What You Should Know About Donating Blood in Japan

The last few Lifelines columns I've written for The Japan Times have covered various aspects of donating blood in Japan, including responses from many of you about your experiences (thank you for sharing).

It all started with someone writing in to say that they were turned away by a Red Cross center in Kagoshima because they couldn't speak Japanese. After contacting the Japan Red Cross Society, they clarified that some centers might reject a foreigner who isn't fluent in Japanese because of potential health or safety problems. Ultimately, it's up to the discretion of each center and the overseeing physicians.

In a follow-up column, Foreigners disqualified as blood donors for wide range of reasons, I shared the responses many of you kindly offered. Now, I should state that I don't write the headlines and after seeing this one, I can see that if you read the headline and not the column itself, you might automatically assume foreigners can't donate blood in Japan at all, which is not true. The column explains, through many of your responses, that people are not typically disqualified because of lack of Japanese ability, but rather standard protocol, as is common in probably most or all of our home countries and around the world.

The column did not imply that all foreigners are disqualified from giving blood in Japan. The point was to illustrate that not all donation centers are concerned about language ability as long as you understand what's going to happen and are healthy enough to donate, or have no other reason why you can't/shouldn't give blood.

Nonetheless, I received several emails saying that I was essentially pushing some sort of sensationalist, racist agenda, which again, is not true, and was exactly what I was trying to prove (after checking facts) isn't true.

While I suppose it could be possible that some doctors at some blood centers in Japan are racist, I can't prove or disprove any of that, and investigating that isn't the purpose of the column. It's about helping people, finding facts and sharing experiences.

The Japan Red Cross Society is not against foreigners donating blood (they want people to donate blood, for crying out loud). And that was the point I was trying to make.

I hope that clears things up, but just to make sure I clarified things for all of us, today's column details who can and can't give blood in Japan. So if you're looking to donate blood in Japan, please check out this column for nearly everything you need to know: Safe blood requires strict, and detailed, standards

Also, regarding the part on CJD and BSE (mad cow disease) and all the time spent in various European countries, this part was left out but I think it's important (you'll want to read the column to see what (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) refer to):
  • Time from (b), (c) and (d) will be combined for a six month total
  • Time from (b), (c) and (d) will be included with (e)
  • Time from (b) through (e) and (g) will included with (f) 
  • All categories listed will be combined with (g) for the five-year total

Now, if anyone would like to share their successful blood donation stories, please do! :)

Q&A: Tall and Plus Size Clothing in Japan

We've talked about the difficulties of finding tall and plus size clothes in Japan before, but today we have a couple questions from readers regarding trying to find specific stores, so I'm hoping those of you in the know in those locations will have some advice (or at the very least, please share this post around so someone who does know might see it and share). I know are individual stores in certain areas offering plus or tall size clothes, but these vary by city and region. I'd like to compile of list of any known stores for future reference.

Of course, we all know ordering online is an option and many stores ship to Japan nowadays, but in this post we're referring specifically to stores in Japan.


"I'm a 6 foot (around 182cm) guy with 30+cm feet. Where can I buy suits in Tokyo that are light enough for Japanese summer weather and large enough for me, and shoes that fit me without, (pardon the pun) losing my shirt?"

- Kerry

"I'm going to Japan this fall to study abroad for a year and I'm desperately looking for advice from anyone in Japan who might know where I can find plus sized clothing. I'm a size 22 US so I know it's quite a stretch, and I am planning to bring a good supply of clothes with me, but... if the need arises, I'd really like to know where I can find clothes in Japan. Thanks so much! PS: I'll be in Nagoya."

- Victoria

A: Because we received so many responses, I compiled a nice long list in this post, instead.

A new twice-monthly veggie box option from now through November

Finding safe, pesticide-free, low or no additive, organic and/or radiation-free produce in Japan can be a challenge at times, especially if your Japanese isn't up to par. Not everyone is interested in this, or cares, I understand, but if this is something that concerns you or if you just want the convenience of a vegetable box, rest assured there are options.

I previously wrote about various places in Japan you can order veggie boxes from, some in English, but most in Japanese. Note that most of these places don't just carry vegetables and fruit, but most also offer meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and/or dry goods. I also explained how to sign up for one of the companies, Oisix, online.

If you've already done that and it's working out for you, yay!

