Japanese designers’ brilliant way to stop people forgetting their smartphones in public restrooms

Browsing while pooping is an internationally loved pastime, so here’s a clever way to make sure you never leave your phone behind.

Japanese highway rest stops are pretty awesome. Even if you’re not at one that’s designed to look like an Edo period samurai town or serving as the home of a giant anime robot replica, you can always expect them to have clean bathrooms, which would be a miracle in itself on the roadways of some other countries.

However, rest stop bathrooms can be the sites of sadness too, as sometimes travelers who’re making a pit stop leave their belongings behind by accident before getting back on the road. The Hokkaido branch of NEXCO, the organization that manages highways in eastern Japan, counted up all the time it had been spending taking care of lost-and-found-related issues, and found it was taking up average of 30 hours a month reuniting people with things they’d forgotten in bathroom stalls, with about 60 percent of them being smartphones, wallets, or other small items.

So to help people remember to take their belongings with them after they’re done dropping off their bodily waste, NEXCO came up with a clever solution, as seen in this photograph from Japanese Twitter user @picco_lo_.

Once you’re inside the stall, there’s a large, flat handle on the door’s interior side that you swing over 180 degrees to act as a lock. However, this also turns it into a secure parcel shelf, or “accessory tray” as it’s labeled in English. With a load capacity of one kilogram (2.2 pounds), it’s large and sturdy enough for you to place a phone or wallet on, or even a small bag or other small, handheld item that you might forget about if you set it on top of the toilet paper holder housing or a protruding section of the wall behind or next to the toilet.

Since the tray doubles as the door’s lock, you have to swing it back to its original position in order to get out, at which point your eyes will be drawn to whatever you had resting there if you’d forgotten about it.

NEXCO began installing the new locks last September, and currently they’re in service in 61 stalls spread over eight rest stops in Hokkaido, including the one in the town of Yakumo, where @picco_lo_’s picture was snapped. The organization says it reduced the amount of time spent monthly on lost-and-found problems from the previous monthly average of 30 hours all the way down to 12, and plans to add the new locks to more stalls in the future.

Now if only there was a way to make people remember to wash their hands.

Source: @picco_lo_ via Jin, Biglobe News
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Wikipedia/浪速丹治

Tokyo’s Nakano district doesn’t just have an Obon Dance, it has an Obon Jovi Dance!

The west Tokyo neighborhood’s take on the centuries-old event is like bad medicine, and bad medicine is what I need.

As we have often covered in the past, mid-August is generally known as the Obon season in Japan. This is a time when tradition holds that the spirits of our ancestors return to the realm of the living to say “hi” and have a snack.

One of the cool things about Obon is that despite its longevity in Japanese culture, there isn’t a hard and fast set of customs that span the country. This means that spending Obon in one region can be completely different that another. For example, while people in one area enjoy making horses out eggplants, another makes Mad Max vehicles instead.

There are some threads of commonality, however, such as the Bon Odori or “Bon Dance” held during festivals. Like other customs of this holiday, the steps of the dance itself can vary widely from region to region but is generally done in larges groups using slow, easy-to-follow motions for participants both young and old. Here’s a taste.

Although there is no standard song for this dance either, it is usually set to an arrangement of traditional Japanese instruments like shamisen and taiko drums. But again, the highly flexible nature of the Obon season can sometimes yield some really interesting results.

For example, here’s a short clip from a festival held by Nakano Station in west Tokyo posted to Twitter by @hayatodelarossa.

Hopefully you had the volume up while watching that because then you’d be treated to the trippy sights and sounds of watching Japanese people do an age-old dance to Bon Jovi’s 1986 hit “Livin’ On a Prayer.”

However, the more you think about it, as the following commenters have, the more it kind of makes sense.

