THE BEST Japan

Stone Sushi

Stone Sushi

What you’re looking at here might look like some delicious sushi, but you definitely don’t want to bite down on it unless you’re ready to chip a tooth. Japanese artist ha_ma_73 makes incredibly accurate sushi replicas by carving and polishing stones. What’s even more amazing is that those are natural stone colors, not paint.

Godzilla: The Showa Era Soundtracks, 1954-1975

Godzilla: The Showa Era Soundtracks, 1954-1975

Waxwork Records presents an incredible collection for die-hard Godzilla fans, this box set includes all 15 film soundtracks from Japan’s Showa era, remastered for vinyl. The 18-record set features amazing new artwork by Robert Sammelin, 180-gram colored vinyl, a collector’s slipcase, a storage box, a slipmat, and more.

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Inside Super Nintendo World

Inside Super Nintendo World

We previously got a brief aerial view of the Super Nintendo World attraction that’s coming to Universal Studios Japan. Now Mario’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto takes us inside the park for an in-depth tour of some of its main attractions. We love all the movement in the exterior design. The park is slated to open 2.4.2021.

LEGO Great Wave

LEGO Great Wave

LEGO Certified Professional Jumpei Mitsui created a 3D interpretation of the wave depicted in Hokusai’s iconic Ukiyo-e image The Great Wave off Kanagawa. The brick-built version shows off some really neat LEGO tricks, especially with the foamy wave peaks. The 50,000-piece model is on display at the Hankyu Brick Museum.

Super Nintendo World Flyover

Super Nintendo World Flyover

Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan is slated to open in early 2021. From the looks of this flyover of the park, it’s going to look amazing when it’s all done, transporting Nintendo fans into the heart of their favorite games. We spy Peach’s and Bowser’s castles, a Mario Kart ride, and a Toad House among other details.

Ultraman Returns

Ultraman Returns

Well before Power Rangers or TNMT, Ultraman was a live-action TV series, establishing a new type of sci-fi adventure, kitschy kaiju characters, salarymen superheroes, and sparkly special effects. Rarely broadcast in America, it’s now streaming on Pluto TV with select titles on-demand on Shout! Factory TV.

Equalizer High Frequency LCD watch

Equalizer High Frequency LCD watch

This unique wristwatch from TokyoFlash Japan features a display inspired by an graphic equalizer. But instead of displaying audio frequencies and volume levels, its green dots light up to indicate the current time and date. The oversized watch uses an LED-backlit LCD panel to create the effect. Available with a black or silver case.

DrainArt Enamel Pins

DrainArt Enamel Pins

Classicbot toy designer Philip Lee and his wife, artist Mary Chang have teamed up to create a beautiful series of enameled metal pins based on the artful manhole covers found throughout Japan. There are 16 designs in all, along with a Ukiyo-e inspired wall scroll for display. Each pin measures 2″ in diameter.

Guess the Product

Guess the Product

Japanese commercials can be so creative, weird, and funny. Start watching this ad spot and see how long it takes you to try and guess what the product is that they’re advertising. If you guess some kind of interactive torture experience, you’d be very wrong.

Scratching Records But with Barcodes

Scratching Records But with Barcodes

We’ve previously seen how the musicians from Electronicos Fantasticos use laser barcode readers in their performance. In this clip from Maker Faire Tokyo 2020, one of their members shows how to make record scratching sounds using the same technique.

Goshi Exfoliating Shower Towel

Goshi Exfoliating Shower Towel

Made in Japan, the Goshi is a scrubby shower towel woven from a combination of lathering and exfoliating threads. It helps to wash away dirt, oil, and dead skin, keeping you cleaner than you’ve ever felt. It’s made from a long-lasting 100% recyclable nylon. Discounted multi-packs available direct from Goshi.

Children of the Sea (Trailer)

Children of the Sea (Trailer)

Based on the manga by Daisuke Igarashi, Children of the Sea tells the story of a girl who feels drawn to the waters at the aquarium where her dad works. As she meets two other children with similar experiences, they come to find that fish are mysteriously disappearing from oceans around the world. Drops 8.31.20.

Lost & Found: Tokyo Style

Lost & Found: Tokyo Style

If you’ve ever lost an item in a big city in the U.S., there’s a slim chance you’re ever getting it back. Speaking from experience, it’s the opposite if you lose something in Tokyo. Great Big Story takes us inside of the city’s massive and well-organized Lost & Found center for a look at how the Japanese respect other people’s property.

