Why We Love Japan

While we're all focused on the disasters Japan is suffering through, it seems important to remember why we are so fond of that particular country. When the quake hit, we all thought of our friends—people we knew from the States, people who opened up our homes when we were over there. And even though the wacky, weird, geeky stuff we hear about from Japan is just a sliver of their culture, we can't help but think of all the wonderful posts that have appeared on Gizmodo that came from Japan.

Why We Love JapanThis Is the Most Fun House Possible

Slides! Everything is better with a slide. Playgrounds. Universities. Probably prisons. But especially, this mind-bogglingly entertaining-looking house in Japan, which has a slide built in all the way through. Breakfast time, kiddos! SLIDE ON DOWN! More »

Why We Love JapanA Brilliant Swordfight Against Shadow Demons

In the most compelling man versus shadow conflict since Peter Pan, Japanese actor Taichi Saotome does battle with vague clouds, then his own darkspace doppelgänger. It's a light show built around darkness, and it's pretty terrific. More »

Why We Love JapanThe World's Cheapest Nose Job

Sure, you could pay thousands of dollars for an expert rhinoplasty job that'll leave bruises under your eyes and tape over your schnozz. Or! You could embrace the power of the Beauty Lift High Nose, the silliest face vibrator in town. More »

Why We Love JapanThe Second Concept-to-Reality Watch Has Gone at Sale at Tokyo Flash

Another concept watch voted on by fans has been made a reality by Tokyo Flash-the Kisai Satellite. Available in either black or white, people voted in droves for the chance to be able to buy it. More »

Why We Love JapanThis Generator the Size of a Pencil Tip Shakes Up Big Power

Japanese researchers have cooked up a minuscule kinetic battery capable of generating more energy than anything of its kind. Through only the slightest vibrations, the tiny device cranks out 22 milliwatts-20 times more than anything similar before it. More »

Why We Love JapanJapanese Lingerie Maker Hopes To Promote Tourism with Talking Bra

I'm not really sure if being welcomed into the country by a bra which speaks three languages will encourage anyone to visit Japan, but I certainly do appreciate lingerie maker Triumph's valiant effort to promote tourism in Tokyo. More »

Why We Love JapanHow the Japanese Protect Donuts From Bumps and Homer Simpson

Remember the banana case, a protective plastic capsule for storing a banana in? Some bright spark in Japan has come up with the fat man's version: a donut case! More »

Why We Love JapanDon't Let This Giant Android Robot Play Angry Birds With That Snapping Mouth of His

He may look big enough to squeeze into, like the R2-D2 from the other day, but I wouldn't suggest trying-judging by the video below he's quite deft with the jaw-snapping, and isn't too stable on his feet either. More »

Why We Love JapanMan Builds Overly-Elaborate Humanoid Robot to Deal with His Wasp Problem

This is from Japan, so I can't tell if the mohawk and quirky fashion sense are intentionally ironic or not (I kid, Japan, honest!), but I am sure that Professor Sekine here just built a robot to kill some bees. More »

Why We Love Japan5 Strange Minutes With Japan's Vending Machines

Whether you're fascinated by Japanese culture, a fan of coin-operated food boxes in general, or just really, really stoned, this look at Japanese vending machines, including the first video of Dole's new banana machine, will amaze and delight. Bananas! More »

Why We Love JapanWho Wouldn't Buy Ice Cream From A Cute Japanese Robot

As if ice cream doesn't practically sell itself in the summers anyway, a Japanese theme park decided to hire a cute robot named Yaskawa-kun to hawk the delicious treat. I think you'll understand their choice after you see a video of him at work. More »

Why We Love JapanTokyo Is Serious About Manners In These Vintage Subway Posters

In Tokyo, subway etiquette is no joke-you can ask Superman, Optimus Prime, or Astro Boy. Just look at what could happen if you spit out your Kryptonite bubble gum onto the station platform. Tsk tsk. More »


Why We Love JapanDryer Box Towels Off Soaked Phones

Good news for drunk dialers: the next time you drop your phone in the toilet, it might be able to survive the plunge-in Japan, at least. New "dryer boxes" in Tokyo camera shops could save your wet device. More »

Why We Love JapanJapanese Chalk is Dustless, Day-Glo and Uses Scallop Shell Waste

Dustless chalk has been around for a while, but Nihon Rikagaku's developed a new kind of chalk made from crushed-up scallop shells which reduces dust but manages to maximize the intensity of the colors. Chalk these days is positively day-glo. More »

Why We Love JapanBanana Vending Machine Gives Japan Yet One More Product You Can Get Without Human Interaction

Japan sure does love itself some vending machines! From cigarettes to coffee to ramen, you can get all sorts of crazy crap from a machine there. The latest? Bananas! More »

Why We Love JapanActivated Full Size Gundam Robot Looks Totally, Absofrikinlutely ZOMG!

