Awesome Japan

Snow Monkeys @ Hot Spring

Snow Monkeys @ Hot Spring

Art Gimbel shot this video of wild Japanese macaques bathing at the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan. Also known as snow monkeys, the primates are used to the presence of humans. View live images of the park here.

Gonzo the Tambourine Man

Gonzo the Tambourine Man

Don’t bother wearing underwear ladies and gentlemen, because Gonzo is about to melt them right off. This man’s insane tambourine skills are matched only by his sense of fashion. Keep rocking man.

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Otaku Spaces

Otaku Spaces

Patrick W. Galbraith’s fascinating look inside Otaku culture, which is best described as a combination of avid collecting, hoarding, and some sort of an OCD. Features interviews with 15 of these über-fans.

Binocular Soccer

Binocular Soccer

This Japanese skit turned the beautiful game into a slapstick sport, with players wearing binoculars that made things look closer than they really were. Seeing guys kick nothing but air never gets old.

Cathy’s House

Cathy’s House

A bizarre recurring sketch from the short-lived Japanese late night comedy show Vermilion Pleasure Night, featuring actresses acting like dolls in stories as random as the ones kids make up.

Automated Bicycle Parking

Automated Bicycle Parking

This excerpt from an episode of Culture Japan shows the Eco Cycle underground bicycle parking lot. Customers get cards that are used to identify their bike, which machines can retrieve in seconds.

Winter Illuminations

Winter Illuminations

An annual lightshow called Winter Illuminations at Japan’s Nabana no Sato covers the grounds and gardens of the park with millions of LEDs. The walk-through light tunnels are truly extraordinary.

Jidaigeki X-Men

Jidaigeki X-Men

Alex Mitchell follows up his Sengoku Avengers by transforming Prof. X, his students and his enemies into Edo Period characters. Hint: the character roster is based on the 90’s X-Men cartoon.

Kuratas Robot Configurator

Kuratas Robot Configurator

Suidobashi Heavy Industry has launched a site where you can customize the $2M Kuratas mech and then place an order. Who cares if it’s a hoax? We just built a robot. Your argument is invalid.

Incredible Can Art

Incredible Can Art

Japanese artist Makoan creates intricate sculptures of pop culture icons and other objects by recycling beer and soda cans. He even color-matches his subjects by using a variety of drink brands.

FPA Commentary

FPA Commentary

‘Moving picture archivers’ Puppet Shed introduce us to the majesty of Fruity Posing Archery. Stick around for the ending and take in some Jiskefet if you feel like expanding your sports palate further.

Bird-Apartment

Bird-Apartment

Designed by Nendo for the Momofuku Ando Center in Nagano, it has 78 birdhouses on one side and a tree house on the other. People can look at the birds in the nests from inside the tree house.

Sengoku Avengers

Sengoku Avengers

Artist Alex Mitchell re-imagined the Avengers movie characters as Japanese warriors, gods and demons from the Sengoku Period. He even came up with brief back stories for each of them.

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Kuratas

Kuratas

Japanese engineers have unveiled Kuratas, a 13-foot-tall, wheeled mech which actually can drive up to 10km/h, heads-up video display, and can be operated remotely by an smartphone.

Thumbtack Russian Roulette

Thumbtack Russian Roulette

The boys of Japanese Jackass show Megwin TV uses a modified Nerf gun to play thumbtack Russian roulette. It’s not as dangerous as the real version, but the tension is still there.

8 Minutes in Japan

8 Minutes in Japan

Japan often finds itself the hilarious or perplexing focus of a “Meanwhile in ___” moment, but this video from hiokinskywalker reminds us that the land of the rising sun is pretty damn serene too.

Tokyo Jungle

Tokyo Jungle

As weird and wonderful as Japanese games get, Tokyo Jungle puts you in command of 50+ breeds of animals from pomeranians to velociraptors – all set loose on the streets of Tokyo.

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.

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.

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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.

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