Part of the fun of living in Japan is watching Japanese TV, which never fails to entertain. One of the most popular TV shows on right now is Toribia no Izumi, or the Fountain of Trivia, which presents fun but useless trivia to a panel of famous Japanese comedians and entertainers, who then press buttons to indicate how interesting they think the trivia item is. Some of my favorites: In Angkor Wat, there's a pillar with graffiti written by a samurai who went there in the 1700's, thinking it was a Buddhist temple. After the 15th Tokugawa Shogun returned power to the emperor in the Meiji Restoration, he tried to find work as a photographer. In the Japan Lion's Club, the members affix the word "lion" to the end of their names. The original rules for organized basketball called for two teams of 50 players each. In the original Italian story that Cinderella was based on, Cinderella slams a chest on her stepmother, killing her. They also answer such useless questions as, how much faster would an Olympic sprinter be able to run if he were running on a moving sidewalk.
Another show we like to watch is TV Champion, which pits contestants against each other to show off their amazing talents, creating massive origami sculptures, remodeling hundred year old homes with limited budgets, baking exotic cakes, and so on. Some shows feature eating contests to see how many hot dogs, bananas or sushi contestants can eat in a limited time. Yesterday they featured artists who made amazing sculptures out of massive blocks of styrofoam. One contestant recreated an Egyptian tomb, complete with pillars and skeletons, all carved and painted with simple tools. Another interesting creation was the lunar surface, complete with styrofoam replicas of Neil Armstrong and the lunar lander.
Today is Friday, and that means I'll be taking the kids to our favorite public bath. Bathing in hot springs ("onsen") and public baths ("sento") is a popular pasttime in Japan, and despite the hard economic times of the past few years, Japan's public bathing sector has been going strong. Our favorite bath is called Yura no Sato, and offers over a dozen different baths to enjoy, from traditional Japanese "kama" baths which are basically giant metal pots to baths with rocks on the bottom which massage your feet.
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of really cute things from Japan, we've got a new USB "hubcot" (hub mascot) featuring Sony's cute cat Doko Demo Issyo ("Always With You")
- J-List loves the miniature toys from Japan, called candy toys because you usually get some candy included with the toy -- we've got some nifty cases that are great for displaying your small toys proudly in your room
- Speaking of candy toys, we've got a super cool item in stock, a replica of famous bottles of sake, with delicious replicas of food you eat in Japanese bars
- Also very cool, we've got limited stock of full sets of the new Please Teacher Collection Figure -- get all six before they're gone
- We have some great new snack items for you, including delicious Lotte Cheesecake Toppo, a baked stick snack with "cheesecake choco" inside
- Also newly posted, find Nestle's Aero Choco, delicious whipped chocolate to eat, tasty garlic bread snacks, Every Burger (chocolate hamburger cookies), and for fans of Japanese bubble gum, new yogurt flavored Fruit of the Bubble
- We've made a great big restocking of our snack items to better serve you -- look for Coconut Pocky, delicious little cheesecake snacks, Shrimp & Salt flavored Pretz, and fresh stock of sugarless Black Black
- We've got some really cool household items from Japan, including soft rubber bumpers which protect your little ones from bumping on corners, a handy toothbrush hanger for your bathroom, and more
- Newly added items for your kitchen including a great hard-boiled egg cutter, which slices into pieces in one movement, and a new non-stick scoop for your rice cooker
- Enjoy more classical music of old Japan with new CDs we've posted -- including Japanese military songs from World War II
- The hibiscus flower is the symbol of young Japanese females, called kogals, and we've got a great reflective hibiscus sticker in stock for you
- Finally, look for more Tomica die-cast metal cars and other restocked toys on the site.
For our 18+ customers, we've got many new products. The new items include:
- For fans of the excellent 18+ magazines from Japan, we've got the new issue of Gokuh, filled with beautiful women (including Sola Aoi, one of our favorites) and a giant pull-out poster
- Then we've got the very cool issue of Ultimate Heroine, a beautiful look a leather lingerie from Sanwa
- For photobook aficionados, be sure to check out the new Temption Blue, featuring the drop-dead gorgeous Aki Hoshino (comes with a DVD!)
- Also, we've got a fabulous photobook capturing the up-close and personal photographs of Kyoko Ayana, one of Japan's top names in the JAV world today
- For fans of detailed ropework and other themes, we've got the new issue of DVD Aido Club, which features a full color magazine and a DVD full of great movies to sample
- For our manga customers, we've got more excellent works for you, including the lovely "I want to be gently held by you" by EC Comics, and a superb anthology of various cosplay themes
- We have some great new doujinshi for collectors of these popular parody books, all brand new releases in Japan
- Also, we've got a fabulous collection of doujin CG by the doujin circle Mimakasa Direct
- We love to bring you really cool toys for adults that can only be found in Japan -- we've got two new blow-up "love pillows" of real Japanese actresses, which come complete with vocal CDs by the girls -- wow
- For our DVD customers, we've got some great items for the weekend update -- first up, Million asks the question "What If Asuka Sawaguchi Were my Dearest Girl..." (region free)
- We have a veritable festival for Minori Aoi fans -- three of her best titles re-released at great prices. Buy them separately, or as part of a new Minori Aoi Complete Box set (region free)
- Then enjoy more of the pure loveliness of Nana Natsume in a new image video release by Soft on Demand (region free)
- Also from SOD, we've got a really interesting twist on yaoi -- a work which explores themes of homosexuality, yet both of the performers are women pretending to be men (region free)
- Then enjoy the Best oif Madoka Ozawa brought to you by Moodyz, 4 hours of her best performances on two DVDs (region 2)
- Finally, we've also got a major restocking of DVDs for you, including Stewardess and Leg Best 4 Hours, Marina Matsushima's excellent "DIX," Cosplay & Tekoki, Mika Kitagawa's elegant performances, Haruka Tsukino Final, and more great works by Sola Aoi and Ran Asakura.
Remember that J-List sells delicious stick snacks from Japan, including the delicious chocolate covered Pocky (Coconut is one of my favorite flavors), salty and delicious Pretz (I love the Tomato and Grilled Corn flavors), and the baked Toppo. Since the summer months in Japan are very hot and humid, we don't sell any products with chocolate past May or so. If you're looking to try our great selection of delicious stitch snacks, hurry!