Paul, Author at Why so Japan - Page 18 of 24

Yamanote train line products

yamanote train money box

Trains, a popular hobby in Japan

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 line chime box yamanote line chime box

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.

JR East official English homepage can be found on the following link:

Do you have any Japanance train products if so share?

Posted on by Paul in Shopping Leave a comment

Japanese TV Adverts #4

TV Adverts in Japan

Here’s the next update of Japanese TV adverts. This update features adverts for Softbank with the talking dog, a post is coming up all about that dog soon. The adverts also include a famous US actor and some video game ads. Enjoy!

Please check out this YouTube user for more adverts:

Also check out older posts with Japanese tv adverts: and

Posted on by Paul in Media 1 Comment

NHK World – Japanese news world wide

whysojapan nhk world logo

NHK World

NHK World is a worldwide English language TV channel that focuses on news and current events. It also has a range of its own TV shows that can been seen both via TV cable networks and satellite TV. The channel is broadcast all over the world to 160 million households in more than 130 countries and also streams 24/7 via NHK’s World homepage where you can get updates of the news and even download Japanese lessons. The online stream is free of change and most of the content that is available on the site is also available for free. NHK World news shows fokus on world events too, using its own corresponds from all over the world.

NHK World is a great channel to keep an eye on news and current events from Japan. The site has many different sections and its easy to spend alot of time reading though the site.

Check out the NHK World site

NHK World Premium Television

NHK World Premium Television is a subscription only service that is also broadcast around the world. The main difference is that you have to pay to watch it. The content is mostly in Japanese and it is a mixture of news, entertainment and sports. In Europe the service is broadcast under the name JSTV, and in the US you can find it using the name TV-Japan. NHK World premium can be compared to channels like BBC World News and France 24.


The company behind both NHK World and NHK World premium is the Japanese broadcast company NHK, translated to English it would be “Japan Broadcasting Corporation”. NHK has a few different TV services that are broadcast only in Japan. NHK TV channels are financed by a TV license fee, similar to a lot of countries. NHK was modeled on the British broadcaster BBC. NHK also runs its own radio station which can also been listen to via their website.

Posted on by Paul in Media 2 Comments

Music Video Filmed In Japan #4: Kaiser Chiefs

Kaiser Chiefs – Man On Mars

The Kaiser Chiefs are a British indie rock band that as of present consists of Ricky Wilson, Andrew White, Simon Rix and Nick Baines. This song, Man On Mars, also has Nick Hodgson in the video, who has left the bad now. The band started in  in Leeds 1996.

The video for the song Man On Mars was filmed while the band was visting Japan to play at the 2011 Fuji Rock Festival. The video shows different clips of around Tokyo
and some of their performance from the Fuji Rock Festival. The video also consists of some of the fans singing to their songs at a karaoke bar and the video also follows one of their fans on his trip from Tokyo to the gig at the  Fuji Rock Festival.

One bit of the video to listen to is when the audio cuts out at the train station and you can hear the platform melody.

The video was first relased on to YouTube on August 11, 2011.

The Kaiser Chiefs official homepage:

Posted on by Paul in Music Leave a comment

Japanese TV Adverts #3

TV Adverts in Japan

Here’s the next update of Japanese TV adverts. This update features lots of adverts for smart phones, new music singles and various food, plus more. Enjoy!

Please check out this YouTube user for more adverts:
Also check out older posts with Japanese tv adverts:


Posted on by Paul in Media Leave a comment