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

Music videos filmed in Japan #2: Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys – Intergalactic

Intergalactic is a song by the American hip-hop group the Beastie Boys. The video was filmed mostly in Tokyo with scenes in both Shibuya and Shinjuku train stations. The video has a large robot that can be seen in the video, which is very Japanese. In the video the guys can be seen wearing street construction workers clothes that are called “koji” in Japanese. The video made is premier on may the 12th 1998.

The members of the band at the time of making of the video were Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, and Adam Yauch, who sadly past away last year.

Here is the official site for the Beastie Boys: http://www.beastieboys.com





Posted on by Paul in Music Leave a comment

Jubeat – the arcade game we love

Jubeat is my favourite game

Jubeat is my favourite Japanese arcade game of them all. I first found Jubeat on our first ever trip to Tokyo. What I had read everywhere was that you must visit the video game arcades in Japan. They’re something that you will never have seen before . Floor after floor of ultra modern looking video arcade games to play and prices to be won. Before I had ever played Jubeat, the only real music based arcade game I had played was Dance Dance Revlation, which lets say I was not great at. I think I was born with two left feet.

How to play

jubeat whysojapanJubeat is a game where you use your hands to push on the alighted squares that are set out in front of you on 16 buttons in a 4×4 grid. Jubeat is developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and object of the game is that the squares light up to a song as you play and its important to hit the squares to the time of the beat before the light goes out to gain any points. You can also get more points if you hit it on the exact second before the square fades away from the beat. Sometimes you only need to hit one square at the time, sometimes you have to hit more than one. This depends of the difficulty of the level you have set the game to. There are a lot of songs you can choose from to play and each song normally has a different choice of difficulty to play it at. You can also choose between fast songs and slow ones.

Jubeat is also a network game, which means it will try and pair you up with somebody else in Japan that is about to play the same song as you. Sometimes it can be the person next to you, if you both have chosen to play the same song. Sometimes it can be someone on the other side of Japan.

The game regularly gets updates of songs and sometimes the the way the graphics looks get an update as well. Sometimes an update can be part of a name change, like the latest version which is called Jubeat Saucer.

One game costs 100yen and for that you get to play 2-3 songs. There are a lot to choose from. Most of the songs are Japanese but there are a lot of different genres to choose from like rock, pop, hip-hop, classical and more. There are also coptetitions in playing Jubeat that are very big with a great following, mostly played in Japan.

Jubeat has also been on trail both in the UK and the US, but as far as I know it has not yet been made widely available to the market as of yet.

Save your game scores with E-Amusement cards

To play a game you pay with coins, but Jubeat also uses the e-Amusement card that costs 500yen and are normally available to buy from a small vending machine in the arcade hall. you can pay for your games using this card, after you have set it up via the game and also online. Keeping this card allows you to save your scores and save points towards unlocking new songs. On our second trip to Tokyo we both got our own cards and after using Google Translate we got the cards set up online and on the machine at the video game arcade. So before you start a game you just place your E-Amusement card othe card reader and it will save your scores. The Jubeat game is partly in Japanese, but for a person with no Japanese language experience its not that big of a problem to start a game. Also after some trial and error you can also figure out how to use the E-Amusement card too.

Jubeat on iPhone and iPad

Jubrat has been made in to a iOS game called Jubeat Plus and the international version of the game is called Jukebeat. Both versions of the game are free to download and you get some free songs with them. The main difference being if you download the Jubeat Plus ,which is only available in the Japanese iTunes store, you get Japanese songs, and if you download Jukebeat from the other stores you get English songs. Both version have in-app song purchase, so you can download more songs. I find that the game is more suited to play on the iPad being a bigger screen. There will be a review post of the iPad version of the game coming up soon.

I started off by playing most of the easiest levels. I think we ended up going to the arcade almost every night to play Jubeat. I can say I’m definitely hooked on this game to say the least.

Official site for jubeat http://www.konami.jp/bemani/jubeat/saucer/index.html

So whats your favorite music game?





Posted on by Paul in Gaming 2 Comments

Japanese Adverts

whysojapan streets tokyo shibuya japanese adverts

Japanese Adverts

When visiting Japan you can not miss the amount of adverts that are everywhere. It seems every free space on building have some sort of huge TV screen pumping out some sort of advert for one or another product, and it’s quite common while walking around the busy parts of Tokyo to hear adverts being played out by speakers from shops to try and lure you in. Good example is the crossing near to the clothe store Shibuya 109, which can be seen in the short video that we filmed when we were in Tokyo.

 





Posted on by Paul in Media Leave a comment

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Invader Invader

invader invader kpp kyary pamyu pamyu

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s latest single

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s latest single “Invader Invader” is due to have its CD release today Wednesday the 15th of May 2013. The song is already available on iTunes, but it only includes the one song, not the two extra tracks that are available on CD from today. Hopefully now that the CD is available to buy, it will also be available in it’s full version with the 3 songs on iTunes very soon. The extra two tracks are “Point of View” and “Fashion Monster – Extended Mix”.

***Update the full CD is now available from iTunes and includes all 3 tracks check link below***

Invader Invader

“Invader Invader” is a song that is very in tune with other Kyary Pamyu Pamyu songs. It has the cuteness of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and I’m guessing Sebastian Masuda from 6% Dokidoki was involved in the designs of the costumes and the set one way or another. The song has a part that goes into dub step break, which is something we havent really heard from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu before, but considering that Kyary Pamyu Pamyu songs are for most part worked on by Yasukata Nakata from the electronic music duo Capsule makes it ever so present by adding a bit of dub step to this song. From my point of view I’m guessing that the cube headed DJ in the video is meant to represent Yasukata Nakata. What makes me believe this is because in a lot of Yasukata Nakata’s live DJ shows he always has some sort of sun glasses on, as does the cube headed DJ person in this video.

This song is the 6th physical single to be sold by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The video was first released to YouTube under Golden Week in Japan. See the post before this for more info about Golden Week (or click here). Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has also had a live performance of the song, when she played at a concert that was streamed live on YouTube from Tokyo during Golden Week.

Link to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu offical homepage: http://kyary.asobisystem.com
Buy the cd from iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/invader-invader-single/id642203950
Or get the CD here:http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=WPCL-11418

Here is the video from YouTube:





Posted on by Paul in Music 1 Comment

Golden Week In Japan

Four days of national holidays

why_so_japan_golden_week_childrens_dayGolden Week has just past in Japan. This year, 2013, the dates were April 29th, and May 3rd, 4th and 5th. Golden Week is a collection of 4 days of national holidays in Japan.

Golden Week has become one of Japan’s most busiest national holidays. It is very common to find that lots of well known tourist hot spots become even more busy than normal and trying to find accommodation on a short notice can become very difficult. Public transport also becomes even more crowded than normal in some places, since everyone takes advantage of the national holidays.

The four days consist of the following national holidays:

April 29th (天皇誕生日, Tennō Tanjōbi)
This day is to celebrate the former Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) who’s birthday was on this date. Between 1989 until 2006 this day was called Greener Day, and from 2007 it changed to Shōwa Day. Greener Day moved to May 4th.

May 3rd (憲法記念日, Kenpō Kinenbi)
On this holiday theres the celebration of the promulgation constitution in Japan, which came into effect as of May 3, 1947. On this day it is common to reflect over things like democray and other things in Japan.

May 4th (みどりの日, Midori no Hi)
Greenery Day, which was once celebrated on April the 29th, was moved to May the 4th as of 2007. Greenery Day is to celebrate nature and it stems from the former emperor’s love for plants and nature.

May 5th  (こどもの日, Kodomo no Hi)
Children’s Day is a celebration of children. This day used to be called Boy’s Day, and was set aside to celebrate the boys in a Japanese family. Families used this day to celebrate their sons’ health, well being, happiness and future. People put up carp streamers and display samurai dolls to symbolise success and power among other things in life. About 65 years ago, the government decided that this day would be a celebration not only of boys, but of all children and also a day to show gratitude toward mothers.

Even if you don’t celebrate the holidays, Im sure you wouldnt mind the four days off in Japan and you would find lots of other things to do during the celebrations in Japan.





Posted on by Paul in Visiting 1 Comment