Tag: Japan

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How Virtual Penguins are Leading the Way to Tokyo's Sunshine Aquarium

Where: Tokyo, Japan
October 23, 2013 at 3:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

As is well known and widely acknowledged, Japan is a land of crazy. The plain assertion doesn't really require any proof, but if it did there are entire websites devoted to the insanity that pervades the Land of the Rising Sun. Even their zoos and aquariums are batshit, allowing you to do everything from shake hands with otters to watch Santa Claus play with dolphins.

Somewhere in between shaking otters hands and Santa Claud on a dolphin, there's this very cute bit of travel advertising from Japan's Sunshine Aquarium. The tourist attraction is kind of a hike from the nearest station, and aquarium officials wanted to make sure people could find it. The solution? An augmented reality app where penguins guide tourists along the right path. Because Japan, of course.

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Get Your Adorable Otter Handshakes in (Where Else But) Japan

Where: Japan
July 18, 2013 at 1:25 PM | by | Comment (1)

Last summer we gave you a guide for visiting baby otters at various zoos around the United States. You guys seemed to like the post, which makes sense since it was about baby otters. But what if you're a person who wants to hang out with cute otters, and now it's a whole new summer?

If you're lucky, and you're indulging in Japan Travel, then there's a fairly straightforward solution: go visit the Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park. Not only do they have otters, but they have otters that will actually shake your hand and interact with you. Just so everyone's on the same page before we get to the nitty-gritty details: there's a place in Japan where you can go, pay a $5 charge, and then an adorable otter will take your finger and say hi. Damn, some things are better in Japan.

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Travel Advertising Video Showdown: Norway vs Japan

November 1, 2012 at 12:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

Fun fact: Widerøe is the largest regional airline in the Nordic countries. We've had a simply adorable piece of their travel advertising in the queue for weeks. Copyranter called it "the best airline spot I've seen in a long time" and insisted that "the casting, the acting, and most importantly, the idea [are] all perfect." AdFreak gushed that the commercial "triumphs" and "almost makes you believe in magic." This, friends, is the very definition of easy content.

But then we came across this other bit of travel advertising, from Japanese travel site Jalan. In this one, a cat karate-chops a watermelon. That's not the weirdest part of the commercial either, by far. There's also a monkey rolling by an indifferent kitten. On a beach ball. Of course on a beach ball. Buzzfeed turned part of the video into an animated gif. Of course an animated gif.

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Japanese Officials Try to Explain Away Massive Airport Security Fail

October 10, 2012 at 4:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

Japanese airport security officials are defending themselves and insisting that "there was nothing unusual" about Yongda Huang Harris, a Chinese-born U.S. citizen who boarded a flight in Osaka last week bound for Boston via LAX. That assertion is in question—and seems at least somewhat strained—since Harris was subsequently arrested in the Los Angeles airport when a customs officer noticed he was wearing a bulletproof vest and flame-retardant leggings under his trench coat.

Also discovered in Harris's luggage, and also casting doubt on the claims of those officials: "a smoke grenade, a hatchet, knives, three leather-coated lead-filled billy clubs, a gas mask, a Tyvek biohazard suit, leg irons, handcuffs, body bags, a collapsible baton, various masks, duct tape, batteries, oven mitts, cooking tongs, plastic cuffs, and some sort of device to repel dogs." Ummm...?

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Global Turmoil Hitting Travel Industry in...Actually, Pretty Much Everywhere

September 28, 2012 at 3:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes politics impacts travel. It's an even more unfortunate fact of life that sometimes politics impacts travel so much that we have to write about it on a Friday afternoon instead of easing you into the weekend with baby animal pictures. And yet here we are, with flights being emptied or cancelled across three continents because of a variety of geopolitical flare-ups.

The most dramatic bit of travel politics comes out of Japan, where no less than 40,000 seat reservations to China have been canceled. China has been on a bit of a tear recently, claiming a bunch of islands that by and large aren't straightforwardly quite theirs. The campaign has put them on a collision course with various other countries in the region (obviously) and one of those countries is Japan. There have been anti-Japan protests in China and, apparently, lots of Japanese people are sufficiently pissed off to cancel vacations to China.

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Japan Explains 'Grope and Change' TSA Policy

September 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

On one hand, it's a little bold for Japanese comics to be spoofing American behavior on the same week that Japanese scientists are showcasing their hilariously disturbing pregnancy simulator vest around the country. Japan doesn't have a lock on Jaunted's weird travel category, but they're not exactly under-represented either (not one but two separate posts just about weird bras!) So a little bit of cross-cultural modesty is called for here.

On the other hand, the Washington Post did just publish a story about a TSA agent who got somewhat flummoxed by something "shiny." Literally. Too sparkly!

