Thursday, December 15, 2016

[Japan 2016] A Huge Beauty + Snacks Shopping Haul


Photo By: Elin Chow

Whenever my husband and I visit another country, one thing on our to-do-list is a little shopping, and by a little, I mean a lot. Shopping is an inevitable part of traveling and usually, we will most likely returned with a heavier bag than when we departed. Of course, Japan was no exception.

I have been contemplating whether to write about my shopping haul because I usually find such posts somewhat boring to read, but I ultimately still decided to blog about this just to keep a record of our purchases in Japan. Shopping is without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable things to do in Japan. For anyone planning to do some shopping in Japan, I hope you will find this post useful because I believe this will give you a rough idea how much things actually cost in the country.

If you have read my 7D6N Osaka - Kyoto - Nara - Kobe Trip Itinerary + Overview post, you would know that we have spent a total of 35,362 Yen, or RM 1,425.80 (100 Yen = RM 4.03) on shopping in Japan, mainly on beauty products, snacks and confectioneries.

Beauty

A trip to Japan is never complete without visiting a drugstore. Unlike your regular pharmacy stores, drugstores in Japan does not only sell medicines, but also everyday necessities like skin care, cosmetics,snacks and household products and even kitchen items. You can find almost everything in a Japan drugstore.

Walk into any drugstores in Japan and you will instantly be overwhelmed by the huge variety of beauty products available. Japan drugstores are well known for its high quality yet inexpensive beauty products. It is not uncommon to see foreign tourists stocking up on beauty and health products, spending hundreds of dollars in these stores.

Drugstores in Japan are usually packed with products and it can be overwhelming if you do not know where to begin. Before my trip, I did some research online and created a shopping list to avoid any impulse purchases. It is best to have a clear idea of what you want so that you will not overspend.

My plan is to pick up a few beauty products that are not readily available in Malaysia. I believe you can easily find these products in any drugstores in the country. Some of the biggest drugstore chains I saw in Japan include Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Daikoku Drug and Sun Drug. But I bought most of these products from Tsuruha Drug Dotonbori store while we were in Osaka. Besides Tsuruha Drug store, I also bought a few of the items from both Matsumoto Kiyoshi Dotonbori store and Kokumin Drug Kuromon Ichiba store.

I have not started using most of the products that I bought in Japan and I cannot wait to try everything and review them soon. I will be posting individual reviews once I have tried the products, so be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates.

Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder

Price: 1,700 Yen / RM 68.51

The first thing I picked up is the Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder. This is also the most expensive item I have bought in a Japan drugstore, so hopefully this will not disappoint. Basically, this is a cleansing powder that claims to exfoliate, moisturize and brighten the skin. I have always wanted to try powder cleansers because they are such a big hit in Japan right now.

Sold in either packs of 15 or 32, the powder comes into individually packaged little plastic pods containing 0.4g of the product. I find the packaging very cute and this is also one of the reason why I bought this.

Hada Labo

Hada Labo skin care line has been a hot seller in Japan for years and I believe it's no secret that I am a big fan of this brand.

Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion

Price: 669 Yen / RM 26.96

I have been a loyal user of the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion for years. This is one of the most popular toner in Japan with one bottle purchased every two seconds. My plan is to stock this up when I visit Japan because it is so much cheaper to buy this in Japan than in Malaysia.

Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun Perfect Gel

Price: 1,329 Yen / RM 53.56

The Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun Perfect Gel works as an essence, moisturizer and sleeping mask and is very popular in Japan among working women and housewives. I bought this simply because I find this gel really good value for the money. After all, you could never go wrong with the Hada Labo brand.

Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Cream

Price: 1,182 Yen / RM 47.63

I am also a loyal user of the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Cream. Since it was cheaper to buy in Japan, I decided to stock up on this as well.

