Archive | May, 2010

My lunch today -tonkatsu-

31 May

I decided to add a new type of post where I simply share what an average Japanese (=me!) eats everyday.
What kind of food do you imagine from Japanese foods? Sushi, sashimi, tempura, sukiyaki, yakiniku, unagi…? These are basically not for everyday cooking, because they are expensive. ^ ^; We also eat a lot of western foods, fast food, Chinese, Korean, and other Asian foods, too and we like to arrange them as we like! I wish I could make my cooking videos but unfortunately that’ll be too much work for a moment.

Sometimes my foreign friends are surprised to hear that I don’t like Japanese foods so much. I need to explain this more. I like certain Japanese foods such as teriyaki flavored meat or fish, westernized Japanese foods such as hamburger steak seasoned with Japanese sauce and grated Japanese radish, and noodles such as ramen, somen, soba, and udon. But I don’t like our foods such as grilled fish, simmered vegetables, tofu as it is, miso, okonomiyaki and takoyaki very much. But I try to eat them sometimes because they are good for health and my husband likes Japanese foods. I don’t like Japanese desserts (wagashi, yokan, dango, anmitsu, anything with maccha flavor and etc.) so much either (manju and taiyaki is OK), while I like western desserts especially baked confectionery such as cookie, financier, waffle, crepe and etc.

Thus, this post will reflect my preferences but I hope you can at least get the image of day-to-day diet sample of an average Japanese. I wouldn’t say “Japanese woman”, because I believe I eat more than most of average young women. (lol) Most of them like to have very small meals and possibly some sweets inbetween meals. Well, since this experiment, I changed my breakfast from an egg, sausages, and a slice of bread with a cup of coffee to a glass of carrot and apple fresh juice and a tiny sweet bun. I make fresh juice every morning now, which I will refer to later on my blogpost. (It’s worth for a post.)

Menu
-Tonkatsu とんかつ (deep fried pork) with tonkatsu sauce and mustard
-Kyabetsu no sengiri キャベツの千切り (shredded cabbage)
-tomato and avocado
-Ingen no goma ae いんげんのごま和え(kidney beans dressed with miso, sugar, and sesame)
-steamed rice
I could have added miso soup to this lunch, but that’ll be too much. To tell you the truth, I barely fix miso soup lately. I found an old miso pack that was best before something 2008 in a fridge the other day. haha…^ ^;

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deco trend now in Japan

28 May

It was around 10 years ago that deco boom started. As represened by decoden, decorating on the cell phone is still popular now. In 2009, “Uni deco” or decorating Uniqlo clothing became popular, which has been familiar if you read my blog. It was introduced in Tokyo Kawaii TV, as “Uni-kakushi” and I actually saw the booth by deco-clo at Japan Hobby Show 2010 the other day. I’m planning to make a deco T-shirt, and will be sharing my experience in this blog later. 🙂

The video focuses on the Japan Hobby Show that I also visited this year and introduces some interesting devices and goods that are invented at following companies.
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Hello Kitty stamp

26 May

It might be too late to blog about this when I consider these stamps were on sale about 3 weeks from now, but I found them at a post office today.

It’s 80 yen for a letter in an envelope, 50 yen for a postcard that you need to pay for when you send it inside Japan as an ordinary post.

It looks like they are commemorative stamps celebrating Shanghai expo.
They are cute, but I wonder if I’ll ever write letters or postcards so often. I already have a lot of old postal stamps left at home that I bought long time ago. I wish I could exchange them for real bucks now that I almost completely rely on email. (lol)

However, it’s so nice if I write a letter or a postcard once in a while with such a cute stamp on. I miss my school days when there was no emails, cell phones, even PC… we liked to exchange cute letters with cute stickers among friends. Now when I write to someone, that is more likely a message card that doesn’t need a postal stamp on because I am with it. (lol) If I try to send my friends new years cards, we usually buy the cards with postal fee including because they have lottery numbers.

Year after year I have less opportunities to use postal stamps, so why should I get more now? I talked to myself, I shouldn’t need them unless I sell them later at an auction or somewhere. (lol)

Give it a try! Ganbanyoku in Japan.

