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That is, stuff that's somewhat longer than 140 characters.

So, our last day in Japan was actually TODAY. This is one of those weird international date line dealies where you wake up Wednesday morning, get a Wednesday afternoon flight, doze off, and wake up Wednesday morning AGAIN, and get a whole 'nother Wednesday.

Anyways, we had a couple hours between dropping off the last 10 tons of Stitchie stuff at the Ikebukuro post office and getting our asses out to Narita, we decided to do something completely batshit (huh - imagine!) and head off to Akibahara and Yamashiroya.

After visiting Kotobukiya and loading up on a million billion pairs of chopsabers, we had about half an hour left to do all 7 floors of Yamashiroya. Fortunately, most of the Disney stuff is concentrated on the second floor. Still, just as we were on our way out, Mr. Tikistitch spotted this funny item in the window display. I ran back in, and, after waving my arms at several unassuming Yamashiroya clerks and yelling "Eco Hime!" was directed back up to the second floor.

In case you don't know, a lot of time in Japanese retail stores is taken up by just packing your items, no matter how small and trivial. It's kind of cool to watch clerks go all origami on the packing materials. UNLESS you have a plane to catch. I like the little Yamashiroya UFO dude logo. You can actually see the store sign from the metro going by. It's pretty easy to find from the Ueno station, IF you go out the right entrance. If you go out the WRONG entrance ... you're on your own!

OK, anyways, you're now wondering WHAT THE HECK IS AN ECO HIME! I think the cartoon on the back might explain, but basically, a lot of Japanese girls are quite shy about using public bathrooms because they don't want other folks to hear them making ... er ... bathroom noises. So, they tend to flush the toilet. Which wastes water. So, as you might know, some toilets actually will play sounds while you tinkle - either rushing water, or pretty music. But, not all places have the nice sound toilets (HORRORS!) so an eco hime is keychain-sized and it will play the appropriate sounds whenever you need it. PLUS, cute licensed character!!

Oh, and the reason the girl is wearing a crown? Hime means "princess." Not 100% sure being of royal birth has to do with being shy about your potty sounds, but there ya go.


( 6 cousins babbled — babble away! )
Dec. 10th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
I am so jealous of your chopsabers, you have no idea...
Dec. 10th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
They ARE cool, though I suspect they'll be very difficult to actually eat food with.
Dec. 10th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure my Pullips weren't planning to eat with them, just do battle with each other ;)
Dec. 10th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
If I remember correctly, the original version of these was called "Otohime", which was a pun (Otohime is a princess from Urashima Tarou fairy tale, but "oto" is a homonym for the word "sound"). So EcoHime is presumably a variant playing up the ecological aspects of not flushing the water needlessly, or a knockoff product by Disney that's keeping the "hime" theme so people will recognize what it is.
Dec. 10th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense! It's so often either a pun or onomatopoeia in Japanese, isn't it? Wish I knew the language better, because I love wordplay like that.
Dec. 10th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
I knew about the toilets that played sounds, but I had no idea of this alternative for those who don't. It's so cool! XP
( 6 cousins babbled — babble away! )


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