Hello again from Japan, where an athlete is a “sportsman,” a still photographer is a “cameraman” and an employee at a company is a “salaryman.”
Well, I’m safely back in Japan after an eventless 14 hour flight. I had to give up the extra day I’d gotten for free when going to the U.S., and jumped from Monday morning to Tuesday afternoon in a single plane ride. Happily, jet lag is not too bad coming back to Japan, since you arrive more or less at bedtime and can get to sleep right away.
One of my favorite things about Japan are public baths and hot springs, and I take my kids to the bath at least a couple times per week. Public baths (sento) are a holdover from the old days when people didn’t have baths in their homes, and had to go to a community bathing place. There are usually several different kinds of baths, including herbal baths, very hot baths, jet baths, and quite often an electric bath, which carries a low electric current. There’s usually a sauna and a cold bath, too, to cool off if you get too hot. Hot springs are also very popular in Japan, and there are famous towns throughout the country where people come just to take a bath in the volcanically heated water. Japan is often known for having baths in which men and women bathe together, but this is actually very rare — I’ve only found a mixed-bath once in all my years living in Japan. More common are “family baths” where a family can reserve a large bath for an hour and bathe together. Westerners are sometimes a little shy about getting naked in front of twenty other men, but no one thinks anything of it here in Japan. However, one thing that can be embarrassing is when you go to a bath which is cleaned by women, who come into the men’s bath or sauna to take away old towels or straighten the buckets up. It’s a little unnerving to have a group of women descend on you while you’re naked in a bath, although like all things, you can get used to it. Public baths frown on customers with full-body tattoos (which in Japan means yakuza, Japan’s mafia), so there are always signs informing customers “you can’t take a bath with your tattoo.” We liked these signs so much, we immortalized them on an original J-List T-shirt.
Beer is the preferred drink for Japanese after a hard day of work, and the Japanese beer market is always a busy place, with market leader Kirin defending strong challenges by Asahi and Japan’s smaller breweries. The market has undergone many changes since the emergence of happo-shu, a low-malt beverage that tastes like beer but technically not beer. Because the taxes on happo-shu are much lower than on beer, it’s much cheaper for consumers, and this has sparked a price war that has brought the prices of virtually all alcoholic beverages down to as much as half what they were a few years ago, contributing to Japan’s ongoing problem of deflation. Every few months a new “limited” beer is released, like Sapporo’s “A Winter’s Tale” beer (sold only in the winter) or Kirin’s “Sakura Beer” (supposedly brewed specially for enjoying flower-viewing in the spring). Now that Autumn is starting to show its face, the limited-edition Aki-Aji (Taste of Autumn) beers have started to appear in stores.
We’re great fans of the films of Hayao Miyazaki, the most famous creator of animation in Japan, and we’ve had the honor of bringing many hundreds of cool Studio Ghibli toys, books, and DVDs to our customers. We’re extremely happy to announce the preorder availability of the DVD release of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Three different sets will be released: the 2-disc DVD complete with English subtitles and many extras; a figure set, which includes a limited-edition figure of Nausicaa; and a deluxe collector’s set which adds a replica of an Ohmu insect and a beautiful painting by Mr. Miyazaki. The last time Studio Ghibli released limited-edition sets like this, we had over a hundred people clamoring to buy the last Laputa boxed sets we had, so we recommend that you get your order in early if you want one of the limited sets. Both of the limited sets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis in case not enough are available. The figure + DVD set is already sold out throughout Japan, so we expect it to be especially hard to stock.
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of Gamera and other classic Japanese monsters, we’ve got a cool series of candy toys (Japanese figures that come with candy) recreating the best moments of the Gamera universe — very cool!
- Also, for those who love Domo-kun, we have a deluxe phone strap (also useful as a key holder or camera strap) of Domo-kun and his TV set (watching NHK, of course).
