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

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Top Japanese places to visit in London

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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

Fashion

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

Takeshita Dori – Shopping in Harajuku

Takeshita Dori

Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street in English) is a very famous shopping street in Harajuku. It’s a pedestrian only street and the shops are focused on fashion, Japanese pop culture and young people. The street is about 400 meters long and there are a lot of shops on both sides.

The area

This part of Tokyo is seen as an youthful area. There are a lot of clothes shops with the latest trends in fashion, alternative styles and independent designers. Harajuku has become famous for young people dressed in more fun or alternative fashion styles, such as visual-kei, lolita and cosplay and hanging out on the Jingu bridge and in the Yoyogi park. Takeshita Dori is the place where new trends are tested and where you can spot Harajuku celebrities like Shironuri. It’s also where Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was discovered.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan harajuku station

Shopping

Of course, everyone won’t have the same favourite shops, it depends on your personal taste, but if you like Japanese fashion you’re very likely to find something you like here. You’ve got shop after shop after shop along the street. Some are more expensive, some are cheap. I didn’t have any problems finding clothes that were just as nice as the ones you find in Shibuya 109, but a lot cheaper, the difference being they’re no brand here. But you can also find very famous and more expensive brands too, like Liz Lisa.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan liz lisa

Here’s a list of a few of my favourite shops:

Paris Kids
Cheap and fun jewellery. You’ll find lots of teenagers coming here, because everything is so cheap. I think it’s a set price, 324 yen last time I was there, for each item. You’ll find necklaces, ear rings, bracelets, hair accessories and more. I found lots of nice necklaces that were typical Japanese and Harajuku style. I loved it! You’ll find the shop on your left hand side, if coming from the station, and it’s at the beginning of the street.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan paris kids

Daiso 100 Yen Shop
Daiso is a 100 Yen chain shop. They sell everything and anything, and it’s fun browsing the shop. It’s pretty big, several floors, and you will find beauty products, stationary, sweets, kitchen items, crafts and lots more. A lot of the things are of lower quality, but you can find some great bargains too. Daiso is also located at the left hand side.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan daiso

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan daiso 100 yen

Wonder Rocket
I absolutely love this clothing shop. You’ll recognize it by the mannequins with hare masks. The clothes are very Japanese, I’d say romantic and mori girl would describe their style. Lots of muted earthy tones and pastel colours, lace, ribbons and flowers. I absolutely love just browsing the shop and looking at all the pretty things they have for sale. It’s located on the right hand side, a bit further down on the street.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan wonder rocket

The crepes
Not really a shop, it’s a food stall. Harajuku is famous for it’s delicious crepes, and I dont think it’s possible to walk though Takeshita dori without stopping for a crepe. The queues can be long, but they move pretty fast, and it’s well worth the wait. They have loads of different fillings and I try to remember to try out a new one every time we are there. They’ve got whipped cream, strawberries, mochi, red bean paste, banana, chocolate sauce, ice cream, custard, peach… I could go on forever. Remember to stand to the side or have a sit down while enjoying your crepe, since it’s considered rude to eat and walk in Japan. If you go to the big crepe stand somewhere in the middle of the street on the left hand side, there’s a good area just behind the crepe stand for eating. You’ll probably see it, because that’s where everyone else is sitting or standing.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan crepes

How to get there

Takeshita Dori is located in Harajuku, an area in Shibuya in Tokyo. to get there, take the Yamanote Line to the Harajuku station. There are two exists, the southern exit is closer to the Yoyogi Park and northen exit is closer to Takeshita Dori, and it’s this exit you want to take, because as soon as you’re out of the station, you just have to cross over to the other side of the road, and there you have Takeshita Dori. If you happen to come out the other exit, you walk down the hill to the left until you reach the crossing and then cross the street. It’s very easy to spot Takeshita Dori once you’re close to it, because the entrance has a gate you can’t miss and the street is probably packed with people.





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Fashion, Food & snacks, Shopping, Visiting Leave a comment

Halloween In Japan

Halloween in Japan

Halloween is growing in Japan year by year (we are seeing the same here in Sweden). It seems with more and more influences from America and other counties, Halloween is becoming more and more popular.

With the presence of places like Disneyland in Tokyo and Universal Studios in Osaka having up to a month of celebrations for Halloween, and with companies understanding that Halloween is a good way to sell stuff, Halloween is everywhere.

Halloween in Japan - Whysojapan

Lots of companies have limited edition products for sale under the lead up to Halloween. McDondals have a burger with a black bun to make them seem more spooky, KitKat have released pumpkin flavored KitKats and some companies just rebrand the packages to suit Halloween.

Kit Kat - Whysojapan

People in Tokyo love to dress up for Halloween and with Halloween costumes on sale in big discounts stores like Don Quijote, it can be quite hectic to look around the shops around Halloween, with loads of people out to buy their costumes before Halloween.

McDonalds  - Whysojapan

Dressing Up

There are lots of Halloween events on in Japan, like festivals for the family and nightclubs for the older crowd. One of the events in Shibuya was the Street Party Costume, where you could find thousands of people all dressed up for Halloween walking around and taking photos of each other. People were genuinely having a fun time! How often can you say that you saw a whole gang of minions crossing the world famous crossing in Shibuya? Group of friends like to dress up all as the same character, like a group of minions, or charachters that go together, like Super Mario and Luigi. From the pictures I’ve seen online (sites like tokyofashion.com) people spend a lot of time on their costumes, and in some cases also lots of money, to get their costume just right. No surprise, since the whole cosplay culture comes from Japan.

Cupcakes  - Whysojapan
Cupcakes  - Whysojapan

Even though Halloween is a very commercial holiday of sorts, it is still a lot of fun. Have a look at the video above to see just how much fun it can be!





Posted on by Paul in Characters, Events, Fashion Leave a comment

Japanese lolita fashion outside of Japan

Japanese lolita fashion has spread across the globe, and can be found in other countries outside of Japan. Here is a short documentary about people in the U.S. who wear lolita fashion.

In this documentary we meet some very brave lolitas, going against traditions in society, gender and religon. What they all have in common is that dressing in lolita fashion made them feel braver and happier.

 





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

Kawaii! Japan’s Culture of Cute Book Review

whysojapan book kawaii! japan's culture of cuteKawaii! Japan’s Culture of Cute book review

Kawaii! Japan’s Culture of Cute is an in-depth book about the history of Kawaii in Japan. The book describes how kawaii has grown and become more and more popular in Japan and gives you a guide to all things kawaii, from the past and all the way to the present day. If its kawaii, you most probably will find it in Kawaii! Japan’s Culture of Cute. The book is written by Manami Okazaki and Geoff Johnson and was first published 2013 and the book is printed in English with tons of high quality pictures.

whysojapan book kawaii! japan's culture of cute

Manami Okazaki

Manami Okazaki is a freelance journalist and is author of several books, one of them of course being Kawaii! Japan’s Culture of Cute. Other books that she has released are Kokeshi, From Tohoku with Love, Tattoo in Japan, Japanese Buddhism, Kicks Japan and her new book Toy Tokyo, which is to be released in May of 2014. She has freelanced for the Japan times, CNN Traveler, Time Out, and other publications across the world. Her freelanced works often focus on Japanese traditional culture, pop culture, food and style. Check out the video at the bottom of this post, where Manami talks about the book.

whysojapan book review kawaii japans culture of cute

Geoff Johnson

Geoff Johnson is an Australian guy who has based in Tokyo since 1989 and works as a professional photographer. Geoff Johnson photos have been published all over the world. His photos normally portray Japan in one way or another. He is the photographer for this book. Geoff has been published in travel magazines and newspapers all over the world, like Harpar’s Bazaar Japan, Esquire Japan, the Sunday Travel in the UK and New York Times. He has also worked on adverting for Adidas and Apple in the past.

whysojapan book review kawaii japans culture of cute

About the book

Kawaii! Japan’s Culture of Cute takes you on a detailed trip through the world of kawaii, sharing with you a lot of the kawaii history. The book starts off with talking about the roots of kawaii, showing some pictures of what was concidered kawaii then. The book then goes into what kawaii exactly is and what makes something kawaii. The book continues on to show rich pictures of different as aspects of kawaii.

The book goes in to great detail to describe and show kawaii in its very many and different forms, like the clothes that are conceded to hold a Kawaii feeling (conomi, lolita, gothic lolita, Harajuku fashion and of course cosplay too).

The book also focuses on the characters of Kawaii. Its got many pages dedicated to the characters and the companies behind them. Like San-X for example. Theyre the company behind Rilakumma, Sentimental Circus and more – and when we say more, we mean more. It is said that San-X has created over 800 different characters over its time. In the book we can also find pages on Glommy Bear, Swimmer, Hello Kitty and more.

Other aspects in the book focuses on is food. Yes, even food can have a kawaii theme to it. The book has some great photos of the typical bento boxes and it goes into the maid culture in Japan too. The book also goes into the more elegant side of kawaii with showing art work from John Hathway, Chikuwaemil and Yosuke Ueno.

The book has a great and cute map over the area of Harajuku in Tokyo, where you can find almost anything that is connected to Kawaii. One of the shops that is dedicated to to Kawaii and is featured in the book is 6% DOKIDOKI, a great little shop to visit if youre in Harajuku and you like kawaii.

The book seems to cover everything that is kawaii. There are lots of things in the book that I never would have though would have anything to do with kawaii. I found the book to be a great read. It has lots of very colourful photos from the first page to the last, and I found it to be the right mixture of text too. So even if your a person that does not like to read much you will still find this book great by just browsing all the photos in it.

I think the best way to describe this book in one word would just be it’s very “kawaii”. This 226 paged book is well worth a buy if you love all thing kawaii.

Our book was bought from Bookdepository.com for around £15. The book is also available on other sites, like Amazon.





Posted on by Paul in Characters, Fashion, Food & snacks, Shopping Leave a comment
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