A Travellerspoint blog

Japan - The weird and wonderful

semi-overcast 18 °C

Well here's my first entry. I figured I should contribute something to this awesome piece of wonderful blogness. There are now 63 days to go.

Here are a few peculiar and amazing things I have stumbled upon that will certainly leave us feeling like we're in another world. These are some of the things we can hope to expect in Japan.

Vending Machines
The Japanese have vending machines for everything. Even the used panties of schoolgirls (Josh).

In Japan, with a high population density, limited space, a preference for shopping on foot or by bicycle, and low rates of vandalism and petty crime, there seems to be no limit to what is sold by vending machines. While the majority of machines in Japan are stocked with drinks, snacks, and cigarettes, one occasionally finds vending machines selling items such as bottles of liquor, cans of beer, fried food, underwear, pornography and sexual lubricants, and potted plants. Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita, with about one machine for every 23 people.

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Cosplay
Cosplay is a Japanese subculture centered on dressing as characters from manga, anime, tokusatsu, and video games, and, less commonly, Japanese live action television shows, fantasy movies, or Japanese pop music bands. However, in some circles, "cosplay" has been expanded to mean simply wearing a costume.

In Japan, "cosplay" as a hobby is usually an end unto itself. Like-minded people gather to see others' costumes, show off their own elaborate handmade creations, take lots of pictures, and possibly participate in best costume contests.

The Harajuku district in Tokyo seems to be the most popular location for cosplayers in Japan. Below is a good example of a cosplayer. Here we have Vincent Valentine from the video game Final Fantasy 7.

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Toilets
There are many toilets in Japan that have computers built into them. A button for a squirt of water up your bum (no homo), a button to heat the seat, a button which starts gurgling, swooshing, nature noises to disguise the sound of your urine hitting the basin.

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Capsule Hotels
A capsule hotel is a hotel system of extremely dense occupancy. Guest space is reduced in size to a modular plastic or fibreglass block roughly 2 m by 1 m by 1.25 m, providing room to sleep and little more, although facilities usually include a television and other electronic entertainment. These capsules are then grouped and stacked, two units high. Luggage is usually stored in a locker away from the capsule. Privacy is maintained by a curtain at the open end of the capsule but noise pollution can be high.

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Love Hotels
Love hotels usually offer a room rate for a "rest", as well as for an overnight stay. The period of a "rest" varies, typically ranging from one to three hours. Cheaper daytime off-peak rates are common. In general, reservations are not possible, leaving the hotel will forfeit access to the room, and overnight stay rates only become available after 10pm. They are often used by young couples, since many young Japanese people live with their parents. They are also commonly used for prostitution (Josh).

The Metro Train
All I can say is...

Groping is also common on trains. I'm looking at you Josh.

Karaoke
Karaoke is a usual form of entertainment of the business people in Japan. After a hard day's work which is can sometimes be unusually long, they would drop into a bar; have a drink and enjoying humming to popular tunes with the help of a karaoke machine. Karaoke was invented approximately 20 years ago and has gradually been a part of the Japanese society. It is not just a temporary boom but a regular form of entertainment both within and outside Japan.

If I'm feeling up to it (AKA drunk) I might bust out a Rick Astley song or Chocolate Rain by Tay Zonday.

Oxygen Bars
The oxygen bar is a trend that started in the late 1990s in Japan. O2 bars can now be found in many venues such as nightclubs, salons, spas, healthclubs, resorts, tanning salons, restaurants, coffee houses, bars, airports, ski chalets, yoga studios, chiropractors, and casinos.

"Airheads" will normally pay 100Y per minute to inhale an increased percentage of oxygen compared to the normal atmospheric content of 21% oxygen. This oxygen is produced from the ambient air by an industrial (non-medical) oxygen concentrator and "inhaled" through a nasal cannula (AKA nose hose) for a period of 5 to 10 hours - or even longer.

Posted by Phalanx 01:31 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation

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