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 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

Japan Candy Box review + giveaway

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Japan Candy Box

This is a promotional post.

The Japan Candy Box was kindly sent to us to try and review for Why So Japan. We’ve been wanting to try a Japanese themed box for a long time now and thanks to the people at Japan Candy Box this is the first time we got the opportunity to do so. We are big fans of subscription boxes which lets you explore different products which you might not know otherwise are available on the market. Each subscription box is filled with 8-10 Japanese candies and snacks and the box we received  was the November box. Previous boxes can be viewed on their homepage, japancandybox.com.

At the end of this post enter the free giveaway to win your very own Japan Candy Box!

The box

The box arrived very quickly after it was sent, which surprised us since things that are sent from the other side of the world can take some time to arrive. Once we received the box we were eager to open it. Inside we found the box full to the lid with treats and snacks from our favourite country. It was surprising to find so many things in one box, which made us really happy and looking forward to trying the snacks. It was a good mixture different kinds of snacks and treats.

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Candy and snacks reviews

Here’s what we thought of each product. One thing that we liked throughout the box was the cute design.

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Fuiya Anpanman Biscuits

Every bite sized biscuit features a cute character from Anpanman. The sweet tasting biscuit reminds us of the Marie biscuits.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Yaokin Christmas Chocolate Stick

A waifer tasting snack with a chocolate coating. Simple and sweet tasting treat, in a cute christmas packaging.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Fujiya Milky Matcha Green Tea Candies

Each sweet is individually wrapped and comes in a cute box featuring Peko-chan and Hello Kitty. The candy are sweet tasting matcha flavoured treats which we highly enjoyed.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Pompompurin Pudding Gummies

This has to be our favourite out of the whole box. The package contains small chewable gummies tasting of custard and caramel. It didn’t take us long to finish the entire bag. Absolutely adore Pompompurin from Sanrio.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Hi-Chew White Soda Chewy Candy

As always with Hi-Chew sweets, a nice chewie texture. A flavour of white soda, if you can imagine. Really enjoyed these!

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Fujiya Anpanman Lollipop

Cute packaging. Wasn’t one of our favourites, but we like the idea of a chocolate lollipop. Tasted a bit artificial to what we are used to. The chocolate reminded us of Kinderegg chocolate.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Yaokin Christmas Corn Potage Snack Stick

On the first bite it tasted a bit weird, but after that we got used to the taste and really enjoyed it. The puffed corn shaped stick left a savoury and sweet taste in your mouth. Reminded me of Burger King’s French Toast snacks.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Morinaga Tsum Tsum Chocolate Biscuits

A cute little sweet biscuit with chocolate cream inside, with the added bonus of cute Tsum Tsum characters printed on them. Sweet and cute.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Lotte Koala March Strawberry Biscuits

We usually buy the Koala biscuits in China Town in London, but this is the first time we’ve tried them with strawberry. Each biscuit has a sweet strawberry filling and a printed koala on them.

 

whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box whysojapan japan candy box japanese sweets subscription box

Meiji Mushroom Mountain DIY Kit

This is also one of our favourites. We’ve tried a few of these DIY candy kits before, but this was a new one to us. The instructions were easy to follow and it was a lot of fun making them. A biscuit base and a nice tasting chocolate top. Recommend trying these DIY kits, because they are a lot of fun.

Win the Japan Candy Box!

We really enjoyed reviewing this box. There were a lot of new snacks and treats that we hadn’t tried before and we’ve now got some new favourites. Even though we’ve reviewed each sweet on it’s own, for the whole box we would give it top marks. Perfect thing to give as a present to a friend or for yourself. Now you’ve got the chance to win your very own box! Details below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Save

Save





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

Visiting Sega Joypolis Odaiba

whysojapan odaiba joypolis amusement park sega

Joypolis

Joypolis, or Joiporisu (ジョイポリス) in Japanese, is an amusement park chain in Japan and China, where the games and rides are based on Sega’s characters and games. The first Joypolis opened in Yokohama in Japan in 1994, and has since then spread to Odaiba in Tokyo,  Umeda in Osaka, Okayama City in Okayama and Qingdao in China. There used to be more parks, but they were forced to close due to not enough visitors.

