THE BEST Japan

Firefly Squid Beach

Firefly Squid Beach

Japan’s Toyama Bay is home to a beautiful (and delectable) bioluminescent sea creature, the firefly squid. Tiny photophores in their bodies cause them to glow and illuminate the shoreline at night.

100 Yen (Trailer)

100 Yen (Trailer)

Gamers rejoice, this project is coming closer to life: 100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience, Brad Crawford’s historical documentary about the evolution and culture of Japanese arcades.

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Epson Moverio HMD Glasses

Epson Moverio HMD Glasses

These see-through glasses put a pair of 960×540 LCDs in front of your peepers, simulating a 320″ screen, 65 feet away. Plays 3D content through its Android control pod. Post sponsored by LEXUS.

Firefly Frenzy

Firefly Frenzy

We may only see snowflakes dancing in the air for the next few months but we can still enjoy these long-exposure photos of Golden fireflies taken from 2008-2011 in Japan.

Lacquered Cup Noodles Bowls

Lacquered Cup Noodles Bowls

Ah, Cup Noodles – the embodiment of modern urban living. It’s not surprising that this ubiquitous snack has its own museum, where you can buy these washable, reusable, lacquered containers.

White Rabbit Express

White Rabbit Express

Ever wanted some cool gadget that’s only sold in Japan? For a 15% fee, WRE helps you buy just about anything from Japan. Just send a link to the item you want, pay for it, and they’ll do the rest.

HellaFlush Japan

HellaFlush Japan

The HellaFlush Japan event by apparel company Fatlace as seen through the eyes of iPhilms, whose light-hearted take on a car show makes the video a fun watch. The eye-catching custom rides help too.

Elastic Electric & Data Cables

Elastic Electric & Data Cables

Asahi Kasei Fibers has invented stretchable electric and data cables (including USB cables), which could spark a revolution in robotics, wearable electronics and consumer products as well.

Sand Vibration Art

Sand Vibration Art

Watch as musician Kenichi Kanazawa turns vibrations on a table covered with colored sand into an interactive work of art as it hits its resonant frequency. See more patterns emerge here.

True 3D Display

True 3D Display

AIST and Keio University have invented a device that projects true three-dimensional images in mid-air or underwater. Two things: the flicker isn’t bad in person, and holy crap, that kid is an engineer?!

The Square Drill Bit

The Square Drill Bit

How can a drill bit be “awesome,” you might ask? When it can drill square holes instead of round ones, that’s when. Despite what the clip says, this marvel comes from Japan, not China.

Irregular Playing Cards

Irregular Playing Cards

They may look like ordinary Bicycle cards at first, but each deck of fragment design’s new irregular playing cards features slightly-askew card face prints, along with a bright neon green back.

Tokyo Slo-Mode

Tokyo Slo-Mode

Different sides of Tokyo – from random citizens to the swarm-like urban populace, from snapshots of daily life, to a salary man sleeping standing up in a busy train station – presented by Alex Lee.

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Nine Hours Micro Hotel

Nine Hours Micro Hotel

Kyoto’s Nine Hours ultra-minimal capsule hotel boils down “a place to stay” into three essential components – one hour to shower, seven hours to sleep, and one hour of rest. Video hat tip: Monocle.

The Number House

The Number House

There’s no way the pizza delivery guy will miss the address on these condos, designed by Matsunami Mitsutomo, and located in Osaka, Japan. Wouldn’t work so well for single-family homes, though.

Ninja House Tour

Ninja House Tour

We thought they lived in the shadows, but it seems like the ninjas of ancient Japan also had houses. It’s just like how you’d expect a ninja house would be, filled with traps and hidden stuff.

Dancing Squid Bowl

Dancing Squid Bowl

Remember the creepy pizza toppings?  This is much weirder. Apparently this is a popular dish in Hakodate in northern Japan. The sodium in the soy sauce is responsible for this freaky food.

Japanese Self-Defense Sunglasses

Japanese Self-Defense Sunglasses

Endorsed by the Japanese military, these glasses can handle some serious impact. While not quite bulletproof, they resist shatters with as much as a 0.3″ diameter object striking the lens at 106mph.

Odo Yakuza Tokyo

Odo Yakuza Tokyo

A photo essay of the infamous Japanese mob by Anton Kusters, perhaps the only Westerner allowed such intimate and long term access to the Yakuza. Book leaf through here; interview here.

Cafe/day Coffee Shop

Cafe/day Coffee Shop

Suppose Design Office imbued the Cafe/day coffee shop in Shizuoka, Japan with a spacious feel mainly by extending road lines and symbols to the shop’s floor, which is also made of asphalt.

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Mykita for Japan Sunglasses

Mykita for Japan Sunglasses

Make a statement while supporting relief efforts in Japan. These white lacquered stainless steel glasses have red mirrored lenses, and all proceeds (minus VAT) go to the Japanese Red Cross.

Sand de Panda Spam Sandwiches

Sand de Panda Spam Sandwiches

YouTuber jetdaisuke vivaciously demonstrates how to make Spam sandwiches using the Sand de Panda, which cuts off the edges of bread and seals in the filling at the same time. ITADAKEMASU!

Fukushima Plate Concept

Fukushima Plate Concept

With concerns about the fallout from Japan’s recent disaster affecting food supplies, Nils Ferber created this concept combining dinner plate with radiation meter. Whimsical, but well-intentioned.

Japan Freakin’ Loves Trains

Japan Freakin’ Loves Trains

Recently, a new line of Japan’s Shinkansen (aka bullet train) opened up in Kyushu. This is how the people welcomed the transport. My goodness. The background music is Boom! by Maia Hirasawa.

Eastern Eggs

Eastern Eggs

Not only do these artist-designed wooden eggs look really cool, they’re decorated by a robot. And if that’s not enough for you, a portion of proceeds go to The British Red Cross’ Japan Tsunami Appeal.

Eggception

Eggception

A farm in Japan found this larger-than-normal egg in their hen-house and decided to crack it open. What they found inside was certainly unexpected. One clue – it’s not an Alien facehugger.

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