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More JAL Rumors, and This Time They're In American's Favor

February 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Remember when we told you about those rumors trickling out of Japanese media outlets, to the effect that JAL was dumping American/oneworld and embracing Delta/SkyTeam? Remember how we told you that the story made sense because, the shadiness of the sourcing aside, switching probably makes the most financial sense for the bankrupt Japanese airline? Turns out we may have called that putt a little too early:

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Baby, It's Cold Outside, Especially at the Backcountry Film Festival

November 2, 2009 at 3:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Experience the Australian Alps from the comfort of a movie theater

Film, at its best, has the ability to transport us to a different time, place or state of mind. The great leisure of cinematic travel is that you do so parked in a plush theater chair for two or so hours, with a jumbo pack of Milk Duds and Red Vines by your side. The Fifth Annual Backcountry Film Festival aims to take theatergoers on a tour of wintry locations the world over, from Vermont to Japan.

Your lift ticket to mountainous and blistering-cold regions comes in the form of films shot in the backcountry of different nations, including unlikely places such as Australia. It's a little-known fact that there is snowboarding along with surfing down under.

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Tokyo: Whiskey Magnate Museum Moves Into New Digs

Where: Tokyo, Japan
April 26, 2007 at 1:16 PM | by | Comments (0)


For relaxing times, make it Suntory time. Bill Murray was forced to repeat this line over and over in the movie "Lost in Translation," so you'll have to forgive us for having it stuck in our noggins. Now art aficionados can make it Suntory time during daylight hours in Tokyo with the new home of the Suntory Museum of Art.

Scenesters who know the museum's home district of Roppongi as nightclub central might be surprised to see kimonos and lacquered plates in the new modernist building, whose architect Kengo Kuma told Bloomberg News he wanted to create an "urban living room" for the artifacts. According to this week's Newsweek, it's part of a city revitalization plan called Tokyo Midtown patterned after New York City (there's even a Dean and Deluca) and hoping to draw more cultural attractions into Tokyo's city center.

Developers turned down chain stores and international names in favor of encouraging small business owners to move in to the bamboo-and-washi-paper-decorated stores, while a nearby apartment complex entices would-be shoppers to pursue their retail passions full time. So let's raise a glass to Suntory and the Tokyo Midtown project.

[Photo: Yamaguchi.net]

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The Fake Flush

Where: Japan
January 17, 2007 at 10:15 AM | by | Comments (0)


Heading to Japan for a spot of English teaching has been a popular pastime for a couple of decades now, but those who go still find things a bit surprising. Nearly nothing is as you'd expect, from bathing naked to bad Japanese soda like SMAP and really weird flavors of ice cream.

A couple of gals who are currently finding this all out for themselves are running a nice blog called Japan Nomads, and this week Emily explained some of the intricacies of using Japanese toilets. Of course, mastering the "squat" toilet (and what to do with your clothing while you do) is a trick that helps you out in many parts of Asia, but some of the technology that Emily points out seems a bit more Japan-specific:

Perhaps even more exciting than different styles of toilets, Japanese toilets often have four or five buttons ... One button, labeled with a music note, creates a flushing sound when pushed to cover any embarrassing bathroom noises, which for many Japanese women, is any bathroom noise. The others mostly relate to the integrated bidet, which both sprays clean water and blow dries, right from the toilet. Travelers beware, the shock of pressing a strange button and suddenly feeling a jet of water can lead to jumping and soaked pants.

So you can't say we haven't warned you.

[Photo: AmiSng]

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Catch the Northern Lights (Without Going North)

Where: Hokkaido, Japan
January 5, 2007 at 10:15 AM | by | Comments (0)


The Japanese are the experts at recreating the world within their own borders--after all, they often don't have time to leave. There's their recreation of the Netherlands at Huis Ten Bosch near Nagasaki, little Denmark in the Tivoli park at Kurashiki, and even their own copy of the Eiffel Tower in Tokyo.

You'd think that natural phenomena would be exempt from this copy-cat syndrome, but in the northern island of Hokkaido, this is definitely not the case. If you've ever wanted to see the Aurora or Northern Lights but had bad timing or bad weather when you traveled north, then head to Shiretoko, Hokkaido instead. This year from February 5 to March 21, seeing the Aurora is guaranteed: there's a laser imitation of it running every evening from 8 p.m. The wonders of all the world in just one country: what a great idea for saving on emissions.

[Photo: Eva&Kjartan]

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Fat Guys Keep Fighting in 2007

Where: Japan
January 3, 2007 at 10:05 AM | by | Comments (0)


If you missed out on this September's Grand Sumo tournament, you'll want to pay close attention to the information on the 2007 Sumo schedule in Japan. During 2007 there'll be the usual six grand sumo championships, each lasting 15 days, with the first kicking off on January 7 in Tokyo.

In fact, the Sumo organization's website, especially its English version, is really improving, and you can now read pre-tournament interviews with sumo luminaries like champion big-guy-in-a-diaper Asashoryu, who says "I want to do my best to go after the next championship while extending my undefeated streak."

Did you misread that too? We thought he was talking about steak. If you want to feel thin without going on your on diet, get to Japan and a sumo tournament in 2007 and you'll be happy and content for months.

[Photo: we-make-money-not-art]

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· Sumo Surprise [Jaunted]