shopping

Lingerie retailer catering to flat-chested girls inundated with orders within hours of opening

Lingerie retailer catering to flat-chested girls inundated with orders within hours of opening

“Why should only big-breasted girls get all the fun of lingerie shopping?” is apparently the question that led Japanese fashion school student Gomi Hayakawa to design and sell these stylish lingerie sets, tailor-made for flat chested girls, under the brand name of “Feast.”

Now, I understand that, in English, “flat-chested” has mildly derogatory connotations (imagine how a guy would react if you described him as having “micro junk” or something), but trust me, in this case I’m literally just directly translating. Japanese has so many words for varying sizes, textures and shapes of breasts your head will spin.

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Adorable Thai fashion with plenty of Flower Power now available on Japanese shopping site BUYMA!

Adorable Thai fashion with plenty of Flower Power now available on Japanese shopping site BUYMA!

Just recently, we brought to you the sailor swimsuit which seemed to masterfully combine two well-loved fashion elements into one. Well, we’re happy to say that one of the reporters from our sister site Pouch have found more adorable swimwear to share with you, and this time, they come in some very “flowery” designs!

We’re not talking about ordinary flower prints here, though. These beautiful swimsuits are actually from Thailand, and we think you’ll understand why they’ve been selling extremely well online here in Japan once you see the amazing three-dimensional patterns which really look like flowers have blossomed all over the suits. So prepared to be dazzled by some eye-opening bikinis — plus, they have some adorable accessories to match the swimwear perfectly as well!

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An afternoon in Kagurazaka, Tokyo’s French Quarter 【Hidden Tokyo】

An afternoon in Kagurazaka, Tokyo’s French Quarter 【Hidden Tokyo】

Kagurazaka is one of the most attractive and interesting enclaves in all of Tokyo. Its name in kanji, 神楽坂, literally translates to “God Music Slope”, referring to kagura, the spiritual music traditionally dedicated to Shinto gods. Located at what used to be the outer edge of Edo Castle, the gentle slope that still runs through Kagurazaka today was once filled with the sounds of music emanating from the Imperial Court.

Today, this is one of the few remaining areas of Tokyo where you’ll find exclusive geisha houses hidden off the main street and kimono-clad women shuffling through narrow cobblestone alleyways. It’s also the best place to experience a taste of France, as it has the largest concentration of French restaurants in Tokyo, and a vibrant French expat community. You’ll even hear the strains of accordions as they pipe Parisian music through speakers on the street!

Join us after the jump as we take a stroll through the area and reveal why a visit to Kagurazaka should be on your list of places to see in Tokyo.

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“Awesome! Lemon Coke is back!” say tens of consumers in Japan

“Awesome! Lemon Coke is back!” say tens of consumers in Japan

After a grueling nine year wait, the two dozen or so hardcore fans of Lemon Coke can finally triumphantly shrug their shoulders and go, “Meh,”, as the company has announced it’s bringing back the mildly tolerated legend after a long hiatus.

The new Lemon Coke, now with slick new packaging that includes a spiffy yellow cap, will be re-introduced to 16,622 7-Elevens throughout Japan, probably to the glorious, collective nonchalant grunts of thousands. Based on promotional photos, the Coke seems a little more transparent than usual, indicating that there must be a whole lot of lemon juice in there.

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Rainy season commuter must-have: a dry case for wet umbrellas

Rainy season commuter must-have: a dry case for wet umbrellas

The rainy season is upon us in Tokyo, which means the smart commuter always has a fold-up umbrella in his or her bag. Their small size and portability makes them great for just-in-case days of dubious weather forecasts, but then there’s always the issue of what to do with them after you’ve used them. You can’t just fold them up and pop them dripping back into your bag, holding them by the strap usually means they end up dripping down your legs, and tossing them on the luggage rack means ta shower for the passengers below.

Until now that is. Someone has finally invented a workable solution! Introducing the Susu microfiber dry case for wet brollies!

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“If only I could get that on a t-shirt…” – Now you can thanks to Uniqlo!

“If only I could get that on a t-shirt…” – Now you can thanks to Uniqlo!

How many times have you been at a friend’s house, or eating out with someone and you see a really fantastic T-shirt but thought, “if only it was a little different?” You’re jealous, to say the least, because that’s the kind of T-shirt you’ve always wanted to own, with a few changes. The colors, the graphics, the way it looks like it was randomly splattered with other things, it all rocks. Of course, you could go to a T-shirt design shop and work with them to make your own, but it’s too time-consuming and let’s face it, you’re lazy.

Uniqlo, the store that seems to be expanding to more parts of the globe every day, has your back. And it’s really as simple as swiping your finger across the screen of your smart phone. Oh, and of course, shaking it.

