Average Tokyo tucker

As far as decent restaurants go, Tokyo is definitely not lacking, with more than enough diversity to keep the most avid foodie frothing at the mouth for as long his or her chubby little chops could wish for.

Yet for the diner more concerned with cost rather than culinary credentials, it’s fortunately not all expensive eateries and mouth-watering meals — not by a long shot. In fact, one or two Tokyo restaurants are actually happy to openly advertise the sheer averageness of their offerings.

Japanese restaurant

Japanese veranda versatility

Tokyo may well have a massive number of convenience stores and vending machines, but when it comes to living space, land is at a premium, meaning most people have to make the most of what little they can procure.

Japanese house

A rather unfortunate situation that doesn’t allow much leeway for something so frivolous as a garden. Yet for many city dwellers, this drawback can be overcome to a certain extent by utilising the balcony which, if big enough, can accommodate plants and even a person. Like this versatile little veranda for example, as not only does it provide just enough room for a relaxing beer, but also a terrific spot for train-spotting.

Japanese apartment

Not everyone is so lucky though, and despite the abode below being brand new, it may (or indeed may not) boast the worst balcony in the world.

Japanese house

Tokyo day trip disappointment

As a young child, school picnics were always a special treat, offering time away from the classroom and a chance to cut loose in the countryside, or at least the park. The sense of occasion added to by a bag filled with a fancier than usual lunch tucked into a variety of different coloured dishes — all of them trusty Tupperware.

And judging by the picture below, Japanese kids enjoy similar days trips just as much.


The only perceivable difference being that in the north of England our teachers took us to eat in places that had plants and ponds, whereas their counterparts in Tokyo clearly don’t.


Japanese canine clobber

The Japanese population may well be shrinking, but the declining number of kids is rapidly being replaced by pets, and in particular dogs, the latest figures suggesting that Japan now has more than 15 million of them in the country.

A scientific survey by Tokyo Times involving a quick trot around town however, found that of these, approximately 94.73 percent are either Chihuahuas or miniature Dachshunds, with a whopping 98.63 percent being unapologetically paraded in clothing of some description or other. A trend that needless to say hasn’t escaped the attention of designers, with all manner of pet brands appearing.

Japanese dog fashion

But such sophisticated ensembles don’t come cheaply, with those after formal wear for their child substitute/fashion accessory having to pay somewhere in the region of 12,000 yen (105 dollars).

Japanese dog fashion

That said, casual canine wear is also available, with these New York-themed outfits faring fairly well*. The gold guns in particular adding a bit of bite as well as bling.

Japanese dog fashion

*eye test extra

(click images for super-sized silliness)

Japanese designer durability

With Japan greying at a rapid rate, reaching a ripe old age is really nothing special anymore, and it’s certainly not very newsworthy. In fact, the number of centenarians in Japan has now topped 30,000 for the first time ever, although that said, a pair of twins reaching 100 seemingly still merits some mild media attention.

Born in Fukushima Prefecture, Saki Takamiya and Tsuki Takashima celebrated their 100th birthday on Sunday accompanied by scores of family members. And, in time honoured tradition, they divulged the secret of their longevity – revelations that are sure to strike a chord with Japan’s fashion and brand-obsessed youth. As rather than a dreary diet or abstinence from alcohol, the pair put their long lives down to the magic of materialism, and in particular, the merits of bonnets and Burberry blankets.

Japanese old people

Tokyo Game Show goodies

For many of the Tokyo Game Show’s male visitors, it’s a great chance to take pictures of the gamut of goodies on display, allowing them a sneak preview of something that in the near future they’ll be able to view in the privacy of their own homes, where, if it turns out to be as good as they hope, will provide endless hours of joystick fiddling fun.

Tokyo Game Show girlies

Plus, if they are really lucky, it may also involve multiplayer action.

Tokyo Game Show girlies

But, as well as games galore, the event also boasts a considerable cosplay contingent, sporting all manner of weird and wonderful outfits.

Japanese cosplay

A pastime that whether rightly or wrongly is often derided, with its more vocal detractors claiming that such gatherings are little more than modern day freak shows. Such views however are a little on the harsh side to say the least, as regardless of how colourful and chaotic these get-togethers may be, they are hardly a throwback to the bad old days of bearded ladies.

Japanese cosplay