What's Trending in Japan?! Weekly Digest (11/19 - 11/23, 2018)

Are you sick of getting late news on the newest hot topics in Japan? Here's a quick and easy weekly digest that'll give you the scoop on the top 3 trends making waves on Japan's social media platforms! Yet again, we're delivering content on the crazy part of Japan: an eye mask made out of salmon eggs, a bear sleeping bag that'll scare the soul out of your neighbor, and a bunny statue that shoots lasers out of its eyes! Keep on reading to find out more.

Nationwide

Japanese Culture

We Promise This Eye Mask Isn't Fishy!

Japan is known for its high-quality cosmetics and electronics, but did you know that it's also extremely well known for its masks? You'll find masks for every part of your body - face, feet, lips, butt, and eyes - and they come in all sorts of designs and possess a range of features.

The particular eye masks you are about to see in the following video are the hot topic of Japan's Twitter at the moment for their ridiculous design. Created by a company in Hokkaido, a region famous for its seafood, these eye masks look exactly like a packet of ikura (salmon eggs) you can buy in a Japanese supermarket!
 


It may look gimmicky, but according to the Instagram user who made the above video, it can be used hot or cold and is extremely good for dry or tired eyes. All you need to do is stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds or in the fridge for at least 30 minutes! And yes, it is reusable.

Curious to know what it looks like in its packaging? Just check out the below image.
 

At the moment, it seems that you'll have to buy it off of Rakuten (can be purchased internationally off their global site!) or visit a souvenir store in Hokkaido. But if you plan to visit Hokkaido and you want to buy a quirky yet useful souvenir, we think this would make an awesome gift!

Or you could just use it yourself on the plane ride home... like we would. Wink, nudge.
 

If you'd prefer to get actual food or snacks as souvenirs, then check out the below article for some shopping recommendations!

Now You Can Really Become a Bear...

In 2014, Eiko Ishizawa - a Japanese artist who was living in Amsterdam at the time - caught the world's attention with her stunningly realistic depiction of a bear as a sleeping bag. It had a length of 2 metres, a weight of 5.5kg, and was made of polyester, fake fur, and plastic.
 

She intended for it to be an art piece that would showcase the contradiction between mankind's admiration towards nature and how we rarely break our boundaries with the wilderness. As such, it wasn't really available for general purchase, though she did occasionally make some to sell.

This is a rare glimpse on what it looks like in the actual wilderness:
 

Recently, despite it being over 4 years since this artwork was created, Japan's Twitter has been up in arms about getting one for themselves. At a whopping 24,000 yen, most will never end up purchasing it, but one can dream of terrifying everyone around them!
 

Though funky Japanese art is well appreciated worldwide, not enough love and attention is paid toward other kinds of Japanese art. If, after looking at this, you want to find more quirky Japanese artworks out there, check out the museums in the article below.

Last Boss: Robo Bunny!

Just like how Nara is known for its wild deer, Sado Island is known for its population of wild rabbits that live around the local temple, Chokoku-ji. These rabbits aren't sacred; rather, they were purposefully brought to the temple in order to help control the growth of the wild vegetation!

As thanks to the rabbits, as well as to get more tourists to come to the island, the temple erected a giant Bunny Kannon statue on November 3rd of this year. Take a look at how adorable it looks!
 

Though it may look adorable (if not slightly grotesque) during the day, at night, it reveals its true nature...
 

cue dramatic music

No, this image isn't Photoshopped. The temple purposefully made its eyes shine red at night with the hope of people remembering it just as fondly as they would of Singapore's merlion statue. Doesn't it look like it could attack you at any moment?

Anyone can enter this temple, so if you love fluffy bunnies and taking quirky photos, it's worth a visit to Sado Island!
 

If you just can't make the trek to Sado Island, there's also a bunny shrine down in Kyoto! The only thing is, it won't have the last boss bunny statue. Still, it has bunnies! Check out the article below for more info and pictures on it.

Bonus: 3 Must-Visit Autumn Spots in the Kansai Region for November

We're halfway through November, meaning that it really is the peak season for Japan's gorgeous and colorful autumn leaves! You can admire this scenery almost anywhere in Japan, but one particular region with especially beautiful fall sights is Kansai, home to popular sightseeing cities like Kyoto and Osaka. If you don't have time to figure out where to go for lovely fall scenery in this region, the below article will be extremely useful!