Friday, October 31, 2014

Do you believe it? Fortune-telling by Blood Type

In Japan, “fortune-telling by blood type” is even shown on morning news shows. Japanese people fret over the results of their fortune-telling and even bring up the subject when meeting people for the first time. So what do people from other countries think about Japanese people being interested in fortune-telling by blood type?

Personality of people who are type A is “neat” “serious” “methodical”, and some books about fortune-telling by blood types said “diligent” “down-to-earth” “avoid dispute” “negative” “nagging”.

Personality of people who are type B is “selfish” “rough” “go own pace”, and books said “friendly” “like festival” “good-natured” “spendthrift”.

Personality of people who are type O is “slipshod” “big-hearted”, and books said “loving” “thrive in the face of reverse” “take good care of someone” “realistic” “simple mind” “stubborn”

Personality of people who are type AB “troublesome” “split personality” “free” “strange”, and books said “cool” “not greedy” “unique” “smart”.

Personality test by their blood is too popular in Japan and it could be said as a part of culture, even though there is no scientific reasons.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Becoming a Maiko or Samurai in Kyoto

Have you ever hear of Geisha (or Maiko) or Samurai? Of course you have if you are interested in japan.

Would you lie to become a part of old Japan? There are a number of locations in Kyoto where you can try on the elegant makeup and intricately patterned kimono of the Geisha (or Maiko) or test your mettle as swordfighter in Samurai wear. Most locations will allow you to take photographs to commemorate and share your experience with friends and family back home.


Maiko is an apprentice of Geisha who is going through arts training for about 5 years.

Geisha is a woman who is trained in the Japanese traditional arts such as dancing, singing, and others. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kampai (Cheers!) in Japanese Izakaya

Izakayas are essentially Japanese taverns – drinking houses with a menu of small dishes for snacking while drinking. It literally means “stay sake shop” so traditionally this was a place where you could sit and drink on the premises. In today’s izakayas you can order food and drink and hang out with friends for an evening. Many also offer bottle keep where your unfinished bottle of shochu is waiting for you when you return.

Depending on the izakaya, customers sit on tatami mats and dine from low tables in the traditional Japanese style, or sit on chairs and drink/dine from tables. Many izakaya offer a choice of both, as well as seating by the bar.

Since Izakaya serves alcohol, it would be not good for family with small kids. Those Izakaya are more popular among college students and business people. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Restaurants’ displays of fake food are real deal for tourists

Fancy menus may be enough for most restaurant diners around the world, but not in Japan. Here, image is everything and before going in for a bite, people want to see exactly what the food they want to order looks like.

These mouth-watering fake food models are popular all throughout Japan and recently neighboring countries like South Korea and China have also adopted this ingenious marketing technique. But it’s more than just advertising good food, the level of detail have raised this craft to an art form and several displays have been exhibited in famous venues like the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London.

It is actually fun to see how they are made. Try youtube or something to watch how those are actually created!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Loose Japanese Cartoon Characters Boom

In the early to late 2000s there was an explosion of cartoon mascots in Japan known as Yuru Kyara. This can be translated literally as loose characters. Yuru Kyara are simple and cute — the kind of cartoon character a child could draw.

Yuru Kyara boomed in the 2000s. Suddenly every Japanese tourist attraction large and small had one. The Japanese media got interested and a handful of local cartoon characters shot to national fame. There were Yuru Kyara Matsuri (loose character festivals) where characters from all over Japan could compete.

Do you find your favorite Japanese Yuru Kyara?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Magical Machine for Creating the Faces and Styles that Young Girls Long For

Purikura, a shortened form of "print club" in Japanese, refers to photo sticker booths that print out stickers of photo portraits set against backgrounds and frames selected by the user. Since their market debut in 1995, purikura have been a major hit in Japan, especialy among high school girls.

Purikura today are equipped with functions to guarantee that skin looks beautiful in the photos. A high-capacity camera flash lamp illuminates the booth in pure white light. The monitor allows users to select from backgrounds and frames to create an image of their own choosing, designed to be cute, soft, or cool.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Japanese gambling machine Pachinko

Pachinko is a mixture of slot machine and pinball. The player is quite passive while playing pachinko. He or she is only controlling the speed with which many small steel balls are thrown into the pachinko machine.

Most of the balls just fall down the machine and disappear, but a few find their way into special holes. This activates a kind of slot machine. Like with slot machines, you win if the same three pictures appear. This occurs quite rarely in pachinko, but if it happens, you win countless new balls. When just playing for 500 or 1000 yen, you may likely just lose all your balls within a few minutes.

Pachinko machines can be found in pachinko parlors which are spread over the whole country. Many parlors also offer a corner with slot machines. One can recognize parlors easily because they are bright and colorful. Inside a parlor it is loud and smoky. Both men and women play pachinko and it is said that there are even a few pachinko professionals.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The "depachika" of Japan are fun places, kind of like food theme parks.

Japanese depachika are Japan’s department store food floors which boast a mind-boggling array of foods. Depachika are located on the bottom floor of Japanese department stores. The word “depachika” is a combination of the Japanese word “depaato,” which is Japanese for department store, and “chika,” which is Japanese for basement.”

With a diverse array of delicatessen shop spaces carrying Japanese, Western, and Chinese food, these "depachika" areas are almost like outdoor markets. There is so much variety available, it seems like there is nothing that cannot be bought here. And some shops offer food samples. If you are offered, try a bite!!