Where would you buy it? Backpacks for elementary schools

By Mana - Last updated: 10月 22, 2014 at 1:21 am

A ransel is a big sturdy Japanese back packs that elementary school students must use. The big size ransels holds text books, stationaries and all other goods used in schools. Since students use this bag through out their 6 years in elementary school, it basically represents them.


Since it is depicted in animes and movies, many foreigners know what ransels are.


Traditionally, girls used red and boys used black ransels, but recently there are many colors sold.
For girls, pinks seems to be the popular one, where as black, green, marine blue and brown navy are poplar amongst boys.


Many companies are starting to sell ransels for next spring. These pretty expensive back packs are usually bought by their grandparents, instead of their parents.
AEON, the highest ransel selling mall is aiming to sell about 300 thousand ransels. It retails from 68,000 yen to 88,000 yen. They have an interesting service where customers (in this case, grandparents) who bought the product can take pictures with their grandchildren.

The second highest selling compay, Itoh Yokado aims to sell 100,000 ransels.
On the other hand affordable brand Nitori is selling ransels for 29000 yen.

Of course, high end department stores like Isetan, Mitsukoshi, and Takashimaya  are also selling them too.


Foreigners and tourists, especially from China buys ransels for souvenirs. It is also popular in the states and even sold in airports.


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Mannish style trending in women’s apparel

By Mana - Last updated: 10月 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Recently, there has been an increasing demand for mannish style women’s outfits.
While simple and basic style seems to be the dominant style, many women are reaching their hands for durable men’s clothes.

Famous selected brand store is importing men’s brand although it is a women’s apparel store. Women’s clothes with men’s detail looks like the popular style.


You can see many women buying men’s clothes for themselves at Drawing Numbers; the selected shop PAL is running.  Since this shop carries both men and women’s clothing, it’s easier for women to pick up men’s clothes. Not a lot just wear men’s clothes, because it’s the trend. The high quality and the comfy fit just makes it a natural choice for them to choose men’s clothes.


The Fall -mode look.


Top ¥20,000+tax Drawing Numbers
Pants ¥20,000+tax Drawing Numbers
Slip-ons ¥18,500+tax Amb

Next is the versatile look where the clean centre pressed pants can be worn formal with the shiny coating. It uses a stretch fabric, so it’s comfortable to wear as well.


2 colors and 2 sizes (36, 38)


Tops made from a sturdy jersey fabric. It has the slouchy neck like, which is the trend for this season. Available in 2 colours (Grey and black).


You can see the intricate detail with the striped fabric used inside the pockets.



“Beams Boy” by Beams is the epitome of men-like fashion. After it launched their brand in 1998, they have been meeting the women’s needs of boyish items with the theme of ” A girl like a boy”.

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The brand puts its effort in making women’s sized clothes while not losing the product detail and the essence of the men’s design.


With the sports taste trending, boyish/mannish clothes seems to be uninfluenced by the trend.
Due to the increasing amount of women who weighs comfortable clothes more important than trend, the boyish styles seems to continue. Many women prefer to wear items for a long time, which they demand for ” A simple design and a durable fabric with high quality sewing.”


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Visit Japan Travel Mart and JATA Toursim EXPO Japan 2014

By TERRY - Last updated: 9月 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Two huge international travel marts were held at Tokyo Bigsight in Tokyo. One was “Visit Japan Travel Mart 2014″(Sep.24-26)(http://www.vjtm.jp/) and the other was “JATA Toursim EXPO Japan2014″(Sep.25-28)(http://t-expo.jp/en/index.html).  2014-09-26-09_06_37-600x450

More than 310 foriegn buyers and about 390 Japanese sellers joined VJTM2014 and had passionate exchanges of information and ideas and hosted busines seccions.  Buyers from Asian countries were especially a lot and about the half of the Japanese sellers were municipalities or relating associations of such local governments.


On the other hand,  a lot of domestic and foreign sellers and buysers joined  JATA Tourism EXPO Japan 2014. Such participants were embassies, tourism bureaus, travel agents, food companies, municipalities, railroads, airlines, hotels. universities, guide associations and so forth.  The main targets were end users of travel services and a lot of  lay Japanese people visited there and the total number was 157,589.  Upon the opening of the event, an ward ceremony  of  good  services and efforts of related promotions was hosted and the Best Tourism Award was given to The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Embassy awards were for  Thailand and Mexico, the best transporatation award was for Japan Railways East, the domestic inbound award was for  the tourism department of Tokyo Metropolis, the publicity award was for a TV show of CXTV, and the chairperson special award was for Okinawa Convention Bureau. (http://t-expo.jp/en/program/cms.html)   I personally visited the two big events and collected a lot of interesting information and exchanged ideas with the participants, some of whom were my friends or those I sometimes work with. I enjoyed the delicious food provided by tourism- related restaurants and local specialities and impressed by the greatly enthusiastic atmosphere of energies of the expos as well.

