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Hello and welcome to this new blog. As the current extra-long title should hopefully suggest, this blog aims to be a foreigner's guide on the many weird and wonderful pieces of technological wizardry available in Japan.

While this blog does aim to be a comprehensive guide, it will not be an indiscriminate one. This is because the (currently extra-long) title includes the word "cool". Only cool things will be included in this blog. But what is "cool stuff"? Mainly, things currently available only in Japan, things so unique that the average traveller would have no clue how to operate, or things that would make a resident's life that much better - if only they could work out how to operate it.

Language is of course a big barrier in Japan, and with so little cool stuff available in English, you either have know the language quite well, or you have to know a native speaker. This blog aims to help those who have insufficient Japanese knowledge to operate cool stuff, although at least basic reading and writing abilities are very much necessary in any case. If you can read and write hiragana, katakana, and know a few kanji, you're all set.

I myself don't have a great knowledge of 日本語 - indeed I'm still very much a beginner and most of my friends in Japan know more Japanese than me. Even so, it's amazing what basic reading skills coupled with a bit of trial and error can achieve!

Suggestions for new guides are always welcome. However, please remember the subject matter of this guide: cool stuff! Useful gadgets, helpful services, fun games are all good choices. Visa applications, phone contracts and bank account registrations are not. Although very useful for anyone living in Japan, you'd be better off asking for help from experts. Besides, there are already plenty of guides on how to live in Japan - but none on how to live in Japan with cool stuff.

And that, in a nutshell, is "Guide On Using Cool Stuff In Japan For People Who Don't Understand A Lot Of Japanese".

(The current title is however a bit of a mouthful, so suggestions for that are equally welcome.)

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