Few days ago I found an interesting pen in some common stationary store in Tokyo. Name of the pen was ‘スパイペン (Spy pen).’ Click pictures below to see full size.
It just caught my eyes first time because of the cute hamster-themed design. But soon, as the name, ‘spy pen’ indicates, I realized that this was not a common pen. It was like a special pen in the movie,The Da Vinci Codewhich allows you to write secret letters in an ink that can only be read under the special light.
The special light is located on the top of the pen cap. You can turn the light on by pushing the button on the pen cap.
▴cap with the light off & cap with the light on
There was a short cartoon of how to use this pen on the packet of the pen.
As I translate it…
1. Write your secret with the spy pen!
2. You can not see anything now, but…
3. The letters will appear when you turns the special light upon the letters!
My secret letter was simply ‘Hello.’ 🙂
Below is a shot video of how to use it.
It will be fun if you write secret letters with this pen to your friends and surprise them by turning the light on the letters.
If you are interested in this pen, I could not find an exact pen at online stores, but links below will lead you to similar secret pens on Amazon and eBay.
It was last August when I met Nameko for the first time. I was wandering around Tokyo Character Street on First Avenue Tokyo Station looking for some special character goods and found an interesting character good store. The store’s name was ‘Nameko Official Shop’, and it had a variety of mushroom character goods.
The mushroom character is called, Nameko, the name of a very familiar ‘mushroom’ to Japanese people. The mushroom is used in some common Japanese cuisines (such as miso soup).
As a Korean who uses similar Asian mushrooms for cooking, I also felt familiar with the mushroom character and started to really like it from the first time I saw it in the store. But I had no idea that the character was from mobile games, ‘Mushroom Garden’ series till I talked about it to one of my Japanese friends.
Most of the mushroom character goods in the store were inspired by various mushroom characters from Mushroom Garden. Below are some pictures of the plush dolls where I put some pictures of corresponding game characters (only ones I recognized :)). You might notice that many of these mushroom characters were so modified from common Nameko mushroom character and do not look like a mushroom at all :p
On last Valentine’s Day I visited the store again and could see some special Nameko goods for Valentine’s Day. Plush toys of heart-shaped Nameko and Nameko holding heart was so adorable!!
I also took a commemorative picture with a giant Nameko at the store 🙂
I definitely fell in love with Nameko!
Below is a picture of my souvenirs from the shop. I bought a cute Nameko plush doll for decoration and a Nameko plush key chain.
I particularly like the Nameko plush doll for decoration. It is funny as it reminds me of real Nameko mushroom in Japanese soup.
Yesterday I cut my bangs again, and as always, my boyfriend teased me about my bangs saying my bangs looked like those of a ‘Japanese traditional girl child doll.’ And I told him that I was celebrating Hinamasturi, which is today. Do my bangs really look like those of the Japanese doll in picture below? 😛
What is Hinamatsuri?
According to Wikipedia, Hinamatsuri,also called Girls’s Day, is celebrated every March 3. [It is the day for celebrating girl children’s growth and wishing their happiness]. The Japanese celebrate the day by decorating platforms, covered with a red carpet, with a set of ornamental dolls called ‘hina dolls (hina ningyo in Japanese).’ Hina dolls consist of dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional dress of the Heian period in Japan.
Here, I want to share some pictures of Hina dolls I took from some places in Japan. Although Hinamatsuri is on March 3, I have been able to see hina dolls in many stores in Tokyo and other cities in Japan since New Year’s Day.
Below are pictures of Hina dolls I took in Takashimaya, a department store in Tokyo.
They are very traditional hina dolls. These great works were done by a hina doll maker, ‘Koide Shoju.’
Various hina doll displays…
The displays in the pictures right below are my favorite hina dolls in the exhibition. The Emperor and Empress couples looked so sweet 🙂
I could also see some individual girl child dolls in the exhibition. They were cute and so delicate like real girls.
So, those were traditional hina dolls.
From now one let’s see some more Kawaiinized (or cutified) ones!
Below are pictures taken in Livin, a department store in Tokyo.
Check these Hello Kitty hina dolls out! >_<
How about miniature hina dolls? below are photos I took in the best chopstick shop in Japan, Ginza Natsuno (the headquarter store & the branch in Shin-Marunouchi building). They are almost as small as the widths of chopsticks in the picture! For more information about the store, Ginza Natsuno, go to this post -> Cute Japanese Chopstick & Chopstick Rest Store, ‘Ginza Nastuno’
It seems like hina dolls do not need to be so delicate though. Below is a picture of hina dolls in a common restaurant in Izu, Shizuoka. They seemed to be simply made of small paper boxes (it could be amazing if there were small candies inside of these tiny boxes!).
According to pictures above, it looks like hina dolls can be made of any material such as fabrics and papers. Maybe next year I will try to make my own hina dolls!
In case you don’t know who ‘Rilakkuma’ is, Rilakkuma is a cute and beloved Japanese bear(to be specific, a soft toy bear) character. His name means ‘relaxed bear,’ and like name implies, he always looks relaxed and stress-free. He is living in the apartment of one office lady named ‘Kaoru’ with his friends ‘Korilakkuma'(another bear) and ‘Kiiroitori'(a yellow chick).
Below is a photo of Rilakkuma plush toys. Every doll in the picture are wearing animal clothes. It is little funny that an animal, a bear is wearing other animal(cat) clothes ha ha. They are adorable.
