According to locals, this much snow only falls once every two years in Kyoto.
With so many unique and historic monuments, Kyoto has one of the world’s largest collections of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it one of the most fascinating and beautiful places to visit in all of Japan. While the ancient city has an alluring, atmospheric beauty at any time of the year, there’s one particular time when the temples and shrines here become even more exquisite, and that’s when the area is covered in a white sheet of soft powder snow.
This weekend, Kyoto received its coldest winter days yet, with heavy snowfall hitting the city in what locals say is a rare event that only occurs only once every two years. Despite the intense cold, photographers braved the snow to capture some of the area’s most iconic sites at their most beautiful, creating images that makes us feel like we’ve stepped back in time to the feudal era. Let’s take a look below at some of the gorgeous scenes from the wintry weekend.
The famous Golden Pavilion, Kinkakuji, drew a large number of crowds who came to gaze at the glistening beauty of ice crystals contrasted against a shade of brilliant gold.
▼ Tourists and locals alike clamoured to catch a glimpse of Kinkakuji in the snow.
▼ Another iconic spot to draw crowds on the weekend was Kiyomizu-dera.
The view of the snow-covered pagoda was one of the many sights that could be enjoyed in the well-known Higashiyama district.
Arashiyama, to the west of the city center, and its beautiful bamboo forest also became ethereal sites of beauty on the weekend…
…while this photographer stepped out in a blizzard to capture the beauty of Pontocho, a narrow street lined with secluded restaurants, in the snow.
Kifune Jinja held a special free light-up event until 8:00 p.m. so visitors could enjoy the unique atmosphere on the grounds of their Shinto shrine in the evening.
Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermillion torii gates, was another site that enthralled visitors.
It really doesn’t matter when you visit Kyoto, it is one the most beautiful cities in Japan, but you have to admit that a white layer of snow gives it something extra….
It’s been a long time coming, we have the Miss universe, Miss world, Miss bla bla elections, but what we (collectors, game, anime/manga lovers, otaku’s) have been missing is the Miss figure election. Of course the human Misses are beautiful in their own eh human way, but they wouldn’t stand a chance against the beauty and amazing body proportions of their plastic counterparts in a stand off. I don’t want to sound sexist, so let me assure you that for me, figures are by no means a substitute for real life women..come on they are so tiny, they wouldn’t be able to fetch me my beer from the fridge!
Whack! (that was the sound of my life partner smacking me on the back of my bald head)
Figures come in all sizes and shapes, and the price is often decided on the quality, details and popularity of the figure…but I’m going to forgo these points and judge them purely on their looks and uh character.
Without further ado, let me present you the 10 candidates:
1-Fighter Sasara from the psp game “ToHeart2 Dungeon Travelers”
Sasara is a feisty blond, who loves nothing more than to take long walks on sandy beaches, drink Cola Bacardi’s and slice off some heads with her huge ax. she’s 25 centimeters tall and her favorite pet is a snapping turtle.
2-Iris Dina Bernhardt from Muv Luv alternative.
Lovely Iris is originally an East German army captain, with a weak spot for bunnies and panzerfaust hand grenades. She’s a true amazon at a length of 36 cm.
3-Saito Miohi from Love Torre
Blessed with a dynamite figure and strong love for anything bubbly, this Champagne sipping, bubble bath taking love is really into good causes, it doesn’t say what causes on her resume, but who gives a hoot, for all we care is that her presence in this world is cause for living.
4-Sakurai Aoi from RAIL WARS
Aoi chan (chan is a term of endearment, often used for younger women and girls) is not your typical miss contestant, being a bit of a tomboy, she doesn’t really like to flaunt her feminine side. More “human like” proportioned she’s likely to get a lot of votes from the ladies.
A voluptuous body and the skills to kick some serious butt, makes this brunette a very strong contender for the crown of “Miss figure” . It is said that she’s an amazing twerker and that she taught pro-twerker Jessica Vanessa all the moves.
6-Anzu Futaba from Idolmaster, Cinderella girls.
With her puppy eyes and young looks, Anzu is certain to attract the votes of “rorikon” lovers, “rorikon” stands for “Lolita complex” and is the preference some men have for under aged looking girls (please don’t call this sick, as we’re talking figures here..in real life however…)
7-Purayama of World Conquest Zvezda plot
Feisty Purayama loves to use the trick of attraction through concealing , she might be the complete opposite of Miley Cyrus! Purayama lost the use of her right eye at young age, but this has never stopped her in fulfilling her dreams and goals..instead she uses it to look more mysterious by wearing a slightly disturbing eye patch AND a mask!
