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: My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I’m Crazy

My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I'm Crazy

About the author

Grace Buchele Mineta is an author, blogger, freelance writer and YouTuber from Texas, who now resides in Tokyo with her Japanese husband.

Whysojapan My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I'm CrazyWe first came across Grace (Texan in Tokyo), the author of “My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I’m Crazy”, and her husband Ryosuke through our love for all things Japanese. In this particular case our first encounter with Texan in Tokyo was their YouTube channel. We stumbled upon the channel after hearing other J-vloggers (Japanese videologgers on YouTube) talking about them. After watching a couple of their videos we added them to our subscription list.

The YouTube videos are a part of her blog, Texan in Tokyo, where she posts a mixture of  personal essays, videos and comics, all from personal experience, or as she puts it on her own blog, “a window into the life of my husband (Ryosuke) and my entertaining and wonderful life in Tokyo”.

My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I’m Crazy

This is the second book from the self published author. The book is an autobiographical collection of comic strip styled shorts about her and her husband’s life on a day to day basis and informative text snippets about Japanese culture and life.

As we were already fans of Grace and Ryosuke, it was great to read the comic styled book, with them both in. It was like watching some of the videos we had already seen on YouTube, but done into comic strip form. But you don’t have to have even heard of them before to fall in love with the book itself. It’s a charming, quirky and sweet look into their relationship. After reading the first couple of pages it is easy to get hooked. You can’t wait to see what Ryosuke gets up to on the next page, because he always has something crazy that he is up to.

Whysojapan My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I'm Crazy

I found the book was an easy read, since it’s comprised of many short and comical comics, which is great for a person like me who hate to read page after page of text. You don’t have to be a Japanese fanatic to enjoy this book, but of course it does help. I am now looking forward to reading the first book, My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy, which is available on Amazon, along with her new book.

Whysojapan My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I'm Crazy

Get the books on Amazon, and check out her website to continue following Grace and Ryosuke.

For the next couple of days you can download both books for free. Check the books on their Amazon page below for more info.


My Japanese Husband STILL Thinks I’m Crazy on Amazon:

My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy on Amazon:

Texan in Tokyo website and blog:

Posted on by Vega @ in Media, Reviews, Shopping 1 Comment

Japanese TV Adverts #41 and #42

We start off this bunch of great Japanese TV adverts with the ad from Cup Noodle playing tennis with a sword, Disney Tokyo showing off it’s terror tower ride (which is a scary but great ride), cat in cafe advert, an ad for Chintai with KPP, another cute advert with the Book-Off mascots, a cool ad from SoftBank, featuring what we call the SoftBank dog, an advert for the toy Tamagotchi (which I never knew was still around), and of course a lot more of some of the best TV adverts being shown on TV in Japan at the moment. Enjoy!

As always, please check out this YouTube user for more adverts:

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

Music Video Filmed In Japan #9: Martin Solveig

Martin Solveig and Dragonette – Big in Japan (feat. Idoling!!!)

Big in Japan was made by the french DJ and music producer Martin Solveig and Dragonette. Martin Solveig has been an active DJ since 1994. Some of his other well known songs to date are Hello, The Night Out, and Ready To Go. Some of his songs also feature work with the Canadian electronic music band Dragonette.

Music Video

The music video features Martin and “his manger” Lafaille visiting Japan. Parts of Tokyo can be seen, like the big Shibuya crossing, video game playing in one of the many arcades that can be found around Tokyo, the swimming pool at Tokyo Summer Land and a sumo wrestling competition. They can also be seen walking some of the busy streets of Tokyo. The song features vocals by the Japanese idol girl group Idoling!!! which were formed by Fuji TV. The group can be seen performing with Martin Solveig in part of the music video. The song is part of Martin’s 5th studio album, Smash, which was released in June 2011.

Big in Japan was first released on YouTube on the 18th of October, 2011. The video was filmed just a week before the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The music video features the following text, that can been seen at the end of the music video: “This video was shot before the tragic events of March 2011. We share the grief of our Japanese friends and admire their courage throughout these difficult times. With this in mind and together, there are more reasons than ever to be Big In Japan!”

