Tokyo

Tokyo Bug Eating Club to Hold Festival Tomorrow, Guess What’s on the Menu?

As icky as it sounds to many of us brought up in Western cultures, the human consumption of insects is common in many parts of the world.

Most Japanese people are on the same page as the rest of the developed world in thinking of bugs as unappetizing—not to mention creepy, gross, and/or scary— little creatures that have no place in the home, and especially not on the dinner plate.

However, there are some rural regions of Japan where insects are are a local delicacy, and have been so for centuries. In Nagano, the prefecture this writer calls home, you can walk into any supermarket and expect to find plastic packs of grasshopper (inago) or stonefly larva (suzumushi) boiled in soy sauce, and sometimes even read-to-eat packs of boiled wasp larva mixed in with rice (hachinoko-gohan).

In the cities, eating bugs is still taboo, and even in rural areas insect cuisine is now considered fringe cuisine, especially among the younger generations.  But in Tokyo, there is a group of people who believe that bugs just need to be given a chance, which is why they are hosting what is now the 4th annual Tokyo Insect Eating Festival (Tokyo Mushikui Festival) on November 23.

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Japan’s Newest National Stadium Design is Decided, but is it the Best Choice?

Since its construction finished in 1958, Japan’s National Stadium in Shinjuku, Tokyo has served its nation proud. It was the field of play for the 1964 Summer Olympics and survived the 2011 Tohoku earthquake unscathed.

However, with the 2019 Rugby World Cup scheduled, it was time for a makeover to the tune of (pinky finger to lips) a billion dollars!

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Disney’s Dreamland Illuminations in Harajuku Light up Your World, You Won’t Want to Go Home

In celebration of Walt Disney’s 110th Anniversary, Disney has put together a literal dreamland of illumination displays in Harajuku, Tokyo.  A part of the larger “Walt Disney 110th Anniversary Omotesando Harajuku Dream Together Project 2012,” these light displays are open from November 1st to December 25 and are already drawing crowds of viewers.

Our female correspondent visited the display last week and tells us that while Harajuku’s Disney Dreamland illumination event is a must see for Disney lovers, even if you aren’t a Disney fan, you will surely be impressed by this awesome display of lights.

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Despite their irrepressible desire to rip off and devour our flesh, people love zombies. Zombie movies, zombie books, zombie games, zombie theme park events… people are just as obsessed with “consuming” zombies as they are with consuming us.

And now, with Halloween just around the corner, there are more ways than ever to get your zombie fix. In Japan, for example, you can even sit down and have cute zombie maids serve you coffee at the zombie maid café, Maid of the Dead.

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Biryani Restaurant in the Middle of Tokyo Offers a Delightful Taste of Spice with Your Rice, Open One Day a Week

We Japanese love rice; we’re quite obsessed with rice, in fact. We all have our favorite brand of rice, depending on the specific type of rice and the location it was grown (yes, location is very important and can greatly affect the price of the rice), and some people shell out a fortune to buy super-expensive “high-end” brand rice. But not many Japanese people are familiar with biryani, the spicy flavored rice common in India and some Muslim countries as well.

One of our reporters at the Pouch site recently had the chance to taste some excellent biryani right in the middle of Tokyo and shares with us her experience. Her report follows below. Read More

Cornman Continues to Patrol Tokyo’s Yamanote Line, but Why?

Recent reports of an unidentified passenger of the Yamanote subway line in Tokyo including this recent picture has every one asking: “Who is Cornman?” and more importantly, “What the hell is he doing?”

The first known photo (below) was tweeted back in May and showed a seemingly normal fellow towing what appeared to be a single unhusked ear of corn attached by a bright red dog leash heading towards the station exit.

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Tokyo Station Newly Renovated to Its Former Splendor, But Where are the Remaining Four Zodiac Signs?

Tokyo Station, with its attractive red brick structure, is a place where eastern and western Japan come together.  People from all over the country and all over the world pass through Tokyo Station daily.  It is representative of the extensive Japanese railway system which branches out to all places in Japan.

Anybody passing through the station within the last few years probably couldn’t help but notice the sounds and wonder about what they were doing behind those walls.  After five years of this construction, renovations were finally completed on October 1st.  Tokyo Station has been restored to its original splendor from when it first opened 100 years ago. Read More

One Car Parking Lot in Tokyo Gets Confused Reviews Overseas, Disappears Suddenly

Following a number of reddit users fawning over the greenery topped architecture of Namba Parks, this photo of a tiny single car parking complex also made a splash in different way.

Located by a pedestrian near Kanda Station people all over were perplexed and amused by this little business.  Many were confused over the inclusion of a vending machine, security camera, extensive signage, and space numbering system – for one space.

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Inspiring or Inconsiderate? Foreigner Plays Guitar for Frustrated Train Passengers While Stranded in Typhoon

On Sept. 30, Typhoon Jelawat struck the eastern part of Aichi prefecture, Japan and then proceeded to move north, causing flight delays and affecting public transportation across the eastern region of the main island.

In Tokyo, train schedules throughout the city were disrupted and one section of the JR Chuo Line was even forced to shut down before trains could make it back to their stations, trapping passengers inside the cars until weather conditions improved.

