Posts tagged tokyo
5 Things You Need When Traveling to Tokyo

I just came from my third trip to Tokyo a couple of weeks ago, but I'm already planning another one in the fall! I love the place, plus I believe it's important to have something truly exciting to look forward to. That's one of the beauties of traveling - the anticipation of it. 

If you've caught the Tokyo bug as I have, allow me to be helpful by listing down the five most important things you need to have you when you travel there. Of course, a passport, visa (if applicable), and cash are required, but these five things should make your trip a lot more enjoyable and fun. 

Let's go!

#1 Tokyo Essential: Comfortable shoes. Socks too, if you can. A trip in to Tokyo involves A LOT of walking, unless you're extremely loaded and don't mind springing for crazy expensive cab rides (one of the priciest in the world). Even places of interest near train stations require a quite a bit of serious leg work. Walking is also a great way to explore the city and you really don't want your feet to expire too soon!

 

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Tokyo Haul: Part 2!

I'm baaaaaack. I was in Tokyo for six days but by the fourth day I couldn't wait to go home. Home is where everything and everyone I love is! While Tokyo is a beautiful and dazzling place I would honestly still choose to live in Manila. It's more fun here. Infuriating sometimes, but fun at the end of the day.

Somewhere in Ginza

Let me explain. Tokyo is a stiff, semi-formal place where most things are regimented. It's mostly different shades of grey - grey buildings, houses, roads, except for spots of greenery and neon-lit districts. It's great the first few days but then you'll realize how drab it is when you're not hanging out in a touristy place or out on a weekend.

I'm not saying it's not worth visiting again and again. It is. But I'd prefer it in only small doses, not the medium gulp I just did! I want to see it in winter next time. 

Anyway, here's the rest of my haul! I managed to get a few interesting beauty stuff and oh, I finally found a great watercolor palette! 

DSC09451

I grabbed these at HAC in Ginza. The store was on the basement of this building (can't remember the name, I'll update it after I check my pictures). Anyway, it sold snacks and lots of beauty products! It's much more organized and pleasant than Donki lol. Plus, it has European brands like Rimmel and Bourjois.

I got a Shiseido Integrate Gracy concealer (which was cheap as it's a drugstore brand), Rimmel Nude In The Box Palette, Bourjois CC Cream, and Hada Labo moisturizer.

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Tokyo Haul (so far): Kitsch, beauty, and art materials

Tokyo has a ton of tax-free tourist-friendly shops like Tokyu and Donki, as well as cheap-ass drugstore beauty products in Matsumoto Kiyoshi. That's why it's super easy to get lost in a shopping frenzy! I went crazy the first time I was here, but on my third time I now know what NOT to buy.

Number one on my list of NOT to get is cute junk. Yes, they are cute but they are junk. I'd like the idea of owning them but it is highly unlikely that I'll ever use them which was the case when I filled a huge carry-on of that stuff before. I am wiser now so I only get things that I won't be able to buy in the Philippines, or if they are considerably cheaper here (not likely but it happens).

Anyway, here's what I purchased here in Tokyo so far! I'll be flying back to the PH tomorrow so I might add more - we'll see. 

Kitsch (edited)

Can't resist a bit of kitsch at the underground mall in Tokyo Station! I got some printed stockings, floral eyeglass cases, leather case, and padded indoor flats. I wish I have more luggage space so I can get household items, but oh well.

Matsumoto Kiyoshi (edited)

Here are my few choice picks at Matsumoto Kiyoshi in Shibuya. A lot of beauty bloggers love the drugstore Shiseido eyebrow pencil so I got a couple of 'em.

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Hello from Tokyo!

Hey guys, how've you been? Hope you're having a grand time wherever you are. Eveyrone's traveling lately because it's spring in other countries and summer in the Philippines - if you've got a bit of extra dough, it'd be a waste not to spend it experiencing a different place. 

I decided to go to Tokyo with my mother as I've been preparing for it for a while. Honestly, this isn't something I would have considered early last year - I'd much rather get a Chanel or Balenciaga with the money then. However, I've been obsessed with traveling in recent months. That, and drawing, is taking up all the extra space in my head. So here we are.

Anyway. thought I'd share some of my favorite pics here! If you're following me on Instagram (@lizlanuzo) you've probably seen these but I'd still like to have a record on my blog for posterity. Here's what I've been up to in the last few days!

Tokyo Beach in Odaiba. Odaiba is a man-made island about 20 minutes away from the Tokyo center. It has malls right in front of the beach, but people seem to enjoy casual picnics more. It looks like a favorite weekend destination by the locals!

Sushi in Tsukiji. I went to Tsukiji during my first ever trip to Tokyo. I literally only had an hour and a half to go around on my own, and found it by accident.

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Part 2: The Shiseido Factory in Kakegawa, Japan

Recap: last November, I was invited to visit the Shiseido Factory in Kakegawa, Japan. The first part involved a visit to the test facility for raw materials - I saw how Shiseido is currently studying how best to produce their own ingredients. They've built a self-contained unit where they can design the most beneficial environment to grow plants, and hopefully branch out to farming them in bulk in the near future!

