Posts filed under ‘Japanese Business’

Coded FYI

I’ve been seeing QR codes more often in the U.S. They pop up on concert posters and websites, though mostly as things of novelty. To Americans, they probably resemble some sort of alien language turned abstract art.

In Japan, QR codes have been in the mainstream for years as an alternate link to marathon-long web addresses. Whenever you see a QR code — let’s say, on a cereal box — snap it on your camera phone and you’ll be taken to the company’s site filled with information and maybe even a coupon or two.

Especially if you’re a small businesses, QR codes are great for promoting your products. Here’s all you need:

QR Code Stamp

It’s a cute stamp embedded with your own personalized QR code. Suppose you just opened a crepe shop in the neighborhood. Instead of spending money on billboards and newspaper ads, you can go around the block stamping your QR code onto any white space you see. You can even be sneaky and stamp it on the competitor’s napkins.

The little toy comes with a self-contained inkpad so that your stamp never dries out. And they’re made to look like animated people and animals; the ultimate stealthy facade when trying to beat out the competition!

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

April 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm 2 comments

Put a Lid on It

Cup ramen is as simple as 1,2, 3, but thanks to designer Akira Mabuchi it gets easier.

Introducing CUPMEN 2! Colorful little people whose sole objective is to tell you when lunch is ready. Three minutes is all it takes to get your noodles from crispy to soft. And with the help of temperature-sensitive silicone, these guys will change colors just for the occasion.

When I’m making ramen, I tend to find whatever is within arms reach to hold down the paper lid: a knife, a dish cloth, a piece of Scotch tape. Cupmen 2 adds a touch of chic to your 3-for-a-dollar meal.

I love how you can position these guys in two ways — either sunbathing or hanging from a cliff. (The original Cupmen comes in one position.) Its more of a functional work of art than your standard paperweight.

Though just like a Picasso original, these body-bending creatures don’t come cheap. $58 for a set of three (blue, orange, red), to be exact. What a way to be the envy of college dorms everywhere!

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

July 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

Canine Coolness

“Kyaawaiii~~!”

That’s what a friend IMs me whenever he finds something cute on the internet. And not just cute, Japanesey cute. Like let’s say dogs wearing a yukata

A yukata is a light robe worn around at summer festivals as you chug beer and gawk at fireworks in the sky. Though in the case of a canine, a yukata is an adorable garment that’ll earn you plenty of head-pats and even a few scraps of yakitori.

My friend found these pups on the shopping site Rakuten. They average $23 per robe and some come with a cute ribbon your dog can eternally chase after. They’re the most adorable doggy outfits I’ve seen in a while.

The good thing about a doggy yukata is that, just like the human version, it’s comfortable and loosely-worn, so your pup won’t be panting at the expense of your accessory fetish.

I know most people scoff at girls who dress up their Pomeranian and lodge them in a Louis Vuitton. But you can’t deny that these yukatas are adorable. Leave it up to Japan to transform tacky back to cute!

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

July 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm Leave a comment

The Freshen-Up Pouch

Like any good consumer, I have a pouch for all occasions — particularly for visits to the ladies room. After all, how tacky would it be to flaunt a sanitary napkin around the office. It’s like saying, “Hello world! Guess what time of the month it is!?”

Classy ladies always stay fresh, but they’re also discreet about it. So whether it’s a toothbrush, an eyeliner pencil, a Biore powder sheet, or that time of the month, I’m sure to keep it packed in a cute little bag.

Some of my favorite accessories come from Artisan&Artist, which specializes in small pouches packed with tons pockets. Quality-wise, they’re durable and the zipper never gets caught on loose strings hanging at the seams. Believe me, when you’re rushing to find your lip gloss in a crowded Tokyo intersection a sturdy zipper really helps!

