Saturday, August 29, 2009

Real fruit juice anyone?

Only in Japan..

Naoto Fukasawa is one of the best-known Japanese product designers who enjoy drawing and making weird object since early age and established Naoto Fukasawa Design in 2003. His designs have won a number of design awards in Europe and America, here are some of his amazingly creative design: Real fruit juice packages!

(Pictures courtesy of

'I imagined that if the surface of the package imitated the colour and texture of the fruit skin, then the object would reproduce the feeling of the real skin', he said.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Smiley Mortar

Only in Japan..

(Picture courtesy of Mainichi News)

Look at them! Smiley mortars at a carpenter in Hokkaido Prefecture city of Noboribetsu even got hatimaki (Japanese headband) on its 'head' makes them look so heartwarming. This 'Waraussu' smiling mortars from Awameiboku Co will be available for between 105,000 yen and 210,000 yen. It means.. up t0 2,000 USD? for a single mortar? really..? wait..I'll cancel my order then :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fuku Pumpkin

Only in Japan..

It's a unique white pumpkin capped with orange beret which grown in a plastic greenhouse at a farm in the Gifu Prefecture city of Takayama. It's quite different from the ordinary Japanese Pumpkin or Kabocha. As the color and shape don't change even after one year fom harvesting, the 'Fuku Pumpkins', which are as big as a baby's head and weight about 700 grams, are popular among tourists and sold at the city's famous mornig market in Miyagawa district.

Fuku Pumpkins
(Picture courtesy of Mainichi News)

I wonder how they taste?

(source: Mainichi News)
Friday, August 21, 2009

Sushi Rice

Wanna cook your own sushi rice? I found this step by step recipe and clip from videojug is really helpful, it shows some useful tips on how cooking the authentic sushi rice from the master.

Preparation time : 30 minutes

Cooking time : 20 minutes

Step 1.

You will need:

- 3 cups (750 ml) sushi rice

- 3 1/3 cups (830 ml) water

- 1/2 cup (120 ml) rice vinegar

- 1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar

- 1/2 tsp salt

- 1 tbsp dashi- concentrated or powdered fish stock

- 1 small saucepan

- 1 large saucepan with lid

- 1 spoon

- 1 large flat bottomed bowl, preferably wooden

- 1 flat spatula

- 1 fan

- 1 large glass bowl

Step 2.

Rinse the rice. Put the three cups of rice in a large bowl. Lightly rinse by adding enough cold water to half fill the bowl and swill it around with the rice. Pour the water off. Scrunch the rice about in the bowl with your hand. Then rinse, swill and drain again and repeat the scrunching action. Keep following this pattern until the water is almost clear - this could take 3 or 4 attempts. Transfer the rinsed rice into a large saucepan. Pour in 3 and a third cups of water and leave it to soak for at least 30 minutes. As it soaks, the rice will become whiter and the water will appear clearer.

Step 3.

Prepare the sushi vinegar

Put half a cup of rice vinegar, quarter of a cup of sugar, a pinch of salt and teaspoo of powdered Dashi into the small saucepan. Heat gently and stir to ensure that the sugar and salt dissolve. Don't let the mixture boil as this will impair the flavour, only heat enough to completely dissolve all the ingredients then turn off the heat, and leave it to cool while you prepare the rice.

Step 4.

Cook the rice.

Put the pan on the hob with the lid securely on top, and turn the heat to high. Avoid lifting the lid at all ties through out the cooking process as this will allow the steam to escape. When the rice begins to boil reduce the heat and leave to simmer for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes are up, turn off the heat and leave the rice to stand for another 15 minutes.

Step 5.

Stir the sushi vinegar.

Transfer the rice into a large wooden bowl. Pour over the sushi vinegar. Use the spatula in a cutting motion to fold the mixture into the rice. While you are folding use your other hand to fan the rice. Keep fanning and folding until the rice has reached room temperature, this could take up to 10 minutes.

Step 6.

Ready to serve.

It's best to use the rice immediately. It should be shiny and sticky, with each grain separated and not mashed together. It should be used at room temperature. If you don't need it straight away, cover the bowl with a damp cloth. This will prevent it from becoming too hard.

