“Bento and Kyara-Ben” Character Designed Lunch Box

The Japanese people often take their home made “bento”, take out lunch boxes, to school, work and picnics.

A “bento” usually made with rice, fish, meat, and vegetables, and it is nutritiously balanced.

And since the Japanese people care if their “bento” look pretty, making “bento” is like an art project.

There are various “bento” accessories sold at stores. You can sometimes find a whole rack with bento stuff!

The mothers of kindergarten children love to make “kyara-ben (character bento)”, for their children.

“Kyara-ben” food is decorated anime/manga characters, or animals.

There are even “kyara-ben” contests, where mothers make incredibly cute food art to complete.

Not only do people make “bento” at home but “Bento” are also available at many places such as bento stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, department stores, and train stations.

From Japanstyle2010



Gan-ban-yoku: Hot Stone Spa

Hot stone spa, a bath without water has been popular among Japanese women.

Hot stone spa is called “gan-ban-yoku” in Japanese and it’s a bath towel sized stone slab made of granite or silica, and slab commonly embedded into a hard floor.

The bather wears gown or whatever comfortable and lies on the stone bath.

The temperature of the bath is between 40 to 42 degrees centigrade, which is not so hot but body gradually gets sweaty and improves the circulation; therefore, it’s said that gan-ban-yoku has detoxification effect and helps to lose weight.

Since gan-ban-yoku became popular about five years ago, a lot of  gan-ban-yoku spas have appeared in Japan.

Some hot stone spas provide beauty treatments or yoga classes too.

This is a gan-ban-yoku from a Japanese style hotel in Hakone.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BABE_Unsss&hd=1

From Japanstyle2010


Kaomoji (^_^) — Japanese emoticons (^ 0 ^ )/

The Japanese people love to use emoticons, kaomoji, in texts, emails and chatting. They are even used in manga too.
Here are the examples. Just know that kaomoji are horizontal!

Smile(^_^), Laugh(^ o ^), Wink(^_-), Shy(*^_^*), Blushed(#^_^#), Cry(T_T), Cry(T o T), Lost(*_*),Confused(@_@), Sorry(prostrating) m( _ _ )m.

Since hiragana, katakana and kanji can be used to create faces, the variations of kaomoji are numberless.

For Kaomoji lovers, using them just on computers and cell phones are not enough! They want to use them on papers too!
So a Japanese company released an outrageous product for them.

It’s called “Kaomoji Dial Stamp” and there are 20 kinds of signs on it to make over 2000 kaomoji.

Since I have weakness for such nonsense products, I bought and used it right away!

In the box there are the stamp and a piece of paper shown kaomoji examples.

Mmm…I only know a couple of them.

(T_T) “Crying”
m(_ _)m “I’m sorry (prostrating)”

Turn the each serrated dial and make face.

These are how they look.

This stamp is sold well in Japan but I wonder when and how people use this.

You can make your original face and put on anything anywhere you like!
Tell your feeling with this stamp (^o^)/

From Japanstyle2010


Wanna Get Electric Assistant Bicycle!

Bicycle is a popular transport for the Japanese people.

Especially because the gas price is going up these years, people try to avoid driving.

Electric assistant bicycle is also called Hybrid bicycle.

It looks like a regular bicycle but under a saddle, it has a small battery, which can be detached and charged at home.

The bicycle can speed up to 24km/h (or more with pedaling).

A user says “It’s like pedaling air, it’s so light!

With the bicycle, I can go up a slope much easily.”

The history of electric assistant bicycle is not so long; it has been only eight years since the first one was released by YAMAHA.

In 90’s, the most users were elders; however, the bicycle became popular broadly among younger generations in recent years, as more design variations become available.

The Japanese makers of most popular and sold electric assistant bicycles are, Bridgestone Cycle, Sanyo, YAMAHA and Panasonic.

The most popular one today is the Bridgestone’s 2010 model, ant it can run up to 99 km by one charge.

Also foldable type ones are popular among young people who take train and bus for their commuting.

Using bicycle for commuting is actually a good idea because it’s good for exercise and to save gas money or passenger fares, also good for the environment!

From Japanstyle2010


Japanese Super Toilet!

Japanese super toilets seem to be most advanced in the world.

Today, the diffusion rate of super toilet, known as “warm-water cleaning toilet seats,” is 60% in Japan.

Japan toilet

A warm-water cleaning toilet seat basically has a nozzle that squirts warm water to wash behinds.

You can adjust the water pressure and the position of the nozzle with a controller on the seat or a panel installed on a wall by the seat.

Also a warm-water cleaning toilet seat is equipped heater in the seat, so it does not get cold during winter.

This one on the picture has a dryer and massage features.

More advanced one has a new system that detects someone standing in front of the toilet and automatically opens the seat.

Lee me show you the dinosaur toilet that I saw at the “Unique Toilet Exhibition” held by TOTO Ltd.

<Dinosaur toilet>
Nose and mouth are drawn on the lid, teeth are inside. When a user sits down, it looks like a dinosaur eating the person’s bottom!!

It has a sensor, when a user approaches the toilet, it opens the lid automatically.

JAPAN Style has more pictures of Japanese toilets including the one samurai used.

So please visit the website.

From Japanstyle2010


Authentic Teriyaki Burgers!!

teriyaki burger

“Teriyaki Burger” by tsukacyi

Every Japanese burger shop has a teriyaki burger in its menu, and it is one of the most popular burgers here in Japan.

A teriyaki burger normally has a chicken or beef patty with teriyaki sauce, mayonnaise and lettuce in of course a buns.

Many people in other countries get surprised to find mayonnaise on teriyaki sauce but Japanese mayonnaise is bit vinegary, so it tastes great with sweet teriyaki sauce.

At MOS BURGER, the fast-food restaurant that sold the very first teriyaki burger in the world, they serve rice buns, which are crispy,  kind of chewy textured and perfect for teriyaki burgers!

Do you want to eat teriyaki burgers now?

Well, you don’t have to go to a Japanese burger shop, you can make it at home!

All  you need is buns, a beef patty, thick teriyaki sauce, some mayonnaise and lettuce.

Bon appetit!!

From Japanstyle2010