If not, but you're still interested in signing up for a veggie box, you might be interested in the service that Wa Navi is providing this year. They're calling it the "Harvest of Hope 2012 Project" and will deliver fresh, low-agrochemical vegetables from Hokkaido Hopeland Farm twice a month starting in May and ending after the harvest season in November. The May order is going out tomorrow so it's too late for that one, but you can start in June. Delivery dates are preset, and you can either sign up for the entire season, or choose when you want to receive a box, as often or as little as you'd like.

The items for each month's box are also set (as an example), but they may vary month to month depending on the weather, market, among other factors.

Here are some examples:

June asparagus (green and white), leafy vegetables (mustard leaf, lettuce, etc), mini tomatoes
July lettuce, broccoli, snap beans, cabbage, green pepper
August tomato, bell peppers, green pepper, eggplant, cucumber, zucchini, goya, shishito peppers
September      corn, edamame, kabocha, broccoli, cabbage, tomato, eggplant, green peppers
October potatoes, kabocha, carrots, onions, broccoli, cabbage, daikon
November       same as October

HOW TO: Find Shinkansen and Express Train Seating Charts and Train Layouts

If you're like me, you may have issues getting a seat on the train in an area you'd like to be in, such as, near a bathroom, or away -- far away -- from a smoking car. Of course, most express trains in Japan now are completely smoke-free (it wasn't that way when I first arrived, and oh how I had problems then...), but some shinkansen do still have smoking cars.

That aside, what if you're curious about the basic layout, or perhaps where you're reserved seat might be, or which cars have the unreserved or reserved seats?

Some of you might think, "why would I care? I'll sit anywhere, no problem." If that's the case, don't even worry about checking out the link, but for those of you who might be like me, even a little, you might want to read a recent post I wrote on The Japan Daily Press on how to find JR express train layout charts.

Knowing how to do this comes in handy on most trips I plan that involve JR express trains. And the websites I found are pretty cool, too (mentioned in the post).

45 Japan Links and Tips to Check Out From the Past 2 Weeks - May 20

fuji matsuri, fujieda, Shizuoka, Japan, spring, May, wisteria, festival
Wisteria and a bee at the Wisteria Festival in Fujieda, Shizuoka

There has been a lot of information the past two weeks, so much so that I've hardly been able to share everything via Twitter or Facebook worth sharing. So today we've got 45(!) links, tips, and news about Japan. Everything from where Japan ranks as a place to be a mom; to where to find Reese's peanut butter cups in Japan; J.Crew offering free shipping to JAPAN; how to prepare to leave Japan; a guide to those crazy icons (kaomoji) that are sometimes difficult to understand; a fabulous self-cleaning, tankless toilet; Tokyu Hands now has a cafe; rainy season activities in Japan; and relevant, informative news.


Living in Japan

The Lord Of Umbrellas. One かさ to rule them all. 晴雨兼用傘 (Dual Use Umbrellas A Must For The Rainy Season) (Japan Subculture Research Center) - Sun or rain, an umbrella comes in very handy.

Among developed countries, Japan ranks 30 out of the best places to be a mom, but third for the children's index, according to Save the Children.

You may have heard, already, but Reese's peanut butter cups can be found at Seiyu. They also have an online store, but you have to register to use it, and it seems that you can only register if you live in certain areas. For some reason, my neighborhood isn't on their list, so I can't register with my real address. You can also find Reese's pieces here.

Nishimatsuya (西松屋), a popular baby store chain, carries the Cherokee brand (USA) as of January this year. (Americans, you might know Cherokee from Target, etc.) Some cute, extremely cheap baby clothes.

Attention J.Crew fans! Free shipping to Japan, free returns and duty-free shopping through May 30 - no code required.

'Population clock' forecasts no children after year 3011 (Japan Times) - If things continue at the rate they've been going, that is. Hopefully policy (and systemic) changes will be made in the coming years to address this.

Declining Birthrate Changing Japan’s Schools (Nippon.com) - Did you know that, because of the birthrate, schools are closing at a rate of 400-500 a year?

Steep rise in expressway tolls likely as funds run out ahead of schedule (Japan Times) - If you enjoy the current discounts, you might want to know that it's possible they could disappear in the future.

Softbank develops blimps for floating emergency cell towers (The Japan Daily Press)

If you're planning to leave Japan anytime soon, you might want to check out The Stress Free Guide to Leaving Japan  - updated for 2012-2013 - for some useful information and checklists as you prepare to leave.

