Japan Haul #2 – Stationary

When you think of Japan, I’m sure the last thing you think of is stationary, right? I know some of you might, whilst others think of sushi, Geisha’s and sumo wrestlers.

Japan is CRAZY about stationary and for all the kawaii characters that you can find there, I’m not surprised why they are so mad about it. I know I had to take advantage of picking up some cute stationary whilst I was in Japan and I left with more than I intended to, to be honest with you! I’ve already spoken about the Pokemon related items on my Pokemon Haul (which you can read all about here), but I will be mentioning them here again, because why not. 🙂

A part of me wishes I’d picked up more stationary items, especially from the Sanrio store, but hey ho. 😛 I thought it would be nice to show you all my stationary items anyhoo, as I know a lot of my followers love stationary!

Washi Tape

I picked up quite a lot of wash tape on my trip, which took me by surprise considering I’d never bought washi tape until I ventured to Japan. I ended up picking up four different ones, which I will talking about below.

Tanuku & Kitsune Mounttain Theater Washi Tape – The washi tape that kick started off my mini addiction is this one from Tanuki & Kitsune and this tape is from the Mountain Theater collection. This was from a pop up shop in Character Street (Tokyo Station) which I regret not buying more items from to be honest before it left. The design on the tape matches what the image on the front shows, which is so adorable. You have Tanuki wearing a green cap, a dark brown cape and falling to sleep whilst it reads a script, whilst Kitsune is also reading a script as it wears a red cape. They’re adorable and clearly getting ready to act in their roles!

Studio Ghibli Kiki’s Delivery Duo Pack Washi Tape – After I went and picked up the Tanuki & Kitsune washi tape I decided to pick up this adorable washi tape double pack from the Studio Ghibli shop in Character Street (Tokyo Station). This is my favourite washi tape out of the four I’ve picked up as Jiji is absolutely adorable on both of the designs I got. There’s a pale blue design with daisies and blue flowers on, alongside Jiji sitting down and standing up. There’s also a dark blue design with Jiji’s face over daisy flowers. Honestly cannot wait to use these washi tape designs in my scrapbook!

Mofu Mofu Eevee Washi Tape – As I had already bought two washi tape designs anyway, I decided as I’m working on a scrapbook soon about our trip to Japan and wanted to pick up more kawaii patterned washi tape to make the scrapbook look pretty inside. Of course I couldn’t not pick up this cute mofu mofu Eevee design, which is just loads of cute Eevee’s running along the tape. I haven’t opened this yet and don’t plan to until it comes to me using it.

Nintendo Tokyo Animal Crossing Washi Tape – This is the final roll of washi tape I picked up on my trip to Japan. From memory there was this design and another one with the fruits on (Apples, Oranges, Peaches, Cherries and Pears). This washi tape design isn’t anything special and is pretty basic with the Animal Crossing design we all know and love! As well as the symbols we all know from Animal Crossing, there is also images of Isabelle and Digby too, which is what sold me to pick up the washi tape in the first place.

Mechanical Pencils, Pencil Lead and Pens

Ghibli Museum Mechanical Pencil – As I had bought my Eevee mechanical pencil by this point I didn’t actually need to buy another mechanical pencil… But considering it was from the Ghibli Museum, it was a souvenir I really wanted to pick up on my trip. This pencil is gorgeous and very minimal in comparison to some stationary you can buy in Japan. The pencil is a white design with silver metal, blue accent colours and of course an image of Totoro with his umbrella, raindrops and “Ghibi Museum Mitaka” underneath him. I really love this pencil and I currently use it for my D&D sessions.

Mofu Mofu Eevee Mechanical Pencil and Pen – The blue design is the pen, the red is the pencil. There were four designs/colours in total including the blue and red ones I own, as well as a brown (pencil) and green (pen I think). I didn’t really want anymore mechanical pencils as I have a pink one I really love (well… loved until I bought my new ones in Japan :P) to use so I didn’t need another mechanical pencil. I picked up the pen, which is black ink and was happy. When I went back to the Pokemon Center, I ended up picking the pencil up too and I don’t regret it! The pencil writes really well and I much prefer it to my pink mechanical pencil to be honest with you! The designs on them both are gorgeous with the fluffy, happy Eevee designs all over.

Studio Ghibli Kiki’s Delivery Service Frixion Pen – This was actually the first bit of stationary I picked up and I have ZERO REGRETS! This is a red pen, with gold images of Jiji and his girlfiend Lily. The way you get the pen nib to retract is by the clear part on the pen. I love a nice pen to write with, especially when I want to jot down blog notes and sometimes for D&D too (although I used to use a pencil previous to buying all my Japan stationary). I used to use Frixion pens when I was an undergrad at university 10 years ago (God I feel old saying that) as well as in my old job so these rub out pens aren’t anything new for me to use. However, the pen itself is amazing and this is by far one of my favourite items on this list that I picked up. This pen actually comes with red ink, but I bought some black Frixion refills whilst I was in Japan for this so I can use black instead of just red. I don’t know about you guys but I was brought up to not write in red ink (unless for myself) as it’s seen as rude.