Holy frak. If you thought the 59-foot-tall Gundam in Tokyo was impressive when it was finished, you haven't seen it fully armed and operative at night. Beautiful and actually scary. Check the impressive close up More »

Why We Love JapanJapanese Post-Disaster House Can Spring Into Shape In Under Five Minutes

We've seen many post-apocalyptic housing concepts before, but none have been quite as, well, realistic as the Japanese EDV-01. Daiwa House is actually producing these houses, which can spring up into mobile-houses with the push of a button. More »

Why We Love JapanGundam Cafe Opens In Akihabara

There's no place more fitting for an official Gundam Cafe than in Tokyo's Akihabara district. Sadly Japanese maids don't draw hearts in syrup over your pancakes or put "love spells" on you like at Maid Cafes...but there are Gundam biscuits! More »

Why We Love JapanRobot Marries Couple In-Where Else?-Japan

Talk about taking your work home with you. In this example, bride Satoko Inoue, who works for the company that created the i-Fairy robot, married her client Tomohiro Shibata yesterday-with the i-Fairy acting as registrar to the couple. More »

Why We Love JapanJapanese Pasta Fork Will Change How You Eat Pasta Forever

Twirling your pasta around a fork is an artform. Some people twirl it on the side of the bowl, other use spoons and people who are lazy and unimaginative cut their pasta up. And now, from Japan, a new option. More »

Why We Love JapanJapanese Lolita Party Crashers Prove Fashionistas Can't Tell Asians Apart

A trio of Japanese Lolitas crashed Tom Ford's fashion show by saying one of them was Japanese Vogue editor Mitsuko Watanabe. I mean, maybe if they said they were with Gwen Stefani-but confusing this with this? More »

Why We Love JapanScience Will Bring the Woolly Mammoth Back to Life

A group of Japanese scientists claim that now that they've figured out how to extract DNA from frozen cells, they can clone a living woolly mammoth in four years. That's faster than we'll see the next Ice Age sequel. More »

Why We Love JapanSpider-Man Outfielder Makes One Of The Greatest Catches Ever

This is from last night's Yokohama BayStars/Hiroshima Carp game. Breaks like this are why the BayStars are in last place, though I think Hiroshima would take issue with any other city calling itself unlucky. More »

Why We Love JapanThe Japanese Don't Believe In Tommy John Surgery

The durability of major league pitchers is a fun debate to have with old baseball guys who long for the days before middle relievers and letting starters accumulate pitch counts until their tendons snapped in half. Those purists would most likely agree with the coach of Kawamato's technical high school, (that's the name of it in the AP story) who let his pitcher go 250 pitches deep and endure a 66-0 drubbing over two innings until he finally asked for mercy. Image court. AP More »

Why We Love JapanWhen It Comes To Kooky Japan, Don't Believe The Hype

Japanese schoolgirls hitting the streets of Tokyo with blinking LED teeth. Sounds like a crazy fashion trend. Too bad it's just crazy and a fantasy propagated by the Western media. More »

Why We Love JapanHang Out In Nerd Paradise (With Maids!)

Akihabara. The mere mention of it conjures images of retro game shops, arcades, aisles of manga and maids, yes, maids. Wouldn't it be great to visit them? Like, right now? More »

Why We Love JapanOsaka's Geek District Turning Into Den Of Iniquity

Den-Den Town, Osaka's "denkigai" or "electric town", is known for its used game retailers like Super Potato and figure shops like Osaka Gundams. There are also the maid cafes, where folks can get a coffee and talk to a maid. Some, however, are serving way more than coffee. More »

Why We Love JapanJapanese Government Worries Teens Aren't Horny Enough

A new study purports to show that Japanese people are increasingly uninterested in sex. And people seem especially concerned about undersexed young men. More »

Why We Love JapanGoing Out With A Bang: Couples End Marriages With Divorce Ceremonies

Couples in Japan are pioneering a new trend in parties: the Divorce Ceremony. Sounds... fun? More »

Why We Love JapanCosplay + Kickboxing = The Ultimate Intimidation Tactic

You're about to kickbox with a very large, very angry man. What's the best way to psyche him out? If you're Japanese kickboxer Yuichiro Nagashima, you dress up as a female anime character. More »

Why We Love JapanStay in a Neon-Genesis Evangelion hotel room for $450 a Night

Starting March 1, the Fuji-Q Highland theme park in Fujiyoshida, Japan will offer a hotel room based on the famed Gainax anime franchise Neon-Genesis Evangelion. For $450 a night, you can pretend you're a mecha pilot on vacation. More »

Why We Love JapanTokyo's Low-Riding Hydraulic Big Scooters

Hashiriya? Bosozuku pipes? Togue racing? How unimaginative. The cool new thing in Japan is scooters. Big scooters. Big scooters with an attitude. More »

Why We Love JapanThe strange link between samurai swords and Japan's nuclear reactors

As fears rise in Japan about nuclear disaster at the Fukushima plant, the first and best line of defense are the reactor's six inch thick steel-walled chambers, made by a company that still forges samurai swords by hand. More »

Why We Love JapanThe Hacker's Guide to Tea

Coffee gets a lot of attention, but if tea's more your style, tea guru Tony Gebely offers this guide to understanding and brewing better tea-discussing the process, the kinds, and the care necessary to cultivate a great taste for tea. More »

Why We Love JapanFasten Seat Belts Teaches You Foreign Customs so You Don't Look Stupid While Travelling

Fasten Seat Belts is a charming, illustrated and animated guide to understanding customs and behavior in different parts of the world. Its goal? To keep you from becoming another naive foreigner. More »