You know what the funniest thing about Japan is? It's the little differences. I mean, they got the same stuff here they got in the U.S., it's just a little different. Want some examples? They got beer in movie theatres and mayonaise for your french fries at some restaurants. They have KFC here, but they don't serve mashed potatoes, and each KFC has a plastic Colonel Sanders outside to greet you. There are other differences too. My daughter is in the Japanese Girl Scouts, and when I took my kids there, we all got ready to enjoy an American treat: s'mores, which are toasted marshmallows and chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers, for any readers who might know what they are. The Japanese simplify the name to some-more, which sounded to my kids and me like "sanma," a delicious fish that's really good stewed in miso -- so we thought were were going to cook fish, but it turned out to be s'mores instead. They were really good, but for the fact that there are no graham crackers in Japan. So we made them using Saltine crackers instead.
In my single days, I trekked around Japan from Hokkaido to Hiroshima, hitchhiking or using the "seishun 18 ticket," a special train ticket that lets you ride anywhere for about $20, but only using the (slow) local lines -- thus, it takes about 14 hours to get from here to Osaka. I've stayed in youth hostels, which are great places to make friends from all over the world, but I've also stayed in several dozen capsule hotels. A uniquely Japanese experience, capsule hotels are normal hotels where you sleep in a small, long cubbyhole -- long enough to lay down in comfortably but not quite spacious enough to sit up in. The capsules have everything you need -- TVs and radios with alarms, and they're quite cozy, and there's no other way to stay in the middle of a large Japanese city for $30 a night. Another unique kind of budget accomodation I've made use of are "saunas," which are ostensibly public baths with saunas which you can pay to use. They have "resting rooms" where patrons can have a beer and relax, watch some TV, or if it's late, curl up on the floor and sleep until morning. It's quite fun, if you can put up with the snoring of dozens of middle-aged Japanese men. My wife is a mirror image of me: while I was traveling around Japan, she was in the U.S., and she's seen much more of my own country than I have (and vice-versa).
Near our house, we can see the Sphinx, the Statue of Liberty, and many other interesting wonders of world. These are pachinko parlors, a major source of entertainment for many Japanese men and women in Japan. An kind of "vertical pinball" which I don't pretend to understand, you basically buy a bucket of balls for $50, then sit for hours trying to hold a controller in just the right position to make most of the balls go into certain holes in the pachinko machine. Since "gambling" is illegal in Japan, except for certain events like horse, boat and bicycle racing, you don't win money if you get more balls than you started out with -- you get valuable prizes which you redeem for cash at a shady building next to the pachinko parlor. Pachinko is quite a competitive business to be in, and operators (who always seem to be getting involved with some crime or another) work very hard to bring in the newest machines in -- with little video screens or cute anime-style characters printed on them, for example. They have interesting names to attract customers, Win or Fever, or one named Al Pacino. Despite the efforts of the pachinko Pachinko has strong underground ties to North Koreans living in Japan. Proceeds from Pachinko are a major source of funding for North Korea, and the drugs that are manufactured in North Korea for sale in Japan often find their way here through the Pachinko networks.
We're happy to announce that all the 2004 calendars we'd ordered have come in. We've lowered prices on virtually all our still-vast stock of Japanese calendars, from anime to JPOP to idols to traditional Japanese images to tasteful nude photographic calendars and more. Every day another half dozen or more calendars sell out, never to return, and our stock is already dwindling. Time is running out! Take a look at our excellent calendars and see what you'd like to get! The 20% discount on 4-or-more calendars still applies, too.
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for Star Wars fans, a real treat: series 2 of the totally cool Star Wars Kubrick line from Medicom Toy: ultra-detailed super-deformed figures of a Sandtrooper, Han Solo, the Cantina Band player, Obi Wan Kenobi, Greedo and a Tuskin Raider -- stock is very limited but full sets are available!
- Just in time for Christmas, we have some fabulous soft acryllic Hello Kitty blankets from Japan, which look great as a Christmas decoration for your home, or just a bright, cheerful blanket to keep warm with
- We've gotten in another dozen or so really cool Japanese New Years' stamps, with beautiful messages in kanji and hiragana, great for those who want to have a little of Japan's New Years' fun this year
- For fans of Japanese Race Queens, we've got fresh stock of Kira Kira, featuring Miho Yoshioka, Yoko Matsugane, Sakura Mizutani and many other top-name idols from Japan
- We have some limited-size T-shirts posted to the site, including a limited edition yellow version of "Don't Commit Seppuku," along with various version of our "Looking for a Japanese Boyfriend" shirts for girls
- For Hello Kitty fans, we've got some great things for you to eat, including Kitty Tripical Mints, a Kitty lollipop, Kitty soft candy and more
- Also, a really cool Hello Kitty sign board, which you can give along with gifts, and the last stock we'll be getting of the Hello Kitty Dancing Santa (there's still time to get it by Christmas)
- We've restocked our Hello Kitty mayonaise cups, which are little cups that Japanese use to carry condiments with their bento lunches -- but these handy cups have many uses!
