Tag Archives: japan

holy flume ride.

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The Onbashira festival is held only once every six years, (next one will be in April 2022), to metaphorically revitalize the Suwa shrines. The historic and lengthy event has been performed for over 1,200 years in Japan, and consists of two month-long components. The Yamadashi takes place in April, during which four very large tree trunks are felled by hand axes in the cemetery of a shinto shrine. They are wrapped and adorned in red and white, and then dragged by teams of men towards the Shinto shrines, who test their courage during the trial by performing “kiotoshi”: dangerously riding the logs downhill on rough inclines. The Satokibi, in May, sees these logs used as symbolic support structures. They are raised in the shrines by hand, while one man straddles the top, singing. When it is fully raised, and the man on top balanced many feet in the air, success is declared. A remarkable spectacle.

“to celebrate a festival means; to live out,

for some special occasion and in an uncommon manner,

the universal assent to the world as a whole.”

-joseph pieper

 

source credits: mental floss magazine

eel good.

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"Don't let me be lon-eel-y tonight."

An Aquarium in Japan Wants You to FaceTime With Its Shy Eels

“Many people have turned to video chat as a way to continue socializing while in quarantine, and the Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo, Japan, is asking you to help its eels do the same.

After the aquarium closed its doors to the public on March 1, its population of 300-odd spotted garden eels became increasingly bashful, burrowing into the sand whenever staff members were around. Although that isn’t abnormal behavior for wild garden eels, the ones in captivity at Sumida had adapted to the consistent, non-threatening presence of human visitors, and no longer tried to hide whenever someone approached.

This return to reticence is making it hard for employees to monitor their health, so they’ve devised a plan to reacclimate the tiny creatures to the existence of people: a three-day “face-showing festival” from Sunday, May 3, to Tuesday, May 5. During that time, the aquarium is requesting that people FaceTime the eels, waving or calmly calling out to them for up to 5 minutes before disconnecting.

Since they’ll be using FaceTime, you’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device to call in. Staff members will be accepting calls on five tablets around the tanks, so there are five different email addresses you can try if you’d like to chat with the eels:

helpchin001@gmail.com
helpchin002@gmail.com
helpchin003@gmail.com
helpchin004@gmail.com
helpchin005@gmail.com

The lines will be open each day from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m JST, and because Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of EST, participants in the U.S. will technically need to call in the night before; i.e. from Saturday, May 2, to Monday, May 4, between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 1 a.m EST.In other words, it’s the perfect time to read a very short bedtime story to a very small eel.

 

“i don’t mind eels. except as meals.”

-ogden nash

 

credits: ellen gutosky, mental floss

because i am a dog.

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An adorable Shiba Inu named Ken-kun in Hokkaido, Japan remarkably runs his own sweet potato stand. 

The watchful dog politely tends to whatever the customer needs, however, he is not able to accept payment. That situation is solved with a slot in which to put the money.

Customers need to have the exact amount (or be willing to leave the rest), as a sign on the front of the stand reads:

“Because I am a dog, I can’t give you change.”

“the dog lives for the day, the hour, even the moment.”

-robert falcon scott

 

 

 

sources: Lori Dorn, laughing squid

early.

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Japanese commuters

Japanese train departs

25 seconds early – again!

A Japanese rail company has apologised after a train left a station 25 seconds early, the second such case in months.The operator said the “great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable”.

If the details are anything to go by, customers are faced with slipping standards: a train last November left 20 seconds early while this time it was a full 25 seconds premature.

 

Japanese trains have a reputation for extreme punctuality, and it turned out that there were indeed still people hoping to get onboard. Left on the platform, they complained to the rail operator and an official apology was issued shortly afterwards.

In the case last November, management on the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba said they “sincerely apologise for the inconvenience” caused. Back then the mishap was also caused by the conductor mixing up departure times – though no passenger was left behind.

“it’s too early to go, but it’s never too late to leave.”

-anthony t. hincks
credits: bbc news/asia, japan today
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how to wash ‘n roll away your winter blues.

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jet-set-japenese-spa-rollercoaster_0
Japan’s Hot Tub Rollercoaster Takes Water Parks to a New Level

A city in Japan is teasing plans of the world’s first spa-themed amusement park.

In a concept video, Beppu City on Japan’s Kyushu island showed off an idea for a new “spamusement park.” The video featured visitors at typical amusement park attractions—a carousel, ferris wheel and roller coaster—but instead of seats for each ride, there were hot tubs.

In the video, visitors entered the rides wearing only a towel—which begs the question: Are visitors to the potential site supposed to walk around in wet towels all day? Also: How does the water stay inside the ride and off electrical equipment? And how are we keeping all these rides clean?

Despite many logistical questions, the spamusement park could become reality.

The mayor of Beppu declared that once the video reached 1 million views (a somewhat low bar in 2016 for a video of people in towels riding roller coasters), the city would begin working on the onsen (hot spring) amusement park. The video has been viewed more than 2 million times since it was uploaded last week and the mayor announced in a statement that work has begun. However, it’s entirely possible that the rides shown in the video will not actually happen.

“We are still discussing safety issues, for example, whether we could actually run hot water inside a roller coaster,” a spokesperson for Beppu’s tourist department told The Japan Times. “But the rides will be something fun.”

Beppu is already an onsen tourist destination—there are more than 2,000 hot springs for visitors to choose from. However the city recently launched an initiative to become the “spa city of the world.” Last year, Beppu welcomed 437,764 foreign tourists.

No completion date for the project has yet been announced.

credits: travel and leisure magazine, cailey rizzo, bravo

tsundoku.

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tsundoku

the word dates back to the very beginning of modern japan,

the meiji era (1868-1912), and has its origins in a pun.

tsundoku, which literally means reading pile, is written in japanese as 積ん読

tsunde oku means to let something pile up and is written 積んでおく

around the turn of the century they swapped out the

oku (おく) for doku (読) – meaning to read.

because tsunde doku was hard to say,

the word was combined to form tsundoku.

this is the perfect word to describe certain places in my cottage

credits: dan colman, mental floss, reddit image

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