You can use the sushi rice to make inari, temaki sushi, nigiri sushi, chirashi sushi, with any flavour and topping you like. Here are the result from my kitchen:

Temaki Sushi and Inari!

(Temaki sushi)


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

World Cosplay Champion

It's the first time Japanese team won the World Cosplay Camphionship! 30 Cosplay lovers from 15 countries participated in World Cosplay Championship as a part of World Cosplay Summit held in Nagoya earlier this month. Yuri and Rie from Japan won the title with their samurai warrior costumes from video game series 'Sengoku Basara' and their spectacular sword fight performance, while Spanish team won the runner-up with their 'Candy Candy' costumes.

Teams were given three minutes each to present their costumes and were judged on their expression, creativity, entertainment and faithfulness to the orginal story.

(Source: Mainichi News)

Pictures courtesy of Mainichi

2009 World Cosplay Champion

Sunday, August 9, 2009


What is Hallyu?

Hallyu or Korean Wave is a term used to refer the increasing popularity of South Korea culture all over the world since around 2000. It has been 10 years since the first time I watched a popular Korean drama series and became addicted to their drama or movie and the song as well since then. Talking about Hallyu is not only about their successful entertainment industry but also about its fashion style which has become trendsetter for youth-dominated market, furthermore the trend of eating Korean cuisine has been spread beyond asia. All of those increasing trends have made Korea as one of the world's top ten culture exporters.

Long story short, I decided to pen down my experiences, sharing my thoughts and whatever I come across about Korea through my new blog : Hallyu Fever

So for you who are interested in Korean culture and wish to read my post about Hallyu or Korean related things, please visit my Hallyu Fever blog, and I'd be very happy to get any feedback or coment.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

SMASH! Cosplay

SMASH! (Sydney Manga and Anime Show) has started this morning, with a list of events like gaming competition, art contests, photography competition, karaoke, and the most anticipated Cosplay! Cosplay (Costume play) is a kind of performance where the players (participants) outift themselves with costumes and accessories from anime or game characters.

Walking around as Cameko (Camera Kozo or Camera boy) shooting the cosplayers among the pros just made my day. Here are the cosplayers in action:

Cosplayers in action!

I got my favorite stalls among the art vendors: Anime miniature collectibles!

Adorable anime collectibles

People were lining up at one corner to get inside this Maid Cafe, a cafe with maid-costume waitresses, I skipped this Maid Cafe since I didn't want to waste my time queuing for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Anime show

Just want to share information about some Anime and manga-related events in Sydney in this coming months:

It's a convention for people that loves Japanese animation and comics. It's filled with over 15
vendors, 50 local and interstate artists, international guests, competition, workshops, panels
and spoons.
When : 8-9 August 2009
Where : Roundhouse UNSW
Admission : Sat $20 / Sun $18 / Both $35

From screening to karaoke, art workshops to video games, panel to crazy stage shows, the
2009 Animania Festival Weekend is set to be an awesome events for fans of all ages.
When : 5-6 September 2009, 10 am - 6 pm
Where : Australian Technology Park, Locomotive St, Aveleigh NSW.

It's the biggest video game and anime music concert the world has ever seen.
When : Saturday 26 September 2009
Venue and ticketing informations to be announced soon.

Hope the information will be useful especially for you who reside in Sydney and surroundings.
Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yume Inu vs Yume Neko

Only in Japan..

A Dog Lover? If you are, you will love this news from Mainichi news.

This Yume Inu DX (Dream dog) from Sega toys is a life-size Golden Retriever robot that moves like a real dog, barks, wags its tail and you even can 'sit it down' in English as 'the dog' reacts to six English words such as 'lie down'.

This adorable Yume Inu was nominated as finalist for The High Target Toy Award at 2008 Japan Toy Association Awards. Priced at 34,650 Yen, this robo dog is perfect for those who are unable to have real pet due to allergy as well as no risk of being bitten.

(Yume Inu DX, photo courtesy of Segatoys Co.)

Or maybe you prefer a cat than a dog?
Don't worry, The Yume-Neko Venus (Dream Cat Venus) will answer you need for a cat that won't scracth your hands nor mess up your kitchen hunting down a mice.

(Photo courtessy of AFP photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

Or you love both dog and cat? Now you can get them both with no doubt they will get along each other.