Saturday, February 28, 2009

Robo Q - Retro Red

Purchase Location : Bic Camera
Purchased Price : 2,780 Yen

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cho-pan Strawberry Chocolate

Purchase Location : Life Supermarket
Purchased Price : 148 Yen
Kcal : 220
Maker : Meiji

Yet another chocolate product from the confectionary maker Meiji. This candy is called Cho-pan. I’m guessing that the “pan” in the name may be referring to the Japanese word for bread. There is a little piece of bread (pie crust) that tops each one of the four chocolates that come in the box.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Eco Choco

Purchase Location : FamilyMart
Purchased Price : 210 Yen
Kcal : 291
Maker : Lotte

This chocolate bar was released on the 14th of this month by Lotte.  As the name implies, it is an ecologically minded product. On the back of the wrapper there is a statement that says this chocolate bar was produced from cacao beans that were grown in Brazil on farms that use an agroforestry system

Being “eco” does come at a price. The cost of this chocolate bar was 210 yen, while an average plain one can be found for around 105 yen at many stores. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Micro RC Helicopter

Purchase Location : Yodobashi Camera
Purchased Price : 2100 Yen

Recently I have noticed quite a few stores carrying a slew of RC toy helicopters. Their popularity seems to be booming. Most likely this boom is fueled by the recent low prices of RC toys.

I never really payed that much attention to RC toy helicopters until I ran into this incredibly small one. It is called the miniBee. At only ten centimeters in length it truly is micro sized. I was shocked to see that the helicopter actually fits inside of the remote. 

This is my first purchase of a RC copter so I really can’t judge whether or not it flies that well. The tail always seems to spin left or right. There is a trim adjustment knob on the controller, but no matter how many times I adjust it, the tail rotor continues to push the helicopter to spin. I can however use the direction control lever to reduce to rate of spin.

Even if this micro RC helicopter is a mere toy, I have to admit I have had quite a bit of fun with it.  

In the photo above the white box on the red label reads sekai saishoukyuu, which translates as “world’s smallest” in English.

As you can see above, the helicopter fits snugly in the remote’s body. The remote also serves as a charging base. According to the manual the charging time is approximately thirty minutes and the flight time is around five minutes on a full charge.

There is a good promo video of this RC helicopter in action on the maker’s website here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yamato - Cosmo Fleet Collection

Purchase Location : Yodobashi Camera
Purchased Price : 380 Yen
Maker : MegaHouse

Space Battleship Yamato, also know as Star Blazers outside of Japan,  is one of the classic Japanese animations. 

This collection series based on the animation includes the following space craft:

  1. Okita’s Battleship
  2. Supersize Battleship
  3. Space Battleship Yamato Mechanic Ver.
  4. Middlesize Carrier Naska
  5. Supercarrier Valsey

Even though Space Battleship Yamato is rather old, its popularity still remains. More information about this classic series can be seen on Wikipedia’s Space Battleship Yamato page.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gundam Collectable Figure

Purchase Location : Yodobashi Camera
Purchased Price : 620 Yen
Maker : Bandai

To be honest I am not a big Gundam fan. I haven’t even really followed the series. However, when I saw this collectable figure in the store I thought it was really cool. Also, due to the fact that Gundam is of legendary status, I thought I would like to learn more about it.

Anyone visiting a hobby store in Japan would most likely be overwhelmed by the amount of Gundam figures that are available. In fact according to Wikipedia’s Gundam web page, the Gundam franchise is a 50 billion yen trademark. The same page also says that Gundam plastic models account for 90 percent of the character plastic model market’s income. That is just amazing considering how big the market really is.

The above Gundam figure is called the MSM-03C HY-GOGG. It is a amphibious mobile suit.

If anyone knows a good Gundam primer website please let me know.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dear Cacao - White & Cocoa

Purchase Location : MINISTOP
Purchased Price : 148 Yen
Kcal : 201
Maker : Glico

Just as the name of this candy suggest it is chocolate pieces that are regular dark chocolate coated with white chocolate. The chocolate in the center is soft in comparison with a regular piece of milk chocolate. 

I was quite satisfied with the quality of the chocolate and found it to taste better than the average chocolate bar.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ultimate Monsters Collection

Purchase Location : Bic Camera
Purchased Price : 670 Yen
Maker : Bandai

The name of this figure collection series is Ultimate Monsters Godzilla 3. There are six figures in this set. They are as follows:

  1. Godzilla 2003
  2. Mechagodzilla 2003 (jyuubusougata)
  3. Mechagodzilla 2003 (koukidougata)
  4. Space Godzilla 1994
  5. Mothra 2003 (two figures - one male and one female)

I was really hoping to get the regular Godzilla 2003, but when I opened the box I found two Mothra larvae. I was rather surprised to find two. After looking at the back of the box again I discovered that one is male and the other is female. The male Mothra has red eyes and the female Mothra has blue eyes. Also, the Mothra “man” has a slightly movable three segment body, while the female is solid. Blah blah blah... okay as you can see in the photo they look pretty disgusting, not something I will be displaying anywhere soon. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

