Paul, Author at Why so Japan - Page 2 of 24

Don Quijote – Japan’s Best Discount Store

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

Don Quijote

Our first experience with Don Quijote (ドン・キホーテ) was the Kabuki-cho Shinjuku store in Tokyo. It was stocked with goods, floor after floor. On our first trip to Tokyo we must have gone into that particle store almost everyday and we would check out one floor at a time. We found that it was best to visit the shop when it was not so busy, because the shop could get really crowed at certain times of the day. We soon learned that the best times were early in the morning, around 10am, or late at night after 10pm.  Even better was after 12 at night, because the store is open 24/7, which is great. In the store you get to listen to the store’s own theme tune, playing on a loop, called “Miracle Shopping” (ミラクルショッピング?) sung by Maimi Tanaka, who was a store employe.

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki


There are a few other Don Quijote stores that you can visit in Tokyo. One night, while we were walking around in Shinjuku, we found this other Don Quijote. It was late at night, like 12:30am I think, and we just saw loads of neon light and the Don Quijote penguin mascot Donpen. We followed the bright lights to what we decided to call Donki World, just because of the size of this place. It was really big! It was all on one floor, but spread across different buildings, and the best thing was that it was open 24/7 too.

whysojapan Don Quijote discount store Donki
Other Don Quijote stores we have seen or been in: There’s one in Ikebukuro, close to the station. There’s one in Akihabara, which has its own theatre, where the idol group AK48 play daily. We also found a store in Roppongi, which has a half pipe theme ride on the roof. The ride has never been used though, because of complaining neighbours. There is another store with a ride, and its in Osaka. It has a ferris wheel stuck to the outside of the store, which I would love to try sometime. There are a lot more stores to check out, not just in Tokyo, but all over Japan. The best place to check is the website for store listings:

What you can buy in store

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki productsI would like to say you can buy everything, because that’s what it seems like when you are browsing the stores hour after hour. But ok, maybe not everything, but almost. Some of the products we have seen are clothing (love buying Japanese Kigurumi in Don Quijote!), everything and anything for mobile phones, cases, batteries, selfiesticks – you name it. There are also lots of cosmetics and beauty products, lots of electrical products – from toasters to instax mini camera (including cheap film for them), and more. The food section is always a great place to look through. Last time we were in the store we bought loads of the Poppin Kitchen DIY sweet boxes at a great price. I could go on and on about all the products they have. We have taken some photos just to show how huge the product range is, which can be seen below.

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

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whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products Daruma Maneki-neko whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products Totoro

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

whysojapan_Don_Quijote_Donki_products_05 whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products game

whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products whysojapan Don Quijote Donki products

About Don Quijote

Japanese love to shop and one of the biggest and best discount stores you can find throughout Japan, with its 160 stores, is Don Quijote. The stores are also known as Donki, which is a shortening of the company’s name. Don Quijote started off in the 80’s under the name Just Co. with its first retail store opening in Tokyo. Just Co then changed from retail over to wholesale after a couple years of business. The company’s first Don Quijote named store opened in Tokyo 1989, and it was also then the company changed back to focusing on retail again, with the company changing it’s corporate name from Just Co to Don Quijote Co., Ltd in 1998. Don Quijte also operates three stores in Hawaii.

Posted on by Paul in Shopping, Visiting 5 Comments

100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

Whysojapan 100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

Jacob Laukaitis decided to walk around Tokyo for 100km and film what he saw on the his walk. The video has had great success on YouTube with over 30000+ views and still growing. We really enjoyed the video and even though we have been in Tokyo a few times and thought we had seen most of Tokyo, the video showed loads of great places that we have yet to explore, which we will now add to our list for our next trip. Check out the video at the bottom of the post.

Whysojapan 100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

We got the chance to ask Jacob a few questions about his trip to Tokyo.

Tell us a little about you. (Name, age, where you’re from, etc…)
My name is Jacob Laukaitis and I am originally from Lithuania, but I’ve been traveling for over 2 years now and already have visited 30+ countries. Currently I spend most of my time on, the company I co-founded a couple of years ago, which enables me to travel as much as I do. I am 22 years old.

