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!

Kobe Sanomiya

Picture of the day

May 03, 2010

 

Nice city and mountain view taken near Sanomiya in Kobe

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

!!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

Tokyo Teleport for iPhone and iTouch

I recently posted a version of  my iPhone and iTouch must have app’s for Japan on the website GaijinPot

(post available here)

So not long after I got contacted by the guy’s from:

http://hoodhottravel.com/

Hood Hot Travel are the brains behind wonderful App like : China Taxi Guide, Chef Tour and the new baby” Tokyo Teleport and the plus version”. So they go me really exited about their famous ‘‘new baby”. I had to test it out. They gently and kindly gave me a copy of the 2 version so I could  check out, try it and review it.

So here we go!

Tokyo Teleport and Tokyo Teleport plus are the new kid’s on the block, in the Japan iPhone and iTouch app scene.

But don’t be fouled by the therm kid, because they are here to whip some big boy’s out of the game!

Since I started living and working in Japan or even when I just went on a trip to foreign land, I would have loved to have the budget to bring on my personal guide. You know not just a pre-made tour that suites 1/2 of  your interest and 1/2 makes you want to kill your self. A real guide that knows all and all that I like. One that let’s me see and experience what I want.

Take a hold to your self because now with the technology and the wonderful invention that is the iPhone or iTouch you can!

And Tokyo Teleport is just that! You now own your  personal tour guide, and I could even say much more than that. It Is a video tourist guide that not only tells you where to go it literally show’s you.

Ok Now let’s go in those App in more details:

First we need to determine which one is the one for you

pretty easy if you are in Tokyo or going to Tokyo you need the plus version ( I will get into the plus version a bit further in the post)

If you are not in Tokyo but you’re a fan of this wonderful city and want to learn more interesting stuff the TokyoTeleport version is the one for you.

TokyoTeleport

In this version you will be able to learn more about Tokyo, how will you do that simple:

The app features includes:
More than 50 venue reviews
Over 150 high-quality photos
20+ TokyoTV Travel Videos
5 HoodHot Maps

With all those tools you will be able to enjoy the heart beat of the megapolis that is Tokyo!

I must say for having played with this App for a week now it is wonderfully constructed and the idea behind it is mind-blowing. It is a really simple App to use and anyone can understand it in a heartbeat. The videos are addictive and if you love Tokyo or Japan you will literally fall in love with this app. The quality of the videos and the App is wonderful, but if you are going or are in Tokyo you would need to get the big brother version.

That version is called the TokyoTeleport plus

Personally I think all the fun starts in the plus version of course I live in Tokyo so for me it does come handy.

In this version in addition to the TokyoTV segments and all the features from Tokyo Teleport, Tokyo Teleport Plus incorporates a detailed guide of the city, including offline HoodHot Maps, suggestions based on the time of day and GPS, WalkCasts that walk you through Tokyo’s streets to the front door of over 50 venues, and detailed guides that explain the best way to experience the awesome things featured on the show.

Since I got this app I did rediscovered new parts of Tokyo, Yes I’m not kidding! There were a lot of places that I have eared about but never really had the chance to check out. Seeing the videos motivated me to actually go there and experienced it my self.

Can you imagine that! It is what I was talking about, your personal tour guide! You got to love it! I do!!!

With its GPS enable feature you get venues close to you and according to the time it is.

Tokyo Teleport Plus is packed full of content, with over two hours of TokyoTV and WalkCast footage showcasing Tokyo’s hottest venues.
Here are some of the features that you will have on the Plus version:
Over 150 Venue Reviews
More than 500 high-quality photos
50 TokyoTV Travel Videos
45 WalkCast Videos
15 HoodHot Maps for Offline Mapping
GPS Teleport Tab – location specific suggestion machine

Here you can check out these video’s from The Hoodhottravel team

For me the 2 App get 10 out of 10 and are a must buy

I love all the functions in the two versions and I truly which I had more time to really go everywhere the plus version could bring me but for that i will take me more time, I guess it  will be over it around next year. But everywhere I when was so cool and I loved it!

I’m going to leave you with pictures of This super App

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.