Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kawaii Hannari Tofu Plushies!

Hannari Tofu is widely popular in Japan, but I just discovered these kawaii plushies myself!
Hannari means "elegant", although I think kawaii would be a better description!
Check out the entire plushies available here direct from Japan!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kinnikuman Silver Jewelry just released!

Animic Style makes the news today with their release of the licensed Kinnikuman Sterling Silver Ring Set!! I wonder what happens if you punch someone in the face with one of these... Ouch!

Kinnikuman Silver Ring
US $195.68
Choose from 6 different styles. Animic Style also makes other anime licensed sterling silver jewelry. Mazinger Z, Evangelion, Hitman Reborn!, One Piece and more!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Super Mario 25th Anniversay Japan Exclusive Preorder!

Super Mario's Special 25th Anniversary Edition Game Set- Super Mario Collection- is now available at Rinkya Stores for Preorder!

The game set includes:  Super Mario Bros,  US and Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2   Mario Bros. 3 in one, with 16-bit graphics, Booklet Super Mario History 1985-2010, and a Super Mario soundtrack

Sold out everywhere, but we found a couple copies available!  Order today- VERY limited quantities available.  Releases October 21st.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dreams Come True- A Japanese Cure for A Hangover

A friend of mine opened his new bar- a long dream of his that became true...or I should say he made it into a reality. On his grand opening day, we went to celebrate!

Like any good bar, there was a variety of alcohol available- tequila, scotch, rum, bourbon, wines and more.

I ordered both champagne and a cocktail to start the night but then realized- it was not the weekend.
It was a my moral dilemma began- cannot get too drunk, cannot be hungover at work, maybe I should not drink, BUT I also really want to celebrate my friend's success tonight and that includes drinking....!

Here is my answer, my cure all for hangovers-

"Ukon no chikara"- the power of tumeric< I drink a bottle before I begin drinking to prevent a hangover.

I am not sure exactly how it works, I read that the turmeric helps you digest alcohol better, either way, or for whatever reason, I can feel a difference in the morning.
I cannot promise it prevents a hangover 100% but for the low price of 150 yen each, Ukon no chikara is worth it and it works for me!

 Celebrate on a weeknight with friends and go to work the next day!

It is the best way to prevent a hangover- and I have tried MANY tricks. If you live outside Japan, you can order this value pack of 30, and prevent 30 hangovers in your future!

Japanese Hangover Cure-Ukon no Chikara Powder
US $34.09

Solid Gold Rabbit for the Economic Crisis!

With 2011 being the Chinese Zodiac's Year of the Rabbit, Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelers have created a 17.5 cm, gold rabbit, weighing 200 grams, costing only 1,600,000 yen. (About $20K)
With the price of gold at almost $1300 an ounce, the highest it's been in 30 years, they say that gold is the safest investment.

Picture from (c)AFP/Yoshikazu TSUNO

Friday, September 24, 2010

Voltron Movie Concept Art! (Go Lion is originally from.. Japan!?!)

We all remember watching Voltron as a kid. Each show was the same formula. Voltron gets badly beaten by the enemy, clinging onto dear life and with his very last bit of energy, he pulls out his"Blazing Sword" to defeat his enemy.

I remember my father making fun of me for watching it because it was completely predictable. Nevertheless, when you are 8 years old, Voltron was the predecessor to the transformers and AWESOME.

Many people don't realize that Voltron is originally from Japan.
Peter Keefe licensed Beast King GoLion and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, chopped it all up, edited it, dubbed it and Voila! A cartoon that is in as many pieces as the five original lions of Voltron.

Behold as Atlas Entertainment makes their pitch to the Hollywood studios for Voltron the movie. I wonder if Michael Bay is busy? We know Megan Fox isn't.

Concept Art from

And finally an amazing treasure from my own collection. The eyecatch (commercial break), original production cel used in Go Lion. Even though I'm older than 8, I still love Voltron.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kawaii Bird Post It Notes!

Pigeon bird sticky notes!  These are adorable notes that can be used anywhere!  Say hello, I love you, surprise your kid in his lunch!

Original & unique design from japan, from designer Tsunoda Takashi .

4 designs, 12 each for a total of 48 post it notes!

Evangelion Christmas Cake?

That's right, you can now surprise one of your "Wotome" girls with an Evangelion Christmas cake.

Starting on September 28th, you can now pre-order a 13 inch, chocolate cake with a Rei figure for only 3950 yen; to be picked up during the Christmas season (12/19-12/25).

The tradition of Christmas cakes in Japan comes with a joke about Japanese women.
Just like a Christmas cake, it's hard to dispose of after the 25th. So basically, it's hard to marry after you turn 25. In this day and age though, the "hard to marry" age has been upped to 31, linked to toshikoshi-soba, a noodle dish eaten on December 31st.

