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Kleio sleeping bag — drinking coffee
Kleio sleeping bag — drinking coffee

With spring in full swing in the northern hemisphere (and stunning fall foliage down south!), all eyes are on camping and the great outdoors once again.

Social distancing is still paramount in 2021, so outdoor adventures that get us out of the house — yet away from the hustle and bustle of the city — continue to surge in popularity.

In fact, the majority of survey respondents in the Fall 2020 edition of the annual North American Camping Report viewed camping and more isolated off-the-grid sojourns as the safest form of travel going forward.


Pokéball toy and Pokemon cards
Pokéball toy and Pokemon cards
Pokémon cards are an investment! (Source: Unsplash)

Pocket Monsters and pocket money may sound similar, but make no mistake: in 2021, they’re polar opposites.

Especially when it comes to the Pokémon TCG (Trading Card Game).

The recent surge in the price of Pokémon cards has ignited a frenzy of interest from collectors and casual fans alike in recent years. Rare cards in amazing condition are being sold for hundreds of thousands of US dollars; it’s like each transaction is doing its best to outdo the last!

Do you find it hard to believe that a trading card can be worth anything more than a couple of rounds…


Sanrio characters wallpaper for Hello Kitty 45th anniversary
Sanrio characters wallpaper for Hello Kitty 45th anniversary

Nobody does collaborations like Sanrio.

With Hello Kitty and a seemingly endless legion of other iconic mascots waiting in the wings, it’s little wonder that they’re able to churn out fresh, exciting, and most of all kawaii collabs with tons of brands all year, every year.

If you’re struggling to keep track of all the mashup mayhem, never fear! We’ve compiled this list of the most epic Sanrio character collabs from 2020–2021 to get you up to speed.

Read on to find out the who, what, when, where, and why of all the latest collaborations that Hello Kitty and the…


Roselia Giveaway (April-May 2021)

PREFACE

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Making a purchase or payment of any kind will not increase your chances of winning. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

These Official Rules are current as at April 2021.

This prize sweepstakes (“Giveaway”) begins from the time of the Giveaway announcement and ends on May 10 at 6 PM JST (the “Promotion Period”), subject to availability.

The sponsor of this Giveaway is ZenPlus via ZenMarket, Inc. (“Sponsor”). By participating in the Giveaway, each Entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of…


Camping site with Mt Fuji in background
Camping site with Mt Fuji in background

In 2021, all eyes are on camping and the great outdoors.

With social distancing still at the back of everyone’s minds, recreational activities like camping that get us out of the house — yet away from the hustle and bustle of the city — are garnering more attention than ever before.

In fact, the Fall 2020 edition of the annual North American Camping Report revealed that more than 50% of respondents saw camping and more isolated off-the-grid sojourns as the safest form of travel going forward. (Air travel, both domestic and overseas, ranked last, unsurprisingly.)

As the pandemic is still…


Kawaii (the Japanese word for “cute”) rears its adorable head just about everywhere in Japan — and not just in popular culture or down at the mall, where you’d most expect it to be. You’ll find it in schools, on public transport, at banks, and even on Buddhist temple grounds.

But we’re only human, and variety is the spice of life…

What if you’ve had enough cuteness for one day?

Yaso magazine cover (Stuffed Animals)
Yaso magazine cover (Stuffed Animals)

Couple music
Couple music

“If music be the food of love, play on.”

So begins William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night, and it couldn’t be more true!

Whether it be Valentine’s Day, a birthday, Christmas, or an anniversary, nothing complements a message of love better than some romantic lyrics.

But lovers beware!

By falling back on tried and true English love songs, you run the risk of dedicating your partner a track they’ve heard a hundred times before — which could make your message less special. (Especially if it’s a song you yourself have already shared with them in the past.)

How can you avoid…


Not to mention you and me.

Love is eternal. Music is universal.

Style and fashion are…celestial?

Okay, that last one may not have the same familiar (or poetic) ring to it, but the underlying message is the same:

Some things in life are too powerful to deny.

After all, certain elements of style and fashion (in terms of form and function, especially) can just as easily be applied to fictional anime and game characters as they can to you and me.

Concepts that transcend humanity and even reality itself — if that’s not celestial, we don’t know what is!

Aimi apparel collab with R4G
Aimi apparel collab with R4G
Source: R4G (Respect For Geeks)

To show you what we mean, here’s…


I believe you deserve more.

When you go online and you browse through countless options to fulfill your craving for Japanese goodies, don’t you wish there was a fast and simple way to order from Japan?

Without any waiting, complicated service fee schemes, miscommunication with sellers, or issues?

Put “affordable” and “reliable” on top of that, and suddenly it feels like too much to ask.

Japanese shops just one click away

ZenPlus

Your one-stop shop for all things Japanese. Editor of “Japan Plus You” — exploring anime, games, fashion, food, language, kawaii culture, and more.

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