What gave you the idea for this project?
I love walking and I love Tokyo! I just thought – why shouldn’t these two reasons be enough to make a video?

Had you planned the walk beforehand or did you just walk around with no prior knowledge?
From my previous experiences I knew that planning the trip would definitely spoil the fun of it. So I just took my tripod and went where I wanted. I think it was the main reason why the walk turned out to be so great.

Whysojapan 100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days Whysojapan 100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

How many hours a day did you walk around?
Basically, all day long. I would leave in the morning (about 9 am) and come back around 9-10 pm.

How long did you walk before your feet started to hurt?
They started to hurt on the first day. Two out of three days I had to walk in my slippers, and on the third one I had some really crappy shoes. My feed were not too happy, to say the least!

Whysojapan 100km Walk Around Tokyo in 3 Days

Of all the things you saw in Tokyo, what did you find the most interesting?
There really isn’t a single reason what caught my attention.  I love pretty much everything about Tokyo – from its parks and markets to its housing neighborhoods and temples. It’s one of the biggest cities in the world yet it’s so peaceful, nice and calm. When you go into one of the parks you feel as if you’re somewhere in the country-side, hanging out in a beautiful forest, not in a massive city.


Posted on by Paul in Media, Visiting Leave a comment

RocketNews24 – News From Japan

whysojapan rocketnews24
Rocketnews24 Soranews24 – News From Japan

There are few sites that we visit often on the internet, that are to do with or about Japan. RocketNews24 is one of them that we really do love.

RocketNews24 started off as a Japanese written news blog back in 2008. Their news articles are a real mixed bag of news and interesting tip bits from Japan and Asia – with everything from cute animals to the latest J-pop group to hit the scene, and so so much more. You can spend hours and days just clicking from news piece to news piece. It’s really great! You will almost always find something of interest to read on the blog. The best thing with the blog now is that since it has become so popular around the world, they now translate their articles for the English version of Rocketnews24, (Since  2010) so us who can’t speak Japanese don’t have miss out on all their great articles that are posted on a daily basis.

Most of the news are lighthearted, so it’s the opposite to most news outlets with all the doom and gloom, which makes Rocketnews24 a breath of fresh air. If you love all things Japan you have probably already read one of Rocketnews24 articles on one of the many other sites they work with, like Japantoday, Buzzfeed, Gizmodo and more.

The news blog has a couple of different sections on the site. My favourite is the “most popular” category, which can be found near the top to the right hand side.  I love that you can see what was popular last week, last month and even last year. Like I said, it’s easy to end up just clicking from news post to news post.

Next time you’re looking for some fun tip bits on Japan and Asia, head on over to Rocketnews24.


Posted on by Paul in Reviews Leave a comment

Japanese TV Adverts #51, #52 and #53

Our new post with the best TV adverts from Japan is now here! I could watch Japanese adverts all day. They always bring a smile to my face and I always find a product that think I’ll have to pick up next time I’m in Japan. In this selection of adverts you will find some of the following: talking dogs riding a train, an ad from AKB48, a bunch of gaming apps (a few I must try out), Strong Zero drink (I have to try next time I’m in Japan), cotton snow candy from Mr Donut, Sofbank has a robot hover on sale, a cat on holiday and a lot lot more. 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

UFO Catchers In Japan

whysojapan ufo catchers prizes

UFO catchers

UFO catcher – or claw machines as there are also known as – are arcade machine that are very popular all over the world. The aim of playing the machines is to pick up the prize with the claw, It’s normally made up of two to four prongs, which will grip or move your prize over to the prize hatch and drop the price down, where you then claim the price through sort of a cat flap door in the front of the machine. The machines are usually see through from all sides, which makes it easier to play, or so you would think.

whysojapan ufo catchers prizeswhysojapan ufo catchers prizes

Playing claw machines 101

Is there any skill to playing the machines? Well, the claw machines that I’ve played here in Europe I’ve never had any problems playing. Getting the claw over and even pick up the prize is the easy part. The only real skill you need is being able to place the claw over the price in the right way.  After that it’s down to chance from there on. The machines in the UK are simple to play and once you’ve got the hang of the technique, you could win at them all day –  if it wasn’t for one thing. The only thing stopping you are the owners of the arcades who set the machines up. The machines are set to only tightly grip the prize for a longer period of time after machine has been feed a certain amount of cash.