Categories: Celebrities, Earthquake Information, Ehime, Enjoy Tochigi!, Entertainment, Fukui, Fukuoka, Gourmet, Hakone, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Ibaraki, Izu Peninsula, J-pop, Kagoshima, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Kanazawa, Kobe, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kurashiki, Kyoto, Lifestyle, Matsumoto, Mie, Miyazaki, Mt. Fuji, Nara, Niigata, Nikko, Nikko and adjacent areas in Tochigi prefecture, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Osaka, Saitama, Sapporo, Sendai, Sendai, Tokyo and Japanese culture, Shizuoka, Shopping Spots, Tochigi, Tokyo, Toyama, Travel, Tsukuba, Utsunomiya, Yokohama /
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Hagakure Ninja recruiting new Kunoichi(female Ninjas)

By TERRY - Last updated: 9月 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm

“Hagakure Ninja”, a performance group of ninja activities in a theme park “Ganso Ninjamura  Ureshino- onsen Hizen- yumekaido”(/元祖忍者村 嬉野温泉 肥前夢街道, The original Ninja village in Ureshino hotspring resort of a dream road)(http://www.hizenyumekaidou.info/) in Ureshino hotspring in Saga pref. begian to recruit for new staffers who are to work as its new members as “kunoichi”(female ninjas).


The application requirements  are ; female 13-29 years old (a student can keep her school life), a minor applicant needs her parents’ permit. A successful applicant will be trained to be a good kunoichi (so, no previous experiences as ninja activities are required) and will be a member of the first generation of “Hanagumi”(/華組。,flower group) which is to debut as a ninja girl idol group with “The Magic”, the theme song of  Hizen Yumekaido. The new group will perform in Urshino and other areas in Kyushu. The deadline of the application of  resume is the Oct.10th.

Categories: Celebrities, Enjoy! Bathing in Onsen, Entertainment, Fashion, Fukuoka, J-pop, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan /
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A legendary Japanese sword “Masamune” being confirmed for the first time in 150 years

By TERRY - Last updated: 9月 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

“Shimazu Masamune”, a special Japanese sword  provided to the-then emperor Koumei by the-then Shogun Iemochi Tokugawa upon the wedding of Iemochi and  Princess Kazunomiya who was Koumei’s sister 1862 ,which had been missing for 150 years, was reconfirmed as a personal property and was donated to Kyoto National Museum (http://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/index.html) in 2013.


“Masamune” swords are  forged in the Kamakura period (1192~1333) and regareded as the first-rate Japanese swords, most of which are national treasures today. The reconfirmation this time is a precious “re-discovery” of an historic and cultural important  asset. The Shimazu Masamune will be exhibited from the coming Oct.15th on at the Kyoto national Museum.

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Pacific saury festivals, donations for the 3.11 tsunami sufferers

By TERRY - Last updated: 9月 30, 2014 at 10:58 am

In the  latter Septemeber,  “pacific saury festivals”(/Sanma matsuri) are held in a lot of areas nationwide.   For example,6000 sauries were supplied for one of those festivals hosted in Tokyo  near  Tokyo Sky Tree from  Oofunado city in Iwate pref. which is one of the damaged areas of 3.11 tsunami disaster in 2011.  In addition,  such a festival was held in Niiza City which received gifts of about 6,400  sauries from Ishinomaki City in Miyagi pref. which was one of the major damaged areas and is rebuilding its industry rapidly. A lot of people visited the festival and enjoyed the delicious sauries with a lot of fat in season. The facilitators also hosted charity raising and a lot of visitors there donated money which would be used for rebuilding and saving the victims  of the tragedy.   Sanma (pacific sauries) are quite popular food in Japan especially in autumn when they become ripe for the taking with a lot of fat.sanma1sanmamaturi2sanmamaturi4sanmamaturi1sanmamaturi3


Categories: Earthquake Information, Entertainment, Gourmet, Lifestyle, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Saitama, Tokyo /
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Funashi, the ulitmate comforting character

By Mana - Last updated: 9月 17, 2014 at 12:04 am

The ultimate comforting character, Funashi cafe opens in Shibuya Parco Part 1 (7th floor) on September 2nd.

It’s the first full on Fuashi cafe and is limited until the 30th of this month. So, if you’re a big Funashi fan, you better hurry so you won’t miss out on your chance! There are arrays of cute Funashi menus, such as burgers (1,280 yen) tea (580yen) and so on.


The decor includes Funashi everywhere, and there is a spot for customers to take pictures with a giant Funashi plushie.

They also sell official goods.


This cute comforting character is a “pear fairy” ( pear in Japanese is NASHI) from Chiba prefecture Funabashi city. Funashi aims to activate the city and act as a singer, voice actor and other entertainers.


Around 2011, poor Funashi was not yet accepts as an official character, and had to do events alone. Gradually its popular increased and made a huge break through on TV in 2013. As of now with an extreme amount of popularity, he is not an official character of Funabashi city.


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ATELIER PIERROT Fashion Night OUt 2014

By Mana - Last updated: 8月 31, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Atelier Pierrot Fashion Night Out Event



Fashion’s Night Out, a big event hosted by VOGUE will take place in Laforet Harajyuku on Sept.6th(Sat.)

The highly anticipated event  is a great opportunity not only to shop, but also to raise awareness with a charity plan with a special guest. The purpose of this world  wide event is to “activate the fashion world”.

The coveted fashion event for fashion brands will include a Gothic Lolita brand, ATELIER PIERROT.


A special page dedicated to the event has been launched.

On the day of the event, limited products inspired by Japanese princess and Marie Antoinette will be sold. This brand doesn’t normally sell items inspired by Japanese traditional art, but this time they are challenging themselves with “WA-Goth”. (WA as in Japanese traditional atmosphere and designs). The fans are anticipating for a one of a kind dress that wouldn’t normally be sold at the store.


To add the icing on the cake, if you collect 2 stamps which you get for every 5,000yen you spend, you might be lucky enough to win a goodie!

This beautifully elaborated dress above is the “Yuen Hime” priced at 81,240 yen.
It has a great balance of gothic fashion with the Japanese traditional pattern which brings out the mystical beauty. This is a limited outfit for the fashion event.


For further information please visit the site below.


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BRT will be introduced in Tokyo for Olympics 2020

By TERRY - Last updated: 8月 31, 2014 at 1:27 am

Tokyo Metropolis announced a new plan of introducing a BRT(bus rapid transit ) system in the central areas of Tokyo and its waterfront areas  in preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020 on 29th.


The first od series of new bus routes will be one between Shinbashi and Toranomon this year, and the total plan is scheduled to be finished in 2019.  The central areas, such as Toranomon and Ginza and will be connected to the waterfront ones,such as Harumi and Ariake,and Odaiba where the Olympic village is to be built, with about 4 km distances in about 10 miutes by bus due to the new BRT using the Beltline No.2. The public traffic and transportation services are expected to be much more convenient to move around in polular  parts in Tokyo in coming years.

Categories: 50 reasons why Tokyo is the greatest city in the world | Map, Ginza, Lifestyle, Map, Odaiba, Tokyo /
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Nogizaka 46′s first concert tour

By TERRY - Last updated: 8月 31, 2014 at 12:38 am

Nogizaka46, a popular young female idol group and “the official rival of AKB48″ hosted its very first solo concert tour of  nine concerts 16-30 at five venues. The final one was held at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo(http://www.jingu-stadium.com/), which more than 30,000 people visited.



A music concert was held at the stadium for the first time in 14 years.


Categories: Aoyama, Celebrities, Entertainment, Harajuku, J-pop, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Omotesando, Tokyo /
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NHK “BOSAI School”

By TERRY - Last updated: 8月 30, 2014 at 10:47 pm

NHK, the semi-official TV station hosts special disaster-prevention TV program for children called “BOSAI School” for their summer break this month. (http://www.nhk.or.jp/sougou/bosai/)


Seiko Ooki, a meteorologist and her students of  Keio Universty are in charge of the program and expained children who joined the program how to defend themselves in case of  an emergency such as an earthquake and demonstrated the way to hide, how to move through special dances or gymnastic practices.

Categories: Earthquake Information, Lifestyle, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Shibuya /
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Hayao Miyazaki wins an Honorary Academy Award

By TERRY - Last updated: 8月 30, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Hayao Miyazaki, the top anime film maker and producer received an Honorary Academy Award, announced by Academy of Motion Picture  Arts and Sciences(http://www.interactive.org/) on the 28th. SAG2014082901001109_id1_20140829071510

Miyazaki is a representative of  Studio GHIBLI, the leading anime company and retired from  long-anime film business just after the release of  “The Wind Rises” in 2013.   After all the great works of Japanese animation culture, now he says he wants to bededicated to the business of  running GHIBLI Museum, Mitaka (http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/).

