Part I - Century Southern Tower, some Shinjuku area
Part II - Food in Tokyo
Part III - Jiyugaoka, Musashi-Kosugi
Part IV - Aoyama Flower Market, Kappabashi, Harajuku
Part V - Kichijoji
We have come to the final part of my Tokyo trip report. Here's some of my shopping haul :)
Before that, I'm going to share about the WiFi router that I loaned from Changi Recommends. This is not an advertorial, I used the service, found it good and reliable, that's why I'm sharing.
Usually when I go to Tokyo, I rely on maps, past memory or simply common sense to get around. Sometimes I would search online using the hotel WiFi first before heading out. But nowadays I find internet connection on-the-go increasingly essential, be it searching for a new place/restaurant or simply accessing FB to post photos. Last year, I registered and paid a nominal fee (I think 1000 yen) for accessing WiFi hotspots (through NTT DoCoMo) around Tokyo, but the connection is patchy.
So this time, I decided to loan a pocket WiFi router set from Changi Recommends. It's hassle free, just pick up and return from the selected departure/arrival terminal (24hrs service). To use, simply pair with the mobile phone, key in one-time password and automatically connect. Throughout my trip, I used the pocket WiFi with no issues, very fast speed and battery lasted a day with even 1-2 bars left. The fee was $8 a day, I thought very reasonable for round the clock internet access. I'm definitely gonna loan it for my future trips to Japan, and even other countries.
Muji is certainly one of my favourite Japanese brands, I like their sleepwear, casual wear, kitchenware :p
This time, hubby spotted these winter boots on sale, only 2500 yen a pair. Too great a temptation to resist :p
And even though I have quite a few scarves, I couldn't resist this wine red muffler, it's super comfy!
I love this multi-purpose handphone pouch bought from TokyuHands. The main compartment is big enough to hold iPhone 6+, and there are 2 more compartments, one at the front and one at the back (with zipper). There are 2 detactable slings, one short for handcarry and one long for slingcarry. It's most useful when I need to pop-by the supermarket nearby my place for some quick grocery shopping. All I need is my phone, a card, some notes and keys.
The above is a sunshades pouch from Laura Ashley (Jiyugaoka), I've been looking for a semi-hard case for my sunshades for the longest time. The original case is an awkward triangular shape which I dislike, so this pretty looking one is perfect!
The clip cum keyring is from one's terrace, also bought at Jiyugaoka. At that point, I thought I would use it to hold my keys, and the clip part comes in handy because I could clip the whole bunch at a side pocket of my handbags for easy access. But till now, I haven't use it as I'm used to carrying my keys inside a key pouch. Hmmm, maybe I should sell it?
The lightest umbrella ever, only 100g! I forgot to bring an umbrella for this trip and when I was at Jiyugaoka, the sky was overcast and gloomy and forecast to rain. So decided to buy one. But it didn't rain eventually :( It's ok though, I really like it since it's feather light and very convenient to carry around.
Gem of a find at Francfranc (Shibuya). I find that whenever I'm overseas, my mobile phone battery drains very fast, probably coz I'm usually out the whole day and accessing the phone very often. Been looking for a small and lightweight power bank and found this at Francfranc! It's camouflaged as a lipstick and very small and light, and not to mention uber cute. It takes about 2-3 hrs to fully charge up the power bank, and it charges the mobile phone by about 50% which is enough for me to use as emergency power. Maybe not very high power for some, but it serves my needs and looks just too cool. (There are already people complimenting it when I use it outside :p)
These are steam heat pads and eye masks that I bought from drug stores/personal care stores. The eye mask come with orange and lavender aroma, temperature is just right and feels really relaxing. I think Watsons carry it now. The Good-Night steam heat pad has lavender aroma and the others non-fragrant. All 3 are very soothing and I apply them for sleep whenever my shoulders feel tight. Definitely going to stock up the next time I go Japan!
Bought these beauty products from TokyuHands and Ainz @ Tulpe.
Back row, from left (products that I have started using):
Love the maNara hot cleansing gel! Upon applying the gel on the face, it really feels hot and after massaging the face for about a minute, it really removes all the make-up.
The loretta is a light hair-serum which smells really good, I quite like it.
I seldom use mascara but like to keep one for the occasional dinner event. The Lash Sensational mascara is from Maybelline, I would say not bad since the bristles can even cover the very fine and short lashes. The grip of the eyelash curler is quite good.
* yet to try the facial cleanser and eye make-up remover.
Front row, from left:
Yuzu lip balm from Yojiya. My favourite lip balm finally comes in stick form, previously it's always in a tub and I don't really like it as it's cumbersome to use.
Lip essence from ettusais. This is fragrance free and has a slight tinge of pink. I don't really like to apply lipstick, so usually I apply lip balm and this gives a little colour without feeling overwhelming.
Eye drop that's supposed to sooth tired eyes. This was highly recommended by sales staff at Ainz @ Tulpe. The thing is, it's so strong and minty that my eyes couldn't open after applying the drops! Ermmm, it feels comfortable only after the minty effect wears off. Hmmm, not sure if I would dare to apply it too often.
Hello Kitty loose powder and face masks for my sis-in-law, as she's a kitty lover. These are available at most personal care stores.
My very first chef knives from Global (Cromova 18 stainless steel)! I've been using normal knives and recently after attending a hands-on cooking class and tried using one, I'm totally sold. The knife feels light weight and very comfortable to hold, plus it's razor sharp, making cutting a breeze (in fact, I've sliced a piece of skin off my thumb). Although TokyuHands carry the brand, as well as the knife shops at Kappabashi, I went specially to the main store at Roppongi to buy because the staff there could better recommend suitable ones for me. There are hundreds of knives, different shapes and sizes and finally after holding and trying a few recommended ones, I settled on this particular 3-piece set, 1 long knife, 1 short and a knife sharpener. I could even get a direct tax rebate. Yes, the knives are not cheap, in fact quite expensive but no regrets at all.
