December is now here, and we’ve got great news: a huge 50% Off Shipping Sale! For one week, through December 8, get half off your shipping, whether SAL, airmail or EMS! Think of all the awesome figures, plush toys, snack and “H” products you could buy! (Choose EMS for delivery by Christmas.)

I write a lot about how some of the memes we share across the English interwebs will often not penetrate into Japan for one reason or another, and vice versa. The Japanese have zero awareness of the Harambe or Inappropriate Joe Biden memes, for example, while the online running gag of pretending J-List’s home prefecture of Gunma is as undeveloped as the center of Africa (and engaged in a border war with neighboring Ibaragi to boot) are not known outside Japan. One thing that seems to unify Japan and the rest of the world is our love of cats. Japan has many famous “cat idols” such as the “No-se Neko” cats with objects balanced on their heads, or cats turned into street bikers because why not? Companies publish many photobooks about such important topics as cat tongues and even furry cat balls. If you love cats, you can visit one of Japan’s cat cafes, where you can spend some quality relaxing time, or level up your cat game and go to one of Japan’s multiple “Cat Islands.” J-List loves cats, too, and we stock lots of rare and wonderful neko-tastic calendars, plush toys and other products during our big pre-Christmas sale. See them here!

Over the weekend we celebrated my wife’s parents’ birthdays by bundling the family up and heading out to a yakiniku (Koran BBQ) restaurant, which is the local version of eating Italian or Mexican for Americans, food that’s ostensibly “ethnic” yet is also extremely familiar and comforting to eat. For decades, zainichi (“residing in Japan”) Koreans — who were born and raised in Japan but maintain a separate identity and passport for cultural reasons — have been the largest minority in Japan, though they were recently surpassed by Chinese. At a Korean BBQ restaurant you order large plates of beef, chicken and various vegetables then cook it on a gas or charcoal grill right at the table, and everyone stuffs themselves until you can smell the meat coming out of your pores. Just as the production of cardboard boxes can show which way the U.S. economy is headed (this is called the Cardboard Box Economic Index and it’s real), I’ve always viewed Korean BBQ restaurants as a bellwether for Japan’s economy, and if the restaurant is crowded with families splurging on a delicious meal (as it was), I know the economy is doing alright. If you want to try Korean food, Korean BBQ is extremely approachable, and I recommend you try it.

Now is the best time to buy awesome products from Japan, during our week-long Half Price Shipping Sale. For one week only, your shipping will be cut in half, whether you choose SAL, Airmail or EMS! $40 minimum order, but no other limitations. What will you buy this week?