Rosette Goma-jyu


Price: 385 Yen / RM 15.52

I have been looking for an exfoliator for some time and since a lot of people have been raving about the Rosette Goma-jyu, I decided to buy this to try. Rosette Goma-jyu is a pore peeling gel cleanser that contains natural fruit acids that claims to be very effective on dead skin cells and gentle on the skin. I really could not wait to try this!

Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioner


Price: 482 Yen / RM 19.42 (500ml)

I picked up this Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioner because I feel it is a great value for the money. A huge 500 ml bottle of this is only sold for 482 Yen - so cheap! Hatomugi is Pearl Barley or Coix seed. This is moisturizing toner, but I read that this will work well as a toner, a lotion mask, a mist and even a body moisturizer. It is effective in reducing redness caused by sunburn and protect the skin with powerful hydration.

Sana Nameraka Honpo Moisture Skin Lotion

Price: 579 Yen / RM 23.33

Sana Nameraka Honpo is Japan No 1 Soy milk skin care line with over 35 millions unit sold. Formulated with soy Isoflavones, the skin care line comes in 3 different ranges - Haritsuya CoQ10, W Series with Arbutin and Deep Moisture. I have been dying to try their Deep Moisture range because I have read so much amazing about it.

Sana Nameraka Honpo Cream
Price: 718 Yen / RM 28.94 (50g)

Other than the Sana Nameraka Honpo Moisture Skin Lotion, I also bought the Sana Nameraka Honpo Cream under a Sales Assistant's recommendation. The cream helps to seal in moisture with rich masking effect during sleep.

DHC Lip Cream


Price: 462 Yen / RM 18.62

I read so many people raved about this product, so I thought I must try this out too. The DHC Lip Cream is packaged in a lipstick style container. Although it says lip cream, this is actually a lip balm, and probably the most expensive one I have bought so far. But it is so hard to resist the urge to buy because the packaging is so pretty.

Lion Pair Medicated Acne Care Cream W

Price: 736 Yen / RM 29.66 (14g)

I have been looking for a pimple treatment cream for a long time, so I decided to buy the Lion Pair Medicated Acne Care Cream W to try because so many people raved about it. The cream is available in 14g and 24g. I bought the 14g one because I find it a little pricey. Hopefully it will not disappoint.

Sheet Masks

I always stock up on sheet masks whenever I travel because it is usually cheaper to get them overseas than in Malaysia. Enter any drugstores in Japan and you will see shelves upon shelves of sheet masks.

Kose Clear Turn White Facial Sheet Mask

Price: 385 Yen / RM 15.52 (Box of 5)

Surprisingly, Kose offers a variety of Clear Turn masks at very low price. I picked the Kose Clear Turn White Facial Sheet Mask up under a Sales Assistant's recommendation. This is one of the top selling mask in Japan. I bought two boxes of this mask from its hydrating series and I really cannot wait to try them out!

Kose Clear Turn Babyish White Mask

Price: 291 Yen / RM 11.73 (Pack of 7)

The Kose Clear Turn Babyish White Mask is one the most readily available and popular brands of sheet mask in Japan. While most other sheet masks are usually sold individually in simple foil packets, this one actually comes in a zip packet of 7. The Babyish White Mask is meant to be used every single night, so a pack of it will last for a week. But most importantly, it is very cheap, which is great for people who use sheet mask often but have serious budget constraints.

There are three different kinds of masks for different purposes. I bought the both the moisturizing (pink) and whitening (white) ones. The Babyish White Mask is also available in 50 sheets pack, which offers even greater savings. I did not get the 50 sheets pack because I read that the masks tend to dry out fast. But so far, I have not encountered such problem with the 7 sheets pack. In fact, I love this mask so much. It is very hydrating and refreshing, The serum is watery and light and get absorbed by the skin easily. Highly recommend!

Quality 1st All-in-one Sheet Mask

Price: 356 Yen / RM 14.35 (7 Pieces)

My skin gets so dry while I was still in Japan, so I bought this mask in hope that it will save my skin, Quality 1st is still not a well-known brand outside of Japan, but it is very popular in the country. Just like Kose Clear Turn Babyish White Mask, the Quality 1st All-in-one Sheet Mask also comes in a zip packet of 7 or 50, at a very affordable price. I have used them all up in a week and I must say that prefer the Babyish White Mask to the Quality 1st All-in-one Sheet Mask. I find this mask not as moisturizing as the Babyish White Mask.

MK Customer Natural Pure Cotton Pads

Price: 108 Yen / RM 4.35 (2 boxes * 90 Pieces)

I love Japanese cotton pads! They are extremely soft and fluffy and never leave any cotton on your skin. Each cotton pads is of excellent quality and you probably only need half amount of toner than you normally do. This particular one from MK Customer is really cheap and this is also the reason why I bought this instead of other brands.

Pure Smile Nippon Art Mask 

Price: 644 Yen / RM 25.95 (4 pieces)

This is the only item I bought from Kokumin Drug store at Kuromon Ichiba market for 644 Yen. Both Tsuruha Drug store and Matsumoto Kiyoshi were selling this for 1,000 Yen, and that is also why I did not purchase this earlier even though this was on my must-buy list. Pure Smile is actually a Japanese brand but manufactured in Korea, which is a little weird. But I find these masks interesting and fun, so I decided to buy one to try.

The mask is formulated by Arbutin and hyaluronic acid to moisturize and brighten skin. There are a total of four different designs in this series.


I have tried a piece of this facial mask while I was still in Japan. The mask is very thin and soft and comes with a scent of green tea. My skin feels moisturized after application. It was a fun mask to try. The moment my husband saw me with the mask on, he erupted into an uncontrollable laughter. I wanted to put this mask on his face too, but sadly, he does not allow me to.

Kose Sekkisui 

Sekkisui is a budget skin care line developed jointly by 7-eleven and Kose, thus the products from the line can only be purchased at 7-eleven in Japan, at a surprisingly affordable price. This is a sister brand of Sekkisei, one of the most famous whitening skin care line sold by Kose. To be honest, I am not really a fan of whitening products, but I still decided to buy because I feel that I could not leave Japan without bringing this luxurious skin care brand home, especially when they are so cheap! Below are the three items I picked out from the Sekkisui skin care line:

Sekkisui Brightening Lotion

Price: 993 Yen / RM 40.02 (60ml)

The Sekkisui Brightening Lotion is a medicated whitening toner that refreshes and clear skin, leaving it beautifully translucent with every application.

Sekkisui Brightening Emulsion 

Price: 1,058 Yen / RM 42.64 (60ml)

Containing Coix seed extract, loquat leaf extract and Dioscorea Panthaicia extract, the Sekkisui Brightening Emulsion keep skin moist and smooth, leaving it with a healthy glow.

Sekkisui Beauty Gel
Price: 1,058 Yen / RM 42.64 (42g)

Combining emulsion, moisturizer, essence, mask and cream into one, the Sekkisui Beauty Gel hydrates the skin, shrinks the appearance of pores and create a smooth and clear skin. 

Snacks & confectioneries

Japan snacks and confectioneries are of high quality in terms of both their designs and flavours. You will find an amazing range of snacks and confectioneries at any shops in Japan.

Pocky Wagokoro - Uji Matcha

Price: 250 Yen / RM 10.08 (Box of 4 packs)

Pocky is a very popular Japanese snacks and you will see it everywhere. We bought Pocky Wagokoro - Uji Matcha, which is almost similar to Pocky Matcha Green Tea. Matcha biscuits sticks wrapped in milk chocolates, but with extra crunchy chucks of Matcha in every bite. The green tea and chocolate blends really well together.  It is amazing.

Jagabee

Price: 172 Yen / RM 6.93 (Box of 5)

I believe anyone who love potato chips would love Jagabee. Jagabee are potato chips that are shaped like french fries and comes in two different flavours - lightly salted and butter soy sauce. I prefer the lightly salted flavour to the butter soy sauce flavour.