Nintendo Tokyo Animal Crossing Isabelle Pen – I’d had my eye on this pen since before I went to Japan for my trip, as I’d seen most of the Animal Crossing merchandise that was for sale in the Nintendo Tokyo store. I didn’t know if I was going to pick it up or not but to be honest, some of the Animal Crossing merchandise I wanted was sold out, which sucks (although I have it now, yay!) so I made up for it with stationary… 😛 I picked up the Isabelle pen, as I love Isabelle and you can’t have enough pens, right?! This is a white pen with cream yellow accents, as well as some images of tulips along the grip area of the pen. At the top of the pen on one side is an image of Isabelle with some yellow tulips and on the other side it reads “Dōbutsu No mori” which is Animal Crossing in Japanese, as well as an image of Isabelle’s face and some yellow ears, which you also use to retract the black and red pens.

Sanrio Pompompurin Pen – This is the last piece of stationary I picked up on our trip. I bought it a few days before we left Japan and I actually regret not getting the Cinnamoroll version as well. This pen writes so smoothly, I love it! It’s definitely up there with my Kiki’s Delivery Service pen. This is a simple pen really, with mustard yellow colours and a Pompompurin mascot at the top of the pen (which is removable), as well as his cute little hamster friends all around the pen. I find myself using this pen a lot lately when I’m in my D&D sessions, as it’s such a smooth pen to write with.

Pikachu Mechanical Pencil Lead – Due to now owning a total of four mechanical pencils (aside from the two I bought in Japan I already have two back home that I use on and off), it’s always good to make sure to have plenty of pencil lead for these! I couldn’t get a mofu mofu Eevee design (they didn’t make one…) so instead I picked up a cute Pikachu design instead, which is kind of similar to the mofu mofu design. This came with quite a lot of 0.5 size led inside already, but as I owned some already from my first mechanical pencil, I decided to add them into this holder. I’ll never run out of led now!

Notebook and Pencil Case

Mofu Mofu Eevee Notebook – I have too many notebooks… I needed this one though. It’s adorable! I don’t quite know what I’m going to use it for as of yet… Maybe blog related stuff whilst I’m out and about? Dungeons & Dragons in the future? I don’t know… 😛 I just needed it! The designs on the front are adorable, with all the Eevee’s doing different things such as sleeping on books, holding quills in their mouths and sitting in teacups. Cute! There’s designs in the book too, with the Eevee holding the quill in it’s mouth again.

Mofu Mofu Eevee Pen Case – I didn’t need a pen case… But due to how much stationary I bought whilst I was on my holiday, I kind of had to! That and the pencil case I use currently for all my stationary items is from when I was studying my GCSE’s at school… Which was 15 years ago now! That pencil case is great, but I wanted something smaller and more refreshing! This one is a perfect signs for everything I bought on the trip, and I really enjoy taking it out with me. It’s so cute to bring out of my bag when I want something to write with. The image of the Eevee’s cuddling together on he one side is so kawaii!

Clear Files

Mofu Mofu Clear File – I bought quite a few clear files whilst I was in Japan, but this is my favourite one by far! I actually bought this to keep my files in for Dungeons & Dragons, but as of yet I haven’t had the chance to use it. The image on the front of the two Eevee’s is so adorable, I’d still like to frame it to be honest! 😛

Nintendo Tokyo Animal Crossing Clear Files – I can’t remember if I knew about these or not before I went to Japan, but I am so glad I picked them up, especially now Animal Crossing: New Horizons is out! You get two clear files in this set, one of which is a scene on both sides of the file of your town/island with various of the villagers homes and buildings such as Nook Cranny, the museum, town hall, Able Sisters, plenty of trees (including apple) and of course various villagers! The other file is simpler with it’s beige colour and on one side the same various villagers that are on the other file and on the other side the “Dōbutsu No mori” and Animal Crossing names.

Pokemon Cafe Clear Files – Me and my boyfriend knew we wanted to get some files for our trip in Japan, as a lot of places we ventured to (aka cafes) have the place mats that you fold/roll up and take home, so we wanted some files that we could do that with. We ordered these when we booked out seats at the Pokemon Cafe and we never actually got around to using them, or any of the other files that we bought for this purpose. Even so these files will be handy for D&D BUT, I have started to wonder if you could frame these and hang them up like prints! These would especially look great around the house and in the kitchen. I have to add, the first file is by far my favourite with the kawaii Pokemon Cafe mascots, although I am baffled about why Eevee isn’t there?! The other clear file in this double pack is meant to be a party style scene but with lots of different Pokemon eating and drinking items from the Pokemon Cafe menu, as well as the cute Pokemon Cafe staff. By the way, you can read all about the Pokemon Cafe here.

