Category Archives: SOCIETY

A Unique Way to Apologise - no bloodspill required

Committing suppuku (ritual suicide) seems a bit of an extreme way to show remorse for a mistake or wrongdoing to me. Thankfully a creative Tokyo confectioner, 3rd generation owner YoshihisaWATANABE, came up with a slightly less life altering way to offer one’s apologies. Enter, the seppuku manju, a Japanese-style sweet produced by confectionary company Shinshodo. Sinshodo is located in Shimbashi, Tokyo, near a stone monument marking the place of death of Lord ASANO Takuminokami. Asano-san was ordered to commit ritual suicide after attempting to his instructor with a sword. He killed himselfin a garden what was not too far from thethe stone monument erected in 1940 in 4-chome Shimbashi, on Hibiya-dori. The popular “seppuku manju” is made with a red bean paste oozing out from a crisp outer shell. Biting into the sweet, you discover a soft, chewy white mochi (sticky rice cake) in the centre. Visually, the sweet is a representation of the bloody deed. These days, business people who need to apologies to a client for example, will produce a box of these sweets to show their remorse. Traditionally, the most common form of ritual suicide is harakiri, also known as seppuku. Harakiri (腹切り) and seppuku (切腹) are …continue reading


7 Places in Tokyo to Check Out If You’re a Gamer

Source: Gaijin Pot

Japan is like nirvana for gamers. Not only has it been responsible for trendsetting hardware — did anyone try the Nintendo Switch yet? — it’s also the home of some of the most famous video games to date: Super Mario Bros, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, The Legend of Zelda… the list is pretty much endless. Though Japan’s dominance of the global gaming market has weakened in recent years, the reverence lives on.

If you’re living or traveling in Japan and want to immerse yourself in some amazing gaming culture, here are seven places to visit — and inevitabl,y spend dangerous amounts of money.

VR Park, Shibuya

😂😂 #vrparktokyo #hengrinadventures

A post shared by Rina Vitug (@rinanings) on Apr 18, 2017 at 7:51pm PDT

VR Park in Shibuya is one of Japan’s first forays into a dedicated virtual reality theme park. The park offers up to eight machines, each with their own unique game as well as one with multi-player. The entire experience will only set you back a few thousand yen and it’s a great place to go if you want to escape reality — literally.

Akihabara Electric Town

Seaside Cinema brings free movies to Yokohama this Golden Week

Enjoy your flicks by the ocean at a limited time only cinema to be set up at the Marine & Walk shopping plaza in Yokohama for Golden Week 2017.Seaside Cinema is the name of temporary movie theater of sorts that will be screening movies by the sea over the Golden Week period. Operating under the slogan, ‘a movie theater nestled by the beach at night’, the concept here is enjoyment of the ocean and music, with movies selected to fit these themes. With the ever impressive backdrop of Yokohama’s Minato Mirai, and access to some of the fancy grub Marine & Walk, Seaside Cinema looks like it could make for a fine evening out. Oh, and it’s free!Seaside Cinema ScreeningsMay 2The Shallows (Japanese title: ロスト・バケーション / Lost Vacation)Running time ~ 1 hr 27 minsOK, so perhaps not obvious choice of film to host a pleasant evening out by the bay. In The Shallows, director Jaume Collet-Serra puts lead actress Blake Lively through her paces by casting her as a surfer, out for a solo session at a remote break, who gets attacked by a shark. The attack leaves Lively in bad shape, stranded on a …continue reading


Japan Stationery Musuem, Tokyo

Yatate portable pen and ink case, Japan Stationery Museum, Taito ward, Tokyo.


Yatate portable pen and ink case, Japan Stationery Museum, Taito ward, Tokyo.

The Japan Stationery Museum (Nihon Bungu Shiryokan) is a small repository of things to do with writing – in the broadest sense of the word – in the Yanagibashi district of Taito ward, Tokyo.

The museum occupies the first floor of the Tokyo Bungu Hanbai Kenpo Kaikan (The Tokyo Stationers’ Insurance Hall), and packs a lot into quite a small space.

Display cases in the Japan Stationery Museum

There are the expected things on display like pens, pencils and calligraphy paraphernalia, but even among these certain items stand out such as replicas of pencils used by the Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543–1616) and the military commander Masamune Date (1567–1636), ancient Chinese ink stones, and Edo era ink cases (that look like smoking pipes). There are ink bottles, and a huge calligraphy brush made from 50 horses’ tails and weighing 14kg.

There are examples of Egyptian papyrus, quill pens, bamboo pens, grass pens, antique fountain pens representing dozens of illustrious brands, and all manner of other writing implements.

<img alt="Ink bottles, Japan Stationery Museum, Taito-ku, Tokyo." border="0" height="266" src="" title="Ink bottle …continue reading

A Guide to Crane Games

Stuffed toys. Chocolate. Replica katana. Wireless keyboards. Pocket watches. Anime figurines and models. Fukubukuro. Snacks. These are just a handful of things I have seen offered as prizes in the crane games inside of Japanese gaming centers. Some are bizarre, some enchanting, but most are deceptively difficult to deliver. Here are a few tips and tricks to get the most out of your crane-gaming experiences in Japan.First, let’s look at the variation of crane games currently offered. I realize that not everyone spent hours of their youth in the cheap arcade of a Texas bowling alley, mastering the art of the claw machine, but that lack of experience doesn’t mean you can’t win anything. While winning might not be easy, there are many variations of the machine and strategies to win. Let’s start with the basics.The most traditional model of the claw machine has a three pronged claw which is controlled by a joystick or button panel that move it into position above the desired prize. The claw then drops and clamps the prize, bring it up and into a prize chute or tilting it over an edge into a prize chute. In a perfect world, it’s just that easy.The …continue reading