Monday, August 29, 2016

The World of “IWAKO’s Omoshiro Keshigomu”

How do you use an eraser?

To erase what you write in pencils like words and lines?

If so, I agree with your answer.

However, here in Japan, there are also many erasers shaped a variety of things; such as characters, cars, trains, and foods.

Most of Japanese people showed interest in its cute shape and enjoyed collecting those erasers when they were young even though it is hard to say the goods are superior in erasing quality.

The most famous company for this product is “IWAKO”.

They have produced these goods for about 50 years in an earth-conscious environment.

It is possible for you to find its products at retail stores and even in vending machines of capsule toys.

These erasers are sold at a low price, so I recommend you to get one as a souvenir for you and your friends.

Your friends must be delighted at your presents.

It might be difficult to decide which “Omoshiro Keshigomu” is fit on your taste, but you definitely can enjoy the goods both as an eraser and a figurine.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Would you like to taste “KINDAI MAGURO”?

Tuna is necessary on Japanese dining because of its abundant nourishment such as EPA, DHA, vitamin, taurine, and protein.

We often eat the fish as “Sashimi”; row fish, and “Sushi”.

Almost 80% of consumption of Bluefin tuna is made by Japanese people.

However, resource decline of tuna including Bluefin tuna has been a critical problem lately.

Based on increasing overall consumption of China (because of economic development), and Western countries (due to growing health trend), Japan is very difficult from importing tuna.

To save the situation, Kindai University started aquafarming of Bluefin tuna from 1970.

Now, aquafarming of Bluefin tuna by Kindai University called “Kindai Maguro” is very famous in Japan.

Through an era of hardships and researches of 32 years, they have succeeded the complete aquafarming of the fish.

From 2014, Kindai Maguro was shipped to the market at the first time.

Now there are only 2 restaurants, in Osaka, and Tokyo, to be able to enjoy its taste.

The dish comes with certification to show as the fish graduated from aquaculture course of Kindai University.

People say they cannot tell the difference between “wild tuna” and “aquafarming tuna”.

Well, what do you think; would you like to eat this famous “Kindai Magugo”?

Monday, August 22, 2016


Many “Danjiri” festivals take place in the western part of Japan; brave and splendid festivals.

In particular, “Kishiwada Danjiri Festival” is the most famous fest held in Kishiwada city in Osaka on September 14 and 15 every year.

The festival is loved by all of the citizens as a symbol of each town.

It is very important event for people who were born and grew in the city, so most of them come back to their hometown to celebrate the festival even though they are now working far away from the city.

Well, what is “Kishiwada Danjiri Festival”?

Kishiwada Danjiri Festival is also known as “Fighting Festival”.

Its history started about 300 years ago created by the Lord of Kishiwada Castl to pray for an abundant harvest.

Each of 34 towns of the city has its own Danjiri float and participates in the festival every year.

To make it successfully, all of the townspeople work in complete solidarity.

About 100 townspeople wearing its special uniform, such as “Happi” and “Jikatabi”, pull the rope to make Danjiri floats weighed more than 4t move and run around the city.

Women and girls are also permitted to pull Danjiri floats but not permitted to ride on them.

The highlight of the festival is called “Yarimawashi”, turning Danjiri round quickly at each street corner at right angle.

Done quickly to the beat of drums, the sound of Japanese traditional transverse flute “Shinobue,” and shouts of the pulling team looks very dramatic and dynamic.

The festival is getting famous in Japan; more than 600 thousands people comes to see the festival every year.

The festival not only is an exciting one but also tells us the rule of the city in the good old day; the importance of strong relationship between people/cities, how the organization should be, and the value of respect toward seniority.

Does this story encourage you to see the festival?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Casual Japanese Garment - Yukata

Would you like to wear a Japanese traditional garment while you are in Japan?

Do you think it is Kimono?

Well, the kimono is the very famous as a Japanese traditional garment, but a bit too formal.

If you would like to wear it more easily and casually, why don’t you try “Yukata” instead.

The yukata is a casual version of the kimono.

It has been spread as a bathrobe like in the Western countries.

Therefore, people only wore the robe in their room or outside near their houses.

Due to the history, you will see many people wearing the robe in onsen towns.

A number of accommodations provide yukata to the people using its onsen to wear after bathing.

Recently, the yukata has also become a way of dressing for summer festivals; such as Bon Dance Festivals and Fireworks Festivals.

So many colorful and stylish designs made by famous fashion designer on the garment are increased even though white and dark blue are typical colors for the traditional yukata.

The design of Kimono was considered more gorgeous than that of yukata, but now few differences between two garments can be found.

Yukata is available for rent in some tourist destinations, and also is sold at cheap price.

Would like to get one of them to feel traditional Japanese style?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Comfortable shopping with Vending Machines

Is it troublesome to look for shops or convenience stores to buy a small amount of stuffs like snacks and juices?

If so, I will recommend you to look for vending machines.

Vending machine is a machine to provide goods and services with payment of certain amount of money.

It is available for people to get whatever they want anytime.

Currently, more than 5 million of the machines have been installed in Japan most of the people in this country must use them so often.

The history of vending machines in Japan started with the one for selling cards and stamps with a function of mailbox about 120 years ago, but the machines became widespread around the country because a US major beverage company used them to sell their products.

Now, many kinds of goods and services are provided with vending machines.

The examples are juices, foods, snacks, tokens, newspapers, cigarettes, PC software, SIM cards, and cellphones.

The most unique one is a so-called automated convenience store to provide many items.

There are some benefits on both distributors and consumers; a store is able to cut down the expenses as they do not need to hire anyone and customers do not have to wait in a line.

Basically, you can purchase goods from the machine by inserting coins; however, some of the goods, such as cigarettes, need to have a special identification.

Do you think buying goods from vending machines is comfortable?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Japanese Budo - Karate

Do you know what is Karate?

Karate is one of the martial arts in Japan; which is intended to protect oneself from enemies by kicking, punching, and hitting with respect good manners and courtesies. 

It is believed that the ancient martial art in Okinawa has been developed under the influence of the Chinese Kempo.

“Karate” is the Budo to defeat others, but it is currently famous as a sport.

This Japanese famous Budo is divided into 2 major schools; Dentoha Karate and Full-contact Karate.

What is a difference between these 2 schools?

Well, you can find the difference at its tournament matches.

In a tournament, people compete in 2 categolies; a predetermined form known as “Kata” and a simulation of real fighting known as “Kumite”

On the Kumite matches, Dentoha Karate needs to follow the rule; with now contact others, called “Sundome” even though Full-contact Karate is able to use direct attack just like fighting sports

Now, 187 countries are joined World Karate Federation and over 60 million people including women and kids learn this Budo in the world.

Karate is said to be adopted as an official sport on the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

Karate looks very easy to do it, but actually it is not.

You need to use all parts of your body and keep in a proper position with speed.  

Therefore, it is very good exercise to keep your shape.

Would you like to try to practice this Budo?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Let’s go to Bon Dance Festival!!

Have you ever joined the Bon Dance Festival?

If so, do you know the reason why Japanese people hold the festival?

Well, people seem to enjoy the festival so much, but few people in Japan also know the meaning.

Why they hold the Bon Dance Festival every summer?

Bon dance Festival is held during Obon holiday (from August 13 to 15); which is the period showing a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of their ancestors.

This custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday in the Western countries.

Bon Dance Festival is held in many places; like in shrines and temples as well as in parks and people dance around a high wooden stage called “Yagura”.

Each region holds the event for 2 – 3 days and has a local dance as well as different music; such as Tokyo Ondo (Tokyo), Tanko Bushi (Fukuoka), and Soranbushi (Hokkaido). 

The festival was used to be held as a religious event to welcome and hold a memorial service for their ancestors.

However, the festival of Obon now becomes one of the common summer festivals apart from religious meaning; which means more people can enjoy the event.

By the way, do you know playing the obon dance help you lose weighs?

It develops inner muscles to keep dancing with kneeling position.

If you are interested in, why don’t you visit and enjoy the event in this summer?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

High Quality Senshu Towel

If you hear “the excellent towel made in Japan”, what brand towel comes up to your mind?

Is it “Imabari Towel”?

Yes, Imabari towel is very famous as a high quality towel.

Well, do you know any other towels?

I recommend you to use “Senshu towel”.

Senshu towel is made in Senshu area; the southern part of Osaka, where is famous for its textile industry and believed as the birthplace of Japanese towel.

Senshu towel accounts for about 47% of the national towel production.

The product has about 130 years’ history and well-known its distinctive contexture called “Atosarashi”.

Atosarashi is the process that the towel is bleached and washed away glue and wax to make it clean after weaving.

Thanks to the process, it feels nice and soft in its textures, and has high absorbent and breathability.

You do not have to hesitate to use its bland new towel without washing!!

So, any reasons to stop you using the product?

Try the towel and feel the luxury articles!!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Why don’t you visit Yokohama Chinatown?

Do you know there is a place that is possible to enjoy delicious foods and distinctive atmosphere of China in Japan?

It is the Yokohama Chinatown; one of the biggest Chinatown in the world, located in central Yokohama.

There are more than 600 restaurants and shops in only a 2,500 square meter area with narrow streets; therefore, you can choose the place you would like to be in.

The most popular foods there are steamed buns, ramen noodles and dim sum.

You also can experience many events and festivals; such as Chinese New Year at the beginning of February.

Yokohama Chinatown has about 150 years’ history; developed right after the port of Yokohama had been one of the first Japanese ports to be opened to foreign trade in 1859.

The architectures in Chinatown are very colorful, so you can feel like you are in a completely different world.

To provide such a different atmosphere in the screen, many TV dramas have been shooting in this area.

You may see some famous actors/actresses in this place!

If you come to Japan and would like to feel different culture, visiting Chinatown in Yokohama is the best place for you to be satisfied.