Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions

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Kizuna Japanese subscription box

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 2017

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Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo

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Rilakkuma

Rilakkuma Christmas

whysojapan_christmas_01

Rilakkuma Christmas

Last November we were in Japan on our holiday. Normally one of the things we do on our holiday is to visit some (well most) of the Rilakkuma stores in and around Tokyo. You can check out our first post about Rilakkuma to read what shops we visited by clicking here or searching for Rilakkuma on this site.

Rilakkuma Christmas releases

Rilakkuma usually has a limited edition set of things for different events or holidays, so being around Christmas it was the Christmas set that was to be released at the time we were in Tokyo. This was a great for us since we love all things Rilakkuma. The products were to be release the weekend before we were to go home, so it gave us enough time to visit one of the many Rilakkuma places to pick some stuff up.

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Meeting Rilakkuma

What we wasnt expecting at first, but thanks to a Japanese friend of ours who told us about it, was that if we were to visit one of the bigger toy stores in Tokyo (Kiddy Land in Harajuku) then we could get to meet Rilakkuma in person. So we took a trip over to Kiddy Land toy store, of course we wanted to see Rilakkuma! When we arrived we found out that if you wanted to meet him up close and have your photo taken with him, then you would have to get some sort of free ticket from the store before hand. But for us it was enough to just see him, so we decided to waited outside the store, together with all the other Rilakkuma fans. A little while later and there he was, together with Korilakkuma. They just walkedalong the street and then stopped outside of the shop, where the ones with the tickets were allowed to meet and greet, one by one. The rest of us took loads of photos of them and it was a bit of a surreal moment since we had only seen videos of them in real size before. We know its only people in costume, but still, it was a bit like seeing a mega celebrity. It was like a little extra Christmas gift to us you could say. Check our video below of Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma outside Kiddy Land:

Rilakkuma Christmas

After seeing Rilakkuma outside, we went into Kiddy land to find the Rilakkuma store and find the Christmas goods. We bought three of the plush Christmas edition, which we got in a Christmas bag, and earlier we had also picked up a fun dancing Rilakkuma, a sweet thing that moves when pushing the button on the back, see video below. And that was our Rilakkuma Christmas surprise from last year!





Posted on by Paul in Characters, Shopping Leave a comment

Capsule Toy Machines

whysojapan gashapon Capsule toy machines

Capsule toy machines

Capsule toys machines are a big industry in Japan with it being a hobby to collect from the machines. The machines are often known as gashapon (ガシャポン). Bandi and Tomy are the dominating companies in this industry in Japan.

The machines

The machines are similarly to what can be found outside shops in the rest of the world. You place between 100 to 500 yen into the machine and crank the handle, which then releases a random capsule thats falls down into the hatch. What differences from the those in the rest of the world and the machines that can be found in Japan is that the quality of the products is of a higher strandard. While in the rest of the world you might find one or two machines in or outside a store – in Japan you find wall to wall of the machines.

One of the places you can find lots (and I mean lots!) of these machines is in the store Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara in Tokyo. There must be at least 100 machines with lots of different content to choose from. The machines are like a lucky dip prices, you can never be sure you will get just the one you wanted.

whysojapan Capsule toy machines gashapon

So what can be found

There is a real mixture of toys that can be bought from the machines. You can find almost all of the popular characters that are available in Japan, like cute and kawaii characters like Rilakkuma, Mameshiba, Hello Kitty and well known characters from anime and manga. Almost all of the toys are released as sets and normally have some sort of number on them so you know what you have what is still needed to get. Other things you can find are key chains with mini cameras, animals, food and more. Its really an endless choice to choose from and I can see how it turns into a hobby in collecting the capsule toys, as they get updated with new toys all the time. It seems the machines are very popular with all ages in Japan, you can always find a mixture of people of all ages going from machine to machine to decide what to buy next.

We have seen shops selling what you can find in a capsule toy machine, so if you only need one more toy to complete the set, then you can buy it from there, since you know what you get. They’re sold to a higher price.

We always find it fun to buy one or two small capsule toys while we are there, since there’s so much to always choose from. Here are a few of the things we’ve gotten: a camera, a Rilakkuma macaroon and a leafy sea dragon.

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Have you used the capsule toy machines in Japan? What did you get?





Posted on by Paul in Characters, Gadgets, Shopping 1 Comment

Japanese Character: Rilakkuma

Rilakkuma why so japan

Rilakkuma by San-X

Rilakkuma is a bear that is made by the Japanese company San-X. He first was produced in 2003 by them. The name Rilakkuma is a combination of two Japanese words, the first part being relax and the second part being bear. Rilakkuma is said to be one of the most popular characters in Japan, while listing 5th in a survey of the character databank in Japan.

rilakkuma 1 why so japanSan-X makes many other characters that are available on the Japanese market. Others that are available are Mamegoma, Sentimental Circus, Chocopa, Kutsushita Nyanko and more.

Rilakkuma first appeared in picture books called Rilakkuma Seikatsu that are produced by the San-X company but are now just as popular as the plush cuddly toys are. Rilakkuma is the most popular character by San- and there are many different products made with Rilakkuma, from hovers to food and clothes and book and video games, but the most popular are the plush toys that widly available over Japan. All the toy shops that Ive visited in Japan always have a little section of the shop dedicated to Rilakkuma. There are also several Rilakkuma stores across Japan that mainly sell all things Rilakkuma, but you will also find some of San-X other popular characters available. At the end of this post you will find some addresses to some of the Rilakkuma stores in the greater Tokyo area and some in-store photos that we took on one of our trips.

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Posted on by Paul in Characters 2 Comments