The title is pronouced Nee-hone Pone and means (in mixed languages) Japan is awesome (loosely translated). There are several reasons for this but just to name a few:
1. They have life-size giant robots!
If you are familiar with Japanese anime (animated movies and television shows) then you would recognize this 30 story high, actual size replica of a Gundam. Gundam is a popular anime show that has spawned dozens of television series, severval animated movies, and zillions of toys and other collectables....but this is a bit crazy. Towering just outside of Tokyo proper, this giant robot is a major tourist attraction and also a monumental waste of money. But awesomeness doesn't (and shouldn't) have a price tag.
2. Insanely fatty pizzas made by Pizza Hut (now discontinued *tear)
This pizza boasts a whopping 646 calories PER SLICE! To put that in perspective, the highest rated caloric intake item found at a resturant in the US (as of '04 census by the Food Network) was the Outback Steakhouse's "bloomin' onion" at appoxiametly 2000 calories! This means before you finish your 3rd slice of this pie, you would have consumed the equivalent of an entire giant onion that has been shredded and deep fried! Deeming it a serious health risk, the nation of Japan decided to discontinue it's production and went back to smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day all while working off of 2 hours of sleep.
I know, why barcodes? Cause the Japanese make everything fun and cute! Check them out!
Most people wouldn't think to decorate a barcode, but in Japan they leave no stone unturned. Now when they scan your item at the store and wonder why you are getting ripped off by a combination of overpricing and inflation, you can take a look at the barcode and say, "Well at least they are putting that money to good use!"
4. Clothing is lightyears ahead!
Japan is all about simplification and looking ahead to the future (which is why robots will begin their uprising there). Here is an example from the clothing world.
What you are seeing here is basically a "cut-to-the-chase" solution for young girls. Low rider jeans keep getting lower, but you don't like changing your underwear that much and can't get away with it if they keep getting exposed when you bend over. Fear not lazy skanks, I give you the lowest low rider possible with built in exposed underwear! Japan 1 - rest of fashion world 0.
I'll be back sometime with more weird stuff from Japan, and I'll try to keep it PG cause Lord knows that there is some questionable stuff coming out of there that goes waaaaay beyond an R rating. Till then...