The song made it to place 21 in the UK dance music chart. The song is available to buy via iTunes and other digital download services on the internet.

Official homepages:
Martin Solveig

Posted on by Paul in Music Leave a comment


Whysojapan Danbo


Danbo started her life off when she appeared in the popular Japanese manga series Yotsuba&!  which has been published since 2003. The series has been translated into English for the American market as of 2005 and both are still being published to this day. The manga series is about a five year old girl called Yotsuba Koiwai. Yotsuba is not your normal five year old, she doesn’t really care about the things a five year old normally would care about. She is described as odd, quirky and strange. The series follows her discovery of life with lots of misunderstandings of everyday life, all put together in a comedic way.

Whysojapan Danbo

Introducing Danbo

Danbo (ダンボー) first appared in issue 28 from April 2006 as Yotsuba older friend Miura Hayasaka who had dressed in costume as a robot made up of cardboard boxes for a school assignment. Yotsuba discovers Miura’s  costume and Miura tries to playfully convince her that she is some sort of “attack robot” that is powered by money that can be inserted in the slot on her chest. Miura names her cardboard box robot Danbo.

Danbo takes over the world

Danbo became internet famous around late 2007 when Japanese company Kaiyodo started to produce small action figues of Danbo with movable arms, legs and head (which also can light up and be removed and replaced with Miura’s head on certain models). Danbo is most known for her photos where people have placed her in different cute situations by their millions and sharing them on the net to sites like flickr.  A simple google image search will show just how popular she is. Danbo has several name variations, like Danboard, Danboru, Danbooru and Cardbo, but by far is best known as Danbo.

Whysojapan Danbo

Danbo Products

Lots of Danbo versions and products have been made since the first action figure back in 2007. As a fan of Danbo we bought our first Danbo back in 2010 after seeing loads of cute pictures online. We just had to have one! The one we got happened to be the Danbo mini version, which was a hard to get a hold of and cost a lot more than what it would have done nowadays, or if we had been in Japan to buy it. We’ve done two unboxing videos, which can be seen at the end of the post.

Whysojapan Danbo Whysojapan Danbo

Buying Danbo

If you can’t travel to Tokyo, we would say check online. Places like amazon have a great and not so expensive selection of products – from the figures to the very popular battery pack.

If you do get the chance to visit Tokyo, then jump on the train and head to Akihabara (electric town). There are at least two shops that we know of that sell Danbo products. The first is the newly renovated Radio Kaikan, which has lots of smaller shops inside. You will find Radio Kaikan just outside Akihabara train station. It’s a mega store with all your otaku dreams come true. We found a couple of shops selling Danbo products in there, even though one only had a small miniature figure for sale. The other store, which is more worth checking, out is on the 5th floor and is called Kaiyodo Hobby Lobby Tokyo. It had a couple different products, one being the limited edition Danbo with Japan post covering her. Check out the display of all the limited Danbo we found outside the store.

Map to store: Google maps
Homepage address:



For the other store you will need to cross over the road to the back street of Akihabara. The shop is called Kotobukiya and has a great selection of Danbo products to buy. If you love Danbo I would recommend this shop. We found lots of different products to look at and buy, and there is even a life size model of her to been seen.

Map to store: Google maps
Homepage address:



Hope you enjoyed our guide to Danbo! If you have any other tips on good places to buy Danbo products please let us know.


Posted on by Paul in Characters, Shopping Leave a comment

Japanese TV Adverts #38 – #40

In our latest post with all the Japanese adverts that have been on in the last month or two in Japan we find some of the following: lots of ads for Nintendos, different game systems, Calorie Mate, Line, a really cute mascot for book-off, a new advert from idol group HKT48, AKB48’s 38th new single, Softbank, ZOFF glases, and a couple of adverts using Christmas Themes to sell their products (even tho Christmas is not an official holiday in Japan, it’s becoming more popular nowadays). Enjoy!

As always, please check out this YouTube user for more adverts:
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