We screwed up and we’re sorry
October 13, 2013
When shopping online, there is nothing worse than finding exactly what you want to buy and not being able to actually buy it. Well, unfortunately that was what happened to many of our customers yesterday. The reason was a technical glitch caused during an overhaul of the payment processing system that resulted in an error for customers in the U.S. We worked through the night to both get the problem fixed and to stay in contact with those customers who were kind enough to point out the problem and give us a chance to sort out their order “manually.” A very big thank you to them for their patience and confidence in our ability to live up to our own high customer service standards. The good news is that we got all those orders sorted and they are being processed right now.
Still, I’d like to apologize to them and to anyone else who found their visit to Japan Store yesterday to be frustrating and a waste of their time. We will endeavor to avoid a similar situation happening again in the future.
But moving on, there is other good news – the overhaul now means we can offer Express Checkout from PayPal. This makes the checkout process incredibly simple if you have a PayPal account, and much simpler even if you’d prefer to pay by credit card (in which case you don’t even need to have or to open an account with PayPal).
Hollywood Movie Tabi
August 3, 2013
Here at Japan Store we deal mainly with individual customers who just love to stand out from the crowd in their jikatabi. We often get larger orders from theater and opera companies putting on a Japanese-themed production or just after a different kind of look. But every now and again we get a slightly different kind of order.
A couple of years ago we got an order from a movie production company that was buying up all sorts of Japanese items for an upcoming Keanu Reeves vehicle, featuring a cast that includes some of the most talented actors in Japan. Unfortunately the production of “47 Ronin” has been beset by setbacks and has still not hit movie theaters. But we’re assured that it’s on the way and that you’ll be able to see a host of top stars wearing our jikatabi this Christmas.
If you just can’t wait to see Hollywood-meets-Japanese-footwear, we also supplied jikatabi to the company that made the Hugh Jackman X-Men flick “The Wolverine“, which is currently showing here in Ireland. We also recently shipped some items to Disney in California, who will be using them in the movie “Tomorrowland“, planned for release next year.
And this week we’ve received some orders from a company based at Pinewood Studios in the UK. So far no official word on what the movie will be, but we here at Japan Store have our suspicions. And regardless of the movie, we’re always happy to see our jikatabi being worn on the big screen.
Summer matsuri rush
July 12, 2013
It’s another hot one! Thermometers across Japan are reaching new heights as the country is hit by yet another scorching summer heat wave. But that isn’t stopping anyone from enjoying one of the annual highlights of just about any community in Japan, the matsuri. These street festivals are full of sound and frenzied activity, with the sounds of drums, whistles and flutes. Street vendors do a roaring trade in festival foods like okonomiyaki, yakisoba, taiyaki and kakigori. And most of the festival participants, the guys and gals who carry the o-mikoshi (floats), will be wearing traditional clothing. And in most cases that includes jikatabi.
The distinctive split-toe boots, in their many varieties, are our No.1 seller on this store. But with the rush of orders that always come in from matsuri organizers, our suppliers sometimes get overwhelmed and stocks run low. Right now that means we have difficulty getting many sizes of the cushioned matsuri tabi models (particularly the Double Cushion, Cushion III and Air Tabi Fit models from Rikio). Other safety and general work models are not affected by this seasonal situation.
So if you’re looking for a cushioned model from Rikio, you may have to bear with us until we get back to normal stock levels. The good news is that we’ll still be able to fulfill most orders over the next month, and that everything should be back to normal by mid-August.
If you have any questions about stock levels or what model of jikatabi to choose, please feel free to drop me a line.
March 7, 2013
In time-honored Japanese tradition…banzai, banzai, BANZAI!!
Congratulations to Ms. N. W. of West Virginia who today placed order #20000 on Japan Store. We didn’t run any kind of promotion campaign around this milestone order number, but we will be sending this customer a few extra goodies and upgrading the shipping to Express Mail just to mark the occasion.
Of course we couldn’t have got to the magical number of 20,000 without all the thousands of customers along the way. So on behalf of the Banzai Cat and all of us here at Japan Zone, I’d like to take this opportunity to send a big Thank You to all Japan Store’s loyal customers!
President, Japan Zone
Feeding the Snake
January 9, 2013
Thanks as always for your patience.
President, Japan Zone
Go Japanese This Halloween
September 22, 2012
With Halloween just over a month away, this seems like a good time to plug our selection of handmade Japanese masks. We have a selection of demons and goblins who feature in the many popular folktales familiar to everyone in Japan. The designs originate in the traditional theater forms of noh and kagura dance, but they’re just as well suited to scaring the daylights out of kids and adults alike.
There is something beautifully creepy about the hanya masks in particular. Based on the legend of a woman transformed into a demon by jealousy, the horns of her jealousy are still symbolically present on the heads of unmarried Japanese women. Hence the white headpiece that is worn by the bride to hide them in the traditional Japanese wedding.
Golden Week Holidays
April 26, 2012
Most businesses in Japan close down for the annual Golden Week holidays. This year, the holidays run from April 29 to May 6. Japan Store will remain open for business but during that time most of our suppliers will be closed so deliveries of orders will probably be delayed. We will do what we can to get orders shipped out as quickly as humanly possible but we ask for your patience over the next week or so.
Boycotting Amazon Japan
February 22, 2012
Not only do we object in principle to the sale of such products and the unnecessary hunting of dolphins, whales and other cetaceans, but scientific analysis of the meat being sold reveals that it consistently contains levels of toxins far exceeding the safe levels dictated by the Japanese government. And these products often contain meat from endangered and protected cetacean species, or meat that is not specifically identified and is likely to be dolphin or porpoise.
You can read EIA’s extensive report here: Amazon.com’s Unpalatable Profits
We encourage you to leave a message on Amazon’s Facebook wall here: Amazon.com on Facebook
I should mention that unfortunately Rakuten also has thousands of listings for whale and cetacean food products – almost 2,800 if you search for 鯨 (whale) and almost 1,200 if you search for 鯨肉 (whale meat). While Japan Store is not affiliated with Rakuten, we do source some of our products there and a boycott of the service would have a serious impact on the operation of this store.
And for the record, Yahoo! Japan also sells these products.
Owner, Japan Store
Update: It’s only been half a day since I posted this blog entry and the news just came in – Amazon Japan have removed all whale and whale-related food products from their online store. It remains to be seen if this will be a permanent move and whether Amazon Japan will issue a formal policy statement. But still, wow! Social media pressure rocks!
Japanese National Holiday (October 10)
October 7, 2011
As Monday, October 10 is Health & Sports Day in Japan, a national holiday, we will be getting out of the office and doing something…healthy and sporty. So there will be slight shipping delays on items ordered over the three-day weekend.
You can find a list of all the Japanese national holidays on our main site, Japan Zone.
September 22, 2011
Here at Japan Store we escaped any direct damage from Typhoon Roke (or just Typhoon #15 as it’s known in Japan), but it has caused major disruptions in some areas of the country. Parcel delivery companies are experiencing major delays and as a result our shipping schedule is a day or more behind for most orders. However the post office is open and working as usual so if we happen to have your items here in the office we can ship to you right away.
We’re still waiting for some deliveries that should have come in this morning. Hopefully we’ll get the shipment in time for this afternoon’s post office pickup.
If not, we plan to pack and ship tomorrow (a national holiday) and over the weekend if necessary.
As always, we’ll update you once your order has been shipped.