Upfront Extra


Honey Day

Combine the month, hachi (8), with the date, mitsu (3), and you get hachimitsu—the Japanese word for honey.


Banana Day

Ba (8) plus nana (7) make, banana—like you needed an excuse to eat one.


Abacus Day & Bubble Wrap Day

Eight-eight translates to hachi-hachi, which is reminiscent of the onomatopoeic “pachi-pachi” of abacus beads being flicked—and also similar to Puchipuchi, a Japanese brand of bubble wrap made by Kawakami Sangyo Co., Ltd.

AUG 17

Pineapple Day

This one’s a bit of a stretch that relies on variant number readings: 8 can be read as pa, 1 can be i, and 7 can be na, which gives you “paina”—allowing the astute punsmith to fill in the rest.

Jul 31, 2014 | No Comments | 30 views

Courtesy of Avex Trax

Formed in 2005, AAA (“Triple A,” an acronym for Attack All Around) is a mixed-gender pop septet brought together by mega-label Avex Trax. Their new single, “Wake up!” ranks in at No. 3 this week, reaping the benefits of its selection as the 17th opening song for anime juggernaut One Piece.

Top Japanese Singles

1. Kanjani Eight—“Omoidama

2. Inifinite—“Last Romeo ~ Kimi ga Ireba Ii~

3. AAA—“Wake up!”


1. Disney—Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Jpn: Anna to Yuki no Jo-o)

2. Vixx—Darkest Angels

3. Linkin Park—The Hunting Party


1. Maleficent

2. Edge of Tomorrow (Jpn: All You Need is Kill)

3. Frozen (Jpn: Anna to Yuki no Jo-o)


1. Kuroko no Basuke (Kuroko’s Basketball) vol. 28

2. Ansatsu Kyoshitsu (Assassination Classroom) vol. 10

3. Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist) vol. 13


Movie rankings from Eiga.com. Music and manga rankings from Oricon.

Jul 22, 2014 | No Comments | 461 views

Copyright: ryanking999 / 123RF Stock Photo

Dear AMA,

I’m overdue for a tooth cleaning and checkup. How much can I expect to pay at the dentist’s office if I have national insurance? Is it true that I need to make two separate appointments?—Cavityprone

Dear Cavityprone,

We passed your query on to Dr. Oikawa of Trust Dental Clinic. Here’s what he had to say…

With Japanese National Health Insurance, you will need to pay 30 percent of the total cost at a clinic or hospital. The initial exam and a tooth cleaning should be anywhere from ¥1,780-3,860 out of pocket, depending on the type of exam and X-rays you need. National Health Insurance requires that a clinic divide tooth cleaning over two appointments. It’s a very unrealistic rule for everyone, but as we say here, “a rule is a rule.” There are some clinics where they just do it all in one appointment, but they’re doing one half of the cleaning for free. Remember that Japanese dental offices are only paid a quarter to half of what a dentist would earn in the U.S. or E.U.—so please be kind to your dentist!

Dr. Oikawa is a U.S.-licensed, English-speaking dentist at Trust Dental Clinic, 1-11-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. trustdental.jp/english/

If you want to “Ask Metropolis Anything,” send your questions to askanything@metropolis.co.jp and we’ll find the most appropriate people to answer your queries.

Jul 14, 2014 | No Comments | 812 views

Traditional Japanese footwear gets a new twist with Geta Setta Japan’s beach sandals. The natural rubber soles offer resilience and comfort, while padded straps reduce scraping. But the real appeal is the wafu design—bold colors such as yellow, teal and red mixed with elaborate traditional patterns from graphic shapes to the iconic sakura. Women’s sizes are 24 and 25.5cm, while men’s sandals are available in 27 and 28cm (all sizes ¥5,200 plus tax). The size range isn’t broad, but hey—if the shoe fits, it’s the perfect city-to-beach look this summer.



Jul 9, 2014 | No Comments | 620 views


Optimus Prime may have to move down at the kaiten-zushi bar: On July 24, T-Arts Company, Ltd. will release its first wave of sushi toys that transform into battle-ready robots at the push of a button. Noble Toromaru and his nigiri allies face off against the maki-styled Tema Kids, their fish slices serving as both shields and hiding places for powerful hand-held weapons in “kaisen” mode. Each Sushi Warrior—or Sushi Sentai Sharida—has a suggested pre-tax retail price of ¥850. We presume they will all eventually join forces to fend off the threat of a gigantic set of transforming chopsticks.

By: Mike Kanert | Jul 8, 2014 | No Comments | 575 views

Located in Kuramae, Kakimori allows customers to make their own personalized notebooks from scratch. With over 60 color and paper options for the front and back covers and 30 interior page options ranging from foolscap to craft paper, it’s easy to choose something unique to you. With prices running ¥760 and up, you can even select the binding color and the fastening mechanism. It only takes about ten minutes from start to finish—and when you’ve used it up to the last page, you can come back to get a refill.

4-20-12 Kuramae, Taito-ku. Nearest stn: Kuramae.


Jul 7, 2014 | No Comments | 159 views

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