Author Archives: Michael Gakuran

Haikyo Adventures in Snow Country

Here’s little teaser of my recent trip with haikyo buddy Florian to the northernmost prefecture of Japan – Hokkaido. What a trip it was, full of everything that makes urban exploration great. And that’s without mentioning all the snow! That put a completely new perspective on everything.
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins | 20 Comments

The Mysterious Island in Skyfall: Hashima / Gunkanjima

Recently I spotted an article in the Nagasaki Shimbun noting that the latest 007 James Bond film, Skyfall, features the Japanese ghost island of Hashima (端島), otherwise known as Gunkanjima (軍艦島) – ‘Battleship Island’. Readers of this website will undoubtedly remember my illicit account of urban exploration on the real island itself back in 2010. […]
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins, Japan | 72 Comments

Top 50 Japanese Buzzwords of 2012

Another year, 50 hot buzzwords nominated from Japanese publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha to capture the Zeitgeist. The prize has been offered since 1984 and announced every year in early December. I looked at 2011’s list here, which unsurprisingly contained many, many words from the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake that struck Japan at 2.46pm on 11th […]
Posted in Japan, Marketing & Branding | 9 Comments

Abandoned Tuberculosis Sanatorium for Children

Haikyo hospitals are undoubtedly some of the most interesting urbex places to explore anywhere in the world. In Japan they range from the tiny and abandoned wooden medical shacks that pre-date World War II, to goliath graffitied monstrosities that exist only as gutted husks of their former selves. Today’s location didn’t disappoint. The Tuberculosis Sanatorium […]
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins | 18 Comments

Like A Boss! (Coffee)

Just a little fun I had tweaking the ubiquitous Boss Coffee logo found in Japan. I rather enjoy all those ‘Like A Boss!’ memes that surface around the internet but was surprised to see no-one had attempted to parody the obvious and the very boss-looking brand logo of Suntory.
Posted in Other | Leave a comment

36 Iconic Tokyo Metro Subway Manner Posters 2008-2010

Tokyo Metro (東京メトロ) is Japan’s largest subway system. Take a ride, and you’ll find it hard to miss the catchy posters asking commuters to mind their manners. Since September 1974, every year a new theme and unique monthly designs have been produced, but in recent years perhaps none have been more memorable than the iconic […]
Posted in Japan | 41 Comments

Burtonesque Pokemon: Macabre Re-imaginings

Something ghastly this way comes! Artist Hatboy has recently been posting his latest Tim Burton inspired creations – grim re-imaginings of Japan’s fuzzy little Pokemon creatures that, even today, still manage to remain popular. As an avid Burton (and Elfman) fan, seeing these amazing works just made my day. They come right out from under […]
Posted in Japan | Leave a comment

Microaggressions or Icebreakers? Everyday Irritations for Foreigners in Japan

Over the last month or so the foreign community in Japan has been abuzz with talk of ‘microaggressions’ – a psychological term that describes everyday slights that alienate and offend people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. As with the Gaijin Debate, we’ve heard opinions from both sides – those who think the term is an […]
Posted in Japan | 20 Comments
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