Below is a picture of small plush toys for accessory uses (like a key chain, a bag accessory, and etc). Many of the dolls are also wearing animals clothes like a milk cow, a sheep, and a lion :). When you go to character good shops or souvenir shops in Japan, you can often see Japanese character plush toys wearing animal clothes or even clothes of different famous characters (a ‘Kapibara-san’ doll wearing ‘Funassyi’s’ clothes can be an example).
And below is a photo of Rilakkuma couches!
However, they are not the couches you can seat on. They are mini couches that you can seat your smart phone or Rilakkuma doll on them like pictures below. I would like to seat my hamster or guinea pig on it, too if when I have one! >_<
Here are small Rilakkuma-themed toy cars in a picture below. They are so small and cute.
I read some online shopper commented that they were so cute, but she was little disappointed that the toy was smaller than she expected when she got it from an online store. Well, always check actual sizes of products when you shop online~
Below a image of Rilakkuma-themed candy boxes with candies inside. They look like good souvenirs 🙂
Lastly, below are pictures of other Rilakkuma goods in the store. Please enjoy! >_<
Although here I put some of pictures from the Rilakkuma store, there are many more cute items of Rilakkuma in the store! So if you love Rilakkuma, don’t forget to visit here when you travel Tokyo~
There is a small and cute store I often see when I visit Tokyo Station. The store’s name is ‘Plame Collome’.
Plame Collome is located in west part of Tokyo Station. Below is the location of the store. There are two other branches of the store in Japan if you google it, but they are kind of far away from Tokyo.
location of Plame Collome
The store was selling many kinds of cute parakeet-themed goods. Below are pictures of them. Click the photos for seeing full-sized images.
Can you see a white stuffed bird doll in the picture? That was actually a hair pin! The bird hair pin was so interesting and cute to me, so I bought one last time I visited the store.
Look at cute parakeet pouches and frames in a picture below, too 🙂
And check this out! a bird-shaped correction tape! I love it. it’s so adorable!! >_<
In addition to bird-themed goods, the store was selling other cute animal-themed goods. You can see many cute animal-themed decorative dolls in a picture below. I feel like if I buy one of them, I would want to buy every doll here to make a animal doll collection >_<
I remembered my friend bought a panda doll here for his younger sister who loves panda 🙂
Below is a picture of animal-themed calendars. OMG I didn’t know that there was a hamster-themed calendar till I write this post…Such an item is very hard to find (little sad to me because I love hamster :'( ), so I am thinking about buying it next time I visit the store again.
There were also many other cute stuff such as cute cosmetics, clothes, and accessories in this store.
If you have a chance to visit Tokyo Station for taking a train or for going shopping in the First Avenue Tokyo Station, don’t forget to stop by this store! 😀
Below are pictures of my souvenir from this store.
Let me present a cute and special bear character to you.
This is AbenobeA (あべのべあ)!
AbenobeA(あべのべあ) is the mascot of Abeno Harukas. Abeno Harukas is Osaka’s new landmark built in 2014. For more information about Abeno Harukas, go to this post -> Abeno Harukas, Osaka’s New Landmark
The name of the mascot is very interesting in several ways if you know basic Japanese. Although Abeno (あべの) is originally name of some area in Osaka, it can also literally mean ‘- of Abe(あべ)’ or ‘Abe’s -.’ And In Japanese, be-a (あべ) means bear. So AbenobeA can literally mean ‘Abe’s bear’. The name is especially funny to the Japanese because ‘Abe’ is also first name of the prime minister of Japan, ‘Abe Shinjo’. So, it sounds like ‘prime minister Abe’s bear’. Below is the picture of AbenobeA shaking hands with prime minister ‘Abe’. You can see people are chuckling in the picture. Yep, they got the joke 🙂
You can see this picture in the main gift shop(58F) of Abeno Harukas.
One more fun thing about the name, AbenobeA is the name in Japanese, あべのべあ can be read in the same way in any direction. From the front it can be read あべのべあ, and also from the back, can be read あべのべあ.
Sorry for the long explanation about the name of AbenobeA, I guess only the Japanese or Japanese learners can get the joke about the name Xp.
This bear character is special because unlike other bear characters, its body is colored like blue sky with clouds.
All of below pictures of AbenobeA goods were taken in several gift shops of Abeno Harukas’s observatory.
There are also AbenobeA colored with different skies such as sky with stars, rainy sky, and red sunset.
Gift shops of Abeno Harukas’s observatory (especially the main gift shop on 58F) had a variety of cute AbenobeA goods including dolls, accessories, and candies.
Click pictures below for seeing full sized pictures.
Sadly, AbenobeA goods are only available at Abeno Harukas in Osaka :'( So when you visit Osaka, don’t forget to stop by Abeno Harukas!!! 😀
Below is the picture of my souvenir from Abeno Harukas. The sky-themed bear doll looks even prettier on the wood-themed floor 🙂
In Shin-Marunouchi (new Marunouchi) building near the Tokyo station, I found a very cute chopstick and chopstick rest store. The store’s name was ‘Ginza Natsuno.’ Ginza Natsuno is the best chopstick store in Japan (what a lucky I was! I just happened to visit the store without knowing that). The main branch is in Ginza District of Tokyo. The store’s official website (English) is https://www.e-ohashi.com/shop_en.php. You can check other branches of this store in different locations on this website.
location of Ginza Natsuno, Chiyoda, Tokyo
The store had a variety of beautiful chopsticks and chopstick rests which reminded me of stores in Kyoto city (Kyoto has many stores selling Japanese traditional items).
Below are pictures of chopsticks in the store. I felt like I was in a chopstick museum.
Check this out! The chopsticks are decorated with jewels!