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I’ve said in my previous blog post about my trip to Kyoto that there weren’t many opportunities to truly go shopping outside of the touristy stops, but, somehow I was able to amass a small amount of goods, enough to make up a mini haul. I guess. I tried very hard to control my spending during this trip. I made a promise to myself before the trip that I would try to not splurge too much on shopping. Just by reading our travel itinerary, I knew there wouldn’t be much opportunities for me to shop for the things I enjoy anyway. I also made a conscious effort to prove to Jian that I could save money & not always buy, buy, buy. So, I firmly stuck to my goal & only spent approximately half of the money I budgeted for this trip. (I didn’t even spend the entire amount of currency I exchanged.) However, somehow I was still able to scrape together this hodge-podge of goodies. Let’s take a look.

bears-school-charm

I got this charm, first of all, because I love the illustrated series “The Bear’s School“. Secondly, I wanted to add this charm on to my backpack. Thirdly, it had a letter M charm for my name. Unfortunately, the bear kept coming off. So, I had to wait until I got home to super glue the charm to the loose screw.

misc-frisk

FRISK is Jian & my all-time favorite brand of mints. The original FRISK mints are smaller than Altoids Minis, so they are so easy to freshen your breath, or provide a hint of sugarless sweetness. Ever since we first discovered FRISK back in 2010, we were instantly hooked, & ended up buying every single flavor we could find. We’ve tried looking for these mints at our local Japanese grocery stores, but the stores either don’t carry them, OR they only carry one single flavor & mark them at double the Japanese retail price. So, whenever we go back to Japan, we buy a shitload of them to stock up on these delicious mints. On this last trip, I ended up finding new flavors & variations on the mints (they now come in the NOW Mints series.)

rabbit-hand-towel

Originally, I had brought a small blue hand towel on this trip, but I lost it on the Shinkansen (darn you, shallow pocket!). So, I had to replace my hand towel with this one. I don’t particularly like the color purple, but at least this hand towel had rabbits on it, aaannnd…it was the best looking design out of the meager selection at the shop.

kitsune-pouch

I love Japanese mythology & folklore. (Example: the Japanese comic XxxHolic.) My favorite Japanese folklore figure is this fox (a.k.a. Kitsune in Japanese). When I saw this coin pouch, I had to grab it right away. First of all, in the U.S., these silicone pouches are expensive. If I had gotten this back home, I would’ve paid double the amount I paid in Kyoto. Second, I’ve always wanted to get a POCHI brand silicone pouch, but I could never find a design I liked. This pouch now sits snugly in my car’s glove compartment as a coin purse for parking meter change.

hikonyan-hand-towel

I bought this Hikonyan hand towel at the Lake Biwa Hotel gift shop. I thought this cat mascot was so cool, & I love the color yellow. Plus, I wanted to add this to my new hand towel collection. It wasn’t until later that I found out this mascot was created in 2007 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Hikone Castle in the city of Hikone. The samurai helmet on the cat mascot resembles the real helmet currently in the Hikone Castle museum.

gachapon-key-chain

I’m not as big of a fan of capsule toys now as I was in my twenties. I used to buy all sorts of random blind box toys & capsule (a.k.a. gachapon) toys, no matter what the character was, when I was in my early twenties. Now, I’m trying not to hoard too much small junk items. However, I couldn’t resist putting my coin into the machine one last time, & turning that oversized knob, listening to the sound of the plastic ball drop down the chute. What else could I do to pass the time waiting for the scenic train in Arashiyama? Most of the capsule toys were train themed, & this Gudetama series caught my attention. I ended up getting a light-up keychain, which I’m debating whether I should put on my backpack or not.

howl-postcard

Of course everyone knows Studio Ghibli is basically the PIXAR of Japan. Hayao Miyazaki is pretty much revered as an artist god in Japan. One of my favorite animated films from Studio Ghibli is Howl’s Moving Castle. My favorite character from this film is a little smart-mouthed flame of fire named Calcifer. He adds wonderful humor in to a mostly melancholic storyline. I got this postcard, 1. to add to my 300+ postcard collection, & 2. to commemorate my favorite Ghibli character.

howl-washi-tape

At first, I was going to give these Howl’s Moving Castle washi tapes to a friend of mine, who is a huge Studio Ghibli fan, as a gift. However, I ended up keeping it for myself. I couldn’t help myself. Also, I’m thinking of using these washi tapes in my 2016 Christmas cards. So, they won’t be collecting dust after all.

hair-accessories3

I have a beautiful pastel blue summer yukata at home. I was so lucky to have gotten an inexpensive set from UNIQLO eight years ago, which came with a matching obi sash & a pouch purse. However, I never got any hair accessories to match my yukata. So on this trip, I decided that I would once & for all get some proper hair accessories so that finally & properly wear my complete yukata outfit. I saw these cute hair pins & picked them up straight away. I’ve already started wearing them with my everyday street clothes as well.

