Tokyo

Custom Made Notebooks Going Like Custom Made Hotcakes

A bookstore called Sanseido, in the Jinbo book selling district of Tokyo, on 1 April announced that they would be selling custom-made notebooks, and it wasn’t a joke.  In fact, they have been flying off the shelves, which is good because these books are ready to take away moments after ordering them.

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China Grumbling After (Another?) Oppressed People is Helped by Japan

The 13th China-Japan friendship exchange meeting kicked off on Thursday, May 24 in Guiyang, capital of southwest China’s Guizhou Province. Tang Jiaxuan, president of the China-Japan Friendship Association, ranted about what he perceived as “critical failures” in the bilateral relations, referring to the recent conflict over the Senkaku Islands and the hosting of the World Uyghur Congress in Tokyo earlier this month. Read More

TripAdvisor Ranks Top 20 Japanese Travel Destinations For Foreign Visitors, Hiroshima Edges Kyoto For Top Spot

The Japanese arm of tourism website TripAdvisor gathered user comments and evaluations from the past year and used them to rank the Top 20 travel destinations in Japan over that time. Hiroshima Prefecture maintained its popularity with two destinations in the Top 5 while five Kyoto sightseeing spots made the list.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and A-Bomb Dome moved to the top of the list after coming in second last year. Read More

Lame Applicant Pool Plagues Don Quijote, Discount Superstore Posts Recruiting Fails

Part of the fun of visiting Don Quijote discount superstores is the vastly diverse clientele swarming the narrow aisles. People from all walks of life sort through the unique, chintzy merchandise and add a distinct flavor to the atmosphere inside the gaudy stores.

An atmosphere that Don Quijote apparently does not want to see behind the counter. The retail giant has put out an urgent call for “plain, normal people” on its online job postings after struggling to find even these very average folks in their latest round of recruiting in the Tokyo Metropolis.

In a frustrated cry for help, Don Quijote posted reasons why previous applicants had failed to measure up to its expectations on FromAnavi (the post has since been removed). Read More

A&G Diner’s “Best Burger in Tokyo” Hijacks Taste Buds, Takes Them for a Wild Ride

Everyone seems to agree that the best burger joint in Tokyo is A&G Diner in fancy-schmancy Jingumae. It tops the lists on Gourmet and B Gourmet blogs and gossip sites and is the first name out of the mouths of my restaurant critic friends.

I decided to check it out for myself to see if the taste lived up to the hype and glam of Jingumae. I went in to attack an A&G Diner burger with abandon, but, as it turns out, the burger attacked me . . .

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Bus Button Lovers Get Off at Tokyu Hands During Golden Week

“Next stop, Shibuya Tokyu Hands!”

That’s what one might have expected to hear at the department store that hosted the quirky Tsugi Tomarimasu Bus Button Exhibit on May 3 and 4. A private collector put his collection of over 100 bus signal buttons on display for the Golden Week shopping crowds.

Anyone who has ever ridden a bus is familiar with the buttons you push to signal that you want to disembark, and we all have a relationship with these buttons. Aggressive people want to initiate action and get where they’re going. Passive people want someone to push the button and take care of their needs. Kids just want to be big enough to reach the buttons! Read More

Check out these luxury restrooms – you’ll want to visit Shibuya Hikarie just to use the ladies’ room!

So, everyone has been talking about the Shibuya Hikarie, the new shopping and entertainment complex that opened in Shibuya on April 26. The large building includes not only shopping facilities but offices, 2 floors of restaurants, event halls and even a theater as well. But did you know that the shopping facility in the building, called “ShinQs“, may be worth visiting for something other than the shops – their restrooms, to be exact? Read More

You can now have “best breakfast in the world” in central Tokyo! Australian restaurant Bills opens shop in Omotesando/Harajuku area

Okay, we admit it, we are seriously thrilled about the restaurant “billsopening in central Tokyo. The Australian restaurant based in Sydney is known to serve the “best breakfast in the world”, and apparently their food is so good that  celebrities from around the world travel to Sydney  to have a meal there. So, naturally we had to have one of our reporters check the new restaurant – and our verdict? Their amazing soft scrambled eggs are to die for! Read More

What Ever Happened to the Shower? One-Person Karaoke Booths Are a Huge Success

Last November we reported on a karaoke booth for one to three people in Akihabara called Choi Kara, which was becoming a big hit in game centers.  Around the same time, another company opened One Kara, “the one-person private karaoke room.”  Similar to the Choi Kara in many ways One Kara also lets anyone sing their hearts out without fear of judgment.

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Veggie Sushi Will Win Over All Your Senses in the End

For many vegetarians and vegans, Japan can be a difficult place to get something to eat.  Sushi is nearly completely off limits for those who forego meat, and very few Japanese people would consider California rolls real sushi, especially the chef of Vegetable Sushi Potager.

