Friday, November 11, 2016

Wonderland of Toys in Akihabara! The Holy Place of Gachapon “Gachapon Kaikan”

Have you ever heard of “Gachapon”? Maybe you have seen it once in Japanese manga or anime, but gachapon is a toy capsule from a coin dispensing machine, in which the toy comes out from the machine by random when you insert 200~400 yen and twist the handle.
Today, we came to “Gachapon Kaikan” in Akihabara, also known as the holy place of gachapon, with the Tokyo Girl’s Update TV navigator Alisa Urahama and Tina Tamashiro

Once we entered the shop, the room was filled with gachapon machines. New series and toys are added every day, and there are about 500 gachapon in the shop!

When we talk of gachapon, we usually imagine children twisting the handle, but actually, most customers are adults. There are many toys placed for adults such as the key charm of the old anime character including Sailor Moon, and items of “Cup no Fuchiko”.
Alisa tried the Sailor Moon magnet gachapon, and Tina challenged the gachapon of the item of Japan’s famous Artist Taro Okamoto. Tina was lucky enough to get the rare item! It you are lucky, this might happen to you too.

Even if you have nothing you really want, you will be tempted to turn the handle once you enter this wonderland! Take a look at the “Gachapon Hall” when you come to Akihabara!

Down the Battlefield! Off to Sengoku Maid Cafe “Mononopu” and Enjoy Warring States Period Feeling

 Are you tired of going normal maid cafe? Don’t worry, Akihabara, the city of Moe culture, has various kind of Maid Cafes! We visited one of them, Sengoku Maid Cafe “Mononopu” with Kawaii Asia crews Pikarin (Hikari Shiina), Kumikky (Kumiko Funayama), and An-chan(Anna Yano).

Mononopu is a maid cafe where the daughters of famous warriors are working as armored maids, by the order of the legendary warrior “Moda Nopunaga” (parody of “Oda Nobunaga”). Actually, Pikarin often visits this maid cafe for her private, and once she released collaboration goods with this maid cafe! So, Pikarin showed us around the cafe!
Entering the cafe, the maids armored with Kimono welcomed saying “Okaerinasaimase, Ohimesama!” (meaning : Welcome back, my princess!). The maid explained the rules of the cafe, and we heard that if you didn’t keep the rules, you might get “beheading”, “Seppuku”, or “banishment”…! So severe! Keep the rules and enjoy it.

Look! The interior of the cafe is really well made with the concept of Sengoku era taste. There is one VIP room named “Kin no Chashitsu” (meaning : Golden Tea Room) and the girls spend time here. Decorated with gold wall paper and feel like so gorgeous!

When you call the maid, you use special Naruko (clappera noisemaker). Clapping Naruko, Pikarin called the maid saying “Tanomou~!”. They ordered “first battle set”, including rice omelet and Russian roulette Takoyaki which one of the six takoyaki balls has super spicy wasabi!

Rice omelet and Takoyaki arrived~! The maid draw cute illustration on the rice omelet with tomato ketchup and casted a spell on the food, chanting “Moe-giri!” to make the food more tasty. It was so tasty!

And…next is Russian roulette Takoyaki! The person who got the spicy one with wasabi was An-chan! As a loser’s punishment (although it turned out pleasure though), she transformed into an armed maid!

The light pink colored costume really fits An-chan’s soft and cute personality! Kawaii~~! This was the special service for the TV shooting and not regular service, sorry!

If you’re interested in Sengoku era and feeling like going some unusual maid cafe, why don’t you go ahead for Sengoku maid cafe “Mononopu”?

Perch on the Hidden Animal Cafe “Owl no Mori” in Akihabara!

Starting with cats, and next dogs, rabbits, and birds…Tokyo has various animal cafes and expanded to accommodate a wide range of animal lovers. Kawaii Asia crews’ Hikari Shiina (Pikarin), Ai Matsumoto(Mapipi) and Saki Shibata(Shibasaki) visited one of the latest ones, owl cafe.

Hidden in the streets of busy streets with maid cafes and electrical stores, “Owl no Mori” (meaning : Forest of Owl) opened the shop in May 2015. Once you enter the cafe, you feel like you transported to a forest and it’s hard to realize you’re in Akihabara.

There are around 30 owls from world’s largest species to rare species, and you can pet or put some of them on your shoulder if you ask the staffs. (*note: Some owls are not friendly with human and never allowed to touch them. You’ll be noted it at the entrance)

Taking pictures of the owls is allowed, but please avoid using the flash as they’re really sensible to light. The pictures make you to keep your memories!

The entrance fee is 890yen per hour (540yen for kids under 12) and it comes with one drink. The place is always crowded with people even on weekdays! We recommend you to make a reservation beforehand at the shop or through phone.