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Falafel, beer, and water wheels: Shibuya and Harajuku’s tucked-away treasures 【Hidden Tokyo】

Falafel, beer, and water wheels: Shibuya and Harajuku’s tucked-away treasures 【Hidden Tokyo】

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the bustling, beautiful megalopolis of Tokyo, then the city really is yours – you just have to know where to look. And if you want to get away from the tourist trail and get down close to the beating heart of the capital, a journey into the back streets of the 23 wards is where you’ll wind up.

Come with us as we take you into different neighbourhoods and spend an afternoon exploring some of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets. Today we’ll take you around some of Shibuya’s lesser known backstreets, where you can chow down on falafels, pick up some of the best coffee and soak up a hip, laid-back atmosphere.

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What in the world is going on at Hermes in Shibuya??

What in the world is going on at Hermes in Shibuya??

When you think about fashion, there’s a good chance that the first place you think of is Paris–and with good reason! France is certainly one of the leading fashion centers in the world, but Tokyo isn’t far behind. Though it may not be at the very top of the list of fashion cities, we’d reckon that the Japanese metropolis is at least in the top ten. So, it’s hardly any surprise at all that Hermès, one of France’s most celebrated fashion companies, has over ten locations in Tokyo proper alone, with a few more in Narita and Haneda airports as well.

Of course, high fashion is an art form, so it’s only fitting that Hermès stores also feature eye-catching displays to match their mesmerizing goods. But we think they might have gotten a bit too eye-catching with a few of these showcases…

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“Cool Japan” mall set to open in China

“Cool Japan” mall set to open in China

The “Cool Japan Promotion Organization,” an organization dedicated to bringing traditional and popular Japanese culture to countries overseas through various business projects, has announced their plans to open a Japanese mall in the Chinese city of Ningbo, Zhejiang. The mall will provide shoppers with a unique Japanese shopping experience, including clothing stores and anime theaters, alongside other distinctly Japanese businesses.

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Freaky veggies trending in Japanese groceries, possible precursor to real-life “The Last of Us”

Freaky veggies trending in Japanese groceries, possible precursor to real-life “The Last of Us”

So, apparently numerous ’50s and ’60s B-Movies (and one glorious ’80s cartoon) and a popular, genre-defining video game weren’t enough to deter scientists from playing God with plant-life if the growing number of hybrid vegetables available on Japanese store shelves is any proof.

These days, most hybrid vegetables are created over a roughly 10-year period of crossbreeding certain seeds in what we presume is some kind of laboratory setting, although the practice has been alive for centuries – yielding some hybrids that the general public isn’t even aware are hybrids. The Romanesco, for example, is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, and was created in the 16th century. Side note: It’s also probably mind blowing to look at while high.

But the things we’re seeing increasingly often in Japan these days are just plain weird.

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Woman creates a scene at auto show because her man won’t buy her a car【Video】

Woman creates a scene at auto show because her man won’t buy her a car【Video】

There are some things that children do that can ruin a nice day out for an adult or for the whole family, and such behavior is generally tolerated only because they’re kids and they have no idea what a nightmare they’re causing. But when a fully grown adult throws a tantrum in public, you can be sure that it’s probably going to end up on YouTube…

Don’t see what I’m trying to get at? You might have a better idea after watching this couple arguing at an auto show, the woman screaming and pulling at her man’s shirt because he won’t buy her the car she likes.

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All-in-one bed is perfect for you, you lazy bum (Also, why don’t you get a job?)

All-in-one bed is perfect for you, you lazy bum (Also, why don’t you get a job?)

We can all agree that being lazy is the best. There’s nothing quite like spending a weekend catching up on Game of Thrones, stuffing your face with pizza and taking care of certain, uh… solo carnal needs (Just me?). That said, laziness can be a slippery slope. One too many unproductive weekends can easily turn into a vicious cycle of booze, potato chips and Three’s Company reruns just as addictive as any illicit substance.

That’s why this all-in-one lazy-enabling bed is probably downright dangerous.  With the proper placement, this bed allows you to do practically anything other than go to the bathroom without ever taking a single step away from your mattress.

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Japanese people surprised to find that “popular Japanese store” Meiso doesn’t exist in Japan

Japanese people surprised to find that “popular Japanese store” Meiso doesn’t exist in Japan

This stylish chain of stores has seen branches popping up all over China and boasts “Japanese brands” and “100% Japanese quality” all for the reasonable price of 10 yuan (US$1.60). It’s called “Meiso” in its native language of Japanese where it is said to have found major success… which is interesting because there doesn’t seem to be a single Meiso outlet in the whole country of Japan.

Well, actually that’s not completely true. Much like how the spirit of Santa Claus lives in every child’s heart, the spirit of Meiso can be found in three of Japan’s largest retailers – Uniqlo, Mujirushi Ryohin, and Daiso – in it’s eerily similar design to all three. And that’s just the tip of the weirdness iceberg.

