Ask any gaijin living in Japan about dentists here, and you'll be sure to hear some complaints. While Japanese dentists are good at fixing teeth, they're famous for making you come back 24 times to finish your dental work, instead of getting it out of the way in a few visits. There was a TV show on a couple of years ago called "People of Japan! This is Strange," in which Japanese-bilingual foreigners would discuss what kinds of frustrations they experienced living in Japan, and sure enough, Japanese dentists who take months to fix your teeth was brought up several times. I'm in the middle of some major dental work right now, and had a tooth pulled yesterday -- never a fun experience no matter what country you live in. My dentist said that it was very hard to get the tooth out, and he praised by "strong American bones" which were more sturdy than those of his Japanese patients.
Although cities like Tokyo have excellent train and subway systems, in most parts of Japan the only way to get around is a good old car. Buying a car in Japan is a little different from the U.S. though. For starters, there are almost no independent new car dealers, and virtually all new cars are sold through retail locations operated directly by Japan's auto makers. You never drive away with a car the day you go in to buy it, but instead order it, and it's then made to your specifications at the factory and delivered three weeks later. The idea of driving home with your car the day you buy it would rob drivers of part of the fun of buying a new car, that is, waiting for it to be delivered, and buying a car that had been sitting in a dealers' lot would make it feel "used." If you've ever bought a Saturn, you're buying a car the Japanese way, since Saturn was created by GM as a direct experiment to implement Japanese car sales practices in the U.S. market -- enabling the car manufacturer to both make and sell the vehicle, controlling all aspects of how the cars are presented to buyers. For years I've wanted to buy a Mazda Miata, sold in Japan under the name Roadster (but due to Japanese phonetic limitations, everyone thinks it's called "Roadstar"). Last weekend we went to the local Mazda dealership and bought one, and I'm waiting for it to be delivered sometime next month. I can't wait to drive it!
My kids are kind of funny. They are half American, and we make it a point to bring them to the U.S. several times a year so they can learn about their other home country and experience the same things as American kids. They know Taco Bell, and Scooby Doo, and Cocoa Puffs, and all the normal icons of life in the U.S. But because my wife and I are busy with J-List, they spend an above-average amount of time with my wife's parents, Jiichan and Baachan (Grandpa and Grandma), who we live with in our house in Japan, and the influence of the grandparents comes through in funny ways. My kids love traditional Japanese sweets like anko (a sweet bean paste), which many Japanese kids and virtually all foreigners detest. Of course they love natto, the fermented Japanese soybeans that are the bane of most gaijin living in Japan, and they also love to munch on all kinds of Japanese rice crackers, choosing them over chocolate or other sweet foods. The blending of American and Japanese in my kids is always fun to observe.
We're extremely happy at how popular our wacky Japanese T-shirts have been. For fans of the cutest monster in all Japan, we've got a great new 100% cotton parody T-shirt featuring a "block style" version of Domo-kun. It's a very wacky design that will show your unique interest in Japan to everyone around you. Check out our wacky "MODO-kun" T-shirts, in stock now!
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, the lovely swimsuit idol Yuko Ogura is on her way to becoming the most popular cute girl in all Japan -- see her great new hardcover photobook, which comes with a cute punch-out doll of Yuko-chan for you to display
- For fans of cool anime toys, we've got the official Welsh Corgi toy from Cowboy Bebop, Ein, made from high-quality soft vinyl
- For Godzilla fans, we have a great series of trading cards from the new movie, Godzilla vs. Mothra vs Mecha Godzilla
- For fans of G-Taste, the famous manga and art book series by Hiroki Yagami, we've got a great new line of "trading figures" by Epoch featuring busts of his most famous characters
- Hello Kitty lovers, we have a great item for you: a giant heart cushion which will enhance the look of any room
- We've got some great new snacks for you from Japan, including more "petit snack" tubes of cookies and crackers, as well as delicious Oreo Choco and Strawberry Sticks -- yum
- Also a rare treat, Pocky stick snacks made with traditional Kyoto mochi rice cake, a super new twist on a famous Japanese dessert taste
- For a taste you don't see every day, we've got a limited edition Tohato Caramel Corn, in the very rare white chocolate flavor (yes, we're confused by it too)
- We've got some great chopsticks for your kitchen, nice and long for adult hands, with rough edges at the bottom to help you grip your food
- Got some sesame seeds? Grind them up with a great wooden pestle from Japan, also useful for many jobs in the kitchen
- Scoop rice with a new rice scoop we've got for you -- comes with an anti-stick coating and a handy holder
- We've restocked the extremely detailed Utawarerumono figures from Epoch, very detailed, with full sets in stock
- We sold out of the Spirit of Wonder Figure Collection toys we posted in just one day -- we've posted some random individual figures of this series while we try to get more full sets
- Hold your business cards stylishly with a new stainless steel name card holder from Japan
- We've restocked the popular Hyper Product Revolution, featuring super cute swimsuit idols like Megumi, Harumi Nemoto, Eiko Koike, Yuko Ogura and Chinatsu Wakatsuki
- Finally, see authentic Buddhist prayer beads, cool Hello Kitty items for your children, fresh stock of large-size bento boxes from Japan, and more!
For our 18+ customers, we've got many new products. The new items include:
- For fans of Japan's adult magazines, we've got the new issue of Bachelor, filled with beautiful women from around the world, including the amazing Yulia Nova
- Then enjoy a great "million mook" filled with beautiful Tokyo girls aged 18-22, shot in various beautiful places all around Japan
- For photobook fans, we've got some great new items for you, including the beautiful glossy photobook of Iori, an amazing hardcover photobook
- We have some excellent new 18+ manga comics for you, featuring incredible artwork and themes, including a new offering with strong hermaphrodite concepts, beautiful cosplay art and more
- Also, look for another big restocking of our most popular books, including the "Excellent" anthology books, Live Wire Insertion, and the very popular Futanari Premium
- For doujinshi collectors, we've got another volley of excellent new books for you, parodying Japan's famous anime characters in naughty ways
- J-List carries unique and interesting toys for adults sold only in the Japanese market, and we've got a cool new item for men: a soft, otherworldly vibrating adult product with many potential uses, made of ultra-soft massaging micro beads
- For DVD collectors, we've got some great new offerings, starting with the very first "hard" performance by the lovely Mai Hagiwara, who has finally made the jump from a beautiful image idol to the professional JAV world (region free)
- Then taste the lovely silky stockings of Cocolo, who stars in a great new fetish offering from Atlas 21 (region free)
- JAV director Hajime is known for some extremely wacky ideas -- see a new collection of his best works released through Soft on Demand (region free)
- Also from SOD, enjoy the new Deep Kiss, this time produced by the famous Female Director Haruna, who shows her stuff with one of SOD's most famous video lines (region free)
- Then enjoy the very lovely Asuka Sawaguchi as she stars in a 3 hour special release by Wanz Factory, showing her most memorable performances ever -- great for fans of the amazing Japanese girl-next-door (region 2)
- Finally, look for some great restocked DVD products, including Photo Shot DX, Eri Yukawa's very hard DVD release, restocked Sora Aoi DVD titles, and more!
Remember that J-List carries the famous Japanese gum Black Black, a caffeine-laced gum that will wake up you and keep you awake. Enjoyed by everyone from college students to truck drivers, Black Black has been plugged in Wired Magazine and novels by William Gibson. And as with most of our gum and snack items, if you buy 10 or more you get a 15% discount at checkout.