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

Book Review: Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

Why So Japan Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

About the author

Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture is written by Ralf Bähren, a German designer and photographer, that spent a year living  and working in Tokyo, where half of the time he documented lots of close relationships and cultural discussion with all different of sort of people that live in Japan. From the old-fashioned to the more interesting side of Japanese people. This is his first book that he has released. When Ralf Bähren is not writing books, he designs exhibitions, interactive experiences, animation and websites.

Why So Japan Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

The book features lots of different pop cultures that can be found all around Tokyo. I remember on our first trip to Tokyo how so many things were so different compared to how things are here in Europe. Not always the big things, but the way day to day life can be. The way Japan looks at solving day to day problems can be an eyeopening experience. I think one of the things I really love about this book is that it presents so many of these things that we never see here in the Western countries, but are very present in Tokyo, Japan. It’s also highlighting the Japanese pop culture, and the way things look in modern Tokyo.

Why So Japan Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

On each page of this book you find a short piece of text in multiple languages (German, English and Japanese) describing subjects that goes along with one or several photos. I found the pictures to be of great quality and they really seem to jump out of the pages of this book. You can really see that someone has designed it well.

Why So Japan Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

It’s a perfect book for a coffee table read and I would really recommend it for anyone that loves Japan or is interested in Japanese pop culture.

More info about the book and author: http://www.visuaheli.com/blog/?p=409#more-409
Buy online at Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tokyo-Clash-Japanese-Culture-Style/dp/3833156996

 





Posted on by Paul in Reviews, Shopping Leave a comment

Music Video Filmed In Japan #10: The Black Eyed Peas

The Black Eyed Peas – Just Can’t Get Enough

Just Can’t Get Enough is a song from the American hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas. It is the second single from the group’s album The Beginning. The song was written by the group and produced with help of DJ Ammo, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins,  and Tommy Brown. The Black Eyed Peas have been a group since 1995 but they did not hit it big until their album Elephunk was released in 2003. To date the group are one of the all time best selling artists with 35 million albums and 41 million singles over the sold over the world. They were also ranked 12th on the Billboard ’​s Decade-End Chart.

Music Video

The video consists of all the members of The Black Eyed Peas: will.i.am, Apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie. The video was shot while The Black Eyed Peas where in Japan on a press tour. It only took three days to shoot, it was filmed in Tokyo and directed by Ben Mor (who has also directed the music video for Scream & Shout).

What I love about the music video is the futuristic feel, with some of the locations being Sega Joypolis for like half a second, which was a shame. You can also see the driverless train in a couple shots, the one you can ride out to Odaiba to go to places like Sega Joypolis or go and see the massive Gundam robot behind Tokyo Diver shopping centre. There are also lots of street views of Tokyo at night in the video, which look fantastic. One of the shots features some of the led signs near the Shibuya crossing, and you can also spot Don Quijote in Roppongi in the background in of one of the shots.

The Just Can’t Get Enough video was released on Vevo on the 16th of March 2011 and the single was released about a month before that. The single reached number 1 on the UK dance chart and number 3 on the offician UK singles chart. It also reached the same position on the Billboard charts. The video was shot a week before the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and just like the music video Big in Japan by Martin Solveig and Dragonette., it features a message: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people of Japan. We love you”

Official homepage
http://www.blackeyedpeas.com/





Posted on by Paul in Music Leave a comment

Suica Penguin Mascot

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Suica card

If you have used public transport in Tokyo you might well have used one of two smart travel cards: the Pasmo or a Suica card. In Tokyo the cards have pretty much the same function, both  allowing you to pay for travel on the public transportation system in and around Tokyo. Both smart cards can be also used in other parts of Japan for travel, but sometimes you can only use one and sometimes both. It’s always best to check with the local transport for the area you are visiting. The cards that you pre charge can also be used to purchase stuff in different shops and be used as payment on most vending machines.

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Suica Mascot

Japanese companies love you to have a mascot to represent their company. Normally the cuter the better. While traveling in Japan you will almost certainly come across the cuteness of the company mascot that is one of my favourites – the cute penguin that represents the travel card Suica. You might wonder what a penguin has to do with travel? Well, penguins are seen to swim through water with ease and that’s how it should feel when using the Suicacard, a smooth moving process as such.

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Sucia Penguin

The mascot named Suica Penguin, or just Penguin, was designed by Sakazaki Chiharu and has been used as the mascot since 2001. The penguin has become very popular and I can understand why. Who could not like the cute penguin? I’m sure a lot of people choose that smart card for travel just because of the cute penguin on the card. I know I did on our first trip. whysojapan_suica_penguin_japan_04We saw the Sucia penguin on a lot of posters on the public transport in Tokyo, but didn’t really know what it was to do with, since we had a different travel card on that journey, but after coming home and looking the penguin up, I had a better idea to why we saw it on a lot of places. After that we started to watch a lot of the TV adverts on watch here YouTube featuring the cute penguin, showing how to use the card which I loved. Silly that it might sound, like I said, I’m a sucker for a penguin. I also received some merchandise with thanks to a friend in Japan that hunted the products down and sent them to me, and to this day when we meet always manages to find me some cool Suica penguin stuff. The latest thing being a 2015 year calendar, that we now have on display at home. After our latest trip back in 2014 we found the Suica Penguin store in the Tokyo station, called Penguin Stadium, Pensta. They had loads of stuff to sell, like books, food, games, tea towels, inflatables, key rings and more. Now I will never run out of Suica Penguin stuff. If you’re looking for the shop, it can be found via this link.





Posted on by Paul in Mascots, Visiting 1 Comment

Japanese TV Adverts #43

This time we start off the first advert in a typical Japanese bath with an ad for a bag of sour sweets that I would love to try one day. We also find lots of other great ads, some being a cool advert from SoftBank making a 3d figure appear from a mobile screen, the Pocky devil is also back with a new advert sharing Pocky with someone in heaven this time and a whole lot more to enjoy!

As always, please check out this YouTube user for more adverts: http://www.youtube.com/user/JPCMHD

Also check out older posts with Japanese TV adverts under the media category to the right of this post.





Posted on by Paul in Media Leave a comment

4TE new music video: Ippo Zutsu

Whysojapan - 4TE Ippo Zutsu

Ippo Zutsu

Last month we wrote about 4TE (our original review), a new j-pop girl group. Now they’re back with a second single and a brand new video to go along with it. The second single is called Ippo Zutsu (One step at a time), and just like the first single it sounds very like other well known j-pop groups like Perfume, which we absolutely love. The song has really captured the essence of what a j-pop band should sound like and we thought this single seems even stronger than the last single. If the group continues releasing song in this quality we are sure that they are going to become big very soon. It would even be cool of a group like this could become famous on the Japanese market, since they’re from the other side of the world.
The music video this time features the dance group by the name FrolicLassie, which happens to be managed by one of 4TE’s managers. The video follows five Japanese school girls (FrolicLassie) and their future plans of life throughout the music video, while cutting back and forth between shots of the members of 4TE.

The song has a very happy feel to it and and uptempo vibe. It’s a great song to listen to while on the go also.

Once again the group has delivered a strong single and a great video. What makes it even stronger this time is the collaboration with FrolicLassie.

Last week 4TE had a promotional event to go along with the single release, which allowed all the fans to interact with the group, which is a great way for the fans to get in contact with their favourite member of the group.

 





Posted on by Paul in Music, Reviews 1 Comment