Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions

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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


Music Video Filmed In Japan #11: Will.I.Am

will.I.Am – #thatPower

#thatPower is a single from Will.I.Am’s 3rd album #willpower which was released in April 2013. The song was written by Will.I.Am, DJ Ammo (who has worked on other tracks with Will.I.Am and Black Eyed Peas, a group Will.I.A. is a member of) and Justin Bieber. The track features Justin Bieber who sings. The track was first released on YouTube the 15th of March 2013 with the iTunes release a couple of days later on the 18th of March. It had it’s first radio play in the UK on Capital FM the 15th of March. The track made it quite high up in both the UK week chart and the US Billborad, with UK ending up at 2 and the US at 17th place. The music video to #thatPower was first released on the 19th April 2013.

The Music Video

The music video to #thatPower was filmed in Japan. It features Will.I.Am and a hologram of Justin Bieber dancing in different locations across Tokyo. The locations being more of an architectural standing. Some locations I did recognize and some I had no idea about. The video features the well known dance/music group World Order, which if you haven’t yet seen I suggest you check out one of their videos on YouTube. Some of the places that can be seen in #thatPower are Tokyu Plaza Omotesando, which is kind of a shopping centre that has a futuristic entrance with mirrors pointing everywhere, which gives you the effect of a kaleidoscope effect when going in. The shopping centre has a great rooftop café, which gives your nice sights over the city and it’s a really nice place to sit down for a while and relax. Another well known location in the video is the Eye of Shinjuku, a big art installation in the west exit of JR Shinjuku station. The Eye of Shinjuku has been there since 1969 and can be seen in the Beastie Boys – Intergalactic music video from 1989. Other places that can been seen in the video are the Tokyo Big Sight, a large convention centre in Tokyo and the Florian Claar’s “Fragment No.5″ which I had never seen before. It can found in Tokyo Midtown. There are a lot of very modern design buildings as backdrops in the video, which does not surprise me, really. Will.I.Am is a very creative person with an eye for something different and the locations that are featured in #thatPower are of the more modern architecture to what you might be used too seeing.

Official site http://will.i.am/



Posted on by Paul in Media, Music Leave a comment

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live in London 2015

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live in London 2015

This year’s Kyary Pamyu Pamyu concert in London coincided with the Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival. The festival was held in the day time and the concert started at 8 pm.

Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival 2015

The festival opened a few hours before the concert at the Roundhouse in London, with a few stalls showcasing different food and products from Japan. As an added bonus, the original dress from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s music video Fashion Monster, was on display for everyone to see.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

Some of the other stalls were marukome×MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON and Kawaii & Oishii. Appearing on a ministage was a j-pop group called Musubizm, who performed for the public and later on took photos with their fans.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015 whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015
This year’s festival had free admission, which was great for those who just wanted to see the festival in the day time, but didn’t have any tickets to the actual concert in the evening.

After the festival we headed into London, to visit some of our favourite Japanese shops, and to get a bite to eat.

The venue

We joined the queue outside the Roundhouse around 19.15. The queue was very long, but moved quite fast. It was fun seeing so many different sorts of people had turned up for the concert. Of course, lots of Japanese people, cosplayers and lolitas dressed as Kyary, and more.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

Before we knew it we were inside the venue, heading upstairs to find our seats. The concert was held at the Roundhouse in London this year, and had both seating and standing. We chose seating this year, which was fine. The only thing I would have liked to change about it was the supporting beams for the roof that were somewhat in the way of the view sometimes.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

The show started promptly at 8pm and the crowd went mad when Kyary Pamyu Pamyu appeared on stage.

