50th anniversary Ultraman sneakers by Converse All Star

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RocketNews 24 (by KK Miller):

After 50 years on air, Ultraman has become an iconic hero of the modern Japanese age. He’s such a staple of Japanese TV that he is being included in a set of themed “working hero” shoes released by Converse All Star.

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Is Ultraman really a normal everyday working hero? Who else is part of this line-up?

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Mechanic, astronaut, hunter, fireman, police officer, Ultraman??? Maybe it’s not that Ultraman is some normal “working hero”, but that the people who do these other jobs are actually working superheroes!

If you are ready to take on the responsibilities of Ultraman, the super flashy red and silver Ultraman R Hi All Star will cost you 9,500 yen (US$88.80). However, that isn’t the only Ultraman star getting a brand new set of shoes. Collectors can also grab a pair of Baltanseijin R Slip Ox for the same price, or some Eleking R Hi for 8,500 yen ($79.45).

Buddha vs Eva, Ultraman, Gundam and Lady Liberty: How the otherworldly measure up

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RocketNews 24:

If you’re a fan of mecha anime, you’ll know all about towering robots and the impressive displays of power they show during large-scale, epic battles. One of the titans of the mecha world, Gundam, is so revered in Japan he’s been recreated to scale and stands looking out over Tokyo Bay, wowing crowds with his strength and height.

Gundam might not be so happy, however, to learn that a picture doing the rounds on the internet is making him look tiny when compared with his peaceful brother from another otherworldly realm. To be fair though, not much can compete with Ushiku Daibutsu, the tallest Buddha statue in the world, who lives just a 90-minute train ride from Narita Station.

Located in Ushiki, Ibaraki Prefecture, Ushiki Daibutsu was completed in 1993 and stands a total of 120 metres (390 ft) tall. Like Lady Liberty, the statue houses an observation floor, where visitors can enjoy amazing views that stretch far off into the distance.

While the famous daibutsu (giant buddhas) of Nara and Kamakura are known for drawing crowds of visitors, the Ushiki Daibutsu makes up for its lack of centuries-old history with sheer height and impressive body parts.

  • Weight: 4,003 tonnes (8.825 million lb)
  • Length of left hand: 18 m (59.06 ft)
  • Length of face: 20 m (65.62 ft)
  • Length of eye: 2.55 m (8.4 ft)
  • Length of mouth: 4.5 m (15 ft)
  • Length of nose: 1.2 m (3.9 ft)
  • Length of Ear: 10 m (32.81 ft)
  • Length of the first finger: 7 m (22.97 ft)

 

To get a sense of the enormous scale of this statue, the head of this great Buddha could house the entire body of Nara’s daibutsu (seen on the far right of the image above). Thank goodness these are all peace-loving heroes or who knows what kind of mess we’d all be in!

Ushiku Daibutsu Details


Address: 2083 Kunocho, Ushiku, Ibaraki
Phone: 029-889-2931
Hours: Mar–Sep: 9:30 am–5:00 pm (until 5:30 pm Sat, Sun & holidays); Oct–Feb: 9:30 am–4:30 pm
Admission: 800 yen (US$6.80) for adults (Dec–Mar: 700 yen [$5.95]), 400 yen ($3.40) for children

Ultraman x A Bathing Ape 2014 Capsule Collection

Image of Ultraman x A Bathing Ape 2014 Capsule Collection

 

Japanese streetwear label BAPE has teamed up with its native television series character Ultraman to create a new capsule collection. The range of apparel features a full zip hooded sweatshirt and a number of printed graphic tees that are available for both adults and children. Combining the aesthetics of the two entities, the sweatshirt features the classic all-over BAPE camo print but with the Ultraman eyes on his mask for the hood. The tees then mix the Baby Milo figure with the television character in a playful fashion in a number of color palettes that encompass a wide spectrum.

Scroll through the images above and keep an eye out for the pieces to release November 8 at BAPE locations.

 

Image of Ultraman x A Bathing Ape 2014 Capsule Collection

Image of Ultraman x A Bathing Ape 2014 Capsule Collection

Image of Ultraman x A Bathing Ape 2014 Capsule Collection

 Image of Ultraman x A Bathing Ape 2014 Capsule Collection

Image of Ultraman x A Bathing Ape 2014 Capsule Collection

Image of Ultraman x A Bathing Ape 2014 Capsule Collection

 

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21 themed Japanese hotel rooms that you won’t believe

RocketNews 24:

 

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When choosing a place to stay while traveling, most people look for very specific things in hotels: location, price, continental breakfasts that are open until ten so that lazy people like us can still get some food.