Vegetable Sushi Potager is a restaurant located in the glitzy Roppongi Hills Area of Tokyo is serving up a full course meal based entirely on vegetables.  I was told that although its presentation is high quality, like a lot of vegetarian cooking the deliciousness of it doesn’t hit you over the head right away. It takes time to build bit by bit from the bottom of your heart as go through each course culminating in a new understanding of the word “delight”.  That’s some big praise so I was understandably skeptical.

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A New Convenience Store (Just Probably Not Convenient For You)

The Japanese convenience store chain Poplar has announced its newest store opening in none other than Tachikawa Detention Center. As in the clink, the joint, the hoosegow: jail. Read More

Tokyo PD Announces Traffic Restrictions to Follow Major Earthquakes in Tokyo Metro Area, PDF Files Available in Several Languages

On April 9, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department released pamphlets describing traffic restrictions that would be put into effect if a massive earthquake (Intensity Lower 6 or greater) were to strike the Tokyo Metropolis. The restrictions were made public in Japanese some time ago, but now the pamphlets are available as PDF files in English, Korean and Chinese. Read More

8 Starbucks Hacks – Get More Bang For Your Buck

Of course everyone knows that coffee shop chain, Starbucks – good coffee, delicious food, comfortable atmosphere, top-notch service. If I had more money, I’d go everyday. Now we can all get a few steps closer to realizing this dream using these secret hacks: Read More

Put the Tokyo Subway in Your Mouth!

Among both train nerds and the general public, the bright red 300-series cars that originally ran on the Marunouchi subway line in Tokyo are much beloved. This year, that line celebrates the 50th anniversary of the completion of its full length, and someone has fittingly made it a cake. Literally.

The cakes, called Marunouchi Line 300-Series 3D Cake, are being sold for a limited time at the price of 7980 yen (about $97).
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JoJo fans rejoice! Special 25th Anniversary JoJo Exhibit to take place in Sendai and Tokyo

You have to say 25 years – a quarter of a century – is a very long time to be working on a single story telling project. Well, that’s exactly how long manga artist Hirohiko Araki has been producing the series “JoJo no Kimyo na Boken – or JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, commonly referred to as “JoJo” by fans.

Not surprisingly, after 25 years in the making, the comic has a huge following of loyal fans of varying ages. The story line, which revolves around battles of good vs. evil fought between characters with supernatural powers spanning over several generations, is certainly unique, but the comic is also loved for Araki’s distinctive sense of graphic style and color, which leaves quite an impression and which once seen, is not easily forgotten.

Fans of the comic will be delighted to hear that a special exhibition of original JoJo artwork by Araki will be held later this year in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture and in Tokyo to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series.

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Fun Do-It-Yourself Mini Cherry Blossom Kit

Who doesn’t love cherry blossoms (sakura) and cherry blossom season? That exquisite pink everywhere. Refreshing, energizing, even. It’s fun just to wander around checking out the different parks with cherry blossoms. Sadly, time flies and the petals blow away… Read More

Free Umbrellas With A Purpose

Since March 8, you may have been seeing umbrellas around Tokyo printed with graphics for a new Xbox 360 and PS3 mahjong game.

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Six Tokyo Starbucks Try All-You-Can-Read Offer

Starbucks is quite nice, isn’t it? Their shops provide a comfortable, non-smoking place to enjoy a delicious coffee, they have a hip food menu, and you can even get a hundrend yen refill on the day’s coffee. The service isn’t half bad either. Of course, there’s the fact that it’s not exactly cheap, but we’ll forgive them that little foible.

There are six Starbucks locations in Tokyo that have just gotten even cooler, though. What’s so special about those six shops, you ask? Well, let me tell you! In short, the six stores listed below will allow you to take books from their attached bookstores to read while you enjoy your coffee.
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Celebration of Pakistani Music, Food, Fashion, and More to be Held in Tokyo

This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan began.  Since then the two countries have maintained a very strong diplomatic and economic relationship.  However, culturally the two countries haven’t gotten as close as they could have.

Thankfully the Pakistan Embassy in Japan along with members of the Pakistani community in Japan have organized the Pakistan Bazaar in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo.  Anyone in the Tokyo area on 24-25 March is welcome to experience the historical and cultural beauty that fills Pakistan with free admission.

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We Order A Massive 2 Kilogram Steak And Feel Manlier Than Ever!

When western people visit Japan they often complain about the small size of the portions served to them at restaurants, especially when it comes to steak.  The average Japanese steak weighs in at around 150-200g (5-7oz) which would make for a decent sized American hamburger but little more than a frozen dinner-caliber steak. Read More

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