The show – Crazy Party Night

This year’s show  was seat up with a theme around a night at a night club called Crazy Party Night. Joining Kyaryu Pamyu Pamyu on stage were her dancers and her very own DJ who kept the music going all night and playing music for the dancers and entertainment between costume changes.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

The stage differed quite a lot from the previous two London concerts, this time the stage was given a more grown up theme with a DJ booth, compared to last time with toys. The stage felt like it has grown with her now that she is old enough to drink and go clubbing.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015 whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015
whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

Kyary played a  lot of her new songs this year, but also mixed in all her hit songs from her past albums. Something they did a little bit different this year with one of the tracks, Candy Candy, was to remix part of the song with other music, giving Kyary a chance to really get the crowd going, which we all enjoyed.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

The show ended, as all Kyary’s shows have ended in London, with Chan Chaka Chan Chan, with the exception that this time there were lots of confetti shot out over the public.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

Trying to pick out which of the songs was my favourite from the concert is always going to be hard, but I did enjoy Candy Candy and one of my favourites – Fashion Monster.

Previous posts about Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Moshi Moshi Tokyo App
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live in London 2014
Quick magazine feat. KPP
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu World Tour 2014
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Nanda Collection
Dokidoki Wakuwaku Pamyu Pamyu Revolution Land DVD review
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live in London 2013 – part 1 | part 2 | part 3
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Space Invader
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Events, Music, Reviews Leave a comment

4TE new music video: Ippo Zutsu

Whysojapan - 4TE Ippo Zutsu

Ippo Zutsu

Last month we wrote about 4TE (our original review), a new j-pop girl group. Now they’re back with a second single and a brand new video to go along with it. The second single is called Ippo Zutsu (One step at a time), and just like the first single it sounds very like other well known j-pop groups like Perfume, which we absolutely love. The song has really captured the essence of what a j-pop band should sound like and we thought this single seems even stronger than the last single. If the group continues releasing song in this quality we are sure that they are going to become big very soon. It would even be cool of a group like this could become famous on the Japanese market, since they’re from the other side of the world.
The music video this time features the dance group by the name FrolicLassie, which happens to be managed by one of 4TE’s managers. The video follows five Japanese school girls (FrolicLassie) and their future plans of life throughout the music video, while cutting back and forth between shots of the members of 4TE.

The song has a very happy feel to it and and uptempo vibe. It’s a great song to listen to while on the go also.

Once again the group has delivered a strong single and a great video. What makes it even stronger this time is the collaboration with FrolicLassie.

Last week 4TE had a promotional event to go along with the single release, which allowed all the fans to interact with the group, which is a great way for the fans to get in contact with their favourite member of the group.


Posted on by Paul in Music, Reviews 1 Comment

4TE – Japanese influenced j-pop girl group

whysojapan 4TE

4TE – Japanese influenced j-pop girl group

4TE (pronounced forte) are a new Japanese influenced j-pop girl group. They have just released their first single M O R E. Their music has a very Japanese vibe to it and really reminds us of the j-pop girl group Perfume and Japanese electro group Capsule, both produced by Yasutaka Nakata. The main difference is that 4TE are not from Japan. Not that you would know that they are not from Japan, since the group has captured the essence of what a j-pop group is in their music, both in style and language.

4TE are based in the southwest of the USA. Because the girls are not situated in the same location the rely on the internet to run the group, where they all work together on every aspect – from the music to the group’s image and concepts.

Group members

4TE consists of Chii, Jenny, Micchi, and Mei.

Chii is a Mexican-American singer and songwriter, studying audio engineering and vocal performance. She has her own YouTube channel with over half a million views and she is the winner of the “Singer Search Award 2013” hosted by NHK World.

Mei is a Chinese-Indonesian-American actress, singer, and songwriter. She received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at the Azusa Pacific University. She currently lives in Osaka, Japan, where she works at Universal Studios.


Jenny is a Colombian-American singer and songwriter.  She has studied music studied, visual arts, graphic design and taken studies in sound engineering and entertainment technology. She has taken part in countless bands and online musical projects with various Japanese and western genres.

Micchi is a Filipino-American dancer, trained in tap dance, hip hop, jazz, flamenco, and contemporary ballet with a focus in Classical Russian ballet. She’s been invited to several anime conventions, such as Anime Matsuri, Omnicon, and Shimakon, under the dancing duo “Aquakia”.

whysojapan 4TE

The first single and music video: M O R E

The music video and first single M O R E was released on January 4, 2015. We’ve listened to the single a few times and watched the video a couple of times so far and we think it’s really good. If you’re into Perfume’s music, then I’m sure you will love M O R E.