But others want a little bit more out of the their hotel, like intricately detailed themed rooms!

Here are some of the best themed hotel rooms Japan has to offer! (Note: links to Japanese-language websites.)

Room G – Hotel Grand Pacific Le Daiba meets Gundam

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Gundam, of course, is one of Japan’s most beloved anime, and it provided the inspiration and decoration for these lavish rooms. The rooms feature murals of Gundam battles, various Gundam flags and character models.

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The Hotel Grand Pacific Le Daiba in Tokyo boasts a variety of Gundam rooms, with the simplest only featuring framed wall posters, pillows and sheets matching the faction of the room. Guests can choose from Jaburo, E.F.S.F., and the Principality of Zeon. The more lavish rooms, of which there are only three, feature massive murals, potted plants, a special morning call service, and figures from the show. There’s even a cockpit photo spot!

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The “standard” rooms start at 15,900 yen (about US$159) per person per night, while the large, more extravagant rooms start at 27,000 yen (around $270). That doesn’t include breakfast, but it does include some special Gundam amenities, like embroidered bath towels!

Dokidoki Precure – Ikenotaira Hotel

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If you’re looking for something a bit cuter, then it’s time to head to the Ikenotaira Hotel at the Shirakaba Resort in Nagano Prefecture. There, you’ll find two Dokidoki PreCure rooms available: the Lovely room and the Premium room.

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In addition to every inch being covered with Dokidoki PreCure imagery, customers get some special good to take home with them! For example, the hotel offers a Precure handkerchief, a special cup and toothbrush, a letter set, and a shitajiki, or plastic sheet to put under paper when writing, all emblazoned with Dokidoki PreCure characters. There are even costumes for children to dress up in!

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The rooms are for two to three people, and pricing starts at 12,000 yen (about US$120) per night, though you can expect to pay significantly more during busy periods.

Kamen Rider Wizard – Ikenotaira Hotel

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If you’re looking for something a bit more action oriented, the Ikenotaira Hotel also offers a Kamen Rider Wizard room. Again, guests receive special goods to take home with them like a toothbrush, mask and juice cup.

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The Kamen Rider Wizard room is priced similarly to the Dokidoki PreCure rooms and is decorated with special bedspreads, wall murals, and an intimidating cut-out “guarding” the room. We wonder how many kids have woken up in the middle of the night to see Kamen Rider’s bug-like face and screamed so loud they woke the whole floor.

Hello Kitty/Cinnamoroll – Royal Hotel (various locations)

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Well, you had to know that this was coming! The Hello Kitty hotel room was bound to be on this list somewhere, and, holy cow, does it ever live up to its name.

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The Royal Hotel actually offers a few different rooms to choose from: the Grand Kitty room, the Cinnamoroll Room, and the Hello Kitty room. The Grand Kitty room is only available at the Beppu Royal Hotel in Oita Prefecture, though the others are available at multiple locations around Japan in addition to Beppu. The rooms start at 11,100 yen per night for adults, 7,700 yen for elementary school students, and 6,400 yen for anyone younger. The Hello Kitty dinner for children is, of course, extra—though it’s also extra cute!

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Like others on this list, guests get some goods to take home with them including stuffed toys.

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One Piece – Hotel Amsterdam

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If you do end up in Beppu, you might as well do some sightseeing around Kyushuu, which means a visit to Nagasaki. And if you’re going to go all the way to Nagasaki, you might as well stay in a One Piece-themed hotel room!

▼Let the characters of One Piece gang watch as you shower!

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A fan favorite, we imagine that the room gets booked quickly, especially with the One Piece rides and attractions right next door to Hotel Amsterdam! Starting at 20,000 yen a night per person, the room is covered in One Piece images and comes with breakfast and special goods.

Miffy – Hotel Amsterdam

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If rubber-limbed pirates don’t captured your heart, maybe you’d rather stay in Hotel Amsterdam‘s Miffy room!