We've seen their plans, but this time I'll give you a general view of what they currently make and how they make it in the Kakegawa factory. I don't have a lot of pictures since some areas are naturally restricted, but I figured I can still tell you what I saw.

After the tour of the test facility, Jen (the brand manager of Shiseido Philippines) and I were ushered into a lecture room. Here, two kind ladies gave us a presentation about the factory. They also did some demos on how foundation is made!

So how does Shiseido come up with its awesome beauty products? First, they research and develop new technologies. What do the customers need? How can they better improve on what they already make? Once that's been determined and formulated in their dedicated research centers, the products are tested by a team of experts. Shiseido, as far as I know, does not do animal testing unless required by law. Most if not all products and ingredients are evaluated on human skin. 

Once the products pass a rigorous testing system, they are manufactured in the factories and then shipped out to stores. Foundation, powder, lipstick, and eyeshadow are just some of the cosmetics produced in Kakegawa. 

I think foundation is one of the main products here. The diagram above shows how it's produced - by mixing the powder and liquid binder, placing the mixture in the compact, and then pressing it down with a heavy metal object (I didn't catch the name!). 

Here's how it looks like:

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My mini beauty haul from Tokyo

You know what (and this is just an observation, not a complaint) having a beauty blog and getting sent a lot of free stuff takes all the fun out of makeup shopping. Whenever I see something that makes me go "oooh-I-want-that-looks pretty-awesome!", that enthusiasm is quickly followed by a dour practicality "But-I-have-like-twenty-of-those". 

Every so often I do buy something because I feel that I absolutely need it and don't have something like it yet. However, it ends up getting buried by all the other products that I still need to start using and reviewing. I told you. It's sometimes not at all fun to be a beauty blogger.

Image credit: muza-chan.net

That's why when I went to Japan a few weeks back, I only grabbed three beauty products for myself. These were things I felt I needed at that time. Besides, they were inexpensive so it'd be totes fine if I don't use them often or like them at all. :P

I stopped by Matsumoto Kiyoshi in Akihabara to look for some pabili and to check out the drugstore beauty stuff (of course). Here's what I got!

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Part 1: The Test Facility of Shiseido Factory in Kakegawa, Japan

My first visit to Japan last July was all about experiencing Shiseido's 140-year old heritage and consummate love for art. You saw how the brand evolved through the years and how it looks like today. You've read about the Shiseido Museum in Kakegawa, the Flagship Store, and the Parlour in Ginza. Now, I'd like to show you the Shiseido factory in Kakegawa, Shizuoka!

This is an exclusive feature as I am honored to be the first beauty blogger to tour this factory. I'm grateful to Shiseido for the opportunity, because they don't normally work with bloggers; they usually go with traditional media. I'm happy that they're beginning to support this medium! ^_^

Moving along! The Shiseido Factory in Kakegawa is about an hour and forty minutes from Tokyo by bullet train. It's a sprawling complex that produces Shiseido's makeup products, among them foundation, eyeshadow, and lipstick. If I remember correctly, each building is dedicated to making only one type of makeup!

Shiseido Philippines Brand Manager, Jen Jimenez-Yalung, with myself

The background is actually a mosaic of real eyeshadows

I'll be talking more about the production aspect of the brand on Part 2 of this post. For today, I'll be discussing one of the brand's latest projects: a test facility right inside the Kakegawa complex.

You might be thinking: a test facility? What? That's boring! Guys, it's not. This is my favorite part of the factory visit, actually. The test facility is further proof of Shiseido's commitment to excellence. It was built because they want only safe and reliable plant raw materials for their active ingredients. They seek only the highest quality ingredients which are traceable to the source.

This facility is a preview of the things to come in 2014. It's only a small area for now, but the plan is to re-create it in a larger scale should it prove successful! The photo above shows a cube where various conditions like temperature, irrigation, light intensity, and carbon dioxide are controlled to get the best possible harvest.

Here's what's inside!

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The pressure to be cool

I suppose that, as a blogger, I'm expected to post about most of the things that go on in my life. What I eat, where I go, the free stuff I get - it's SOP to share them here or on my social media accounts. I admit that starting out all those years ago, I was like that. I wanted to show off. I feel pressured to show off my wonderful life.

The pressure might be imaginary, but I feel that it permeates my life. A recent example is coming back from Japan, with barely any shopping in tow. Yeah, I didn't shop much. I took quite a bit of money with me plus my credit cards, but I didn't buy a lot of things at all. Why? I told my mother it's because I didn't go to Shibuya, where all the fab shopping is. The real reason, though, is that I just didn't feel like it.

I wanted to BE in Tokyo, to lie down in a park soaking in the autumn sun. I wanted to sit in a bench in Akihabara to watch people passing by. I wanted to go to a temple and pay homage. I wanted to experience things without having the compulsion to snap a picture or buy a souvenir.

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OOTD: Grungy autumn

I wasn't sure if I should post this outfit, but what the heck, I spent so much time obsessing and second-guessing what I would wear last weekend that I might as well just freakin' do it. I'm not a fashion blogger hence the blurry pictures and awkward posing, but these pictures are the only thing I have.