Now, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that nothing can ruin a day (week?) like being held up in an unexpected transportation or traffic accident. The general mood among passengers in those stranded cars must have been pretty sour. Which is why it’s amazing one foreigner had the pluck to take out his guitar and start serenading his fellow passengers while they waited for the storm to pass.

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Starbucks Espresso Journey in Harajuku Provides a Unique Coffee Experience at the World’s First Starbucks Pop-up Store

Starbucks Japan invites you to enjoy a “supreme espresso experience” at the chain’s first-ever pop-up store in Tokyo.  Created by designer Oki Sato, co-founder of design company Nendo, and nestled in the trendy Harajuku district of Tokyo, this unique Starbucks event is aimed at providing visitors with a memorable coffee drinking experience.  Visitors can enjoy back-to-basics coffee drinks which highlight the richness of Starbucks espresso and are even able to try their hand at making Starbucks coffee and sample Starbucks Via flavored coffee in the second floor’s “experience space.”

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Tokyo School Principal: Don’t Report Bullying to the Police, Or Else!

A student from a private integrated junior high/ high school in Tokyo filed a complaint with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police as a victim of bullying.  It was later learned that the 15 year-old high school student was allegedly advised by his principal not to go to the police on threat of not being able to enter high school.

The boy and his mother claim that he was sworn to silence as a condition of his graduating from middle school.  However, as the bullying continued into high school he decided to go to the police.

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Japanese Man Pulls Knife on Teenagers For Littering, “I Just Wanted to Warn Them”

Japan is known for being one of the cleanest countries in the world, surely a point of pride for many Japanese people. But is it enough to pull a knife on someone for littering?

Last month, Tokyo police arrested a 60-year-old man for threatening a female high school student with a knife after they threw their trash on the ground of a public park.

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Spain’s La Tomatina Festival is Coming to Tokyo This Weekend

Ever wondered what it would be like to be covered from head to toe in tomatoes?

Ever dreamed of smashing a tomato in someone’s face?

Ever wanted to see the streets run red…with tomato juice?

If so, you may think you have to head all the way over to Spain to partake in Valencia’s world famous La Tomatina festival.  However, those of you who live in Japan are in luck.  You only have to go as far as Tokyo.  That’s right, on September 9th, at the Tamagawa river in Tokyo, adventurers and pasta sauce enthusiasts alike can participate in a large-scale tomato fight just like the one in Spain.

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Commuters, Mothers and Government Bump Heads Over Baby Buggy Posters

Japan is a country notorious for its high level of politeness.  However, deep within its tangled, serpentine train system, common courtesy is often cast aside and Thunderdome rules apply.  I’ve seen grown men push aside old ladies and old ladies push aside me in order to get the best spot.

This being the case, Tokyo Metropolitan Area’s rail companies and the city itself began to spread over 5,000 posters calling for passengers to give some leeway to women with baby carriages.  As a result, they have received over 1,000 complaints and growing.

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Chilled Soy Milk Ramen Topped With Rayu Ice Cream is Newest Creation at Adventurous Musashi Ramen Shop

The world’s most venturesome ramen shop, Musashi Noodles, fearlessly created a cold ramen dish with soy milk soup and rayu, or chili oil, ice cream.  Musashi Noodles is a Japanese noodle shop franchise.  Their Shinjuku branch held a Valentines special promotion back in February featuring Unique Chocolate Ramen.

Summer in Japan is when ramen shops do a booming business in cold noodle dishes like  hiyashi chuka.   This new creation dubbed ‘tonyu hiyashi men’ or soy milk cold noodles, is available for a limited time only.  Notice the  scoop of red rayu ice cream floating in the white soy milk soup.  A timely creation, full of national pride for all those medals won in the Olympics!   But what about the taste?  One of our reporters went to check it out. Read More

6-Month Hatsune Miku Production Course to be Offered in Tokyo This September

Love Hatsune Miku and wish you could create your own Vocaloid music and music videos?

Digital Hollywood, a Tokyo-based school offering degree and certification programs in IT and digital media, announced they will be holding a 6-month course on CG animation and music video production using Vocaloid software and characters.

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Anonymous Japan to Hold Second “Cleaning Service” During Today’s Comiket

The Japanese branch of global hactivist group Anonymous has announced they will be holding their second Anonymous Cleaning Service event at Comic Market 82, which started today at 10am Japan time.

Those wishing to participate should ready their Guy Fawkes masks and head to the Yagurabashi pedestrian bridge in front of Tokyo Big Site by 3pm. Participants should also be prepared to take home whatever trash they collect and dispose of it themselves (there are no trash cans on the street in Japan).

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Pile It On! Beef Rice Bowls May be Japan’s Favorite Rice Bowl Dish, But This Pork Bowl Certainly Offers a Tasty and Voluminous Alternative

Okay, it’s a fact that the Japanese love “gyu-don— braised beef and onions on rice, sometimes topped with a raw egg. All over Japan, you can find a gyudon shop on almost every street. But what if you’re in a mood for something other than a beef rice bowl? Well, we’ve found a shop that offers an excellent alternative, “buta-don“, or pork on rice. And we’re not talking about just any regular buta-don. At this shop, you can order an extra-large buta-don that really piles the pork on – so much, in fact, that you can barely see the bowl beneath all the pork! Read More

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