Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We've moved!

Hey guys, we are happy to announce that we have a new blog now! 
IIf you've bookmarked our blog at this address, please make sure to change it to our new URL at http://blog.rinkya.com
Thank you!
See you there :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bento Friday: Suica Bento from JR

Happy Friday!
Japanese Railway will sell limited edition food items featuring their mascot Suica Penguin this month. There will be Suica penguin bread and Suica penguin bentos! So cute! (It's not bento Friday yet but it is too cute not to post this)

Suica penguin bread is made with cocoa powder and chocolate and custard cream filling. They are 400 yen for two and come in a super cute take-out box too. Bentos are 1,050 yen each and have a variety of food. There will also be ICOCA character bentos in addition to Suica bentos during the campaign period (March 18th to March 27th.)

For all Suica items on Yahoo Japan auction, check out the list.

Source: Entabe

Rare find! Hermes Birkin 35cm in Black Ardennes

This is authentic Hermes 35cm Black Ardennes with gold hardware, auctioned out by a reliable YJ seller. 

Ardennes leather has been discontinued by Hermes, but its beautiful appearance and extremely sturdy, indestructible quality of the leather continues to attract many Birkin fans. 'F' stamped for the year 2002, yet this is in a near mint condition. It looks almost brand new and flawless everywhere, except for tiny scratches on the metal studs on the bottom. Belt and metal buckles at its entrance are covered with protective film. Comes with clochette, cadena, keys, rain cover, protection box and bags.

It comes in a popular 35cm size that you can use for everyday life and love for a long time. 

Although in a good condition, this is an used item, read descriptions carefully and ask ANY questions if you are in doubt. 

This seller also has a great selection of high-end brand items, especially CHANEL.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today's Pick: Greco Mockingbird BC1800

I found this Greco Mockingbird BC1800 model on auction today.
For vintage Greco aficionados, this is a great item to add to your collection!

This guitar is modeled after original B.C. Rich Mockingbird, estimated to be made around 1980s by Greco. This particular mode, BC1800, was not listed on the official catalog at all, and made only by order. There are BC1000, 1200, 1300 to Greco Mockingbird models, but this one differs because of the material it's made of. It uses beautiful Hawaiian acacia koa for both body and through-neck.

For nearly a 30-years old guitar, this is in an amazing condition and definitely a masterpiece from the golden age of Japanese guitar makers.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

STRICT-G & PORTER Releases New Bags Inspired by Gundam's Zaku II

Yoshida & Co, the creator of Porter brand, and Strict-G, Gundam-inspired apparel shop ran by Bandai, announced their collaboration in producing a line of high-end bags in "Zaku II ver." coloring and designs. 

After their huge success in previous release of "Char Zaku ver" Porter bags in December 2013, the two companies decided to design another series based on popular mobile suits from original Gundam, MS-06F Zaku II.  

Porter bags are extremely popular in Japan for their quality material, solid structure, stylish designs, and while many Japanese apparel brands operate their factories abroad, Porter products are 100% made in Japan. Their products are meticulously put together and last for a long time. 

For collaboration with Strict-G, Porter's four most popular designs, "3-way briefcase," "waist bag," "rectangular wallet," and "multi purse" (for storing iPhone, digital cameras, gadgets) will be available in Zaku II color.

Multi Purse

3-way Brief Case, Waist Bag, Multi Purse, and Wallet 

Characteristic Emblem of Zeon

Char-Zaku models from previous release

These bags are also inspired by  US Air Force's MA-1 jackets. Sawn with Principality of Zeon emblem, they have military feel to overall appearances. Strict-G & Porter's Zaku II bags will be available on market from April 20th.

Source: AnimeAnime 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wanko -puppy- Type Earphone Jacks to be Released in April!

After the sensational success of Nyanko-type smartphone earphone jacks, Pink Company announced they are going to sell long-awaited Wanko-type earphone jacks for puppy lovers! 

Nyanko (kitten) earphone jacks were originally a concept/sketches posted by Nekomura (@nekomura-otako) on Twitter last year as just random casual ideas. However, a representative from Pink Company saw the tweet and contacted the artist, and in three months, the nyanko earphone jacks were real and available on market.

