Archive | March, 2011

Kutsushitaya (Tabio)

30 Mar

*Kawaii socks*

Kutsushitaya is one of the well-known socks brands that belongs to Tabio. (Tabio has also expanded their shops in the U.K and France.) And the stores are located throughout Japan. In Tokyo, this page tells where it is. (just so many…)

Here’s one of their stores in Tokyo when I bought my leg warmer the other day. I know fashionable people always dress like a few months ahead, which means they like to dress like spring in a cold of February. (This post is written during Feb., even though it’s released in March.) But not only because I don’t care that much for fashion, but because I like being comfortable anyhow, I still cannot get rid of leg warmer while it looks like going backwards that I purchase it among most of all the other products’ being designed for spring and summer. ^ ^;

You see, they are deigned for spring and summer. Fashionable people have started mixing up with color or items designed for spring and they have already taken off boots to be replaced with pumps with their bare feet in under such a cold… (Well, this really sounds like I’m an old lady! lol)

Some pictures from their 2011 spring collections catalog.



I’d like kutsushita (it means socks in Japanese) a lot if my toenails were not all looking upwards. 😦 What I hate most is both of thumb toenails of mine are making holes in socks very soon because they are too steeply upward. It’s a waste if I buy such kawaii colorful socks but ruin them after a short while. Thus I end up with Uniqlo’s plain black ones that come with 4 pairs for 990yen or so. lol

BTW, if you like 3 pairs for 1050yen, go to Mighty Soxer. They are also one of the brands from Tabio but are less expensive than Kutsushitaya! 😀

Whichever, the problem that I often here from western people is that they cannot find their size in Japan. That’s so true. Usually most of their products are designed for 22-24cm for women because that’s the average size of the feet to cover most of Japanese women’s. Did you also have problems finding your size in Japan? What do you think of kawaii socks and etc.?


Gopan: we make bread from rice!

28 Mar

Gopan is a unique bread maker that Sanyo invented. It enables us to make bread from rice at home. This idea is supported by the young Japanese people who prefer bread to rice. At first it was scheduled to be available in Oct. 2010, but it was postponed to Nov. 2010 because of too much feedback from the people who got curious about this unique machine. Then no matter how hard Sanyo kept manufacturing Gopan, they never reached the number of (potential) orders. Hence they even stopped receiving reservations or orders since Dec. 2010. They finally accept reservations from this April.

NHK’s Cool Japan the other day was showing how Gopan was invented. The development team has been working on the project since 2003. They struggled so much until they finally reached a solution how to grind rice as fine as flour.

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It’s a good idea to use rice instead of flour to make bread in Japan, because we can grow rice in our own country without relying to other countries except for special cases. In fact, Japan has enough stock of surplus rice, while at the same time we have to import most of food from other countries. It’s a good idea to eat what we can grow in our own country. That also will support our local agriculture and farmers. But what’s happening here today is that young people don’t like to eat rice very much. They often like bread a lot more than rice. (I say they because I like rice definitely!) It’s said nowadays the consumption of rice in Japan is only half of 1950’s.

Gopan should be quite helpful for those who are allergic to flour, inside and outside Japan. I don’t know if it’s available in some other countries in the near future but it’s kinda cool we can bake bread either from flour or rice. Of course when we use rice, the texture should be a little different from normal bread that is made from flour. But I don’t think the rice bread baked inside Gopan is inferior to flour bread. I wish I could get it at home but I have another problem that my kitchen is too small to place it anywhere…. 😦

By the way, the naming Gopan comes from Gohan (meaning rice in Japanese) and Pan (meaning bread in Japanese, which is actually an imported word from Portuguese in our history around the 17th century.) Japanese people like to name something like this. 🙂

I really hope to try Gopan by myself. Maybe in the future when Sanyo can produce smaller Gopan enough to fit into my kitchen. :p What do you think about this gadget?

My Kawaii Entry 11

26 Mar

entry #13

The first one is my “Nyanko Sensei” It is one of main character of Natsume Yujincho. I was a Big Fan of him. I hugged him every night to sleep. I got him when i bought the 500 yen Lucky Dip Ticket in Family Mart. He was prize “A”. I was so happy as it was my first try for this Theme. Whenever the Family mart , Lawson or Seven eleven have my favourite Animation  500 yen lucky dip ticket, i will buy 1 or 2 Ticket to try.

The Second, is Hello Kitty. My girl got her from Sanrio’s Lucky Dip too. It is also her 1st try to this too.

The Third , is my girl’s ear muff. It is black neko. We bought for less than 500 yen from one of the shop at Harajuku last year. We love Neko!!

The Fourth, is Samantha Thavasa’s Mickey white bag. I have never have any expensive bag for myself. Normally my bag is less than 20 dollar when I am in Singapore.

The Fifth, Christmas present from my beloved Apple and Jun Qiang. They handmade gfits bought by Apple and Jun Qiang in Singapore and sent over to us. We love those special gifts very much.