hair-accessories

My mom thought the hair pins were too small to match my yukata at home. So, she convinced me to get these hair sticks as well. These metal hair sticks are meant to help you hold your hair in place when you make a bun or twist hair style. For all of my purist love of Sanrio, I got the limited edition Little Twin Stars hair stick. My mom pushed me to get the rose hair sticks after seeing my cousin Amber wearing hers. The double sticks are meant for a more elaborate hairstyle, & the chain in the middle is meant to drape across your hair. And, because I bought two hair accessories, the cloth pouch was a free gift with purchase.

hair-accessories1

This is a close-up of the Little Twin Stars hair accessory. The metal stick is silver, but the charm is gold-plated. The two stars on the charm are separate & will dangle separately.

hair-accessories2

This is a close-up of the rose hair accessory. There is a single rose on each hair stick & the chain is dotted with gold stars & plastic gems in various colors.

ice-cream-hand-towel

Oh my gohhhhhd! I love ice cream. I truly do. I also love collecting random things, like hand towels. When I saw this ice cream patterned hand towel at the book store, I couldn’t resist getting it. Although the picture doesn’t show it, the back of the towel is a soft coffee brown color, to match the color of the ice cream cones. Needless to say, when I got back to my hotel room, I quickly washed it with lots of soap & used it immediately.

mini-washi-tape

Ok, so I promised myself after my trip to Hong Kong that I would no longer clutter up my crafting supplies with even more washi tape, but how could you turn your back on these incredibly adorable mini tapes?! I mean, they even come with a mini tape dispenser. I’ve seen various widths of washi tapes before, from skinny stripes to extra wide gift wrap size, but I’ve never seen these teeny-tiny mini ones before. Of course I plan on using them, but I pretty much got them for their kitschy novelty factor.

misc-greeting-cards

Whenever I go to Japan, I always try to stock up on as many greeting cards as I can. For some reason, the greeting cards from Japan are just so much cuter, stylish, & more innovative than the ones from the U.S.. On this trip, I wasn’t able to find very many that I like. However, I was able to get the pop-up Snoopy birthday card that I’ve been wanting to get for over a year, & I didn’t want to go through the hassle of using an overseas buying service just to get a couple of inexpensive birthday cards. I also picked out a few generic beer themed blank cards that I can use for the birthdays of my male friends, who incidentally love to drink craft beer.

randf-decals

I am automatically drawn to anything that relates to the title of my blog, which means just about anything rabbit or fox related will go straight into my hands. I saw these two decals at LoFT, & I had to get them even though they were a little expensive ($6USD each). I immediately gravitated towards these decals, not only because of my sticker obsession, or because of the animals they represent, but because these illustrations look quite realistic & not overly-cartoonish. It’s hard to find rabbit &/or fox illustrations/products that don’t look overly-exaggerated or childish/cartoonish. Until now, I’m still trying to figure out where I’m going to stick these decals.

misc-stickers

No matter where I am or where I go, I am always going to find stickers. LoFT had sooo many delicious stickers. I couldn’t decide which ones I truly wanted. My old self would’ve just bought them all without even giving it a second thought, but my new self was really trying to pair down to the designs I thought I’d use the most in my crafts. List: 1. fireworks bursts, 2. pastel & metallic sweets, 3. hot air balloons & blimps, 4. pastel & metallic bows, 5. pastel & metallic candy, 6. pastel & metallic gemstones, 7. pastel & metallic flags, 8. pastel & metallic hearts, 9. black, white & gold arrows for calendars/planners, 10. neon pink & gold calendar/planner word stickers, 11. pastel calendar/planner word stickers.

curel-lip-cream

When I was in Hong Kong, I bought my mom a ton of drugstore beauty products by the brand Curél. In the U.S., we only get the body lotions & hand creams. In Asia, they get the full lineup of skin care products. I got one of these lip creams (a.k.a. chapsticks) as a free gift with purchase in Hong Kong. I loved this product so much that my mom ended up gifting me another one from the drugstore near our hotel in Kyoto. I love this lip cream because it doesn’t have a plastic or purfume-y smell/aftertaste, & it applies smoothly…not sticky or thick like American ChapstickCarmex, or EOS.

Well, that’s pretty much the end of my list. I’m genuinely surprised that I didn’t pick up any pens (or other writing products) on this trip. My pen box Leroy is getting pretty full already. I don’t think I have room for much more in that box, unless I upgrade to an even bigger storage box, which Jian would be very unhappy about. Otherwise, I can’t wait to use all of these new things that I got. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“Crying Lightning” by Arctic Monkeys

crying-lightning

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