totoro.” If you’re as big a fan of anime as I am, then you’ll enjoy this small hike.
The cake is not always cut in this triangle shape, but always features the same ingredients: yokan and castella.