“That’s an Bon Jovi Odori!”
“I think “Livin’ on a Prayer” is a good match since the Bon Odori was originally a form of religious worship.”
“In Matsudo, we dance to ‘Gengis Khan.’”
“I thought it was Bon Jovi live on stage for a second. That would have really been something.”
“I think Bon Jovi should get automatic citizenship for that.”
“I like this modern style Bon Odori, anime songs work well too.”
“The Ebisu Bon Dance ends with ‘La Vie En Rose.’ It’s very cute with the hand movements.”

A classic song mixed with traditional Japanese culture and a dash of word play for good measure: What’s not to love? We can only hope that Japan’s recording industry copyright watchdog JASRAC was too busy shaking down barbershops playing obscure jazz on portable CD players to notice this one and let it slip by.

And so, it’s exactly the kind of adaptability illustrated above that has allowed this great piece of culture to thrive so many years since its inception. If you’d like to learn more about it, then please be sure to check out our other articles regarding Bon Jovi or visit your local library.

Source: Twitter/@hayatodelarossa via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Twitter/@hayatodelarossa



気づくように働きかけるか一言かける、もしくは修行僧のごとくじっと我慢、はたまたイケメン or 美女だから喜んで肩を貸す……? いくら考えても正解は出ないような気もするが、どうするのがベストなのだろう。













この機に新しいモノを購入しよう! そう思い、アップルウォッチよりもはるかに安い価格で買える激安スマートウォッチを買ってみたところ……まあ値段なりの性能だった訳だが、それ以上に専用アプリや説明書の日本語表記が気になって気になって仕方なくなってしまった!



「スマートウォッチ 防水 スポーツウォッチ 最新版 Bluetoothの時計 心拍計 血圧計 歩数計 腕時計多機能カラースクリーン 活動量計 消費カロリー 睡眠検測 電話着信Lineメール 通知目覚まし時計 長い待機時間 Android&ios iphone日本語対応 (レッド) 」

という製品らしい。正式な製品名は説明書にも記載されていないのでよくわからない。購入時の価格は3999円。アップルウォッチよりもずっと安い。これが本当に一般的に認識されるスマートウォッチとして機能するのか? それすらも怪しい。とにかく購入した。









う~ん、「MADE IN CHINA」製品の専用アプリを、スマホに入れるのはすこぶる不安である。だが、仕方がない。







一応アプリには、デバイスで測定した数値が表示されるものの、その精度はいかほどか!? などと思いながらアプリをいじくっていたところ……!

・壁紙を変えられる! がッ!!

壁紙を選択できることに気が付いた。しかもなんと! 3種類もある!!

アナログの文字盤のほかに、デジタル表示が大小2種。さらに驚いたのは、小デジタルの背景は、オリジナル画像に編集できる! 結構やるなッ!! ということで早速背景デザインを変更してみることに。







なんだイタリアって。イタリアってあのイタリアのことか? 壁紙をオリジナルに変えると、イタリアか? そうか、イタリアか〜。う~ん、どういう誤訳なんだ……。わからん! 全然わからん!! 「保存」のことを指しているのか、そとも「完了」を指しているのか。うう、う~ん……。



さらにアプリを構っている間に、2度もファームウェアのアップデートを要求してきた。これはますます怪しい! このアプリをスマホに入れたままにしているのがマズイ気がしてきたので、一旦デバイスとのペアリングを解除しようとしたら……次の表示が!










Screenshot:iOS「Da Fit」

豚骨ラーメンの残ったスープにご飯をドボン! いかにもギルティそうな「豚骨雑炊」を食べてみた / 中野区『豚野郎』


しかも、ただの豚骨ではなく「あなたの食べている豚骨は本当に豚骨ですか? 究極の豚骨を東京に! と思い博多から上京しました」とも書いてあるではないか。ほほう、この自信を味わってみたい……ってことで行ってみることにした。













店名 豚野郎 中野本店
住所 東京都中野区中野1−41−45
時間 火〜金11:30~15:00 / 17:00~21:30 土日祝11:30~15:30 / 17:00~21:30
休日 月曜日