Japanese Font With Stroke Order (Asiajin) - This particular font lists small numbers next to each stroke so you can see the stroke order.

Remember that tornado that spun its way through Ibaraki earlier this month, causing a lot of damage and actually injuring several, killing one? @BleuDressNJapan shared this video of it:

And speaking of tornadoes, the accuracy rate for tornado predictions lower than 10% (Japan Times)


SoftBank And PayPal Join Forces In Japan For Smartphone Payment Solution (Asiajin) 

If you've ever wondered what exactly all those faces mean, you might want to check out this Visual guide to Japanese kaomoji (emoticons) (JapanSugoi)

Fujitsu phone tool to scan skin tone (Japan Times) - I'm wondering just how effective this might be...


Toto Unveils Tankless Toilet that Saves Water, Power and Cleans Itself (Japan for Sustainability) - I want this toilet.

Aeon supermarkets to open earlier (Japan Times) - Aeon stores are taking advantage of the early morning hours to save electricity and allow folks to get their shopping done while it's cooler outside.


AOKI Releases Business Suits for Bicycle Commuters (Japan for Sustainability) - Seems like a cool idea to me; would you wear something like this?

Pioneer reveals new windshield display navigation system (The Japan Daily Press) - Like something out of a video game...  


Nikujaga Recipe (No Recipes) - One of my favorites!

Did you know that Tokyu Hands now has a cafe? Only in two stores (Shibuya and Umeda), but it looks pretty good! (Tokyo Eats) 

Small fry spawn big dreams (Japan Times) - A fascinating history of salmon in Japan.

Breeding Bluefin Tuna in captivity: A recipe for success? (Ethical Nippon) - Given that Japan could very well eat the Bluefin Tuna to extinction, what do you think? 

Travel and Recreation

JAL builds a social media campaign, one block at a time (Japan Pulse) - If you're looking for a chance to win air miles or a pair of tickets between Tokyo and Boston, check this out.

Lots of airlines launching new services: Peach is now connected to South Korea via Osaka (Japan Times); Hawaiian Airlines will start flying to Sapporo (Japan Today); and China Airlines introduces three new services from Taipei to Kagoshima, Shizuoka and Toyama (Japan Daily Press). On top of that, ANA is now more popular than JAL when counting passengers, and a new runway has been approved for Naha (Okinawa).

Also, you might want to check out The Best and Worst Airlines for Redeeming Rewards Miles (Lifehacker).

Universal Studios Japan to get Harry Potter attraction (The Japan Daily Press) - I'm sure kiddies, and adults, are excited about this one.

This presentation goes into some pretty average, run-of-the-mill Japan travel tips, but aside that, it's surprisingly fun and well-designed:

Travel Tips Learned from Japan! - EP

Here are some things to consider when riding a long-distance bus in Japan, after the awful tour bus crash that occurred during Golden Week. (Japan Times)
Will you be in Japan during the rainy season this year, and not sure what to do, especially if the weather refuses to cooperate? Check out Exploring Japan: Rainy Season Activities for some ideas (by yours truly). (Japan Daily Press)

Fukushima Nuclear Crisis/Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

Japan nuke-free for first time since '70 (Japan Times)

'Hot spots' detected at 20 schools [in Fukushima] (Japan Times)

Most willing to accept disaster debris (Japan Times)

Cesium spikes in Tokyo Bay samples (Japan Times)

NISA, Tepco knew in '06 of Fukushima tsunami threat (Japan Times)

Japan Summer Survival Guide 2012

Japan, summer, rainy season, 2012, tips

It's still May, but summer is just around the corner, and the weather lately, at least here in Shizuoka, has certainly felt like summer weather. I've included a roundup of previous summer-related posts below, although note that some, such as the fireworks festival finder websites, haven't been updated yet for 2012 information (but you'll still be able to get an idea of what festivals are held in your area/wherever you're going, and then can look up this year's info later once it's been confirmed.)

More will be added as any relevant new post are published this summer.

The Rainy Season

First of all, the rainy season has already begun in Okinawa, which means it's likely to start earlier than usual on the main islands as well. It's best to be prepared, so check out these 40 tips to survive the rainy season in Japan. After that, why not read 12 more ideas to get through the sticky season of humidity and sweat? If you're stumped as to what to do in the rain, you'll find several ideas here.

