This is going to be a super long post, so I'll try to break it into 3 parts. The first one, I will share some shopping tips in Tokyo. Second, I'll discuss what I bought briefly. And lastly, the giveaway. You can skip to the parts where you want to read.
Part 1: Shopping Tips
There is a lot I learn from this short trip. I'll break it down in point forms.
- If it's your first time going to Japan and not sure what to buy, you can go to AirFrov to see what are the highly requested items by countries. AirFrov is a shopping service where requestor will get travellers to buy back items for them. I also like to watch YouTube hauls to see what others buy back from their Japan trip, especially on beauty products and stationeries.
- Most of the shops have a tax-free privilege for tourists. However, you can only claim the tax refund when your purchase is above ¥5000. Remember to shop in one location or bulk purchase with your friends & family to reach the ¥5000 amount. Be sure to ask the salesperson how to claim your tax. If you are able to combine your purchase from different stores within the mall, you don't have to force yourself to spend ¥5000 entirely in one shop.
- To claim your tax, it can be done at the cashier counter where you do your payment. And in some big malls, there is a specific tax-refund counter. Do remember to bring your passport along. The passport name must match the credit card. If you are using someone else's card, you might not be able to claim the tax back.
- Most of the items that tax-free are sealed. After you make your payment, they will seal the items and if you consume your purchase, you will need to pay the tax at the customs office at the airport when you're leaving. If you insist on using the items you bought, my advice is to keep all the purchase from the same receipt into your check-in luggage. The receipt is stapled onto your passport, you can escape by saying you already check-in the items if in the event you're being questioned by the custom officers.
- Do use your credit card if there's an opportunity because most of the smaller stores don't take credit/debti card. So you have to keep your cash just in case. Most large stores accept Visa & Mastercard. However, American Express is not widely accepted. Besides the major credit cards, Union Pay & AliPay are the best options because there's an additional discount.
Part 2: Haul
Let's begin with snacks. I'm most excited about the snacks from Japan. I ate a lot of Calbee, Meiji chocolates & Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory cookies during my trip. And here are some that I brought back. I only show one item for each of the stuff I bought in this post. In actual fact, I bought about 3 or 4 packs for each of the stuff. My luggage totally burst!
- Clear Coca-Cola - I'm so excited for this! Many people told me that this is already available in Malaysia, but being the jakun that stays in kampung, I've never tried it before. I will keep the bottle, refill it with water and trick people for the fun of it.
- Sakura leaf tea - This is something special that you just have to get when you're in Japan. The tea is seasonal and produced in spring. As we're just at the beginning of autumn, I'm lucky enough to find it. Come winter, the tea will be completely sold out.
- Genmaicha - I love genmaicha to drink over dinner. It has a strong roasted rice flavour that is comforting.
- Various tea in washi paper canister - These small tea pack are perfect for souvenirs.
Do you know that Pringles have their own instant noodles now? Currently it's only available in Japan. I don't see it in any of the konbini, but manage to find it at Mega Don Quijote (pronounced as Mega Donki Hotte). I'm also excited about this one!
Below are the various flavours of Kit Kats that I snatched. I'm not so excited about the Kit Kats because I know they're just artificial flavourings. I watched a documentary about the manufacturer who made all the different kinds of flavour (even McDonald's are using flavoring agent to standardize the taste of their burgers & nuggets).
- Shiroii Koibito - This is the mister's favourite. We bought the pack that has mixed flavours.
- Pocky Peach flavour - Unlike the Pocky we have here, this is a jumbo stick! And special peach flavour.
- Strawberry Cake from Ginza - I'm pretty sure you know about the Tokyo Banana. This is another version of sponge cake that the company make. They feature the famous strawberry shortcake from Ginza. It's pretty fresh and low preservative. All the cakes only last for a month.
Jaga Pokkuru - I prefer Calbee but the Jaga Pokkuru chips are just as addictive. It's made from Hokkaido Premium Potato.
Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory cookies - If you love milk, cheese and butter combined, you'll love this. It's quite sweet. I love the texture of the cookies, it's firm but soft at the same time.
Sore throat medicine - This belongs to the mister. According to him, it works really well.
Mouth ulcer patch - I had a terrible ulcer during my trip and this patch works so quickly. I pasted it on my ulcer overnight and the next day I was able to enjoy my food with no pain. I wish I bough more of this.
Next up are beauty products, my favourite thing to shop in Japan!
The M.A.C. Powder Kiss Lipstick is not available in Malaysia yet. I was so happy to be able to get my hand on the nude shade, which is a collaboration with Takuya Takamatsu - the volleyball player that became viral after he kissed his opponent during a heated game. The collection is called Takuya Kiss and it's only available in Japan.
I've been wanting to get the Paul & Joe cat lipbalm for a long time. They used to have the cat head lipstick for a limited time, since Paul & Joe isn't popular in Malaysia, I totally missed it. The cat head design made a permanent line as lipbalm in Paul & Joe collection. This is the only thing that I wouldn't say I'm excited to use. I think I will keep it as it is just to admire how cute it is. Pointless thing to buy, but still excited to own it.
Evita Beauty Whip Soap - This Kanebo facial wash became viral with its beautiful dispenser that forms a shape of rose. It has whipped foam formula. For a limited time, this strawberry scent facial wash is the most sought after skincare in Japan. The regular line has rose scent.
Suisai Beauty Clear Powder - This is also another highly raved product from Kanebo. The powder cleanser apparently effective in removed black heads and impurities and contains enzyme. This is my first time buying to try. I don't think I will use it regularly since it isn't environmentally friendly to throw each pod away after every use. Maybe I will reuse the pods as watercolor holder. Let's see.
Sabrino Premium Strawberry Mask - Sabrino is famous for it's time-saving masks. You only need to put on 60 seconds and no wash-off required. Usually Japanese women use it in the morning to skip the toner, serum and moisturizer steps. Apply it for 60 seconds and you're ready to put on your makeups.
- Strawberry limited edition - This is a Winter/Autumn limited edition. It's the last pack I manage to get from It's Demo. It's sold out everywhere even in beauty shops and drugstores. It has whitening effects.
- Green Mandarin limited edition - This is also another Winter/Autumn limited edition, which has more refreshing scent. Perfect for a quick pick-me-up in the morning.
- Tired Night Mask - This mask has the most calming scent ever! With chamomile, lavender and citrus, the scent gives a relaxing aura and helps to put you to sleep. You don't have to wash off after application.
LuLuLun is another best selling mask brand. I have talked about this mask in my old post Top 20 Must-Buy Beauty Products When in Japan.
- LuLuLun has a special series where they feature the country's best ingredients. I specifically picked up the Hokkaido version which has lavender scent. This is a perfect night mask after a long tired day.
- The white series is for brightening and lifting matured skin.
- The red series is for dryness and aging.
- The green series has L22 oil ingredient that seals in moisture into your skin.
- Someone asked us to bring back the Love Liner and she specifically asked for 5 sets. It got me thinking if this eyeliner really works. Apparently, it is long lasting and easy to glide on.
- Sailormoon Miracle Romance Hensou Pen Liquid Eyeliner - I bought this for the fun of it. I've been reading that it's a good eyeliner and it is just fun to have Sailormoon wand on the eyeliner. The brush is 0.1mm thin, makes it very easy to do a fine wing liner or tight line under your lashes.
- K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo with Strong Waterproof feature. This is my usual liner and I stock this up because I've not seen the Strong Waterproof version in Malaysia. I wore this eyeliner to my onsen trip and it didn't smudge at all after the heat, sweat and constantly splashing on water.
- I love the Majolica Majorca mascara. It is waterproof and has a comb wand. It is also removable with warm showers. Really save me a lot of makeup remover. Read about my review here.
- Shiseido eyelash curler - This curler has a small width. It helps to reach out to the end of the lashes easily. I find the usual size isn't suitable to my eye shape. The end lashes often get missed out. This size is just perfect and I'm able to curl my lashes section by section.
How can you not stock up the Biore sunscreen when in Japan? I rotate this sunscreen and Kiehl's from time to time. The Biore one is good for prepping makeup. It's so hydrating that it doesn't create crack lines on your makeup.
I love the Canmake brand a lot. It's a drugstore brand with a lot of potentials. I find that the quality of Canmake is on par with high end brands like Paul & Joe or Jill Stuart. I stocked up on the blush, contour and the best-seller, Your Lip Only Gloss. The Your Lip Only Gloss works as a treatment and also it gives a shade that suits your lips. Every person who puts on this gloss will have a different shade.
Lastly, my ultimate favourite this to talk about at the moment... STATIONERY!
I limit myself to only get 20 washi tapes, but of course as you can see, the resistance didn't work. I bought a lot of Paul & Joe & Laduree washi tapes. These are the branded ones. Other than that, I really love the Maste & MT tapes.
I bought 2 rolls of Traveler's Factory washi tape, only to regret later. I find that there's nothing special and it's expensive. With the price, I could have gotten 8 rolls of MT washi tapes with prettier design. I'll keep this for now.
