Paul, Author at Why so Japan

JAPAN – Where tradition meets the future

whysojapan Where tradition meets the future tourism

Japan National Tourism Organization

JNTO in Europe has just started it’s largest ever promotional campaign for inbound tourism from Europe, as a part of the visit Japan project. The tourism organization based in London has launched a site showcasing what Japan has to offer in “tradition and “innovation”.  The JNTO will be promoting Japan in 15 different European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and more via several media platforms. The campaign showcases Japan through the eyes of Europeans with an interactive site, with it’s main feature being a video that was made by filmmaker Vincent Urban from Germany. Vincent Urban has also made the video “In Japan 2015”, which to date has been viewed on Vincent’s Vimeo channel over 2.2 million times. Check our previous post on his video and other great filmed in Japan by clicking here: http://www.whysojapan.com/videos-filmed-japan/

Where tradition meets the future

The film was shot in 45 different locations in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kumano and Ise – from the modern to the traditional and beyond. The video takes you on a whirlwind journey through the modern sites of arcade centres, Tokyo Skytree and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, to the beautiful picturesque scenes of the the Great Buddha of Nara and the unbelievable Sagano Bamboo Forest Road in Kyoto, just to name a few. After watching the interactive video on the site you can click back to all the different parts of the video and read more information about the certain location in the film. I found this to be a great feature, because I’ve now been able to discover more parts of Japan that I want to visit.

whysojapan Where tradition meets the future tourism

The second section to the site is an interview part with people from Europe have been asked questions about Japan and their experiences. The site is available in five different European languages (English, German, French, Italian and Spanish).

whysojapan Where tradition meets the future tourism

I found the whole site to be beautiful. A great read, I loved the interactive video, and even the background music that is played while on the site is lovely. I think that this will be just the start as we look forward to the 2020 Olympics, where Japan is going become more and more in demand.

Visit the site here: http://visitjapan-europe.jnto.go.jp/en/

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Vending machines in Japan

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

Vending machines

Japan has the most amount of vending machines per person in the world. Because of the population of people and there is a very limited, space vending machines are very popular things in Japan. A lot of people on foot and bike use them. Since there is very little crime in Japan it is not that often you will find a vending machine vandalized leaving it out of order, which makes them a great way of selling things to people that are on the move.

You find vending machines everywhere in Tokyo. It seems every small side street, car park and train station will have at least one. Normally it will be a row of them, selling different sorts of drinks.

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

The most common vending machine we have come across while out in Tokyo was the drink ones where you normally find fizzy drinks, like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. You will also find a lot of machines that just sell energy drinks too, and then you have the machines that sell warm drinks. Sometimes there will be a machine for each sort of product and in some of them you can find all of the above products in the same machine. The cold drinks are normally marked with a blue colour around the selection button, and the hot drinks would have a red colour around them. Depending on what time of the year is it, the hot drinks might be available more or less.

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

You can also find vending machines that sell hot food, like burger and fries and other fast food styl . Even though I looked for the machines I haven’t been able to find one in Tokyo as of yet. Other machines sell hot pasta noodles, which I’ve seen at a hotel we stayed in. A perfect late snack. And then, of course, there are machines that sell different candies.

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

Other machines that are a bit different can be ones that sell bananas, books and umbrellas, which all can come in handy of course. Machines that sell alcohol have a smart card reader on them that you have to swipe a card to prove your age.

A lot of smaller restaurants use vending machines to sell their food. Normally the machine will just be outside the entrance of the restaurant. On the machine you will find pictures of the different dishes available to buy. You put your money in, choose the dish you want, and then it prints out a ticket that you take in to the restaurant and hand over to the staff to get your food.

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan whysojapan_vending_machines_tokyo_japan_06 whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

You can also use your Suica transport prepaid card to buy stuff. The machines will detect the amount due from your card for you, which comes in handy if you don’t have any other money on you at the time.

Some vending machines even have cameras in them that try to detect what sort of mood you are in and decide what sort of drink would suit that mood.

Do you have any experiences with vending machines in Japan?

whysojapan vending machines tokyo japan

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Posted on by Paul in Food & snacks 1 Comment

Videos filmed in Japan

why so japan tokyo japan travel blog video Videos filmed in Japan

Videos filmed in Japan

Once in a while we stumble upon videos filmed in Japan that really connect us back to Japan. It’s that feeling the videos give that sort of sums up how you have seen Japan and how it makes you feel – from the ultra modren sights of Tokyo with everyone and everything working and moving at a high pace of life – to the more traditional and not in rush way of living. Even though both the videos are filmed in a modern style I still think they capture Japan in the ways that we have seen it while traveling around. Of couse, every one has a different take on Japan.

Japan 2015

Filmed by: Vincent Urban, Alex Schiller and Alex Tank. A collection of moments and memories of a 3-week railway journey through Japan. What we love about this video is that you get to see so many different things from Japan in just one video. Check out Vincent’s Vimeo page for more of his work: https://vimeo.com/vincenturban

 

Hello Tokyo

Filmed by: Christoph Gelep. A collection of time lapses shot around Tokyo, this was Christoph’s first time in Tokyo and the videos are shot over 5 days. This is another great video and we just love how he managed to capture the busy life of Tokyo on video. Check out Christoph’s Vimeo page for more of his work: https://vimeo.com/user16483724

 

 

why so japan tokyo japan travel vlog video Videos filmed in Japan

These were just two videos that we came across that really made us think of why we love Japan and why we must visit Japan as often as we can. Through these videos we can relive stuff we love and find new things to see and do. When you think you have seen all Japan has to offer you find the next new amazing place or thing just around the corner.

