Pretty White Soba Flowers Making Fukui Locals Want to Vomit

Pretty White Soba Flowers Making Fukui Locals Want to VomitFor those of us living in cities, the idea of moving away to a country home surrounded by vast meadows of these pretty white autumn flowers sounds nice doesn’t it? However, this year, in Fukui Prefecture, where crops of thousands of these soba (buckwheat) flowers are grown, residents are perplexed that all these little blossoms literally smell like an ocean of sh*t.

Fukui is a major producer of soba which, is a cornerstone of Japanese cuisine often eaten in noodle form . Around 4,000 hectares of the crops is grown yearly with about half of it getting served up in the Kanto region.  Over there Fukui soba is known for its pleasant aroma.

The soba plant’s flower, however, has provided people living nearby with a different kind of fragrance.

“Since about the end of last month, the area around my home smells like chicken crap. It’s like they sowed the field with manure… or maybe they tapped into a septic tank…”

“There wasn’t anything before, but this year, especially on a sunny day the smell makes me nauseous. My wife can’t even open the window.”

Experts have explained that the reason for this odor has to do with the soba plant’s unique pollination method.  Many popular food crops are able to pollinate themselves. For example, wheat and corn are “self-fertilizing” which means that pollen can be used to fertilize the same plant it came from if carried by an insect or spider walking across it.

Soy bean plants are “self-pollinating” which means that they don’t even necessarily need a creature to carry the pollen and can transfer the pollen itself.  Soba is neither of these things. Soba plants require a creature to carry it’s pollen to another distinct plant.

This is a more unpredictable method which can make commercial soba crops tricky. The flowers also have a very short lifespan of a few days.  In this small window a bee or fly must gather its pollen and bring it to a distinct plant.

So it secretes special nectar that smells like a chocolate sundae to insects but a pile of manure to humans. And so while a vast field of soba is an all-you-can-eat buffet for bugs, it smells like one giant train station bathroom to everyone else.

That being said it is still not clear why this particular year the stench has become so intense. It could be a natural evolution of the plants or perhaps some genetic modification to improve yields. It also may just be the ever increasing number of plants the prefecture handles.

Whatever it is, if you live in a rural area and hear about someone planting buckwheat crops nearby, you may want to consider moving.

Source: Fukui Shinbun Online (Japanese)
Image: Kurt Stueber, Wikipedia

Pretty White Soba Flowers Making Fukui Locals Want to Vomit

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

In Japan, there is a saying that goes, “25 years old is the turning point of the skin.” As you might expect from a nation with a multi-billion yen beauty industry, many Japanese women, especially those who are past 30, are in a constant battle to preserve their aging features. Of course we’d all like to stay young, but how does one go about keeping their skin looking fresh and youthful? We asked a 30-something Japanese TV and movie star to reveal her tips to better looking skin. Read on to learn her beauty secrets!

You might recognize Mihiro from her spot-on Attack on Titan cosplay , but she’s better known in Japan for her numerous appearances in films as well as variety shows on television. It might be hard to tell, but she’s 31 years old!

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

The fresh-faced Mihiro frequently posts health and beauty tips on her personal blog. It seems she not only has the looks, but the knowledge as well, so we asked her to let us in on her secret to flawless skin.

RN24: Your skin is so beautiful, just like a porcelain doll! We’re just going to come straight out and ask you, what’s your daily beauty routine?

Mihiro: I wash my face with warm water in the morning and then put on lotion or a moisturizing face mask. I don’t use a facial cleanser. After, regardless of the season, I always apply a good amount of sunscreen to my face.

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

Mihiro: At night I use an ion steamer to take off my makeup. I wash my face while taking a bath and then put on a face mask. I keep it wrapped up for about thirty minutes *haha* I keep it on while cooking or doing things around the house, so it’s on there for a total of 1.5 to 2 hours, I guess.

RN24: I see! Do you have any tips for people around 30 who want to keep their entire body looking young?

Mihiro: I always try to hop in the bath after taking a shower. I massage baby oil into my skin while in the tub and then apply a cream moisturizer after.

RN24: Wow, it takes a lot of effort to keep your good looks. But what about the days when you drink a little too much or get caught at work late, doesn’t your beauty routine become more of a hassle?

Mihiro: Of course, there have been days when I accidentally fell asleep before I could get through my normal routine. I felt so guilty those times *haha* When I fall asleep before taking off my makeup, I make an effort to use a facial scrub and gently massage my skin the next day.

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

RN24: Phew, I’m glad to know that even a beauty master has days when she plays hooky! Do you have any tips on staying motivated to keep up a beauty routine?

Mihiro: Motivation…Hmm, I don’t really know, but I get really happy when other people say I haven’t changed. I sometimes blurt out, “Yeah! Alright!!” in celebration. Also, when I have kids I really want their friends to say “X’s mom is so beautiful”, so I guess that’s my motivation.

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

Mihiro: If I’m being honest, turning 30 comes with a lot of new things, so I try to somehow slow the change of time. In the future, I hope I will age into a cute little granny.

RN24: Just one last question…could you please give us a message to all of our readers?

Mihiro: Um…Please be my English teacher ☆

The radiant Mihiro also left us with a few more beauty tips such as “Let your skin breath and go without makeup on your days off.” Many of her suggestions for beautiful skin are easy to implement immediately, so for all of you 30-something-year-olds, take heart and keep your friend Mihiro’s skin care techniques in mind. We’ll be trying them out ourselves at home!

Original article by Miho Kuroi
Images: RocketNews24

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

Japanese TV and movie star Mihiro reveals her secrets to younger looking skin

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

Whether a constant traveler or an uncommon tourist, the uniqueness and beauty of a new place can incite almost anyone to pull out their camera and click away maddeningly.

While any journey can automatically elect a countless amount of photographs, the following top 10 sights have the special distinction of being captured within the lens of a camera more than almost any others.

10. Michelangelo Square

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

Florence, Italy, the famous Michelangelo Square, often known as Piazzale Michelangelo, is an expansive, elevated terrace that features a panoramic view of the northern city from the Oltrarno district.

Built in 1869 by Giuseppe Poggi during a rebirth of Florence, the square-on-high on the hill of San Miniato is named after the sculptor Michelangelo and features several copies of his work, including a replica of his famed David.

The luminous view of the city from Florence’s Ponte Vecchio and Duomo to the hills of Settignano has made it a worthwhile journey for scores of tourists wanting to capture Italy at its best.

9. The Brandenburg Gate

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

Located in the city of Berlin, Germany and known as the Brandenburger Tor, this most famous of gates was originally commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia.

The Brandenburg Gate is not only a symbol around the world of the tumultuousness of history and the undying possibility of unity, but a representation of the creation and fall of the Berlin Wall that separated East and West Germany until 1989.

While the gate incurred significant damage during World War II, recent repairs have made it a historical monument representative of Germany that resonates with its history.

8. The Basilica and Explatory Church of the Holy Family

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

The Basilica and Explatory Church of the Holy Family, known as Sagrada Familia, is a Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona, Spain.

The work is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Gaudi’s most fantastical representation of his Art Nouveau and Gothic architectural style.

With construction started in 1882 and a slated completion date of 2026, the building’s unique style and the numerous difficulties that have beset its construction have given it a fame and fascination that nearly outweigh that of any other building in the world, making it a destination for visitors to Spain.

7. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

Located in New York City, the Guggenheim is not only a tribute to architecture and art, it is one of New York City’s most popular attractions and well known structures.

As a center for both modern and contemporary art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum features a unique cylinder style shape that widens at the top.

As a striking example of modernism, the Guggenheim has captivated swells of visitors to the city for its inimitable design and sheer architectural power.

6. The Hollywood Walk of Fame

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

Made up of more than 2500 coral pink brass stars that are embedded along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the most famous representations of the power and prominence of the silver screen internationally.

As permanent monuments to a number of accomplished directors, actors, producers and even fictional characters, the walk sees nearly 10 million visitors a year as one of the most famed tourist attractions in Los Angeles.

5. Niagara Falls

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

Formed during the last ice age, Niagara Falls is named after three waterfalls that sit in the province of Ontario and the state of New York.

Comprised of Bridal Veil Falls, American Falls and Horseshoe Falls, the falls attract nearly 30 million tourists per year not for their height but for sheer breadth.

While the area has been largely saturated by tourism, the falls themselves remain one of the more spellbinding sights in the world with Horseshoe Falls, located in the United States, considered to be the most powerful waterfall in North America.

4. Saint Mark’s Square

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

Located in the city of Venice in Italy, a country that is among the most photographed in the world, Piazza San Marco is the most famous center of an already legendary place.

Known most commonly as Saint Mark’s Square, this public area is Venice’s most prominent square and features some of its most famed institutions.

While the square’s close proximity to the water makes it a common area for floods, it is the center of Venice’s public life and a mecca for the tourists that flock to the floating city.

3. The Great Pyramid of Giza

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one that remains largely intact, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of three pyramids that border the city of Giza in Egypt.

Completed around 2560 BC, it was believed the pyramid took 10 to 20 years to complete and, at a height of 146.5 meters, it existed as the tallest man-made structure in the world for an astonishing 3800 years.

While the natural grandeur of the desert is enough to draw people to Egypt, the most popular tourist destination in the Middle East and the construction of the pyramids that continues to astound make it among the most formidable of sights.

2. The Eiffel Tower

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

At 324 meters high, the Eiffel Tower located in Paris, France on the Champ de Mars is easily one of the most familiar monuments in the world.

Built and designed by Gustave Eiffel, the tower was erected in Paris in 1889 for the World’s Fair and remained the tallest structure in the world for 41 years until 1930.

While visitors to the monuments can languish in the gardens, observe the tower from the Trocadero across the river or take the lift to the top to see an outstanding view of Paris, the tower is the ultimate symbol of the lure of Europe for visitors.

1. The Roman Colosseum

Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World

Located in Rome, one of the most photographed cities in the world, the Flavian Amphitheatre or Colosseum is among the most sought after of tourist destinations anywhere in the world.

As an ideal exhibition of Roman architecture and engineering, and comprised of concrete and stone, the Colosseum was constructed in 70 AD under Emperor Vespasian and completed in 80 AD, with changes made to the structure under three different Emperor’s, giving the amphitheatre the name of the Flavian Dynasty.

Originally used for public events that involved staged battles, the Colosseum has incurred significant damage but is still one of the most iconic monuments of a gone era that remains a wonder to visitors from all over the world.


Top 10 Most Photographed Places in the World