Posted September 17th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Kaba-kore (cover-colle), a short word for “cover collection”, is an order service from SoftBank in Japan to make customized cases for smart phones.  You can chose the design from three categories: from Oto-san Dog gallery, from design templates, or by uploading the images.

I like the idea of being able to use your own photo or image to create a case. No one else would have the same case!  The image will be printed to the sides of the case, and it looks great.

Oh, I just love the SoftBank’s character,  Oto-san Dog!!  So cute…. (one of my favorite character.  Post is here)  You can create novelty goods using this service as well.  Hmmm maybe I should make one for my iPhone!

There are also many collaboration designs available, including Pokemon, CanCam (a Japanese fashion magazine), and Hawks.  I also loves the Rock design of SoftBank tv CM family.   Oto-san Dog is so cute!

Bijin Tokei Ver. Shiga

Posted January 21st, 2011 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Bijin Tokei, meaning “beautiful woman clock”, is a website that showcases different young ladies telling you the time every minute, and has been a big success since it started.  Now they have few different versions of bijin-tokei such as circuit-tokei (where all the girls are race queens) and Ver. Night, and also local versions of bijin-tokei in Kobe, South Korea Ver. 1 Ver. 2, Taiwan, Kyoto, Hokkaido, Thai, etc etc…

I wrote about this bijin-tokei here, here and here before in Umeboss.  Why I’m writing about it again here is because I found a Shiga version of bijin-tokei in app store!

Bijin-tokei Ver. Shiga was released in August last year.  As you know (?), I’m from Shiga and wonder that there may be one or two of my friends in the 360 girls picturing the clock on the app!  The photo shoot was carried out in the malls, universities and train stations from May in Shiga.  If I knew about it and was in Japan I might be in the queue for the candidates! hehe..

I’m somehow proud of it, because not all the cities/prefectures in Japan are used for bijin-tokei.  So far there’re only 9 cities across Japan : Shibuya, Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido, Fukuoka, Kobe, Nagoya, Sendai, and Shiga.  I’m proud of it as a Shiga person (kind of), but also curious… why Shiga??  There are many other nice and famous cities across Japan.  Some Japanese people don’t even know where Shiga locates in the map.  I’m also curious about the bijin-tokei ver. Sendai.  … Why Sendai??

Word Lens for iPhone … sugoi

Posted December 22nd, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

A new app just hit the iTunes App Store – called “Word Lens”.  I saw the video of this app and it’s pretty cool!  At this moment they only have one language pack though, for translations between English and Spanish.  The app is free to download, but each language pack will set you back $5.99 a pop.

Word Lens creator, Otavior Good, speaks on his company website that once he was in overseas there was a sign he couldn’t read and he thought, ‘Why doesn’t my cellphone do this?'”.  I think it’s one thing that many people would hope when they are traveling another country.

The great thing is, you don’t need internet connection to use this app.  Once you download it on your iphone, it will translate the sign board within a second.  The bad thing is that the font of the sign board has to be something like Centurion or Helvetica.  So, if the words are written by hand or in other unique fonts it can’t be translated.    … Well, it still works!

I can’t wait they launch of other languages!  What language you want this app to translate the most??  Actually the creator’s friend wants there to be one for Japanese.  But, unlike Spanish, we don’t use ABC alphabet – we’ve got four other alphabets that we use.

“There’s Kanji Hiragana, Katakana and Romaji — Romanji uses roman letters, but that’s not very common for the signs in the street.”

Right… but it could be fun though if it could translate Japanese too. Maybe in future.. 🙂



Posted September 4th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Now I’ve seen many worms in the garden and garage in my house.  It sure is getting warmer!

Yet night time is still cold here and I can’t stand without blanket when watching tv.

Oh!  by the way, I finally received a new mobile (^0^).  I was using a mobile with cracked screen for over 1 month….

What happened??  … well, I dropped it. :p   Yes, I am a dropper.  This mobile was actually gift from my husband… I feel so guilty.  I was hiding it from him for few days, but he found out one night.

The reason why he bought this phone for me was because it’s supposed to have the strongest and shock-proof body.  He knew I was a dropper.   He showed me a YouTube video of a person who was explaining how strong the phone is.  She was demonstrating it by dropping the phone from 5m high, throwing it to the wall, and even trying to break with a hammer.   The phone didn’t break and there was noscratches.

Since he bought me this phone I actually have dropped it few times, but it didn’t break.   And, just few weeks ago I dropped it again then the screen panel cracked suddenly.  I guess it hit the weakest point…  I still feel sorry for my husband, I will keep this phone to remind myself for being such careless.

My new phone is, yes, iPhone 4.  I didn’t chose it because it’s popular.  I do like Apple products and I really think it’s very useful. Plus, I already know how to use it as I’ve been using my husband’s iPhone over a year.

It took about 2 weeks to get sent to me after placing an oder online.  Now I’m waiting for the free iPhone case to arrive.  (Apple iPhone case program)  I could only place the order for the case after receiving the phone.

There are 7 cases and bumper to chose from.

Now I just wait for my car to arrive.  (YES, I’M STILL WAITING.)


Current Trend in Japan Mobiles – Smart Phones-

Posted March 25th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Current technology is amazing….  Think about it.  The Mobile phones we were using about 10 years ago are so much different from our current mobiles.  The looks, facility, data capacity and technology on the current mobiles are amazing…

In Japan, despite the decrease of sales on the normal mobile phones, the sales for so called “smart phones” are increasing every month.  A smart phone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities beyond a typical mobile phone, often with personal computer like functionality. The most well-known smart phone is iPhone.  It connects to internet, and has lots of apps to do so many things.  A touch panel mobiles are also considered as ” smart phone” in Japan.

NTT docomo Japan‘s Xperia is one of those smart phones that is getting attentions. It connects to internet (WiFi), has GPS system, high quality movie display etc, and also a face recognition system.  Which means, you can browse photos on the screen, touch the face of the person and go to the person’s page.  There, you can browse all the history (phone call, emails etc) between you and the person as well as her/his photo gallery.  At the photo gallery, the screen can show the each person’s name on the photo.  Touching on the name takes you to another person’s page, or chose to make a phone call.

Fujitsu sells “style free mobile phone”.  When the phone is in the basic style, you can use it as a touch-panel mobile phone.  Once you slide it to open, you can use the keyboards.  And, you can actually separate the phone into two pieces.  This phone can be connected to a projector too.  Separating the phone into two pieces makes things easy.  You can talk while looking at the display unit, you can take a photos from a distance, you can type the keyboard away from the screen (easy use), etc.

Furthermore, this phones has 12200000 pixel camera, free touching writing facility (you can write or draw directly on the screen and it automatically translates to a letter or an icon.

Sometimes I can’t catch up with current technology…  As we can’t use Japanese mobiles in other countries (Galapagos Syndrom)I will probably continue using iPhone in Perth, but I sometimes get overwhelmed by the current apps.  You can do so many things on a piece of machine.  As the world says, ” the future is here”.

Doraemon iPhone App

Posted February 15th, 2010 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Yahoo! Japan released 16 free iPhone Apps simultaneously at Japanese iTunes Store. By locating each app on the screen correctly, like solving a number slider puzzle, you can depict a face of the most famous character in Japan, Doraemon.

5 out of 16 are practical function buttons, such as calculator, kitchen timer and clock.  Other 11 are actually Doraemon comic stories!  For example, if you press “Time Furoshiki” button, you can read the episode from original Doraemon comic book on iPhone screen.  (those comic stories are written in Japanese) 

I love Doraemon and I installed all of them right after I knew about this.  Reading those comic recall a memory of childhood. 🙂

And, just few days before knowing this Doraemon iPhone app, I was watching DVD of Doraemon movies.  In Japan, current Doraemon cartoon on tv had been changed a lot compared with the one I used to watch while I was a kid.  The voices of Doraemon, Nobita, Shizuka-chan, Jaian and Suneo all changed as well as illustration of the cartoon.  I liked the original voices, and watching DVD was really fun to me.  I remember watching those Doraemon cartoon on tv and cinema back in Japan.  🙂

There are many Doraemon movies, but my favorite is the very first movie episode :  Doraemon: Nobita\’s Dinosaur 2006.   (>v<)

iPhone App – Japanese

Posted November 2nd, 2009 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Here are some of my favorite apps for iPhone.

