Posts Tagged ‘ Japan ’

The Japanese Shell Villa.


Shell House Villa is located in the Karuizawa region of Kitasaku, Nagano, Japan. Designed by architecture firm ARTechnic, the concrete villa with a large oval shell shaped structure is built in the middle of the forest.  The structure appears to float above the ground like a spacecraft, with trees growing around it, harmonizing the villa into the landscape.

This 329 square meter (3,541 sq. ft.) house has a central control system that enables all mechanical and electrical equipments to be managed by three buttons. A custom made floor-heating system minimizes the use of heat energy.  Check out the blueprints up top, and more photos of this fantastical villa down below.

Why you should travel the world


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Lavender Fields, France

In the summer months, the rolling lavender fields of Provence teem with bright purple blooms as far as the eye can see.

 

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Procida, Italy

This tiny island is stacked with charming candy-colored homes set against the brilliant blue backdrop of the Mediterranean.

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Caño Cristales River, Colombia

Also referred to as “the river of five colors,” this biological wonder turns a striking red color every fall thanks to a flourishing, rare plant species.

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Lake Retba, Senegal

This bubblegum-colored lake gets it’s otherworldy hue from a human-friendly bacteria that thrives in the salty waters.

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Tulip Fields, Holland

Throughout spring’s prime months, the immaculately manicured tulip, daffodil and hyacinth fields of Holland bloom into a stunning and precise array of colors.

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Great Barrier Reef, Australia

This wonder of the world is home to more than 400 coral species, 500 seaweed species and 1,500 fish species–and it’s got the color palette to prove it.

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Luoping, China

The sprawling farmlands of this dramatic, mountainous county in Eastern China become a “golden sea” when canola blooms are in season.

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Valley of Flowers National Park, India

This World Heritage Site, set against the wilderness of the Himalayas, is covered in vibrant flowers. Add in a sunset and this view takes the cake.

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Shibazakura Hill, Japan

In springtime, the fields at the base of Mount Fuji errupt with hundreds of thousands of moss blooms, or “shibazakura”, in varying shades of pink.

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Incredible Balloon Sculptures of Animals and Insects by Masayoshi Matsumoto


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Don’t show these to your kids unless you want them to be completely underwhelmed by every balloon animal they see for the rest of their lives. Japanese balloon twister Masayoshi Matsumoto makes some of the most intricate balloon sculptures I’ve ever encountered. From prickly iguanas to glowing sea creatures it seems no life form is too difficult for Matsumoto to faithfully interpret using nothing but balloons. You can follow more of his work on Tumblr and on FB. (via Neatorama)

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Croc Shall Never Kill Ape?


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Coming off the heels of their Undefeated collaboration, Bape announces their latest collab with French clothing company Lacoste.  The unusual pairing will be an exclusive capsule collection release for the Japanese Bape store. Meshing Bape’s streetwear essence with Lacoste’s luxury-wear, both brands manage to drop one of the better collabs seen this year. The capsule collection consists of polo shirts, sweatpants, hoodies, crewnecks and graphic tees. The full-zip hoodie reimagined as a crocodile is undoubtedly the standout piece from the offerings, while the combined logo offers a clever take on the collaboration, but every piece in the collection will include Lacoste’s signature crocodile logo and Bape’s gorilla logo.  The Lacoste L!ve x Bape capsule collection will be available at Japanese Bape locations starting March 28.

(via XXL)

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You’ll Never Guess Where Just Blaze’s Newest DJ Set Was Played.


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The answer… A sushi restaurant.  Sounds fishy to you? Well, thanks to a revolutionary Sushi-go-round in Japan, and an experimental sounds system that can detect colored sushi plates and play a specific sound, you CAN technically make music with sushi. Still wonder how? Watch Just Blaze give some Japanese locals a fish-fueled DJ set with the revolutionary system.

Mario’s Getting a Mercedes


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If you’ve ever played a Super Mario game, you’re going to love the new Japanese commercial for the Mercedes-Benz GLA SUV.  In it, an 8-bit Mario smashes blocks, collects coins, and runs over baddies in a pixelated Benz. When he wraps up the level, the NES game turns live-action, and a tough looking Mario in Batman-esque armor emerges from the SUV.  Besides being a fun ad, it marks a notable shift for both Nintendo and Mercedes-Benz.  It’s the first example of Nintendo licensing its intellectual property after its president Satoru Iwata announced the company would move in this direction as it struggles to profit from games on its Wii U console, Bloomberg reports. The GLA will also be the first real-life car available in the upcoming “Mario Kart 8.”

