Baby boozers

As year-end parties are currently commonplace, there surely can’t be a better time to introduce youngsters to the habit and high spirits of beer consumption.

kids drinking

Ok, so admittedly the drink doesn’t actually contain alcohol, but the design and artwork leave no doubt in regards to its aim. The flushed cheeks being a particularly nice touch.

Some of those brave enough to actually drink the stuff have complained about feelings of nausea, which is arguably quite apt. Although thankfully, uncontrollable urges to remove items of clothing after consumption, or alternatively indulge in a brief spot of fisticuffs, were reportedly absent.

Costly catch

Perhaps due to the proximity of the New Year holidays, the second highest price ever was paid for a bluefin tuna at Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji market on Wednesday. The 325kg catch selling at auction for a staggering 9.75 million yen (48,000 pound).

Which it has to be said is an awful lot of money for a fairly large fish.

A purchase presumably not destined for the canning factory.

Balls aplenty

Compared to many countries, Japan is still an incredibly safe place to live: bags can be safely left on chairs; mobile phones needn’t be carefully guarded; and coming home late at night isn’t a journey one approaches with fear and a large dollop of fortitude – whether male or female.

Yet despite this rather enviable situation, crime is gradually on the rise. And if the powers that be don’t continue to crack down on wrongdoers like Tadashi Nakatsu, then the country could change considerably over the coming years.

In an unlawful act that sent shockwaves through the small town of Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, the 60-year-old criminal played 48 straight games* at a local bowling alley on Tuesday. An incident shocking enough in itself, amply proving how damaging boredom can be on the human mind; but after finishing his last game at 10:50 pm, Nakatsu-san didn’t have any money to pay his rather hefty 24,500 yen (121 pound) bill. The unemployed miscreant claiming a friend would come later with the money.

hello kitty bowling ball

Needless to say this ‘friend’ never materialised, and when the alley closed at 2 am, the police were called in and the old man was duly arrested. Nakatsu’s confinement finally allowing nearby residents to breathe a sigh of relief and local school children to sleep peacefully in their beds.

japanese bowling alley

*The alley where the incident took place stated that Nakatsu managed an average of over 150 for his 48 game stint.

Concrete non-conformity

Whilst construction companies and huge public work programmes appear determined to cover every spare inch of the country in concrete, thankfully there are a few people being a little more creative with the grey building material.

mikimoto ginza

A rare combination of beauty, style, vision and humour.

Very rare unfortunately.

Golden Ginza

Whilst slightly on the late side, this tree will still be good for a few more days. Plus buying one now will save you the hassle next year.

gold christmas tree

The only problem is the cost: it’s a little expensive. Being mostly gold and quite large appears to have bumped up the price up a bit. Well, more than a bit to be honest.

expensive christmas tree

Yes, it costs a cool 45 million yen. That’s a decidedly un-festive 223,000 pound.

I may wait until January and see if it’s in the sale.

Christmas crackers

Whilst the Japanese don’t really ‘do’ Christmas, they are second to none when it comes to decorations and costumes. And whilst I don’t have any pictures of the former, rather predictably I do have more than a few of the latter.

Like this delightful little stocking filler for example.

sexy santa

Or alternatively, how about having your sleigh pulled gently to and fro by this racy young reindeer?

sexy santa

Plus for the ladies, there’s always salary man Santa.

japanese santa

Merry Christmas!