Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Japan Crate!

I was lucky enough to be able to test out the "Doki Doki" box from Japan Crate which conveniently arrived on Christmas Eve! I had heard about these boxes before and the idea intrigued me, as I love fukubukuro *lucky bags*, omikuji *random fortune* and anything where their is luck involved or you don't know what you are getting, so I was pretty excited.

The site itself has various kinds of boxes centering on different things, like candy or toys. I thought this was a really nice idea, as when I lived in England I really missed Japanese sweets and it was so hard to get hold of little trinkets and plushies for a reasonable price.

When I  first received the box I noticed it was bursting at the seams.

I was already "Doki Doki" at this point and I was curious if it had some things inside that I could easily get in Tokyo, or things that would be a little harder for me to obtain. I waited for Leo to get home from work and we opened it together. <3.

 It was super packed and once opened everything jumped out like a pop-up book!
I first noticed how fluffy everything was, and how they included some really cute plushies. The huge one is actually from the Rilakkuma "cat series" by Sanrio. Rilakkuma is actually a bear "relaxing bear" to be exact, but recently they released a series of Rilakkuma wearing various cat onesies, it was insanely popular here in Japan, for obvious reasons. I never got a piece of the merchandise when it was selling here so I was extremely happy and thankful they included one in the box!
It is a perfect huggable size and there its charm point is a little bell that jingles when it moves.

Tucked underneath was this incredibly fluffy fuwa-fuwa Panda eye mask! I actually have really sensitive eyes, especially when sleeping *actually I sometimes sleep with my eyes open x3* so this was a Gods send! The googly eyes add a nice gooofy touch.

Arpacasso products are super hot all over the world right now, so I was happy to see this tiny fuzzy cando-floss pink alpaca backpack bag charm. It is a tiny pouch for putting tiny things in and clipping it to your bag. I think I will probably use this to put my circle lenses case in!

I was actually suprised when I saw this, as I dont recall seeing these at the Pokemon center in Ikebukuro, but I will pop back and have a look soon. This version of Pikachu was insanely popular, the plushies in this style all sold out immediately by scalpers and were sold for like 5x their original price. I love the idea of having this design on a necklace.

The next one made me laugh a lot, made for the Hello Kitty anniversary, they made iconic characters in the image of Hello Kitty, I got Marylin Monroe, but there were also Audrey Hepburn ones and I think a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu one? again I think it is lucky whichever you get inside. The Marylin one even has her little mole, which I thought was precious.

I am glad they included Totoro goods, as not many people can say they dislike the works of Ghibli. I actually dont own that many Ghibli goods so I was really happy to see these! A little snowbunny plushie and a purse. I think the purse is intended for stationary, but it seems water-resistant so I may use it to put my make-up in.

Finally, a little sachet to make your own magic drink! You can find various kinds of these things in Japan, you just mix water with them and they change color, shape, expand and all sorts of other questionable things. This one was a grape-flavored drink with jelly and was actually pretty tasty! I love making these with small children as it feels like cooking for them, it is kind of magical watching them change color too. I have done different versions before, but it was my first time to see this exact kind.

My favorite thing about this package - the thing that made this complete for me was the small illustrated book that comes included. There are original characters, a small comic strip and a beautifully illustrated guide to what you got in your box, their various functions and how to use them. Obviously the candy grape drink is a little daunting for someone who doesnt understand Japanese, luckily they explain it all for you!

Overall I thought this box was amazing, even though I live in Japan I would totally order it. If you are a lover of Japanese products, or better still - you know someone who is, this is perfect.
 The website includes pictures of previous crates, so you can get an idea of what you are getting and they range in price and size. I was shocked at the amount of popular brand stuff such as Sanrio, Pokemon and Studio Ghibli that was included, it made it feel really official.
 If you subscribe monthly, you get entered into a draw to win a "special crate" one of the items in this months special crate was an Animal Crossing 3DS :o

If you have any questions, let me know! I am going to go take a nap with my panda mask and hug my Rilakkuma plush now x3

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Pink Hime Spotlight!

I have been a big fan of Hime-Gyaru brand "Pink Hime" for a long, long time. Pink Hime is an independent brand created by the designer Tomo from Japan, who established her brand in 2006. Hime-gyaru is a sub genre of Gyaru and is exactly as the name states - "hime" is Japanese for princess and the aesthetic is huge curly hair and eye lashes, plenty of frills, roses, jewels and anything you might find a princess wearing. Tomo makes every piece by hand, and many pieces are one-off, every piece is intricately detailed and filled with love, and of course, pink!

I got sent a huge box of love from Tomo and opening it was like all my birthdays coming at once!
 As winter is coming there were two fluffy scarves; the first one in true princess style is embellished with lacy ribbons, layers upon layers of soft frills, roses and heart-shaped gems. The scarf actually came with a matching lacy hair accessory, laden with pearls and a furry pink heart-shaped necklace. I am still marvelling at how much work has been put into each little piece; even the necklace has tiny pink ribbons embroidered with lace and even those little ribbons are adorned with pearls and jewels. The heart of the necklace is also glittery and filled with little stars that twinkle in the light. Not to mention, all the accessories even smell sweet! Everything is tinged with a slight strawberry aroma, which made the experience even more dreamy.

Next were some fluffy pastel accessories, which would be perfect for a Harajuku-kei outfit as well as hime-style. The scarf is made from soft, fleecy material and silky, pink faux fur and embellished with huge fluffy strawberries embellished with hearts, ribbon and lace in romantic shades of pink. This came with a matching wooly hair barrette in a dreamy pastel gradient embedded with little plastic pastel stars and other little fluffy pastel brooches to accessorize the scarf with.

Naturally I was super eager to take them out for a test drive, so I arranged a day out in Harajuku with my friend Shiena, who is a very experienced and veteran Gyaru. I let her model the fluffy strawberry set, while I modeled the princess items.

We chose the Moshi Moshi box to model in front of , because Harajuku was very crowded as it was a sunday and the box features a huge kaleidoscopic pastel clock, designed by the world renowned artist and designer Sebastian Matsuda, who is also the owner of 6% Doki Doki.

To accompany the Pink Hime items, I wore an Angelic Pretty One-piece dress, pink socks and Jesus Diamante heels. Wearing all the pieces together made me feel like an actual princess that just stepped out from a fairytale, the frills were so plush and soft, while the jewels were sparkling in the light. On the train to Harajuku I was stopped by a few elementary school children who insisted I was a real princess and wanted a photograph!

It was pretty chilly without a coat, but luckily the scarf and colossal amount of frills kept me very toasty inside. I am really excited to wear some of the pieces casually, I am sure that they would look cute even with a very toned down version of this style, or with Liz Lisa style Hime-kaji.

The cuffs were my favorite point, they were obnoxiously huge and frilly, but balanced out the outfit so well. They looked like two very sweet pom poms or cotton candies, and I loved that ultra sugary aesthetic. 
Shiena looked seriously adorable all wrapped up in the fuzzy scarf like a bug, snug in a rug.

To finish our shoot, we went and had giant fluffy pancakes with fruits, whipped cream and drizzled with strawberry sauce. On this day even our food had to be cute!

Please check out the online store of pink hime-
Also find her as PinkHime on Facebook <3