Delicious Maps of Countries Around The World Created From Native Foods


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Artists Caitlin Levin and Henry Hargreaves are authors of project called Food Maps. It’s a series of detailed maps of different countries and continents, created from the delicacies for which each place is known. The United States’ map is a glorious quilt of wheat and corn. India is the richly colored mosaic of spices. Maps of Australia and Japan feature love of their citizens to seafood. And so on. These maps show how food has traveled the globe – transforming and becoming a part of the cultural identity of that place. If you like such food creativity then you should also check delicious flags of different countries also made from food.

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2014 Ford Mustang V8 GT Coupe The Black Edition


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U.S. based auto maker Ford has officially unveiled their latest limited edition model in the 2014 Ford Mustang V8 GT Coupe The Black Edition. This 2-door sports car is drenched in a jet black paint job, and the blacked-out theme continues all throughout. The 19-inch aluminum wheels have been finished off with black accents, and the entire interior is black as well. The Black edition Mustang also features a three-layer structured glass roof that blocks 90 percent of infrared rays along with 96 percent of ultraviolet rays. Now for the good stuff. This Mustang is packed with a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine that puts down 426 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission (unfortunately no manual version is available). The vehicle is limited to just 40 units, will only be available in Japan, and will sell for roughly $50,000 when it releases on March 15th.

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Casio G-Shock 2013 Holiday “Blizzard White” Collection


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Casio‘s iconic G-Shock line offers a three-piece collection of seasonally apt new colorways for the coming winter holiday. The “Blizzard White” collection sees the GW-8900, GA-100 and GD-X6900 models brandished in stark white-grey with a matte finish — a military inspired choice as it’s originally used for snow terrain camouflage. The white-grey adorns the main bezel of the three, while further applications of military motifs are found on the faces with precise detailing down to the signature red star embellishments. As for functionality, the GW-8900 comes with a multi-band 6 station radio system covering China, US, UK, Germany and two Japan stations, while its Tough Solar program automatically re-calibrates for the accurate time. The GA-100 offers a 1/1000 second stopwatch function, speed measurement recording and maintains magnetic resistance, while the more basic GD-X6900 comes with G-Shock’s classic illuminating and 20bar water resistant perks.

Giant Robotic Beetle


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Japanese machine shop owner hitoshi takahashi built this 11-meter-tall robotic walking beetle called KABUTOM RX-03. The mobile sculpture, which takes its name from kabuto — a type of rhinoceros beetle typical to Japan — features characteristics typical to the insects like pointing horns and elongated legs. With over 30 moving parts, the machine includes a variety of technological details, such as the ability to shoot steam from the top of its head and its remote controlled legs that can reach speeds up to 4 kilometers per hour. Weighing 17 tons in total, the robot can transport up to seven people with one driver riding on top and six occupants fitting in an internal compartment.

UNstudio Envision Nippon Moon Giant Observation Wheel, Japan


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International practice UNstudio was commissioned by ferris wheel investment to develop a giant observation wheel in Japan, an amusement structure that is widely popular as a form of entertainment for the island nation. ‘Nippon moon’ has been envisioned to differ from existing ones of its kind with a comprehensive interactive system, developed in partnership with experientia who assisted in providing research on how behaviour could influence user’s interaction with the architectural and digital infrastructure. One’s all-encompassing experience is largely influenced by an accompanying augmented reality app which focuses on three main areas: discovery, the ride and the return. Upon reservation, one must choose the type of virtual journey they wish to take, as each single or double-story capsule has a different theme relating to history, culture, or the environment. From the moment you buy your ticket, the interaction begins. The digital AR platform allows users to see how many seconds are left until their departure. Upon arrival, participants have the freedom to view the welcome area and facilities in ‘active queuing’, instead of waiting in a traditional line for their turn. Upon embarking, the app which works for smartphones and tablets also functions intuitively with each of the pod’s transparent technological skin, becoming a communication device between cars. this kind of information tailors a one-of-a-kind experience, enhancing one’s perception of their chosen topic. One’s senses are further heightened through the integration of augmented animations and sounds. Afterward pictures taken by visitors are posted to the hall of fame in the lobby, becoming a continuous part of the journey after disembarking. Thus, the design creates an active learning environment for riders with the hope to create a significant memory and impact on japanese culture. The concept of observation wheels is not new, but UNstudio’s concept combines design, with engineering to create a fully integrated virtual world.

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Meat Balloons


Balloon Factory (a project by Object Design League) was invited by Sight Unseen to design a window installation for Japan Premium Beef as part of the NoHo Design District, a recurring gathering of off-site design events during the annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York each year.

The Balloon Factory project started as a performance, but it has persisted as a factory. They produce balloons for special events and by request. For Japan Premium Beef, they made a set of butcher-themed balloons (in the tradition of Sam Baron’s sausage installation there in 2010). A selection of uninflated steak balloons were displayed on butcher trays, framed by an installation of hanging sausage balloon links. This iteration extends the original Balloon Factory project and carries a strong reference to the intricate fake food prevalent in restaurant windows in Japan.

Sayaka Ganz Recycled Sculptures


Born in Yokohama, Japan, Sayaka explains that, “Japanese Shinto beliefs are such that all objects and organisms have spirits, and objects that are discarded before their time weep at night inside the trash bin… or so they teach children at many preschools.” Whether truth or tale, the image stuck with Sayaka as she moved from country to country. “I had a strong desire to fit in, and to make people and objects surrounding me fit together to create harmony,” she tells. “My goal is for each object to transcend it is origins by being integrated into the form of an animal or some other organism that seems alive and in motion.”

Using possibly the cheapest material around—thrift store plastics that have already been used or trashed—Sayaka Kajita Ganz still manages to make pieces that look priceless.

Masters Craft Ceramic Ware Boutique – Tokyo.


The recently opened Masters Craft ceramic ware boutique in the basement shopping area of Palace Hotel Tokyo is pure proof of what we already know: nobody masters the art of minimalism as well as the Japanese.  Everything in this store, including how each individual item is displayed on the shelves and counters, manifests the skill of leaving all else out except what is needed for balance; of not being afraid of empty space, and of allowing every piece to tell its complete visual and tactile story.  The 45 square-meter (484 sq.ft.) store was designed by Akemi Katsuno & Takashi Yagi, founders of Kyoto-based Love the Life.

Bunka Fashion College Culture Festival 2011.


Tokyo based Bunka Fashion College is Japan’s most respected fashion college. Each year around Culture Day the school holds a three day long culture festival. Among the countless events are fashion shows created and staged by Bunka students. As you can see from these images, the quality is amazingly high.

Those Most Interesting Fish You’ll Ever See.


First: watch the video. Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori paints three-dimensional goldfish using a complex process of poured resin. The fish are painted meticulously, layer by layer, the sandwiched slices revealing slightly more about each creature, similar to the function of a 3D printer. I really enjoy the rich depth of the pieces and the optical illusion aspect, it’s such an odd process that results in something that’s both a painting and sculptural. Wonderful.  Fukahori just closed an exhibition at ICN Gallery in London titled Goldfish Salvation, and you can see many more images via the gallery’s Facebook, but probably the best resource is this set of photos by Dominic Alves.

The World’s Best Sushi Chef?


A documentary that goes behind the counter and into the life of a man who’s been called the greatest sushi chef in the world is set to open in New York Friday.  Tucked away in an underground Tokyo subway station is an unremarkable-looking 10-seat eatery called Sukiyabashi Jiro which serves Michelin-starred sushi by 85-year-old Jiro Ono, the first chef in Japan to earn three Michelin stars.  In trailers for the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, filmmaker David Gelb captures the deft, economic movements of Ono’s hands as he shapes and molds the rice for his sushi and lacquers the fish with gentle brushstrokes.  Sushi and sashimi are presented on black marbles slabs and diners eat in a hushed silence that speaks of their reverence for the ceremonial experience and the master sushi chef.  The film is not just an ode to sushi and the octogenarian’s unrelenting pursuit of perfection, but also explores the father-son relationship and succession as the eldest son Yoshikazu is slated to take over the legendary restaurant.

Rise Of The Underground.


Mark Moore Gallery presents Rise of the Underground, a two-person exhibition featuring new works by Jeremy Fish (CA) and Kenichi Yokono (Japan). Each adopting the age-old craft of woodcutting through a distinctive contemporary technique, Fish and Yokono employ bold and enchanting cartoon-like narratives to illustrate quotidian and pop cultural excerpts. Unmistakably handmade and remarkably intriguing, Yokono’s woodblocks explore the “horrors of everyday life,” while Fish’s paintings and cut-outs reveal untapped histories often swept under the rug. Seemingly innocuous at first observation, each work is intricately laced with undercurrents of the sinister and the foreboding, saturated with cultural reflection, psychoanalysis, and social commentary in a fusion of high and low aesthetics.

Japanese Love Hotels.


