Fungus Mungus' Weird Stuff in Japan

A chronicle of general weirdness I've encountered during my stay in Japan.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Perfect Gift...

In such a homogenous place as Japan, every town and hamlet in Japan tries to have a specialty, hoping it will make it different from other places. It may be a special kind of pottery or craft. Or it may be some kind of food item, usually a snack. When people travel, they are expected to bring back omiyage (souvenirs) to the office or family. Omiyage items are usually for sale in and around train stations, and even on the bullet trains, so even the most forgetful traveler has ample opportunity to buy something for the folks back home. Perhaps I'm a little cynical, but I have found most of the food omiyage I've received to tastes about the same. But every once in awhile, I find something really different:

I found this while looking for Christmas gifts for my family back home. While many people consider salmon bones a nuisance, something to pick your way through while trying to enjoy a nice filet of salmon, apparently the residents of the city of Miyako consider them a delicacy. There are 6 bones in every box!

So I did find the perfect Christmas gift...for my Mom's cat. Now, I wonder what they do with the rest of the fish?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Big Mouth+Small Face=Beautiful!

From another page of the Annals of Japanese Quackery, I present

The Slim Mouth Piece

Despite it's misleading name, this gadget is supposed to make your mouth bigger, not smaller. BIGGER? Yes, bigger. Who on earth would want this? Well, the theory is that if you widen your mouth, you will have the appearance of a small face, so prized by the Japanese.

Apparently, this device comes in regular, small, and large sizes so no matter what size your face is, you can have the mouth of your dreams! Now, that is weird!