I wonder if they have a name for the single guys who order Evangelion cakes on Christmas Eve? You think they might have some problems in the marriage department as well?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The "Onigiri Science"- A How To Guide :)

If you are visiting Japan and feel like having a quick snack, a great idea is to check out the local convenience store and see what they have!
Sandwiches look nice, but let's try some new japanese food, right? Experience Japan!
What about those rice triangles wrapped in a seaweed sheet? They look simple, a fast snack and Japanese! Yeah, let's go for one of those! You bought it and now you remove it from its vinyl and have a bite...

No...not that simple!
By now, you are struggling to open it and your "Onigiri" is no more- nor longer triangle shaped, rice is smashed, seaweed is torn and all is mixed with vinyl layers which you cannot figure out how in the world they should be taken apart.
It's horrible, I know... But don't worry!

Go back in the store and buy another one.

Follow the link below for a list of flavors (some good, some bad & a How To Guide on Opening your Onigiri!

Japanese Eat Cow Butt-holes, turn it into Cute Hello Kitty Mascot

"Horumon" is fairly popular in Japan regarded a cheap, "yummy" meal that gives you "stamina".

The word sort of sounds like "hormones", which is where they might get the stamina idea.

BUTT, what it really is though, is something quite different.
"horu" is kansai dialect for "trash" and "mon" are "things. So basically Horumon are the things you throw away.
Like cow/pig lips, butt-holes and guts.

Are you hungry yet? Yummy!

Well, leave it up to the Japanese to make a Hello Kitty mascot out of Kitty-chan, wrapped up in a cow butt-hole.

When your kids are screaming for the new cow butt-hole Hello Kitty phone strap, you can thank Kanagawa-ken's famous Atsugi Shirocoro Hormon! Already wrapped! (These things are actually selling out like hot cakes (butts)).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Making your beer even better! The foam master!

Leave it up to the Japanese to come up with a way to perfect your beer. Not only can you make your beer taste better, but make it look sexier with the "Awa Master". Awa means bubbles or foam on top of a frosty mug of delicious golden ambrosia.

All you need are CO2 cartridges and you can get up to 100 squirts on just one!

Tell your friends that's a keg in the kitchen, while you awa away on the Bud Light, with your little secret.

Dollfie Dream Sister Touhou Project Preorder!

Exclusive to Japan, the Marisa Drizzle & Reimu Hakurei Dollfie Dream Sisters Preorder has begun in Japan!

Check out the links below for more pictures of the beautiful dolls!

Dollfie Dream Sister Marisa Drizzle Preorder
US $789.98

Dollfie Dream Sister Reimu Hakurei Preorders
US $775.00

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bento Blog Contest Winner!

Congratulations- Commenter Leen Isabel!!

Please contact for your new Bento Books!

Please respond within 24 hours or the prize will go to the next winner.

Thank you everyone for participating, and look for more contests on A Rinkya Blog!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Only in Japan! Eat a Pineapple- no knife needed!

Only grown in Okinawa, the lazy man's pineapple. In Japan it is called "Snack Pine" - "スナックパイン"

You don't need a knife, you just pick off the little sections with your fingers. These are delicious!!

A little sweeter than a normal pineapple, but way more expensive.

Now that summer is over, you can still get them here in Japan, however, the price is about 1700 yen for a tiny one. During the summer, you might be able to find them in Tokyo for 600 yen if you are lucky. In Okinawa they are about 500 yen.

They should start growing these in Hawaii! Fun, delicious & convenient to eat! Great for parties and always a conversation piece.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pokemon Black & White Nintendo DS PREORDER- Going Fast!!

Pokemon Black & White Nintendo DS

Release Date Sept 18th 2010 Purchase direct from Japan!

Pokemon Black Version and Pokemon White Version, follow the link below for game info!

Schoolroom Themed Restaurant!? Doesn't come with the Japanese schoolgirls....

When I was in High School, I bet there were times when we all wished we could kick back with a nice draft beer in homeroom!

Well now you can live out your schoolroom fantasies at a new schoolroom themed Izakaya (Drinking & Eating bar). Invite a Japanese schoolgirl/boy (that is of age) and complete your goals in life!

Choose from such Japanese school kid favorites like Agepan (Fried- Bread) (249 yen), Soft Noodles (399 yen). Get your chocolate fondue served in a beaker, like chem class! (525 yen) Cocktails in a test tubes becomes your "Study of Food" (1029 yen for about 2 people).

個室居酒屋 6年4組 渋谷第一分校
Koshitsu Izakaya Rokunensei
(Private Space Izakaya Shibuya 1st Branch - School Class 1, 6th Grade.
Class 4)
Opens on April Fool's Day in Shibuya!

Source: Tokyo Walker

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Burger Envy? Burger King is offering ALL YOU CAN EAT Whoppers until October 15th in the "Bi" King campaign!

No Burger King isn't claiming sexual preferences, "VIKING" in Japanese means all you can eat buffet, hence the play on words.

From the country that gave us Takeru Kobayashi, Nathan's hot dog champion, now you can participate in your own gluttonous eating contest!

Order a set with fries and a drink and you are able to eat as many whoppers as you can possibly handle!

At about 400 yen per burger, if you go 315 times, you can save about 126000 yen ( about $1500).

Please order a ticket to Japan asap!