Kit-kats

My husband and I are a little obsessed with Japan's many weird and wonderful varieties of Kit-Kats. There are hundreds of different flavours of Kit-Kats in Japan, with special and limited edition released every year. Nearly every region has a its own unique flavor sold only in that part of the country.



Our plan is to buy all the unique flavours that are only available in Japan. But of course, that was impossible due to budget constraints. We bought three different flavours from a souvenir shop while we were in Kobe. I believe we would purchase even more if we have more money.

Sake-flavored

Price: 393.38 Yen / RM 15.85 (Pack of 12)

The Sake Kit Kat contain sake powder which has been kneaded into the white chocolate-encased wafers, giving the chocolates the flavours and aroma of the top quality rice wine. I believe this is the only Kit Kat in the world that contain alcohol. But it is only 0.8%, so not exactly enough to get you drunk. Surprisingly, the taste of Sake is very light, which mixes well with the sweetness of the chocolate. However, the aroma of sake does linger in your mouth for a while even after you swallowed the chocolates.


Price: 749.50 Yen / RM 30.20 (Pack of 9)

The Sake Kit Kat is also available in a nine-piece box set, which comes in a specially designed Isshobin, 1.8 litres bottle packaging. The packaging is very beautiful, but obviously, it is a little pricey. I wonder why we even bought this in the first place. This is definitely an impulse buy for us!

Roasted Green Tea (Hojicha)

Price:
830.75 Yen / RM 33.48 (Box of 12)

Other than than, we also bought the limited edition Roasted Green Tea (Hojicha) flavour Kit Kats from Kyoto. Basically, these are wafers coated with white chocolates mixed with roasted green tea leaves. I heard that the Hojicha flavour Kit Kats are only available in the Kansai region. But I am not sure how true is that.

Chocolatory Moleson

Price: 408.50 Yen / RM 16.46 (Pack of 12)

Chocolatory Moleson Kit Kats are the first ever Kit Kat with topped with clusters of nuts and dried fruits, finely chopped and embedded on the chocolate's surface. This is sinfully delicious! Now I really regret not buying more of this.

Meiji Kinoko No Yama Chocolate Biscuits

Price: 204.75 Yen / RM 8.25

When I first saw this adorable-shaped mushroom chocolate biscuits, I told my husband that I have to buy this. Shaped like tiny mushrooms, the stems of these bite-sized treats are made up of crunchy crackers, while the mushroom heads up made of thick creamy chocolate. A truly delicious treat!

Tongari Corn Lightly Salted Chips

Price: 229.50 Yen / RM 9.25

This is a crunchy grilled corn snack in the shape of cones lightly flavored with 50%  deep water salt crystal. I bought this to try because it looks really tasty.

Wasabi Peas

Price: 536.50 Yen / RM 21.62 | 261.50 Yen / RM 10.54

My husband bought some Wasabi Peas too. These are simply just roasted peas covered in Wasabi powder or flavoring.


Price: 108 Yen / RM 4.35

We bought this one from Daiso for 108 Yen including tax. I did not eat any of these because I am not a fan of Wasabi, so I am not sure how they taste like. But according to my husband (who is a big fan of Wasabi peas), these are delicious.

Wafer Biscuits 

Price: 1,296 Yen / RM 52.23 (Box of 6)

We bought this from a souvenir store in Nara. I have no idea what this is called, but these are basically lightly baked sandwiched wafer biscuits with flavored cream.There are three different flavours - orange, green tea and strawberry. All three flavours are delicious, but I love the green tea flavours the most. The packaging is so cute. How to resist the urge to buy!

Matcha Confectioneries 

Price: 1,260 Yen / RM 50.78 (Box of 6)

You will find a variety of Matcha flavoured confectioneries in Japan. My husband bought this one from a small shop at Kyoto Station. Basically this is soft green tea cookies sandwiching green tea cream. This is incredibly delicious, but a little pricey. I love the softness and chewiness of the green tea cookies.

