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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

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Japan Candy Box review + giveaway

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Mascots

Suica Penguin Mascot

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Suica card

If you have used public transport in Tokyo you might well have used one of two smart travel cards: the Pasmo or a Suica card. In Tokyo the cards have pretty much the same function, both  allowing you to pay for travel on the public transportation system in and around Tokyo. Both smart cards can be also used in other parts of Japan for travel, but sometimes you can only use one and sometimes both. It’s always best to check with the local transport for the area you are visiting. The cards that you pre charge can also be used to purchase stuff in different shops and be used as payment on most vending machines.

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Suica Mascot

Japanese companies love you to have a mascot to represent their company. Normally the cuter the better. While traveling in Japan you will almost certainly come across the cuteness of the company mascot that is one of my favourites – the cute penguin that represents the travel card Suica. You might wonder what a penguin has to do with travel? Well, penguins are seen to swim through water with ease and that’s how it should feel when using the Suicacard, a smooth moving process as such.

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Sucia Penguin

The mascot named Suica Penguin, or just Penguin, was designed by Sakazaki Chiharu and has been used as the mascot since 2001. The penguin has become very popular and I can understand why. Who could not like the cute penguin? I’m sure a lot of people choose that smart card for travel just because of the cute penguin on the card. I know I did on our first trip. whysojapan_suica_penguin_japan_04We saw the Sucia penguin on a lot of posters on the public transport in Tokyo, but didn’t really know what it was to do with, since we had a different travel card on that journey, but after coming home and looking the penguin up, I had a better idea to why we saw it on a lot of places. After that we started to watch a lot of the TV adverts on watch here YouTube featuring the cute penguin, showing how to use the card which I loved. Silly that it might sound, like I said, I’m a sucker for a penguin. I also received some merchandise with thanks to a friend in Japan that hunted the products down and sent them to me, and to this day when we meet always manages to find me some cool Suica penguin stuff. The latest thing being a 2015 year calendar, that we now have on display at home. After our latest trip back in 2014 we found the Suica Penguin store in the Tokyo station, called Penguin Stadium, Pensta. They had loads of stuff to sell, like books, food, games, tea towels, inflatables, key rings and more. Now I will never run out of Suica Penguin stuff. If you’re looking for the shop, it can be found via this link.





Posted on by Paul in Mascots, Visiting 1 Comment

That dog from the Softbank adverts

Mascots

It seems to be common practice in Japan for companies that advertise to have some sort of mascot. Its an easy way for someone to remember the company. Like the dog from the Softbank adverts for example, he has become one of the most popular adverts used in Japanese media today.

Softbank Adverts

The adverts are based around the White family, where the dog, Otousan, is the father. The rest of his family are humans, including his wife and his two grown up kids. Yes, the dog has a human wife, weird right?

Otousan the dog’s name is Kaikun. The dog, who is a white shiba, seems be a lot of the time in a bit of a grumpy mood. but he seems to have a good eye for mobile communications, which is good since he is advertising for one the biggest mobile communication companies in Japan – Softbank.

Watch the adverts online

The adverts have also become very popular across the Internet, with sites like YouTube having most of the Japanese adverts from Softbank uploaded. But what makes this even better is that the person or persons that have uploaded some of the adverts to YouTube has taken the time to put in the English translation, which is great if you don’t understand Japanese. Some of the subtitled ones have for some reason disappeared, but if you are ok without subtitles they’re still great fun to watch even if you dont understand what theyre saying.

Celebrities

The adverts features some well known American movie stars, like Tommy Lee Jones and Quentin Tarantino.

Products with Kaikun

Kaikun has used his fame to sell someproducts. There’s been beer made with the dogs face on the bottle, and he has his own series of books, where you get to follow Kaikun during a whole day and you see what he gets up to. There will be a review of the bokk coming soon.

Softbank also sells a lot of products with the dog on – from mobile cases to bikes to speakers shaped like a dog and so on. Check out the link below to see whats available at the moment.

The softbank campain sites with different Otousan products:
http://www.softbank.jp/mobile/campaign/otousan_goods/

You can see a video of the talking dog outside Softbank’s store in Ginza:





Posted on by Paul in Mascots, Media Leave a comment