These are the fukubukuro that will be on sale at Franc Franc on January 2. The fukubukuro, or suprise bags, are a big deal here, and every store sells out of them at the beginning of the year. I personally think it’s a lame deal, as you don’t know what you’re going to get, so most likely stuff you don’t need, but I like the ones at Franc Franc mostly for the nice bag/container (you could use it after to store stuff, even as a suitcase). At 3000 yen, I’d like to get one, but I doubt I’ll brave the masses (they’ll surely sell out as soon as the doors open, especially since they’re displaying them now, so people are getting anxious to get them). We did buy some nice coffee mugs while we were there, something to start the New Year with.

Oh, and this pic was taken with my new mobile.

Gyudon in Danger!

Unbelievable, but gyudon chain Yoshinoya might have to stop selling gyudon (bowls of stewed beef on rice) because of the US Mad Cow situation. Seems like they only have stock for another month, and after that they’ll have to change the menu. This is like McDonald’s having to stop selling hamburgers. Here’s a Kyodo News blurb taken from Japan Today:

Fast-food chain Yoshinoya D&C Co, which imports 99% of its beef used in its trademark “gyudon” rice bowls from the United States, will remove its “gyudon” beef bowls from the menu if Japan’s current ban on U.S. beef imports continues, Yoshinoya President Shuji Abe said Tuesday. “We will stop serving gyudon” unless Japan resumes importing U.S. beef by the middle of next February,” Abe said at a press conference.



The inside of the ramen shop near Ebisu station that I went to a few days ago. I called it Kyujukyu, but the actual reading of the kanji used is Tsukumo. The specialty is a cheese ramen, but even the regular shouyu ramen is quite tasty. It had a slight fish flavor, but not as strong as most shops that add that kind of taste in their soup.

Battle Royale 2

B00008VH53.09.MZZZZZZZAfter a long wait, I finally had a chance to see BATTLE ROYALE 2 yesterday (it just came out on DVD here in Japan). Although I can’t say that I much cared for the ending, the first half of the film is truly excellent. I like how they’ve managed to do a nice update of the BR concept, adding new rules that make it more, ahem, explosive. And you gotta love the scene when Riki Takeuchi, taking over as the new teacher (Takeshi Kitano, the teacher in the first film, has a cameo), introduces himself as… RIKI TAKEUCHI! He’s a bit over the top in the role, but it’s what makes him so much fun to watch. Although it doesn’t beat the first film, if you were a fan of that one, you’ll probably like this one too.



As you’ve seen in my Tokyo Boy moblog, I got a new mobile phone yesterday, the beautiful A4503CA. It just came out (and it’s the first time I buy a fresh new model, usually buying older models when they get dirt cheap), and I first heard about it from Paul, who got the same model. It’s main claim to fame (and the reason I absolutely wanted it) is that it can take pics at a whopping 2 megapixels, which is the same quality as my DiMAGE X digital camera. This will make it so much easier for me to take snaps when I’m out and about for TB.Grafico. Even at lower resolutions and sizes (like what I use for the moblog), you should notice clearer pics. I think I might also start moblogging at larger sizes, which I’ll put in the main feed. I’m still playing around with the phone, trying to learn all of its features (the manuals are Japanese only), but from what I’ve seen I’m already very satisfied with it. And I’m also playing loads of ARKANOID on a beautiful high-res screen! The following site has more pics of the phone.

Axis 107

vol107coverPicked up the new issue of AXIS yesterday, hot off the press. The main feature this issue is car design, and although it’s not something I care that much for, I’m sure it’ll bring up some interesting things to consider in any type of design work. This issue also feels thicker than usual, clocking in at around 180 pages. It’s an expensive magazine (1500 yen), but I always find it to be well worth the read. This also reminds me that I’ve yet to visit the Axis building in Roppongi. It hosts a few shops, as well as regular exhibits. If the weather’s nice tomorrow (well, later today actually, it’s quite late here as I write this), I think that’s what I’ll try to do. I think there were other things I wanted to have a look at in the Roppongi area, so I’ll need to search my notes.