Pouring sake from a wine bottle and drinking it in a wine glass. Enjoying sake with anime characters. These are some of the unconventional drinking styles being suggested by sake breweries and retailers to attract overseas customers and young people. Now that washoku traditional Japanese cuisine has been registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural property, there is an opportunity for sake to heighten its profile overseas.
Flipping through any travel guide about Japan you will learn that Japan is a country where tipping is non-existent. Leaving your change on the table at a restaurant may result in the waiter chasing you down to give it back. But in Japan there actually is a system of tipping that exists but is tangled in a mysterious system of formality that no one really seems sure of. In an interview with Yahoo! Japan, Nobuko Akashi of the Japan Manners & Protocol Association attempts to unravel this system so we can all know when and where it’s appropriate to tip in Japan.
Japanese women are in demand as never before. "Women have the greatest potential," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently told media, "and allowing them to demonstrate their full abilities is the core of our growth strategy." He must be pleased by the recent news flow. Even Japan's conservative financial companies are taking women executives more seriously.
Japanese education minister Hakubun Shimomura said Tuesday that the government plans to introduce an income limit for free preschool education for five-year-old children. Families with an annual income of less than 3.6 million yen are expected to be eligible for the free schooling from fiscal 2015, Shimomura said at a press conference.
Two years after celebrating the manga’s 20th anniversary, fans finally get their present In 1992, a 14-year-old Japanese girl set out to save our universe from total anhiliation. She became a hero for young women around the world, saving them from evil and from the macho male heroes that permeated the media at the time. Her name was Usagi Tsukino, but you may know her better as the one named Sailor Moon.
Japan has a Kawaii Ambassadur - a cute ambassador. Yep, that is a thing. At least in Jaoan. Kawaii ambassador and model Misako Aoki travels such countries as France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Russia and Brazil under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry. Lolita fashions served as one of the program's major highlights. During the time of the Kawaii Ambassadors program, the Japanese media used to ask her all the time: "Why Lolita fashion?"
Some 65% of global car purchases are decided by women, while in Japan Nissan is increasingly courting female consumers through new-look dealerships and staffing. In the Tokyo suburb of Fuchu, a pilot dealership managed by women underwent a design transformation this month to make the shopping experience more welcoming and easier. Called the “Ladies First” project, CEO Carlos Ghosn said the plan will broaden across Japan.
Many fast food companies have alter-egos overseas. Japan is home to outposts of several U.S.-based fast food chains, including McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway. From Spam breakfast sandwiches to an apple pie burger, some options are bizarre. Other menu items, like the pretzel mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks, would likely be popular in the U.S., too. Pictured right, for example, you see Burger King Japan's 'BK Ringo'. It is designed to taste like apple pie. It's topped with apple slices and a cinnamon mayo spread.
Japanese company Brandear has come up with an innovative service that lets the broken-hearted erase all remnants of their failed relationships. The ‘Heartbreak Box’ is a cardboard box that is specially designed for you to ship your former lover’s belongings in. It also helpfully contains a Heartbreak Guidebook, tissues and bubble wrap that will come in handy when sorting through your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend’s items.
It is the familiar background music of every Japanese shopping street: a cacophony of mechanical bleeps and rattles, disgorged along with a plume of cigarette smoke each time the doors of a pachinko parlor open to admit a new punter. Yet the archetypical salary man pastime is dying, in spite of its apparent ubiquity. Even as Japan looks ahead to its first western- style casinos, pachinko, the modified version of pinball played since the 1930s - itself a quasi-legal form of gambling - has been all but abandoned by younger Japanese.