Miyazaki is the second Japanese in history to receive the award after late Akira Kurosawa, one of the most famous Japanese film director’s winning in 1990.  The award is given to a film world person who has made a huge contributions through efforts for long years to the film world or its culture, such as Kurosawa,Walt Disney,and other remarkable personages of the industry. Miyazaki’s long- year feats have been recognized thsi time.  The reception ceremony will be held on the coming Nov.8th in Hollywood.

Categories: Anime, Celebrities, Entertainment, Manga, Movie, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan /
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From Tokyo to Thailand. Fashion struts its way.

By Mana - Last updated: 8月 18, 2014 at 12:30 am

Tokyo, the fashion centre of Japan is filled with fashionistas. From girly princess-esque outfit to quirky high fashion looks. Now, many Japanese fashion brands are entering Thailand’s market, which suggests a positive relationship between Japan and Thailand.


On August 30th and 31st, Thailand’s first “Tokyo runway” which features Japan’s fashion and music will be held. They are tagging with i-GRiTZS, which plans the Tokyo Runway and Kobe collection in Japan. It will be their 10th “Japan Festa” and will have 500 thousand visitors just with in 2 days.

Brands like Nice Claup, Liz Lisa, Olive des Olive (total of 8 brands) will join the Tokyo Runway. Other brands from the Kobe Collection and Fukuoka Asia Collection will join the event, which collects contents of the Japan Girl’s event.

The reason why i-GRiTZS choose Thailand is that ” Thailand is the most friendliest country to Japan in South East Asia, which also has high purchasing power. They have a good background with Japan’s culture too.”


On July 9th, “Siam Square One” made the lead to open Tokyo Runway’s first shop before the event has launched. They have a wide customer target, which includes young teens, 30′s who have sensitive antennas to fashion, and wealthy 40′s. So far, they do not have an enormous customer base, but many women with keen interest with Japanese fashion shops there. The most popular brand is Liz Lisa.


The 2nd Tokyo Runway shop will open in Isetan Bang Kok at the end of August.

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The secret to the popular anime, ” Youkai Watch”

By Mana - Last updated: 8月 7, 2014 at 11:56 pm

“Youkai Watch” is a popular anime in demand right now, appearing on game, anime, manga and other medias. It is a popular anime amongst elementary school students.


The popular character Gibanyan!

In a nutshell, an elementary school student was handed a watch that lets you befriends with “Youkai” ( specter) from all over the city.

In July 2013, a Nintendo 3DS game was released  and as on 2014 April, it sold 100 thousand copies. Since January, an anime was aired from TV TOkyo, and has stated that it has captured many viewers unexpectedly. The sales of the goods have been  rising as well as the anime. A toy watch where you can insert the “Youkai medal” already sold 300 thousand in just a month.



The trend setter Mr.Hino has said that the biggest asset of “Youkai Watch” is that the main character has no distinct characteristic.

” Recently, characters with no distinct characteristic is thought to be unlikeable than characters like Nobitakun from Doraemon who just sucks at everything. The main character for Youkai Watch is just your Average Joe. The most appealing element is that everyone can related to him.
Interestingly, what makes it relatable is that the anime approaches real problems that children are experiencing, such as children who can not defecate. Because these creatures are designed cute, it appeals to girls too.

image005 image006

As of today, the sales for game has risen over 100 thousand pieces, and the popularity of the anime is still extremely popular. Related goods are difficult to get because of its insane popularity. Parents are reluctant to buy these goods for their children who has been nagging for it!


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“World Cosplay Summit 2014″ in Nagoya

By TERRY - Last updated: 7月 31, 2014 at 7:51 am

“World Cosplay Summit 2014″ is  hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other bodies Jul.26-Aug.3 in Nagoya. (http://www.worldcosplaysummit.jp/en/)


This WCS is the 12nd and this time representatives join the event from  22 countries or regions. The  event includes several programs such as a coaplay parade, cosplay championship, visitations of the representatives to city offices and MFA, anime-song festival, and so forth. Six representatves of the event from China, Mexico, and Finland officially visited Seiji Kihara, the vice-minister at MOFA in Tokyo giving presentations over attaractions of cosplay. Kihawa made a speech saying, pop culture has power to bind countries together and expect the representatives to support strengthening rapport with Japan. The Chinese representative said cosplay had a role to enhance cultural exchange.


Categories: Aichi, Anime, Cool Shops, Drama, Entertainment, Fashion, Fashion Director, J-pop, Japan Expo, KIMONO, Lifestyle, Manga, Movie, Nagoya, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Sendai, Tokyo and Japanese culture, Tokyo /
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