Owl no Mori also is dealing with purchasing owls. They offer a counseling before purchasing and give supports even after you got one, so if you’re planning to have one this is the best place. It is hard to deliver one to overseas but if you’re living in Japan, why don’t you consider that!

A Basic Beginner’s Overview to BABYMETAL

BABYMETAL is taking on their third World Tour now. They have continued to perform a new genre of  music which is mixture of idol songs and heavy metal. Therefore, there are some heavy metal fans that criticize their music. On the other hand, many famous artists express interests in them. In addition, some artists request for their appearances.

I suspect that they are getting worldly recognized from this. Also, BABYMETAL has been the recipients of famous music awards for two years in a row. Their popularity has no boundaries, for there are many fans all over the world. So I’m going to introduce BABYMETAL for you to keep up with their speedy popularity.


 BABYMETAL was formed as a Japanese metal dance unit on the theme of “the fusion of idol and metal” in 2010. They were originally members of the idol group Sakura Gakuin and took part in “Juon-bu” (Heavy Music Club) as club activity.

According to KOBAMETAL who is BABYMETAL’s producer, the group name comes from the words “Heavy metal”. The word “BABY” has a cute image and by adding it together, it creates a new image of “heavy metal”, also hoping to create a new genre of heavy metal.

Recent Activities

 In 2015, BABYMETAL received awards from UK music magazines “KERRANG!” and “METAL HAMMER”.

hey are the first Japanese award winners. They also released their 2nd album “METAL RESISTANCE” worldwide in 2016. It smashed its way into the Top 40 chart in the US Billboard Top 200, the first time in 53 years for a Japanese artist to do so. They also became the first Japanese artists to perform at SSE Arena, Wembley on April 2, 2016. They audience totaled 12,000 people. Now they are taking on their third world tour.


This unit consists of SU-METAL, YUIMETAL, MOAMETAL.
SU-METAL (Nakamoto Suzuka) : Vocal, Dance (Center position)

The best features are her singing abilities and powerful dance performances. Since she was a graduate of Actors School Hiroshima and member of  Karen Girl’s, BABYMETAL’s producer KOBAMETAL recognized her talent and created his plan of  this unit which was to be centered SU-METAL. Although she seems to be very soft, her performances and glare are so outstanding that all fans get mesmerized by her. Her older sister Himeka is a member of Nogizaka46.
YUIMETAL (Mizuno Yui): Scream, Dance (Left position)

She is known for her emotional performances. Before she joined BABYMETAL, she had never listened to heavy metal music. However, she answered “I want to imitate Kerry King’s (SLAYER) performance” and has often mentioned SLAYER in interviews.
MOAMETAL (Moa Kikuchi) :Scream, Dance (Right position)
She is the most idolish member, although each member came from an idol group. She knows the best expressions and ways to show herself from her idol experiences. She always makes funny faces to the other member at their concerts and makes the audience laugh.

Kitsune-sama and their concerts

Kitsune-sama, means Fox God. BABYMETAL’s activities are determined by his prophecies. They disguise in their personal time, and “Kitsune-sama” descends to  the members during their performances. Therefore, there is no MC and their concerts are proceeded with narration and images which has a story taste.

Corna (sign of the horns) is well known by metal fans, but BABYMETAL uses the Fox Sign. They are not only cute but also their performances are very special because they have metal-style performances with head banging, playing tag which likes wall of death etc. For these reasons, you can see how many people are obsessed with the magic of BABYMETAL.

Kami Band

This is the band that plays in the back in their live performances. It consists of 2 guitars, 1 bass, and 1 drummer. Kami (meaning God in Japanese) band always has white makeup on and wear white clothing. They are also called into concerts by Kitsune-sama
Main support members
Takayoshi Ohmura (Guitar
He is a member of C4 and also a support band member for Marty Friedman
Mikio Fujioka (Guitar)
He is short, so Kami Band members call him “Small God”
BOH (Bass)He is famous for using his 6 string bass and love of ramen
Hideki Aoyama (Drums)
His performance is highly praised in foreign countries.
Yuya Maeno (Drums)He attracts fans with his overwhelmingly high-level performances.
Former member, Leda(Guitar)
He is a member of Far East Dizain. He performs with T.M. Revolution and DAIGO☆STARDUST

Hone Band

Hone means “bone” in Japanese. They only perform in karaoke musical performances and wear skeleton suits. Since the Kami band have been called by the Fox God, we rarely get to see them, but you can see them in the MV “DOKIDOKI☆MORNING”.


He is in charge of the management and also the producer for the group. He is famous for being a heavy metal fan. Therefore, you can get the glimpse of metal bands’ songs, staging, and merchandise. This is probably one of the reasons they are so popular among metal fans worldwide.

For example, AKATSUKI from BABYMETAL is an homage to “KURENAI” from X JAPAN. A fan uploaded a video on YouTube which cleverly combined “KURENAI” and “AKATSUKI”. It is popular and has already been played over three million times.

Future Plan

BABYMETAL will be touring in the U.S. in July 2016. However, most of those concerts have already sold out. They have also announced a 2 day concert (September 19th and 20th, 2016) at Tokyo Dome. These will be held as additional concerts for their third world tour. Where BABYMETAL will go from there, only the Fox God knows! Check the world 

Japanese Typical “Pure” Dating Steps! Following Love Rituals for True Love!

We Japanese are said to be very shy. This goes the same for love as well. But, when you look around the city, there are many couples walking around and flirting. Summer is coming, so get yourself ready for falling in love!
Here in Japan, many couples tend to go through the same kinds of steps until they go out. Especially Japanese girls tend to think that these are important.

1. The Encounter

They beginning of their love starts from their encounter. Of course, everybody has their types, so you never know who they will fall in love with. As manners in Japan, If you meet them for the first time, make sure you call them by their first or last name with “san” or other suffixes on them. If you don’t you’ll leave a bad impression.

2. Asking for their contact information

You can ask for their contact information when you meet them for the first time. Those who are university students are younger tend to exchange their LINE IDs (LINE is a chat app that many people  use) so we usually don’t know each other’s phone numbers and so on.

3. Kokuhaku

We have a culture of doing “Kokuhaku” meaning confessing. In Kokuhaku, you must state clearly, that you like the other, and most also ask “Will you go out with me?”. Those of you who like Japanese anime or drama may have once seen a scene where the man and the woman are obviously going out but one is worried if they are really going out just because there was no Kokuhaku. It is so common that many girls have their ideal Kokuhaku situation. If you really mean it, you should Kokuhaku around the 3rd time you go out with just the 2 of you. Either way, you should’t Kokuhaku right away in Japan.

4. The First Date

There is a stereotypical image that the first date after starting to go out tends to be going to the movies. You also usually only hold hands, no more than that.  If you try to kiss on your first date, you might be considered as a bitch or playboy. So it is probably smart to just go home. Dating spots should also be like parks, museums, zoos, aquariums and places that you won’t feel much “sexuality”.

5. The First Kiss

Finally, around the 3rd date you can kiss! Unless its not the moment you just met, you can kiss him/her anytime you want. Maybe if she looks a bit lonely when saying goodbye, kissing her will make her fall even deeply in love with you!
Of course nobody has to follow any of these steps, but they are stereotypes on how people go through steps and they have been created through many anime and drama. This eventually led to some people thinking that these are the ideal steps to follow to get a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The Best Place to Take A Break! 8 Cat Cafes in Tokyo that You Must Go

Cat cafe has been popular for the past few years in Japan, but now there are too many of them that makes you difficult to decide which one to visit. We’ve put a list of 8 cat cafes in Tokyo, where you will surely enjoy your time facing with the kitties!

1.Temari No Ouchi Cat Cafe – Into the mysterious woods of cats

Decorated with the concept of “forest”, Temari No Ouchi Cat Cafe makes you feel as if you’re in the world of fantasy with cats walking inside the woods

2. Cat Cafe MoCHA

This cafe is too beautiful for a cat cafe. It has a gorgeous interior design with a drink bar and PC/phone charge available. MoCHA is located in Ikebukuro east and west exit, Shibuya, and Harajuku

We previously visited cat cafe MoCHA with Kumiko Funakawa, Ai Matsumoto, and Hikari Shiina so take a look!

3. Cat Cafe Monta

Located one minute away from Asakusa station, Monta is a stylish and classy cat cafe where you can relax with the cute cats. Monta has a shooting lesson of how to take adorable picture of cats, so if you want to shoot the cutest cat picture, come visit!

4. Cat Cafe Kyariko

With more than 50 cats in the shop, Kyariko is one of the largest cat cafe in Tokyo. It has two stores in Shinjuku and Kichijoji, and the one in Shinjuku is near the station so you can visit casually after watching a movie or shopping.

5. Cat Cafe Neko Ga Iru Kyuukeijo 299 (A Resting Place with Cats 299)

As it’s name suggests, this cat cafe is the best place to take a rest after job or school, since it has  comfortable sofas and more than 2000 comics on the shelves! When you get tired of enclosed net cafes, why don’t you visit here?

6. Cat Cafe Calaugh

Unlike ordinary cat cafes, most of the cats in Calaugh are crossbred, since they greet stray cats and protected cats. Calaugh served as a second home for cats that lost their houses at the Great East Japan Earthquake as well.

7. Cat Cafe Cateriam

Cateriam is a cat cafe in Shimokitazawa, and 11 cats will greet you as you enter the shop! Cateriam also sells various cat accessories, so you can buy the cute goods before you go home too.

8. Cat Cafe Nyafe Melange

Nyafe Melange is the only cat cafe that has a wireless lan. You will be able to have a relaxed time checking your e-mail or going on Twitter while petting the cute cats.