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Archives for : April2015

Photo of the Day: Donguritaishi

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In Japan, you will find Donguritaishi (Acorn Republic) stores that specialize in selling Studio Ghibli related merchandise.

Looking for Ghibli swag from “Tonari no Totoro” (My Neighbor Totoro), Majo no Takkyūbin (Kiki’s Delivery Service), Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There) and more, definitely give Donguritaishi a try as you can find many plush of characters, some small, some very big.

But there are also cool things to find in the area including those relate to gardening and more!

Definitely stores that Ghibli fans will want to check out!

E-Girls Ami to make solo debut this summer

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E-Girls member Ami announced at the E-Girls final performance of “E-girls LIVE TOUR 2015 COLORFUL WORLD” that she will make her solo debut this summer.

Ami is also a member of Dream and made her debut in 2002.

Watanabe Mayu to release new single on June 10th

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Watanabe Mayu (Mayuyu) will be releasing her first single in two years on June 10th.

The song is being featured on her drama “Tatakau! Shoten Girl” with different limited edition releases planned.  Also, a solo live is being planned for September.

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AKB48’s Matsui Sakiko talks about why she isn’t participating in this year’s General Election

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AKB48 member Matsui Sakiko (24) attended the opening ceremony of “La Folle Journee au Japon” Music Festival at Marunouchi, Tokyo.

When asked why she declined participating for this year’s AKB48 General Election, Matsui explained that for this seventh year since entering AKB48, she wanted to look at things from the outside.  Also, she wants to be serious about her piano work and so she returned back to music college after taking a brief leave of absence.

Photo of the Day: Tokyo Dome

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Located in the special ward of Tokyo known as Bunkyo, Tokyo Dome is a well-known 55,000-seat baseball stadium which opened in 1988.

While known for hosting many concerts and many sports games, Tokyo Dome is home to the Yomiuri Giants baseball team and right next to it is a huge entertainment complex known as Tokyo Dome City which includes dozens of restaurants, stores and an amusement park including the roller coaster known as Thunder Dolphin and the ferris wheel.

If you are looking for an exciting place to hang out in the early evening, Tokyo Dome and Tokyo Dome City is definitely worth visiting!

What’s to love about SHOWROOM? If you love Japanese culture, then a lot!

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One of the coolest Japanese websites that many are flocking to as of late is DeNA’s social media live video streaming site, Showroom.

Now being utilized by music artists and groups, the Yokohama DeNA Baystars baseball, idol groups, fashion models, comedians, voice talent and normal people, it’s attracting many thousands of people each day.

One can look at it like Ustream or the now-defunct justin.tv, but the major difference is that you don’t have to worry about any trolling, flame wars.  The Japanese are quite respectful to those who are broadcasting.

The setup is easy, you select your avatar and by visiting various sites, you can open up various character avatars.  And to level up, it’s quite easy.  On the right hand side, you will see stars in which you click on to give as gifts as it not only raises your level, but also the broadcasters level.

The streaming video has been clean, I haven’t experienced any problems with Showroom as of yet, and the broadcasters I have communicated are very cool!

One of the coolest aspects is the many variety of broadcasts and of course, the Japanese cultural difference.

While many will broadcast from their rooms, many will broadcast from a variety of areas.  Outdoors, at a restaurant, at a karaoke room, at the hair salon, on stage, on a train, there is always something new.

You also gain points by tweeting and you can open up various special gifts for leveling up.  Of course, if you want to send bigger gifts and increase your level, you can pay and have an account, which I haven’t done just yet.

But if you want to experience Japanese culture live, check out Showroom!

Here are some of my favorites on Showroom:

J-POP: Tokyo Performance Dolls, Tokyo Girls’ Style, PASSPO, Palet, Aoi Eir, LinQ

Music Related (Non-Japanese music): Tokyo EDM

Fashion model: Nagayasu Izumi, Alice Iwamoto, Norie, Onojima

NPB: Yokohama Baystars (Note: Live game coverage will end in May 2015)

Non-Professional: Akira

2015 NPB Season Standings – April 28, 2015

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While it’s still to early in the season to make any bold predictions, we do know that so far, it’s a tight race in the Central League.

Currently, as of April 28th, the Yomiuri Giants and the Yakult Swallows are tied in first place (both are 15-11).

The DeNA Yokohama Baystars have climbed their way to third, one game behind at (14-12), while Chunichi has dropped from first to fourth place and are at (14-14).  Meanwhile, Hanshin are fifth and surprisingly, the Hiroshima Carp are at 8-15 in last place.

In the Pacific League, the Nippon Ham Fighters have a small lead at first place and have the best standing in the NPB for 205 with a 16-8 record.  Seibu Lions are not far behind at 12-10, Softbank at 12-11 and Rakuten Eagles at 11-11, the Chiba Lotte Marines at 24-11 and in last place are the Orix Buffaloes at 26-8.

Standings are ever changing these past few weeks as we have seen Chunichi who had a comfortable lead weeks ago, now down to fourth, while the Ham Fighters have remained strong.

Again, it’s early in the season but it will be interesting to see how these standings change by next week.

Photo: Sugano Tomoyuki of the Yomiuri Giants  – Photo by Dennis A. Amith, J!-ENT

Photo of the Day: Walking through Omotesando

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Located in Shibuya and Minato, Tokyo is the avenue known as Omotesando.

Mentioned and confused by foreigners as a city, Omotesando is an avenue featuring zelkova trees and a stylish area that is home to shopping areas such as Omotesando Hills (featuring Saint Laurent Paris, Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo), Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Apple, Laforet and a plethora of restaurants and cafe’s and more.

Next to Ginza, Omotesando can be seen as high trend due to its high number of fashion flagship stores and international boutiques.

If you are into high fashion, Omotesando is the place to go!  It’s also one of my favorite and classiest locations to eat at due to its many cool restaurants.

Photo by Dennis A. Amith, J!-ENT