The Sixth is a Ocarina. It is a wind instrument. I bought this at Amori when we visited there.

The Seventh, This is a Anna Sui Bag I bought from Lawson. It comes with the magazine. Many Magazine comes with free bag but this is the most Kawaii bag. It cost 1200yen for the Magazine.

Wow, how kawaii!! I especially liked the ear muff and handmade goods sent by Apple and Jun. How sweet!! Thank you Winnie. 😀

Are there any more entries for My Kawaii Project?

International Gyaru and Gyaruo in Tokyo

24 Mar

International Gyaru and Gyaruo in Tokyo
26/FEB/2011 on air

Sara Mari is a beautiful American gyaru who frequently visit Tokyo. While she is in Japan, she stays over her Japanese friend’s house. She established a Gyaru-friends network on Facebook and there are nearly 700 members. At the 7th visit to Tokyo, she organized international Gyaru Meets at Shibuya with those who love Shibuya inspired fashion in the world.

It was 3 years ago that Sara Mari succeeded in losing 50kg. She had wanted to dress herself with Japanese kawaii clothing. It was inevitable for her to change her body shape by losing weight.

In 2010, 8.6 millions of foreigners visited Japan including beautiful foreign gyaru. Jennie from France and Alex from Russia challenge to makeover a Japanese girl and a boy for a gyaru and a gyaruo.

Jennie became a sales assistant of one of the shops at Shibuya 109 4 months ago. She came to Japan to study design after she graduated from high school in France. Her life in Tokyo is happy because she is engaged in what she loves: fashion and manga. When she was 14, she was interested in Japanese gyaru fashion thanks to Japanese fashion magazines she was reading. But her family was against her because gyaru fashion is considered dangerous in France. She convinced her parents and came to Japan. Her family send her 65,000yen monthly but it all goes to payment for her rent. She makes living from part-time job. Her dream is to become a model

Alex is a junior at a university in Tokyo. He came Japan 3 years ago. His dream is to build Shibuya 109 overseas, but for now he wants to get a job at fashion business industry. However, he gives up dressing as Gyaruo during his job hunting. He knows Japanese society. “I think Japanese society doesn’t like people who look outstanding. I personally believe I’d better not look outstanding while I am hunting jobs.”

Jennie and Alex searched a girl who wants to be a gyaru and a boy who wants to be a gyaruo. Alex found Yamada-kun. They went to Shibuya 109 and bought some wild taste of clothing and accessory. They also visited the hair salon that Alex frequents. KAZU-san is a charismatic hairstylist among Gyaruo.

Jennie and Kana-chan bought tights and clothes but their opinion conflicted. Kana-chan didn’t want white but Jennie insisted it should work out. Jennie’s friend helped makeup.

Lately Chinese tourists visit high-class brands districts such as Ginza. A woman for example spent 150,000yen for bags, 250,000yen for cosmetics. Men like to purchase luxurious watches. In 2010, visitors from China to Japan were recorded 1.4 million people. Especially young Chinese women like reasonable fashion in Shibuya. Some college students come in sales period. Reflecting such trends, Cecil McBee for example, placed a Chinese sales assistant at their Shibuya 109 shop. This contributed to boosting their sales. However, hiring a Chinese employee is not always the same Japanese one. Some Chinese candidates do not appear in the interview without notice.

Sara Mari organized Gyaru Meets starting at Shibuya 109. 15 Gyaru from 8 countries gathered. They went shopping, purikura, and karaoke together. They promised to meet up again this summer.

How does the make over turn out? Did the boy become a Gyaruo? Did the girl become a Gyaru? Kana-chan seems swollen in spite of Jennie’s effort. Alex did a good job to makeover from an innocent-look boy to Gyaruo.

Kirin’s opinion
Great job, Sara Mari!
It’s nice to see some people I know on TV.
If there’s anyone who is interested in studying or working in Japan, why don’t you contact Jennie or Alex? (I searched Alex’s blog but not found.)

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.

Donations go to Japan Red Cross

22 Mar

Thank you for those who kindly donated to Japan through me. Also thank you for those who donated from other ways available in your country. Please don’t panic, the situation is getting better in Japan. What I’m worried about is the negative thoughts created by the panic around the world. That may affect current situation. Please keep praying for us and Japan. When your positive outlook or thoughts towards Japan meet our efforts and struggle to overcome this disaster, we can for sure recover from this and re-build a new Japan that you will love to visit in the near future. 🙂

The money that I collected from the paypal widget and direct payment to my paypal account is as follows.

USD440 was received as USD439.52 (paypal fee deducted) = 34,522yen (@78.5459 JPY) through paypal.
JPY12,000 was received as JPY11,492 through paypal.
Total: JPY46,014 from TKE readers.

I added my money to it so the total becomes 50,000yen.

