Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

This week at the Daily Post, we are challenged to find something that means unique to us! For me, one of the most unique places I’ve visited is Japan. I’ve always been interested in Japanese culture and language (I took three years in college, of course all that has atrophied now… 仕方ないね。。) and I really enjoyed my visit there! Someday I will be back, but until then I can remember Japan fondly through my pictures.

Uniquely Japanese

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Back when I visited Japan, flip phones were DA BOMB! Also, the phrase “da bomb” and “phat” were in! So that kind of shows how long ago this was. Anyway, what’s the fun in having the coolest flip phone if everyone else has the same one? Of course you need to personalize it and bling it out like this crazy phone right over here. This was taken at the Tokyu Hands craft store – a real haven for crafty sorts with so many different departments that one can find anything they want! Including kits to bedazzle your phone.

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An advertisement for Mos Burger, a popular burger chain in Japan. I believe they are advertising a new “doo-na-tsu baa-gaa” – Donut Burger! With wasabi sauce perhaps. That is just so weird. But it looks strangely tasty…

DSCF7953Deer in the Japanese city of Nara! Within a certain area, there are wild sika deer roaming who are considered sacred and therefore it is illegal to hunt them. This would probably set all the hunters I know twitching with anticipation, but these deer are crazy bold and not shy at all. The sight of food will have them trailing you around for hours. Adorable but kinda dirty!

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In Osaka (and now Tokyo too I hear) they have a very important museum for a very important Japanese innovator and businessman. Of course, I speak of no one less than Momofuku Ando, the inventor of ramen! This staple of college diet is popular worldwide now – I love me some cup noodle! And there is the man himself, immortalized on a pedestal of cup noodle and brandishing a package of ramen. Glorious!

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These sushi are a real mouth-tease – they’re not edible but actually made of chirashi silk, painstakingly stitched together and then stuffed to resemble the real deal. They are amazing and look great but also bring up the question – do people really buy silk sushi to display in their homes?

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In Kyoto we got the chance to dress up as geisha and of course take lots of glamour shots! It was definitely a unique and surreal experience to get the makeup done and put on the multi-layered kimono, with the heavy obi – these things are seriously heavy and somewhat unwieldy! I loved getting to pick out the kimono though – it felt like I was wearing a rainbow!

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Sleeping on a futon in a tatami mat room in Hakone, Japan. This ryokan (small inn) also had their own hot spring! Hot springs are a must do in Japan. It’s a totally different experience… because you are naked! And that’s definitely unique because I am not used to being naked in front of total strangers.

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Only in Japan would you have an adorable mascot of an egg… a partially eaten one at that. Along with his eponymous buddy Hello Kitty, Owakudani egg extols the virtues of eating one of their special boiled eggs, boiled in the sulfurous hot springs of Owakudani and “guaranteed” to extend your life!

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