Here in Los Angeles, I don’t see many people using these type of small, utilitarian bags. I have a feeling it’s because we keep all our stuff sprawled out in the backseat of our car. In Tokyo, however, you’re dependent on public transportation, so it’s hard to stay fresh as roses when you’re cooped up in a musty commuter train, especially in the dead of summer. That’s why the ‘freshen-up pouch’ is a girl’s best friend.

Designer Shinzi Katoh also has a bunch of cute little bags. Check them out! I know you want one~! \(^o^)/

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

June 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm Leave a comment

Best Lunch Ever!

For a limited time only, 7-Eleven (Japan) is offering a special bento box commemorating the 20th anniversary of Chibi Maruko, Japan’s animated sweetheart.

The $11 meal includes a two-tiered plastic container, a mini fork and a mini tote bag. Inside the box you’ll find an assortment of tasty morsels like bacon-wrapped asparagus, a grilled meat patty, seasoned vegetables, cheesy potatoes and a rice ball. Best lunch ever! \(^o^)/

Bento boxes are what I love about Japan’s 7-Eleven. They’re quick, cute, nutritious and affordable. And from time to time you’ll come across one of these synergistic meal deals that also make a great collector’s item.

Chibi Maruko is one of the most-watched animated series in Japan, airing Sunday evenings just before dinnertime. It’s a wholesome show depicting the often comical idiosyncrasies of Japanese family life. With the show’s mass-appeal, I’m sure the bento box will be sold out before it even hits shelves.

It’s just too bad that nothing as fun as this comes to 7-Eleven in the U.S. Though when I think about it, those Simpson’s Movie and Domo-kun collectibles from the past couple years were pretty cool. Maybe there’s more to come? Family Guy bento box, perhaps!?

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

June 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm 2 comments

My Seal of Friendship

My friend has been feeling very sad and lonely lately. I feel bad, but with work and other obligations in the way I can’t be there for her 24/7.

So the next best thing I could do is give her one of my lovable ‘Shirotan’ pets:

I discovered this little guy at a shop in Japan called Mother Garden. They mostly specialize in adorable pet accessories, but also have a few toys hanging around for humans, too. Shirotan is a seal pup who likes disguising himself as other animals like penguins, elephants, lions, and random things like strawberries and bumblebees. (It’s Japan. Don’t question it.)

He’s the most adorable thing I’ve seen since Rirakkuma and Piyochan, and he’s always there whenever you need a hug. Memory foam-like material makes him ultra soft and cuddly.

The cool thing about Shirotan’s costumes is that they’re fastened by velcro, so you can change his clothes to your liking.

Hopefully, Shirotan will be able to keep my friend company and maybe even make her smile… otherwise, I’m taking him back!!

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

June 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment

Save a Tree, Buy Some Chopsticks

Deforestation is still a huge problem in the world and it especially hits home for us chopstick-holding types. On a typical week, I’ll blow through a dozen or so disposable sticks. …Yikes, I’m a tree killer!

So to ease my conscience, I started searching for cool utensils I won’t need to later feed the garbage can. Here are my favorites:

Can’t stand getting your fingers greased up in a bag of potato chips? Here’s the tool for you: Chip sticks! It spares the annoyance of licking your fingers clean as you play Warcraft. Toss a bowl of rice into the bag and you’ve got dinner! ($4.32)

Not a day goes by at Los Angeles’ Japanese markets where you don’t see a bunch of anime-loving teens ogling boxes of Pocky on the shelf. I’m not sure what the fascination is, but I’m sure it’s thanks to Glico‘s marketing team putting it in our heads that a stick-like cookie covered in chocolate is the next best thing to heaven. Now you can pick up and eat Pocky using — what else? — a pair of Pocky sticks! How cute is that! ($4)

Contrary to popular belief, Asians are not genetically predisposed to eating with chopsticks. We had to practice just like everyone else. So for those of you who can’t keep them still between your fingers, here’s the utensil for you. They’re hinged together at the top end and ribbed at the bottom to prevent embarrassing slips. Practice with them and in a few weeks you’ll be able to take down flies! ($13)

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

June 2, 2010 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

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