Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions

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

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

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

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

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


Meet Mameshiba! Book review

whysojapan meet mameshiba book


If you haven’t heard about the Japanese character Mameshiba, read the previous post that we have published all about them: Japanese characters: Mameshiba

Meet Mameshiba!

Meet Mameshiba! is the first book from Viz Media. Viz Media is one of the largest distributors and licensors of anime and manga in North America and has now taken on Mameshiba to bring it to the world. The books are published in English, which is great for us that love Mameshiba but don’t understand Japanese. The first book was first available to buy from the 5th of July 2011.

The first book Meet Mameshiba! is exactly what its called – a book all about each character. Some of the mameshibas you get to meet are Edamame, Tiger Bean, Soybean, Chili Bean and other of their friends.

The book guides you through the world of Mameshibas, giving you loads of small facts about them. The book includes some of the Mameshiba saying, small quizzes, how to draw your own Mameshiba, true and false pages, small comics, and even a page that helps you learn some basic words in Japanese, and more.

whysojapan meet mameshiba book whysojapan meet mameshiba book

The book consist of 96 pages and the book comes in a paper back version and has a square shape to it. The book is very colourful. It is very light on text, there are mostly pictures, which makes its a great book for kids that you want to introduce to the world of Mameshibas. Its also a great collectors item.

We bought our book from amazon.co.uk but the book is available from many online shops all over the world. The book costs around £5 when we got it on the release date.

More reviews are to come in later posts, of the other Mameshiba books that have been made available in English. Stay tuned!

whysojapan meet mameshiba book whysojapan meet mameshiba book

Link to the book on amazon.co.uk:




Posted on by Paul in Characters, Shopping 1 Comment

Mini beverages from Tomomasu

Mini beverages from Japan

whysojapan mini drinkDuring our latest trip to Tokyo we went to the island of Odaiba, where we visited a shopping mall called Decks. On the second floor there are lots of small shops that sell candy, some sell American candy, some sell Japanese candy. In one one of them they also sell all kinds of different carbonated drinks. This time I bought four drinks there to bring home with me to try. Three of them being the mini’s.

The drinks are called Mini Cola, Mini Orange and Mini Melon. The reason why they are called mini is because the size of the bottle. They’re really tiny! You get one big swig out of the bottle and its gone, but they’re  very cute. I think I would need maybe 4-5 to quench my thirst, but its a very unique thing to see. It’s something that I’ve never seen in the world before, so I had to buy them. I always find it fun to try different cola flavoured drinks from around the world so this was a must!

The drinks had a nice taste. It seemed that the cola one did taste a bit like an ice lolly that Ive eaten before. The other two where just as nice to try, but I think I liked the cola most out of the three.

The drinks are made by Tomomasu (http://www.tomomasu.co.jp) and they have been around for over 100 years now. They also make many other drinks that can be seen on their homepage. They are also known for making beer for kids, hopefully without any alcohol in it.

The bottles now sit empty on a shelf in the kitchen. The bottles are too cute to just throw away, so I will keep them there.

Have you tried any fun drinks from Japan?

Posted on by Paul in Food & snacks, Shopping 1 Comment

Japanese heat pads

Japanese heat pads

Heat pads to warm up your body

In Japan heat pads are commonly used. Most of the time theyre used for heating up sore parts of the body, like tense muscles, back aches and neck aches. Theyre also commonly used by people as hand warmers. Something we noticed on our latest trip to Tokyo, was that it was very common to see people with these in their hands while walking around in the cold. They are prefect to have in your pocket, as they take up little room and they hold heat for around six hours.

To acivate then, remove them from their plastic seal, and after a few minutes you will feel the heat.

There are some available with sticky backs that you can attatch to a piece of clothing in the area of where you are experiencing pain, like shoulder ache.

You can buy these ones in multi packs and theyre available from most discount stores, like Donki. Its a perfect thing to have with you on a cold day.

why so japan heat pads why so japan heating pads


Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Shopping 9 Comments

Japan-loppis: Japanese flea market in Stockholm

why so japan lolita dresses

Last week me and a friend went to a Japanese flea market in Stockholm, arranged by kimmiko.se, where both compaies and private individuals sold old and new items. Japan-loppisen, as its called in Swedish, was at Aggregate in Sundbyberg, where there are a lot of cultural activities for young people.

why so japan japan loppis queues why so japan japanese flea market queue

The queue to get into the flea market was very long, and even though we arrived only 30 minutes after the opening, we had to wait almost two hours to get in. People queing were mainly teenagers (and some parents), and a lot of them had dressed up wearing amazing lolita dresses, wigs and make-up. Some guys had also dressed up in ellaborate costumes.

why so japan victoria eriksson top model sverigewhy so japan P-10 k-pop dance group
At the last bit of the queue was a dance group called R-10 performing K-Pop dance routines on stage (video at the end of this post) and opposite were a couple of tables with pretty lolita clothes for sale. Special guest of honour was model and designer Victoria Eriksson, known for appearing on Top Model Sweden and Project Runway Sweden. She was there selling her clothes.

why so japan japanese flea market
Finally we got it, and we could find clothes, mobile phone cases, bags, accessories, manga and anime merchandise, soft toys and many other things. There was a mixture of handmade, second hand and new goods. The tables were very popular and sometimes it was difficult to to see what was for sale at the tables, because it was so crowded.

The youths shopping there seemed very happy, as we saw a lot of them leave the flea market with bags full of stuff.

why so japan japan loppis why so japan japan loppisen
The Japan-loppisen takes place a couple of times every year, and next time they have an event will be on 15 June, 2013.

Here is a video of R-10 performing at the event.

For more information about upcoming Japanese flea markets in Stockholm, check out their Facebook pages.

Japan-loppis sommar 2013: https://www.facebook.com/events/232099593596257/

Official Japan-loppisen Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Japan-Loppisen/181852625204076

Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Shopping 1 Comment

Potato Chip Grabber


Japanese Potato Chip Grabber

The potato chip grabber was something I saw on the Internet before one our trips to Japan. It was something I said I just have to buy it. It seemed like such a crazy thing and so Japanese. So while in Japan we found it at Tokyu Hands and it did not cost too much, so I bought it.

The idea

why_so_japan_chips_grabber_03The idea of the potato chip grabber is that instead of using your fingers to pick a chip up, you use the potato chip grabber.

With the help of this you can pick the potato chip up and enjoy it with out getting greasy fingers from the potato chip. It can be annoying sometimes can be annoying, like lets say if you are sitting at your computer and you don’t want to get grease on the keys on the keyboard. it also bosts 3 functions that can been seen on the picture.

Now it is a fun idea, but it seems like this product was a bit of an over think. It takes a lot more time to use and its not that much of a major problem using your fingers to pick the potato chip up. If you don’t mind a bit of grease, its not a big problem really.

The company behind it is Takmara Tomy who also makes lots of toys and gadgets. Its just one them ideas that is more thinking outside the box, maybe a bit far but then maybe not, since this product is now on sale in mosts parts of the world. I think most people, like me, buy it because its fun.

You may have seen this product on the show An Idiot Abroad 2. Karl Pilkington came across it when he was travelling in Japan.

Link to Takmara Tomy: http://www.takaratomy.co.jp

So what do you think of the Potato chip grabber? Would it make your life easier?

Posted on by Paul in Food & snacks, Gadgets, Shopping 2 Comments