Japanese drinks #7: Capsule concern

With mentions of Metabolic Syndrome now a media mainstay, drink makers would appear to be pulling out all the stops to make their beverages seem beneficial, with even knocking back the booze offering at least a nod towards nutritiousness.

For drinks giant Suntory, however, sensing that there’s at least some sustenance in what one is supping is obviously nowhere near as good as seeing it, so Capsela is crammed full of capsules, that in turn are packed with a veritable plethora of vitamins — making it both wholesome and hypnotic.

Sort of.

Japanese drink capsela

And, what’s more, it doesn’t taste too bad either, in its weak, lemon-like way. The only problem being, for me at least, is that the capsules remind me of fish eggs, which I’m not overly fond off at the best off times, and especially not when bunged in a beverage. Otherwise it’s fairly good, in a floating fish egg fashion.

Young Keiko Kitagawa on the other hand seemingly has no such concerns.

Another pitiful playground

Due to the city’s huge population, it’s perhaps not all that surprising to find that Tokyo doesn’t exactly boast a plentiful supply of playgrounds, but unfortunately, it’s far from a case of quality rather than quantity, as these previously posted wretched recreational areas featuring maimed animals, monsters and motorways amply prove. And now, to further add to this partnership of pitifulness, is this sorry looking sight.

Tokyo playground

Yet to be fair, the rather dirty and despondent nature of this ‘plaything’ is arguably countered somewhat by the convenient location of a nearby lavatory, although admittedly its far from private positioning could also be deemed as detrimental.

Tokyo playground

However, one thing is for certain, the choice of an elephant was particularly pertinent considering the giant mammals’ famed feats of memory, as any child using this coarse concrete slide will remember their copious amounts of chafing for many moons to come.

Tokyo playground

Japanese facial facade

The old wartime warning about being wary that walls have ears may not have much meaning anymore, as we have — at least marginally — moved on from such madness.

As have the walls it would seem, with sight and sound now added to their services.

Tokyo building

Disturbingly altered dolls

With digital cameras of one description or another now commonplace, there’s the ever increasing problem of what to do with all the resultant pictures — bar printing off the odd one and leaving the rest on the computer until its hard disk dies and neatly nixes the problem.

An issue that Japanese company Sha@Lark hopes to solve with its Purimen Gurumi (プリ面ぐるみ) effigies.

purimen gurumi

A product that allows people to cut the faces out of pictures and have them placed onto disturbing looking dolls.

purimen gurumi

Beastly abominations that arguably make the horrors of hard disk failure a little less worrying.

purimen gurumi

Welcome even.

purimen gurumi

(via the FG Forums)

Preposterously pampered pooches

In a desperate attempt to revive Japan’s decidedly drooping birth rate, the government is looking to provide further financial help for check-ups and the like. However, despite such measures, many people seem to be increasingly turning to pets instead of progeny, with miniature dogs seen as most desirable.

A trend that in turn has meant the pets themselves have to be, erm, trendy, with a gargantuan range of garments now available. Like this previously posted apparel for example.

Japanese dog fashion

But with plenty of festivals to attend in the summer, something more traditional is often sought after, such as this suitably seasonal yukata.

Japanese dog fashion

A, ahem, bow for a bow-wow if you will.

Japanese dog fashion

And, to further enhance the family feel, meals can now be taken together too, with a whole range of decidedly un-dog-like delectables,

Japanese dog food

from a mini omu-rice,

Japanese dog food

to cannibal-like cookies.

Japanese dog food

Kids, it would seem, simply can’t compete.

Japanese dog fashion

Whale warning?

In a stunning breakthrough, a group of Japanese researchers from Tokai University have managed to train a beluga whale to ‘speak’; the cetacean in question managing to link its own sounds to specific objects — cleverly creating ‘words’.

An incredible achievement that has prompted Takashi Murayama, a professor involved in the programme, to proudly pronounce, “We’ve experienced a taste of reality in conversation with cetaceans. In the future, we may be able to exchange greetings with them.”

beluga whale

However, rumours that things have already gone way beyond simple salutations, with the beluga allegedly asking, “When are you going to stop hunting my fellow whales as everybody knows your claims of ‘scientific research’ are utter claptrap?”, have been strenuously denied.