Moyai Statue

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Moyai Statue

If you're shopping around Shibuya, Tokyo -- one of Japan's popular fashion and entertainment centers -- look for the giant stone head on the southwest side of Shibuya Station.  The Moyai Statue might seem like a knock-off of the 15th-century rock faces on Easter Island, however, the Niijima Village in the Izu Islands gifted this particular one to Tokyo in 1980, and it looks slightly different from the ones in Polynesia. Another fun fact: moyai means "to work together in effort" in the local dialect of Niijima Village. Now, if we could only find a reason to actually use this emoji....

Did you know that "emoji" comes from Japanese meaning "picture character"? In fact, those little smiley faces and tiny bowls of food we've come to rely on when we're texting all our friends actually originated in Japan in the 90's; some of the emoticons actually have corresponding, real life locations in Asia. 

Now that 'smiley-face', 'high-five' and 'meh-face' are taking their own wild "app-venture" in the new blockbuster, The Emoji Movie, it's high time we hit the road and find the actual Japanese landmarks represented by some of our favorite pictograms. Click through and travel across Japan with a few of our favorite tiny icons.

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