Category Archives: japan

scallop shells not salt

For those of us who live in snowy locales, ice on the road and sidewalks is a bit of a pain; it wrecks the bottom of your car, eats your shoes, and is bad for the environment. The brainiacs at the Aomori Ecological Recycle Industrial Association have come up with an environmentally friendly way to get rid of ice on roads – use scallop shells and apple vinegar. Apparently it’s considerably less detrimental to soil. Not only is that a plus, but this finds a use for a previously useless item; if you don’t count scallop shell folk art. Plan is to process 6000 tons of scallops this year.

from Autoblog Green


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pretty garbage

In Japan, you gotta separate your garbage, and put it out on different days. Plus, you’re not supposed to put it out the night before, otherwise the crows cause sh1t. It’s a bit of a pain, some places have up to 45 different recycling categories; that means you have to separate your garbage into 45 different piles. So anything that makes this tedious process more fun, I thoroughly applaud. Check out these enjoyable colour coordinated garbage bags from MAQ¬† which are available at a few Tokyu Hands and Lofts. They’ll run you around $3 for 10 45L bags.

from Pink Tentacle

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young japanese aren’t into cars

According to a Nikkei Business Daily survey, young people in Japan’s capital are less and less interested in owning a car. A survey of Tokyoites in their 20s was conducted in 2000, it found that 48.2% were interested in buying a car and 23.6% actually owned a car. Fast forward seven years and my oh my has it changed – only 25.3% wanted to buy a car and a meager 13% owned a car.
Why is this happening? The economic downturn in Japan is making citizens more concerned about their savings; the source article noted that these people are also spending less on booze, designer clothes and sporting goods. While this might not be signaling a change in environmental conscientiousness of young Japanese , a decrease in consumption of pointless consumer goods is undoubtedly a good thing. Cars are a huge drain on the economic resources of any individual – here in Nova Scotia GPI Atlantic reported that the average family’s largest expenditure was transportation. In America, it’s something in the range of $9000/year that the average American spends on their car. These costs are undoubtedly higher in Japan as gas is almost double the price and road tolls are all over the place.

On a side note, I was late for work today because my bus was late. It made me wish I had a car.

Pink Tentacle

from Japan Probe

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Filed under cars, japan, news

beautiful bento boxes

Bringing new meaning to food as an art, busy Japanese hobbyists have been creating these bento boxes for years. Made from all food ingredients, some lucky kid gets to take these beauties to lunch and show off how adorable his food is. I’m not sure, eating something this cute is like eating baby seal.

Now it’s not just for lunch, people have expanded bento boxes into an art – doing caricatures of actors, scenes from ads, even Ukiyo-e scenes. Woah, check out all these galleries:

Fashionably Cute

Sushi Pictures

Crazy Beautiful Japanese Bento

Kasumin Yorosiku <– Undoubtedly the best bento resource online

from Neatorama

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japan’s getting it right

Hokay, so I’m a bit of a hippie when it comes to cars – but it’s not my fault, it’s my job. Anywise, it looks like things are going good in Japan on the motor vehicle dependency front. For the past 25 months, cars sales in Japan have been declining. In fact comparing July ’06 with July ’07 one can see at 10.4% decline in sales. Not only that, saturation of ‘mini-vehicles’ is nudging closer and closer to 50%, gaining about 1.1% from last year. But the biggest news is that for the first time ever the number of cars per household has decreased.

It is a bit easier for the Japanese to get rid of their cars; transit runs on time there, trains go everywhere, it’s remarkably easy to use and the Shinkansen can get up to 443km/hr. But the surprising thing is, used cars are cheap in Japan. You can even get them for free as it becomes prohibitively expensive for one to pay the ‘road tax’ on old cars. If you ever go to Australia or New Zealand you’ll see tons of unwanted imported Japanese cars.

from Japan Economy News


Filed under cars, japan

professor splash

This old guy is nuts, one expects professors to be a bit more sane. Darren “Professor Splash” Taylor jumped from an unbelievable 35 feet into only 1 foot of water in a kiddie pool. You check out Taylor’s site here which has schedules, a bio and advice on becoming an ‘extreme’ diver.

This all happened at Roppongi Hills on a TV show that has half of Yuusuke and SantaMaria (they’re missing my favourite half and the name of the show might be wrong) and a whole whack of people wearing tuxes. I almost had whale sushi there once during a celebratory kaiten sushi birthday lunch.

from Japan Probe

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rapping “DJ Robot” becomes receptionist

After a long time of trying to find work as a musician, DJ Robot has had to take a new job as the receptionist at Toyota Kaikan Exhibition Hall in Toyota City. DJ Robot was previously an MC at the 2005 Aichi World Expo with other Toyota made musical robots. I have no idea what the rest of those robots are doing now, but DJ Robot is expected to start working alongside a human counterpart in January of 2008.

from Pink Tentacle

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Filed under japan, robots