Why We Love the Japanese

Geisha girls, a Shiatsu massage, karate, sushi, cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji are some reasons why we love the Japanese.

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Shinjuku
Shinjuku

Shinjuku

The business and entertainment district of Shinjuku is constantly flooded with people – over 2 million a day. 960 1280

Tinou Bao, flickr  

Sign in Tokyo Airport

Sign in Tokyo Airport

This sign in the Tokyo airport reminds you to keep a close watch on your luggage, or a ninja might swipe it. 960 1280

Alex Castro, flickr  

Akihabara

Akihabara

The district of Akihabara is known for its shopping, particularly if you're looking for anime souvenirs. 960 1280

OiMax, flickr   

Tokyo Signs

Tokyo Signs

No matter what street you wander down in Tokyo, watch out for sensory overload. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing

The fashionable area of Shibuya Crossing is known for its nightlife and is often compared to Times Square with its towering electronic billboards. 960 1280

Mark Pegrum, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

With a culture known for its animation, it's no surprise that even the traffic signs in Tokyo are expertly drawn. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

In Tokyo, there's a sign for everything -- even one asking you to please apply your makeup at home. 960 1280

Leon Brocard, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Everyone needs a massage once in a while, especially if you're feeling pain like this. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Japanese Paper Lantern

Japanese Paper Lantern

Paper lanterns like this one can be found all over the city. 960 1280

shuets udono, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Sometimes, in a busy city like Tokyo, residents have to be reminded to slow down. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

You have to admire the aesthetic qualities of Japanese signage, even if the spelling isn't always correct. 960 1280

shimown, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Safety is important on construction sites. Now if only we knew what we were being warned about. 960 1280

mrbriandesign, flickr  

Shinjuku Lights

Shinjuku Lights

Even the backstreets of Shinjuku glow with an endless array of neon lights. 960 1280

Christopher Kemp, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Lost your hat? Go fishing for a new one! 960 1280

Photocapy, flickr  

Ueno Zoo Sign

Ueno Zoo Sign

At Ueno Zoo, do not feed the monkeys or their stomachs will grow to unnatural proportions. 960 1280

  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

You don't have to always know what's going on to appreciate a good sign. 960 1280

Photocapy, flickr  

Photos

Shinjuku

Shinjuku

The business and entertainment district of Shinjuku is constantly flooded with people – over 2 million a day. 960 1280

Tinou Bao, flickr  

Sign in Tokyo Airport

Sign in Tokyo Airport

This sign in the Tokyo airport reminds you to keep a close watch on your luggage, or a ninja might swipe it. 960 1280

Alex Castro, flickr  

Akihabara

Akihabara

The district of Akihabara is known for its shopping, particularly if you're looking for anime souvenirs. 960 1280

OiMax, flickr   

Tokyo Signs

Tokyo Signs

No matter what street you wander down in Tokyo, watch out for sensory overload. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing

The fashionable area of Shibuya Crossing is known for its nightlife and is often compared to Times Square with its towering electronic billboards. 960 1280

Mark Pegrum, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

With a culture known for its animation, it's no surprise that even the traffic signs in Tokyo are expertly drawn. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

In Tokyo, there's a sign for everything -- even one asking you to please apply your makeup at home. 960 1280

Leon Brocard, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Everyone needs a massage once in a while, especially if you're feeling pain like this. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Japanese Paper Lantern

Japanese Paper Lantern

Paper lanterns like this one can be found all over the city. 960 1280

shuets udono, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Sometimes, in a busy city like Tokyo, residents have to be reminded to slow down. 960 1280

Metro Centric, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

You have to admire the aesthetic qualities of Japanese signage, even if the spelling isn't always correct. 960 1280

shimown, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Safety is important on construction sites. Now if only we knew what we were being warned about. 960 1280

mrbriandesign, flickr  

Shinjuku Lights

Shinjuku Lights

Even the backstreets of Shinjuku glow with an endless array of neon lights. 960 1280

