Archive for the ‘Odd Japanese Stuff’ Category

Tokyo Economics : The Super Sale phenomenon   Leave a comment



I have a predilection for Craigslist trolling, and I noticed something interesting about Tokyo. Despite it being the world’s most expensive city, people often seem to sell stuff for ridiculously cheap. Why? I’m not sure. Last year I noticed a bunch of Playsation 3’s were being sold online for Ni Man En (about 250 US). But these were usually sold with two to three games. I didn’t own a PS3, but I wanted one, but not just any PS3, I wanted the BEST PS3 DEAL IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. I think I got it. For a mere 20,000 yen (back then about 230 US) I got the following:



As luck would have it, I wanted to get a ps3 mainly to have the joy of playing Street Fighter 4. The next day a person (again, someone who was leaving) gave me and additional four games. So let’s do the math. I got a ps3 (box included), with about six top games (valued at over 30,000 yen), a headset for online play and two controllers. Throw in the additional four games I got for free and you are looking at almost a 1000 US worth of playstation product I received in one day, for a little over 200 bucks.


I also received another whopper of a deal maybe a month later. I think I only bought this on principle. Someone was advertising a Nintendo DSi with TEN GAMES for ichi-man en (100 bucks!) so I met up with the guy and sure enough, got me a Nintendo DSi with 10 games. Each of these games is valued at say, 4000 yen, so we are looking at about 40,000 yen just for the games, and average used cost of 15,000 yen for a Nintendo DSi (which is the more expensive version because of its two cameras, etc). When I asked the guy playfully if he had a drug habit, the guy laughed and said no, he just needed money.

But I received a few of the top games for DS in the mix, including Mario Kart DS, Super Mario DS, Zelda Windwaker, Grand theft Auto, and more. I remember also that when the Ipad 2 was announced there was a flood of Ipad Ones selling on CL for 200 bucks. However, I generally try to avoid any new Apple Product until the third or fourth generation when it has features that actually are worth my time. So anyways, just an interesting note.

My first J-pop music video!   1 comment

I’m holding a tiny Japanese woman up in the air. Around me, about two dozen people are screaming “Yahho! Yahoo!”

I’m an extra in a J-pop music video for the uber-cute group, Team Junjo. I heard about the casting through Craigslist, which explicity requested foreigners for the shoot. Shot on a RED camera, the shoot was done at GLAD in Shibuya, by a production group called the Alchemy Brothers. The shoot was about six hours long, loads of fun and an experience that I won’t forget anytime soon.

During the video we had to learn a dance for the song, and like most people, afterwards I couldn’t get it out of my head. I met some very interesting people that night, a mixture of students, entertainers and media people.

Me and some of the cast

Glad, Shibuya

Afterwards, we hung out side, chatted about random things and headed to an Izakaya that sold 50 yen beers, unfortunately, we bought the 180 yen beers , but who cares. Yahho! I’ve changed my view on J-pop. It’s actually a lot of fun, and I think I’ll try and make in to Team Junjo’s first concert this September. Afterwards we did Pirikura (Japanese sticky pictures)You can check out their official blog below (Japanese)

50 Yen Beer Izakaya in Shinjuku

Doing Pirikura after a few beers

Team Junjo’s offical blog: (Japanese)

The Jesus Body Tablet   Leave a comment

I’m in Hamamatsu station, taking a walk.


I still haven’t gotten my full bearings on the city yet, and I decide to checkout a bookstore I heard about. It is small, with a selection of mostly Japanese books. I browse idly for a few minutes, then walk over to an aisle with perfumes and lotions. There I see something that makes me smile, even though I’m not in the most cheerful mood.

Its a product called JESUS BODY.

I chuckle to myself. This seems so typically Japanese, I can’t even do more than just shake my head a few times. Apparently, the “Jesus Body” is a diet system of some kind that involves taking tablets. However, what’s hilarious isn’t just the name, but what is written on the box itself:

Pirikura – Sticky Picture Taking   Leave a comment

Anyone who knows anything about Japan must wonder why Japanese people always take little pictures of each other in photo booths, print them and then keep them. I don’t know the reason yet, but heading out with this group, someone suggested we do it. Tonight, I’ve taken my first Pirikura with the group. Memories forever…

Wash My Butt, Please   Leave a comment

The toilet is hissing.

It is hissing and making noises I am not accustomed to. I stand a few feet away, and peer inside. This is my first time using one of the Japanese toilets, and I’m a little confused.
Upon entering my hotel room, I noticed two things immediately. One,  the room could barely hold my suitcases. They couldn’t fit beside the bed, under it, or in the closet. I had to lay them flat in the walkway.

Secondly, there was a white cloth on the bed with a blue ribbon on it. I didn’t know what it meant, and I took it off and rested it near my television. This is the Sago Inn hotel, a sort of Japanese Day’s Inn. This is where I will make my home for the few days or so I do my initial training for my Job in this city of Hamamatsu.

But first, the toilet.

I step into the bathroom, which is incredibly small, and can barely house my skinny frame. Inside to my left, is a small panel on the wall. It has five buttons with small images on them. I’ve heard about these panels–they allow you to control your “experience”–and I smirk slightly.
After twenty-three straight hours of traveling, and lugging two seventy pounds suitcases through two Japanese train stations, I can’t even say I’m tired, I’m exhausted. But I can’t sleep, to sleep would be breaking Jet Lag rule number one.

The rule of Jet lag is to stay awake until the nighttime of wherever you travel, but since Japan is an entire day ahead of Jamaica, I wasn’t sure if I was to stay up for an entire day. (The massive time zone shifts confused me). For now, I would have to stay awake.
The bathroom had a small tub and spray showerhead. It was a simple setup, and on the toilet, the first time I entered, was a thin piece of paper. “DISINFECTED”, was written on it.
Eventually, I realized, I would have to use the bathroom. Not number one either.
This is when the toilet began hissing. I peered at the directions while on the throne and waited. When the toilet hissed, a powerful jet of water hit me between the buttocks with the force of a tennis ball thrown by a heft young boy. To say it was “interesting” is to put it mildly.

It felt awkward at first, but after a while, I felt very clean. It reminded me of something I heard a while back, about Will Smith using Wet Wipes after he does number two. There is a video clip of him saying, “It’s like taking a bath in the middle of the day.”
I have to agree.