Our thoughts

With the first single M O R E being a strong first release, we are excited to see what 4TE will deliver next. If their next song is as good as their first, maybe the next time Perfume are in the US you might just see 4TE as the opening act.

Find 4TE online:
Official site: http://www.4teofficial.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/4TEofficial
Twitter: https://twitter.com/4teENG
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/4TEofficial

4TE are back with a new single check our review: http://www.whysojapan.com/4te-new-music-video-ippo-zutsu/

Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Music, Reviews 1 Comment

Perfume Concert Live In LA 2014

Whysojapan Perfume LA

Perfume world tour 3rd review LA

We are very grateful to Perfume-city.com forum member “b_ry29” for taking time to write a great review of the LA show and for sharing and organising photos from Jon (ogeeku.com), a Perfume fan from Facebook. Hope you all enjoy it!

You can only get the full Perfume experience from going to a live show. World Tour 3rd offered fans of America the opportunity to get together to see Perfume with their own eyes. Though this wouldn’t be Perfumes first time setting foot on American soil, it would be their first time performing. Their first visit would be at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. This gave many fans like myself, who couldn’t visit the ladies in Japan, the opportunity to watch them live. I decided to take a friend to see Perfume. He accepted to go with me, even though he was not a fan neither has he listened to any of their songs before I made him the offer. I took care of the expense so he could not refuse my offer!

Whysojapan Perfume LAWhysojapan Perfume LA

The queue

My friend and I began to queue much later than we would have wanted to but it was all fine. When we arrived to the Palladium, the line had barely begun making its first turn. I found a spot next to a friendly Japanese man. For the next few hours, I’d watch fans from all over come together to see Perfume. There was an amazing group that took care of some of our needs. We had received treats that were passed out to all of those that were queuing, which was made possible by fans who willingly donated money. There was a group that went around and asked for anyone’s trash, speaking in English, Japanese and even Spanish! One guy came around and gave anyone who wanted, a small paper. We were asked to write a short note for Perfume, our favorite song by Perfume and where we came from. Though I am not entirely sure what they would be used for, it was fun interaction with other fans. There were plenty of cosplayers too of course so there was plenty to be looking at.

Whysojapan Perfume LA

Entrance and Merchandise

As the time got closer, we were asked by the Palladium staff to get closer together since the line was close to completing a full circle around the Palladium. There was a camera crew walking around asking fans for interviews. The people next to me got the chance to be interviewed. As I listened to the people answering the questions asked by the camera crew, I could see in their words, their love for Perfume was strong.

When the line finally began moving, my excitement began letting loose. Watching the girls in person was finally nearing! There was a hold up in the line, as for why, I wasn’t sure. My patience was growing thinner. Simply waiting outside, not knowing why the line was halted, was no good for anyone. I was “spending all my time” watching others talk it out to pass time. Suddenly, the line moved again and this time, there were no signs of stopping. There was a stop where the people had to be quickly checked before allowed entrance. When it was my turn, I was asked to turn around once and I was permitted entrance. I waited for my friend and suddenly, he was told he couldn’t be allowed in with the bag he was carrying. He tells the lady “Isn’t there an item check so I can put this in?” She lied and said there was not. I feared I may have had to toss my bag into the trash which held very expensive belongings. Luckily we were told to wait in a separate line by another gentleman. I stood by my friend, refusing to leave his side. I don’t know why, but that very same man allowed my friend to enter and in shock, we asked him to repeat what he said. “Just go in” is what he says. A huge smile and excitement fell upon me as we both made our way to the venue.

The first sight I see is the merch and TENUGUI stand. The line for the merch was a little chaotic at first and all of us that were in line, bunched up, were told to make 2 lines. I found myself closer after that – so sorry if I cut anybody! The stand where you get the TENUGUI had a photo-book being displayed and it looked gorgeous. Some more time passed before I was finally next to the line. I asked for one of everything, including the PTA exclusives. The complete cost cost me a whopping $276 dollars but I came prepared in cash in case any issues with my card were to occur. Once receiving everything, I put everything in the tote bag I just bought and I begin making my way to the GA floor.