Matcha Cakes

Price: 1,080 Yen / RM 43.52 (8 Pieces) | 540 Yen / RM 21.76 (6 Pieces)

Other than that, my husband also bought some Matcha cakes from a souvenir store at Kyoto Station. I am definitely not a fan of Matcha cakes because I actually find these a little too sweet.

Malebranche 's Cha No Ka



Price: 1,360 Yen / RM 54.81 (Box of 10)

We bought Matcha-flavored Langue de Chat from famous flagship store, Malebranche while we were in Arashiyama. Cha No Ka are green tea biscuits sandwiching white chocolate. The cookies are made with special Okoicha strong Matcha green tea from carefully selected tea leaves grown in Uji.

Langue de Chat has a bitter taste, but it matches well with the sweetness of the white chocolate. Sold only in Kyoto, which makes it a popular souvenir to bring home from your trip.

Japanese Green Tea

One cannot leave Japan without buying tea. Tea is a widely enjoyed drink in Japan and an important part of Japanese culture. You can find green tea leaves, tea bags and powder sold everywhere in Japan. Price of tea can vary very much depending on the quality, but you can still get tea starting from a few hundred Yen.There are literally hundreds of best Japanese tea brands in Japan, so it can difficult to decide which ones to go for.

Genmaicha

Price: 432 Yen / RM 17.41

Japanese Stems Tea

Price: 810 Yen / RM 32.64

Sencha

Price: 810 Yen / RM 32.64

We bought Genmaicha, Stems Tea and Sencha from a small tea shop in Arashiyama. All three are produced by Fukujuen, a well-known green tea brand in Japan. The shop offered sample of teas for us to try, so we just bought everything that taste good.

Instant Green Tea Powder

Price: 248 Yen / RM 9.99 (40g)

I am a big fan of green tea powder, so I bought it from Tsuruha Drug store because it was really cheap!


Price: 650 Yen / RM 26.20 (100g)

Other than that, I also bought a packet of green tea powder from Niishiki Market in Kyoto.

Osaka no Koibito

Price: 670 Yen / RM 27

Osaka no Koibito means "Osaka's Lover" in English and apparently, this is an imitation of the Hokkaido's famous souvenir, Shiroi Koibito. It is just milky Langue de Chat with white chocolate sandwiched in between. It is sweet and milky. I bought this from one of the souvenir store at Itami Airport.

Shiroi Koibito

Price: 1,058 Yen / RM 42.64

I have been searching everywhere in Osaka for this famous souvenir from Hokkaido, but could find it. So I am really happy when I finally found this at a souvenir shop in Narita International Airport. Shiroi Koibito means "White lover" in English. Just like Osaka no Koibito, this is just milky Langue de Chat with white chocolate sandwiched in between. But I find actually this a little sweeter than Osaka no Koibito.

Orihiro Purunto Konnyaku Jelly

Price: 108 Yen / RM 4.35 (6 Pieces)

I bought this from Daiso because I find it cute, even though I have absolutely no idea what this is. But luckily, this does not taste bad or weird at all. Konnyaku is a rubbery flavourless traditional Japanese food. I recommend anyone to try it because it taste really good.

Fan


Price: 108 Yen / RM 4.35

Other than that, I also bought a traditional hand fan from Daiso for my colleague. This is the only non-beauty and non-snack item I bought in Japan.

So, these are all the items we have picked up in Japan. I hope you have enjoyed reading through my little shopping haul post. For those who plan to do some shopping in Japan, I hope you will find this post useful.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 7D6N Osaka - Kyoto - Nara - Kobe Trip Itinerary + Overview for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 7 days in Japan. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates on my 7 days adventures in Japan! You might also want to check My Wanderlust page for some of my other travel adventures.

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