24 May

I had Ganbanyoku(岩盤浴), or hot stone sauna after a long interval. I was actually quite surprised how much my skin condition improved without any face lotion or serum put on, after it. I must have forgotten all these things because of long absence from my last Ganbanyoku experience. 😦

For those who are not familiar with Ganbanyoku, watch this video first. I wish I could take my video, but they will never allow me to.
(I use this video not to intend to promote this salon, but only to give readers the image of Ganbanyoku.)

In this video, people do yoga and stretch on the hot stones, but usually when we say Ganbanyoku, it’s only that people lie down on the hot stones to relax and sweat. This salon combines Ganbanyoku and these exercises to lead the upmost outcome, and it’s also common at any Ganbanyoku salons these days. My Ganbanyoku salon that I went the other day also has a yoga program, and I was able to observe a yoga lesson while I was lying down on the Ganban hot stone plate. (I could sneakily pose as they do, but no, that’s embarrassing…) ^ ^;
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Kawaii deco nail

22 May

Kawaii Deco Nail
22/OCT/2008 on air

Japanese girls are crazy about nail deco. How about you?

Young girls from Shibuya and Harajuku today never go out without nails coordinated with their fashion themes. To them, wearing nail decorations is almost as important as wearing makeup. Japanese nail industry is 100 billion yen of yearly sales. It looks like Japanese young girls do not mind spending money for their nails in spite of economic downturn.

It’s nothing special to put rhinestones, small decorations, sweets deco or Hello Kitty over nails. Any kind of nail art is possible and Japanese women enjoy it as a part of fashion. At the same time though, wearing such heavy decorations on long nails sometimes makes their life difficult. For example, cream goes into nails when they try to put it on the face. So they have to use other part of the body or use a spoon instead. Another example, they cannot close buttons and so they use safety-pin as a supplementary tool to help them do that. There is a must item for these girls. It’s a can opener as well as zipper opener and coin picker. Shampoo brush is such a helpful item for them so they don’t have to have their long nails stuck in their hair. The rice washing machine is interesting. Not a single rice should be stuck between nails and fingers. For household works they need to protect their nails. Plastic gloves that doctors use for operations are very durable and useful. To do sports, golf gloves for example allow their beautiful nails appear on purpose. At a bowling alley, bowls especially designed for the beautiful nails have rubber coated deeper holes.

More than 400 kinds of nail chips are so cute at a Harajuku nail chip store.

Hand made Usa-chan (Usagi=rabbit) nails are the most popular. Who made these? The creator of the nail chips is resided in Wakkanai, Hokkaido. She makes over 100 nail chips per day. Her sweets nails became popular in Harajuku, but local people are not very fond of them. They cannot imagine women preparing meals with these chips on.

Ikegai-san is studying very hard right now to become a professional nail artist. She practices her skills on nails of her friends’.

3 women with no nail art experience get their nails done by the proffessionals.
Kanemitsu-san is the guru of Japanese nail artists. She’s been awarded so many times in her 25 years of carrier as a nail artist. She is now an owner of her nail salons in Hiroo and Daikanyama. 10000 customers, including celebs, visit her salons yearly. When she started studying nail art, she was not sure if she can make a living with it. She could hardly find any nail salons in Japan at that time. But she didn’t care about the way someone made for the followers. She became the one to make it. She is a pioneer of nail art in Japan. Her works are on nail magazines almost every month.

Harada-san is a professional 3D nail artist who made Becky a queen of nail for the 3rd year in a row.

A PE teacher wants nails she can wear only during weekends. Nail seal (=sticker) is good for that.

The inventor of “nail seal” is this man, Arisawa-san. His company has 20 employees and sales records 200 million yen per year. His business is so successful now, but it was not like this when he started. He failed so many times that he decided to quit it. At the last moment he’s got a great idea in his dream while he was sleeping. This finally worked out! In 2005 he succeeded in acquisition of patent. Now his “nail seal” is one of the best selling items at famous department stores and variety goods stores throughout Japan. This attracted women in their 30s who have never had nail art before. It’s so easy and simple they don’t have to go to nail solon any more. Arisawa-san’s next invention is cool scarf and nonflammable thread.

