What's Trending in Japan?! Weekly Digest (10/15 - 10/19, 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! This week is all about the weird side of Japan, with a national bald men's tug-of-war competition, turtle head sushi, and super bitter matcha ice cream!
Oct 19 2018
And the Ultimate Bald Man Award Goes to...
This is yet another festival - or should we say competition - that baffles foreigners across the world. Bald men gather from all over Japan to determine who is the ultimate baldy is with the fiercest tug-of-war game you'll ever see!
Okay, we're pushing it a little too far. The truth is that the tug-of-war is done with suction cups plastered onto their bald heads. Whoever can pull off their opponent's suction cup first, wins!
The videos above cover the final round of the competition for this year. Despite being a relatively new event, it is currently in its 4th year and set to continue for many more years ahead. If you know a baldie that could use some international recognition, direct them to this festival!
Other than this bald man tug-of-war, there's several other weird Japanese festivals worth taking a look at. (Hint: Many of them involve naked people running around.) The article below covers some more of them, if you're curious!
If You Kiss a Turtle, Will it Turn Into a Prince?
This is sushi taken to an extreme.
Nobody knows how or why the chef decided to create this, but it immediately became a sensation on Japanese media for two reasons:
① It looks exactly like a kappa (green amphibious creature from Japanese myths and legends).
② It is made from cucumber, which is said to be the kappa's favorite food.
Since only one chef in Japan currently makes it, you'll have to make a reservation... but think of all the likes you'll get on Instagram!
There are many more mystical creatures that the Japanese believe in. Once you learn about them, you'll start discovering how often they appear in Japanese products, decorations, and more! Check out the article below if you want to learn more about them!
How Big of a Matcha Fan Are You?
Matcha (powdered green tea) fans need to bookmark this place! It is one of the few places in Japan where you can choose the intensity of the matcha in your ice cream.
The intensity level goes from 1 (weakest) to 7 (strongest), with 7 supposedly being the most intense matcha-flavored ice cream in the world! Just take a look at the picture below to see how dark the green can get.
While this store is most known for its matcha, it actually offers the same options for hojicha (roasted green tea) and genmaicha (green tea combined with roasted brown rice). If you're sick of matcha but you still want an interesting ice cream experience, you can give these other flavors a try!
If you're a true matcha fan, this alone won't be enough to satisfy you. While you're in Tokyo, you might as well try out a variety of other matcha desserts. Don't worry, the article below has got you covered!
Bonus: 5 Outdoor Sights to See in Hakone
Hakone is most well known as the ultimate spot to see Mt. Fuji from. But did you know that it holds other magical places that most foreign tourists never get to visit? The spotlight article for this week highlights five hidden outdoor spots in Hakone that are worth taking a look at!
As a bonus, some of them are amazing cherry blossom or fall foliage viewing spots!
And that's that! The trends are always quickly changing, so there will always be something new from week to week. Check back in once a week and see if anything catches your eye!
Check out the weekly trends from the past 5 weeks!
Also, if you want to give feedback on any of our articles, you have an idea that you'd really like to see come to life, or you just have a question on Japan, hit us up on our Facebook, Twitter, or tell us through this Google Form!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.