24 Jul

- Until 2014 July 31st, you can enter for a chance to win a free subscription to an excellent online language study program!
Click here to enter.

- And until 2014 August 31st, you can enter to win a free copy of an excellent book about Japanese architecture!
Click here to enter.

10 obscure Japanese vending machine drinks that fly under the beverage radar

27 Jul Featured Image -- 10554


You can buy all kinds of things from vending machines in Japan!

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

WD 2

With the rainy season over and done, we’ve been seeing day after day of scorching sunshine here in the Tokyo area. If you’re spending much time outdoors, whether sightseeing or just commuting to and from work or school, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids, since it’s the best way to ward off dehydration.

Thankfully, Japan is covered in vending machines, so you’re never too far away from a cold, refreshing beverage. Of course, you can only knock back so many bottles of Coca-Cola before getting bored with the flavor, so we’ve scoured the streets of Tokyo and came back with no fewer than 10 vending machine drinks that fly under the radar in Japan.

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Pikachu’s dramatic decline in popularity captured in photos

24 Jul Featured Image -- 10545


Poor Pikachu!

Originally posted on RocketNews24:


Back in the day, Pikachu was just the best. He was cute, bold and dangerous all at the same time, had a cute voice and said nothing but his own name. People the world over loved him. Then Pokemon got like 5,000 other collectible monsters and Pikachu kind of took a backseat to the cooler new kids in class.

For a while, Pikachu clung to his fame like an aging Hollywood star exhibiting a little too much potbelly and affinity for sub sandwiches, but now, like a DJ part-timing as a kid’s birthday party clown, he’s stooped to new lows – showing up for any random appearance with five to ten audience members and the promise of some Tauros meat.

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Book review & giveaway 1: The Art Of Japanese Architecture

22 Jul

Tuttle Books has kindly given a couple of books to me to read and review on my blog here.

And they also said that they will give one free copy of each book to a random visitor to my blog!

I will put the information about how you can enter for a chance to win a free book directly from the publisher at the end of this post.

The first book that I will review here is titled: “The Art Of Japanese Architecture” by David and Michiko Young.


If you are interested in Japanese culture, architecture (both traditional and modern), and/or beautiful photographs of Japan, then this book will be of interest to you!

The authors of this book share their comprehensive and detailed knowledge of the structure, design and function of every type of Japanese house, temple, shrine, castle, etc.

It was very interesting to learn how Japanese culture, foreign influences (Chinese, Indian, Korean and western), and local weather have impacted the building designs in Japan.

The Art Of Japanese Architecture” covers all types of buildings in all areas of Japan from 10,000 BC up to today.

And then there are the photographs! There are loads of photographs in this book and many of them are of one or even two full pages in size. And they are gorgeous photos!

The Art Of Japanese Architecture” can be purchased on by clicking here
but, as I mentioned above, the publisher has kindly agreed to give one free copy to one random visitor of my blog!

Fill in this form by August 31st, 2014 to enter the chance to win a free copy of “The Art Of Japanese Architecture“:

Man on the moon

20 Jul

Today (2014 July 20th) is the forty-fifth anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969 by American astronauts Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin.

30th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Mission

Click here to read a Huffington Post article about this anniversary and to see a video of the Apollo 11 rocket that carried the first men to the moon.

Zoo Jeans

15 Jul

From Japan Today:

A zoo in Ibaraki Prefecture has taken the catwalk to a wild new level, using some of its fiercest inhabitants to rip and claw jeans to a fashionably distressed look.

The facility in Kamine has unveiled “Zoo Jeans”, styled by the fangs and claws of lions, tigers and bears.

Zoo officials said the material held up well, all things considered.

“We wrapped several pieces of denim around tires and other toys. Once they were thrown into the enclosures, the animals jumped on them,” said zoo director Nobutaka Namae, adding that the pieces were later patched together to create the finished product.


“The denim was actually much tougher than we had thought, and it turned out nicely destroyed.”

The idea came from a Tokyo advertising executive who wanted to give something back to the zoo where he spent time as a child, Namae added.

Two pairs of jeans ripped by lions and a tiger-destroyed version are being auctioned on the Internet with proceeds to be donated to the zoo and the conservation group WWF.

As of Monday, bidding on the tiger-torn denim had soared to ¥121,000 (about US$1,191).

They will be on exhibit at the Kamine Zoo—along with a bear-savaged version—until next week.

Japanese people react to reading that “pizza is a vegetable in America”

12 Jul Featured Image -- 10511


Pizza is my favorite “vegetable”!

Originally posted on RocketNews24:


If you live in the States, you may remember a few years ago when Congress blocked a proposal that aimed to make school lunches for children healthier. One of the provisions which stirred up considerable debate involved increasing the amount of tomato paste necessary to be considered a full serving of fruits and vegetables, but the proposal was eventually nixed, effectively maintaining that the tomato sauce used on pizza could count as a serving of vegetables.

After a Japanese news site broke the story fashionably late last month, Japanese people were incredulous to hear that from a legal standpoint, “pizza is a vegetable” in the U.S. Read on to learn more about the ongoing debate and some reactions of readers.

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