- For fans of Japan's stick snacks, we've got some tasty Butter Pretzel snacks from Kabaya
- Also, a major restocking of snack items for you, including Coconut Pocky, Tiramisu Cafe snacks, Mogi Mogi gummi fruit trees, seaweed & salt pretz, and tastey Crunky chocolate from Japan
- For fans of our traditional Japanese kitchen items, enjoy more Japanese soupbowls and bento boxes
- For fans of OH! Mikey, the totally hilarious comedy drama that's performed with mannequins, we have fresh stock of all the DVDs (they are fully subtitled in English) and the 2004 calendar
- For Totoro fans, we've got fresh stock of the super-cute Totoro's Present Keychain Mascot, super cute plush toys that come with presents for you
- Also a really neat Totoro lunchbox that will be a prized item for collectors
- For fans of the dynamite swimsuit idol Yuka (aka Yuuka), we've got some collectible trading cards in stock
- We've restocked the super-cute Groomy Black Labrador plush pet, a high-quality doggie with a soft chamois bottom to keep your computer monitor clean
- Finally, enjoy a way to keep your car's windows clean, more onigiri makers, fresh stock of sushi erasers (God we love Japan!), and more!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- First, we've posted the newest English-translated dating-sim game from G-Collections for preorder now, Virgin Roster, which features a psychologically complex erotic storyline, animation and more
- For Sora Aoi fans, we have a great new magazine-photobook filled with her beautiful pictures and erotic poses
- Enjoy hardcore sex of amateurs in love hotels in Taisetsu ni Shite ne, which translates as Please Treasure me
- We've added fresh stock of Japanese adult magazines from just $5, with several items that had been sold out
- See hardcore sex in Japan's "urabon" style in Harenchi Musune, very erotic and enjoyable
- For fans of Japan's dynamite erotic photobooks, hardcover bound and printed with fabulous glossy pages, we've got the first photobook of Chiaki Kyan, a delightful sexy idol from Japan
- Moe Sakurai's delightful photobook Tight Rope goes beyond eros with its fantastic photos
- Enjoy the lovely nudes of Shinobu Rei in a great new photobook for you, shot in traditional Japanese style
- For fans of Japan's long-standing tradition of erotic manga art, we have some great items for you, including Daydream Everyday by EX Comics, the ultra-erotic How to Make a Widow, an exploration of "chikan" themes, and a great dick girl manga by Bijogi Junction
- Also, we've got a major restocking of popular erotic manga including Beautiful Wife, An Equation of the Night, Wild Dance of Lewd Breasts, dick girl fun with Total Bio Chemical Lab and more
- For adult DVD collectors we've got some great offerings for you, starting with the sweet erotic lovemaking of Maria Takagi, one of the top stars in Japan today (region free)
- See the very best leg, stocking and mini-skirt fetish in a new 240 minute DVD from Big Morkal, presengint eh luscious legs and sex of nine adult video gals (region free)
- From Soft on Demand's director Hajime coms more exploration of lesbian masturbation, with cute kogals asked to step inside the Magic Mirror Bus and try it themselves (region free)
- Then see the wet orgasms of nine beautiful college students in a new offering frmo Deep's, who show their whale-spouting to the camera (region free)
- For fans of our SOD Outlet page, where you can find great SOD titles at special prices, we've added the new Saint Roshutsu starring Yuuna Akimoto, a great item for fans of Japanese outdoor nude fetish (region free)
- Then from Moodys, enjoy the anal sex of Kirari Koizumi, who shows you her first anal and so much more (region 2)
- Finally, look for various fresh stock of adult DVDs, including The Other Side of COCOLO, the Yokohama Drifters, Ai Nagase's bargain-priced Masterpiece Concentration, and the dynamite Nao Oikawa anime cosplay parody Cosplay Beautiful Breast Idol.
Remember that J-List is having a $1 shipping sale (US/Can) on all bishoujo games, making this a great chance for you to pick up some great English-translated dating-sim games and save -- get 4 or more and get 20% off the total, too. We're also having a spcial buy-4-or-more-get-20%-off on all photobooks, so we hope you'll browse our extensive supply of Japanese photobooks and see what you'd like to get.