Well, we’ve had a fun run here at Tokyo Bounce, but our company has decided to head in a different direction with our social media efforts. Unfortunately, this means that we won’t be posting any more updates to this blog. We’re going to miss sharing our take our Tokyo life and our favorite new Japanese products, that’s for sure!
Thanks so much for reading,
Andrea, Fernando, “Yamada” and the rest of the Tokyo Bounce team
If you’re a Cup Noodle fan, mark your calendar for September 18th. Starting from then, you’ll have the opportunity to win something utterly fabulous from your favorite snack maker.
Ok, right now it doesn’t look so cool. But press a button and…
Robot noodle timer!
Cup Noodles need to soak in hot water for 3 minutes, so that’s the length of time this little guy will mark out for you. In the meantime, he’ll entertain with little movements as well as quips about eating and factoids about Cup Noodles.
You can’t buy the robot noodle timer unfortunately. You’ll need to collect stickers off of specially marked noodle packs and then mail them in for your chance to win. With only 10,000 units available, competition may be tight so buy early and buy often.
Source: Digital Gadgets Freak
Today is Vegetable Day, or Yasai no Hi in Japanese. Like so many other promotional events, the date was chosen for phonetic reasons. In Japanese, 8/31 could potentially be read as 8 (ya), 3 (sa), 1 (i). Et voila!
I’m assuming you already know about all the delicious Japanese vegetables out there – tasty pumpkins, slimy mountain yams, bitter melon, etc etc. So let’s skip the introductions and go straight to the fun part. Break out your knives, it’s time to learn some cutting techniques.
Japanese cooking uses many of the same knife cuts as Western cuisine, but there are some that don’t cross over. Like my favorite, the rangiri (literally, “chaos cut”). This would be used for simmered dishes mainly, but I also use it for raw cucumbers.
Another cutting technique that’s not often seen outside Japan (at least that I know of) – the katsuramuki. I’ve read that practicing this cut – which involves turning a chunk of giant radish into one long, paper thin sheet – is something novice chefs do repeatedly to build their knife skills.
And if the careful finesse required for the katsuramuki is not your thing, you can always try this.
If you want to learn more Japanese cutting techniques, check out Ajinomoto’s YouTube channel.
Now, finally a product for Tokyo Sky Tree fanatics who happen to have a thousand or so 500-yen coins lying about - a 1/500 scale piggy bank. Just in case you’ve forgotten just how massive Sky Tree is, a 1/500 scale model is still 1.26 meters tall. That’s pretty large for a coin box.
Oh yeah, it glows in the dark too.
In keeping with those prodigious dimensions, this bank can hold a ton of money. If you were to fill it completely with 500-yen coins, you’d have 634,000 yen ($8242), an accomplishment only slightly less impressive than constructing the 634 meter tower itself, I’m sure.
Source: Kaden Watch
Want more wacky coin boxes? Read a roundup of our favorite Japanese piggy banks
A few weeks ago, SuperHappyAwesome devoted two posts to some pretty, well, awesome Nyan-Cat tattoos. I shared the link around the office and that got us all talking about other Japanese geek or pop culture icons that would make for silly tattoos. Here are some of the favorites we imagined, then found in real life…
This was the favorite idea I heard tossed around and I’m happy to report that at least one person had the same happy thought. Source
Not every cute Japanese marketing creation has + more
I hope you’re hungry, because we’ve got a whole lot of food in this week’s Japan-related reading list…
Food in Japan
The newest J-Festa is out and the subject this time is food. The collection of 30 posts comes with neat little summaries so you can zero in on the bits that interest you most. Like raw horsemeat sushi, or perhaps fantasy dining?
A co-worker had to take a non-Japanese-speaking friend to the hospital yesterday. After visits to several departments in the course of a 6-hour visit, they left with a bag full of mystery powders and pills, but no diagnosis. This got us all talking about our various misadventures in the Japanese medical system. Here, in no particular order, are our particular pet peeves…
Resuable tongue depressors
Fernando was used to the system in Brazil, where the tongue depressors are made of wood and discarded after each use. So to see the depressor returned to a liquid-filled jar (I assume the liquid is alcohol or some sort of cleaning agent. At least I hope so) for use on the next patient really creeped him out…
Anti-biotics for everything
My pet peeve, the inability of doctors to + more
The Sumida River fireworks – Tokyo’s largest – are this Saturday and for some unfathomable reason, I have decided to join the immense crowds for a change. And if spending the evening amidst an incredible throng of people weren’t bad enough, I agreed to a foolish plan to arrive in a yukata, or summer kimono. Quite apart from the usual Westerner-in-Japan size issues, I’m quickly discovering that there are some major taste issues to contend with.
If you start perusing yukata collections – either online or in the store – you start to notice that there are only 4 colors to choose from – black, white, pink and purple. One store even spells this out on their site.
You’ll also find that cutsey embellishments are gaining traction. I swear, in 2003, I didn’t see girls that looked like they had just survived a Sanrio store explosion.
In 2010, young women started flocking to the hills, hiking around Japan’s beautiful scenery in skirts and bright, striped leggings. When I first heard of this, I thought it was a bit odd, but hey, more power to the Yama Girls.
But things move fast in Japan, and mountain girls are so yesterday’s news. The replacement? Well, it seems to be Go, that traditional Asian board game that is mostly played by older men. Just last week I stumbled onto a blog post that devotes 8 pages to this latest unexpected movement in girl culture (it seems 90% of new Go students are young women). And their clothing of choice is not skirts and leggings but feminine yukata, summer kimonos.
This got me wondering, what does 2012 hold in store for the young women of Japan? My 3 best (read, totally made up) guesses below…
Texas hold ‘em
It took hold in the US, so why not Japan? It’s got + more