Bygone Japanese billboards

With their bluntness and bright colours, bygone Japanese ads make a refreshingly innocent change from the rather brash banners of their current-day counterparts.

Japanese advertising

However, that said, even in the good old days they obviously weren’t shy about flashing a bit of flesh, although any concerns about coming on a bit too strong were cunningly countered by the apparent presence of some decidedly off-putting incontinence panties.

Japanese advertising

But bladder-based issues aside, as pleasant as the picture may be, for my money at least, it can’t compare with the strangely appealing serenity of this port wine promoter. An image that almost makes her the Mona Lisa of the model world.

Japanese advertising

Maybe.

Disturbing Japanese dolls

Even a minor foray away from Akihabara’s electronics-orientated establishments, or alternatively, just the briefest browse of any otaku site, will quickly reveal that figures and dolls are feverishly doted on in Japan.

Yet whereas the majority of these characters are cloyingly cute, there also appears to be a desire for those that are downright disturbing.

Japanese dolls

With price tags almost as perturbing as their appearance.

Japanese dolls

However, with other dolls, it’s generally just the owners that get aroused, whereas with these,

Japanese dolls

the reaction appears to be reciprocal.

Japanese dolls

Tokyo battery vending blues

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic (or National as it is sometimes known) may well be able to power an unrelenting little robot all the way up the Grand Canyon with its new, ‘best batteries ever.’

Panasonic Evolta

Yet while there are a gargantuan number of gadgets on the market, most of them seem to have built-in batteries of their own, meaning that regardless of how cute canyon climbing robots can be, they are sadly unlikely to save Japan’s dwindling number of decidedly desolate-looking battery dispensers.

Tokyo battery vending machine

Tokyo’s unpleasant playgrounds

When it comes to eateries and entertainment, Tokyo certainly takes some beating, but as far as public places for the capital’s kids are concerned, the city is somewhat substandard. A situation made worse by the authorities apparent aim of making what few areas there are, as unappealing as possible.

Meaning that even if the boisterous little buggers aren’t discouraged by gunshot wounded gorillas,

Japanese playground

then evil-looking edifices,

Tokyo playground

should definitely deter them.

Tokyo playground

Far from free Japanese fruit

Japan may well be one of the world’s most affluent nations, but the current food crisis is still being felt by the country’s cost-conscious consumers. Butter for example has actually been absent from supermarket shelves in some places, and even the single man with his loyal companions of instant noodles and lager has had to suffer his first price rise in years.

However, if such a fella should sensibly supplement his diet with some fresh but far from exotic fruit, heaven forbid that costs in this department should increase, as a (yes a) measly mango can set a salary man back a phenomenally fruity 8,400 yen (81 dollars).

expensive Japanese fruit

A figure that arguably makes these similarly priced grapes appear something of a bargain — them coming in a box and numbering more than one.

expensive Japanese fruit

Cherries on the other hand are another matter all together, as pretty packaging aside, for 12,600 yen (121 dollars), a young man could probably pay less to actually pop his cherry than purchase one.

expensive Japanese fruit

Japanese Corona copy

Although Japanese youngsters already have a considerable choice of kids’ beer to choose from, the majority of it, while relatively convincing, does lack a little in the looks department.

Japanese kids beer

However, for the child (kodomo) intent on imbibing a beverage that at least bears a passing resemblance to a brew possibly popular with its parents, this cleverly converted but copyright infringing concoction could well be ideal.

Japanese kids beer