8-Queen Sukasaha (Fate Grand Order)
This blue blooded royalty is all about style and class, giving “human” royalty a run for its money. If this was the queen of some country, I’d be emigrating there in jiffy.No flower printed Laura Ashley dresses for Sukasaha..the last person who suggested this, ended up on the sharp end of her spear!
9-Super Sonico (Beach Queens)
What would a Miss figure election be without presence of one of the Beach Queens? This year’s representative is Super Sonico, a cute fun loving girl who likes to sunbath on the sandy beaches of Cancun while listening to the latest vocaloid tracks. If she wins, she wants to use the money to go to Nice in France, and get rid of those tan lines.
10-Marie Rose (Dead or Alive)
If there had been earlier Miss Figure elections, than the ladies of action game Dead or Alive, would have been regular participants, with their beauty, skills and other bouncy attributes. It comes as a big surprise than that their entree lacks the two points which made this franchise so famous.
No bikini clad lady, Marie Rose like to wear Goth styled Lolita maid clothes and is therefore no participant in the famous Dead or Alive volleyball games. This stunning blonde brings character and style to this Miss election.
Choosing between these ladies might be hardest thing ever, therefore we let you decide who will be our Miss Figure 2016. One person will receive the winning figure on courtesy of JWS.
Some “contestants” are only up for pre-order, in which case we will order and once it’s “ready”, ship it to you.
Voting will end on the first of October and the results will be announced on the fifth of October.
BIBILAB, the company which has brought us a lot of unique products like the nomad suitcase, a suitcase which turns into a desk or the Damekun, the most comfy pajamas ever.
This time around they collaborated with our favorite super hero and created what we would call the most awesome suitcase ever!
The “A MAN OF ULTRA” suitcase is not just very pretty to look at, it’s also very unique in its features. Instead of creating normal sized suitcase, they made it slim and tall, so without sacrificing any volume(58L),they created a far more useful form.
Its sleek design makes it easier to carry around than an “ordinary” suitcase and takes less floor space. If you’re the kind of person who get brought to the Airport by limousine than you’ve never experienced or will experience (that is until the next Lehman shock..)the hardship we mere mortals suffer just to get to the airport. Bumping into people’s knees in full trains, going through the ticket gates in a most awkward style …..
The width of this suitcase is equal to an A4 size paper and the height is 80 centimeters which would it make similar to traveling with a 5 year old child, just without the constant nagging for snacks and toilet breaks.
The “slim and tall” design makes it also possible to carry things, you normally wouldn’t be able to fir in your suitcase, like a skateboard/ Hoverboard, a tennis racket or diving equipment….
The suitcase is made of ABS and polycarbonate, materials which besides sounding very fancy have the characteristics of being light (4.3kg) and strong.
It has 4 quiet caster wheels of which two can be easily locked, they are pretty nice designed wheels too, giving you a little bling.
Have you ever wondered how the customs inspects your luggage, even when you tightly locked yours? Well I haven’t, I’ve always been too busy looking for free WIFI, but not to get off topic here, this suitcase has a TSA lock (transportation security administration) which can only be openend by yourself and by TSA officials with a special master key, so in case they suspect something, they just open it and close it without breaking anything.
The ULTRAMAN suitcase comes in two varieties; the silver colored one is created by A MAN OF ULTRA and they also have a black version with a silver accent stripe with ULTRAMAN’s pic.
It even has a nifty space to keep your tripod!
Your 1/3 scale doll(!?) fits easily, because who would leave home without it?
These suitcases are limited and need preordering, with the silver version almost sold out and the black very close to being almost sold out. They are selling the suitcases through four selling points, with Amazon Japan being the only one which has still the silver one. So you have to act fast. Delivery will be on October 21.
Not convinced yet? Have a look at this promo video.
Silver:35,000 yen (A man of ultra needs their cut I reckon)
This is just one of the items in a range of delicious accessories designed for meat lovers.
If you ever wanted to turn heads and make people’s mouths water as you walk by them on the street, there’s no easier way to do it than with a meaty backpack. This new product is the latest to join the weird and whacky rucksack range from quirky Japanese novelty goods store Village Vanguard, who previously thrilled us with their raw meat bag earlier this year.
Now the backpack has progressed in the cooking process, developing a deliciously seared golden brown colour that makes it look just about ready for eating.
▼ The thick slab of steak comes with a pair of soft brown straps so you can carry it around in maximum comfort.
▼ And unlike your ordinary cut of meat, this one opens up to carry everything you need for the day, complete with inner pockets.
Given its size, the meaty bag is a bargain at 2,160 yen (US$21.52). While it’s designed to be worn in summer, when the butter-topped serving would appear to sizzle in the sun, it’s still a top accessory for any time of the year!
And for customers who prefer to keep their meat fandom within the confines of the home, the delicious steak is also available as a plump, tender cushion.
If you’ve always dreamed of laying your head on a juicy piece of meat, this succulent looking cushion will give you enough meat sweats to last a lifetime.
▼ Also available in a raw meat version, the cushions retail for 2,160 yen each.
The meaty range is becoming increasingly popular with customers, so if your tastes tend towards the carnivorous variety,check out the Village Vanguard onlinestore and send us your request before they all sell out!
Yes I know, yet another Ultraman article…..sorry, I don’t wanna be a freak, but I can’t help myself. We at a JWS love Ultraman, some of our staff like the stories, others, like me, love the fashion and its total atmosphere..one member even has a full human sized Ultraman suit at home, and a 1.8 meter life like doll at home….so now you know who’s the only single member in our group too.
Thank god we are not alone in our obsession with this giant, yet delicate super hero, we bought and shipped quite a lot of products from the “A MAN OF ULTRA” shop worldwide.
Premium Bandai will release this month this amazing Bluetooth SSSP clip-on mic and receiver, where SSSP stands for Science Special Search-Party which are the brave folks who search and find bad-ass monsters and aliens.
More than just a replica fashion statement though, this product actually improves over the original. The original communicator pin was merely a radio transmitter, where the new one works as a wireless mic, call notifier, speaker or headphone transmitter with its earphone jack and it’s a fashion statement!
Check the video and you see what I mean.
An incoming call is answered by pulling out the antenna and the ringing sound is the tone of the original communicator, how much more authentic can it get? A little less authentic but very much welcomed are the volume buttons and buttons to change music tracks.
This limited product is priced at 21,600 yen with delivery in February, pricey? Yes a bit but everything worth buying ain’t cheap, the rest is just “gamman” (Japanese for patience, in this context it means buying something cheaper while you long for the original item)shipping will not be expensive due to its light weight.
For the 50th anniversary of Ultraman, Converse has created some awesome kicks, two based on their best selling AllSTAR HI model and one on their SLIP OX.
First up is the ALL STAR ULTRAMAN R HI
Now look at the soles….no one will complain when you sit with your feet up..ever again!
Next up is the ALL STAR ELEKING R HI .
Like the monster in the movies, these glow in the dark!
Look at these soles..sugoi (wow in Japanese)
And last is the BALTANSEIJIN R SLIP OX.
To be worn without or…..
And of course good old Baltan is featured on the soles too.
The shoes will go up for sale in July with prices ranging from 8,500 yen for the Elekings to 9,500 yen for both the others.
Why not combine them with a MAN OF ULTRAxROEN layered pullover parka? (43,200 yen)
Or keep it simple with this MAN OF ULTRA logo t-shirt. (black and white)￥6,372
Funny how things turn out, I admit that I’ve never been a great fan of the early Ultra Man series, but when it comes to fashion, no other superhero has it beat….maybe it’s the simple yet strong name “Ultra Man”, it’s a logo which never looks cheesy but tasteful and can be worn with all outfits. Call me a fan and when I prance around in my new Ultra yukata I know that fashion is on my side and the geek in me will be allowed to walk hand in hand with my better half.
for more info on the sneakers click here, and for the THE MAN OF ULTRA FASHION click here.
Being an otaku in the corporate world isn’t always easy, strict fashion guidelines prevent you from expressing the real you. Sure you can wear some anime printed underwear, but it’s not ..well how to say this….cheeky….it’s a bit cowardice like putting Coke in a Pepsi bottle during a Pepsi fan meeting.
Now though, you can hide in plain sight, looking quite dashing in a conservative way, but still wearing your heart on your sleeve, with these Girls&Panzer neckties.
Worn beneath a suit they look like ordinary striped ties….
When you take off your jacket they still won’t reveal a thing..no worries you still look like a “serious” corporate worker.
Then when you turn over your tie a smile spreads over your face…knowing that they can take the otaku out of the otaku world, but you can never take the otaku out of the otaku!
They come in two colors, the one above with Nishisumu Miho in blue and Akiyama Yukasato in green.
They are now up for pre-order(delivery in July) and the cheapest option (various sites are selling them) was the one we found here ¥ 4,860 at Gee!Store.
