Archive | February, 2013

Biz Chocolate…from Kit-Kat Japan

22 Feb

Kit-Kat Japan offers many unique “only-in-Japan” flavors.

(Click here to see some of them.)

Sometimes, rather than a unique flavor, they’ll offer a unique packaging…such as one for students about to take an entrance exam. It has a space for the parents, or whomever the giver is, to write an encouraging message.

Well, Kit-Kat Japan is now offering 「ビズチョコ」 (“Biz Choco(late)“).


This is for company workers to give to co-workers, managers to give subordinates, etc.

The packaging is black because it’s bitter chocolate.
They have 「ビズチョコ」 (“Biz Chocolate”) available in milk chocolate in red packaging…but since it’s aimed at adults, the bitter chocolate is probably more popular.

Some of them have 「グッジョブ」 (“Good job!”) written on them.
And they all have a space for the giver to write a message.

The Kit-Kat for students is popular in Japan…click here to read the post I wrote that explains why.
But I wonder if this one aimed at employees and co-workers will be popular, too.

Do you know what this is?

18 Feb

Here is a symbol that is seen all over Japan:


Do you know what it is the symbol for?

Even if you don’t know, why not take a guess?

I’ll give four choices … one is the correct meaning of that symbol.

Leave a comment in this post’s comment section too.


Update (2013 Feb 22):

Thirty people have answered the quiz in this post. Thank you very much!

I have decided that I will now reveal the answer.

First, of the thirty answers in the quiz…
24 (80%) answered “Postal“,
3 (10%) answered “Telephone“,
3 (10%) answered “Fire Station“, and
0 (0%) answered “Hot Springs“.

The correct answer is “Postal“.

The 「〒」 symbol can be found on all post offices and public mailboxes in Japan.
It’s also used on letters and post cards to indicate 郵便番号 (zip code).


Pet fads

11 Feb

When my kids were little, they each had a 「たまごっち」(“Tamagochi”)… the Japanese electronic “pet” toy.


I hadn’t thought about those toys in years.
But I was talking to my kids today. I asked them if they remembered their old Tamagochi toys (they do).

So I told them about some of the “pet fads” that were popular in America when I was young (these never caught on in Japan though).

When I was little, there was always an ad in the back of comic books for “Sea Monkeys”.


I convinced my parents to buy these for me once.
What a disappointment!
They were nothing like the picture!

Another big fad of the 70s was the “Pet Rock”.


I was never interested in having a pet rock. The name wasn’t a joke or ironic … it was simply a stone in a cardboard box!

It was popular for a short time though … so I guess many people had one.

Another pet fad that didn’t interest me was the “Invisible Dog”.


It was simply a stiff dog leash with no animal.

I don’t know if they’re “fads” or not, but I also had a Venus Flytrap (ハエトリグサ) once and an antfarm (蟻の農場) another time.


3 Feb

Today is February 3rd … in Japan, it’s a holiday called 節分 (Setsubun).

On this day, fathers wear a demon mask and the children throw beans at him and shout 「鬼は外!福は内!」 (“Demon (bad luck) go out! Good fortune come in!”) until he runs away.


Then everyone eats the number of beans corresponding to their age (one bean for each year of their age).

Also, there is a special sushi people eat on this day.

And, at major temples in Japan, there is a ceremony in which celebrities who were born in the current Chinese zodiac year throw beans at the crowd.

We went to the famous 浅草寺 (Sensouji Temple) in 浅草 (Asakusa, Tokyo) and caught some beans that were thrown by famous people there.  The celebrity that I was most looking forward to seeing was 「アニマル浜口)」 (“Animal” Hamaguchi)!

Animal Hamaguchi was a professional wrestler in Japan and then he became the trainer / coach of his daughter, Kyoko, who was a female wrestler that represented Japan at the Olympics and other games.

Animal Hamaguchi is well-known for his loud, animated and humorous support and cheering of his daughter!
I like him!

2013-02-03 13.02.38

2013-02-03 16.02.20

The charismatic “Animal” Hamaguchi throwing beans at the crowd.

Big America is back again…

1 Feb

Starting today at McDonalds in Japan, the Texas Burger is back on the menu for a limited time.
It will be followed by the Idaho Burger.

Other items that have returned to McDonalds menu here for a limited time are:

Blueberry Milkshakes,
Mega Muffin (double Sausage McMuffin on the morning menu),
American BBQ flavor French Fries,
Creamy Ranch Sauce for the Chicken McNuggets
and coming soon…Maple Custard Pie.