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Miffy, the adorable Dutch rabbit with a crossed mouth, has her own room, complete with a Miffy doormat, sheets, pajamas, and take-home goods. The room starts at 19,500 yen per person per night and can accommodate up to four.

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The hotel also features an enormous Miffy store with more stuffed animals than anyone could possibly hug in a week. Though that won’t stop us from trying!

Gegege no Kitaro – Kaike Saichoraku

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If cute or action-packed isn’t quite your groove, how about something a bit…scarier.

Decorated with images and props from the yokai (Japanese ghosts and monsters) anime/manga Gegege no Kitaro, these four rooms don’t exactly seem like the best place to get some shut-eye! Though we imagine fans of the show are probably used to ghosts staring at them.

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The rooms are bit more moderately priced than some others on the list, starting at 9,800 yen (about $98) for adults—and that comes with two meals per day! Located in Tottori Prefecture, the Kaike Saichoraku hotel is a bit out-of-the-way, but it does feature two hot springs nearby!

Evangelion: Room – Highland Resort

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It should come as no surprise that this list features a room based on Evangelion, simply one of the most famous and well-known anime in recent history. And the life-size statue of Rei is one of the most ambitious interior decorations we’ve seen yet!

The Highland Resort in Yamanashi Prefecture is located near both Mt. Fuji and one of Japan’s most famous amusement parks, Fuji-Q, which features a 79-meter-tall roller coaster. But you’re not here for the sightseeing, are you?

You’re here to sleep in THIS:

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The Evangelion room features a capsule-like bed in addition to pictures of the show’s characters on the wall. There’s also a special “morning call” phone and DVDs available for the die-hard fan who can’t go a night without watching the show. There are even blacklight graphics and quotes on the walls! We guess no one ever told them about the unfortunate results of looking at hotel bedsheets under a blacklight…

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The hotel also provides, as you may have guessed, special Evangelion amenities, in addition to an Evangelion ID card.

No word on whether or not there’s an angst requirement for guests, though the room starts at 37,000 yen (about $370) a night for one or two people on weekdays and goes up, up, up from there. The special dinner will only set you back 8,000 yen ($80). On the other hand, you can get into Fuji-Q for free, if you feel like leaving the room.

Gaspard and Lisa – Highland Resort

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Not wanting to rest on their giant mechs, Highland Resort has two special rooms for the more child-like among us. Based on the British cartoon Gaspard and Lisa, there’s a Lisa room and a Gaspard room—leaving it to you to choose which you love more! You’ll want to pick the Gaspard room though–it has glow-in-the-dark paintings on the ceiling!

▼Lisa’s room

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▼Gaspard’s room

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Before you check out, be sure to stop by the Gaspard and Lisa-inspired restaurant. Staying in the rooms will also get you a free pass to Gaspard and Lisa Town, which features a replica Eiffel Tower among other attractions.

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The Lisa room starts at 48,000 yen (about $480) while the Gaspard room starts at 58,000 yen (about $580), and both prices are for one to three people.

Thomas the Tank Engine – Highland Resort

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We’re not sure if the Highland Resort is crazy, genius, or both, but here they are making another appearance on our list! This family-oriented room features three beds with detailed murals of Thomas and his friends, in addition to a Percy sofa!

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Of course, the room comes with special amenities and a unique “Thomas Party Set” meal. It costs 10,500 yen (about $105), but comes with enough food for two adults and a child.

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The room also sports a map of Sodor, the fictional island on which Thomas lives and works, and an absolutely magnificent view of Mt. Fuji.

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Honestly, that view alone might very well be worth it. Well, unless this happens…

Pokemon Room – Various ANA hotels

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After flying on ANA’s Pokemon airplane, wouldn’t it be great if you could crash into a Pokemon hotel room, snuggle up with a Pikachu stuffed-animal, wrap yourself in Poke-sheets and fall blissfully asleep, trying to catch them all in your dreams?

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Well, surprise! You totally can! And not just at one hotel either: there are Pokemon rooms at over 20 hotels throughout Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Okinawa.

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In addition to the bed sheets and abundance of super-powered stuffed animals, there are also Pokemon curtains and meals packed into plastic Pikachu heads at some locations. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there are any wall murals.

Kumamon – Hotel Verde

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If you’re in Kumamoto Prefecture, you might as well stay in a Kumamon room, right?

