Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions

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Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2017

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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

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

The internet and the rest of the world outside of Japan saw Kyary Pamyu Pamyu for the first time when she released her music video PonPonPon. It was a big hit on YouTube and seen by millions. The music was catchy and the video was colourful, fun and weird.

But Kyary’s career began before that. She was walking through Harajuku with a friend and was stopped on the street by a photographer from the fashion magazine KERA. He asked if he could take their photo for a streetsnap to be published in the magazine, which they agreed to do. The photo can be seen here (extrernal link). That was the start of her modelling career, and soon she was being paid for shoots and regulary appearing in the magazines Zipper and KERA. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu became more and more famous and soon she was became a fashion blogger, and appearing on fashion shows and TV shows.

After meeting and working with music producer Nakata Yasutaka of capsule, she released her single Ponponpon and the mini-album Moshi Moshi Harajuku. The mini album was followed by more singles, and soon a full album was released as well.

kyary pamyu pamyu music why so japanHer musical career really took off, and soon she was performing not only in small venues, but even bigger arenas and festivals as well, and earlier this year she went on her first world tour, performing in Belgium, France and the UK, then Asia and the United States. She’s currently back in Asia again and will finish her world tour in Shibuya, where she started her career. Several of her concerts during this world tour have been sold out. One of them was the concert in London, and we were two of the lucky ones to be at that concert. Paul will write and post a full report about it here soon, including photos and videos from the London concert.

When KPP isnt performing around the world, she hosts two TV shows, Space Shower AREA and Catherine the Third and also stars in a show called TVJohn. She’s also has her own radio show on kyary pamyu pamyu fake eyelashes why so japanNicoNico Douga and appears in several TV commercials.

For her single and music video Tsukema Tsukeru she collaborated with the Mameshiba charachers, where the commercial for her new music video featured special KPP versions of mameshiba, called “Mameshipamyupamyus”. These special Mameshibas were also released as plush dolls. Paul has written about Mameshiba in a previous post, which you can find here.

There are a lot of Kyary products available, such as her own line of fake eyelashes (Harajuku Doll Eyelashes by Eyemazing x Kyary), books (her autobiography is called “Oh! My God!! Harajuku Girl” and she’s done a Tokyo guide book called “Moshi Moshi ☆ TOKYO”) and other things too.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is famous for mixing the cute and kawaii with the obscure and weird. One example being a cute bow with a weird eyeball in the middle.

kyary pamyu pamyu book why so japan

If you want to know more about Kyary, there’s an excellent blog on Tumblr with loads of information, facts, photos, videos, translations and more. Its called Kyarychan and can be found here: kyarychan.tumblr.com

Her music is cute, upbeat and happy, and I like most of her songs. My favourite song though is probably the lesser known “Onedari 44°C”. Whats your favourite KPP song?





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

Electric and gadgets while in Japan

electric Plugs in Japan why so japan

Charging electrical appliances in Japan

Nowadays most people that travel almost always have some sort of electrical appliance with them while abroad. Some of the more common things that most people have with them while travelling are smart phones, iPads, video cameras, laptops and battery chargers.

electric Plug converter 1 why so japan  electric Plug converter 2 why so japan
Now most of these gadgets will need to be charged while you are in Japan if you are staying for more than a day. I know that we had to charge our iPhone every night after using Google Maps in Tokyo all day on them.

electric Apple power supply why so japanOne thing to think about is that most modern gadgets can be charged on the voltage that Japan uses (100v), so for most of your gadgets you will need to buy an inexpensive adapter plug that converts the plug on the gadget to the 2 pin plug that is used in Japan.

Its important to check that your gadget will work at a low voltage of 100v beforehand. Either check if its printed on the power supply of your gadget, or find the information in the user manual. For example, in Sweden or the UK where we are from, we have 220/240v as our main power coming out of the wall sockets, but most things that use chargers can normally handle 100v-240v and would be alright in Japan. Stuff like hairdryers might only work on 110 volts or 220/240v meaning it probably won’t work in Japan. You can solve this problem by using a power down converter, but they cost a lot more than a normal plug converter.

Buying electrical goods while in Japan

electric Plug converter 4 why so japanIf you do buy anything that needs power from the mains, check that it will run of your main voltage that you have in your country, since buying something that works on 100v only will not work if you plug it into 220/240v and it could cause damage. Of course you can buy a power converter for that too, which will lower your voltage output too.

What are your electrical tips?





Posted on by Paul in Visiting 1 Comment

Gundam Robot in real life

Gundam robot odaiba why so japan

Gundam Robot

We found the Gundam Robot when we were out shopping on the Odaiba island. It was situated behind Tokyo DiverCity, which is one of the many shopping malls you will find on this island. It was a surprise to us to see this massive robot standing there. Is huge!