The Bugs 

Once the temps go up, they come in droves. The high-pitched buzzing sound you might be hearing throughout the night - multiple times - is those obnoxious mosquitoes. Here are some ways to defend yourself against them, and how to take care of the bites they leave behind.

Don't forget the roaches. Learn how you can prevent them from making an appearance in your home and how to get rid of them, here.

Body and Home

If you're looking for an alternative to air-conditioning that uses less electricity and saves money, you want to try a "cool air fan."And to help control mold and humidity, keep your veggies fresh longer, and deodorize the air, bamboo charcoal, or "takesumi", is quite useful for that, with the added bonus that it's natural.

And to protect yourself from the sun, you'll want this useful guide to sunscreen in Japan.


Want to go to the movies in Japan but not sure how to go about it, or how to find an English movie, etc.? Here's everything you need to know: 7 tips for going to the movies in Japan

To cool off, why not head to the pool, or even a water park? Not sure how to find them? Read this.

Finally, the fireworks festivals usually happen from July through September here in Japan, and they are definitely an event you won't want to miss, so learn how you can find them here.

What You Should Know About Mental Health in Japan and How to Find Help [Interview]

As expats, sometimes life can get stressful. Really stressful. Perhaps to the point of needing help in the form of counseling. But how do you get that kind of help in a foreign country, especially if the country's native language isn't English, or your native language?

I wondered about this myself when I was dealing with a bout of labrynthitis a couple years ago and the doctors kept telling me the reason I felt so bad was due to a mental issue. They were wrong, although I suppose it was technically, "all in my head." However, it got me thinking, what if I ever needed counseling here in Japan? Would I be able to find help? Someone that would understand me and not form opinions based on one culture?

So I sought out answers from an expert: psychotherapist and clinical psychologist Andrew Grimes of Tokyo Counseling Services. We discussed a few different things, including:
  • The most common psychological issues expats in Japan experience
  • How the work culture in Japan affects emotional well-being
  • How counseling and psychotherapy are addressed in Japan versus western countries
  • How to find an English-speaking counselor if you don't live in Tokyo or another major city
  • What you should be aware of when preparing a move to Japan and ways you should prepare, especially if you have a family
  • Culture shock, when it happens, what it might look like and how to deal with it
  • Why getting out of the "expat bubble" sometimes can be good for your mental/emotional health
  • What mental health professionals in Japan have been doing to help the recovery process in Tohoku

Today we're doing something a little different with this interview - you'll find it below in audio form rather than text (although hopefully I can get it transcribed eventually). It's my first audio interview, so you'll have to excuse the fact I'm not quite as talented as the Japan podcasters out there, but I think the content in this interview if insightful and worth a listen.

Click here to listen to the interview.


Please check out Tokyo Counseling Services:

Tokyo Counseling Services
Address: KS Residence, Daizawa 2-30-21, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, Japan. 155-0032
Phone: 03-5431-3096
Fax: 03-5431-3097
Email: tokyocounselingservices@gmail.com

Resources for finding an English-speaking psychologist or psychotherapist in Japan 

Some were mentioned in the interview, plus a few more:

AMDA International Medical Information Center - They help find medical providers in Japan who speak your native language, including English and several other languages.

Japan Healthcare Info - Help finding an English-speaking medical provider in Japan

The Japan Society of Certified Clinical Psychologists (JSCCP) provides a resource (Japanese-only) that helps locate JSCCP-approved therapists in any part of Japan, and can be searched for by language, among other specifications. You can use a browser translation tool to help you navigate it, or ask someone you trust who can help you read it and search.

Wiki-tell and Tokyo English Life Line (offers free anonymous telephone counseling and online resources)

Himawari - Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Information Center (Tokyo area only) - Find a hospital with English-speaking doctors in the Tokyo area.

Most Helpful Comments on Surviving in Japan - May 11

We're back with another around of most helpful comments from the past couple weeks. Received a few suggestions regarding where/how to get spices and herbs in Japan, a deodorant tip, one idea to repel mosquitoes, several resources for Japanese law references in English and one place to get eclipse glasses in  Hokkaido.


From Living abroad, on deodorant in Japan:
"I found a Recycle shop in Minami Gyotoku carries several deodorants including Old Spice, Secret, Suave, Speed Stick and OMG even Teen Spirit!  There is also a Men's liquid deodorant in a green bottle here that works really well."

A few of you had some things to add to the post on spices and herbs in Japan.