This is currently one of my favourite cookware :)
Actually I got the book first (saw it on eslite online and asked my brother who was there to help me buy) and found out about this Meyer Perfect Grill Pan. I love panini and sandwiches; although I already have a multi-use pancake/waffle/grill pan machine, the effect created is slightly different (the grill pan will make the panini really flat). Couldn't find this grill pan in SG so decided to hunt for it when in Tokyo.
Visited a few department stores but all of them don't carry Meyer products anymore. Finally found the Meyer range of products at 212 Kitchen Store (Jiyugaoka) but this particular pan was sold out! The sales staff very kindly helped me check stock at other stores and managed to locate 2 stores (Yokohama and Musashi-Kosugi) that still carry the stock. That's why I headed to Musashi-Kosugi (Part III).
When I reached 212 Kitchen Store at Musashi-Kosugi, I hesitated because I already owned a grill pan, all I wanted was the glass cover. But both were sold as a set. They are really heavy and not cheap either. Finally conceited because I knew I would regret if I didn't buy it. So yep, I've been making panini sandwiches, will share some of the recipes soon.
One of my favourite eatery in Japan, Soup Stock Tokyo! Love the soups, barley rice and rustic buns there! There's a big store just outside the east entrance of JR Shinjuku and I was delighted that the store carries mechandise too. Couldn't resist getting a soup bowl and a spoon :p Almost wanted to get the 2 recipes books of their soups but I really lazy to do translation.
I'm into wood crockery these days. Bought the wooden bowl for salad from Muji and the hb wanted the wooden tongs for grilling meat. The wooden plate is from 3 coins, totally love the design!
Some bakeware from TokyuHands and Kappabashi.
I already owned 5 mini spatulas but bought more because they are really handy, especially if I have several small bowls of batter for colour mixing. Bought an extra large metal scrapper for leveling cream on cakes, so far didn't work well, too heavy :(
I'm loving the Joseph Joseph spatula, the sides of the blade is flexible and thin, able to scrape batter very cleanly. I owned one Cuisipro first generation spatula that could do the same but it's no longer in production, so have been looking for a replacement product. Glad to finally find one.
And the thin metal rod? It's a stamp for pastries/bread that I bought just for fun. I always see the rods sold at Kappabashi, the Japanese use it to stamp steam buns and breads? But they are super expensive! This time, I found a few designs that are quite affordable, so decided to get one to play. Yet to use it though :p
The draining net is an essential kitchen sundry for me! It's really useful to catch all the little bits of waste in the sink so that they do not flow into the drainage pipes and cause any blockage.
I realised I didn't have a skimmer all this while? So grab a cheap cheap one from Daiso.
Mini silicone tongs are so useful, for deep frying or picking up food from the air-fryer etc! I already have one and needed another.
Ok, a timer. A pretty looking timer. In fact I already have 2 timers, but one was spoilt because I dropped it a few times. Bought a cheap one to replace but it's those that you have to press second by second and it's cumbersome when I needed to time, say 60-70 mins. This one has keys just like a calculator so I just have to press the specific timing needed. Easy. And pretty :p
Pastry flour and earl grey oil from cuoca. Yuzu oil from Flavourland.
I have hundreds of cupcake cases actually but couldn't resist buying these lovely ones from cuoca :p
Ok, don't judge me. I buy my dish detergent from Japan. Yes, crazy. But this is the best brand I've used ever. I bought 2 bottles from a previous trip and feel in love with it. First of all, it's highly concentrated so with just a small amount I could do a whole batch of dish washing. The bottles are soooo cute (200ml) and cheery looking, and most importantly they smell damn nice, almost like shower gel and there are so many different flavours!
I've been using mama lemon for most part of my life and frankly, the fragrance is super boring, like orange, lemon? Tried other brands and they smell horrible. There's also a brand called Joy in local supermarkets and I thought it's the same, but oh no, it smells totally revolting. Sorry, but I'm really particular about smells. I once bought a Korean brand (strangely, at Bangkok Siam Paragon supermarket) with apple smell but unfortunately couldn't find it here. Seriously, detergents in SG are boring. Period. So yep, I'm going to top up on detergents whenever I go Japan (and also the Korean one if I go BKK).
So every time I will buy some root vegetables which are more hardy for luggage transport. I also bring along a cooler bag for those foodstuff that needs chiller.
Pickled vegetables like daikon, burdock and cucumber.
I love to eat financiers! Saw this Henri Charpentier ones at Takashimaya basement food hall. They were made from newly harvested almonds apparently, and available for a limited period only. Haha, that sold me. The financiers tasted very delicate and moist, slightly buttery and nutty. One of the better financiers I've tasted.
Must share these 2 drinks I bought from the combini (convenience store) that I like a lot. The one on the left is a sparkling mineral water in lemon flavour. It's not as fizzy as San Pellegrino or Perrier, quite subtle! I think it's like the newly launched Ice Mountain lemon sparkling drink. On the right is a yogurt tasting mineral water, good to get some prebiotics into the body system right, plus it's yummy!
Ok, this is random. Got this sweet looking storage box from 3 coins. Daiso SG sells some similar looking storage boxes/containers as well, but they are much smaller. This is double the size and comes with a lid.
The thermal mugs retain heat quite well, I use them for hot beverages. As for the glass mug, it's very in these days. But I already got one at home, probably will give it away.
That's the end of my entire Tokyo trip! Ciao, till my next holiday!