It was my mistake that I set it in USD, because I noticed paypal rate was not very good afterwards. Also JP Yen went stronger against USD, which was quite the opposite of how I expected. It was because majority of readers of this blog come from the U.S that I set it in USD. Anyhow…sorry if part of your money only makes paypal happy. 😦

I am donating this 50,000yen to represent TKE. I’m very happy I can do something good as a Japanese blogger who has readers overseas. 🙂

I’ll show you how I donated that money to Japan Red Cross.
I walked to the post office near my house as it was raining today…

It’s a small local post office. ^ ^;

But it’s always crowded with people. Today is not exceptional…Maybe it’s too small for an office to let people in.

I told a woman who handled my donation that I want to take a picture for those who gave this money. I said this money is from friends overseas.

Again, thank you for your donation. Japan must overcome this disaster for ourselves and for all of you who like Japan!! We will strive for the recovery so that you still feel like visiting Japan over and over again in the future. ^__^

I’ll go back to normal posts and in case there’s anything I must update about earthquake or Fukushima nuclear accident, I may insert some posts. I just wish peaceful days without any threat of earthquake, tsunami, nuclear or volcano…


Yoshii Mami bag

20 Mar

Vinyl Bag store
Yoshii Mami (Shibuya Markcity)
Markcity east mall B1F
address: 1-21-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku
phone: 03-3464-5333
open: 10:00am – 9:00pm

*Following pictures were taken at Yoshii Mami Yokohama Bay Quarter store.

I like Yoshii Mami’s vinyl bags. :)

They have variety of patterns and new designs all the time. But each pattern has only a few in stock. Sorry for the blurring picture!

I carry so many things at a time. Large bag is useful after all. Large, but not heavy. Durable, unique and kawaii. Maybe that’s why I like Yoshii Mami’s bag. (I like LeSportsac more though.)

In fact, they have unique cloth bags as well, but I’m not interested in them at all.


Mine is sunflower x yellow x gold, that is good for summer. 😀

Because I liked it so much, I wanted to have another one. But the problem is their bags are sold out very quickly. I was advised to make a reservation beforehand. That’s kind of…bothering. I like to purchase apparel from my first impression or inspiration. It’s not my style to choose something from catalog or sample cloth to be prepared to buy it in the future, especially when it comes to apparel. The best thing is to make a bag or anything by myself. That’s the ideal and dream for the time I am free from busy work in a few years…hopefully. ^ ^;

The second button (第二ボタン)

20 Mar

Apple shares with you the story of second button among school boys and girls in Japan. As I went to a girls school in high school, my only chance to get/ask for a second button was at the graduation of middle school but at that time I was not in love with anyone, and no boys were to offer me his second button. lol In spite of being Japanese, I totally missed this experience! Thank you Apple, it’s one of the best topics for graduation season in Japan!! …comment by Kirin ^ ^;
===Apple’s post starts from here===

The Japanese school year starts in April, and graduation ceremonies are held around March, so it’s really coming soon.

My Japanese friend shared a Japanese custom that happens during graduation ceremonies that I found interesting, so I really want to share this with you. ^^

Do you know that on Graduation Day, the guy will give the second button of his school uniform to the girl he likes???

Just hearing this only, without knowing the significance behind it, my head was filled with images of cool Japanese senpai (先輩=senior), shyly, but sincerely and courageously, taking off their 2nd button and giving it to the cute girl he likes, and I found myself getting dizzy with the romance of it all.

When I finally got back to my senses, I asked, “But why the 2nd button?”

He said, “Because it’s the closest to the heart. The 2nd button will contain memories and feelings he had during these past few years in school. If you receive a 2nd button from a guy, it means that he wants you to remember him and understand his feelings for you.”

I went into my state of trance for the 2nd time.

I don’t know why but I just love the subtleness of how Japanese expresses their feelings! It’s somehow just so romantic to me!

My friend continued, “It can also work another way. The girl can ask the senpai she likes for the 2nd button.”

How nice is that! You know how hard it is sometimes to tell somebody you like them? And it’s really sad to just not be able to muster up your courage at your last chance to confess your feelings to the person you secretly admire. To ask for the 2nd button…it may make things slightly easier, no? ^^

“If you receive a 2nd button, and you like the senpai too, you can maybe give a little personal something of yours to let the senpai know that you feel the same way about him too. Isn’t this custom interesting?”

Indeed, it’s very interesting to me. It’s at times like this that I wish I were a Japanese student. Haha!

Anyway, a few scenarios were in my head after knowing about this custom.

1) A really popular and cute girl may receive more than one 2nd button!

2) The disappointment of seeing the 2nd  button already gone from the senpai you like.

3) The feeling of surprise when a senpai gives you his 2nd button!

4) The disappointment of receiving no buttons at all during the graduation ceremony (haha!).

I think it’s all very youthful and fun. A memory that you may remember for years. And it would be super romantic if years later, you marry the guy who gave you his 2nd button!

Is there any custom like this in your country during graduation ceremonies? I don’t think there is such thing at all in mine. I can’t remember any… I can only remember clapping for the top scorers of our school, and being relatively excited for the coming new stage of my life. Haha!