The Kaihōgyō is a quest to become a living Buddha through 1000 days of gruelling rituals. Ivan Olita was granted rare access to a temple near Kyoto to film The Seven Year Pilgrimage to Enlightenment.
The Park Playground Tumblr features Kito Fujio's gorgeous, dramatically lit photos of Japan's whimsical playground equipment: climbers, slides and other fun stuff styled to look like animals, abstract modernist forms, world monuments, magical creatures, robots, gadgets, and whimsical beasts. Read the rest
I can think of at least three feline-loving friends of mine who are going to flip when they see these cute cat-shaped sandals.
With the soles shaped like the silhouette of a cat, the "Nyarageta" is a fun take on traditional Japanese geta sandals. Geta sandals are sort of a cross between clogs and flip-flops and are usually made with wooden soles. This version, however, is made with a softer material called "elastic cell foam sponge EVA."
According to SoraNews24, even the name is playful: “Nya” means meow, "Nara" is the name of the Japanese city where they’re from and, of course, "geta" are the sandals themselves.
One pair costs 3,780 Yen or approximately $33.84.
In this video, you'll learn why you shouldn't rub chopsticks together to remove splinters, stick your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice, pass morsels from one set of chopsticks to another, and two other dining taboos. Read the rest
The Intercept publishes a previously-unseen set of Snowden docs detailing more than $500,000,000 worth of secret payments by the Japanese government to the NSA, in exchange for access to the NSA's specialized surveillance capabilities, in likely contravention of Japanese privacy law (the secrecy of the program means that the legality was never debated, so no one is sure whether it broke the law). Read the rest
Japan-based food vloggers Simon and Martina try the only Frappuccino drink that comes with its own pie crust lid. Read the rest
The convenience stores in Japan are wonderful. They are clean, have seating, the prepared food is very tasty, and they are everywhere you look. The 7-Elevens are one of the few places (besides post offices) with ATMs that dispense cash for US travelers with debit cards. This video takes a look at Japanese convenience stores, called konbini (コンビニ).