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Unexpected Outcome ver.03

Unexpected Outcome ver.03

Daihei Shibata created a series of visual illusions for the Japanese TV program Design Ah!, in which each scene starts off with an ordinary premise, but its outcome is very different than what you might expect. Catch the first two videos here.

Views of Tokyo, 1913-1915

Views of Tokyo, 1913-1915

Video technician Denis Shiryaev of Neural Love took some early 20th century film footage from Tokyo, Japan, and processed it to increase its resolution and frame rate, repair damage, and add colorization. The result is sort of a living postcard of the time and place. The ambient sounds were previously added by Guy Jones.

Ghibli Museum Virtual Tour

Ghibli Museum Virtual Tour

For fans of the work of Studio Ghibli, their museum in Japan is one of the most elusive and desired places to visit. With travel limited these days, they decided to post a series of videos which show off of the museum, including murals, stained glass, drawings, and exhibits of the celebrated animation studio’s history.

iichiko Shōchū Saiten

iichiko Shōchū Saiten

Japan has distilled shōchū for 500 years, with iichiko setting the gold standard, but iichiko Saiten is a new kind of higher proof shōchū made specifically for mixology. Co-created with U.S. bartenders, the clear, pot-distilled spirit is rich in citrus, melon, and pepper notes, derived from two-row barley and fermented koji.

Stay Alert Song

Stay Alert Song

“Be aware to trim your nose hairs, cause they could put up a fight!” Japan’s state of emergency has been lifted after their initial bout with COVID-19. To both cautiously celebrate, and to remind people to be diligent, disinfectant company SMV Japan released this silly animated music video. Japanese version here.

Playing a CRT Guitar

Playing a CRT Guitar

Japanese electro-punk group Electronicos Fantasticos is known for making music with unusual instruments. In this clip, musician Ei Wada shows off an electronic guitar known as the “CRTelecaster” that uses feedback created from the screen of an old CRT television set to produce sounds. More CRT goodness here.

Chase Her

Chase Her

After a beautiful woman drops her handkerchief, mountain bike trials rider Tomomi Nishikubo heads off on a rather circuitous route to find her in this amusing freestyle action video shot around Tokyo. We loved the bits of humor scattered throughout, especially the pit stop scene.

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Bad Sounds

Bad Sounds

Sushi Ramen Rick is a tough guy, like it really rough guy. At least that’s what we got out of his goofy cover version of Billie Eilish’s hit that he made primarily using sounds produced by smacking himself about, and a weird musical instrument that looks like something from a Blue Man Group x Dr. Seuss collaboration.

KitKat Variety Pack

KitKat Variety Pack

Japan loves their KitKat bars. They make them in all kinds of flavors, like green tea, melon/mascarpone, strawberry, and many more. Now taste some of these unusual variants here in the states with this pack of 21 mini bars, all imported from Japan. Amazon also has all kinds of other flavors if you’re feeling adventurous.

Making Senko Hanabi Fireworks

Making Senko Hanabi Fireworks

Senko Hanabi fireworks are a traditional Japanese form of pyrotechnics that uses only a tiny bit of combustible powder to get started, then transforms through various stages to produce a sparkler effect. NightHawkInLight scored a rare lesson on how to make them at the Tsutsui Tokimasa fireworks company. Money shot at 14:18.

First Tracks in Japan

First Tracks in Japan

MTB master Brandon Semenuk takes us on a thrilling ride through the woods of Hakuba Valley, Japan in this clip from Red Bull and Revel Co.’s Light Speed. Watch in awe as Semenuk pulls some epic powerslides, flips, and tricks, as the beautiful and exotic scenery rushes by.

One-Stroke Dragon

One-Stroke Dragon

Artist Keisuke Teshima demonstrates his technique for painting beautiful and dramatic images of dragons using sumi-e brushes. What really makes them special is how he uses a large brush loaded with multiple shades to create their bodies with a single stroke.

Toyota Woven City

Toyota Woven City

Automotive and mobility company Toyota plans on establishing a 175-acre site at the foot of Japan’s Mt. Fuji to build a prototype city of the future. The location, known as “Woven City” will serve as a real world testbed for tech including autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes, alternative energy, and AI, among others.

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