shop in English at Japan's "#1 e-drugstore"

A few days ago whilst trying to locate some certain kinds of toiletry items, I came across, a site that claims to be Japan’s No. 1 e-drugstore. I’ve got to be honest, after searching through the site, I was impressed by the wide selection of goods - from food (including organic/macrobiotic) and supplements to pets and home appliances (they even have kotatsu tables and heaters!), they cover just about all the basics and then some. The other fantastic thing about this store? You can shop completely in English.

Fall is the season for eating! (食欲の秋) - November Japan Blog Matsuri

Matsuri Banner
Welcome to the November 2010 edition of the Japan Blog Matsuri! First of all, if you still haven't checked out the October Matsuri (Japan Highlights) over at Todd's Wanderings, please do!

And now, November's theme:

"Fall is the season for eating", roughly translated from an actual Japanese saying:   食欲の秋  (shokuyoku no aki).
jbmatsuri, oden, Japan

I'm really excited to introduce all these fantastic entries to you, but before we get started, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated. I hope everyone reading finds these posts just as interesting as I have!

Warning: Before you continue, you may want to read these on a full stomach or at least have a snack nearby - I take no responsibility for any ensuing hunger pains or uncontrollable cravings.

Let the festivities begin!

A guide to heaters in Japan

Considering I wrote about some ways to winterize your apartment or house in Japan a few weeks ago, this week I want to talk about heaters. Again, most homes in Japan aren't equipped with central heating, so people typically rely on space heaters and similar items. Now, we all know that wearing some extra clothes and warm fleece is a good way to avoid turning the heat all the way up, but most likely you will need (or desperately want) a heater at some point.

And, just to note, I am not an expert on heaters, so if you are curious about how a heater works a certain way, go ahead and google that.

Also, most of the heaters below have timers and auto-turnoff options in addition to running constantly. They also often have automatic shutoff features such as if the heater fell over.
*Keep in mind another way heater might be written is 電気ストーブ (denki stobu).
*The word used for "heating" is 暖房 (だんぼう, danbou).

A guide to heaters in Japan

7 words to know when you have a cold (in Japan)

Apologies for my lack of posting as of late. I don’t think I previously mentioned, but November is a busy month due to the upcoming JLPT exam I’m attempting to study for, and the 50,000 word novel I’m trying to write in 30 days for National Novel Writing Month. Add these to my regular tasks, combine them with the nasty cold I acquired last week, and I’m little more than a lump on the couch right now.

However, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some essential Japanese words you might want to know if you come down with a cold in Japan (which seems to be going around right about now).

redelivery by phone, in English, from Japan Post

In one of my early posts, I wrote about how to get something redelivered from Japan Post, online, without the hassle of calling in to retrieve your missed package or letter.

Recently, I noticed on a Japan Post redelivery notice at the very bottom in tiny text: "Call us for redelivery (English)." Perhaps that has been there for a while - maybe some of you can confirm - but I hadn't noticed it until now. Although, I do everything online anyway as it's usually faster and easier than calling (for me).

However, if you don't have a computer or the time to go through the online process, then this option may be worthwhile. I haven't used it, so I can't say how easy it is, but I'm sure it can't be that painful. So for those of you with a redelivery notice from Japan Post, check the bottom of your notice (the backside). The hours (as indicated on my particular notice) are 8am - 10pm Monday through Friday, and 9am - 10pm Saturday and Sunday. Number is 0570-046-111. (If you've received a notice with different information, let us know as well).

Anyone try this before? If you have, or if you do, let us know in the comments.

8 ways to winterize your Japanese apartment (or house)

Japanese homes, both old and new, are infamously known for their inability to retain heat. Apartments are typically pretty drafty, especially the old ones, and windows are commonly single paned versus double-paned. Not to mention a common lack of central heating and insulation. Of course, this helps more or less in the summer and warmer months, but during winter, it can get rough. (Although I believe in Hokkaido this may be a bit different, and if you're as far south as Okinawa, well, probably not as much of an issue). So how exactly do you keep the heat in, and the cold, out?

Fall is the season for eating (食欲の秋) - Japan Blog Matsuri

Wow, it's November already!? How excited am I to host the Japan Blog Matsuri this month! First though, want to give a big shout-out and thank you to last month's host, Todd's Wanderings, who pulled together a fantastic assortment of unique posts for the theme, Japan Highlights. Go check 'em out if you haven't had a chance yet.

And now, for November's theme. But wait, some of you may be wondering, "what IS the Japan Blog Matsuri?" For more info on that, check out this page. Essentially, every month a different blogger hosts this blog carnival/festival, and other bloggers submit a post based on that month's theme. ANYONE can submit a post - even if you are not a Japan blogger! (And hey, it's great exposure for you as well).

Interested? Ok, so November's theme is: