01 May 2008

Shopaholic in Kansai

I enjoy shopping in Japan, mainly because the items are exquisite, unique and can't be found readily in Singapore. The zakka culture in Japan is strong and with many styles and designs available, I'm spoilt for choice and never fail to bring back a luggage full of zakka goods. Not to forget cakes and snacks as the Japs are also well-known for being creative when it comes to bake goodies.

Like to share some of the items brought back from the Kansai vacation.
DoubleDay is a zakka shop selling furniture, furnishings, kitchenware, stationery and general lifestyle goods.
Chanced upon this shop in the vicinity of Kiyomizu-dera. If we hadn't took that particular route out of Kiyomizu-dera, we would never have discover this shop. Lots of accessories, clocks made from colourful glass beads.

Zakka shop selling all sorts of stationery, tote bags, kids' stuff.
Renown cosmetics brand in Japan. I love the lip balm with yuzu smell, as I like yuzu very much.
Zakka chain with online shopping, sells everything from kitchenware to crockery, cutlery, accessories, clothing, stationery etc. A must visit for me.
Yuzu honey - my favourite! First discovered this honey brand during my vacation to Nikko in Dec 06. For this trip, I search its website for branches and was delighted to find a few stores in the Kansai region. Needless to say, I must bring back a few bottles of my favourite yuzu honey which can't be found elsewhere in the world Besides yuzu honey, there are other flavours like grape, maple, lemon as well as the usual flower honey.
Dolls, creatures, keychains, pouches etc made by Chirimen crepe. Soft wrinkles are a unique characteristic of Chirimen crepe. The wrinkles are created by alternating two types of silk threads, twisted in different directions, by turns in the weft. The woven cloth is at first flat but the wrinkles suddenly emerge after rinsing dirt out of yarn. It is an elaborate technique that was created in the late 16th century and passed down for generations.

Now looking at the food souvenirs - meibutsu 名物 (famous regional products).
Baked Yatsuhashi 八ツ橋 - made from rice flour, sugar and cinnamon.

Raw Yatsuhashi 八ツ橋 (also known as Hijiri) - has a soft texture and is often eaten wrapped around red bean paste or other flavours.Made from wheat flour, carbonated water and tasted of sugar and salt.
Assortment of financiers, madelaines, pound cakes and tea.

Specialty food items of Osaka are as colourful as Osaka, and often come in extra large sizes.

Lastly, our prized catches from the "UFO" catchers. These were our loot over the 11 days from Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. Impressive wasn't it? Some of these didn't come cheap as we attempted several times (and spent a sum) before finally getting them. It was the trial and errors and jubilation of getting the prizes that kept us going. Yep, we were a little obsessed but we noticed many Japs also did the same, some of whom looked even professional!


  1. Hi,
    Did u go on a free and easy? must one speak Japnese to do that?

  2. Hi emily,
    Yep, planned the itinerary by myself, including booking the lodgings. Lots of research done on the internet and magazines. Most of the hotels I booked has English website and the staff spoke a little English. I know very limited Jap. Most Jap speak some English nowadays given that a lot of non-Jap speaking tourists visit Japan now. So it shouldn't be a problem. And it would be advantageous if you read Chinese because Jap characters "Kanji" are our Chinese language, meaning is the same just different pronounciation. In fact, some pronounciation sound like Cantonese and other dialects.

  3. Wow, daydreamer! The UFO catchings are abundant! I can believe how much you guys scored. I am scared that if I go to Japan that I could spend SO MUCH MONEY because I have no self control when it comes to Japanese Products.

    I really love the look of the Yuzu honey. I love honey and this looks like luxury honey!

    It is a dream of mine (i have many!) to bring home baked good from diferent regions of Japan. I really enjoyed looking over your trip journal, you did such a great job and it is similar to how I would like to spend my time in Japan. I think the day I make it to Japan, I might die of happiness!

    So thank you for your wonderful story and links to everything!!!!!!

  4. Hi bunbun,
    You must visit Japan! I can never get enough :p So long as you have a budget, it should be ok :)

  5. Hi,

    Love your photos..

    I'm planning to Osaka, do you have any idea if they have any kitchenware street in Osaka ?
    Thinking of buying some cutie stuff from there eg, cookie cutters, weighing scale etc...
    Btw, Tokyu Hands is nearest to which JR ?


  6. Hi Linda,
    Yes yes! Osaka's kitchenware street is called Sennichimae Doguyasuji, located at Namba area (nearest subway station is Namba on the Midosuji line - red colour). You can check out this website: http://www.doguyasuji.or.jp/. There aren't as many shops as Tokyo Kappabashi but to me, good enough!
    The Tokyu Hands I went is near Shinsaibashi, nearest subway station is Shinsaibashi on the Midosuji line - red colour, one stop from Namba. JR is quite far away.

  7. Hi,

    Noted, thanks for your infor.

    You are very resourceful... cant wait to go there.

    Might follow your itinery as most of the places you go I did not cover the last time round - think 3years ago.

    Have a nice weekend...


  8. Hi Linda,
    When are you going?
    Actually I have yet to blog my trip to Kansai in Nov 2008, will try to do so soon!

  9. Hi,

    Most likely setting off on 30 May.

    Let me know once you have updated.
    In that way I more or less know where to go this time.
    Can you inform me via my email address

    Thanks !