20 Things Which Happen in Japan That Are Just Totally Freakin’ Weird

Image: via Japan is Weird

If you’ve ever visited Japan, you’ll know that there are some seriously weird traditions; then, of course, are the even weirder new customs that spring up almost every day. Here’s a great example: taking traditional cosplay to places it probably doesn’t need to go. Some of those facial expressions are more than a little unsettling, too. What’s wrong with a bit of face paint and makeup?

Is this the Japanese version of the Teletubbies? Or just a cult that worships the hairstyle of The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns. Either way, you know your group’s weird when the guy in the animal suit looks normal by comparison.

Image: via Dose

We’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on here. Is this some kind of offbeat Japanese game show? Or is this just how certain citizens of Japan choose to spend their downtime?

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Image: via Dose

Japan’s coke parties tend to differ from those in other parts of the world. In the Land of the Rising Sun it’s all about Coke with a capital C, with partygoers obliged to don the official headgear of the Coca-Cola Company before entering. Probably.

The Japanese take everything to the next level. Even walking the dog becomes some freaky, frenzied farce. Was this supposed to make the actual dog feel less intimidated? Or is its owner planning for some weird mating ritual?

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Image: via Patricia Alastre

Yamanba, which is intended to subvert the traditional Japanese concept of beauty, is one of the country’s more outlandish fashion trends. We don’t think anyone’s going to argue that it’s not achieved its aims, though.

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Image: via Ranker

Woah, check out this strange sleepover, where each guy has his own female pillow to cuddle. You’d think they’d at least keep it to themselves rather than partaking in some kind of freaky, feathery orgy.

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Image: via Dump a Day

This eel just wanted a hug, apparently, though it doesn’t really have much say in the matter either way. Still, it’s better than a pillow with a picture of a woman on it, right?

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Image: via Japan is Weird

Okay, we can sort of understand the desire to dress up as your favorite anime or Disney character. Millions of people all over the world do it every year. But Ronald McDonald? Really?

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Image: via Japan is Weird

This one actually seems pretty practical, even if it does look weirdly disconcerting. After all, who hasn’t bemoaned their watermelon rolling endlessly around their fridge shelves or kitchen surfaces? Spherical foods are an everyday struggle.

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Another fairly useful invention – at least, if you don’t want to be seen wearing a bib. We’re not quite sure why it needs to go all the way around the face, though; come on, how likely are you to end up with noodles on your forehead?

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Image: via Ranker

It seems Japan has moved on from onesies. Now, the method of choice for keeping warm is a full-on sleeping bag, ensnaring all but your face and feet. Our advice? Grab a thick pair of socks.

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Image: via Not Your Mama’s Diet

You’ll never have to feel guilty about drinking water again, what with all its fatty and sugary contents. Hang on, that doesn’t sound right…

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Image: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images

This is almost one step too far from the pillow women. The “Hizamakura,” or lap pillow, apparently comes with multiple clothing options, including a super-tight miniskirt. Obviously.

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This seems like a good idea at first glance, but when you think about it it’s not really practical at all. If you’re that desperate to keep your clothes dry, a waterproof jacket would do the trick with far greater mobility.

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It’s little wonder that some of Japan’s craziest inventions haven’t taken off in other countries. It’s probably more effort to carry this around than it’s worth for the few minutes of sleep it’ll grant you.

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In a country that’s at the forefront of technology, this seems a little like a backwards step. After all, isn’t a human-controlled vending machine basically… a store?

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In an alternate universe, Darth Vader didn’t die at the end of Return of the Jedi but instead rejoined the Jedi order and helped Luke and the gang defeat the Empire. All it took was a lick of paint.

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Image: via Sick Chirpse

One of the strangest recent customs in Japan is Christmas dinner at KFC. In fact, the fried-chicken outlet has become so popular that people will queue overnight to make sure they can get in on Christmas Day.

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Image: Cory Doctorow

There are plenty of wacky places to visit in Japan, not least of which is the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Featuring nightly “battles” between bikini-wearing performers in massive robot costumes, it’s definitely not something you’d see outside what must surely be the weirdest country on Earth.

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