The convenience store chain Familymart released a limited edition nikuman hot bun snack in the form of the famous comic book super hero Kinnikuman (キン肉マン). It was the third in a series of nikuman snacks in the shape of comic book characters. Kinnikuman is the story of bumbling super hero that has been going since 1979 and has by now sold well over 53 million books in Japan alone. Despite the super hero getting his power from garlic, that particular onion was not heavily featured in the recipe, strangely enough. Although nikuman are usually about 110 yen, this one came in at 180 yen.
You can see another character inspired nikuman at the end of this post, and a couple of photos of the real thing in Yokohama Chinatown.
Passing through Shinjuku station the other day I saw this cake shop, Maplies Cake, where they had some interesting cakes on sale, made up to look almost exactly like bowls of ramen, plates of gyoza and even some tenshinhan. I am lucky to even have noticed the sign!「実はこれ、ケーキです。」I did not get any close ups of the real things as I felt it would have been a little bit rude to shoot and run! Still if you are interested, go check them out for yourself. You can just go to the little underground square between Marunouchi line, Toei Oedo line and the JR lines. Let us know how they taste!
Saturday night in Tokyo’s Shimokitazwa district and I take a turn down a street I haven’t been down before and come across this amazingly rag tag deadstock toy store! The cheaper stuff was in boxes and boxes outside but the best toys and collectibles were inside the store, so crowded it was barely possible to move around inside. Shimokitazawa is famous for its many curiosity shops but serious toy collectors should also visit Nakano’s Broadway or Akihabara for vintage goodies or Kuramae for the shops full of vintage stock!
The name of this store, Nichome Sanbanchi (２丁目３番地), is taken from an a classic TV drama that ran in 1971.
I am always happy to see that arts and crafts are being promoted more and more here in Japan. A few weeks ago I visited the Hand Made In Japan Fes 2013, a fair and exhibitors event centered around creativity and crafts in Tokyo’s Odaiba district. It is somewhat similar to Design Festa, possibly with a bigger focus on crafts and stuff than Design Festa which is a little bit more focused on Arts. HMJ2013 also had a nice outdoors area with music, food, DJs and other performances. I didn’t take many photos inside, as I didn’t want to bother the exhibitors too much. The photos I did take is from the main entrance areas of the halls so it looks strangely deserted. Once you got into the booths properly it was quite crowded and full of great stuff, as usual!
As usual when I visit this place, I can’t resist taking some photos of the massive building. As many times as I have been here (dozens) I have never been up in the building itself, only down in the event areas. Strange.
HMJ is run by Creema, which is a creator’s market, an online arts and crafts store, curated to some extent by users. Maybe not that different from Etsy, but more focused on crats and less on ready mades. Maybe. I am not an expert! It’s well wort a look!