Category Archives: SOCIETY

Ginza 300 Bar: Homegrown, Handmade and High-Quality

Source: Gaijin Pot
Ginza 300 Bar Best Bar in Tokyo

If you’ve spent any time in Tokyo looking for a reliable watering hole (that doesn’t put a major dent in your wallet with outrageous drinks prices, entrance fees, and table charges), then you’ve probably stumbled across (or out of) the original 300 Bar in Ginza — or one of its two sister venues nearby.

A family and tourist-friendly bar in Ginza, Tokyo

Ginza 300 Bar 5-Chome, Ginza 300 Bar 8-Chome, and Ginza 300 Bar Next are all located in Ginza, renowned as being the poshest area in Tokyo. If you aren’t super familiar with the area, live elsewhere in the Kanto region (or Japan) or are just traveling in Tokyo — it can be a tricky location to find a comfortable, family and tourist-friendly space to enjoy cocktails, have some bites and mingle with friendly locals.

For over 25 years, 300 Bar has been the place in the area to do this thanks to its welcoming staff, English menu and fun, international atmosphere.

The best bar in Tokyo for cheap, top quality cocktails

Ginza 300 Bar Best Bar in Tokyo Cocktails

True to its name everything on the menu is only ¥300. After work or shopping, before dinner or heading out to a club or as a destination in its own right, you can stop by these standing bars, known as tachinomi in Japanese, and enjoy a quality tipple for the cost of just three ¥100 coins. Even better, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the happy hour at Ginza 300 Bar puts even its top-shelf premium spirits on sale for ¥300.

Did we mention that all this happens in the middle of ultra-glitzy Ginza and within an easy walk of Ginza, Shimbashi, Yurakucho and Hibiya stations?

May …continue reading

    

6 Hollywood Ripoffs of Japanese Anime and Manga

Source: Gaijin Pot

With superhero film series like Spider Man and Batman done and redone to death, it’s become a cliche to say that Hollywood has run out of ideas.

So what do you do when you run out of ideas? Get them from someone — or in Hollywood’s case — somewhere else. For many years now, Hollywood has been trying and mostly failing to adapt popular Japanese anime and manga for the big screen. Likewise, television networks and streaming services have followed suit trying to produce live action television remakes of the same. A good example of this would be Netflix’s live action series Erased.

Sadly, good examples of American live action adaptations are few and far between. Whether it be the difficulty of adapting stories between very different mediums or failed attempts to please both Japanese and American target audiences, it seems like Western production companies just can’t seem to get it right.

While good live action adaptations may be few, there are some gems out there that definitely deserve a watch. The films or shows on this list comprise three of the biggest failures and three of the most well-done Western remakes of popular Japanese anime and manga.

THE FLOPS

1. Death Note (2017)

There are very few manga that captured my interest — and scores of others around the world — as quickly as Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

From the same duo that brought us the hit series Bakuman, Death Note is a perfectly-paced, heart-pumping crime-thriller about a boy named Light Yagami who finds a death god’s notebook. The story revolves around a “death note” from the journal that has the power to kill whoever’s name is written within it.

As the saying goes, absolute …continue reading

    

Japan’s Noisy But Entertaining Local Elections Are Finally Over

Source: Gaijin Pot
Japan's Local Elections Are Finally Over

Local elections for mayors and municipal assemblies in Japan just wrapped up on Sunday, and thank goodness for that.

This means there will be no more would-be politicians riding around town in campaign vans, yelling out their names repeatedly over megaphones. No more soapboxing outside train stations. And no more tissue marketing. Well, at least not until 12 days before the next local election.

You see, local elections in Japan are a bit different from other countries. What politician hopefuls can and cannot do is extremely regulated, including rules such no door-to-door campaigning, as well as no campaigning until 12 days before election day. The result is Japan’s modern-day campaign style, which can be both a blessing and a curse — and also, pretty hilarious.

The blessing is that there are no smear campaigns, no flashy billboards, and no television adverts to interrupt your favorite programming. The curse? Those blaring and annoying vans, mostly. So much so that if you make a quick Google search for 選挙(せんきょ)カー, or “election van,” the first autocomplete search result that comes up with it is 迷惑(めいわく) which means “annoyance.”

And as for the hilarity, it mostly comes in the form of bizarre campaign posters. These are heavily regulated too, having to fit inside a 297 cm by 420 cm rectangle on a poster board to show who is running for a seat in the municipal assembly.

This year, a particularly ballsy poster for Hachioji Ward assemblywoman hopeful Shoko Hirota showed her completely naked and doing the splits.

八王子市議選に出てる人のポスター、なかなかのインパクトだ・・ pic.twitter.com/BTTjxZdGLF

— ジャポニスタン (@japonistan) April 14, 2019

Twitter user @japonistan posted the picture, saying, “This poster for the Hachioji Ward candidate makes quite an impact…”

Hirota’s campaign, as shown on the poster, is “A future for each and every life.” Despite all the attention that she gained on …continue reading

    

Ultimate Guide to the Most Popular Japan Art Festival: Setouchi Triennale

Source: Gaijin Pot

If you’re into Japanese art and culture, both contemporary and traditional, and want to discover a remote part of Japan studded with scenic views and fresh seafood, the 2019 Setouchi Triennale is the event you don’t want to miss this year.

While the festival happens on multiple and mostly remote locations, our guide will go through how and why each locale is special, so you’ll be ready to confidently get to and enjoy each one.

Here is what’s included in the following guide:

Why go?

One of the biggest art festivals in Japan, the Setouchi Triennale takes place on 12 small islands and two ports of the eastern part of Japan’s Seto Inland Sea.

You’ve probably seen photos of the Yellow Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama at least once or twice without knowing where it really resides. The giant polka dot-covered sculpture has become a symbol of the fantastical art-and-island experience the Setouchi Triennale holds, but it is just one of the around 200 mysterious artworks, installations, and events from artists from all over the world that you can discover there.

Angel Road at Shodoshima, one of the islands in the scenic Setouchi area.

While a contemporary art festival, the Triennale deals with art in the widest possible meaning, also including architecture, traditional crafts, food, performing arts …continue reading