Fugu – 河豚

Fugu is one of Japanese favorite dishes, also known as pufferfish. When a fugu fish feels that a predator is near them they increase their size many times acquiring a globus-shape while he expels one of the most lethal poisons in the world called tetrodoxin.


This is a dead Fugu I found dead walking in a japanese beach.

Japanese restaurants that want to prepare fugu need a special license. This license warranties that there is a chef in the restaurant that has the required training, knowledge and skills to cut fugu in way that all poison inside the body is removed. Most of the poison is inside the lever and ovaries, it is mandatory to remove them before eating. The problem is that there are some old Japanese that believe that “a little bit of fugu’s poison” is not bad at all, it gives more flavor to the dish (Crazy people!). Fugu’s intoxication kills one or two Japanese every year.

Dead from fugu’s poison ingestion seems to be horrible. The poison paralyzes your neural system but it doesn’t enter your blood flux, the victim is conscious till he dies and can feel how he starts loosing muscle mobility till the point that he can’t even talk. At the end you die from asphyxia.

Even know all this things about fugu I ate it many times (In restaurants with license 😉 ) and I’m sill alive like Home Simpson that also ate fugu in one of The Simpson’s chapters. I like it but is not really what I would call something delicious, I prefer som other fish. Fugu’s meat is greasy and when you eat it feels like a non flavor gelatin. What I like the most about fugu restaurants is Japanese sake with fugu’s fin inside, it’s called “hire-sake”, don’t forget this if you ever have the opportunity to go to a fugu restaurant.


A fugu at Super Mario.

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Architecture of density

In Japan most of the people doesn’t live in condominiums, they prefer single-houses. Even though, there are some areas where there are lots of buildings that seem to be designed with the only purpose of keeping the maximum number of families without using too much space. The worst city in the world creating horrible huge buildings is Hong Kong, where the rich zone has incredible beautiful skycrapers but the poor suburbs are full of “architecture of density” (Click this link, the photos are impressive).

I took these photos at east-Tokyo:

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Stormtrooper in Tokyo

Some months ago I discovered Dannychoo.com, a really cool blog that teaches about japanese otaku culture, idols and life in Japan. On of the most weird-interesting things is that the author of the blog has a Storm Trooper armor, and he wears it not only at events but also as a normal suit.

It happened that I had the honor to meet Danny Choo in the real world and accompanied him to a “trooping session” around Tokyo. It was really funny, weird, interesting to see a Stormtrooper walking around thousands of japanese people, inside the train, inside shops… I loved when tired Japanese people walking without energy looking at the floor, would walk just next to DannyChoo/Stormtrooper without realizing. Just after some seconds they feel something weird and they look up startled at that Stormtrooper that is walking next to them, smile and take a photo with their mobile phone. They got a smile and a photo they could show to their friends and family.

I took lots of photos, here are some of them:


Can you imagine the face of this guy when he entered the train?


Notice the people taking photos from the other platform.


Funny face 🙂

If you don’t have enough, Danny Choo was on Japanese TV this friday an you can see the TV show online.

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Routers everywhere

In many Tokyo train stations you have to be careful with your head, you can destroy router antennas. In order use wireless at train stations and many coffee shops around Tokyo you just have to pay an extra 200-400 yens a month to your home Internet provider.

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Cyril Takayama

Cyril Takayama is a famous Japanese-american illusionist. He is pretty popular in Japan and also in Corea were he usually does his performances walking around the street. I love his shows that will always surprise you. In the next video I took from Fuji TV you can see how Cyril takes out hamburger from a menu.

The cool thing about Japan is that magicians not only show you their tricks but explain some of them! So you always learn something that you will be able to use in your next party with friends or use it a tool to catch girls attention 😉 Next video is Cyril explaining us how to lift up a ring using a rubber.

And this last video is just impressive.

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Heike crab

I read at lostinjapan.info an interesting article that remind me how much I liked the “Heike´s crab” history when I read Cosmos from Carl Sagan.

“The Heike crab” or “the samurai crab” is famous because it looks like samurai warriors from the beginnings of last millenium. As Carl Sagan explains in his book, Heike clan warriors lost everything in a decisive battle against the Genji. That battle was on 1185 near Japanese coaste. Most of the corpses stayed for long around the beaches where the battle occurred.

Local fishermen living started believing that the spirits from those dead Heike warriors were living inside crabs that had some similarities with a human face. An artificial selection process was triggered because fishermen were returning those human-like crabs to the sea and eating “normal” crabs. Doing that for centuries “created” not only human-face crabs but even Heike-samurai-face crabs! And of course, those are the ones who survive.


Heike warrior’s face.

Non-scientific explanation, the fishermen’s legend says that those crabs are real Heike warriors transformed. There are eve traditional Japanese fold tales where crab armies return to fight against the Genji. Next ukiyo-e paint represents some Heike phantom ships and Heike crabs attacking the Genji army.

If you wanna listen Carl Sagan’s explanation that is better than mine, watch next video:

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