When foreigners come to Japan for the first time, one of the first cultural differences they run into is the custom of taking shoes off before going into a house. Japanese homes (and some offices, such as J-List) have a lowered area at the front door called a "genkan," where you leave your shoes before going inside. After you've lived here a little while, it becomes second nature to open the door, kick off your shoes (or if you're the obsessive type, neatly line them up), and go inside. After you've lived in Japan a few years, seeing foreigners on TV wearing dirty shoes on plush, clean carpeting starts to look really weird after a while. To the Japanese sense of cleanliness, anything having to do with your feet is dirty under any circumstances -- actually, the genkan area where you leave your shoes is considered "outside" the house. Because you have to take your shoes off a dozen times a day in Japan, you tend to get very good at choosing shoes that can be put on easily -- high-top basketball shoes or boots are not recommended.
When you think of ramen, you may think of Japan, since the two go hand-in-hand a lot. Ramen is actually from China, although the Japanese have adopted it as one of their national foods. It's common for different regions of Japan to have a "meibutsu" (lit. "famous thing"), some food or other rare item that you can only find in that area, and many regions of Japan specialize in ramen noodles. The most famous shoyu (soy sauce based) ramen is Kitakata ramen, and can be found in Fukushima, about 100 km north of Tokyo. Sapporo, Hokkaido, is famous for Miso ramen, one of my favorite varieties. Kyushu, the southernmost Japanese island, is home of Tonkotsu ramen, a pork-based dish with white soup. And if you'd like to try Kani ramen, with a steamed crab sitting on top of your noodles, go to Niigata Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan side of the country.
Today is Children's Day, a day when families celebrate the health and happiness of their children, especially boy children. To help you celebrate, we have some traditional items for you, including Koi Nobori kites which simulate carp swimming upstream, delicious caramel corn that's sold only during this time of year, and a very cool traditional Mickey Mouse wearing a kimono. Today's also the last day of the Golden Week holidays, which means that right now, millions of Japanese are enduring hellacious traffic jams and crowded trains, trying to get back into the Tokyo area so they can start work tomorrow.
Announcing the May $1 bishoujo game shipping sale! J-List carries virtually every English-translated dating-sim game available, with all the great titles from G-Collections, JAST USA, Peach Princess and more. You can get any of these fantastic games and pay just $1 for shipping! Of course our "buy 4 or more, get 20% off" sale still applies, so feel free to stock up on a whole bunch of excellent titles now!
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of Panda Z, the super cute panda mech piloted by young Pan Taron, we've got plush toys featuring all the characters from this super-cute universe
- Gundam lovers, don't miss the excellent new Mobile Suit Gundam Ultimate Operation series of toys, with full sets in stock for you
- Hello Kitty fans, we've got some cool items for you, including a nifty notebook you can write in
- We love Tomy's die-cast Japanese cars -- newly added to the site are the new Prius and WiLL Vi, two unique vehicles from Toyota
- We have more uniquely Japanese items for your kitchen, including attractive chopsticks and lovely traditional Japanese coasters
- Also, a bamboo tube that makes it easy to get your barbecue going this summer
- For fans of our delicious Japanese snacks, we've gotten in many new items including strawberry Calpis candies (yum) and Amino Shiki health tablets that are fun to eat
- Also, new varieties of unique gum from Japan, including Watering Kissmint (which quenches your thirst) and fresh stock of the very delicious Recaldent sugarless fruit gum with Xylitol
- Our restocking of the snack pages continues as well, with many new items in, including Every Burger (original), Doraemon Gummi treats, the super-cute Bright Lighton and Relax Bear cookie-and-toy sets, and more
- Fans of Japan's unique and sexy Race Queens, we've got a special Gal's Paradise trading card set for you, very nice
- Experience life during the Edo Period on a small scale thanks to a cool series of Edo buildings -- very realistic and fun to build a little town out of
- Like funny English? We've got a wacky tin from Japan that you can store many things in
- Blythe fans, we've restocked the attractive Blythe Plum Blossom figure for you
- We've restocked FX Neo, the incredibly popular Japanese eyedrops that wake you up with a burst of freshness
- Want to study Japanese? We've added stock of the handy Japanese Study Cards, which help you learn many Japanese words, as well as hiragana and katakana
- We love to bring you Japanese films on DVD with English subtitles -- today we've got Get Up!, a hilarious film with an all-star cast (region 2)
- We've restocked the authentic 70 and 120 cm "loose socks," the oversized socks that are so popular with Japanese high school girls
- Ghost in the Shell DVD fans, check out our extensive selection of these great discs -- we've reduced our prices on all of them for you!
- Finally, we've got more wacky Japanese signs for you, more cute hamster erasers, a great item for frying food in the kitchen, more wiener cutters for bento enthusiasts, and more!
For our 18+ customers, we've got many new products. The new items include:
- For lovers of classy Japanese women, we've got the new issue of E*Onna ("ii onna" = "good woman")
- We love the highly stylized photography we've come to call "Japanese girls in Underoos" -- check out the new issue of Smart Girls, a magazine so elegant that it's sold to Japanese women as well as men
- We have a great photo-magazine featuring the incredibly lovely Rei Yoshii, photographed in an amazing way for a dreamy visual effect
- For fans of Japan's glossy photobooks, we've got a great new work featuring Juri Hirota's beautiful body
- Then enjoy the super hardcover photobook of Erika Sawajiri, a delightful swimsuit & sexy idol from Japan
- H manga fans, we've got some great manga for you, featuring super sexy artwork and themes, including the excellent "Hinaco" by Momohime Comics and many other new offerings
- For our DVD customers, we've got some great new items for you, starting with 4 hours of fun and sexy performances by Miyuki Uehara, a delightful and clean JAV starlet (region free)
- Next, the gorgeous Kyoko Ayana dresses up in dozens of great anime and game girl costumes for you, a great new cosplay DVD (region free)
- From Soft on Demand, Mai Sakashita fulfills your ever desire, a very wet and interesting production for your enjoyment (region free)
- Also from SOD, a sexy teacher takes on a "beauty boy" played by female Sayaka Kusunoki (region free)
- See how far Moodyz can take super sexy dancing in a bold new release (region 2)
- We've also reduced prices on several popular titles, including DVDs for stocking lovers, Deep Kiss, the Dream Shower series, and more!
Yulia Nova fans, the upcoming Yulia Nova DVDs vol. 1-3 have gone golden master and are being printed right now. Yulia Nova is a fantastic Russian model whose gorgeous body will really knock your socks off. Her DVDs can be preordered for immediate delivery as soon as the discs are pressed. All three discs come with additional footage that's very interesting to see, and all spoken lines of Russian have been re-translated to English so that fans can learn more about Yulia than ever before. We hope you'll preorder these great DVDs!
Remember that J-List stocks great "region free" DVD players in our San Diego office for you. Made by Lasonic for the U.S. market, these players allow you to enjoy DVDs from around the world, including both PAL (Europe) and NTSC (North America/Japan) discs as well as discs from any region (including RCE discs). They come with full 1 year manufacturers' warranties, and are great for use as primary or secondary players. Best of all, they're very affordable. Check out our current models now!