Kumamon, in case you’re not familiar with the rosy-cheeked bear, is the mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, created originally for the Kumamoto Surprise campaign. We’re not sure about using a bear in a “surprise” campaign, but it certainly worked—Kumamon is now famous right across the country!

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The Hotel Verde room features Kumamon wall paintings, bedsheets, pillows, stuffed animals, and lamp shades.

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The hotel features various “staying methods,” with plans geared towards families, (quiet) lovers, friends, and events, which all affect pricing differently.

Ultraman – Hotel Verde

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Hotel Verde also has an Ultraman room…though we have a feeling it probably doesn’t get much use for those visiting on the “lovers” plan.

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The room is covered with posters, murals, and features multiple life-sized statues of Ultraman, one of Japan’s most well-known masked heroes.

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The hotel claims that this is the only place in Japan to stay in an Ultraman room, so if you’re a fan of the character, it’s time to head to Kyushuu!

Woody Woodpecker – Hotel Kintetsu Universal City

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For those of you taking a trip to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, you might as well go the whole nine yards and stay in a Woody Woodpecker room!

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In addition to Woody Woodpecker paintings, lights, and sheets, guests also get Woody Woodpecker stuffed toys as presents! As the rooms accommodate up to four people, the hotel recommends these rooms to families, rounding out the amenities with games to keep your little tykes entertained while you soak your feet after a day running around USJ!

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The rooms start around 53,000 yen (about $530) for two people, but that includes two one-day tickets to the park for each person and some goods to take home with you.

Suica Penguin – JR East Japan Hotels

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Perhaps the most random (but cool nevertheless) room on our list today is the room based on Japan Rail’s adorable Suika Penguin. We have to say this mascot may very well be the cutest thing ever to sell train tickets, so we can’t say that we blame anyone for wanting to relax in a Suica Penguin hotel room after a long day on the bullet train. And check out this bed!!!

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In addition to the soothing penguin smile watching over you as you sleep, the room comes with more take-home presents than a Christmas party! Slippers, a USB thumb drive, and a toothbrush set are just some of the goods you’ll get—all of them featuring the happy bird!

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Premium rooms—which is what you’ll need to book to get all the goodies—start around 16,000 yen (about $160) a night per person, coming to 32,000 yen ($320) for two. If you’re planning on going by yourself, it’ll start at 23,000 yen (around $230) per night.

Mickey Mouse – Disney Ambassador Hotel

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When they’re not going up in flames, Disney theme parks are quite the hit in Japan, and no one loves Mickey Mouse quite the same way as Japanese Disney fans. So it’s hardly a surprise to find Mickey Mouse-themed rooms at Disney hotels in Japan!

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The rooms come with complimentary welcome drinks, a treat for parents already exhausted by their kids, as well as a special check-in lobby. Once you get to the room, you’ll find Mickey Mouse bed sheets, wallpaper, and amenities, in addition to old-style Mickey Mouse posters. Mickey’s even painted on the bathroom door, in case you’re scared to shower alone!

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The rooms start between 26,667 (about $266) and 40,000 yen (around $400) a night, depending on room size and number of guests.

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Ryujin Mabuyer – Solare Hotels and Resorts

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If you’re heading to Okinawa to cool off on the beach this summer, you have a number of options for action-packed hotel rooms thanks to a collaboration between Ryujin Mabuyer, a show similar to the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers, and Solare Hotels.

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Starting at 4,550 yen ($45.50) per person, rooms are furnished with giant posters, stand-up cut outs, Ryujin Mabuyer body pillows, special printed bed sheets, plush toys, and Mabuyer DVDs to watch after a long day on the beach. Guests also get some themed presents like Mabuyer papercraft, a puzzle, and a notebook.

Koala’s March – Lotte City Hotel Kinshicho

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Yes, this really is a room themed on cookies. For those with a sweet tooth and love of cuddly koalas, here’s the perfect room for your Tokyo travels!

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Taking the chocolate treat Koala’s March as its inspiration, this hotel room is furnished with koala stuffed animals, koala pillows, koala wallpaper, and koala amenities in your bathroom. Lotte City Hotel also promises special souvenirs for guests and says that you just might be able to meet some of the cute critters in your dreams if you stay here. With rooms starting at 23,300 yen (around $233) a night for one person, we sure hope you’ll see some adorable faces in your sleep!