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Kirin’s opinion
I personally don’t like to have nails done this much. I need to lead my busy life as smooth as possible. But I liked the items invented for the long nails. For example, I use shampoo brush and I quite like it. Its fine brush is so good to wash off sebum from the scalp. I use my fingertips first and then use this brush to wash my scalp fully each night. This is so comfortable. I totally recommend it whether you have long nails or not.
Nail seal, the sticker might be enough to me. What kind of nail art did you like or dislike? Is nail deco as popular as this in your city? Feel free to comment! 😀
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Disclaimer: Tokyo Kawaii TV is a TV program owned and broadcasted by NHK Japan, and has nothing to do with this blog.

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled “Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.
***If you want to know the music that was used in the episode, please refer to this page and help yourself to find it by selecting the date when the episode was on air in Japan.

How is Zogan face massage?

20 May

I had a request from one of my blog readers that she wants me to write about Zogan massage that was invented by Yukuko Tanaka.

First off, Zogan is from 造顔 (making face) and I think it’s only the word she made. I think this massage is very comfortable especially when I’m tired from work.
Sometimes when my work is hard and stressful, I feel my face is so solid that I even find it hard to smile! Then I usually find myself massaging my face before I know, unconsciously.

Anyhow watch this video.

note
* She recommends massage cream that contains less oil.
* Use 3 fingers (forefinger, mid finger, and annular finger) of each hand to massage the face with enough pressure.
* Use not only fingertips but also entire fingers.
* Each step needs 3 strokes.
* Do not massage so hard as to leave pains.
* When you find your fingers go into the skin, that means your face is swollen.
* Use only 1 finger around the eyes.
* “Do not touch the eyeballs, the skin around eyes is very sensitive.” She warns. I think this means “eyelids” instead of “eyeballs”. (Who wants to touch the eyeballs of her own?)
* 5 strokes around nostril to get rid of dirt.

So how is it, honestly? According to the opinions left at “@cosme“, my favorite cosmetics SNS, there are certain number of people who complain that the laugh line around mouth went deeper after continuous Zogan massage. That’s because this massage reduces extra swelling or fat from face. As a result, the face becomes skinny (which is good) and wrinkles look deeper (unfortunately), and the total image of the face looks even old. How ironic is that?! But I personally like to massage my face when I’m tired from work. Zogan massage is one of the ways I can do to myself then. What do you think? Do you know any useful ways to keep you look good?

About A Girl by Francfranc

18 May

★feminine sexy kawaii goods★
About A Girl by Francfranc
(@Ebisu atre)
address: Atre is connected to JR Ebisu station. About A Girl by Francfranc is on the 5th floor.
phone: 03-5423-6755
open: am10:00-pm9:30
*They have stores at several other locations in Japan, too.

Apart from Francfranc daily zakka shop, About A Girl by Francfranc is specifically targeting young working women who seek for kawaii, sexy, cool, and feminine goods in their positive life!

Sorry for the out-of-focus pictures. I had to go in a few minutes at this time. But I wanted to get my “job” done! ^ ^;

Do most of young girls like pink? I found many of their products were in pink color. Pink and bling bling or deco. That’s what young girls will love with no doubt!! Most of the time I like pink, but sometimes I don’t. My favorite color changes quite often. But how can I resist them. They are just so kawaii! If we are in love with someone, we will like pink…is it true? ^ ^;

I liked the bling bling photo album, but I didn’t like it saying “photo”. Also it was quite suspicious if it can hold as many photos as the number of photo space it has inside. I’d expect this type of different product without “photo” or “diary” or “whatever” on the face.

I liked the pen case with light pink with bling bling material, but where am I supposed to use it when I’m working from home and from online? (lol) I think many of them are targeted for female office workers. (= it’s called OL, from office lady, in Japanese. It’s one of “Japanglish” that confuse us.)

Look, I liked this mirror so much. It’s so cute! But wow, it’s over 3000yen.