Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions

Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions Japan is a place of so many different and wonderful things to do and see. A lot of times when we are planning our trips to Japan we decide not always to have our whole day Read more

Kizuna Japanese subscription box

Kizuna Japanese subscription box This is a promotional post. We were offered the opportunity to try a new subscription box from Kizuna Box from Japan. Of course we jumped at the chance. We were given the option of two different boxes, Read more

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2017

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival On April 22nd was the annual cherry blossom hanami festival in Stockholm (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”), Sweden. It's an event organized by the Japanese Association, and we were very happy to see that they - once Read more

Top Japanese places to visit in London

Top Japanese places to visit in London In this post we have collected our top Japanese places to visit in London. The city has so many places that are connected to Japan in one way or another. In our top Read more

Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo

Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo As a person who love all things art and crafts I've hunted down the best shops that I could find during my travels in Tokyo. Here's a guide to my personal favourites. Read more

Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions

Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions

Japan is a place of so many different and wonderful things to do and see. A lot of times when we are planning our trips to Japan we decide not always to have our whole day packed out. We love to just wander around the streets, to take in the atmosphere and to find new and exciting things that are not always obvious until you are told about it. We love to collect things while in Japan. During our latest trip we handmade our own blank paper book and took it out and about with us to collect stamps from different places. You can find them at a lot of train stations and even the temples would have a place where you can get the stamp for that area. At the temple you could also get your book personally signed with a meaningful text. Collecting is a lot of fun.

Kickstarter Project

When I heard about manhole covers I first thought that there just normally boring brown covered slabs of iron, but after reading up about the Kickstarter project, being run by two of the founders of47Regions Steven and Kevin, the covers are so much more than just covers. They’re mini masterpieces of art that can be found all over Japan and collecting them has become very popular, with blogs dedicated to them, collectors card and even bus tours. Each manhole cover will tell you something about the area. It can be of landmarks, traditions, nature – anything that is special for that specific area.

With Steven and Kevin’s love for Japan and having there own company, they decide to print up six manhole cover prints designs to shirts and cards. Because the duo wanted to make sure the prints would be of the highest and best quality, they decided to screen print them themselves from their newly started company 47Regions. You might think it can’t be that hard to print t-shirts but as you see in the photos, lots of trials have gone into it, to find the best and most perfect way to hand print them for this project, which gives a very personal side to this project I think.

If all goes well with the project and it takes off, there will be even more manhole covers from some of the other 47 prefectures to choose from in the future one day soon.

There are still a few days left of this Kickstarter project, so head on over there via this link:
http://kck.st/2BdEvqL

or check out 47Regions across the web on the links down below:

Homepage: http://www.47regions.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/47regions/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@47Regions
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/47regions/

Ok, now I’m off to start looking up which covers we are going to try and find next time we are in Japan.





Posted on by Paul in Fashion, Other, Reviews, Shopping, Visiting Leave a comment

Kizuna Japanese subscription box

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Kizuna Japanese subscription box

This is a promotional post.

We were offered the opportunity to try a new subscription box from Kizuna Box from Japan. Of course we jumped at the chance. We were given the option of two different boxes, the Kizuna Snack Box or the Kizuna Lifestyle Box. The snack box includes 13-16 traditional and artisanal snacks and beverages, and a couple of lifestyle items. Often the snacks are only available from a particular time of the year and only from certain regions in Japan. The lifestyle box includes 5-6 beautifully made Japanese goods, that may include items such as stationery, ceramics, snacks, cloths and more. The lifestyle box also has a nicely tied in seasonal theme.

The box we chose to go with this time was the Kizuna Lifestyle Box. It sounded more interesting to us, as we have already tried a couple of snack based subscription boxes from Japan before, and this sounded both exciting and intriguing.

The box arrived very fast from Japan to us. It only seemed to take a couple of days, which was a positive thing because no one likes to wait. The subscription box was well packaged and had a very personal and professional feeling to it.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

On opening the box, the first thing that greeted us was a little booklet, explaining the theme of this month’s box, and giving an in-detail description of everything found within. We received the June 2017 edition, which was influenced by tsuyu – the rainy season, and the ajisai flower – the Hydrangea.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Mino-yaki Ajisai ceramic bowl

This beautiful Mini-yaki ceramic bowl fearures the Ajisai flowers, coinciding with this month’s theme. The Mino-yaki (Mino ware) originated from the Gifu Prefecture where around 50% of Japanese produced pottery comes from this region.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Mino-yaki Ajisai ceramic plate

The Mino-yaki Ajisai ceramic plate is shaped like the Ajisai flowers, and also comes from the Mino province (modern day Gifu Prefecture). The pottery from this area is believed to have started more than 1300 years ago.

