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

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 1 Comment

Things to think of before traveling to Japan, part 1

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Things to think of before traveling to Japan

Before traveling to Japan eveyone thinks different, but I would like to share what things I think of before traveling to Japan. Of course, lots of things are obvious, but while planning what can be a big trip, it’s easy to forget different things, especially if you have never been to Japan before. I can remember the first time we decided to book Japan as our next holiday destination. The amount of research we did, even then, I’m sure we missed a bunch of things, and we probably still do. But as we are planing our next trip I thought I would share the things that we think about before we leave for Japan.

Visa before you buy your tickets?

Before you buy your tickets to Japan it’s importet to make sure your passport will be valid for the whole trip. It’s also important to check if you need some sort of Visa to entry Japan, which you might need to apply for before you buy your flight tickets. For us, we did not need to apply for any extra document, since we were entitled for the Visa Exemption Arrangements. Check with this site for more info about travel Visas: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/visa.html

Booking your flight

Booking our flight we wanted to get the best deal as possible, so I kept my eye on flight prices to and from Japan. I ended up using a flight comparison site called Travel Supermarket, which is available in different languages. A great function they have is a price agent, which emails you every day with the cheapest prices and fastest flights. Now we wanted to balance the price to the amount of flight time, since we diden’t really want to be flying for 22 hours if we did not need to. We knew that we could get a flight for about 12-14 hours, so now it was just to keep an eye on the lowest flight time prices. Most of the time we found the flights that took more hours waiting at some airport for transfer were cheaper than ones with less transfer time. In the end we got a great deal, so our next trip to Japan from Europe will only take around 13 hours. It seems like we bought the tickets at the right time, because had we bought them a week later we would have had to pay a lot more for them, which might of ended up us have to take the longer timed tickets, just keep the price down.

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Landing in Japan

We have only flown into Narita airport, which is the primary international airport for greater Tokyo. Traveling from the airport you have a few different choices. We have always gone with the JR Nartia Express (NEX) train, which has been handy for us, since we normally stay in Shinjuku, which is one of the station NEX stops at. This means we don’t need to change trains with our luggage or anything, which is great. It’s not the cheapest way of getting into Tokyo, but it is one of the easiest, being a direct route for us to Shinjuku. Other train services that available are JR Sobu Line, Keisei Skyliner, Keisei Limited Express. A few different bus services are available too, and of course you could jump in a taxi too, but that will cost a bit, since the airport is about 60 km away from central Tokyo. A great site that I used to research what would be the best transportation for us can be found on this link here: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2027.html

Hotel

Finding a hotel can be a pain because of the choice. There are a lot of hotels in Tokyo to choose from. A site that we always use is Booking.com. You can search for all different sorts of hotels, from the cheapest to the dearest ones. One thing we always do when we choose a hotel is to read the reviews for the hotel both on Booking.com and TripAdvisor.com. We also check around for the best prices. Booking.com might not always be the best price, sometimes it does pay to book direct via the hotel’s own homepage. Things we think of when booking our hotel are: is breakfast included in the price, if not how much does it cost? Is free wifi available throughout the hotel? In Japan you can choose if you want a smoking or non-smoking room, so this might be important to some people. Check-in and check-out times is something we also look into, and if you get to the hotel before check-in, can they store your luggage for you, and other hotel amenities.

Read part 2 click here.

Photo credit: El Scrapeo飛行機から富士山が見える





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Other 1 Comment

Why So Japan loves Pintrest

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Follow us on Pintrest!

Why so Japan is now on Pinterest! We will use our Pinterest account in a couple of different ways. First you will able to keep up with all the updates from the blog directly by following our Pinteres account. We will also be pinning all thing Japanese – from music and food to fashion and more.

You can find the latest pins from us via the blog (on the lower righthand side of the site) or you can click directly to our account via this link here: http://www.pinterest.com/whysojapan/





Posted on by Paul in Other Leave a comment

Panorama photos of Tokyo

Panorama photos of Tokyo

I’ve seen lots of panorama photos before and I’ve taken a few of my own while in Japan (and other places that I’ve been to around the world). Most of them have been taken with a smartphone that gives you a simple way of catching your very own panorama view of whats in front of you. But I’ve never ever taken a gigapixel panorama photo and I doubt I ever will, because you need to own some very expensive camera equipment. Thats what’s great with 360cities, they’ve done the hard work for us viewers. Taking the photo is just the beginning of taking a 360° panoramal. It’s also all the work in front of the computer that probably takes a lot of time.

The company behind these very popular gigapixel photos is 360cities.net. There have take lots of gigapixel photos in different places around the world, but the two I would like to share with you are both taken in Tokyo.

Tokyo tower

The first panorama was taken from on top of the Tokyo Tower. The photo was taken in September of 2012 and it gives you a great 360° panorama photo from the top of the tower all over the city.
Link to the Tokyo Tower panorama: http://360gigapixels.com/tokyo-tower-panorama-photo/

whysojapan gigapixel Panorama photos of Tokyo

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower

The second panorama is also a 360° photo and it was taken from Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. It was also shot in September of 2012 and it also gives you a great view of Tokyo from high up.
Link to the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower: http://360gigapixels.com/tokyo-gigapixel-roppongi-hills-mori-tower/

whysojapan gigapixel Panorama photos of Tokyo

Both of the panorama photos give you a high quality picture, so high that you can see people going about their normal day to day life on the streets. It’s fun to scan the photos for intressting things going on around in Tokyo on the day(s) of the photos.

Check out http://360gigapixels.com/ for more around the world. Some of the other places that can be found on 360gigapixels.com are London, Czech capital city of Prague, The Great Barrier Reef in Australia and more.

 





Posted on by Paul in Other, Visiting Leave a comment

Maru – the famous cat from Japan

World famous Japanese cat Maru

The cats have taken over the internet with their cuteness and one of the most popular cats is, of course, from the land of kawaii – Japan. Meet Maru, a male Scottish Fold, who has charmed the world with his cute looks and adorabe personality.

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Photo from Maru’s blog: http://sisinmaru.blog17.fc2.com

Maru on YouTube

Maru’s owner has a blog and a YouTube account where she posts photos and videos regularly.

Maru likes to lazy around, jump into boxes, and be generally mischievous. The videos are with sound, but you never hear any humans speak and you never see the owner. The feeling of the videos are very Japanese, clean and simple, and the title cards are in both Japanese and English.

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Photo from Maru’s blog: http://sisinmaru.blog17.fc2.com

Book: “I am Maru”

The YouTube videos are very popular. Every time a new video is being uploaded millions of people watch it. Maru is so popular that he’s even got his own book out, titled “I am Maru”.

Get the book here: I am Maru at Amazon

Maru facts

The name Maru means “round shape” and it fits him very well. His charming features are described as “round face and white socks”. His favourite hobby is “trouble making” and his special skill is “sliding into any open box”.

Official YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/mugumogu

Official blog: http://sisinmaru.blog17.fc2.com





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Other 1 Comment
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