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

Japan Candy Box review + giveaway

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 Read more

Japanese TV Adverts #54

It's been a while since we last posted about Japanese TV adverts from YouTube user JPCMHD who uploads them regularly. They're always fun to watch, and the latest upload includes adverts for Mouse the computer company, Y! Mobile with Read more

Elvis Presley’s influence in Japan

This is a collaborative post. Often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll” or simply “the King,” Elvis Presley’s influence and image makes him one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. He’s so popular Read more

JAPAN - Where tradition meets the future

Japan National Tourism Organization JNTO in Europe has just started it's largest ever promotional campaign for inbound tourism from Europe, as a part of the visit Japan project. The tourism organization based in London has launched a site showcasing what Japan has Read more

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

Don Quijote – Japan’s Best Discount Store

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

Don Quijote

Our first experience with Don Quijote (ドン・キホーテ) was the Kabuki-cho Shinjuku store in Tokyo. It was stocked with goods, floor after floor. On our first trip to Tokyo we must have gone into that particle store almost everyday and we would check out one floor at a time. We found that it was best to visit the shop when it was not so busy, because the shop could get really crowed at certain times of the day. We soon learned that the best times were early in the morning, around 10am, or late at night after 10pm.  Even better was after 12 at night, because the store is open 24/7, which is great. In the store you get to listen to the store’s own theme tune, playing on a loop, called “Miracle Shopping” (ミラクルショッピング?) sung by Maimi Tanaka, who was a store employe.

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

Stores

There are a few other Don Quijote stores that you can visit in Tokyo. One night, while we were walking around in Shinjuku, we found this other Don Quijote. It was late at night, like 12:30am I think, and we just saw loads of neon light and the Don Quijote penguin mascot Donpen. We followed the bright lights to what we decided to call Donki World, just because of the size of this place. It was really big! It was all on one floor, but spread across different buildings, and the best thing was that it was open 24/7 too.

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki
Other Don Quijote stores we have seen or been in: There’s one in Ikebukuro, close to the station. There’s one in Akihabara, which has its own theatre, where the idol group AK48 play daily. We also found a store in Roppongi, which has a half pipe theme ride on the roof. The ride has never been used though, because of complaining neighbours. There is another store with a ride, and its in Osaka. It has a ferris wheel stuck to the outside of the store, which I would love to try sometime. There are a lot more stores to check out, not just in Tokyo, but all over Japan. The best place to check is the website for store listings: http://www.donki.com/index_en.php

What you can buy in store

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki productsI would like to say you can buy everything, because that’s what it seems like when you are browsing the stores hour after hour. But ok, maybe not everything, but almost. Some of the products we have seen are clothing (love buying Japanese Kigurumi in Don Quijote!), everything and anything for mobile phones, cases, batteries, selfiesticks – you name it. There are also lots of cosmetics and beauty products, lots of electrical products – from toasters to instax mini camera (including cheap film for them), and more. The food section is always a great place to look through. Last time we were in the store we bought loads of the Poppin Kitchen DIY sweet boxes at a great price. I could go on and on about all the products they have. We have taken some photos just to show how huge the product range is, which can be seen below.

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products fake beard

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products Daruma Maneki-neko whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products Totoro

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

whysojapan_Don_Quijote_Donki_products_05 whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products game

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

About Don Quijote

Japanese love to shop and one of the biggest and best discount stores you can find throughout Japan, with its 160 stores, is Don Quijote. The stores are also known as Donki, which is a shortening of the company’s name. Don Quijote started off in the 80’s under the name Just Co. with its first retail store opening in Tokyo. Just Co then changed from retail over to wholesale after a couple years of business. The company’s first Don Quijote named store opened in Tokyo 1989, and it was also then the company changed back to focusing on retail again, with the company changing it’s corporate name from Just Co to Don Quijote Co., Ltd in 1998. Don Quijte also operates three stores in Hawaii.





Posted on by Paul in Shopping, Visiting Leave a comment

100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

Whysojapan 100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

Jacob Laukaitis decided to walk around Tokyo for 100km and film what he saw on the his walk. The video has had great success on YouTube with over 30000+ views and still growing. We really enjoyed the video and even though we have been in Tokyo a few times and thought we had seen most of Tokyo, the video showed loads of great places that we have yet to explore, which we will now add to our list for our next trip. Check out the video at the bottom of the post.

Whysojapan 100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

We got the chance to ask Jacob a few questions about his trip to Tokyo.

Tell us a little about you. (Name, age, where you’re from, etc…)
My name is Jacob Laukaitis and I am originally from Lithuania, but I’ve been traveling for over 2 years now and already have visited 30+ countries. Currently I spend most of my time on ChameleonJohn.com, the company I co-founded a couple of years ago, which enables me to travel as much as I do. I am 22 years old.

What gave you the idea for this project?
I love walking and I love Tokyo! I just thought – why shouldn’t these two reasons be enough to make a video?

Had you planned the walk beforehand or did you just walk around with no prior knowledge?
From my previous experiences I knew that planning the trip would definitely spoil the fun of it. So I just took my tripod and went where I wanted. I think it was the main reason why the walk turned out to be so great.

Whysojapan 100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days Whysojapan 100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

How many hours a day did you walk around?
Basically, all day long. I would leave in the morning (about 9 am) and come back around 9-10 pm.

How long did you walk before your feet started to hurt?
They started to hurt on the first day. Two out of three days I had to walk in my slippers, and on the third one I had some really crappy shoes. My feed were not too happy, to say the least!

Whysojapan 100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

Of all the things you saw in Tokyo, what did you find the most interesting?
There really isn’t a single reason what caught my attention.  I love pretty much everything about Tokyo – from its parks and markets to its housing neighborhoods and temples. It’s one of the biggest cities in the world yet it’s so peaceful, nice and calm. When you go into one of the parks you feel as if you’re somewhere in the country-side, hanging out in a beautiful forest, not in a massive city.

 





Posted on by Paul in Media, Visiting Leave a comment

Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

Hyper Japan Christmas Market

We managed to get a couple of days off work and booked ourselves on a flight to London, with our main focus being Hyper Japan’s Christmas market at the Tobacco Dock. Of course we did a few other things while in London too. We decided to visit Hyper Japan on their first day, which was the Friday. We bought out tickets in advance and we also purchased the priority entrance tickets, which turned out to be a bit of a waste of money, since we arrived in the afternoon and there was no queue so we didn’t need to use the priority entrance tickets.

whysojapan_hyper_japan_christmas_market_2015_london_00

whysojapan_hyper_japan_christmas_market_2015_london_09

Since we had not been to a Hyper Japan event before, we did not know what to expect. We knew which stalls were there beforehand and which shows we wanted to see. After entering the Tobacco Dock, our first impressions were not the best. We were expecting more of a Comic Con setup with lots of stalls in one main hall, but instead we found ourselves walking though like a shopping center where instead of the usual shops there were temporary Japanese stalls set up.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london
whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

There were a lot of stalls we had been looking forward to seeing. Some of them were:

Tokyu Hands, a giant departments store in Japan, we were hoping to find something interesting to buy from them. But we didn’t this time, since they only had a very small selection to sell. It was still great to see a well known brand to have a stall at Hyper Japan.

NHK World was great to see. We saw Domo posting for photos, but when we got there the queue was long, but when we got there it was still seeing him in real life.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london domo

Tofu Cute sold a lot of plushies and other goods, and they had a great sweets selection. We could pick up all different sweets from Japan, like different flavoured KitKats and lots of different flavours of Ramune and lots more.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london tofu cute

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london tofu cute whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london tofu cute

Being big fans of Cakes with Faces, it was great seeing their stall at Hyper Japan and looking at all the cute products. We were really interested in the sushi kit, so much that we bought it. What we loved about it was that we were not just getting the tools to make sushi, but also a super cute illustrated manual.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london cakes with faces

There were lots of other shops, some we had visited before, like Japan Center, JP Books, but there were also lots of stalls that we had never seen before, which made it even more fun, because there were sooo many stalls.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london minoriOne of the more unique guests attending the market was Japanese shironuri artist Minori. Famous for her fashion style, featured on TokyoFashion.com several times, and even seen in Vogue, it was quite special to be able to see her in London. I was looking forward to seeing her, so it took me by surprise when we randomly saw her amongst the stalls, posing for photos. For her fans, she held a tea party, where you could enjoy a cup of tea with her, for a cost.

There were food stalls with a selection of Japanese food to choose from, and also a Japanese maid cafe. We had Takoyaki, it was delicious.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

An events area was set up for on stage performances. We decided to see Lady Baby. The performance was great, but unfortunately people stood up on the chairs so we couldn’t see much. It didn’t stop us from having a great time though.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london lady baby whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london lady baby

There were lots of other events throughout the weekend, like Mirai no Neiro the Vocaloid, WING WORKS and Kuli-Kala, and more.

This was just a slice of what could be seen at the Hyper Japan Christmas Market. There was so much more that we could have told you about this year’s market, but above were some of our highlights. For the price of the entrance it was well worth the money and it was a great afternoon and evening out.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

Official site for more information on up and coming events: http://hyperjapan.co.uk





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

RocketNews24 – News From Japan

whysojapan rocketnews24
Rocketnews24 – 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