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Cool Japan / Ice sculptures, snow slides at Hokkaido fest

Ice sculptures, snow slides at Hokkaido fest
Japan Times - Feb 3, 2012
News photo
(Winter in the city: Scenes from last year's Sapporo Snow Festival show
the range of activities available for visitors to enjoy.)

The City of Sapporo will be hosting the 63rd annual Snow Festival this month. The event is considered a "must see" for tourists and about 2 million people visited the festival last year. The main draw is a collection of sculptures created entirely out of snow and ice. This year, organizers say that 222 sculptures will be on display. The festival is held at three different sites in the city. The main site is at Odori Park, which is in the middle of downtown Sapporo. The site will feature 136 sculptures, and stages that will host a variety of performances scheduled to take place throughout the week.(Japan Times)
Japan's celebration of Spring: Penis and vagina festivals
weirdasianews.com - Feb 3, 2012

Dating back more than 1,500 years, Japan's rites of spring are deeply rooted in its agricultural past. As in all the world's ancient cultures, such observances were believed to promote a successful harvest and produce many babies. It is ironic that Japan's Penis and Vagina Festival is an annual event dating back to ancient times and today that nation has one of the world's lowest birth rates. The government hopes to ease the financial burden of child-rearing and encourage more children by offering a monthly stipend of $280 per child. But these annual festivals, which attract many tourists and fill local coffers, offer more encouragement on a visceral level. (weirdasianews.com)

Hamamatsu new 'gyoza' capital
Japan Times - Feb 2, 2012

Boasting dozens of restaurants and shops and the highest household consumption rate of "gyoza," Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, has long been regarded as the capital of the Chinese dumpling as well. News photo Pot stickers: "Gyoza" dumplings are arranged for a photo Wednesday at a restaurant in Minato Ward, Tokyo. YOSHIAKI MIURA But no longer. For the first time in 16 years, the city lost its No. 1 ranking in gyoza consumption, beaten out by Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, according to a recent survey of household spending released Tuesday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Last year, Utsunomiya households spent on average just \3,737 on the dumplings, down 40 percent from a record high \6,133 in 2010. Meanwhile, households in Hamamatsu spent \4,313, down 10 percent from \4,754 in 2010. (Japan Times)

Gundam park to open in Odaiba
Japan Times - Feb 2, 2012

A theme park featuring popular "anime" series "Mobile Suit Gundam" will open on April 19 in Tokyo's Odaiba district. According to Bandai Co., the new theme park, named Gundam Front Tokyo, will have a huge dome-shaped screen showing images of Gundam, the venerated fighting robot in the popular series, and rare documents related to the series' production will be on display. The theme park will be on the seventh floor of a new shopping complex, DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, opening on April 19. An 18-meter statue of Gundam will stand outside the complex. A second outlet of the popular Gundam Cafe, located in Akihabara, Tokyo, will also open on the second floor of the complex. (Japan Times)

Akihabara opens subculture center
Japan Times - Jan 31, 2012
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lueroz7WoS1qamhyd.jpg
(Akihabara opens subculture center)

A new landmark has opened in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics district that houses specialty shops for "Akiba culture" goods. The six-story Akiba Culture Zone, which used to be a Laox Co. computer store until it closed in 2007 after business declined, now has tenants offering such items as comics, animation figurines and pop idol goods. The shops include K-Books on the first and second floors, which stocks about 140,000 books and comics and about 300,000 recycled items, including games, figures and coterie magazines. (Japan Times)

Fish tales of Tsukiji
Japan Times - Feb , 2012
News photo
(Market moments: (from left) An amorous octopus makes like a codpiece; a tourist poses with a clapboard
catch; and the bluefin tuna that fetched a record price of more than $700,000 at the first auction of 2012.)

Streets are bathed in indigo hues when I emerge from the Hibiya subway line's Tsukiji Station, heading for Tsukiji Oroshiuri Shijo which, though its name translates simply as "Tsukiji Wholesale Market," is actually the world's largest fish market. At 6 a.m., it's too late to catch the famed tuna or melon auctions, but I've got scaled-back ambitions. Fish stories and a filet or two will do. Heading south on Shin Ohashi avenue, with Tsukiji's Jogai Shijo (outer market) on my left, I pass through clouds of steam from sidewalk ramen shops. What changes there must have been in this area, I muse, since it first began to rise as landfill from Tokyo Bay in the Edo Period (1603-1867). By the mid-1600s, fishermen living on both the new mudflats of Tsukiji and raised islands across the Sumida River were netting the primary source of protein for the estimated half a million residents of Edo (present-day Tokyo). (Japan Times)

By TS on Feb 5, 2012
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。