Saturday, 13 August 2011

More Unusual Kit Kat flavours

Nestle Japan has continued to create Kit Kat flavours which vary from region to region in Japan. Many of these regional specialties are limited issues and change quite frequently. While some flavours look delicious, there are a few that are more interesting than delicious.

Here are some more Crazy Kit Kat flavours.

Azuki Red Bean flavour

Blueberry flavour

Blueberry Cheesecake

Caramel Purin

Almond Desert flavour

Cookies and Milk

Cheese flavour

Fruit Parfait flavour

Ginger Ale flavour

Grape flavour

Jasmine Tea Flavour

Maccha flavour

Lemon flavour

Kinako Ohagi (sweet bean, sesame and toasted flour)

Mango flavour

Maple Syrup flavour

Melon flavour

Milk Coffee flavour

Muscat Grape flavour

Sweet potato

Raspberry and Passion fruit flavour

Red Pepper flavour

Ramu soda flavour

Cherry flavour and Edomame flavour

Shinsu Apple flavour

Sparkling Strawberry flavour

Strawberry Cheesecake flavour

Cherry blossom flavour

Wasabi flavour

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Car Parking in Japan

Japan is a country of many, many cars - however, in order to buy a car, you must prove that you have purchased a car park first. In the country area it is not very expensive, but in city areas can cost up to 100,000 yen!

Japanese car parks come in all shapes and sizes, and of course they are amazing! Because there is not much space, the car parks take up very little space.

Here are just some different ways you can park your car in Japan:

Hydrolic lifts are used to lift the car park up, revealing one underneath!

Every spare space is used!

single, double

This space has been developed to fit six cars

Parking spaces are squeezed into spaces all over the city - and the tickets are available in the vending machine, of course!

Even small trucks fit on the car parks.

This is one of Japan's famous elevator car parks (see the video below)

Multi-story carpark

and of course, multi-story multi-space carpark of the furture!

This car park fits many cars but takes up relatively small amount of space


Sunday, 17 July 2011

じてんしゃ and ママチャリ (Bicycles and Mama-chariots)

In a country of over 127 million people, the use of bicycles has exceeded that of cars - some estimate that there are as many as 86 million bicycles in Japan. This has lead to many uniquely Japanese innovations - in particular the 'Mama chari' (mama chariot)  and the Eco Cycle parking system.

With so many bicycles, there are of course some problems with  bicycle parking. Many people ride their bicycle to the train station and leave it parked at the station as they ride a train to work. As you may imagine, there are many, many bicycles parked at every station!
Bicycles parked at a train station in Japan

More bicycles parked at train stations!

And along the sides of streets.

More again!

This is a particularly large bicycle parking area.
 To deal with the problem of bicycle parking, the Japanese have created the Eco Cycle parking system. It is a system of underground bicycle parking which reduces the space needed for bicycle parking
The Eco Cycle parking booth above ground - just pop in your bicycle and your money!

Your bicycle will be automatically moved to the underground storage area.

An artists impression of how the underground storage unit looks.

Storing bicycles underground clears the area above ground while keeping bicycles safe.

Another uniquely Japanese creation is the 'Mama chari'. This refers to a bicycle with one or more child seats attached. While we now have these in Australia, they have been in Japan for a long time and come in all shapes and sizes!

Standard 2-child seat Mama chari - the children travel in comfort and safety

This mama-chari has seats for two children and a basket for the groceries

It's lots of fun riding the mama-chari

The bicycle is well made and does not tip easily.

Three fit comfortably on this mama-chari

Of course, it is not only children who get to ride in the seat!

An this is an adaption of the mama-chari - the papa-chari!

Feed my fish!

Ready to make music?