And this year, to answer increasing demand, they will release Wanko-type, puppy earphone jacks. 

Wanko earphone jacks will debut at Nico Nico Cho Kaigi 2 event on April 27th and 28th. 

These tiny puppies are designed by the same artist Nekomura who created Nyanko-type.
There will be miniature dachshund, white labrador, pug with an empty food dish, shiba-inu with a soccer ball, poodle, and chihuahua trio. They are adorable!

At the same event, there will be also iPhone5-compatible hanging-type Nyanko playing with yarn (because the earphone positions changed) and Cat paw iPhone5 cases sold at their booth. 

While waiting for new products to be released, check out Nyanko earphone jacks on Yahoo auction!

Source: Netlabo

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wrap up of New & Limited Edition Super Dollfie models from Dolls Party Osaka 7

On March 10th, Volks held a Super Dollfie event, Dolls Party (Dolpa) Osaka 7, and revealed several of their new and limited edition models.
These new models are already showing up on auctions, so let's take a look at what came out !

From Journey to the Dream Nights series presents a gracious trio, Claude the Beast, Claude the Prince, and Belle.
As you might have guessed, the newest models from this fairy tale-based series are inspired by the Beauty and the Beast story by Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont.

SDGOU Claude the Beast

Claude the Beast, is described as Yami no Yaju, "the beast of darkness."
Characterized by his stunning vermillion eyes and tanned skin, the Beast is wild, yet carries himself with distinguished elegance. This model comes with gorgeous 18th century style outfits, I absolutely love the furred-mask and lacy jabot!

SD17 Claude the Prince

Claude the Prince, on the other hand, is described as Ai no Ouji, "the prince of love." He is a young boy of royal blood, with much more delicate and gentle facial features. His appearance is noble and suits perfectly in his formal court attire. His gray purple eyes are yet to lose light and filled with brilliance.

SDGr Belle

Belle is a young beautiful girl raised by a loving family.
Belle's specially custom-designed hair flows naturally around her shoulders, and from her dark, thick cape peeks a charming face. Would her love save the damaged, tragic soul of Claude? 

Super Dollfie Midi
Liz and Chloe

Super Dollfie Midi is an entire new line of models that are similar to mini-SD.
The first two models released from this new series are Liz and Chloe.
Young and innocent, SDM Liz and Chloe are the embodiment of youthful dreams girls have had as children. 
Their appearances are characterized by adolescent body-type that is not yet adult but in process of growing into one. The difference between mini-SD and SDM can be seen at their parting sections (located a little lower than before) and flexible double joints at elbows and knees to offer greater ease in posing. They can "seiza" (seat in such a way they fold their legs beneath the thighs) with no problems at all.

Their heads and bodies are inter-changeable with mini-SD models, which is really nice to owners who already have mini-SD dolls.

Dollfie Dream 

Lucy Maria Misora: Magical Princess version

From Dollfie Dream line, we have Lucy Maria Misora: Magical Princess ver.
Lucy aka "Lu-ko" has been featured in Dollfie Dream before, but this time she returns with lovely semi-white skin and a super cute outfit she had worn in ToHeart2 Dungeon Travelers.
Stripy socks, frilled umbrella with a curly handle, silky pink long hair…it's cuteness overload!

Dollfie Dream Sister

Nanami is a newly introduced member of SD's After School Akihabara Girls collection.
She is an energetic junior-high student and is the younger sister of DD Natsuki. Unlike Natsuki, Nanami is not an otaku, but they get along really well like friends.

Nanami model comes in three different sets.
One is a normal DDS Nanami model with her default outfit and accessories.

There is also Nanami Seifuku (uniform) set, in which Nanami comes in her school uniform. High-cut sneakers + knee-high socks + short skirt combo are just perfect, showing her cheerful personality.

And here comes a really awesome one… 
Nanami Guitar Set!

Nanami is a normal school girl during school hours, but after school, she plays a guitar with her band. How cool is that? She is totally rock 'n' roll.
The attention to details are wonderful too! 

The guitar set is actually pre-order/produced on-demand only, so they are only going to make as many as they are ordered. You can pre-order from sellers on auction if you like!

(If you pre-order one, it does not get shipped until April.)

Lastly, a picture of Nanami with Natsumi…Lovely sisters!

Couldn't find the dolls you are looking for?
Let us help you. Don't hesitate to ask, we are here for you anytime!

Remembering 3.11: Rinkya's CEO Tells Her Story from the Japan March 3rd, 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

When I was five years old, my parents sat me in front of the TV and showed me a movie about a giant flying turtle who shot fire out of his legs and head while spinning through the air.  They also showed me a huge dragon, the result of a nuclear detonation, who also breathed fire.  I fell in love with these two creatures, Gamera and Godzilla.  I also fell deeply in love with the country they seemed to either save or destroy in each movie.

I resolved to move there one day and be able to understand what was going on in these movies.  Studying Japanese in college, I decided it was now or never.

Being a foreigner in Tokyo wasn't easy.  But I was so high from living the dream that even everyday, mundane tasks became adventures.  I looked around in wonder the smallest things.  Nothing was a chore, because I was so intoxicated by this beautiful country and the amazing people in it.  I had found a utopia that the rest of the word had no clue existed.  I had to share it; the world needed to know.  That's when I started my company, Rinkya.  Rinkya shares my dream of Japan with the world.

Fast-forward eleven years.  My husband and I are vacationing on the very same beach that the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami afflicted.  One of my staff instant messages me, "Heather, we just had a huge earthquake".  I respond, "Get out of the warehouse, NOW".  They later told me they had all calmly followed the procedures we had drilled into the staff in case of this moment.  (We'd always had earthquakes, so I wasn't worried.)  We'd wait it out, and they would return to work shortly.  I walked back to the hotel, not expecting that day my life would change so much.

In the hotel lobby, crowded around a TV, people were crying and whimpering.  We saw the tsunami roll through Iwate prefecture.  Mud, ocean, fire and destruction consumed this tiny town like Godzilla stomping through Tokyo, not waiting for people to get out of the way.  At that moment, I panicked.  I hadn't realised the gravity of the situation. I called again to make sure my people were OK, to make sure my brother and my friends were OK.  I felt a wave of guilt that I hadn't been there to protect them and help them and show them what to do.

No one answered the phone: the lines were busy.  I broke down.  Here I was, vacationing, while my poor staff, my poor brother, were going through this horror.  What if there were aftershocks?  What if there were broken gas lines and fires?  What if...?  I saw the towns of Iwate get demolished.  I imagined all those poor people, their homes, their lives, their everything.

Staring in disbelief that nature was capable of such destruction and horror, my husband and I returned to our room to monitor the situation and wait for my loved ones to get a hold of me.

To my relief, it wasn't long after that my brother finally did.  They were OK; everything was fine.  They were just scared, like me.  They felt powerless.  The same sick looping images of the destruction in Iwate appeared over and over again.  If you listened carefully enough, you could hear people screaming in terror before their voices were abruptly extinguished, like a match flame.  All that was left was the roar of the swirling, muddy ocean, knocking down stone buildings like they were toy sets in Toho studios after a guy in a rubber Godzilla suit had stomped on them.

The staff were terrified.  I told them to go home and stay home till we knew what was going on.  Rinkya was on hold.  But what happened next was something none of us could predict: while we all were in a state of mourning and apprehension, unbeknownst to us, Fukushima was preparing fresh terrors.

For the next few weeks, we couldn't get back to Japan. Every day I watched the news, praying and hoping for Fukushima to heal, scared for another earthquake.  Screaming at my staff to get out of Japan if they could.  I was naive to think the Japanese would leave: they all wanted to stay.  They were proud to be Japanese and proud to be in Japan during difficult times.

Sick with worry and the burden of guilt that I wasn't there, I waited.  My husband, Jesse, and I decided if we couldn't get home we might as well go back to the US to be with our own family.  I went home and ran the company from there.   The warehouse ran like clockwork.  They made sure that they had something to hold on to and believe in while a situation you only hear about in disaster movies developed outside.  We watched Fukushima everyday with hope that it would get better.  The rest of the world forgot, but it was still very much going on in our world.

Two weeks turned into two months. Every day, we watched the nightmare get worse.  My beautiful country, my life, everything I had worked for disappeared, but I wasn't there to grasp them or hold them or kiss them good-bye.  I wanted to go down with the ship, I thought.

In that two months, my husband and I decided something that would have been unthinkable a few short months before.  Something that broke my heart.  We decided that when it was all over, we would go back, clean up and leave Japan.

At the time, I wasn't sure I'd have to go through with it: I placated Jesse because I thought, for sure, it would be fine. I would think of a way to stay to keep us there.  After all, my company was there.  Who would run the company?

He knew though.  I was doing what they call "business development"; I hadn't been needed at the warehouse for years.  I stayed in Japan because I loved it, no other reason.  My company needed me to do what I was doing, not what I wanted to do.  Staying in Japan was an excuse for Heather to continue to love her country.  It was selfish.  It wasn't what Rinkya needed.

I vacillated between staying and leaving even though we had, in theory, decided to leave.  I tried to think of excuses, to create situations... I even thought about having Jesse move back and staying on in Japan myself.  It made me feel sick to my stomach.

In the back of my mind, though, I knew it was over.  I didn't give a shit about all the flyjin reports or anything like that.  I didn't care what people thought.  I cared about my beloved country, the life I had built, the beautiful dream I had assembled on my own, my friends, my family, my Japan.  Destroyed by a merciless, inscrutable force no one could resist or reason with.

So we went back to Japan to pick up the pieces.  At that point, things were apparently back to normal in Tokyo, making it somehow feel worse as I packed up the pieces of eleven years of my adult life.  Jesse left ahead of me to survey the new place we would move to.  I stayed behind; to throw away, to mourn, to say my good-byes.

For a year and a half, I have been living in London.  I run Rinkya from here and look for new business opportunities and partnerships.  I still go back to Japan for work.  At first I was a mess: I could barely eat, sleep, get up in the morning. I couldn't breathe. In Japan, earthquakes would jolt you out of bed at night and you would just roll over and go back to sleep.  Those nightly tremors were a strange source of comfort. Now I lay in bed, stiff like a corpse, dreaming of the home and people I so dearly loved.

Sometimes, at night, I retrace every nook and cranny of my house in Tokyo.  I retrace the steps from the genkan out to my balcony.  I walk slowly through my hallway, running my fingers over the paper walls.  I smell the sakura tree.  I listen to the subtle hum of the electricity running through the washlet in the bathroom.  I walk down to the conbini, offering a loud, strong, "Ohayo Gozaimasu!" to every person I pass, smiling, happy to be alive. Still, after eleven years, I am high on the fact I got to live in Japan.  Happy to be alive and just breathe the Japanese air in.

Then I wake up.  I'm not there anymore.  I probably never will be again.  And my heart grows heavy, for my loss and for everyone's loss in Japan.

Today I am learning to be happy and to realise why leaving was a smart move.  Today my job is to bring you the beauty of Japan, to show the entire world what an amazing little country it is, filled to the brim of beautiful people, wondrous places and things you will marvel at.  I can now go back to Japan and hug her, like an old friend.  "Hi, I'm back! Did you miss me?  I missed you!"  I feel happy and satisfied when I get on that plane to go back to London that I'll miss her, I love her, but I'll be back again.  It's a precious luxury.

I want to thank everyone at Rinkya, all our customers and staff who helped us through these difficult times.  Rinkya could not have survived without our amazing customers who called, emailed, patiently waited through delays, sent us packages and continued to buy from us.  We thank you for your help and support.  You helped us rebuild.

Today, I mourn, not for the life I once knew and loved so dearly, but for the country and the people who gave it to me.  Sure, we're a rich country and we can rebuild, but nothing will rebuild the hearts of the people who lost so much more.  I pray for them to be healed.  I pray for my beloved Japan.

"The dark, cold waters swirled around them as they tried to hold on to each other. Almost fifty years together, they stared into each others' eyes.  She couldn't hold on any more and the wife went under with her last words to him being 'dai suki'.

"I love you…"

Japan: watashi mo dai suki. (I love you too.)

Never forget.

March 11th, 2013
Heather Russell
CEO, Rinkya

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Featured Collection: Jumbo Machineder Figures

Hi everyone, are you enjoying the weekend?

Today I'd like to recommend a seller who has collection of super rare, vintage figures that are currently being auctioned on YJ auction.

Collected Jumbo Machineder Figures sold  by Marketenterprise_2006

Jumbo Machineder is a series of robot figure that were produced in 1970s by a company called Popy. They are highly collectible, very rare, and in a good condition, collectible shops or individual collectors would buy them for millions of yen sometimes.  

Hi everyone, are you enjoying the weekend?

Today I'd like to recommend a seller who has collection of super rare, vintage figures that are currently being auctioned on YJ auction.

Collected Jumbo Machineder Figures sold  by Marketenterprise_2006

Jumbo Machineder is a series of robot figure that were produced in 1970s by a company called Popy. They are highly collectible, very rare, and in a good condition, collectible shops or individual collectors would buy them for millions of yen sometimes.  

Rockron Q9

Green Ghost Q9

Taiho Buffalo

Red Baron

Jumbo Machineder Great Mazinger

Auction ends soon, so if you want any of it, act quickly!

Things to note: The items auctioned by this seller has low prices here mainly because of their damaged conditions. Note that some of them have major damages and missing parts. Please no refund/no return after you purchase.

Let us know whenever you have difficulty finding out descriptions of the exact conditions. We could help you!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Catbus Bento Friday

Happy Friday!

Now this naughty catbus has its whiskers out of the bento box, it makes me not want to put a lid over!
I really like the dustbunnies made out of cheese and seaweed too. 
Imagine having these cheese slices at a party, to go with crackers or bread... it'd be so much fun!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Never Lose Your Data Again! Shock-resistant HDD with Built-in Accelerometer

I-O Data's new line of portable hard drive, HDPD-AUT series could save your important data from being destroyed. 
A unique characteristic of this drive is that it's equipped with accelerometer to detect a drop, and shuts its power off automatically before it hits the ground. Shock-absorbing material used for its outer case adds durability to the drive. 
The drive passed the durability test of a drop from 1.22 meter (4 feet) high, as well as US military quality standard MIL-STD-810F.

Also, another interesting feature of the drive utilizing accelerometer is that, depending on its position (which side is on the top/bottom), it changes modes of operations. 
When side-A (the side with G-SENSOR logo on) is faced up, the drive runs as a rewrittable, virtual DVD-RW. 
When side-B is up, it works as a virtual support software CD-ROM. A pre-installed backup application can be accessed in this mode too, so you can boot from CD and recover your computer from backup, both from side-B.

HDPD-AUT drives can be connected via USB. They come in black and silver colorings, and data capacities of 500GB and 1TB. Compatible with Windows 8/7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X 10.6-10.8. 

Now you don't have to worry about cats knocking over hard drives from your desks or several potential disasters that could damage your files!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Pineapple ramen restaurant sells Coffee Ramen

There are a lot of ramen restaurants with all assortments in Japan, but this particular ramen shop in Ogikubo area of Tokyo, called Pa Pa Pa Pa Pine, is specialized in pinapple ramen, and now they also sell coffee ramen for limited-time only.

Now they sound awfully weird, but let's take a look at their staple menu: pineapple ramen.

Pa Pa Pa Pa Pine's original pineapple ramen was created because of its owner's love for pineapples.
A quarter of broth is made of pineapple juice, and it contains no meat in it at all, except for some fish base. Thus, it is a very healthy, low-calorie alternative to generally fatty, greasy ramen dishes.
That's pretty impressive already, but they won't stop there. 
Great ramen has to come with great ajitsuke-tamago (seasoned boiled eggs) to be called perfect.
Pa Pa Pa Pa Pine's boiled eggs are, as you might guess, also pineapple-flavored!
Boiled eggs, usually soaked in soy-based sauce, are instead infused with pineapple juice, leaving dessert-like freshness in your mouth when you take a bite.