While writing this post we discovered that we have previously bought a couple of bowls and plates while in Japan, bearing the stamp from the Mino province, something we would have never known about if it wasn’t for this subscription box giving us information about it.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Ajisai hankerchief from Yonagado

Included in this box was this hankerchief, which I can imagine would come to plenty of usages in Japan’s rainy season, even though we found it too beautiful to ever use. The hankerchief is from Yonagadou, which are based in Osaka. They mix traditional and modern Japanese designs into their products.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Ajisai document folder from Unsodo

A beautiful plastic folder, featuring the Ajisai flower, from Unsodo, established 1891, who are based in Kyoto. They’re famous for their Japanese woodblock printing technique.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

The Cat Series – Tsuyu Ukiyo-e styled postcard

The post card that is another thing too good to use, pictures a cat sitting inside watching the rain go by, with the Ajisai flowers in the garden outside. The postcard is in the style of Ukiyo-e, an art genre that dates back to the 17th century and is very much about evoking feelings in the viewer.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

KitKat Premium Mint Summer limited edition, Kamakura Ajisai Sandwich cookie and Ito En Instant green tea

This time the lifestyle subscription box also contained a selection of cookies, instant green tea and a limited edition mini KitKat.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Kizuna Box is currently having worldwide giveaway contests on both their Facebook page and their Instagram account. For the chance to win, check out Kizuna Box on Facebook and Kizuna Box on Instagram. They’re two separate contests so you can enter both to double your chances of winning. The contests are open until June 23, 2017.

If you want to know more about the Kizuna Lifestyle Box and the Kizuna Snack Box, just head over to their site, Kizuna Box | Re:Discovery Japan, where there are plenty of subscription and gift choices to choose between.

whysojapan Kizuna lifestyle snack subscription box

Disclaimer: This product was sent to us for free, but our review is an honest take on the products.

Save





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Food & snacks, Reviews 1 Comment

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2017

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival

On April 22nd was the annual cherry blossom hanami festival in Stockholm (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”), Sweden. It’s an event organized by the Japanese Association, and we were very happy to see that they – once again – succeeded in setting the date just in time for the cherry trees to be in full bloom. As previous years, we were there to enjoy Japanese food and entertainment. Here is a video and some photos from the day.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

Lots of people gathered in Kungsträdgården for a mini shows of various performances.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

Sakurakören (Sakura Choir) and Yuko Matsushita (on flute) entertained the crowd with their music.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

Hello Kitty was the festival’s ambassador. She walked around the stalls and let the visitors take photos with her.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

There was a mixture of stalls, as there always are. Some of them were Othello the board game and Mangakai, club for manga and anime enthusiasts.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

Japanese flower arrangement, ikebana, was on show with some beautiful examples of what can be achieved.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

In one of the stalls you could be show how to fold origami, and in another stall you could try on a kimono.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

There was a small selection of stalls offering Japanese food. The one we went for was Japanese croquette from Tokyo Soul Kitchen, it was the right choice because it was really delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

Naoko Kikuchi played the Shamisen, a Japanese string instrument, for the onlooking crowd.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

Nicklas Nordquist gave a short introduction to what cosplay is. After his introduction a few cosplayers showed off their costumes. Wadaiko-Maiko performed a traditional Taiko drums show for everyone.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

Kenshou Kyudo Kai Kyudo club gave a demonstration in Kyudo, Japanese archery.

Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm


Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival in Stockholm

Previous posts about Sakura Matsuri in Stockholm:
Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2016
Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015
Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2014
Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2013

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Events Leave a comment

Top Japanese places to visit in London

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London

Top Japanese places to visit in London

In this post we have collected our top Japanese places to visit in London. The city has so many places that are connected to Japan in one way or another. In our top list we’ve tried to cover a mixture of different types of places that have some connection to Japan or Japanese culture. We know that there are a lot of Japanese restaurants in London, but since we are not based in London we have not really been able to visit many of them to give our opinions about them. While visiting London we always try to find time to visit a few of the locations below. If you are short on time, we recommend visiting Japan Centre, Umai and JP Books which are all in a very close walking distance to each other.

