TOTO opens toilet museum

TOTO, is the biggest company in Japan producing toilet equipment, their most successful product line is their washlets. They just opened a museum dedicated to the history and future of the toilet. In a lifetime we spent around 90 days of our precious time alive in the toilet, I guess it is important enough to have a museum dedicated to it :)



toto4This room is dedicated to the honor the founders of TOTO


Projection room with documentaries explaining the history and evolution of the toilet.





Official website of the museum and the location of the museum in Kitakyushu here.


Ghibli shop at Karuizawa

While exploring Karuizawa we found this little shop filled with Ghibli merchandising. The shop and the building itself has a look and feel very “ghiblish”. I recommend visiting Ghibli Museum if you are a fan, but if you never have enough of Ghibli you can keep spending money in shops like this one in Karuizawa: Google Maps





mamatotoroMy mother with Totoro



Howl’s moving castle cosplay

Elentari , a girl from the United States has created an amazing Howl’s moving castle cosplay. It looks so real that it could be used to make a movie. I love that in the pictures it looks like bigger than it really is, if you look carefully you will find out the real dimensions of it :)


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Getting lost in the forests of Karuizawa

One of the most valuable life lessons I learned from my parents is very simple: walk. They both love walking, it is probably one of the things that keeps them together after been married for 30 years. They came to Japan last March and I decided to organice a NOT very typical Japan trip for them: I just rented a place in Karuizawa for one week and made no plans at all.

Karuizawa is a very mysterious place, it feels like a portal to a different country. I’m sure Isao Takahata visited Karuizawa several times when he created the anime Heidi, Girl of the Alps.

After several days walking through the forests getting lost into the myst we kept discovering new places that would excite us. Every day we would venture farther away and we would get familiar with the surroundings of our area. The bridge we crossed on our last day stays in my memory, it is the farthest point we reached during our stay.

There is magic and wonder in those moments when we step into a location we have never been, it must be encoded in our genes. Life is about walking, exploring and when you get lost you will find new paths.

Keep walking.

Practical trick to get lost: put your phone in plane mode and of course don’t use google maps :)





Dogs with fake smiles

I love starting my days with a smile :) , these pictures helped today. It is a meme with pictures of Shiba dogs being forced by their owners to smile. My favourite the first one, because the dog doesn’t seem to care at all.

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Via Hamusoku


New magic tricks by Cyril Takayama

Cyril Takayama, probably my favorite magician has new magic tricks online. The most fascinating thing about Cyrcil is that he performs all his magic tricks while walking on the streets of Tokyo or inside restaurants an cafeterias where the environment is very difficult to control.

The trick that starts at minute 8:00 is just amazing!

If you love to be surprised by Cyril I’m sure you will also enjoy these two extra videos with two hours of footage filled with magic:


Memory alley – 思い出横丁

Omoide-yokocho (思い出横丁) could be translated as “Memory lane” or “The alley of the memories”. Among my friends we call it “The Yakitori street” because most of its restaurants are tiny yakitori places.

It is a very photogenic place and it is nice to have yakitori in any of its restaurants, not for the quality of its food but because of its retro-flavor, its “buildings” are probably the oldest near Shinjuku Station. It feels like being Deckard having noodles at the beginning of Blade Runner.

If you go to Omoide-yokocho for some yakitori and beers, beware of drunken salarymen 😉

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Walking around Kameido


Kameido is a neighborhood in east Tokyo (JR Sobu line from Akihabara to Chiba) which is not very touristy but it’s worth to take a stroll around its alleys. Nowadays the eastern part of Tokyo is the youngest and most lively part of the city (Shibuya, Shinjuku, Harajuku, etc), however during the Edo era the areas west and south of the Imperial Palace were the busiest ones.

Even though Kameido, in east Tokyo, was destroyed during the Second World War it still maintains certain aura of past times. Kameido is very popular for its gyoza and horumon ホルモン restaurants.



Konnichiwa Sayonara

Firas, one of the readers of this blog visited Japan and created this awesome video! I love the simplicity of it and how it brings smiles in the people he encounters.