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
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 – 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
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
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
Hanami (flowers viewing, 花見) is a very special time of the year in Japan, where everyone goes out to their local parks to celebrate the blossoming of the flowers, also known as cherry blossoming. We have posted about hanami before, click here to read.
Hanami big Business
Hanami is soon to start in Japan, and a lot of the Japanese companies are taking the chance now to drum up some extra trade around this time of the year. You can find lots of different food products that will only be available around the time of hanami. McDondals is one of those companies to take the opportunity to sell some food that is specially made for this special time.
McDondals is selling a hanami inspired burger, the “Sakura Teritama” burger. What makes this so hanami is the cherry-blossom-colored bun and the sakura daikon radish mayo on a pork patty with ginger teriyaki sauce, an egg, and lettuce. There is also a Sakura Cherry Mac float which looks very tasty too. YouTuber Sharla (Sharla In Japan) tried the burger and the float together with fellow YouTuber Mira (kanadajin3). Watch the video below:
Kitkat is another company that always has a special limited edition sakura green tea product, which is available around the time of hanami. Fanta has also had a hanami themed drink around the beginning of spring. I’ve also seen on the KFC Japan website some specials just for this time of the year.
Apple is using hanami in their app store to advertise different apps that are available to download. Some that are very much to do with hanami and some are more indirect, like Pizza Hut, which could be something a lot of people would need to order the pizza for their party in the park, or maybe not.
Here in Sweden we will be celebrating hanami around the end of april. Here the Japanese society will have one day of celebration in the middle of the city, this year 2014, on April 26. There are a lot of other countries celebrating hanami, so check Google to see what’s going on in your the part of your country.
Trains is very popular hobby in Japan. When you’re in Tokyo you might find yourself passing a shop that sells something to do with trains, from the underground trains to bullet trains, and the product assortment is endless from post cards, puzzles, stationary and more. There are a few shops that sell the different products, shops like Tokyu Hands and Yodabashi camera selldifferent assortments of products. The products are not always all available in one shop, so some shops might sell one sort of train product and another shop something totally different.
Yamanote train line
The Yamamote line, which normally has a green strip on its trains, is one of the most popular lines in the Tokyo area as it circles the greater parts of Tokyo, and it also goes past some of Tokyo’s most important stations. The line is run by the JR East company. You can use either Sucia and Passmo pre paid tickets, and other tickets are available from the station ticket machines.
Yamanote train line products
Because of its popularity, there are a lot of products available to do with this line, so you find a lot of different things.
During my visits to Japan Ive picked up a few Yamanote line products. One of them is a money box (photo at the beginning of this post) that I got from Tokyu Hands. This money box is shaped to look like the front cab part of the train and each time you put a coin into the slot the the train lights up and it plays a melody. At all Tokyo train stations there is a cute melody played for when the train is at the platform and the melodies are different from line to line. It sort of a happy melody for the most part. So this money box plays melodies from the stations along the Yamanote line.
To remove the coins from the money box there’s a slider door on the back of the train. The video below the unboxing I made of it when I first got it.
The other two products that I picked up from Yodabashi Camera are these two keychain music players. Each time you push the button it plays that station’s melody.
I bought some lovely stickers. Even though they’re Paris themed, theyre still very Japanese to me, because that style is loved by a lot of people in Japan. You find clothes, shops and stationary in this style all over Harajuku.
Paul bought a Yamanote line post card and Chuo line mouse mat. Trains are very popular in Japand and a lot of merchandise is made. Paul collects some, and will show more from his collection later on.
Before when I knew very little of Japan and its character culture, the only character I had really evey heard of and seen was the very well known Hello Kitty. It’s hard not to have missed Hello Kitty it since she’s on anything you can turn pink and put a cat on. You name it – from cans of fizzy drinks to clothes and even hotel rooms that are coved in the lovable kitty one might say.
After seeing videos on YouTube of some other character that also came from Japan it started to become more fun. Hello Kitty seems so boring to me now because she can be seen and brought all over the world.
But there are certain character that are very popular in Japan to those in the know that I had no idea about. Every character seems to have a world built around it, where almost every week there a new product is coming out in Japan with a character either on it or a character promoting a product for another company.
You end up becoming a bit obsessed with them. One week you buy a drink just because you favorite character is on the can. Even if you don’t like the drink you like the character so you just have to have it. I’m very much the same when I’m in Japan. I will buy almost everything with my favorite character on.
Over the next months I will post all about the characters I know and love from Japan.
What Japanese characters do you like? Please share in the comments!