It was pure luck really that we decided to go out the back of the shopping mall and there it was standing in its scale of 1:1. This seems to the thing with Tokyo and Japan – you can plan everthing you want to see and do, but soon as you take a detour you find the most unexpected thing, like a robot in its full size. Its well worth to take a quick look around the back of DiverCity shopping mall if you are visiting the island.

Gundam Front Tokyo exhibition

The Gundam robot is part of an exhibition that is all about Gundam, a popular anime series. The exhibition is called Gundam Front Tokyo and its just next to the robot. It does cost to go in and you can find the current prices if you click the link at the end of this post. To see the robot only is free, its the exhibition part that has an entry fee.

Gundam TV series

Gundam is part of the popular amime scene where this TV series has become popular. Its franchise is vast and with the giant Gundam robot and the exhibition Im sure its going to become bigger. Even if youre not an amime or Gundam robot fan its still worth a visit.

How to get there

There are a few different transport ways to get out on to the Odaiba island. The public transport stop which is closest to the Tokyo DiverCity shopping mall is the Tokyo Teleport underground station. Its a few minutes walk from the underground station.

In up and coming posts we will talk more about shopping and entertainment centres that you can visit on the Odaiba island.

Heres the link to the site for Gundam front Tokyo:
http://gundamfront-tokyo.com/en/

Here is also a short video that I shot while we were there:





Posted on by Paul in Characters, Visiting Leave a comment

Japan and umbrellas

why so japan tokyo umbrellas

When it rains  – cheap umbrellas for sale

During our latest trip to Japan in November 2012 we had a couple of rainy days. But since most of the days were nice, we did what most people in Tokyo do, and that is to buy a cheap umbrella from somewhere when we needed to.

Finding and buying an umbrella isn’t hard. Once it starts to rain, a lot of shops seem to bring them out from the stock room and either have them outside the store on the sidewalk or just inside in the front of the store.

Shops that I’ve seen them in  are the discount stores, like Don Quijote. Some of the big electrical stores in Akihabara seem to have them in the front of the store as well. But once its starts to rain you will see them on sale in a lot of shops.

The most popular umbrella you will see is a cheap seethrough plastic umbrella in different sizes. The umbrellas are very cheap with the reason being you might use it for one day or so and the bin it.

Wet umbrella covering gadget

why so japan umbrellas plastic coverOn rainy days a lot of the shops and shopping malls provide a way to keep your umbrella dry while walking around in the the shop or shopping mall. This is great because it means you don’t have to walk around with a wet umbrella with you when you are in the shop.

The shopping malls and some of the bigger department shops have facilities to shake of the water umbrella into a big sort of sink. Normally next to it you find a gadget that you push your umbrella down into, which covers the umbrella with a plastic bag. Thath solves the problems of carrying around a wet umbrella with you in the store. Check out the short video, that I filmed when we went to DiverCity shopping mall in Tokyo, at the bottom of the post.

Some places just have a rack at the shop entrance where you find the plastic bags that you can manual place over the wet umbrella while youre in the store. Ive seen there are racks in some of the archade halls and smaller shops. This is something I had never seen before here in Europe.

Have you seen this gadget before?





Posted on by Paul in Visiting 2 Comments

Convenience stores Japan

why so japan familymart convenience store

Convenience stores for a busy lifestyle

When in Tokyo you cant miss the amount of convenience stores that are around. One of the most well known is 7-Eleven. It can be found all other the world, but did you know that Japan has the most 7-Eleven locations than the rest of the world? Convenience stores have an important roll in Japan. Since everyone works so hard with little time to spare, a convenience store like 7-Eleven is great.

7-Eleven

In most 7-Eleven here in Europe you can buy food to eat or do some shopping to take home. In Japan they also sell DVDs and some electrical goods. 7-Eleven also runs its own bank, called Seven Bank. A lot of 7-Eleven stores have there own ATM in store, which accepts forgein cards and the machines also have an English menu system which can come in handy. 7-Eleven, like Lawson and FamilyMart, also have copying services and fax machine services, and they also sell concert tickets in store.

Lawson

Lawson is very like 7-Eleven in the ways that stuff that are sold. Lawson also sells lots of tickets for concerts and you can order stuff via amazon.co.jp and pay for them in store if you don’t own a credit card.

FamilyMart

FamilyMart is the third biggest convenience store company in Japan, with 7-Eleven in first place and Lawson in second place. FamilyMart offers some of same services as Lawson and 7-Eleven.
why so japan convenience store

Fun promotions

Convenience stores normally have promotions with other companies. Like a while ago Lawson ran one where you could collect stickers to then send in and recieve a Rilakkuma mug back.

Fun to browse

I always find it fun wherever I am in the world to try and visit a convenience store, because its the perfect place to find something new to try or to even pick up a weird present for person back home.

Most convenience stores sell everything food wise. You can also buy alcohol in the stores and a lot have hot food available for purchase.

Whats your take on convenience stores in Japan? Do you think they have more to offer than the ones back home?
Image credit: kalleboo and erysimum9





Posted on by Paul in Shopping, Visiting Leave a comment