Source: Tokyo Cheapo

If you’ve never owned a car, or it’s been a few years since you owned a car, it’s easy to forget the many potentials pitfalls with purchasing a second hand vehicle. To help prevent you making an expensive mistake, we’ve put together some tips for you to follow when looking for your new wheels.

Jump to:

Odometer readings
Service history
Buy Japanese

That’s prounounced sha-ken as in f*#ken rather than “shaken not stirred” and it’s a vehicle inspection certificate that allows you to drive your car on the road in Japan. Brand new cars need to get a new shaken 3 y

The post Tips For Buying a Used Car in Japan appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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Source: Tokyo Cheapo

So you handled the move to/within Japan like a pro, and now the only thing missing in your life is unlimited access to the internet? We know that feeling. While pocket wifi is great (and some cheapos do use it long term), it’s not unreasonable to want something a little more stable, something that gives you uncapped data and takes advantage of Japan’s lightning-fast internet speeds. But it can be tricky figuring out which is the best internet provider in Japan for your budget and usage needs. There’s a lot of fine print, most of it in complicated Japanese. We’ve put together this guide to make it a bit easier for you.
Note: The focus of this post is on long-term internet providers in Japan. If you’re looking f

The post Guide to Choosing an Internet Service Provider in Japan appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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Source: Tokyo Cheapo

If you don’t feel like dragging yourself to your nearest supermarket only to get knocked over by a ruthless, carrot-hogging auntie, then you might just want to stay on the couch and do the food shopping online this week. And we won’t judge if post-food-shop trauma steers you towards the old-faithful takeout either.

Jump to:

Online supermarkets
Imports and others

Japan is finally upping its online food shopping game with plenty of supermarkets that now deliver directly to your home. Let’s start with the main contenders.
Aint nobody got time for queuing.
Online supermarkets
Amazon Fresh
The convenie

The post Your Guide to Buying Groceries Online in Japan appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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Tiny Umaibo difference is big news in the Japanese snack world.

Earlier this week, the Japanese Internet was abuzz with chatter that snack maker Yaokin was planning to raise the price of its most popular line of crunchy munchies. Since it’s a product loved by people both young and old, such a decision would have national-level consequences, and sure enough, Yaokin has confirmed that the rumors are true, and this spring it will indeed be raising the price of its Umaibo puffed corn snacks (one of which is pictured above).

The company made the official announcement through the Umaibo Twitter account.


— うまい棒【やおきん公式】@第2回うまい棒川柳受賞作発表中! (@Umaemon_40th) January 27, 2022

The statement reads:

“Thank you for your continued support of Umaibo. As has been reported in various media outlets, due to an increase in the cost of Umaibo’s ingredients and shipping, as well as other expenses, as of April 1, 2022 we will be raising the price from 10 yen to 12 yen.

We were able to keep the price at 10 yen for the past 42 years thanks entirely to your support and the cooperation of everyone involved I Umaibo’s production and distribution, and we are deeply grateful to you all.

In addition, we sincerely apologize for the confusion and commotion that caused prior to our official announcement.

We will continue to do our utmost to bring you all products that make everyone happy.”

Yes, all of those numbers are correct. Umaibo will only be going up two yen (US 1.7 cents) in price, and it’s been at its current price of a ridiculously inexpensive 10 yen (US 8.7 cents) ever since it first went on sale in 1979.

Granted, puffed corn isn’t exactly haute cuisine, but in this day and age, it’s amazing to think that any company is selling its …continue reading


Sayonara, Sega.

Is Sega still in the arcade business?

That’s a hard question to answer. Walk around cities in Japan, and you can still spot Sega-brand arcades, with the video game company’s instantly recognizable logo above the entranceway doors. However, at the start of last year Sega’s parent company Sega Sammy Holdings sold off over 85 percent of the stock for Sega Entertainment, the subsidiary in charge of managing the company’s arcades. That stock was bought up by Tokyo-based amusement management company Genda, making them the new owners/operators of the nearly 200 Sega arcades in Japan.

Sega is still a name that carries a lot of goodwill with gamers, though, and Genda seemed eager to connect itself with the brand, mildly renaming Sega Entertainment to Genda Sega Entertainment last January. A year later, though, things have changed, and the company has announced that it’s changing its name again, this time to Genda GiGo Entertainment, and that the Sega name will be scrubbed from its arcades.

全国のSEGAのお店の屋号をGiGOに切り替えていきます。SEGAの56年の歴史への感謝と、リアルなエンタメで人々の渇望を癒すオアシスになるという思いを込めました。ゲームのオアシスに飛び込め!Get into the Gaming Oasis の頭文字をとってGiGOです。

— 片岡 尚 / GENDA会長 (@GENDA_Kataoka) January 28, 2022

Genda director Sho Kataoka tweeted the announcement, saying:

“We will be changing the names of all Sega arcades nationwide to GiGO. We thank Sega for its 56 years of history in the arcade industry, and hope to be an oasis that quenches people’s thirst for real entertainment. GiGO is an acronym for Get into the Gaming Oasis!

The first arcades to be renamed will be those in [Tokyo’s] Ikebukuro, Akihabara, and Shinjuku [neighborhoods], followed by arcades in the rest of the country.”

GiGO was actually one of a number of sub-brands for Sega’s arcades, including now-closed game centers in Akihabara and Osaka’s Shinsaibashi district. Sega’s iconic Ikebukuro arcade continued using the GiGO name up until its closing …continue reading


Add ceremonial salt to your fries, fight in the ring on a pouch, and watch a wrestler grow in your water glass.

Over the years, we’ve fallen in love with Japanese brand Felissimo, and in particular their You + More sub-brand, which takes its name from the similar-sounding “humour“. As the name suggests, all the items they create have humour at their core, including their latest collection, which is based around Japanese sumo wrestlers.

Designed by a serious sumo enthusiast, the new items in the range come from a place of real respect for the traditional sport, balancing a sense of authenticity with fun elements to create a range that’s entirely unique.

There are four items in the collection so let’s take a look at them all, starting with…

▼ The “Hakkeyoi, Nokotta! Sumo ga Toreru Dohyo Pouch

Hakkeyoi” is the phrase shouted by a sumo referee when both wrestlers have stopped moving, while “Nokotta!”, meaning “Not yet!”, is shouted by the referee when one of the wrestlers goes on the attack. “Sumo ga toreru” means the wrestler has fallen out of the “dohyo” (“sumo ring”), and that’s exactly what you can do with these zipper wrestlers, pushing them back and forth as you create your own sumo bout.

▼ The pouch can be used to hold all sorts of small goods, like stationery or even tissues.

As always, You + More proves its items aren’t just …continue reading


Tokyo's Top 5 Shopping Districts

Japan’s capital is deservedly known as one of the world’s shopping meccas, offering numerous vibrant and trendsetting districts in which you can find everything from the high-end to the offbeat, from subculture favorites to traditional crafts and vintage wares. Beyond department stores, the city has countless shopping streets—ranging from posh boulevards packed with flagship stores to back alleyways focused on a particular niche such as sport or vintage clothing—as well as some impressive malls. Read on for the low-down on Tokyo’s five most popular shopping neighborhoods.


Tokyo's Top 5 Shopping Districts© Photo by Kim Ahlström

Ginza is the ritziest and biggest upscale shopping district in Tokyo, home to the city’s posh boutiques and glamorous department stores, such as the classic Mitsukoshi and avant-garde Dover Street Market Ginza. On a global scale, it’s comparable with Oxford Street in London or Fifth Avenue in New York. In addition to the various flagship stores of international designer brands such MCM, Michael Kors, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton, there has also been a rise in affordable fashion chains such as Uniqlo, Zara and Abercrombie & Fitch arriving in Ginza over the past years. However, tucked in between some of the impressive facades are traditional craft shops like the fine crafts at Takumi.

The varied shopping options in this Tokyo neighborhood reflect the scope of the city’s consumer culture, which is always a blend of high-fashion luxury and more down-to-earth dedication to traditional crafts and the heritage of the country. Ginza is, therefore, a fascinating area where the latest trends and the oldest traditions meet.


Tokyo's Top 5 Shopping Districts© Photo by Yoppy

Shinjuku is probably Tokyo’s most crowded neighborhood, with the busiest train station in the world (serving more than three million people a day). Shopping here can …continue reading


Fast food fukubukuro is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!

One of the most popular fukubukuro lucky bags you can buy in Japan at New Year comes from fast food giant McDonald’s. Not only are the bags reasonably priced, at 3,000 yen (US$26.02) each, but they also contain free vouchers worth more than that amount, plus a slew of specially branded merchandise that isn’t usually offered for sale.

It’s such a good deal that the bags are sold via an advance lottery system, and our reporter Shawn was one of the lucky few who won the privilege of purchasing one.

So let’s get right to it and take a look at what he received inside the bag!

▼ First off is a black backpack from messenger bag specialists Manhattan Portage.

▼ Check out the cleverly designed French fries on the logo!

Shawn was over the moon to find this unexpected treasure in his lucky bundle, so he immediately slung it over his shoulders to try it on.

▼ Fusing street fashion with fast food.

Unzipping the bag revealed it didn’t just look good, it was functional too, as it was actually insulated. Perfect for keeping hot items hot or cold items cold while on the go.

The next item in Shawn’s haul was a “Pote Light“, also created in collaboration with Manhattan Portage.

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Source: Tokyo Cheapo

December and January are extremely busy months for most Japanese shops, as their winter sales attract lots of people looking to spend their year-end bonuses. The first three days after New Year are especially crazy, with huge crowds trying to make the most of the New Year sales and buying fukubukuro (lucky bags with random items from last year’s inventory).
How Tokyo winter sales work
New Year shopping in Japan is serious business, almost like Black Friday in the US. And you thought that the Japanese New Year was simply marked by such traditions as watching the first sunrise, or visiting temples and shrines!
Here’s a list of some department stores and malls holding Tokyo winter sales. Note that this is not a comprehe

The post Tokyo Winter Sales: 2021-2022 Round-up appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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A deal not worth breaking your New Year’s resolutions for.

2022 is already proving to be a controversial year in Japan, at least in terms of New Year’s fukubukuro “lucky bags” and how they’ve been stacking up compared to the versions released last year.

One bag that’s less impressive than last year’s is the one from doughnut chain Krispy Kreme. Our reporters have been purchasing these bags every year since 2016, but sadly, according to our team, this year’s was the chain’s most disappointing fukubukuro ever.

Why? Well, for starters, it contains pretty much the same stuff as previous years — 12 doughnuts, a bag, and a “doughnut passport“, which is a set of free vouchers for 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

▼ Granted, the bag wasn’t too bad…

▼ …and the doughnuts were pretty cute too, especially the one made in honour of this year’s Year of the Tiger.

The doughnut vouchers meant we’d be able to get twelve free doughnuts, so that wasn’t a bad deal either.

However, the main problem here was the price of the bag. In 2016 and 2017, a Krispy Kreme lucky bag containing pretty much the same goods would set you back 2,400 yen (US$20.74). From 2018-2020, the price for the annual New Year’s bundle went up to 3,000 yen. However, this year, the price for a Krispy Kreme fukubukuro shot up to a whopping 4,000 yen ($34.56), which is almost twice the price of the bags five years ago.

▼ The bag in last year’s cheaper …continue reading