White Gyoza

Restaurant Name : White Gyoza
Location : Kashiwa, Chiba
Item(s) Purchased : Fried Gyoza & Boiled Gyoza
Purchased Price : 420 Yen (10 Pieces)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cheesecake Chocolate

Purchase Location : MINISTOP
Purchased Price : 210 Yen
Kcal : 347 (58g)
Maker : Meiji

As I was milling around the candy section of the local convenience store I happened to run into this new chocolate from Meiji. In fact, according to Meiji’s website this chocolate officially went on sale today.

The name of this chocolate is Gâteau Chocolate and the flavor is Cheesecake Tart. Gâteau is a type of French cake.

The taste of this chocolate was even better than I had expected. It has a rich taste, but it is not overly sweet. Anyone who is a fan of cheesecake would most likely enjoy this chocolate.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Kewpie Mayonnaise

Purchase Location : Lawson Store 100
Purchased Price : 105 Yen
Kcal : 100 (15g)
Maker : Kewpie

Kewpie Mayonnaise (Kyuupii in Japanese) is just as about as famous as a brand can get. I would be surprised to find any supermarket in Japan that didn’t carry this legendary mayo.

Mayonnaise in Japan has a unique taste. I have heard many Japanese people who have lived overseas say that Japanese mayonnaise is the best. Actually, I would have to agree. 

On Wikipedia’s mayonnaise entry page there is a good section about Japanese mayonnaise with several Japanese mayo facts I wasn’t aware of.

The bottle pictured above is rather small at 130g. 

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Choco Ball - Caramel

Purchase Location : Life Supermarket
Purchased Price : 73 Yen
Kcal : 145
Maker : Morinaga

Morinaga Choco Balls come in several varieties and are one of the most famous candies in Japan. Even the mascot cartoon bird on the front of the box is well known in Japan. The name of this mascot is “Kyoro-Chan.” 

The caramel version of this candy (pictured above) is my personal favorite. 

These Choco Balls come in a small re-sealable box. This particular box contains approximately twenty-nine grams inside. At 145 calories it won’t make you feel too guilty to eat the whole box.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

LOST Figure Collection - SAYID

Purchase Location : Yodobashi Camera
Purchased Price : 420 Yen
Product Line : Kubrick

As I was browsing the model figures at Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara I ran into this collection series. I actually had to do a double take because I was rather surprised to find a figure collection series for the television show LOST.

As you can see from the picture above, there are seven different character figurines available. 








As I mention in an earlier posting these collection sets only come with one figure inside and you don’t know which one you will get. I was lucy enough to get my favorite character Sayid. 

I may buy a few more boxes of this collection for two reasons. One, I have heard these Krubrick  sets are highly sought after and two, I would really like to have that Kate figure. 

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Dorayaki - Usagiya

Purchase Location : Usagiya (Ueno, Tokyo)
Purchased Price : 180 Yen
Kcal : Unknown
Maker : Usagiya

Dorayaki is a type of wagashi, which is a traditional Japanese confectionary. It is basically two mini pancakes with sweet red bean paste inside the center. It is very popular and is also the favorite food of the fictional anime character Doremon.

This particular dorayaki is consider by some to be the best in Japan. Personally with my limited experience of eating dorayaki I really can not judge if it is the best. However, of all the ones I have eaten, I can say this one is the best.

This famous wagashi shop is located in the Ueno section of Tokyo. The address is 1-10-10 Ueno, Taito-Ku and a map (Japanese) can be found at this link.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Okayu - Rice Porridge

Purchase Location : Life Supermarket 
Purchased Price : 128 Yen
Kcal : 102 (250g)
Maker : Hikari Shokuhin

When your stomach hurts, or you have a cold, many Japanese people will suggest eating okayu.

Okayu is a type of rice porridge. It can be made in most rice cookers and can also be purchased at most supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan.

There are different pre-made flavors of okayu such as ume, salmon and egg. The one pictured above is shirogayu (plain.)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Jet-Black Stealth - Scale Model

Purchase Location : Yodobashi Camera
Purchased Price : 350 Yen
Scale :  1/144

It just amazes me how many scale models you can find in Japan. Of course there are a lot of model kits, but what is surprising is the amount of pre-assembled collector series models available.

This “collection figure” series is called “Shikkoku No Suterusu.” In English that would be “Jet-Black Stealth.” It is a collection of five types of F-117 Nighthawk models and one “Special” F/A 22” model.

I was wondering, what exactly should these type of models be called? I never really thought about it until I started posting about them. technically they are not model kits because the come pre-painted and partly assembled. On this particular model maker’s home page they are called “collection figure.” I personally thought calling them scale models sounds more correct.