- If you love Totoro, we’ve got some very unique and special hand-made plush toys that are crafted from chirimen, the fabric kimonos are made from
- For bento fans, we’ve got two great new bento sets, which feature everything you need to enjoy authentic Japanese boxed lunch, just like they do in anime’
- Also, enjoy cold drinks with you wherever you go with a 1.5 liter PET bottle cooler, great for picnics with your bento
- For fans of beautiful Japanese idols, enjoy the photobook of Manami Ozawa, a sweet and pretty swimsuit idol from Japan who you will want to protect and love
- Then, we’ve got some unique new Japanese snacks for you, including onion soup, delicious doria sauce, Curl brand potato sticks, and frozen matcha ice that’s very tasty
- For fans of cool DVDs from Japan, we’ve restocked the excellent 2-disc release of My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, which feature many extras from Mr. Miyazaki, as well as Samurai Fiction, OH! Mikey vol. 1, and more (all region 2)
- Bamboo is the best material for making chopsticks, and we’ve got some great extra-long chopsticks for you, with special ends that keep food from slipping — great for cooking or eating
- Japanese minty eyedrops wake you up and keep you alert, and they’re very popular all over the world — see fresh stock of several brands added today
- For Hello Kitty fans, we’ve got some nice items, including a handy Kitty mesh holder that you can use to store anything in, as well as freshly restocked Kitty items
- If you love the miniature Japanese food toys, including famous desserts and traditional Japanese foods, we’ve restocked both on the site now (full sets are available too)
- For anime fans, see the cool Jiji Pencil Case and Nausica/Laputa Fox Squirrel plush toys from Sun Arrow
- Also, we’ve added fresh stock of several of the popular Hot Wheels toys, including the Speed Racer Mach 5, the Delorean from Back to the Future I and III, and more
- For those who like wacky Japanese around them, we’ve got some cute new Japanese sign plates for you
- Finally, find wacky Japanese notebooks with funny English on them, more furikake to sprinkle over your rice and miso soup, delicious Shike-Kix “hard gummi” candy, useful things for your room, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of hardcore magazines from Japan, we’ve got the new issue of Do-Up!, which always shows you great sex by couples in love hotels
- Also, we’ve got the new issue of Yo!, which features dozens of Japanese amateurs and kogals getting it on for the camera
- For fans of married women, which is a big fetish in Japan, we’ve got the new Bizuma Hacker, featuring beautiful mature women aged 23-32
- For photobook fans, enjoy the beautiful body of Aki Hoshino, who poses in a super cute see-through school uniform for you, and a superb hardcover photobook by Haruka Nishimoto, a beautiful nude idol from Japan
- For manga collectors from Japan, we’ve got some excellent new titles for you, including The Fleshy Toilet of the Female Teacher, Inui Sekihiko’s incredible kemono manga Fiesta, the incredible Temptation hentai manga by Keppi, and many more
- Also, for yaoi fans, check out the new erotic comic by Hanko Kagurazaka about male/male love in the workplace
- For DVD fans, we’ve got some great items for you, starting with a great bukkake work by the famous Kazuhiko Matsumoto, the AV director who single-handedly invented the category of bukkake in the 1990’s — his great new work is “totally fresh for you” (region free)
- Then enjoy the sex of office lady sex in a new work from Soft on Demand — see the prim and proper female office workers (OLs) get it on after hours (region free)
- Then enjoy the excellent lesbian kissing fetish of SOD’s Martian Devil label, with superb lesbian kissing, sex and more (region free)
- Then, enjoy superb “hip & leg” with a panty stocking club, featuring great leg, panty and panty stocking-fetish, from Waap Entertainment (region 2)
- Then, also from Waap, enjoy the “private face and sexual habit” of the beautiful natural gokkun girl, Nao, who cheerfully accepts bukkake from dozens of men (region 2)
- Finally ,we have some great new DVD titles for you, including various new Deep’s and SOD titles, fresh stock of Aoi Sora’s hardcore DVDs, and more!
J-List loves the DVD video format, and we stock over 800 DVD titles from Japan for you. While most of the adult DVDs from Japan are region free (meaning you can play them in any DVD player), anime and some high-end indies titles are zoned for region 2 only (including the new Nausica DVD release, mentioned above). To view these discs, we recommend a region free DVD player, such as the two we sell: the portable size Lasonic DVB-8092, and the full-featured Cybrhome DVD CH-500 deluxe player. Both players play DVDs from anywhere in the world, including PAL discs, MP3 and music CDs, CD-R and DVD-R media, and Video CDs. They also offer “set and forget” region free operation — just access the secret menu with the remote control and the player is ready to go, forever. Also, we’ve lowered the price of the Lasonic player to just $98, making this an incredible deal, too!