So, please don't judge me harshly. :P Moving on! I've spent the last couple of week scouring the malls for the perfect fall outfit, but found it difficult to find something that would keep me warm in the 15 to 5-degree weather AND still be wearable here in the PH. I love Stradivarius's current black and white, 90s grunge collection, so all of the clothes I found were from their store in SM Aura.

Coat, black sweater, and skirt from Stradivarius | Tights and socks from Uniqlo | Sneaker wedges from Sketchers | Bag from Aldo

Purple sparkly nails courtesy of a P99 nail polish from Essence. Argh, forgot the shade! But you won't miss it in the display, it's very eye-catching.

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Japan on my mind

I have never believed in love at first sight, until I set foot in Japan. It is a country of extreme contradictions - modern with gleaming towers and newfangled inventions, yet still traditional at its core. For example, there is a 700,000-square meter forest right in the middle of Tokyo's busiest district, Shibuya, that contains a shrine to their deified emperors (Meiji Shrine). The Japanese always remember and honor their roots. 

They are also obsessively practical and detailed, at least compared to the Philippines where we have a happy-go-lucky attitude towards things. But the Japanese, well, they really think of everything! They have built-in bidets in toilets that have perpetually warm seats. 

The people are also always courteous, disciplined, and prompt. Go into any shop, and you'll get a smile and a hearty konnichiwa or ohayō gozaimasu! They also always walk on the left side of the road or corridor, so as not to hassle those in a hurry. 

I can go on and on really. I want to regularly visit Japan as long as I'm able. That's now one of my life goals!

I thought I'd post some random photos I took during my trip last July. :) They aren't all particularly nice photos, but each one has a small story.

JAL Airline offers a LOT of yummy food! And I like that it's healthy too.

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The Tokyo Haul

You asked for it, so here it is! I honestly didn't expect to shop this much in Tokyo. Actually, I didn't know I got this much until I photographed everything. Take note, I've already given away a lot of stuff at this point. I bought my mom a cute bag, my dad a watch, my brother a shirt and a pair of shades. Wish I took pictures as they were nice finds. 

Anyway! Like I said in my travel kit post, it's sale season in Japan right now. Those that aren't on sale, however, are still affordable as long as you keep to small shops, flea markets, and drugstores - which is where I mostly shopped. By affordable I mean under P2,000 or roughly ¥4,000. I won't say how much I spent exactly, but I had to buy another huge bag just to fit everything. (Love the pink polka dots)

 

I got a loooot of food. I wish I bought more miso soup paste, and more Royce chocolate at the airport! And ramen. But food is so bulky. I mostly got these in Don.Ki in Ginza, which is a crazy grocery/drugstore beauty paradise that's open 24/7! You HAVE to go there when you visit Japan.

The Tokyo Banana Roar is a popular delicacy of sorts. We got ours from the train station, where people were seriously lining up.

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Tokyo Diaries: Introducing the new Shiseido Ibuki Line

Last Thursday the Philippine press had the privilege of being one of the first in the world to see Shiseido's latest skincare line. The presentation was held at the Shiseido headquarters in Tokyo, and boy was it such an eye-opening hour and a half! The Japanese principals first discussed their research findings on the new generation - their motives, aspirations, and lifestyle trends.

The Shiseido headquarters

Did you know that in Japan, the average age is 46 versus the Philippines' 21 years old? The Japanese opt to make fewer and fewer children, and this has brought a lot of uncertainty to those in their early 20s and 30s. Instead of being with family that is directly related to one another, there is now what is called a "happy collective". Young people would forge solid relationships with those their own age, to sort of take away the loneliness of living alone, which appears to be the custom in Japan.

Shibuya, the pulse of Tokyo

There is also an emerging middle class that prioritizes not only value in their purchases, but in also patronizing a brand that they can relate with. The relationship is more like a patron supporting an artist.

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Tokyo Diaries: The Shiseido Parlour and Flagship Store in Ginza

The world is a huge place but there are two cities that I want to see in my lifetime: Tokyo and Paris. I have always assumed that I will be able to visit them when I'm 30 or something - traveling in your early twenties while paying rent in an upscale city, well, it doesn't compute. But thanks to Shiseido I had the opportunity to see Tokyo last week. I'll be sharing with you some of the beautiful sights to be found in this mega city, as well as the latest innovation from Shiseido!

But wait, why did the brand decide to bring the press to Japan instead of just holding the usual launch? The new line of products is a special step for them, they explained, because it is the first time that they'll be tapping the younger generation. Shiseido is thought of as catering to an older market, but they want to change that.

They wanted us to experience Tokyo - the luxe yet composed atmosphere of Ginza (the business district), the healing environment of the Meiji Jingu Shrine (a forest in the middle of the city), and the electrifying, high-energy streets of Harajuku and Shibuya (food and fashion reign supreme). We also visited the Shiseido Museum in Kakegawa, and where it all began in 1897 - the Shiseido Parlour and the Shiseido flagship store along the Ginza strip.

By visiting all these places, we are able to understand the brand at a deeper level. We have seen Shiseido's awe-inspiring past, its present, and perhaps even its future. Are you ready to see it as well? 

Let's go on a trip! :)

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