Whysojapan Perfume LA

The Performance

I began finding a good placement for my friend and myself. We found a good side on the right. The floor was maybe 1/3 full so I had a good view of the stage. The crowd was eager for the performance but there was a slight delay. In the mean time, I tell my friend what he can expect because remember, he wasn’t a fan. When the announcement began, people began shouting ecstatically. “What’s it going to be like? Will it really be any different than from the videos? Will I be more of a fan just by watching them live?” are questions that ran through my head as the lights dimmed and the performance was finally beginning.

Large projections of the girls were displayed on the curtains. The music was playing so loud that I wasn’t sure if my chest was beating because of that or if it was my heart racing. Just before the visuals end, you see life size projection of the girls. The light from the back of the stage light up and there they are, standing in perfect form. Everyone screams and chills run all over my body. The curtain drops and I was able to see A~chan perform such incredible choreography. It was so unreal, as if I was watching a programmed machine. She was flawless.

Whysojapan Perfume LAWhysojapan Perfume LAWhysojapan Perfume LA

Every glimpse I was able to get was an incredible feat due to the difficulties from the jumping crowd blocking a clear view. I was a little shy and felt uncomfortable to join as everyone jumped and danced away to the music. My friend encouraged me so I began raising my hand in the air. Even though this was my first live, and was slight hesitant to participate in jumping with everyone, I was quickly enveloped in everyone’s energy that I found myself jumping until it hurt. Even with that, I didn’t stop! Everything that I did felt so natural. All the visuals and lighting with mist coming off from the stage was a beauty to behold. With everyone pumped to dance and jump around, it became heated and sweaty but that only means we all were having a good time!

Once One Room Disco started playing, everyone pointed to the skies, including myself. I began forgetting there were people around me and for a short period, I was lost in the music. Because of my bad memory in order, I might accidentally combine something from the first segment with the second. Hopefully not, but here I continue. A~chan talks about the challenges of using American showers and questions how we use them! After, she asks us what our temperatures were. When the crowd shout out Fahrenheit, A~chan adorably mispronounces it by saying “very high”, pointing her fingers up. We had a good translator to… Well, translate! I got most of what the girls were trying to communicate to us but those who know Japanese probably got a better kick out of the jokes. Those who went to the LA performance know what I mean when I say I burger side is best! A~chan, the crowd stealer, divided us to two sides. There was cheese side and burger side. We chant as she calls our side out. CHEESE! BURGER! CHEESE! BURGER! CHEESEBURGER!! I shouted my lungs out saying burger, haha.

Whysojapan Perfume LAWhysojapan Perfume LA

I believe many fans were very pleased with the songs that were played, but the moment all the lights go off and GAME appears on the screen, excitement came flying out of everyone. I was so happy to see GAME during my first Perfume concert. I gaze at the girls as they tilt their heads and their hair waves about. I was telling my friend how excited I was about it but I don’t think he was quite able to get what I was saying. Performing Chocolate Disco followed by Polyrhythm was great, even Fake It as an encore was amazing, but my body was not ready for what I heard which came to a complete shock to me. Singing “Let it Go” from Frozen was unexpected to say the least. I was no fan of the song nor did I even know the lyrics, but I found myself singing the song with my friend and everyone else in that room! Incredible!! But back to Chocolate Disco. I was throwing my hands up, shaping my hands in a fist like telescope.

The people I was around were incredible. There was one person in particular I wasn’t to mention. My friend bumped into someone in front of us. My friend apologizes but the guy responds with “It’s all good. As long as you are having a good time it’s all good!” Then he and my friend shout “Yeaaaaah!!!” An amazing moment for me to see!

The songs that were played that night were all incredible to see being performed but after Polyrhythm, it ends. Perfume leaves the stage but everyone knew it wasn’t really over. We all begin chanting “Encore!” “Encore!” “Encore!” “Cheeseburger!” “Cheeseburger!” “Cheeseburger!” It finally appears as the girls are ready for an encore. The moment they played their first encore, “Fake It”, I lost it out on the floor. I don’t know if it was because of the repetition of flashing lights, or A~chan shouting “JUMP!” “Jump!” “Jump!” but I now have a new personal relationship with that song. I jumped my soul out with that song.