At Traveler's Factory Tokyo station, I got myself the Tokyo Station limited edition journal. Each person can only purchase 2, so another one I'm planning to give it to Alie for her birthday (don't tell her). I also stocked up a lot of special inserts that only available in Japan.
Some charms from Traveler's Factory. Not sure if it would be useful, but since limited edition, I buy first and think later. I don't fancy any charms in my TN because it leave scratches on the skin of my notebook. But the paper luck charm (red) can be good one to decorate my TN.
- Alphabet stamps - kinda essential thing to have for journaling.
- Small Japanese design stamps.
- Rubber stamp cleaner. I've been looking for this for a long time. After a few uses, the rubber stamps usually gets dirty. This is when the rubber stamp cleaner comes to the rescue. It is not meant for cleaning after every use (unless you're freaking rich to stock up), it's for major cleaning.
- Some chiyogami from Daiso. We can't find it in Malaysia Daiso, maybe because Malaysian don't really know how to use it. It is the same material as those window pane in the tatami room, but these have some designs in it. I plan to do some decoupage with the paper. Hopefully, it works.
- Arigatou envelops. I need these small envelops to send thank you note for my Etsy buyers.
- A paper palette for a gift tag.
- These small envelops and boxes are gift tags. I really regret getting it. It's one of those cute things you can't ignore but has no use. Japan shopping is a test for that situation, apparently, I failed after buying these cute and useless gift tags.
- Paul & Joe pen holder.
- Frixion Ball erasable pen from Pilot. This thing works like magic! It works like normal ball pen but the ink is erasable with the silicon end tip.
- Neopiko brush pen in Mint Green & Opal Peach. These are the colors I go for in my 2019 journal.
- Handmade brush from Gekkoso.
These are some of the charcoal for art effect. I manage to find the holder as well. In Malaysia, the charcoal pencil is really expensive, do stock up a lot if you often use it.
Some Kitta washi tapes to start my Kitta collection. I find the Kitta washi is really expensive but convenient to bring around. I prefer the standard washi rolls. I didn't go crazy with the stickers. A few sheets are enough for one year, I guess.
Paper clips are my favourite stationery. The gold clip is from a Denmark lifestyle shop Flying Tiger, the rose gold binder is from G. Itoya. And the classic right hand clip is from Gekkoso (where else can you find it?).
- The stapleless staple is my favourite item from all the stationery I bought. It works and holds up to 7 sheets of paper, although it says only 5 sheets.
- Washi tape cutter.
Other random stuff that I got from my trip are:
- Momoko Sakura commemorate book. Although I don't read Japanese, I believe soon I can. I'm a big fan of Momoko Sakura and I've been sadden by her death.
- Postcard sets. Some of it are already on the way to my family and friends. I love sending postcards from my trip.
- Bits & bobs from Alice on Wednesday shop. I really love Alice in Wonderland cartoon since I was young. I can't resist getting anything that's related to Alice.
Gatchapon is a fun way to spend your coins. Whenever my pocket feels heavy from the coins, I'll spend it on Gatchapon. I love the Shin Chan version.
Kitchen knife is one of the best thing to get in Japan. I'm really eager to try this out. I should have gotten the large meat knife as well. For now, this will do.
Part 3: GiveawayThis is probably the most exciting part for you. I haven't done a giveaway in a long time. Before going through the giveaway items, please read through the Terms & Conditions and how to participate.
- Opens to all Malaysians address only. If you're a foreigner, please make sure I have a Malaysian address to send the items to.
- There are 3 sets of the giveaway - snacks, beauty product & stationery that will be given to 3 different individuals. If you have won one of the set, you won't be eligible to win the other one.
- The snack set will be sent out earlier than the beauty & stationery set. The reason because the item cannot be kept for a long time.
- I reserve the right to change the prizes if necessary.
How to participate:
- Go to HerTravelogue Facebook page <<here>>. Find the post below and share it on your feed. Please make sure your post is set to Public so that I can keep track of it.
- Comment in the Facebook post below, on the set you wish to get, like below:
- Winner will be announced on HerTravelogue Facebook post. And winner have to contact me via Facebook message.
- Winner of the snacks set will be announced on 24th October 2018 (Wed) and will be sent out on 25th October 2018.
- Winner of the beauty & stationery sets will be announced on 7th November 2018 (Wed) and will be sent out on 8th November 2018.
Snacks set includes:
Beauty set includes:
Stationery set includes:
Some of the products shown are available for sale at reasonable price on my Shopee page. If you're interested to check out, the link is <<here>>.