Gundam

The largest sci-fi franchise in Japan, Gundam could be likened to the Star Wars franchise of America. In fact, Gundam debuted in Japan in 1979, just two years after Star Wars in America. Sales of Gundam merchandise including toys, models, and video games regularly top the charts. Gundam is based on the idea of huge…

Silk Moth

The late summer sees the emergence of the adult silk moth, a behemoth that can reach a wingspan of nearly 15cm (6 inches). Though the moth itself is a beautiful creature (if beauty is in the eye of the beholder), it is the child form of the moth, the silkworm, that is valued to the…

Kabutomushi

Though one may not regard the kabutomushi, or rhinoceros¬†beetle, as cute and cuddly, they remain a favorite pet for Japanese children. These huge insects which can grow to 8cm are actually quite docile. Pitted against ¬†one another, however, they turn into powerful fighters, though many children no longer participate in beetle battles (much like you…

Kamakura Daibutsu

The giant Buddha statue of Kotoku-in temple draws millions of visitors every year to Kamakura, a town already full of beautiful and ancient temples. The statue was cast over 750 years ago and has survived (more or less) many disasters including several lightning strike fires, earthquakes and even a tsunami in 1498. It is over…

Pikachu

The Pokemon franchise has now been going strong for over two decades, lead by the cute and cuddly pokemon, Pikachu. A favorite of kids and adults alike, Pikachu is a marketing powerhouse who finds himself outside of the video games and kids television shows that made him famous and onto ice cream bars, oven mitts…

Godzilla’s Head

No, this isn’t the result of decapitating the atomic beast from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, but a promo piece from the 2014 remake of the 1954 classic monster film. The 12m tall head debuted outside Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi, but its permanent home is atop the Toho Cinemas / Gracery Hotel in Shinjuku’s…