As if pineapple ramen is not strange enough, the restaurant occasionally sells special dishes with special weird ingredients for limited time too.

Coffee ramen is one of their latest special menu. It is a ramen dish consisting of rich, fish-base broth topped with powdered coffee, nori seaweed, onions, and chashu pork.
Now this ramen is, according to a review by RocketNews writer, really, really strong and bitter.
While fish-base broth and coffee topping create shocking bitterness to the dish, onions and chashu pork add hints of sweetness to balance it out.

The owner of the shop suggests that if you don't like black coffee, you can add creamer and sugar to ramen. It is weird to think about mixing dairy and sweetener to ramen, but it doesn't wreck the flavors and actually adds richness to the soup.

Ramen is topped with powdered coffee

In the past, Pa Pa Pa Pa Pine has sold Chocolate Ramen for Valentine's Day, Strawberry Ramen, Papaya Ramen, Mixed Fruit Ramen, Cilantro Ramen, Pumpkin Ramen for Halloween... the list goes on. If you ever get bored with normal ramen, you know where to go!

You can check Pa Pa Pa Pa Pine's latest ramen announcements on official Twitter account.

Pa Pa Pa Pa Pine is located at:
1F Nisshin Plaza
3-12-1 Nishi-ogikubo-minami
Suginami-ku, Tokyo

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Mayonnaise Gourmet, Avocado Shrimp, and more from Pizza Hut's Seasonal Menu

2013 is Pizza Hut's 55th anniversary!
To celebrate the occasion, Pizza Hut Japan introduced its new menu items staring March 4th to June 9th, available limited time only.

There are 6 new items added to Pizza Hut:

1) Avocado Shrimp
Although Domino's Japan has been selling pizzas with avocados and shrimp toppings as its regular menu item, Pizza Hut's got its own version too now.
These avocados are spiced up with herbs and pureed into special sauce, adding creamy richness to juicy shrimps. 

2) Rich Formaggio
For serious cheese lovers! 
On each piece of this pizza is topped with a big chunk of camembert cheese. It is covered with fresh mozzerella, cheddar, parmesan, and tomatoes for extra refreshing flavors. 

3) Wild Garlic
If you don't mind stinking up the room with the smell, here's a pizza to scare off any vampires. Wild Garlic pizza is topped with tons of cloves of garlic. Accompanied by pepperoni, bacon, italian sausage, and hint of black peppers, it'll for sure satisfy your taste buds.

4) Thick Cut Teriyaki Chicken

Each piece of this pizza has a thick-cut teriyaki chicken. And of course, mayonnaise. Japanese people love to put mayonnaise on everything. It is also topped with corns.

5) Pizza Hut Mayo Gourmet
Speaking of mayonnaise, this one has name mayo in its name even. Pizza Hut Mayo Gourmet pizza comes with sliced sausage, bacon, green asparagus, onions, mushrooms, fresh sliced tomatoes, italian tomatoes, and lots of garlics. Take in lots of veggies to make up for eating mayonnaise-covrered meal!

6) Spring Party 4
Can't decide which one to choose from?
Spring Party 4 is a pizza that has 4 separate sections of different toppings: Avocado Shrimp, Thick Cut Teriyaki Chicken, Pizza Hut Mayo Gourmet, and Pizza Hut's staple Idaho Special (which is topped with diced Idaho potatoes) 

For anyone who bought above item, you get complimentary Hut PON, rolled pizza doughs filled with either cheese or chocolate. 

Also, as part of Pizza Hut's spring campaigns, they'll be giving away either Rilakkuma pizza cutter, or a Rilakkuma pizza tray, when you order Rilakkuma Original 4 Pizza (pizza with 4 different flavors - Tuna Mild, Idaho Special, Bacon & Asparagus, and Meat Trio.) Pizzas come in Rilakkuma boxes too!

Hmmm... some of them I'm not sure if they'd be actually tasty or not... but if you are one of the adventurous sorts, you know where to go for interesting pizza selections!

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