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Music Video Filmed In Japan #11: Will.I.Am

will.I.Am – #thatPower

#thatPower is a single from Will.I.Am’s 3rd album #willpower which was released in April 2013. The song was written by Will.I.Am, DJ Ammo (who has worked on other tracks with Will.I.Am and Black Eyed Peas, a group Will.I.A. is a member of) and Justin Bieber. The track features Justin Bieber who sings. The track was first released on YouTube the 15th of March 2013 with the iTunes release a couple of days later on the 18th of March. It had it’s first radio play in the UK on Capital FM the 15th of March. The track made it quite high up in both the UK week chart and the US Billborad, with UK ending up at 2 and the US at 17th place. The music video to #thatPower was first released on the 19th April 2013.

The Music Video

The music video to #thatPower was filmed in Japan. It features Will.I.Am and a hologram of Justin Bieber dancing in different locations across Tokyo. The locations being more of an architectural standing. Some locations I did recognize and some I had no idea about. The video features the well known dance/music group World Order, which if you haven’t yet seen I suggest you check out one of their videos on YouTube. Some of the places that can be seen in #thatPower are Tokyu Plaza Omotesando, which is kind of a shopping centre that has a futuristic entrance with mirrors pointing everywhere, which gives you the effect of a kaleidoscope effect when going in. The shopping centre has a great rooftop café, which gives your nice sights over the city and it’s a really nice place to sit down for a while and relax. Another well known location in the video is the Eye of Shinjuku, a big art installation in the west exit of JR Shinjuku station. The Eye of Shinjuku has been there since 1969 and can be seen in the Beastie Boys – Intergalactic music video from 1989. Other places that can been seen in the video are the Tokyo Big Sight, a large convention centre in Tokyo and the Florian Claar’s “Fragment No.5″ which I had never seen before. It can found in Tokyo Midtown. There are a lot of very modern design buildings as backdrops in the video, which does not surprise me, really. Will.I.Am is a very creative person with an eye for something different and the locations that are featured in #thatPower are of the more modern architecture to what you might be used too seeing.

Official site http://will.i.am/

 

 





Posted on by Paul in Media, Music Leave a comment

Don Quijote – Japan’s Best Discount Store

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

Don Quijote

Our first experience with Don Quijote (ドン・キホーテ) was the Kabuki-cho Shinjuku store in Tokyo. It was stocked with goods, floor after floor. On our first trip to Tokyo we must have gone into that particle store almost everyday and we would check out one floor at a time. We found that it was best to visit the shop when it was not so busy, because the shop could get really crowed at certain times of the day. We soon learned that the best times were early in the morning, around 10am, or late at night after 10pm.  Even better was after 12 at night, because the store is open 24/7, which is great. In the store you get to listen to the store’s own theme tune, playing on a loop, called “Miracle Shopping” (ミラクルショッピング?) sung by Maimi Tanaka, who was a store employe.

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

Stores

There are a few other Don Quijote stores that you can visit in Tokyo. One night, while we were walking around in Shinjuku, we found this other Don Quijote. It was late at night, like 12:30am I think, and we just saw loads of neon light and the Don Quijote penguin mascot Donpen. We followed the bright lights to what we decided to call Donki World, just because of the size of this place. It was really big! It was all on one floor, but spread across different buildings, and the best thing was that it was open 24/7 too.

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki
Other Don Quijote stores we have seen or been in: There’s one in Ikebukuro, close to the station. There’s one in Akihabara, which has its own theatre, where the idol group AK48 play daily. We also found a store in Roppongi, which has a half pipe theme ride on the roof. The ride has never been used though, because of complaining neighbours. There is another store with a ride, and its in Osaka. It has a ferris wheel stuck to the outside of the store, which I would love to try sometime. There are a lot more stores to check out, not just in Tokyo, but all over Japan. The best place to check is the website for store listings: http://www.donki.com/index_en.php

What you can buy in store

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki productsI would like to say you can buy everything, because that’s what it seems like when you are browsing the stores hour after hour. But ok, maybe not everything, but almost. Some of the products we have seen are clothing (love buying Japanese Kigurumi in Don Quijote!), everything and anything for mobile phones, cases, batteries, selfiesticks – you name it. There are also lots of cosmetics and beauty products, lots of electrical products – from toasters to instax mini camera (including cheap film for them), and more. The food section is always a great place to look through. Last time we were in the store we bought loads of the Poppin Kitchen DIY sweet boxes at a great price. I could go on and on about all the products they have. We have taken some photos just to show how huge the product range is, which can be seen below.

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

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whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products Daruma Maneki-neko whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products Totoro

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

whysojapan_Don_Quijote_Donki_products_05 whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products game

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

About Don Quijote

Japanese love to shop and one of the biggest and best discount stores you can find throughout Japan, with its 160 stores, is Don Quijote. The stores are also known as Donki, which is a shortening of the company’s name. Don Quijote started off in the 80’s under the name Just Co. with its first retail store opening in Tokyo. Just Co then changed from retail over to wholesale after a couple years of business. The company’s first Don Quijote named store opened in Tokyo 1989, and it was also then the company changed back to focusing on retail again, with the company changing it’s corporate name from Just Co to Don Quijote Co., Ltd in 1998. Don Quijte also operates three stores in Hawaii.





Posted on by Paul in Shopping, Visiting Leave a comment
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