Traditional japanese house

Picture of the day

May 05th 2010

 

These are picture taken not far from my house in kobe, I do pass in front of this house a lot and always loved the wall so I had to make it the pic of the day!

Ikea Japan

If you’re a gaijin living in Japan, going to shop at Ikea should be on your to do list, in the first week of your arrival in Japan. Why? Simply because you will be able to find a lot of product and furniture that you might need to comfortably live in Japan at a price that will not kill your wallet on the spot.

Ikea was introduced in Japan in 1974, the company launched a franchising deal in 1974, only to beat a retreat in 1986. The exact reasons of the retreat are not clear but it is mostly said that it was because the japanese housing market really did not match the company products.  The Ikea CEO said; ” He attributed IKEA’s failure two decades ago to the fact that the company was not ready for the demanding Japanese market — and that Japanese customers were not ready for the do-it-yourself style that defines IKEA.”

20 years past and extensive reasearch were done by the Ikea corporation, to first understand the Japanese life style and also the Japanese needs.

So with all that the first modern Ikea store was open in Funabashi in 2006 followed by the seconde one in Yokohama also in 2006 and 3 other location in 2008: Kobe port island, shin-Misato Saitama and Tsuruhama. All stores are a massive 40,000 m2 which in Japan is incredibly big for a store.

IKEA in Kobe

Kobe Ikuta jinja and Sourakuen

Picture of the day for

May 1st 2010

This is Kobe Ikuta Jinja on the first day of the Golden week 2010

 

 Kobe Sorakuen

 

Weekly castle picture from Japanese Castle Explorer no1

The first thing I’d like to do is to say a big thank you to the Gaijin life blog for the opportunity for me to do what I love doing, and that is talking about Japanese Castles.
Who am I? I’m Daniel O’Grady of the Japanese Castle Explorer website
I’m an Aussie and have been living here in Japan since 2001.

Well, the cherry blossoms are blooming all over Japan right now, and I was lucky enough to get myself to Kurume Castle just the other day. The city of Kurume is located in Fukuoka Prefecture on the island of Kyushu and interestingly, it is also the home of Brigestone tire company.

Little remains of Kurume Castle today, just sections of its stonework and moat. No matter its current state, the castle ruins look stunning with its flowers of Spring, under the blue sky.

!!First ever Gaijinlife contest!!

Ok everyone! I’m lunching the first ever Gaijinlife contest

Starting March 26th  2010, till April 5th  2010 I will be giving away 5 TokyoTeleport plus app for iPhone, iTouch or iPad

For more info on the TokyoTeleport app check out my review about the App here:

TokyoTeleport review


The contest is really easy and open the every one!

First

All you have to do is make sure you follow me on twitter

@agaijinlife

After you made sure you’re following me

tweet to all your friends:

http://gaijinlife.com is giving away the best Tokyo app for iPhone, iTouch and iPad! @TokyoTeleport @agaijinlife  #contestgaijinlife

MAX one tweet a day

The contest will end on the 31st of March at 12:00 am GMT-05:00

Good luck to everyone!

The best Japanese dictionary App

The best Japanese dictionary App
I did a post about must have applications for iPhone and iTouch back a month ago and a recent version on GaijinPot, but someone pointed out to me that there was a dictionary App out there that was killing all Japanese dictionary out there! And he was right!!!


The App is called Kotoba and the best thing about it is that it is free!! Yes you don’t get that a lot especially for a dictionary app as complete as that one! You heard me right FREE.

Since this App blew me away I did the first ever Gaijinlife youtube video click here for it:

So in this video I will walk you trough Kotoba showing you this App sweet features.
I really hope you will like the video. Dont be shy and tell me what you think about this first video.

Probably tomorrow or at the latest Wednesday I will have a post and video dedicated on the best Tokyo App ever

TokyoTeleport and the TokyoTeleport plus!

Be sure to check it out!

Yugo

Japanese traditional lacquer 1000$ iPhone cases

Have you ever heard of  Urushi?

Urushi is the traditional art of lacquering wood or almost anything. As for most Japanese art forms, we have to look for their origin in China. However, excavations in the Saitama prefecture (hihihi where I live) prove that there has been a lacquer culture in Japan since the early Jomon period 10000 – 250 B.C.. Lacquer was not only applied as a decoration, but also as a protection for wood and leather.  Some of the famous Dogu statues of the late Jomon period can be considered as the first art objects with lacquer decoration. In this same period there even existed an imperial lacquer department Koan 392 – 291 B.C.. The lacquer colour scheme used at that time was restricted to black and red. The evolution during the Yayoi period 250 B.C. – 250 was not very important. Worth mentioning are the fine kogai and armour with lacquer coatings. The only colours used are still black and red. The introduction of a new colour, namely gold lacquer kin urushi, took place in the Kofun period 250 – 552. After that period and the introduction of Buddhism in Japan new technique were introduce and the art when on!


Now Today in the moderne world of big metropolis and stylish technology we can have those

These 1000 U.S. dollars or 99,800Jp yen  iPhone cases are distributed by the Japanese mobile giant Softbank

They are traditionally lacquered by a company or branch of softbank called: Japan Texture. these 5 spledid cases where created under the supervision of a historian, since they are representing 5 famous Japanese samurai’s.

The cases are named after and designed to honor famed Japanese warriors like Date Masamune, Uesugi Kenshin and Naoe Kanetsugu just to name a few. Each one is decorate in elements that personify these legendary heroes, with gold dust highlights adding plenty of sparkle.

The famous Kyoto based lacquer ware manufacturer Zohiko was part of the collaboration to create these exquisite expensive iPhone cases.

Nobunaga Oda   織田 信長

Date Masamune 伊達 政宗

Kensin Uesugi 上杉 謙信

Naoe kanetsugu 直江兼続

Sanada Yukimura 真田 幸村

(if you click on the name if each samurai you will have a Wikipedia page that will open so you can learn more about these great samurai’s)

If 1000$ is not really in your budget and your still kindly will to get a lacquered case for you superb iPhone, Softbank offers an other series of cases in the 39,800 Yen ($407) range. Here are those models. Unfortunately for you (if you have big pockets) these are all limited editions only 50 of each model will be sold be sure to grab one quick.