Japan Centre

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London japan centre

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London japan centre whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London japan centre

Japan Centre has a big selection of Japanese groceries. What you can find is ready to go fresh meals, snacks, and ingredients so that you can make your own Japanese food at home. They also have sake, stationery, magazines, cooking utensils and more. Our favourite treat that we always take with us from the store are the freshly made mochi balls.
Map | Website

Umai

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London umai

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London umai whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London umai

Situated just outside the Japan Centre is Umei. A great place to grab a quick a typical Japanese street food. We normally buy takoyaki, but other options are available on their menu. After that we normally pop by to JP Books.
Map | Website

JP Books

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London books

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London books whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London books
JP Books is around the corner from the Japan Centre and Umei, on Denman Street. You will find this well-stocked book shop selling lots of Japanese books, stationery, magazines, nick-nacks. It is a great place to pick up the latest CD from your favourite J-pop group, like Perfume.
Map | Website

ArtBox

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London art box
ArtBox is the go-to shop for all things cute and kawaii. In store you can expect to find character goods like Rilakkuma, Pusheen, Gudetama, Hello Kitty and more, stationery, plushies, homeware, and accessories. If you’re after something cute and Japanese, we recommend popping into Artbox to browse. The shop’s exterior has changed since we last visited due to a new location.
Map | Website

Chinatown Bakery

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London chinatown bakery

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London chinatown bakery whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London chinatown bakery
Even though it’s ChinaTown, you can still find some Japanese gems there, like the cute fish-shaped cake TaiYaki. We have such great memories of eating them in Japan, so we were really happy to find them in London. They’re a lot smaller than the Japanese standard size, but that just means you can have more than one.
Map | Website

Muji

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London muji

Muji is a well-known brand in Japan. Thanks to their success they have a lot of international stores. Their style is minimalistic and practical, usually white, grey or wood. Typical items you can find in the store are storage solutions, little notebooks, plastic folders, travel items, cutlery, home fragrance and lots more. Last time we were in store we bought a lovely wooden fruit bowl.
Map | Website

Uniqlo

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London uniqlo

Another store with international success is Uniqlo. They have a wide range of basic clothes of all colours for your wardrobe. The clothes are minimalistic and aesthetic pleasing on the eyes. They reason we started shopping at Uniqlo was their heattech range, which are thin clothes with a special Japanese technology to keep you warm.
Map | Website

Las Vegas Arcade Soho

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London las vegas

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London las vegas whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London las vegas
Not many places outside of Japan house so many fun and exciting Japanese arcade machines. Luckily enough Las Vegas Arcade Soho has a great selection of Japanese arcade games. Some of our favourites being Jubeat, GrooveCoaster, Taiko no Tatsujin and many more. Sometimes there can be queues to the games, but they’re well worth the wait.
Map | Website

JapanCraft Camden Lock

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London japan craft
Hidden inside Camden Market you will find the little Japan Craft shop. They stock a nice selection of Japanese puzzle boxes, daruma dolls and a small selection of Japanese sweets. Perfect shop to pop into if you are in the Camden area.
Map | Website

Hyper Japan

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London hyper japan christmas market
HyperJapan is a bi-annually event which hosts concerts, demonstrations, lots of independent shops and stalls, selling all things Japanese and Japanese inspired. Check out our full review from our past visit: Hyper Japan Christmas Market
Website

ComicCon

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London

MCM Comic Con London, which is also held twice a year, has a large area dedicated to Japanese inspired goods and food stalls. We have a full review from a past event here: Japan EX MCM Comic Con London
Website

If you have any tips of places in London that we should visit and share with our readers, please comment below. We are always happy to visit and discover new places.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Shopping, Visiting 1 Comment

Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo

whysojapan tokyo art crafts

Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo

As a person who love all things art and crafts I’ve hunted down the best shops that I could find during my travels in Tokyo. Here’s a guide to my personal favourites. Depending on what you’re after buying, I’m sure you’ll find it in one of these shops.

Sekaido

whyspjapan sekaido tokyo shinjuku art crafts
This place is heaven for anyone looking for art supplies. They’re located in Shinjuku, very close to the Shinjuku Gyoen garden. There are several floors, and the amount of things they have can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, so make sure you have time to browse, because you don’t wanna rush your visit here. They have everything – everything. Stationery, office supplies, manga, drawing, painting, papers, paintbrushes, sculpturing, clay, fine art materials, frames, paintings, I can go on forever.
Map | http://www.sekaido.co.jp/

Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo

Okadaya

whyspjapan okadaya tokyo shinjuku art crafts
Another paradise, but this shop is more focused on crafts. Again, there are several floors, and the amount of things they have seem endless. You’ll find fabrics, cross stitch, yarn, fake flowers, sewing, buttons… This place is packed with fun stuff. I usually buy some fabric there, because they have really cute patterns. This is also a place you will want a good amount of time to spend there, because there’s so much to see.
Map | http://www.okadaya.co.jp/

Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo

Daiso

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan daiso
This 100 yen shop is great for cheap craft supplies. Their biggest (and most busy) shop is located in Harajuku on Takeshita street, but you can find it elsewhere too, as it is a chain store. You can find little craft projects, needles, bows, ribbons, gift bags, stationery and more. Each item is 100 yen (+tax), so you can really find bargains here.
Map | https://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/

Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo

Kyukyodo

whysojapan kyukyodo tokyo ginza art crafts
If you want to get a hold of more traditional stationery, then Kyukyodo in Ginza is well worth a visit. They have beautiful cards, notepads, stamps, papers and more. This is a new favourite that I recently found, and I’ll be coming back again for sure.
Map | http://www.kyukyodo.co.jp/

Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo

Tokyu Hands

whysojapan tokyu hands tokyo ikebukuro art crafts
If you go to Tokyu Hands in Shibuya you’re in for a very confusing visit, because their shop is three buildings connected together with 8 half floors (times three) and I always get confused when I’m trying to understand where I’ve been and where I haven’t been. Their shop in Ikebukuro is much easier to walk through. The shop itself is amazing, they have so much stuff. You’ll find crafts, stationery, miniature models, wood work, flowers, stamps, washi tape, decorations, art supplies, needle work and more. About half the shop is crafts and hobbies and the other half is for the home.
Map Shibuya | Map Ikebukuro | https://hands.net/

Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo

Loft

whysojapan loft tokyo shibuya art crafts
Loft is a department store with a great stationery section. I recommend you visit their shop in Shibuya and go to the bottom floor, where you will find a whole floor of stationery. They have lots of stickers, notebooks, calendars, pens, decotapes, washi tape and more. You can find more craft items on other floors, so check out the floor guide at the entrance or the lifts.
Map Shibuya | Map Ikebukuro | http://www.loft.co.jp/

Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo

Muji


I’ve only been to the Muji store in Shinjuku. They have a very minimalistic design to their products, and you can find quite a lot of stationery there. They have pens and pencils, notepads, organizer boxes, glue, washi tape, notebooks, ring binders and more.
Map | http://www.muji.com/jp/

Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo

Kinokuniya

whysojapan kinokuniya tokyo shinjuku art crafts

You will find their main store in Shinjuku, but you can find them in other areas as well, such as Shibuya. They are famous for having a selection of foreign books, buy my reason for going there are the “mooks” books. Mooks are books about all sorts of crafts, illustrated with step by step photographs, making them very easy to understand even if you can’t read any Japanese. The books are detailed and beautiful. As soon as I found out about these type of books, I’m always on the lookout for them when I visit Japan. I found these three books in the Parco building in Shibuya, bottom floor.
Map Shinjuku | Map Shibuya | https://www.kinokuniya.co.jp/

Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo

Character Street and character shops

whysojapan character street tokyo art crafts

Any of the cute character shops will have cute stationery. There’s one called Gift Gate for the Sanrio characters, but I like the San-X characters more, so I always go to the Rilakkuma Store, where they not only have Rilakkuma, but also Sentimental Circus, Sumikkogurashi and more. If you’re into Hello Kitty or Gudetama, then it’s Gift Gate you should go too. The best place to find all of these characters, and more, is at Character Street at Tokyo Station. They have shops for Tamagotchi, Studio Ghibli (Totoro!), Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, Kapibara san, Miffy and more.
Map | Character Street information

Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo

Akihabara

whysojapan atre1 tokyo akihabara art crafts

I haven’t found much art and craft in Akihabara, but I have found that Atré 1 has a Tokyu Hands section with lots of stationery and Yodobashi Camera has a section of photo albums and washi tapes. If you’re in the area, they might be worth checking out. Next to the Tokyu Hands section in Atré 1, theres a Suica shop, where you can find some very special washi tape and other things featuring the Sucia penguin!

Map Atré 1https://www.atre.co.jp/ | Map Yodobashi Camera | http://www.yodobashi.com/

Art, craft and stationary shops in Tokyo

Do you know of any great places to shop for art, crafts and stationery in Tokyo that I haven’t mentioned in this post? Please share in the comments!

Save

Save





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Shopping 2 Comments
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 32 33   Next »
%d bloggers like this: