Nearly time to fly!


One more work day and then I’m on leave for nearly a whole month! ūüėÄ My anticipation¬†for this trip has gone through some ups and downs in the last month or so. There was a moment during last week where I felt the new job “honeymoon” was over and I wanted to activate escape mode ASAP! Thankfully,¬†I quickly had solutions and mega support on hand to reduce the pressure and seriously, at the end of the day, even with¬†that hugely significant particular issue occurring, the stress it caused was way less than back at my usual workplace.

As the holiday gets closer and more and more plans are laid down, the excitement is on the up.

Just got to finish up this one more day; really hoping to leave early!

I’m not going to get around to¬†completing the usual Japanese wishlist post this time. Not really due to prior lack of time, but maybe lack of personal interest! Don’t get me wrong, there will still be haulage, but at the end of the day I’m really feeling that I have way too much stuff to go through first.

Be back soon!


Nearly one month to go!

To another Japan holiday that is! ūüėÄ

Usually a big aspect of the Japan holiday is the excitement of gathering¬†up a beauty wishlist.¬†This time, I seem to be less enthusiastic. I think partially it’s because the last time I went was not very long (a year ago) and the last time, I hauled big! Combined with purchases, freebies and competition wins in Melbourne, I¬†still have a more than an ample stash. Honestly, I could probably survive¬†on not buying any beauty¬†products for at least two years! ūüė≥

However,¬†the greed in me means I will still definitely be buying¬†beauty¬†stuff this time, but my list will be smaller. I¬†do have a wishlist¬†post in¬†draft, but I don’t know if I’ll end up finishing and posting it.

There’s a weird part of me that feels that I’m less looking forward to this trip than usual. We have almost finalised itinerary, so I now know where we will be going. Some places will be revisits of cities I¬†have been to previously, so in some respects maybe it feels less exciting? However, I do believe I will be looking out for different aspects compared to previous visits.

I think another large part is change in my work pressures. For so long, I’ve felt that I’ve been under phenomenal pressure at work, that my holidays were a much needed respite from the stress of work. It’s not like I¬†don’t want to go on holiday, but in some weird way, maybe I feel like I¬†don’t need it as much? Sometimes, holidays create¬†a sense of being able to abandon all responsibilities and when you are snowed under with a million things coming at you; behind you, above you, besides you, it’d just made me want to runaway from it all! There have been times during previous holidays where I have been struck by a gripping anxiety dread at the thought of returning to work.¬†It’s not healthy to feel like that and¬†even thinking back to those moments causes a resurgence of pain to my body ūüė¶ Work issues are another story and probably something I prefer not to elaborate¬†on my blog. It is something I really need to have a good long think about though.

This will also be my sixth trip to Japan. Am I getting bored of it? No! I will continue to re-visit often,¬†but¬†I do also want to visit other countries as well.¬†To me, Japan is such an ideal place to holiday.¬†If I didn’t have to work for a living, I would definitely consider moving there for a short period.

Nonetheless, despite my seemingly reduced zeal,¬†I definitely can’t wait to eat my way through Japan. Om nom! ūüėÄ Combini, I am comin’¬†atcha! ūüėÄ

Nearly one month to go!

















Japan, let’s go!

I think I’m losing count of how many times I’ve been to Japan now…

2001 – with High School.
2008 – with mum.
2012 – with partner.
2013 – with partner.
2015  Рwith partner.
2017 Рwith partner. Yep another trip booked!

Next year will be my 6th trip there! It’s a place I don’t think I will ever want to stop returning. My partner really¬†wants to go again this year around Christmas time, but you can never get discounted¬†flights during that period.

Despite my¬†frequent returns, it’s a¬†country I don’t think I could live in. Not unless¬†I was rich! There’s not really a concept of¬†work-life balance and¬†there are still some very “traditional” notions about a women’s place in society. Plus, on a more superficial note, I don’t¬†think I could bear the horrid humid summers, unless I was up¬†north, say Sapporo, or something haha!

Well, another Japan trip booked!¬†That¬†means there will be another shopping post at least after it all. Time to start updating that wishlist! Can’t wait to eat ALL the food! It really “surprises” me that I didn’t really take an interest in the Convenience Store (konbini) food until recent trips with my partner. Each time I visit Japan, I discover something new and things change, even in the same cities. Unfortunately as the years go by, my Japanese level gets worse and worse…

Four months to go!

Japan beauty haul December 2015

Haul post time! ūüėÄ

So how did my actual purchases compare to my wishlist?

I ended up getting most of my wishlist items, but as usual, always a few impulse items as well. I actually spent a lot this time… ^^’

Unfortunately,¬†I wasn’t able to find Derizum at all! I did find Panna Pompa (only at @cosme affiliated stores), but felt maybe I had too many cleansers at home – not like that stopped purchases in other categories! I decided against the DETClear Peeling Jelly as when I tried testers, the Ettusais one seemed more effective. I also was not able to find the My Melody¬†packaging until the final¬†night, where at that point I felt maybe I shouldn’t get another peeling exfoliator, given that I am only two-thirds through my Cure bottle after first opening it two years ago.

This is a really long one…


Yeah, it’s a lot. ^^’ Doesn’t even include snacks and other miscellaneous items I bought!


Left to right (purchase price in yen, purchase location)

Canmake and Sunscreens

Left to right (purchase price in yen, purchase location)

Other SkincareIMG_3829.JPGLeft to right (purchase price in yen, purchase location)

Make up

Left to right (purchase price in yen, purchase location)

  • Fairydrops Perfect Set¬†(Y2507, Yodobashi Akiba) My¬†most expensive purchase! I wanted to get this last time, but I couldn’t find it. The Perfect Set is in collaboration with an AKB48 member, so trust it to be found in Akihibara, the home of AKB48… ¬†You get¬†three products¬†for the price of two, but based on the inactivity of the website, I suspect this brand is probably being¬†discontinued :\ I might have to use these fairly quickly, as these could have been manufactured a while ago… It appears that Fairydrops¬†sales distribution has been severely limited. The online website states that the online shop closed in¬†August 2015, but¬†the products will continue to be sold. Doing a bit of a google, it appears they are being sold online via Rakuten.
  • Shiseido Baby Powder 50g (Y299, Yodobashi Akiba) Impulse buy as¬†I was tricked by a very prominent display and cheap price.¬†I saw it¬†cheaper at Matsumoto Kiyoshi later for about 270¬†yen. Turns out this is a white/translucent oil control power. I’ve gotten lazy with oil control products, so I’m not sure how much I will use this! Haha, this item is old school with an¬†initial release date from 1971!
  • AC Wonder Collect Powder My Melody 10g¬†(Y1500, Matsumoto Kiyoshi)¬†Kinda impulse. I had¬†seen this¬†online before travelling and it was hard to resist the cute characters! The Tuxedo Sam¬†is actually the cutest one, but at the time I went with My Melody. The Hello Kitty looks a bit oddly proportioned.
  • Bifesta Moisturising Water Cleansing Eye Makeup Remover 145ml (Y739, Matsumoto Kiyoshi) Impulse buy as I was¬†kinda swayed due to the freebie Cleansing Gel Clay-In¬†30g¬†sample and I had previously read good reviews on Bifesta. I¬†hardly wear eye make-up…

Hello Kitty!¬†ūüźĪIMG_3831.JPG

Left to right (purchase price in yen, purchase location)

  • Malon by TBC x Hello Kitty Aesthetic Mask 5 sheets¬†(Y360, Matsumoto Kiyoshi) Impulse buy. There were a lot of¬†Hello Kitty masks in Japan, but I decided on this one as it was cheap and the packaging design was cute. I wonder if Kitty’s face is¬†printed on the mask?
  • Bordered¬†by¬†a Hello Kitty fork and spoon from Seria, another 100 yen shop. Both Y108* each.

On the edge of my top picture, you can see some some facial cottons. Japanese cottons are just incomparable to Western cottons in quality and price point. My favourite are Silcot. This time I bought Muji (Y250*), Silcot (Y130*) and a generic Matsumoto Kiyoshi (Y122) brand.

Price disclaimer: Note all prices stated are tax-free and after discounts, unless asterisked. I purchased most products tax-free. All products purchased from Yodobashi Akiba also include 5% VISA credit card discount.

Further reading

More musings on Japan beauty shopping

The haul post is coming, I promise. Just let me ramble on some more about Japanese beauty shopping.

Think of this as a Part 2 from my previous post.

For general conveience, just¬†go to¬†a large Matsumoto Kiyoshi (chain drugstore) for¬†the biggest range. However, as previously mentioned, not all MKs are equal, e.g. differences in range, pricing, samples for sale, discounted multi-packs, etc. For brands you can’t find in the pharmacy chains, you have to go to @cosme, Tokyu Hands or department stores.

If you want to be able try before you buy, note that not all stores have testers. Top places for testers are @cosme and Ainz & Tulpe. Both seemed to offer testers for all nearly all products. Both of these places do tend to sell all their products at full retail price, so less discounts. My tip would be test products here and go somewhere else to purchase, if you can.

I used to love Daiso. I discovered something better this time. Daiso is a 100 yen shop, which¬†means (almost) every item costs 100 yen + tax –>¬†108 yen. They do have a¬†few more pricier items, but these¬†will be marked. This year, I stayed near a particular¬†Daikoku Drug store which had a “100 yen corner”, where items were actually 100 yen inclusive of tax. Even better,¬†on the 10th of each month, the 100 yen items go down to 90 yen! I was lucky to be there on the 10th December, so despite their¬†100 yen corner range¬†being quite¬†limited, I still went a bit crazy!¬†If you want some cheap snacks, souvenirs, household items, etc, please do¬†check one out if convenient!

Every Don Quijote is different. They all will stock a base range of products, usually the really popular brands like Rohto Hada labo, Sana¬†Nameraka, Biore, Gatsby, etc. Funnily, with this trip, I almost felt too “old” to shop at Donki. Turns out the layout was a major factor. The Shinjuku shop is especially claustrophobic. The Akihabara location was slightly better.

Not all sunscreen ranges and variants seem to be available in winter. You can easily find the¬†popular Biore Aqua Rich¬†blue tube version¬†and Shiseido Anessa, but if you are after a particular, but less popular variant, I think you have to wait until the weather gets warmer…

Japan wishlist 2015

I’m heading back to Japan in December. As with any overseas trip for me, that means haul time!

Here’s my current wishlist:

Eeep, this haul is over Y10,000! At current exchange rates, this would be like AUD130. Oops! Seems excessive!

Listed prices are official prices inclusive of tax (8%) and listed in yen, unless marked with a “~”. Many¬†products are usually sold at less than official price. The “~” are considered “open price” products and retailers can decide what to price them at.

There’s still 3 months left, so this is¬†most definitely subject to change, with most likely additions!