Djinnwired recommends the following resource:
"www.ambikajapan.com is amazing... It's an Indian online grocery store. They do bulk spices and rice (most of the Indian restaurants around here buy from ambika) as well as smaller sizes, instant curries, stacks, frozen vege and lentils/dried pulses. If your oder goes over a certain amount (I think 10,000?) you get a free Bollywood DVD!"
"I agree that ordering online is the way to go -  my No.1 stop for (organic) herbs and spices and nuts/seeds/dried fruit, etc. is this Rakuten shop."
"I can find the basics even in my local 100yen shop (Lemon House) which stocks a decent selection. They had tumeric, paprika and garlic powder too."
Editor's note: You can find Lemon House in Tokyo, Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Aichi, Saitama and Yamagata. You might want to check the 100 yen shops near you to see what they have.


HOW TO: Find a Clinic or Hospital That Prescribes Birth Control Pills or Emergency Contraception

You may have an idea of what kind of birth control pills are available in Japan, if that's what you're looking for, or maybe you'd prefer an IUD. But what if you aren't sure where to go for a birth control pill prescription? Or what if you need to find emergency contraception (the morning after pill)? The Japan Family Planning Association has a website that allows you to look up both of these things, and it's quite easy to use, despite being all in Japanese. I've explained how to navigate the site below.

How to find a clinic or hospital in Japan that prescribes birth control pills

Step 1: Go to the JFPA Clinic website.

On the right hand side, at the top, there are two large buttons with text and images inside them. You'll want to click the top one that says "ピルを処方している施設の検索." ピル (piru) means birth control pill, 処方 (しょほう, shohou) means prescription, 施設 (しせつ, shisetsu) means institution, and 検索 (けんさく, kensaku) means search.

31 Japan Links You Might Want to Read - May 6

fuji, wisteria, matsuri, festival, Shizuoka, Japan
Fuji Matsuri (Wisteria Festival) in Fujieda, Shizuoka
We've got lots of fascinating stuff this week: Can expats ever truly fit in here in Japan? Rainy season kicked off early in Okinawa (it's COMING, gah!), the new registry system starting soon, what Google Japan's offices look like, exploring Miyajima and Shirakawa-go via panoramas, veggie sushi, super rice balls, and more. Enjoy!

Living in Japan

Time to put away the winter clothes, because Cool Biz is starting early this year! (Japan Times)

Who you buy a home from can make a big difference in price (Japan Times)

Can an expat in Japan ever fit in? Long-term Japan resident @Hikosaemon talks about it on Tokyo Podcast.

Those who've had their hair done in Japan know how nice it can be to have their hair washed and at some salons, get a massage. But what if a robot takes over the hair washing role? Panasonic’s shampoo robot begins public testing [near Osaka] (The Japan Daily Press)

Apparently local rivers might be dangerous for more than one reason... Kanagawa river yields three piranhas (Japan Times)

Children in Limbo: In Japan, what happens to children after their parents divorce? (Japan Subculture Research Center)

Law on new flu outbreaks enacted (Japan Times) - According to the article: "If a new type of flu breaks out in Japan or abroad, the central and local governments will set up task forces, quarantine people attempting to enter Japan, and order doctors to examine those suspected of being infected, according to the new law."

Foreigners to start getting notices for new registry system (Japan Times) - In case you haven't already heard, the current alien registration system will be abolished and a new system, in which foreigners will be registered in the same registry as Japanese citizens, will begin July 9. This also means no more reentry permits for trips outside of Japan if you return within a year.

Rainy season kicks off in Okinawa (Japan Times), and guess what? It's EARLY. So who else is looking forward to an early rainy season this year?

As a result of numerous accidents involving children in school zones and children's walking routes between school and home, the government and National Police Agency are looking to make some changes to make Japan's roads safer for kids. One proposal? Lower speed limits to 40km/hr on roads less than 6m wide. I don't know about you, but that still seems fast for a narrow road... (Japan Today)

Ruling party ends up back where it started with assistance for families (Yen for Living) - It makes the child assistance for families seem pointless.

Retail drug sales on Internet legal (Japan Times) - Hooray! Kenko.com can still sell their OTC drugs!

