“Japanese scientist Mitsuyuki Ikeda has developed a ‘burger’ made from soya, steak sauce essence, and protein extracted from human feces” (inhabitat.com). Reading about a man who has successfully managed to create the culinary masterpiece that is poop in burger form may seem strange until one considers this gourmet delight was created in Japan! The land of the rising sun is a mecca for incredible innovations as well as the latest in quirky technology. It is a place that I was fortunate enough to explore, appreciate, and ultimately fall in love with. I consider Japan to be the closest thing we have on Earth to exploring another planet. This is my homage to one of my favorite aspects of Japan, the absolutely inexplicable wonder that is Japanese madness!
You have probably heard rumors that one can find used panties in Japanese vending machines. Obviously, this is complete garbage! Or is it? When I was in Japan, I found not one, but TWO different used-panties vending machines; both of which offered a jubilee of Japanese kinkiness, for the low price of ¥500 (my apologies, but a picture of this just wouldn’t be appropriate!). Despite how filthy the idea of purchasing used panties from a vending machine is, I had to do it, just to be able to say that I did. Of course, by doing this, I knew I would eventually have to explain to my girlfriend why I had a vending machine toy egg with panties inside of it. The solution? When I returned home from Japan, I presented the used panties to my girlfriend like so many Christmas presents. While my girlfriend didn’t find it nearly as funny as I did, I was relieved when she didn’t kick me in the junk!
By now, you have probably heard of Japanese maid cafes. Next time you are in Tokyo, head over to the manga paradise that is Akihabara and treat yourself to some dessert at one of these truly bizarre/awesome restaurants! My friend and I were basically dragged by an aggressive Korean woman (dressed in a French maid outfit) down a dark alley, on a winter night. Of course we couldn’t speak much Japanese (or Korean for that matter) so we found ourselves praying that she wasn’t going to take us somewhere to kill us! Thankfully after a few winds through the Akihabara back roads, we found ourselves riding up an elevator to what would become one of the strangest places we had been to. The elevator doors opened up to reveal a dozen smiling, beautiful Japanese women, greeting us in an anime-esque frenzy of cuteness. After we were seated and received our desserts (which looked like cake versions of Pikachu faces) a Japanese maid appeared and forced us to sing a magical Japanese maiden song that “makes desserts taste yummy!” Somehow after singing this song and having everyone in the place laugh at us, I found it a bit difficult to eat my Pikachu head! Just to end the experience with a bang, one of the maids (who knew a bit of English) stopped by and informed me that they have had some American guests in the past as well. She pointed at the wall at a picture of some guys, who upon closer inspection turned out to be the Backstreet Boys! I couldn’t help but love the sheer strangeness of the entire situation.
Japan is an absolutely wonderful place; in fact, it’s literally my favorite place on Earth. The people are unbelievably polite, respectful, friendly, fun, and sometimes, delightfully out of their minds. I can write forever on the subject of why this place is awesome, and why you need to go, but the truth is, you really need to book a plane ticket and experience the magic (and craziness) for yourself! And on that note, I leave you with this: