Posts Tagged ‘asakatsu’

Asakatsu: up and at ’em

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Fuji sunrise

The worms of Japan better watch their backs: The country’s early birds are out in force as the “morning activities ” trend takes root. Asakatsu, the practice of getting up early to pursue hobbies, has followers among office workers and unemployed people alike who are looking for a way to establish a fixed time for personal interests and self-improvement.

An asakatsu survey this spring by  the JMA Research Institute found that one in seven people (out of 1,000 men and women, age 20-50) was actively pursuing some kind of morning activity. Not bad for mere mortals. On the other hand, brand new company hires were a different species altogether: 82% said that they were doing morning activities or, um, said that at least they really wanted to.

A “businessman” survey by Asahi Beverages (which happened to include a section on the “power of canned coffee”) reported that about 17% of the people they surveyed were working toward some kind of degree or studying languages in the morning. Language schools in Tokyo with early morning classes include Linguuaphone Language Plaza’s “Early Bird Morning Challenge” at 7 and “Asakatsu English” lessons with Pan Nations at 7:30. An asakatsu book group meets at restaurants near Tsukiji market for sushi breakfast talks with authors. Rikkyo Business Creator “cram school” holds morning seminars to increase skills important in business.

The book “Asa 5jihan Oki no Shukan de, Jinsei wa Umaku Iku” (“Life Goes Well When you Get into the Habit of Getting up at 5:30”) is stacked up at bookstore endcaps and has been appearing prominently in front of the magazine racks at convenience stores. The cover is a bright, rosy pink sky of a hue that we’ve never seen, though who can say what the sky might look like at that hour?

Hiroki Baba told Pulse he gets up at 6:25 every weekday morning to do 20 or 30 minutes of energy work similar to tai chi before he takes off for his job as an engineer. “It gives me energy all day,” he says.  He is typical of the respondents in the JMA Research survey, who, on average, reported spending a little less than an hour on their activities of choice.

Cafe chain Wired opened a branch on the grounds of Yoyogi National Stadium called Cafe Wired <>Fit. The combination gym and cafe runs a class that combines a brisk walk in the park with a yoga session at 7:30 in the morning, and a plain morning yoga class as early as 7 a.m. Not far away in Sendagaya, restaurant Good Morning Cafe opens at 6. For those who don’t fancy a post-yoga “good morning hamburger plate,” there are other “first thing in the morning” options, including okayu porridge and an acai berry bowl. They also have a design-influenced take on the standard kissaten egg-and-toast breakfast set: Brushed stainless steel squares replace traditional coffee shops’ nondescript tableware, and the parboiled egg stands in its own cup. The restaurant’s slogan says it all: “Why don’t you start a first-thing-in-the morning lifestyle?”

Have at it, folks. Let us know how it goes. We’ll be catching a little shut-eye.

RSS

Recent Posts

  • Ginza Cozy Corner takes dessert into hyperdrive with ‘Star Wars’ cakes

    One Japanese confectionary vendor is about to find the Force deep within a sweet tie-up. Ahead of the December release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Ginza Cozy Corner, which has outlets nationwide, has made a line of “Star Wars” sweets that are truly out of this world. The treats themselves are all based on people […]

  • Warning: This viral video of high school girls might make you blush

    Cosmetic company Shiseido has recently uploaded a YouTube video that is blowing viewers’ minds with a bona fide twist. In the promo video, titled “High School Girl? — The Makeup Secrets of High School Girls,” the camera weaves through a classroom full of drop-dead cute young women who pout and wink like true pop idols. […]

  • Sharp dials up the fan service to celebrate 20 years of ‘Evangelion’

    For those who have always dreamed of owning an Evangelion robot, this might be the closest you get. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the popular “Neon Genesis Evangelion” animated series, Sharp is releasing a special smartphone that pays homage to the show both in the device’s hardware and software. The phone itself is detailed […]

  • Tokyo plugs into Google Play Music

    If you haven’t heard the latest news from Google Play, you may have missed your opportunity to tune into a Google Play Billboard. From Oct. 8-24, music lovers can head over to Shibuya to, literally, plug into a selection of over 3,500 songs. The Google Play Billboard is meant to give visitors a much-needed chance […]

  • J-blip: Ipsa’s Face Melody

    Every face has a name, a story and . . . a song? That’s the idea behind cosmetic company Ipsa’s newest creation. We should, uh, take it at face value, but the company claims that its Face Melody program can measure the user’s appearance and write a unique tune based on their attributes. The application […]

  • Japan celebrates the GIFs that keep on giving

    GIFs — which stands for graphics interchange format, don’t you know — have made the Internet an even more enjoyable place than before, and we have the receipts to prove it. These digital designs were technological wonders back in the days of AOL and Netscape (Google it, kids). But they eventually went from high-tech animation […]

  • Smart absolutions: Send off your sins with just one click

    The two-step method to purification.

  • Attack of the plant hunters, green carnivores and fleshy girls

    Never promised you a rose garden, but how about a fleshy plant or a stag-horn fern?

  • Make 12th-century art using 21st-century tech

    The Choju-Giga, the famed animal caricature ink paintings displayed Kyoto’s Kozan-ji Temple have been captivating people for centuries. The four scrolls, which date to the 12th and 13th centuries and depict rabbits and monkeys getting into mischief, are often cited as the first manga comics in Japan’s history. Now art lovers can create their own […]

  • Fuji Rock bound? Make sure you survive in style

    A few items that will help you stay dry and happy during Fuji Rock Festival’s unpredictable weather.