Archive for category Japan

Aug
30

Countdown to H&M in Tokyo

Posted by on Saturday, 30 August, 2008

Many Swedes, like myself, have a special love-hate relationship with the likes of H&M and IKEA – publicly we might say that we despise them for being providers of cheap crappy goods and marching towards world expansion in an imperialistic manner. Privately, however, we all shop (or have shopped) furniture at IKEA, praising them for their low prices and relatively good quality, and we secretly buy lots of basic wear at H&M because of their equally low prices and decent quality.

So, it is actually with excitement that I note that it’s just two weeks until H&M open their first store ever in Japan, in Ginza’s exclusive shopping district in central Tokyo. Opening date is set to September 13 when the new “GINZA gCUBE” opens up – the “g” apparently stands for “good” as in “good food,” “good life,” and “good fashion.” (Although, I suspect that originally the “g” stands for “gas” as the building is owned by Tokyo Gas Company)

You can see the exact location of the building here:

大きな地図で見る

Aug
16

What Japanese wants to watch on TV during summer

Posted by on Saturday, 16 August, 2008

John Stamos
In answer to the poll “What foreign TV series do you want to view thoroughly this summer holiday?”, in itself not such a strange question, there were some in my opinion highly unexpected results – please see below:

1. Full House
2. Bewitched
3. Columbo
4. 24
5. ER
6. Dae Jang-geum (Korean)
7. X-Files
8. Winter Sonata (Korean)
9. Knight Rider
10.Beverly Hills 90210
11.Prison Break
12.Lost
13.CSI
14.Desperate Housewives
15.Sex and the City
16.Heroes
17.Ally McBeal
18.Jumong (Korean)
19.All In (Korean)
20.Friends

Well, what can you say? I must say that I’m really surprised that the top 3 are virtual classics by now, although calling “Full House” a classic might be a bit of a stretch. I was aware of the show’s popularity here in Japan since before, but I didn’t think it was the thought to be the most popular show ever! Also, I’m wondering about Bewitched – how come that is so popular here? Was there some kind of revival after the Nicole Kidman movie, or something? Also, I definitely thought that “Winter Sonata” was going to be the highest ranked Korean drama, but perhaps everyone has already seen it 100+ times, so they see no need in renting it and watching it yet again….

Here is a link to the original poll results on Goo (in Japanese)

Jul
30

The wonderful world of OKASHI

Posted by on Wednesday, 30 July, 2008

I received a piece of Japanese candy (“okashi” or “wagashi” in Japanese) today which had this wonderful English text on the package:

Wagashi

The spirit of OKASHI. It is what gives a peaceful and pleasant mind to the human race. All the time, man seeks romance in the OKASHI. We have been working hard and carefully, and work on. To weave the romance and the fancy into each OKASHI. This, at last, we have made up “The HAKATA SEIYO-WAGASHI.” If you taste the feeling and the spirit of the OKASHI which value tradition and living in the times, there is no pleasure better than it.

If anyone can translate for me what it actually means, I’d be very happy….

Jul
27

I didnt know Tokyo as well as I thought

Posted by on Sunday, 27 July, 2008

tokyo-by-night.jpg
…at least that must be the case, since I only scored 6 out of 10 correct in National Geographic’s Tokyo Quiz.

It started out easy, and my being full of conceit, thought to myself that this is will be a walk in the Ueno Park so to speak; but no… They really threw some difficult questions in there, so do hop over and give it a try and see if you yourself can call yourself an expert on Tokyo, as I thought a mere 5 minutes ago….

Jul
21

Brilliant Japanese coffee commercials

Posted by on Monday, 21 July, 2008

The best commercials on Japanese TV recently are the coffee commercials, in my opinion (that is, if you don’t include the Softbank commercials, of course, since they are in a class by themselves)

Lately, two coffee brands stand out; JT Roots and Georgia. 

Here’s my current favorite JT Roots commercial:

I don’t think I need to explain or translate anything, it speaks for itself. Brilliant, poignant, true, and touching!

Georgia coffee have also made some great commercials lately. Unfortunately I cannot find my favorite Georgia coffee commercial on Youtube, so I have to post my second favorite:

(To summarize in English if you didn’t get it – the guy drinking the coffee gets so into it that he dreams about singing a song dedicated to the coffee, only he’s actually singing out loud and his colleague wakes him up saying “that’s a great song!”)

My favorite is the one where the guy fantasizes about meeting his grandmother. You can find it on the Georgia website here: http://www.georgia.jp/info/cm/heaven/