After a nice dinner, it’s hard to top a cup of green tea. But as you sit there, sipping and digesting, it’s important to remember not to linger too long, because while a relaxing beverage is a pleasant way to close out the meal, you really should be brushing your teeth sooner rather than later after eating.
Thankfully, there’s now a way to satisfy both your love of green tea and your responsibilities to your pearly whites with a new toothpaste made from green tea.
Most of Japanese company Brooks’ catalogue consists of coffees and teas meant to be used in the usual way: for drinking. The company has also branched out into other fields, though, such as diet supplements and even a line of green tea beauty goods.
The newest addition to the latter is the Green Tea Dental Paste. The toothpaste, which itself is white, comes in a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) tube and is made from naturally derived components, with green tea leaf extract getting top billing. You’ll also find fluorine and vitamin C on the ingredient list, but what you won’t find are any preservatives or synthetic aromas, so Brooks boasts the toothpaste can be used by everyone from children to seniors with no concerns.
Like all toothpastes, the Green Tea Dental Paste is designed to help prevent tartar buildup, staining, and cavities while fighting bad breath. Brooks also describes it as being less foamy than other toothpastes, and thus recommends it for people who’re using electric toothbrushes.
In addition to the traditional paste-style Green Tea Dental Paste, Brooks is also offering a liquid Green Tea Oral Cleaner, seen below and sold in 50-mililiter (1.7-ounce) bottles. Splash five or six drops onto the bristles of your toothbrush, and brush as you would with ordinary toothpaste.
Both the Green Tea Dental Paste and Oral Cleaner can be purchased directly from Brooks here for 1,200 yen (US$10) and 1,600 yen.
Who doesn’t love light, crunchy chocolate snacks that you can pop easily into your mouth, right? The Chocoball chocolates, from major Japanese snack maker Morinaga, have long been a popular snack in Japan and available in a wide range of flavors over the years. And what do you get when you cross over a well-loved snack like that with one of the biggest manga/anime hits in recent years? You get an awesomely cool snack, like these Attack on Titan ChocoBalls that have just been released this week!
Yes, this chocolate and manga collaboration comes in three exciting flavors for a limited time, and we have to say Kyuro-chan, the mascot bird for the ChocoBall brand, definitely looks dashing and ready to take on some Titans as he appears on the packages cosplaying as the main characters from the manga! So, ready to take a look at the special collaborative ChocoBall products?
The three flavors are each available in five different packages, which when lined up together form a connecting picture.
▼Here are the five packages the peanut flavored Attack on Titan Chocoballs come in, priced at 70 yen (US$0.70) for a 24g (0.85oz) pack. They have a peanut and crisp center covered with chocolate — a classic combination. Four of the package designs feature Kyuro-chan as Eren, the manga’s protagonist, and one as Levi, the powerful warrior.
▼One of the four Eren designs:
▼And this is Kyuro-chan as Levi:
▼These are the five caramel flavored packages, with a sweet caramel center again covered in chocolate, sold at 70 yen for a 27g (0.95 oz) pack. Now, caramel and chocolate –that has to taste good together!
▼Four of the deigns depict Kuro-chan as Armin, one of which is shown below.
▼The other package design shows Kuro-chan as Elwin:
▼And there’s also the strawberry flavored ChocoBalls, once again priced at 70 yen (US$0.70) for a 24g (0.85 oz) pack. This fruity flavor contains a white chocolate and rice puff center covered with strawberry chocolate. Yum … strawberry and white chocolate, that’s also a proven combination!
▼Here’s one of the four designs for Kyuro-chan as Mikasa:
▼And this is Kyuro-chan as Zoë, the fifth design:
▼Oh, and when you open the small retractable lid on the packets, you’ll be greeted by the face of the Colossus Titan!
▼And while the product below isn’t an Attack on Titan contribution, Morinaga announced at the same time that they are also selling this new ChocoBall flavor — the Shiratama Anmitsu(70 yen for a 25g [0.88oz] pack), which is a Japanese dessert made with agar jelly and served with red bean paste, various fruits and small white mochi (rice cake) balls called shiratama. While certainly not a conventional flavor for a chocolate snack, Shiratama Anmitsu is a long-time favorite dessert with the Japanese and may be worth a try if you’re looking for something a little different.
All of these products will be available until the end of August, so there’s still a bit of time to buy them if you’re going to be in Japan during that period or you can have us send them, as a matter of fact, we can send you all the food you want from Japan…and as usual, for the lowest prices available.
As for us, you can be sure we’re quite happy to see one of our favorite snacks combined with one of our favorite manga. Go kyuro-chan, and fight the Titans for us, but make sure to leave us with plenty of sweet treats!