After the Big Apple and London, we’re crossing the globe this week with a Tokyo shopping guide that would come especially handy for those who 1) love everything Japan-made, and 2) aren’t planning to travel to the land of the rising sun anytime soon. Enlist the help of our Boxers located in Japan to score you these must buys, from beautiful washi paper to traditional Japanese sweets:
Cats & Birds Pink Furoshiki, Musubi, JPY6,825, + Add To Wishlist: The use of furoshiki — directly meaning ‘bath spread’ — dates way back to the Nara period in Japan, where it was traditionally used to wrap gifts or to protect merchants’ wares. It was only until 2006 when the then-Minister of Environment of Japan created a furoshiki cloth to promote its use in the modern world that this cloth has seen a resurgence. Available in a myriad of colours, motifs and fabrics, furoshiki can be used to wrap gifts of most sorts — even oddly-shaped ones! A quick Google search found that there are plenty of furoshiki wrapping techniques you can glean from. This pretty cloth from Musubi boasts two lucky animals in Japanese tradition: The cat, which is the “God of prosperous business”, and the bird that serves as a “gate” to attract new customers.
Komon Arita Ware, Kihara, JPY3,240, + Add To Wishlist: Japan has a deeply-rooted history of porcelain, with Arita ware being the most reputable. Founded in Arita-cho in Saga Prefecture about 400 years ago, Arita porcelain is also known as Imari porcelain and is recognised for its white polished dishes with blue artwork. It was so popular that back in 1653, Arita ware were exported to Europe by the Dutch East India Company. At Kihara, take your pick from a myriad of kitchenware including sauce dishes and teapots. This bean sauce dish set is made of five separate pieces, each representing a season with an auspicious, symbolic meaning in tow.
Otona Randsel Backpack, Tsuchiya-Kaban, JPY100,000, + Add To Wishlist: Japanese schoolbags, or randoseru, have come in fashion most recently. All made by hand, these bags are usually constructed of a single-piece body and around 200 fittings made of die-cut materials. A well-made randoseru can fetch a high price tag, but it’s well worth every penny because of its impressive durability. This bag was traditionally made to endure a child’s full elementary education (that’s six years for you). And some bags still remain in immaculate condition even when the child has reached adulthood. Tscuhiya-Kaban’s Otona Randsel Backpack is made of Nume leather that has been tanned with tannins. It softens upon long-term use, and it will eventually go a few shades darker through time as well.
Medium Yokan, Toraya, JPY3,000, + Add To Wishlist: Yokan makes for a great souvenir or gift. This traditional Japanese sweet is actually a thick, jelly-like dessert made of red bean paste, agar, and sugar. Toraya is one of the more popular yokan stores in Japan, with its chicly-wrapped designs and variety of flavours from adzuki bean paste to wasambon sugar. Apart from yokan, Toraya also offers other candy such as monaka (adzuki bean paste sandwiched between two thin wafers) and higashi (a dry form of wagashi).
Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, Kanebo, JPY1,809, + Add To Wishlist: Powder facial cleansers are all the rage in Japan for good reason. It is easy to use, convenient for when you’re on-the-go, and can offer three-in-one benefits too. Kanebo Suisai’s Beauty Clear Powder is one of the most popular ones available now — it is a water-activated enzyme cleanser and exfoliator that has two different enzymes for different functions. Formulated with soy milk extract and hyaluronic acid, its fragrance-free formula moisturises and brightens skin as well.
Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil, Matsumotokiyoshi, JPY216, + Add To Wishlist: Drugstore shopping in Japan is almost comparable to USA and UK, and one of our favourite places to go is Matsumotokiyoshi. Score these Shiseido Eyebrow Pencils for about USD2 a pop — no where else in the world you can shop it at this affordable price, we gather. Easy to use and natural to boot, these eyebrow pencils are many makeup artists’ HG brow picks too.
Asakusa Seaweed Tea, Yamamotoyama, JPY10,800, + Add To Wishlist: Tea is a must-buy when you’re in Japan. Instead of the usual matcha, try seaweed tea from tea connoisseurs Yamamotoyama. Made of seaweed from the Ariake Sea, the tea imparts a wonderful crisp flavour that’s akin to munching on real seaweed. Also, how beautiful is the box? These would make the perfect gifts to your tea-loving friends/family.
Collagen Pods, Chojyu, JPY7,904, + Add To Wishlist: Beauty lovers, these collagen pods will revolutionise the way you think of the fountain of youth. These “solution balls” allow you to get your daily hit of collagen easily. Instead of consuming it, apply this highly-concentrated collagen on your face everyday for three months — one pack comes with three months worth of collagen balls.
Washi Paper, Ozu, JPY2,074, + Add To Wishlist: Washi paper is a no-brainer to add to your shopping list when you’re shopping in Japan. This traditional craft is actually registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, and is made using fibers from the bark of a gampi tree, or the paper mulberry bush. Whether you’re using it as a wrapping paper or just for your collectibles, these translucent papers are an exquisite craft in its own right, with some sporting intricate patterns too.
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- Simply select the items you want bought, name your order, and hit the “Submit Order” button.
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