On one of our first trips to Tokyo we saw the Joypolis out at Odaiba, but it was closed for refurbishment, which was a shame, since it sounded really fun to go to. Luckily enough, the next time we were in Japan we decide to go there with a couple of Japanese friends. To get to the Odaiba park you can take the Yurikamome line to the Odaiba Kaihin Kouen Station, or the Rinkai line to the Tokyo Teleport Station, and then walk a few minutes to Decks shopping mall. It’s located on the western side of the mall, and once there you can’t miss it.

whysojapan odaiba joypolis amusement park sega

whysojapan odaiba joypolis amusement park sega whysojapan odaiba joypolis amusement park sega

We all meet up at the venue and used the lockers outside to store stuff we didn’t really want to carry around with us inside. We payed our entrance fee and we were in. You can either pay an entrance fee and once inside use the vending machines to buy tickets for each ride, or you can buy a passport for entrance admission with rides included. We got the passports, so we could go on any ride without having to bother with getting tickets.

As soon as you enter the venue your brain is filled with lots of sights and sounds. It’s like entering a night club, but with theme park attractions instead. It was very obvious we were in a Sega run company, with loads of Sonic the Hedgehog and other Sega characters. The place definitely felt like an amusement park, even though it was all inside.

whysojapan odaiba joypolis amusement park sega

 

First we went on a roller coaster ride, which also involved shooting at monsters. We rode a few cool simulators rides, which were great fun. My favourite was a racing car ride, where you sit in real cars that are up on hydraulics with a big screen in front of you, giving you the feeling that you are driving a real car at high speed. Great fun! One of the more scary things was a walk through horror story of The Ring. Sadly it has now been replaced. There were lots of arcades, which were fun too. There’s even an archarde game above the urinal in the men’s toilet! I think in rides way, the roller coaster is probably the biggest ride at the venue. I wouldn’t say it’s an amusement park for thrill seekers, it’s more of a place for all ages to have a good night out.

whysojapan odaiba joypolis amusement park sega

whysojapan odaiba joypolis amusement park sega

It did come in handy that we visited Joypolis with two native speakers, since some things were only in Japanese and they could help translate for us, but for the most part we did not find the language barrier a problem at all. We would recommend this place and it’s the perfect place to for a great night out with a minute of rides, 3D movies, even a live digital show on the stage sometimes and a whole lot more. Check with the homepage for the different price packages before visiting Joypolis to get the best value ticket.

Link: Ticket information in English

 





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Reviews, Visiting Leave a comment

RocketNews24 – News From Japan

whysojapan rocketnews24
Rocketnews24 Soranews24 – News From Japan

There are few sites that we visit often on the internet, that are to do with or about Japan. RocketNews24 is one of them that we really do love.

RocketNews24 started off as a Japanese written news blog back in 2008. Their news articles are a real mixed bag of news and interesting tip bits from Japan and Asia – with everything from cute animals to the latest J-pop group to hit the scene, and so so much more. You can spend hours and days just clicking from news piece to news piece. It’s really great! You will almost always find something of interest to read on the blog. The best thing with the blog now is that since it has become so popular around the world, they now translate their articles for the English version of Rocketnews24, (Since  2010) so us who can’t speak Japanese don’t have miss out on all their great articles that are posted on a daily basis.

Most of the news are lighthearted, so it’s the opposite to most news outlets with all the doom and gloom, which makes Rocketnews24 a breath of fresh air. If you love all things Japan you have probably already read one of Rocketnews24 articles on one of the many other sites they work with, like Japantoday, Buzzfeed, Gizmodo and more.

The news blog has a couple of different sections on the site. My favourite is the “most popular” category, which can be found near the top to the right hand side.  I love that you can see what was popular last week, last month and even last year. Like I said, it’s easy to end up just clicking from news post to news post.

Next time you’re looking for some fun tip bits on Japan and Asia, head on over to Rocketnews24.

Site: http://en.rocketnews24.com





Posted on by Paul in Reviews Leave a comment
%d bloggers like this: