Archive | November, 2010

Kawaii Domo-kun 1

29 Nov

Kawaii Domo-kun
11/APR/2010 on air

Tokyo Kawaii TV has learned that Madonna loves Japanese kawaii from its exclusive interview with her!
Taylor Swift likes deco. Che’Nelle loves Domo-kun.

Speaking of Domo-kun, it’s been 11 years since he was born. Domo-kun has been so popular in the U.S. At a toy store in New York, for example, Domo-kun is the most popular character. Surprisingly, Domo-kun is used as an icon of a major convenience store chain in the U.S! Nintendo DS’s game (for the U.S only) also has Domo-kun inside the game! Actually it’ not only the U.S but around at 150 countries, Domo-kun appears on TV!!

Who created Domo-kun? It’s Goda-san, an animation creator. He however is worried if Domo-kun is well-received by the teenagers in Japan. He wants to know how to promote Domo-kun to the people in their teens. How Domo-kun is received by the people in Shibuya? While some people find it cute, others say it looks like a mole, dowdy, no way to be cuter, and etc. Then how can they make Domo-kun cute enough to make young girls in Shibuya say “Kawaii!!”.

It was in February 2010 that Taylor Swift visited Japan for the first time. She loves deco. Her guitar’s got fully decorated with swarovski stones. 3 Japanese deco artists had a chance to promote their works to her. Watanabe-san, who has Ayumi Hamasaki or Ai Fukuhara (table tennis player) as his customer, made deco hina doll for Taylor. Suzuki-san, a flower deco specialist made flower deco slippers, and Saeki-san made a guitar strap for Taylor.

Che’Nelle visits Harajuku several times incognito. She comes here to shop sneakers of its sales only limited to Japan. She also enjoyed shopping at Atmos Girls.

Which Domo-kun is most kawaii?
Shibuya-kei Domo-kun seems popular in the city.

*The last part is a preview of the next episode.

Kirin’s opinion:
I’ve heard Domo-kun is well-known in the U.S but I didn’t know he was this popular~~! Why only Domo-kun can be so well-received by American people while there are many other cute characters in Japan? They just don’t know the rest of them? Just Hello Kitty and Domo-kun? Or maybe its our fault that we, the Japanese may have failed to market our cute characters in the world. Only Domo-kun and Hello Kitty have so far succeeded in expanding in the world?? (How about Rilakkuma~~?)
BTW, I found cute Domo-kun deco stickers!

Do you know Domo-kun? Why do you think he was so well-received by American people? What do you think of Domo-kun?

Disclaimer: Tokyo Kawaii TV is a TV program owned and broadcasted by NHK Japan, and has nothing to do with this blog.

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled “Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.
***If you want to know the music that was used in the episode, please refer to this page and help yourself to find it by selecting the date when the episode was on air in Japan.

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Walking with Pi-chan

27 Nov

I’ll share my everyday walking with Pi-chan in this post. It’s my favorite season. I wish autumn were longer and summer were shorter…I took those pictures on some different days. Leaves turned red and gone in 10 days. (It’s been a while since I took those pictures, so now it’s more autumn.) Autumn is leaving so soon, and end of the year is just around the corner. I started to schedule my trip to Osaka in Feb. as usual, but this time it’s combined with a trip to Kyushu. I’m dying for a vacation, I’ve kept working on and on this year…^ ^;

I live somewhere between Shibuya and Yokohama, but my house is located within 15 minutes of bicycle ride from the main train station. When I was a company employee, I was unhappy with this distance. Especially when it rained I had to take a bus but sometimes I had to wait for a bus for over 20 minutes or more especially at late at night. But since I started to live with my dog “Pi-chan“, I got to like the location. (I decided to keep a dog because I started to work from home, quiting my previous job as a house renovation planner.)

Since then, it meant more to me that my house is closer to green space than a train station.
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Kawaii Christmas illuminations from Omotesando Hills

25 Nov

Can you believe it’s almost a month before Christmas?!

Tokyo Kawaii, etc. would love to share kawaii, cool, beautiful, nice, heart-warming, funny or any Christmas decorations or illuminations you find in your area from now till 25th Dec. 2010!

Send your pictures to kirin at tokyokawaiietc dot com with your comments to your photos, your name or nick name, URL or twitter or your facebook account or anything you want to link to, if you prefer. Your pictures and descriptions (your comments) will be published in this blog that can be shared with our readers around the world!

*Please do not make your photo size too big. 480×360 preferred. We don’t upload big pictures because not all the readers have big screen.

1) Take pictures of nice Christmas illuminations or decorations in your area as small as 480×360 pixels, or resize them later by Photoshop or something.
(It’s OK if you cannot resize them, but please avoid making them too large.)

2) Send them by email attach and write to kirin to her email address with your comments or explanations of your pictures. (You cannot attach pictures on the contact form. Thus please email directly to Kirin!)

3) You can also include the URL of your twitter or facebook account or your blog so we can publish with your pictures, if you prefer. (It’s a chance to let the other readers of Tokyo Kawaii, etc. know you!)

4) Your pictures and comments will be published under Tokyo Kawaii, etc. just like Kirin’s one below.

It’s not a contest but just to have fun sharing something nice (kawaii) among the people who gather Tokyo Kawaii, etc. from around the globe!!
Your post will appear like Kirin’s one. (without the copy right)

It’s Kirin‘s post from Tokyo.
Location: Omotesando Hills, Tokyo
Follow Kirin on twitter or facebook if you like this post!

It’s “Omotesando Hills Christmas 2010 with swarovski elements” from 8m hight of the Christmas tree decorated with swarovski.

It’s full of swarovski stones, great light works and a mirror ball with some visional music or sound and that somehow creates glittering, blinging and shining stereoscopic images in the space. I thought I’d never be bored of watching them.

I went down to the lowest floor and then looked up the tree and thought wow…

So it’s the tree. I could have observed it better, but somehow I thought of other people who may want to take pictures of the tree or the whole thing. I can be an obstacle. ^ ^; (This is very Japanese way of thinking!)

Look at the swarovski stones around the tree!!

At the entrance, there is a rather small simple tree.

I’ll post more and more whenever I find something nice. So please do let us have yours, too!! It’s easy, just send the nice pictures of Christmas illuminations or decorations in your area and please explain with your comments. If we can enjoy this project, we will continue this kind of project so that the readers of Tokyo Kawaii, etc. can interact one another more! Thank you for your participation in advance. We are all looking forward to your entries. 😀

Torinoichi at Ootori Shrine, Asakusa

23 Nov

I was able to check out the “Tori-no-ichi” at Ootori Shine, Asakusa the other day. People come to pray for prosperous business. Usually we have Torinoichi 2 or 3 times in November every year and this year, it was 7th and 19th (open from 12:00am to 12:00pm, 24 hours).

I dropped by the second one, the 19th one in the evening, but I wish I could have made it in a daytime or in the morning when there should have been less people around. I was just overwhelmed at way too large number of people there and I gave up making a line to wait for more than 40 minutes or so for praying. :p You know I don’t like crowds, I was not feeling very good on the way back home. I was exhausted with stiff shoulder and pains on my body, until I had a hot bath at home.

Anyhow, I skipped praying. I didn’t want to join that long queue. This sounds so bad…I wonder if this brings bad luck to my business. Well…let’s see how things turn out.

There were so many stalls and people eating and drinking. Too bad I just dropped by and so I was alone, and finished dinner already. I just had a onigiri rolled with pork. It’s called “Niku maki onigiri” and originally from Miyazaki. I was going to try it when I go to Miyazaki this winter but I couldn’t wait. ^ ^; I had the one with pork seasoned with soy sauce, the very simple one. It was not bad but not that special to me. I expected addictive taste from its appearances but it was not really. I may want to try more complicated ones in Miyazaki later. :p

I decided to buy something to bring back home and eat it with my hubby later.

It’s a video I took at a Takoyaki (octopus dumpling) stall while I was waiting. I am not a fan of Takoyaki, but the big lump of octopus that is as fresh as sashimi inside the ball was very tempting. ^ ^ I bought one to take away.

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Hattifnatt in Koenji was such a kawaii cafe!

21 Nov

Hattifnatt Koenji
nearest train station: Koenji
phone: 03-6762-8122
open: everyday 12pm – 12am (Mon.-Sat.) 12pm – 9pm (Sun.)

I think this cafe is the best suit with Mori girl. It was Apple who chose this cafe for our lunch when we met in Tokyo in September 2010. (It’s a collaboration post with Apple. I pass the torch to Apple after the sequence of pictures so she explains it better! ^__^)

The facade of the cafe is so cute. We arrived before they opened, but to my surprise, there was already a line of people who were waiting for the opening.

When we looked up, it was apparent that the house was very old.

Apple understood what they offered from their Japanese menu. I didn’t know her Japanese was that good. (link)

Inside the house, there was some nice atmosphere of old Japanese folk house. It’s nice they keep the atmosphere, but this area was not popular. All the people hurried for the next room to take a seat.

No wonder! Look at the cute paintings on the walls all over!! 😀

These paintings and wooden furniture will make us relax even though the space is very small.
Yes, it was a very small place. There were stairs that were so steep with very small space to step on. It was little bit scary but fun enough for me to try them once in a while, but I felt sorry for the waiters who have to carry dishes and drinks all the time using those stairs.

It’s understandable kids love this place, too. We saw many kids with their moms. The cafe was full of people before I realized.

I had a doria (rice casserole), salad and iced tea, and later I ordered chiffon cake.

Look at Apple’s choice!

Isn’t that adorable! And heya! This is Apple here, continuing this post from what Kirin had shown you~! ^^

Now, I’ll tell you a little bit more about Hattifnatt Cafe.

Hattifnatt Cafe is actually pretty well-known among foreigners living in Tokyo, I think! I’ve read about it from many English Tokyo blogs written by foreign students studying in Tokyo.

Well, anyway, Hattifnatt Cafe used to be just a very normal building with a very small space. The owner put in a lot of effort to change it into a happy and fairytale-like place as you can see.

The cute paintings on the wall is by this pair of young artists, Marini and Monteany. Check out their artworks! They’re totally beautiful! The exciting life of a girl with funny ideas is the main theme of their artwork. Using their fascinating imagination and bright, cheerful colours, M&M have done a few wall paintings in restaurants and cafes. Their zakka series, “ecoute”, are also very popular among students and OLs. Uniqlo has also invited them to design T-shirts.

You should definitely check them out. ^^

So back to Hattifnatt! Besides making you feel like you’re in wonderland, the food here is pretty wonderful too. It has this home-cooked feel to it, and it’s healthy and delicious.

There aren’t exactly a lot of variety to choose from. In fact, I can list down all the main dishes for you here, so I shall do so~! ^^

There are:

Mushroom Curry Genmai Rice ¥893
Croque-Monsieur  (a kind of French sandwich with ham, tomatoes and Emmental Cheese) ¥788
Avocado Tacorice ¥998
Octopus Tacorice ¥893
Cold Tomato Tacorice ¥998
Tomato Gratin ¥998
Vegetables Penne Pasta ¥998
Grilled Nasu Curry Doria ¥893

So, have you decided what you want? ^^

You know that Kirin had Grilled Nasu Curry Doria.

As for me, I had Vegetables Penne Pasta~ ^^

And I totally recommend trying their cakes!! Because they’re so pretty!

One thing about this place, the menu is in Japanese, and you actually order through this small voice box on one of the pillars. The waitress only serves the food up to you, and doesn’t take your orders by your seat. So…what this means is…you might have a little problem ordering if you can’t really speak or read Japanese… I’m very lucky I went with Kirin. She did the ordering for us. Hahaha! I can read Japanese, but I get pretty flustered and shy when I have to speak to a Japanese in their native language…Haha! I hope I can overcome this irrational fear soon!

You should definitely go to Hattifnatt when you’re in Tokyo! Koenji is actually a pretty cool place. It’s not often mentioned to foreigners, but Kirin and I think that it is actually a very interesting place for you to visit. Especially so if you like ShibuHara or Vintage styles. There are many interesting shops for you to visit. We spent a lovely afternoon there together~! I love Koenji a lot a lot a lot! ^_^

If you can’t get enough of Hattifnatt cafe and want to read more about Kirin and my day out together, feel free to visit my personal blog~ ^^ See ya! ^^

Japanese lesson through Ken Hirai's "Boku wa kimi ni koi wo suru"

18 Nov

Apple shared an interesting article with us. She’s been studying Japanese for years and she’s visited Japan many times. Last time when I met her in Tokyo, we went shopping together and I heard she speak natural Japanese to the sales assistants. I thought it was very difficult for me to teach you Japanese because I noticed I don’t know what you find difficult or interested. On the other hand, Apple can be a good teacher. She even has some experiences of teaching Japanese in Singapore. Great song, I love this! Good choice, Apple!! 😀

===Apple’s post starts from here===

Today, I’m going to share with you a really nice song from a movie I watched recently. 😀

"I give my first love to you" is the movie I watched!

I did this for you. 😀


僕は君に恋をする
Boku wa kimi ni koi wo suru
I Give My Love to You

平井堅
Hirai Ken

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My thoughts towards Gyaru style

17 Nov

I was interviewed by Bloomzy and shared with her readers how a non-Gyaru Japanese woman in her mid 30s sees Gyaru style. I tried to explain as much as I could, but some points may not be fully understood by non-Japanese people who have never experienced working at a Japanese company. I’d like to write a supplemental post over here.

Look at the picture below. Can you believe they are university students in their early 20’s who might have enjoyed Gyaru style or unique style from Harajuku only a few months ago?

What do you think they are doing?
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