<Kiss X Bijin Tokei> website


“Kiss” is the Osaka version of bijin-tokei “the beautiful woman clock” (I wrote about it before in here ) ranked the first place of the entertainment section at the “Kiss FM Kobe” release first day supported in Kansai area around Kobe by many listers.  Like original bijin-tokei, this “Kiss” is one of the popular apps for iphone.


<Wa Kingyo>


“Wa” means “Japanese” “Japan style”, and “Kingyo” means goldfish.

Pretty goldfishes drawn on the Japanese style of painting swim elegantly.  You will be surprised by their cute movement.  This is similar to “Koi Pond” (I wrote about it here )  Enjoy relaxing time…. 🙂  This app is created by a Japanese.



… ummm, this is one of those crazy Japanese stuff.  In this app, you blow into your iphone or rub the screen with fingers, then the skirt of the pretty girl in the picture goes into an upskirt.   There are a few different girls on the screen to choose from and they all wear different clothes, such as yukata (Japanese casual summer kimono) and office lady type of clothes.  To me, I think it’s an obsession and I don’t like it, but this app is ranked in the top 10 and it seems many people around the world is enjoying it.  If you want to have this app on your iphone/touch, please make sure not to show to your girl!

Japanese applications for the iPhone/iPod Touch

Posted January 16th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

I have updated photos from my Japan trip.  Please click here to see 🙂


I gathered up few Japan-related iPhone/iPod Touch applications.

From the App Store:


<Koi Pond>

it’s a virtual koi pond that resides on your iPhonepod

Imagine gazing into a pond of crystal clear water.  Picture bright, playful koi swimming through its shallow depths.  So close. . . . Can you touch them?

You run your fingers across the cool  surface of the pond.  Water ripples away from your touch.  The koi, disturbed, dart away.  Only to quickly forget and swim close to you once more. . . .

There are several settings you can control, such as the hue of the water, the number of fish and number of plants.

Koi Pond was released July 30th, and has found itself #1 at the App Store in a relatively short amount of time and with good reason




In this application, traditional musical instrument “Mokugyo”(wooden gong) of Japan can be performed looking at beautiful scenery in Japan.

The wooden gong was brought by Japan hundreds of years ago.
It is possible to see in the buddhist temple etc. in modern days.
Because the sound is very Oriental, and is mysterious, it is used by the Kabuki.

You will be able to relax by hearing the sound.
In addition, beautiful scenery in Japan is displayed one after another in this contents.
As a result, you will feel a higher relaxation feeling.
(This relaxation feeling is called “Nagomi” in Japan.)

Mokugyo was released October 20th 2008.




Japanese clothing brand UNIQLO have been using their UNIQLOCK – an online timer/screensaver thing – to promote their latest wares for the past couple of years.  Now you can download it to your iPhone/iPod Touch.

This thing seems very odd… but I guess it’s a fashion??



<Furu Furu Pocky>


This is kind of a game you want to do when you want to pick one person out of several people.  It’s very simple, whoever pick the pink pocky is the winner.

eg: who is in charge of cooking dinner tonight, who will be a seeker on hide and seek etc…




Bonsai is a Japanese art!  Those miniature trees are available on your iPhonepod.  There are numbers of Bonsai apps: Bonsai Blast, Bonsai wallpaperyour own Bonsai Tree, iBonsai etc…

I have iBonsai and it’s pretty 🙂  iBonsai uses a random-number algorithm to grow infinitely diverse bonsai trees before your eyes, which you can then rotate around in 3D and save as your wallpaper.


Here is more!