Video Series “Only in Japan”: Part 4 – Where’s Your Helmet?

Only in Japan: Where's Your Helmet!?Here we are again, with the fourth installment in the Stippy “Only in Japan” Video series. This time we will explore a mysterious trait of Japanese cyclists – the fact that they fail to see the safety benefits of using bicycle helmets!

Note: If you have only tuned in to this series on stippy.com recently, you really need to catch up on the first, second and third parts also. Check them all out, they are well worth the laugh..!

In many countries around the world, cyclists are obliged (sometimes forced by the law) to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Throughout South East Asia it is common to see people without helmets, but this can be attributed to a lower level of safety consciousness than in more developed nations. Japan on the other hand Continue reading

The Biker’s Life, A Biker’s Mansion!

thumb05.jpgFor those that can’t get enough of a supercharged 2 wheeled machine riding between their legs then the next best thing must be sleeping with it! In the country where land is scarce and parking spaces cost big bucks, people naturally tend towards buying bikes. Japan consistently has one of the highest per capita sale of motorbikes in the world. Its no coincidence then that the motorbike big three; Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki are all from Japan. There’s a real passion for bikes here, and now there’s a new avenue for people who love there bikes to express it, the Riders Mansion. Continue reading

Book Review: “Target China’s ‘New Rich’ With Your Net Shop (ネットショップで中国の富裕層(ニューリッチ)を狙え!)”

Yangs publicationsTarget China’s “New Rich” With Your Net Shop (click here to view the book on amazon.co.jp)

The concept that Yang Mingyi (楊 鳴一) presents in this book is so amazingly simple that you’ll kick yourself for not thinking of it first. Everyone can think of a product that they’d like to sell to the Chinese, but very few of us have the linguistic ability, business acumen or experience (let alone the money) to set up shop in China. If Web 2.0 is all about targeting the long tail, then surely China must be the perfect candidate. Yang’s book is all about empowering the China-novice (you and me) to target it with minimum expense.

Yang is the CEO of United Cities Japan (UCJ, http://www.ucj.jp/) and recently took the time to explain his business model to stippy.com. He modestly refers to Continue reading

Calling an Ambulance in Japan

It felt fast but a scooter overtook usJust this past long weekend, I had the misfortune of having to call an ambulance in Japan for my girlfriend, who began writhing in pain and clutching her abdomen – all the while letting rip some of the most blood-curdling screams I had ever heard. After 2 minutes of this I made the decision to phone an ambulance for the first time since coming to Japan – Anyway, I got the number wrong

After ringing 110, the policewoman answering kindly told me to hang up and dial the number for the ambulance and fire service. Slightly panicked, I hung up without Continue reading

J-WOTD: 鰻登り

うなぎ登り Unaginoboriうなぎのぼり (unagi nobori)

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

The eel, or “unagi”, not only has pride of place on the Japanese menu but, in the term unagi nobori, it also adds some rich flavour to the Japanese lexicon. Literally meaning “eel climb“, this delightfully descriptive term refers to something that is constantly growing or rising. Continue reading

WaiWai: Nukudonarudo vs McDonalds

This article is reproduced from the discontinued, but much loved Mainichi Waiwai column by Ryann Connell. Read more about this at the bottom of this article.

There was a whopper of a battle between a sex service in Chiba and hamburger behemoth McDonald’s that left the call girl business far from lovin’ it.

The sex service called itself Nukudonarudo, a play on words taken from nukeru, slang Japanese for ejaculation, and Makudonarudo, the local pronunciation of McDonald’s.

“We thought it’d be better to have a name with impact. It came about by coincidence because there was a McDonald’s restaurant in front of us at the time we were meeting to discuss the service name,” the operator of Nukudonarudo tells Shukan Gendai. “In this business, it’s better to create a bit of a stir, so we didn’t mind if they sued us.”

Continue reading

Only in Japan: Hello Kitty dressed as Paris Hilton

Hello Kitty Paris Hilton Pack - Only in JapanHello Kitty herself (itself?) is pretty much an “only in Japan” fashion item. However, what do you get when you cross Paris Hilton (WARNING: Don’t click that if you are at work, or offended easily), MONO COMME CA and Hello Kitty? Well the “MONO COMME CA, Paris Hilton and Hello Kitty” collaboration pack of course. Sanrio, the Japanese creators of Hello Kitty have done it again. A dolly-fashion package that will steal the heart of any naive woman with a (parental) disposable income (these are abundant in Japan!). Continue reading

Maid in Japan

maid.jpgAkihabara is a district of Tokyo that has traditionally been famous for the electronics which have for decades been synonymous with Japan. Because of this, Akihabara has also become well-known for its geeks – and now one of Japanese geeks favorite new hang-outs, the “Maid Cafe“. Read on for an explanation of wide range of services maid cafes have to offer, and a hilarious video which introduces the type of clientele that keeps these establishments alive. Continue reading

Japanese TV and YouTube

First Japanese TVIn any look at Japanese culture a reoccurring theme is Japanese TV. Call it corny, crazy or just bizzare but which ever way you cut it, its interesting and can be a damn fine way to spend some quality veg out time. The very concept of a celebrity is taken to a new dimension in Japan, where people are famous for simply being umm … famous! In the west celebrities have a day job for which they become famous… ie actor, singer, comedian, young people in Japan however seem to skip the means and grow up aspiring to become simply “a celebrity”.

Japanese TV is very entertaining, one of my long time favourites has been Fuji TV’s ‘Fountain of Trivia‘ (トリビアの泉)a great show, since copied for the US market, where the hosts present to the panel a series of sometimes quite amazing trivial facts. The key is in the presentation of Continue reading

Video Series “Only in Japan”: Part 3 – Orange Ball

Orange Balls

UPDATE: Video no. 4 in this series is now available HERE.

How the weeks fly by! Here we are on our third of our weekly series of “Only in Japan” videos. Once again Simon Adams takes us on a mission to unravel the mystery of the “Orange Ball”.

They are round, colourful and embedded deep in the Japanese retail culture. Every bank and post office has two at each teller’s booth. They are hard to miss at convenience stores, and you wont enter another Japanese “gasoline stand” without seeing one. What are they? Continue reading