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Chiba craft brewery releases unfortunately named “Immigrant Pilsner” for sale nationwide

Chiba craft brewery releases unfortunately named “Immigrant Pilsner” for sale nationwide

As a two-party democracy, the United States can be a fickle place for marketers. Republicans and Democrats are so different ideologically that certain words and phrases on your product label or in your ad campaign are practically guaranteed to alienate half of the market; or, if you’re especially unlucky, all of it. Take the word “immigrant,” for example – it’s a loaded word that will make Republicans shun your product believing that it advocates rights for immigrants (Remember, this is the same party whose leaders sometimes suggest in all seriousness building a moat – complete with cartoonish man-eating alligators – around the US to keep illegals out), while Democrats might see the word “immigrant” on a product and suspect some type of labor exploitation going on.

Luckily, Americans – and Japanese – of all stripes are united in their love of beer, so Chiba, Japan’s Loco Beer brewery’s rendition of an old American beer recipe, originally brewed by German immigrants, gets a pass from American expats and Japanese consumers alike on the unfortunate naming of its new Immigrant Pilsner craft beer.

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Here are the weirdest things you can buy on Alibaba’s English site

Here are the weirdest things you can buy on Alibaba’s English site

Alibaba, the enormous Chinese e-commerce company, is about to file for an IPO in the U.S.

The two most popular Alibaba websites — Taobao and Tmall — are Chinese marketplaces and rather inaccessible if you don’t know the language, but there’s also Alibaba.com, an English site for sales between importers and exporters in more than 240 countries.

Alibaba.com has been known to sell different types of well-disguised counterfeit goods. Not only that, but a lot of the stuff on the site is just straight up bizarre or oddly labeled (we found quite a few normal products that for some reason had the phrase “hot” or “girl” tacked onto them).

We dug around Alibaba.com, and here are some of the gems we found:

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Bonkers lifehack products are the perfect combination of brilliant and stupid

Bonkers lifehack products are the perfect combination of brilliant and stupid

“Lifehack” is a word we only just started seeing in the English lexicon, thanks to the mighty power of the Internet to bring out the most brilliant and most stupid parts of humanity.

Many are eager to show their “lifehacking” inventions to the world at large or even sell them as lucrative products in the post-shopping channel age where consumers yearn for goods that will save them time, make their lives easier, and make them look awesome/incredibly ridiculous at parties.

We’ve decided to compile some of the most compelling and utterly ridiculous inventions that fall (sometimes vaguely) into the lifehack category, so you can try your hand at making them yourself:

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A Maasai tribesman in Ginza: How Tokyo fashion empowers women a world away in Africa 【Photos】

A Maasai tribesman in Ginza: How Tokyo fashion empowers women a world away in Africa 【Photos】

Glitzy Ginza is a high-end shopping district in Tokyo that attracts luxury brand flagship stores, ladies who lunch, and businesspeople with cash to burn. But if you happen to be there this week, you might spot something very incongruous in this moneyed mecca: a Maasai tribesman selling shoes.

William hails from Kenya, where he is the head of a Maasai tribe, and the shoes he is here to promote are a Spanish brand called Pikolinos. So how did an African tribesman end up in the Japanese capital selling European shoes?

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I need gum, milk, and a verse of “Let It Go”: Special karaoke convenience store to open

I need gum, milk, and a verse of “Let It Go”: Special karaoke convenience store to open

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been buying beer, bread, or ice-cream at my local conbini and thought to myself, “If only I could scream a few lines of verse into a microphone without having to leave the building.” In the past, the closest I could ever get to combining convenience store shopping with singing was choosing karaoke booths located immediately next door to a 7-Eleven, but now all that is about to change.

In a special collaboration between Japan’s third-largest convenience store chain FamilyMart and nationwide operator Karaoke Club DAM, a one-of-a-kind conbini x karoke parlour will open its doors on April 17 in Tokyo.

Yes, thanks to Japan you can now shop and sing all in the same place.

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Infant cosplay: It’s-a me, Mario-bambino! 【Photos】

Infant cosplay: It’s-a me, Mario-bambino! 【Photos】

For any parent that’s ever thought, “My child is super cute, but I wish he looked a bit more like an Italian-American plumber,” do we have news for you.

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Japanese convenience stores set to somehow get even more awesome this year

Japanese convenience stores set to somehow get even more awesome this year

Japanese convenience stores are – as we’ve spoken about before – so awesome that if they offered to let you sleep on a cot in the backroom, you could live in one for your whole life and basically never want for anything.

In addition to all the delicious junk food, the endlessly flowing booze, coffee and other drinks, the ready-made meals (that have a sort of “slithery” quality and are one of the few things in a convenience store you should stay away from), and various daily necessities odds and ends, you can also withdraw cash, buy tickets for soccer matches, concerts and events, make copies, print photos, and probably clone your pet or something.

But, starting in 2014, things are about to get even more awesome. Check out the things you’ll soon be able to do at your local combini!

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