Dermatology in Japan: What it's like, and answers to your questions [Interview]

Today I'd like to introduce Dr. Chin-Huai Keong, certified dermatologist and director of Garden Clinic Hiroo in Tokyo. Dr. Keong has kindly taken the time to answer several questions for us, some of which are readers' questions from Facebook (thank you). Some of the things we discuss include:
  • The most common skin-related problems expats living in Japan experience and what you should do about them
  • Problems that different ethnic groups might experience
  • Differences and similarities in how dermatological issues are treated between Japan and other countries
  • What to keep in mind if you go to a dermatologist in Japan
  • Treatments for adult acne
  • Tips for treating eczema or extremely dry, itchy skin in Japan, including some over-the-counter options
  • Who is allowed to provide cosmetic dermatology services in Japan, such as botox, chemical peels, and permanent hair removal
  • Ways to find cosmetic dermatology services if you don't live anywhere close to Tokyo
And more. We've covered a lot of information, so let's jump right in!


Ashley: First of all, would you mind telling us a little about you and your clinic?

dermatologist, Japan
Dr. Chin-Huai Keong
Dr. Keong: I am a board-certified dermatologist, studied and trained in Japan. Garden Clinic Hiroo is essentially a dermatologist’s clinic specializing in adult and pediatric dermatology and cosmetic dermatology. In addition, we offer testing and advice for allergies related to the skin and the environment (like pollen allergies).

We believe in preventive medicine, so we also offer services for childhood vaccinations and adult travel/college enrollment vaccinations.

Due to the limited number of doctors in Japan familiar with foreigners and medical situations outside of Japan, we offer some services in documentation for travelers/students, etc.

Ashley: What problems do expats living in Japan typically come see you about, and do you have any general advice regarding these issues?

Dr. Keong: The majority of expats in Japan are under 50 -- mostly families and single working adults.

Children come for problems like atopic eczema, impetigo, warts, food allergies and infectious skin diseases like chickenpox, measles, etc.

For teenagers it’s mostly acne, but occasionally infections like athlete’s foot, warts, etc.

Adults see us for a range of problems: from adult acne to athlete’s foot to herpes to chronic skin problems like eczema and psoriasis to age spots to skin cancers. Skin cancers tend to be more of an issue with the Caucasians and less of a problem among Asian or darker-skinned expats.

My best advice: get seen as soon as possible by a specialist if your skin condition is not getting better with OTC medicine or if your physician has treated you but you are not seeing any improvement. Sometimes, your skin condition may have changed for the worse, or the diagnosis may have, even though you may have seen a doctor a while back and received treatment.

Spices and Herbs in Japan

spices, herbs, Japan, Japanese

I've heard people say how difficult it is to find spices in Japan and that you should bring your own. While from personal experience I know there are some spices and herbs (like cilantro) that are a little more difficult to find, especially if you, like me, don't live in Tokyo or another huge city, in general it's not (usually) that difficult, and certainly not impossible to find a variety of spices and herbs in Japan. Yes, even if you live far from civilization.

I've also heard some people complain that if it's not at any local stores, then it's basically impossible. Personally, I think ordering online is far easier and faster than going shopping in person, so while yes, it could require a bit more planning ahead of time for whatever exotic meal you plan on cooking up, I wouldn't consider it "impossible." But to be honest, I just adapt dishes when I can't find what I need and I want to make something I'm craving right away. Although sometimes I crave food from specific restaurants that aren't in Japan, but that's not really relevant.

To each his or her own, though.

You might be looking for spice blends as well, similar to those you got back in your home country. You can find quite a few of these online too, I discovered, but it's really easy to make your own spice blend buying the single spices or herbs and mixing things together.

In this post we'll look at some of the common spice/herb brands in Japan, words that you should know, Japanese translations of spices and herbs, where to find spices and herbs in Japan, and some ideas on how to find some of those more elusive seasonings at the end. So let's jump in!

Spice brands in Japan

Some brands you can find in Japan (some may or may not be available where you live):

S&B エスビー  (also carries an organic line, "smart spice" line, "value" line and fresh herb line in stores)
Mascot マスコット
Gaban ギャバン
McCormick マコーミック (by Youki) - I've never seen this brand in regular stores, but if you have, let us know.
FAUCHON (フォション) - Technically these fall under the S&B brand, but they are labeled differently than the regular S&B and the organic line.

My local supermarket also has a brand called Eurasia, which carries far more kinds of spices than most of the other brands the same store also carries (such as Gaban and S&B).

spices, herbs, Japan, supermarket
Spice shelf at the supermarket (Gaban brand displayed)