Kawaii Sweet Animal Dumplings!!

Kawaii animal sweet dumplings are a hot trend in Japan.
They can be kept at room temperature for up to a month!
1 dumpling is about 4cm large, comes in adorable little cardboard house.

2 sets are available! 
1 set- 2 bears, 2 Tigers, 2 Monkeys, 2 Pandas, & 2 pigs

Another Set Includes: 
2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 chicks, 2 rabbits & 2 frogs!

Purchase these yummy treats direct from Japan, visit the shop links below!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bento Book Review & ANOTHER Blog Contest!

Our blog readers know that we love to showcase Bento lunches (especially around the holidays!)

The awesome people from Mark Batty Publishers sent us two of their popular bento books-
Face Food- The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes and its' counterpart- Face Food Recipes- A How to Guide! by Christopher D Salyers

Face Food- The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes showcases a variety of bentos in the form of charaben, Japanese character bento boxes, from a variety of persons- moms, dads, siblings, etc.

Each page has a different charaben with a brief interview with the bento "designer"- while the charaben bentos are remarkable to look out, I particularly loved the interviews, in which a common theme was the love of their children- their main reason for working anywhere from 30 minutes to hours on each bento!

The book also contains a couple make your own bento designs and instructions, however for the ultimate recipe book, you must get Face Food Recipes- A How to Guide! if you want to learn how to do Spiderman, Pokemon, Hello Kitty, anime characters and more (even Alphonso Muchos "Laurel" :)
Also includes a guide to tools needed and a glossary of terms!  The directions are easy to follow and have beautiful pictures as well.

So let's share the love and gifts with ANOTHER blog contest this week!

Like Bentos?  We are giving away these TWO awesome bento books to one lucky winner!

Face Food- The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes and its' counterpart- Face Food Recipes- a How to Guide! Hardcover  by Christopher D Salyers

The Rules:
- Leave a comment answering- What charaben bento would you like to learn (or eat)? 
(Wow, that is so easy!!!)
- Anonymous comments: leave your email address and first name in the comments (so I can reach you if you win!).

BONUS ENTRIES- Leave a separate comment for each bonus entry! Up to FOUR Bonus entries!

- Like Rinkya on Facebook

- Follow laurelrinkya on Twitter

- Retweet This message: Win 2 Bento Books, Face Food & Face Food Recipes! @laurelrinkya #giveaway
  (or use the handy retweet button in the righthand corner of this post)

- Rinkya user? Just let me know! BONUS entry for our Rinkya users!!
(Please note Rinkya users are users with a bidding account at Rinkya!)

Please remember to leave a separate comment for each entry!

- Contest closes on September 17th 11:59 PM US PST
- A random comment number winner will be chosen via  (this is why you must leave a separate comment for EACH entry)
- Any duplicate entries that do not follow the rules will be deleted. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Get a Piece of the Life Sized Gundam on YJ!

The second charity auction for a piece of the life sized Gundam began on YJ! auctions yesterday!

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam, a life sized 59 foot tall Gundam was built at Tokyo's Odaiba island, and now pieces of the Gundam are being sold on YJ auction for charity!

Proceeds of the auction go to Japan Committee of the World Children's Vaccines.

Check out the YJ! auction here and if you wish to bid,  contact Rinkya!

A Review of an Anime Parody! When Heidi turns Golden Egg'ed

"The World of Golden Eggs" is a popular show of iconic cartoons produced in Japan by Studio Crocodile. The design is kind of cubic and simple and characters are usually foreigners speaking with a funny Japanese accent.

The initial idea of The Golden Eggs featured original characters, but recently the producers revisited the classic 1974 Anime masterpiece "Heidi, the Girl of the Alps" (which saw at that time artists Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata heading the production) and made several episodes titled "Teinenpi Girl Heidi" (低燃費少女ハイジ), the concept has even been used by NISSAN cars for their latest CM campaign on japanese TV.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Japanese Manly Men?!?

One of Rinkya's staff members in Japan takes on the politics of Pocky Men's!! Enjoy!

Do you think I should eat this snack, if I am a manly man?

Do women make claims in other countries, if the company does not make a Lady's Pocky?

Lady's Pocky is not available in Japan. So, you should complain! Call Japan, claim to the maker and insist on a Lady's version.

Men's pocky is a little more bitter tasting than regular Pocky. (Pocky is a pretzel stick covered by chocolate.)

How Lady's Pocky suppose to be? If I had to guess, probably way more bitter.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

How to Make Natto & A Foreigner's First Experience With the Smell!!

Looks Yummy??
Natto - One of my first experiences here in Japan was an encounter with this olfactory insult. I was with a friend at a traditional Japanese restaurant eating sashimi and other Japanese goodies, when this smell hits me.

Really vile, and it keeps getting closer. I sniffed around my clothes & feet, just to be sure it wasn't me, then gave a big friendly hug to my friend, nope not him either. 

I dropped chopsticks to the floor to see where the source of smell was coming from, but remained in the smelly dark. I then learned what natto was- Fermented old beans.

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