Pandas – Mitsui Garden Hotel Ueno

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If koalas aren’t quite cute enough for you, then you’ll just have to stay in the Panda Room at the Mitsui Garden Hotel, located in Ueno where you can also find real pandas at the Ueno Zoo!

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In addition to panda bedspreads, panda pillows, panda shower curtains, and panda teacups, you’ll also find…panda toilet paper? That just seems…uhh…

Anyway, the room holds up to two people and starts at the surprisingly reasonable 7,500 yen (about $75) per person.

Wicked – Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel

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A major Broadway hit, Wicked has gained quite the following in Japan as well. And if you happen to be a fan of the show, you’ll definitely want to book this room at the Associa Hotel next time you’re passing through Nagoya.

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With an interior design based on the musical, flying monkey plushies, and a signed wall poster, this room is sure to bring you the wickedest of sweet dreams. The room also has its own special breakfast, called “Wicked Morning,” and a chance to enter a drawing to win goods signed by the musical cast. The room starts at 29,000 yen (around $290) for one person per night.

Model Trains – Akihabara Washington Hotel

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Well, if you’re going to stay in Akihabara, you might as well go crazy, right?

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This room doesn’t feature any unique decorations—instead it sports an impressive, working model train diorama and a view of the downtown train tracks!

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For those of you who don’t quite have a high enough geek level to get into the tecchan house, this might be your best chance to live with trains. However, while the diorama is functional, you’ll need to bring your own N-gauge train cars, though the hotel will let you rent theirs for 1,000 yen (about $10).

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If you’re interested in staying in the Washington Hotel‘s model train room, you’ll have to book it through the web though, as they won’t accept reservations over the phone. Only one room exists, and it can only accommodate up to two people—though it looks pretty cramped! Pricing varies on a daily basis, but it seems to start around 15,000 yen (around $150).

Sources: Naver Matome

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21 themed Japanese hotel rooms that you won’t believe

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“Japanese Toys! From Kokeshi to Kaiju”: Japanese toy exhibition at San Francisco Int’l Aiport

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Japanese movie, television, and manga (comics) inspired legions of iconic character toys. Godzilla, the king of monsters, spawned from the atomic bomb’s aftermath, stormed onto the screen as the premier kaiju or Japanese monster in 1954. Ultraman, a futuristic television series introduced in 1966, featured a superhuman hero who battled a new kaiju each episode. The manga Astro Boy or Mighty Atom, about a child robot, made its debut in 1952 and prompted the first of many animated television programs in the 1960s. Later on, kawaii, which refers to all things cute, became a national obsession. One of the world’s most beloved icons, Hello Kitty, created in 1974 by Sanrio, remains as popular as ever.

Japanese Toys! From Kokeshi to Kaiju provides a feast for the eyes and the imagination. This exhibition captures the remarkable evolution of Japanese toys. Kokeshi dollsmenko playing cards, and battery-operated robots are among the quintessential toys on display. Vinyl kaiju figures, Ultraman novelties, and a dress made entirely from plush Hello Kitty dolls are some of the unexpected items on view.

SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and providing educational services for the traveling public. The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the country’s only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features approximately twenty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation.

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“Japanese Toys! From Kokeshi to Kaiju”: Japanese toy exhibition at San Francisco Int’l Aiport

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Showa Era ‘Ultraman’ retrospective being showcased at Aichi Museum

 

A retrospective dedicated to the undyingly popular “Ultra” superhero franchise offers visitors a nostalgic trip back to the Showa Era (1926-1989) at the Kawara Museum in the city’s Aokicho district.

The “Ultraman Soseki-ten” (the Ultraman genesis exhibition) focuses on the first eight shows in the franchise, from 1966’s “Ultra Q” sci-fi drama series to 1980’s “Ultraman 80” live-action superhero series.

 Production materials used for the shows including Ultraman’s masks and a model of a flying Ultraseven are on display.

Costumes of Space Ray Bostang, Peguila, Kanegon and other “kaiju” monsters and their statues also catch the eyes of the visitors.

Other items include full-body kaiju costumes created by model artists based on screenplays and design drawings, plaster and clay molds for making kaiju parts, and figures from the franchise. In all, about 250 items are featured.

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Showa Era ‘Ultraman’ retrospective being showcased at Aichi Museum

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