What’s that? A second encore? Their final song would be “My Color”. This time, the girls wanted us to take part in their furitsuke. If you haven’t practiced before, can be hard to get down at the spot of being taught. Even though I was familiar with the movements, I still had a tough time getting it done. This did not stop anyone from attempting it though. When the performance ended, some people in the crowd began asking, “What about our encore?” We were supposed to sing Puppy Love to Perfume but an announcement that came directly after the performance end made it difficult to do so. I stuck around looking for the head organizer, Ken, who from the beginning with the help of others, made many plans a reality, such as getting out flyers to the public. When I saw the time was already 10:30PM, I had to leave because of a plan I had made with a guy named John who goes by “jonks” in the Perfume City forums. All in all, the performance night ended with what I call, a dream come true.

Whysojapan Perfume LA

After Party

The night was not over yet for some of us. I went rushing out looking for John. I began to worry I wouldn’t find him because there were too many people. My friend and I head to the other side of the Palladium. My friend spots a guy holding a large yellow poster and tells me if this is the guy. I was relieved we found John. We gathered and waited for others who planned on grouping with us. The point of us grouping together was so we could walk to a reserved after party. We anticipated maybe 3-5 people but it ended up being a group of 15-20.

Before I proceed any further, I’d like to give a shout out to a Mr. Koh who currently resides in Osaka, Japan! That night, I dropped a 20 dollar bill which I had for the after part and he spotted it and approached me. He tells me I had dropped my money and the receipt I had just got.

Continuing from where I left off, once being brushed off to the sidewalk by Palladium staff, we waited to see if there was anyone left before heading out. The group begins it’s walk to “La Poubelle Bistro & Bar”. There were familiar people from the Perfume City forums such as “CourtneyKissMe” and “manuel”, the forums Administrator. Once we got to our destination, we formed a line to make our entrance. Once in, we were given wristbands made for the occasion.

Whysojapan Perfume LAWhysojapan Perfume LA

Whysojapan Perfume LAWhysojapan Perfume LA

The party was well organized as it had food out on tables and food being passed out by attendants. I spent this time to just talk to my friend about the concert. During the party, an announcement was made about the unsuccessful special encore and we were told that we would sing the song. Puppy Love begins to play and everyone participates in the hand movements or furitsuke so to speak. I didn’t socialize too much with everyone, though I did watch others do so. The night went on and gifts were being handed which were brought from a man coming from Hiroshima, Japan I believe. There were magazines and flyers and other goodies, but the real eye candy was the two copies of Love the World compilation album. The first copy was handed out and the second was being offered to anyone in the crowd. I reached for it but I felt too shy and pulled my hand back. I don’t know if it was for that, but I was then given the second copy. In disbelief, I held the copy tightly with my other belongings and looked around my surrounding to make sure I wasn’t in some crazy dream!

Later, there was a cake that was brought out for everyone to try. It had lovely artwork from what I assume to be one of the runner ups from the LA flyers for Puppy Love. Before the night ended, I was approached by one more person who showed me a photo of Perfume that was taken during their second world tour in London and gives me the last copy of the photo!

The night concluded with everyone singing Wonder2 and are thanked for their participation. “See you next live!” A quote by Ken Bednar which I will remember… That and the quote “Nocchi is a babe” by John!

My phenomenal experience is a thanks to all the amazing Perfume fans out there. The one thing I am ultimately grateful for is for everyone that helped my friend, who came as no fan at all, now considering himself a “mini fan” of Perfume and wishes to grow as a fan.

Whysojapan Perfume LAWhysojapan Perfume LA

We also have reviews from both the London and New Yorks shows linked below of just search for “perfume” in the search box.
London show review: http://www.whysojapan.com/perfume-live-london-2014/
New York show review: http://www.whysojapan.com/perfume-concert-live-new-york-2014/
Official world tour 3rd site: http://www.perfume-web.jp/cam/WORLD/

Posted on by Paul in Events, Music 3 Comments