Lets Japan, Est. 2008

Real life in Tokyo following Fukushima and the earthquake

Pedestrians in Tokyo, Japan March 25, 2011Shoppers in Tokyo, March 25, 2011


We’ve been having some troubles here in Japan.  Maybe you’ve heard. I’ve written some articles about the earthquake and the coverage of the tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear reactors. You can read my reports here:

March 25, 2011
Op-Ed: Tokyo OK, foreign media’s sensational coverage shameful

March 16, 2011
US govt recommends 80 Km Fukushima evac zone; currently 30km

March 15, 2011
US agrees with reactor response ambassador in Tokyo says

March 15, 2011
Higher than normal radiation detected along Japan Pacific coast

March 14, 2011
Shielding possibly damaged by explosion at Fukushima No.2 Tuesday

March 14, 2011
Op-Ed: The earthquake aftermath in Tokyo

March 13, 2011
Rolling Blackouts Begin Monday in Tokyo

March 12, 2011
How I survived the Japanese earthquake

Queen’s Deceased Freddie Mercury Dubbed for Cup Noodle Ad

Freddie Mercury of Queen sings for Nissin Cup Noodle in JapanFreddie Mercury, who was the lead vocalist and a songwriter of the rock band Queen, and who died in 1991, stars in a TV commercial in Japan for Nissin’s Cup Noodle instant ramen noodles. The commercial features Mercury’s performance of Queen’s "I Was Born to Love You" and a dubbed Japanese voice sings the lyrics. The lyrics have been changed and some of the words in the song have been replaced by "Cup Noodle" in English.


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The dead-Freddie-Mercury-commercial follows Nissin’s recent airing of a TV commercial of Jon Bon Jovi in concert, singing "You Give Love a Bad Name", also dubbed and sung with altered lyrics in Japanese.

Appliance store sells electric car

Electric car sold inYamada Denki retail stores inTokyo


Appliance and electronics retail chain Yamada Denki has begun selling an electric car at some of its retail stores. Yamada has partnered with Mitsubishi Motors to sell the Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicle. Yamada is the first household appliances store in Japan to sell an electric car.

The i-MiEV electric vehicle is on sale at 17 Yamada Denki stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The car is on display inside each of the 17 stores and there is a full-time car salesman on hand at each outlet. These Yamada stores also sell and install the vehicle-charging equipment and offer complete “Smart House” solar photovoltaic solutions.

Owners of Mitsubishi electric car imiex in Japan


The i-MiEV has been on the market since July 2009, and about 3,000 of the vehicles have been sold in Japan.


Yamada Denki Online shopping


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Electric car charging point in JapanElectric vehicle charging station in Japan


Yamada Denki electic and electronics appliance store in Japan Elderly owner of Mitsubishi Japanese electric car imiev in Japan


photos:  Charge point (R)Charge point (L)

Dominos Dual Menus Divide Deals by Language

Domino's Japan TV commercial The Two Sides of Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza has opened an English-language website that includes special pizza offers not available on the Japanese version of the site.

For example, by ordering through the Domino’s English website, you can get two large pizzas with one topping each for JPY 2999. That special offer is one of several offers exclusive to the English side.

Compare the English two-large-pizzas offer to the one large pizza for JPY 2520 offer on the Domino’s Japanese website. (A current Domino’s USA special is 3 large pizzas with 1 topping each for USD 23.31)

In addition, with the Japan Domino’s build-your-own pizza tool, you’ll be able to choose between four types of crust and 22 toppings. (Sorry, you won’t find squid listed on the English menu!)

Domino's pizza Japn English menu offers exclusive deals.


Animation characters are also conspicuously missing from the English menu, which makes us wonder what they’re really up to. According to Scott K. Oelkers, President and CEO of Domino’s Pizza Japan, Inc., the English website was added in an effort to provide better services to their foreign community. Indeed.

As of 2005, 1,555,505 foreign residents permanently reside in Japan, and that doesn’t include the approximately 40,000 US military personnel stationed there. That adds up to a lot of foreign community to better service.

Domino’s has locations in 60 markets worldwide and 99 outlets in Japan. But in the areas where they offer online menus in both the native language and English, the offers and options tend to vary. Besides the fact that you won’t find squid on the English version of Domino’s Japan, you also won’t find the Mexicana – a pie topped with ground meat and jalapenos – on the English version of the Domino’s Mexico website.

Female Domino's Japan employees hold pizza boxes at outlet in Japan. Delivery scooter motor bikes in fron tof Domino's pizza outlet in Japan


But regardless of whether Domino’s’ motive for offering English-speaking residents a menu of their own was for the benefit of the consumer or simply a means to add more yen to their pockets, the site was needed, and most certainly welcomed.


(You need to log-in at the Domino’s Japan English website to see the special offers.) 
photos: Dominos delivery scooters