•24 August, 2013 • Leave a Comment
It’s always an interesting experience to stand in a train carriage with advertising devoted exclusively to one product. It doesn’t happen every day, but a few times a year one discovers such a thing on the Yamanote Line, the loop line around central Tokyo.
Usually the brands or products advertised are tangible (GAP, Sony, Panasonic, Uniqlo, etc.) but recently it was the turn of Rilakkuma, a rather popular character celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Click here for a ridiculous number of images…
•23 August, 2013 • Leave a Comment
As surely as the sun rises and sets, trends in Japan will come and go.
In recent years we’ve seen huge surges in popularity of various items and creatures including pandas, bananas and tails (yes, tails).
This year, it’s squid.
Giant squid have been appearing around Tokyo, eliciting squeals of delight and amazement from passersby, and of course lots of photographs.
Here are just a few examples:
Click here for the full story…
•18 August, 2013 • Leave a Comment
At night, Tokyo resembles a clean, atmospheric, beautifully lit film set.
Quiet streets, soft curves of a road leading to tunnels under railway lines, occasional trains rumble past on their way somewhere, nostalgic, comforting, safe.
3d viewing guide here
•31 July, 2013 • 1 Comment
Kawaiification of the urban environment is never a surprise to see in Japan, but the novel ways in which it is done never ceases to amuse and delight.
Previously there were fish, and here we see dozens of “dinosaur heads” protruding from the roadside in a street near Tamachi.
Check them out in 3d:
And here they are on Google Maps
•29 July, 2013 • 2 Comments
Japan is a character-lover’s paradise. They’re everywhere!
Sports teams of course have their own mascots (as they do around the world), but in Japan it goes much further: almost every company and product seems to have its own character – from pandas to unidentifiable creatures.
There are the very famous ones, the “tier one” characters. But there are far more characters populating tier 2, tier 3 and the lower realms of characterdom.
These are the characters that, for whatever reason, never quite make the leap to popularity. Their lack of appeal may be due to any one of a number of variables, but the bottom line is they simply don’t have that special formula or x-factor that would elevate them to iconic status.
Like these guys:
Nevertheless, such characters still appear on merchandise and in public and duly attract large groups of happy onlookers.
One new approach for such characters might be what I witnessed the other day: strength in numbers. Not one but a staggering nine characters from various locations paraded together as a group. The strategy seemed to be to overwhelm people with sheer variety.
And at first glance it seemed to be working, with hundreds of smiling people snapping hundreds of photos of the group as pretty girls in short skirts handed out stickers of the characters to passing shoppers.
But if we look further, we see the clear evidence that these characters are likely destined for life on the lower tiers.
One of the best ways to judge the quality of characters is by the reaction of children when confronted with these oversized real-life cartoons. And with these nine, the verdict seems to be an unequivocal rejection, as parents were forced to “encourage” their kids forward…
•22 July, 2013 • Leave a Comment
Following on from this previous post, a bunch more narrow buildings from around Tokyo.
The house above can be found near Meguro Station. See it on Google maps.
Click here to see many more incredibly narrow buildings…
•22 July, 2013 • Leave a Comment
Cool trippy graffiti, Shinjuku.