Christopher Kemp, flickr  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

Lost your hat? Go fishing for a new one! 960 1280

Photocapy, flickr  

Ueno Zoo Sign

Ueno Zoo Sign

At Ueno Zoo, do not feed the monkeys or their stomachs will grow to unnatural proportions. 960 1280

  

Tokyo Sign

Tokyo Sign

You don't have to always know what's going on to appreciate a good sign. 960 1280

Photocapy, flickr  

Venice’s Carnevale

Venice’s Carnevale

Venice’s Carnevale
Carnevale, in Venice, Italy, is a huge winter festival with parades, public and private masquerade balls, entertainment and music. The annual festival starts 40 days before Easter and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Decorative Venetian masks are an important part of carnevale. A jury of international costume and fashion designers vote for the best mask during the last week of the celebration.
960 1280

Frank Kovalchek, Wikimedia Commons  

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Rio’s Carnival
This world-famous festival is held before Lent, every year. It’s considered the biggest carnival in the world. Two million people flood the streets during the 1-day event that is the culmination of a fierce dance competition between rival samba schools. Each school must have an overall theme and 6 to 8 floats, and it’s not uncommon for 1 school to be represented by thousands participants. The first festival dates back to 1723.
960 1280

Getty  

Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival
Celebrity alert! This film festival, held in Park City, Utah, showcases new work from American and international independent filmmakers. It is the largest independent cinema festival in the US, and comprised of non-competitive and competitive sections, including feature-length documentary films. Actor Robert Redford’s company, Sterling Van Wagenen, started the first film festival in 1978.
960 1280

Getty  

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

New Orleans’ Mardi Gras
The New Orleans Carnival season officially starts, on January 6th and ends in February, the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras, aka “The Greatest Show on Earth,” specifically refers to the Tuesday before Lent. Most tourists center on Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, but most of the major parades originate in the Uptown and Mid-City districts and follow a route along St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street.
960 1280

Getty  

Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach

Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach

Winter Party Festival
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hosts the White Party Festival in Miami Beach. It’s 1 of the world’s biggest celebrations for the LGBT community. During the 6-day event are 9 spectacular dance parties with more than 10,000 guests from around the world. The proceeds from this non-stop party go to local nonprofit organizations. To date, The Task Force has donated $1.2 million to LGBT Community Projects Funds of the Miami Foundation. Kick up your heels for a cause.
960 1280

Elvert Barnes, Flickr  

Winter Carnival in Quebec City

Winter Carnival in Quebec City

Quebec City’s Winter Carnival
Quebec City’s Winter Carnival is the largest and most popular winter celebration in the world. Visitors spend more than $42 million per winter in this city of winter wonder. The festival starts during the last week in January and ends in mid-February. Some of the fun festivities include the Uniprix 400-feet ice slide, dog sled racing, snow rafting, the Arctic Spas Village, outdoor dance parties, night parades, winter camping, and much more.
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Morgan, Flickr  

Frozen Dead Guys Day in Nederland, Colorado

Frozen Dead Guys Day in Nederland, Colorado

Frozen Dead Guys Day
Nederland, CO, hosts this unique, annual festival, based on an old story about a Norwegian citizen Trygve Bauge, and how she brought her deceased grandfather, Bredo Morstol, to the US, preserved on dry ice and stored in liquid nitrogen. The townspeople discovered the cryonic state corpse in 1994. During the first full week of March, the town keeps locals and tourists entertained with coffin races, a slow-motion parade, “Frozen Dead Guy” lookalike contests, snow sculpture contests, snowshoe races and a polar plunge, for those who can brave a cold swim.
960 1280

Matt Beldyk, Flickr  

Yukon Quest in Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

Yukon Quest in Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

Yukon Quest
Looking for a fun sporting event? In February, head to Alaska to cheer on mushers and their sled dog teams, as they make their 1,000-mile, 10- to 16-day trek, from Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon in Canada. The Yukon Quest Trail follows historical Gold Rush and Mail Delivery dog sled routes from the turn of the 20th Century. The champion wins a $35,000 purse.
960 1280

WwwBrooks, Flickr  

Winterlude in Ottawa, Canada

Winterlude in Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa’s Winterlude
In Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec, they celebrate Winterlude or in French, Bal de Neige. Canada’s National Capital Commission runs the 3-week winter festival in February, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. There’s no shortage of things to keep people busy. Some activities and entertainment include musical concerts, an ice sculpture competition, ice skating in the largest ice playground, or relax and chill out in the ice lounge.
960 1280

Canadaos Capital, Flickr  

Hwacheaon Sancheoneo Ice Festival in South Korea

Hwacheaon Sancheoneo Ice Festival in South Korea

Hwacheaon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
This annual festival takes place in Hwacheon, located in South Korea’s Gangwon province. This virtually untouched region is known as the first area in Korea that freezes over in the winter, and the river is covered with a thick layer of ice. Visitors can try ice fishing with their bare hands; view an exhibition of ice sculptures that take over 20 weeks to prepare; and sample raw and grilled mountain trout. The winter festival runs for almost the entire month of January.
960 1280

Korea Tourism Organization  

Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain

Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain

Valencia’s Las Fallas
Visit Valencia, Spain! Las Fallas, which means “the fires,” is a 5-day celebration that attracts more than 3 million flame-loving revelers. The focus of this annual fiesta is the creation and destruction of puppets, or ninots, designed to poke fun at corrupt politicians and Spanish celebrities, or they usually depict satirical scenes and current events. The ninots are set ablaze on March 18th at midnight, the day known as La Crema. One of the ninots is spared from destruction by popular vote. Other activities include bullfights, parades, paella contests and around the city.
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yourtheone, Wikimedia Commons  

Yuki Matsuri Sapparo Snow Festival in Japan

Yuki Matsuri Sapparo Snow Festival in Japan

Sapporo Snow Festival
This famous festival is held in Sapporo, Japan, over a 7- day period in February. It is 1 of Japan’s largest and most distinctive events. Millions of people visit Sapporo for the International Snow Sculpture Contest, to view the impeccable, frozen art in Odori Park and Susukino. And much like any major winter festival, an annual beauty contest is held to crown a new Susukino Queen of Ice.
960 1280

City of Sapporo  

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, co-founders of Kiss, spent their teenage years in Queens, New York (shown here: the Town Hall in Flushing, Queens) and formed a band named Wicked Lester. Their career quickly took off when they recruited drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley in 1973. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Kiss achieved its breakthrough hit with the release of their live album Alive! in 1975. Now sporting their iconic costumes and makeup, Kiss began a hugely successful world tour. (L to R: Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss). 960 1280

Getty Images  

Kiss pose on Westminster Bridge in London at the start of their first-ever European tour in 1976. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Kiss released 3 platinum albums between 1976 and '77 -- Rock and Roll Over, Love Gun and Alive II -- and were named the most popular band in America in a Gallup poll. In Japan, Kiss performed 5 sold-out shows at Tokyo's Budokan Hall (shown here), breaking the previous record held by The Beatles. 960 1280

By ibamoto takehiko [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons  

Despite declining record sales in the 1980s and '90s and a brief stint without the makeup, Kiss remained a hugely popular touring band. Here they are shown performing at the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami, FL, on January 31, 1999. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Gene Simmons plays with fire at the party following the premiere of the film Detroit Rock City on August 9, 1999, in Los Angeles. The film, set in 1978, follows 4 teenagers who set out on an adventure to attend a Kiss concert. 960 1280

Reuters  

Kiss was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 11, 1999. Pictured (L to R) Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Paul Stanley. 960 1280

Getty Images  

(L to R) Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss of Kiss at the sixth annual National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) Heroes Award 2001 Gala at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Kiss start their set with pyrotechnics at the Rockin' the Corps concert at Camp Pendleton in California on April 1, 2005. More than 40,000 Marines and their families attended the concert, which was held to thank US Marines who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 960 1280

Reuters  

Customers drink in front of the Kiss Coffeehouse, which opened in 2006 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Besides drinks and food (such as Demon Dark Roast, Rockuccino and deep-fried Twinkies) the coffeehouse features displays of instruments, costumes, set lists and makeup used by the band on several of their tours. 960 1280

Getty Images