Sexual connotation, fantasy or secret meetings, those establishments called ‘Love Hotels’ provide kinky fun for all types seeking sexual adventure.  Photographer Misty Keasler traveled Japan to documented the universe of those hotels.  In her new book, Love Hotels, American photographer Misty Keasler portrays some of the newest, most creative love hotels in Japan.  Check the method.  If any of these places look interesting to you (LADIES)… give me your feedback.

Controlled Quantum Levitation = Real Life Video Games.


I hope almost everyone remembers the epic video game Wipe-Out.  Basically you flew around on floating ships and raced on ridiculously gravity defying track in a futuristic world that made you wonder “when will people ever be able to actually do this?”  Luckily for the kids out there that had this thought in their heads… The brilliant minds over at the Japan Institute Of Science and Technology have used Quantum Levitation to create a scale model track.  Quantum Levitation is something I’ve covered in a previous post, and its wild to see just how fast this advancement is taking strides forward.  In the nearer future, we just might see a breakthrough in transportation.   Check the method below.

The Diving Coaster.


Over the years roller coasters have become more and more impressive.  The largest, tallest, and fastest coaster in the world happens to reside in my home state of New Jersey.  (holla)  But what I like to call the Diving Coaster, actually named ‘The Vanishing Coaster’ in Japan takes things to entirely new heights… or lows.  The coaster dips an incredible 18 feet below ground in the middle of a water fountain.  Check the method.

I feel like at night, it would be even more of an entertaining experience.

Can You Translate Engrish Properly?


In the 2000 American version of “Godzilla”, the big lizard got his name from a misnomer of the words “Go-Jira”.  In the movie they were trying to make the point that it may be a bit difficult to translate from Japanese to English.  However, they never made the point that sometimes it might be hard there other way around.  Here’s a visual tribute to the ineptitude of the translation skills of the land of the rising sun and other Asian countries.  (For some reason, images on this list keep intermittently glitching, doubling up or disappearing. Rest assured that I’m constantly rectifying this issue, so if you encounter it, it should be fixed within the hour or so..)

Real Life Touchable Holograms.


Researchers at Tokyo University have come up with a technology that is a first and significant step away from the mouse and keyboard – touchable holograms.

[Hiroyuki Shinoda, Professor, Tokyo University]:

“Up until now, holography has been for the eyes only, and if you’d try to touch it, your hand would go right through. But now we have a technology that also adds the sensation of touch to holograms.”

The technology consists of software that uses ultrasonic waves to create pressure on the hand of a user “touching” the projected hologram.  Researchers are using two Wiimotes from Nintendo’s Wii gaming system to track a user’s hand. The technology was introduced at SIGGRAPH, an annual computer graphics conference, and has so far only been tested with relatively simple objects.  But its inventors have big plans for touchable holograms in the future.

[Hiroyuki Shinoda, Professor, Tokyo University]:

“For example, it’s been shown that in hospitals, there can be contamination between people due to objects that are touched communally. But if you can change the switches and such into a virtual switch, then you no longer have worry about touch contamination. This is one application that’s quite easy to see.”

Touchable holograms could be used for a wide variety of things… everything from light switches to books with each appearing when needed, and then disappearing when not.  And holograms could replace the need for making new interfaces for technology, since they could be changed without having to make a new physical product.

Japan’s Dekotora Scene.


Meet Dekotora: the land of the rising sun’s homegrown and very cool trucker subculture that covers big rigs with neon and ultraviolet lights, colorful airbrushed murals, and shiny stainless or golden exteriors, all the while housing interiors straight out of Brewsters Millions or a 2-star Las Vegas casino, complete with elaborate chandeliers and velvet-lined seats.  This stuff is WILD.  Check the method.

Christmas In Tokyo?


Even though Christmas is not a traditional Japanese celebration, few places in the world mark December 25 with such gusto as Tokyo.  The Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo has announced a WISH.forJapan Christmas package that is available December 10-25.  10 percent of the price, which starts at Y52,000 per night will go to support people affected by the earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan in March.  The hotel, which opened in March 2009 in the top 11 floors of the 37-storey Marunouchi Trust Tower alongside Tokyo Station, launched its WISH.forJapan charitable program immediately after the disasters struck. The package includes a special bottle of spumante, made by Bottega of Italy, which created a one-off white bottle featuring the logo of the program, as well as WISH candy made by Papabubble, which is originally from Barcelona.  Guests will also enjoy a Christmas cake made by the hotel’s executive pastry chef and breakfast at the Restaurant Piacere or The Lobby Lounge, as well as access to the hotel’s health club and swimming pool.