Category Archives: FEATURED

7 Don Quijote Home Products You Never Knew You Needed

The ultra popular lifestyle megastore Don Quijote — or Donki — is Japan’s home of everything wonderfully ridiculous and undeniably useful. As well as being the one-stop go for just about everything, one of the greatest pleasures of being a Donki regular is stumbling upon the store’s more obscure and straight-up bizarre stock.

Earlier this year we explored the Nakameguro outlet’s beauty range, but now we ventured into the homeware department of the Yokohama Nishiguchi branch to uncover other equally wonderful home products you never knew you actually needed — but you do.

1. Squeeze Until Empty: Lips for Toothpaste

These humble smiling lips are easily overlooked and passed off as another tacky piece of plastic that’ll soon be found in a landfill, but in reality they could be the best ¥498 purchase you’ll ever make.

The lips are a simple contraption with a small hole for your toothpaste and other creams that come in those otherwise impossible to empty tubes. By squeezing every last, tiny drop out of your toothpaste, they reduce waste and provide an unparalleled level of tube squeezing satisfaction. Not sure why they come in the shape of lips, but oh well, still better than teeth.

2. For The Wild Bakers: Waterproof iPhone Case Chef Navi

This is the perfect solution to that chef with a smartphone addiction. Whether you’re looking up recipes online or wanting to Instagram your latest culinary creation, there’s always a level of risk when it comes to bringing you phone into the kitchen.

Luckily, the team behind Chef Navi have minimized that risk by creating the waterproof, splashproof, grime-proof iPhone case — for just ¥1,480. How does it stand you wonder? …continue reading


Summer Music Festival Frenzy 2017

Source: Gaijin Pot
Summer Music Festival Frenzy 2017

People in Japan have the luxury of living in the world’s second-largest music market. This means artists cater to customers in the form of a surfeit of concerts and festivals that run the gamut of musical tastes from rock to electronic to jazz to classical and world music. Music festival culture really took off here in the late ’90s with the birth of Fuji Rock and has meshed nicely with Japan’s traditional summer festival scene — adding another facet to the ancient-modern dynamic that keeps the nation so intriguing.

Fuji Rock Festival

Photo by Masami Munekawa

After last year’s bill topped by guitar rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beck and co., this year’s 22nd Fuji Rock Festival takes a more progressive turn. The opening Friday of the three-day summer music festival event at Naeba Ski Resort sees Damon Albarn’s virtual act Gorillaz headlining the main Green Stage. Promoter Smash’s Johnnie Fingers says lining them up was something of a coup. “Though they have a new album [Humanz],” he notes, “they hadn’t planned to do festivals this year, so we’re very happy. Their appearance at Fuji Rock will be the only festival they play this year.”

Two more main acts also chose Fuji Rock for some of their only festival appearances of 2017, a sign of the event’s key position in the world’s second-largest music market. “We were pleased Bjork agreed as she will only play two festivals this year, Fuji Rock being one,” Fingers adds. “Aphex Twin will also only do a few shows this year and there is a lot of interest as to what kind of show he’ll do.” In a show of his enduring legend in Japan, the British electronic music innovator tops the bill ahead of LCD Soundsystem, something you would be unlikely to see …continue reading


Play for free at Nintendo gameplay area in Kansai International Airport

nintendo mario video game check-in play kansai airport

Nintendo has created a surefire way to keep the kids content while waiting for a flight.

Japan’s biggest name in gaming has produced a free gameplay area, Nintendo Check In, at Kansai International Airport, which serves the region including Osaka, Kyoto and Nara.

Opening June 23rd, Nintendo Check In is located on the ground floor of Terminal 1 and includes demo stations for the major Nintendo new release of the year, the Nintendo Switch. Visitors can try out a range of Nintendo games on the Switch, 3DS and other smart devices.

nintendo mario video game check-in play kansai airport

nintendo mario video game check-in play kansai airport

nintendo mario video game check-in play kansai airport

nintendo mario video game check-in play kansai airport

nintendo mario video game check-in play kansai airport

nintendo mario video game check-in play kansai airport

nintendo mario video game check-in play kansai airport

The choice of KIX as opposed to Haneda or Narita for the promotion isn’t such a surprise when we consider that Nintendo is based in Kyoto.

Nintendo Check In is not a temporary pop-up and should remain at the airport for the foreseeable future. To celebrate its opening, KIX is also decked out in special Nintendo-themed decorations.

Kansai visitors who make it up to Tokyo, however, should be sure to check out the new virtual reality Mario Kart attraction in Shinjuku. Serious Nintendo fans will also want to pop into a branch of UNIQLO to pick up one of the winners from its t-shirt contest inspired by Nintendo properties.

…continue reading


A 160-Year Old Sake Brewery Gets a New Addition

Located in the middle of rice fields and situated at the foot of Mt. Sefuri in the Itoshima area of Fukuoka is the Shiraito Sake Brewery. Founded in 1855, the company is known for their ancient technique of haneki-shibori, which applies much less pressure than machine-pressed sake and crates a more pure and mellow flavor.

To celebrate 160 years of sake making using local Itoshima rice, the company decided to design a new addition to their complex of old buildings to create a visually diverse structure that functionally connects to the rest of the factory.

Most of the existing buildings in the site were very old and traditional with the main building being over 100 years old. “The purpose,” explains architect Taketo Tashiro, “was to obtain more space and to add new facilities to enhance the quality of their product.”

The new addition is a modern, concrete structure that heavily emphasizes the texture of concrete throughout. The lack of windows in the space, other than the staff room and washing room, is intentional as exposure to sunlight can harm the product. Its triangular form was also designed to be consistent with the silhouette of the traditional building.

Shiraito Sake Brewery does allow for tours but only from mid-February to mid-April and reservations are required at least a week in advance. In the meantime, you can also order their sake online via their webshop.

<img src="" alt="" width="1000" height="667" srcset=" 1000w, …continue reading


An easy guide to the Japan Rail Pass!

JR rail pass

It’s a question that comes up for most people the first time they visit Japan, to buy or not buy a Japan rail pass? I bought one when I visited Japan for two weeks back in 2014, and it ended up saving me heaps of cash. However, it’s not always the case that it’s cheaper to buy the JR rail pass. It really depends entirely on your travel plans. If you are confused about whether or not to buy one, or what it includes, check out this simple guide!

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