One good tip is to try and go for prizes that are close to the hatch, because what happens is the claw becomes weaker the further it has to travel, and the price might drop before it reaches the hatch. Unless the machine is up in the quota it needs, only then will it stay strong enough to carry the prize all the way. You can also try and move prize bit by bit, until you have it close enough. That’s another good work around to getting the prize you have your eyes set on. I usually start with prizes close to the hatch, and the technique works good for me. Another good tip is to watch others play. If they have put loads of cash in the claw, it will normally hold the prize for longer before it weakens. This is giving you more of a chance on bagging the prize you want, if the previous player gives up.

The machines I’ve played in the UK have prizes that are mostly plush toys. One of my best wins as to date on a machine in the UK was a Minion, winning it made my day.

whysojapan ufo catchers prizes

UFO Catchers in Japan

Playing UFO Catchers in Japan is very different than playing the machines like I’ve played in the UK. You still have the element of the the settings by the vendor for how strong and how long the claw will grip the price, but there is so much more skill to it than the other machines I’ve played outside of Japan. First lets start off with the prizes, there are a lot more to choose from. Yes, you do have the plush toy machines, but you also have so much more. Some of the prizes we have won when playing in Japan for example are figurines that are only made as prizes for UFO catchers. There’s also food, bath towls, cutlery, small electrical devices, and so much more.

whysojapan ufo catchers prizes

Most arcades in Japan normally have at least one floor designated to UFO catchers. Usually it’s the first floor of the building. A couple of popular arcades we have played in are the Taito Game Station and Sega’s arcades. Most machines cost around 100 to 200 yen to play, and if you buy more games at once it can sometimes be cheaper.One great thing when you do win your prize is that the staff will usually see you win it and come over and congratulate you and give you a plastic bag to carry your prize away, which is great service.

Playing in Japan

The machines in Japan really do take it to the next level. Of course, you can find the normal claw machines there as well, but they have developed other ways to play, which requires a lot more skill to it, and a lot of the machines only have two claws to the pick up the prize with. There are a couple of different setups of UFO catchers. Of course the basic pick up and drop, but they also have other setups.

whysojapan taito game station archade hall

One being where the machines has got the prize laying across two metal bars with a gap big enough to pick up the prize and drop it between them. But that would be to easy. Yes, the gap is big enough, but you can’t just pick it up and drop, because mostly of weak claws due to settings. Also the way the staff place the prizes, laying them over the two metal bars and the bars are covered in rubber, which makes it even harder to just push and slide. The main trick is to ether pick it up one end and drop, and do so on and so on until it tips though between the bars.

The next setup is where the prize is hanging on underneath a little piece of plastic, which is balancing on a little rubber ball. At first it seems easy, but then you learn that the plastic rubbing on the rubber ball is a real pain. It can be done, but you have to move the piece of plastic from side to side until the plastic and the prize finally falls from the ball.

whysojapan ufo catchers prizesThe final setup is were the prize has a sort of a plastic ring stuck to the box of the prize. What I found was a good way to win at these sort of UFO catchers is to hook and try to lift it, which can be possible. Another technique is to bring one of the claws to side of plastic hole, so you use the power of the claw closing to drag the prize closer to the hole, which is a good way of winning at this sort of UFO catcher.

My last tip is, if you find one prize you just can’t win but really want (mine was a Super Sonico figurine) is to look around the shops in Akihabara, because there is a chance you find it for sale. They might have one or two available, since they’re not really made for retail. I’m guessing someone has won it and sold it on to the shop and then the shop sells it on – which was great for me, who really wanted it.


It is great fun playing the machines so I really recommend playing them at least once while in Japan.

Check out Taito Game Station homepage to find your closest arcade hall while in Japan:


Posted on by Paul in Gaming 2 Comments