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the best times of the year to shop in Japan


Lucky bags always make January a great time to go shopping in Japan, but it’s the prime dojinshi-buying time for a very different reason. As he does at the start of every new year, our resident anime fan, Seiji, made a trip to a branch of mega-retailer Animate to pick up one of the …

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Tokyo school’s teach you to be an Akihabara professional


Courses include maid cafe management, idol production, and dojinshi promotion. As Japan’s mecca for anime, video games, cosplay, Tokyo’s Akihabara has long been thought of as a hobbyist’s neighborhood. But as otaku continue to grow in both number and economic clout, it’s becoming apparent that the Akihabara lifestyle can include work as well as play. Tokyo …

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Create your own KitKats with new vending machine in Kyoto


The only thing better than a box of Japanese Kit Kats is one you’ve made yourself. For many visitors to Japan, souvenir shopping means stocking up on some of the country’s many exclusive Kit Kat flavours. From Hiroshima’s Maple Leaf-shaped Red Bean Cake variety to the melon-and-cheese treat from Hokkaido, Nestlé Japan has …

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Crazy cheap Internet cafe in Akihabara for otakus


With overnight stays costing as low as the price of two meals, travelers can save big and relax in comfortable rooms situated right in the heart of the otaku capital. Finding reasonably priced accommodation in the heart of Akihabara may seem daunting at first, but look hard enough and you’ll find that there …

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Japan’s hottest all-you-can-eat sushi deal


You might think “all-you-can-eat sushi” is all you need to hear, but here are some things you’ll want to know so that you don’t waste your money. After a phenomenally successful initial run last summer, Kappa Sushi, one of Japan’s most popular conveyor belt sushi chains, has brought back its 1,580 yen (US$US$14) all-you-can-eat deal. While …

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“Receipt Manga” machine discovered at Akihabara


This is the most entertaining way to buy a Japanese manga comic! As Japan’s mecca for all things manga and anime, Tokyo’s Akihabara district is always buzzing with new and exciting discoveries and events. Recently, the third Tech Book Fest was held in the area, drawing otaku from far and …

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Halloween in Shibuya: A Night Like No Other


It’s October! Which means cooler weather and approaching beautiful falling leaves. But we won’t get through autumn without the fun-filled, exciting Halloween. It’s that time of the year again when you can dress as anything you want to, and get a little crazy! Dick Thomas Johnson on Flickr Dick Thomas Johnson on …

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Japan’s Data and Voice SIM Providers Compared


Investigating Japan SIM cards? If you balk at the enormous monthly fees and hidden charges of the big mobile players like NTT DoCoMo, Softbank and AU, you might have contemplated going the “SIM-free” route—ditching your locked cellphone for an unlocked handset paired with a cheap MVNO SIM from one of the plethora …

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Anime figures get their own line of sex toys in Japan


ozens of pieces, including urine stream, bundled in set of adult goods for anime figures to pose and play with. Ostensibly, companies make and sell anime figures so that fans of a certain series or character can own and display a physical representation of their passion for a work of fiction. However, some …

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Gundam’s replacement statue unveiled in Odaiba


Gundam’s upgrade was unveiled in Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront district on Sunday, giving hope to its corporate sponsors that the giant robot statue will become a new tourist attraction ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The towering, full-scale 19.7-meter Unicorn Gundam replaces the previous model, which was removed in March. “I …

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