Fullmetal Alchemist Clear Files – These are actually some clear files that my boyfriend Dane picked up from the Fullmetal Alchemist Cafe that we visited during our trip (I plan to talk about it in the future!) and I’m really glad he picked them up as they’re so pretty. One of the files has an image of Edward and Alphonse Elric fighting together, this is definitely my favourite file of the two he bought. The metal arm and leg of Edward’s really do shine in the light, which was what appealed to me the most. The second clear file has the “good guys” on of Fullmetal Alchemist, which Dane had to have! I will honestly be surprised if we don’t end up framing these in the future and sticking them up in our office. 🙂

So, that is all of the stationary that I picked up from Japan! I thought this would be a nice little haul to share with you this week, especially as we went into lock down here in the UK this week too (well, Monday). I’ve been working from home and on my breaks and after work I have still been doing my writing.

Although we are in lock down here, my blog stuff will not change, I will continue to get my blog posts up every week. 🙂

So, which piece(s) of stationary that I picked up in Japan did you like? Also, what are you doing for the next couple of weeks during the lock down? Make sure to let me know in the comments!

Until next time all, take care, stay safe and I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. 🙂

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Japan Series – Where We Plan To Go

Hello and welcome to the second post of the Japan Series! I posted last month on my blog the exciting news about how me and Dane are FINALLY going to Japan in 2020. It still hasn’t sunk in, but almost daily we are talking about it and where we want to go, whether it be to visit, shop, eat and drink.

We are constantly asking people and researching. I thought I would share with my gorgeous readers where we are planning to go and why!

Image taken from Ghibli Museum website

This is a place I have wanted to visit ever since I heard about many years ago. I LOVE Studio Ghibli so much and alongside Elfen Lied it’s what actually got me into anime in the first place! I have fond memories of my dad and me watching Spirited Away one day after school during a rain storm outside. Years later I bought it on DVD and not long after me and Dane got together, I took the DVD to his house so we could watch it. I even want a tattoo of Haku on my bicep! It’s just a film I adore to the bottom of my heart. The museum apparently isn’t mind blowing, but I don’t care. I still plan to go! You have to book tickets a month in advance, so Dane has daily reminders a month before we’re off to Japan to book the tickets so we don’t miss out! I plan (if I’m allowed to do so!) to take loads of photos of the museum and possibly spend a little bit too much money in the gift shop. 😛

Image taken from teamLab Planets website

These gorgeous light museums are somewhere I have wanted to visit for quite some time now and I am so excited to finally have the chance to go when we visit Japan. I’m not a massive museum or art exhibition person… I can at times find them quite boring, but these interactive light installations look amazing. You can download an app to use alongside the experience, which I really like the look and sound of. You need to book in advance and from memory it said two months, so myself and Dane will be keeping our eyes peeled for when we can book!

Image taken from Sanrio Puroland website

This is a place I’ve ummed about for ages because I really want to go, but I don’t know if I love Sanrio enough to… In the end however, I would really love to go! It looks like it’s a good day out to go and explore, see a couple of shows (maybe) and just go around the area. Of course there’s lots of shopping to be done throughout too. I say I don’t love Sanrio, but I do have a lot of memories with Sanrio. I remember back when I was coming towards the end of primary school and in my first couple of years of secondary school, I adored Sanrio and couldn’t get enough of it! I fell in love with Chococat, Cinnamoroll (alongside his friends Azuki, Milk, Chiffon, Espresso, Mocha and Cappuccino) who came out in the early 00’s and especially Pompompurin! The most recent character Aggretsuko is amazing and I adore her so much. The more I write and think about it, the more I really would like to go to Puroland whilst we’re in Japan!

This is somewhere in Japan I REALLY want to go to but I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not… Basically Nara Park is located in Nara, which is nearly 4 and a half hours away by train… Unless we get up really early and go to Nara for a day… I don’t know if we’ll be able to go or not. In Nara Park you can feed the deer that live there. They bow their heads for food and as a reward, you feed them. Both me and Dane love animals, so it’s something we would both love to do whilst we’re out there. I feel like Dane will sort it so we can go, but I’m worried it won’t be able to happen… We shall see! 🙂

Violet Evergarden : the Movie

Image taken from Kyoto Animation website

This isn’t somewhere me and Dane thought about going before the tragic arson attack that happened at Kyoto Animation on the morning of 18th July 2019. We LOVE loads of anime that has been released by Kyoto Animation such as K-ON!, Nichijo, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, A Silent Voice, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and Violet Evergarden. It broke out hearts when we heard about what had happened to the studio and it still to this day upsets me. It hurts even more that the director of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid died in the attack of Kyoto Animation. This is by far one of my favourite anime and manga series to date and I know they had just started to work on a second season too. I want to go and pay my respects to be honest and I’m hoping that when we’re out in Japan, Kyoto Animation will have begun to rebuild and me and Dane will be able to see how it’s forming and growing again.

The white color of TOKYO SKYTREE blends into the blue sky.

Image taken from Tokyo Skytree website

This is somewhere I really do want to go to in Japan… However I am also shit scared. I’m not a massive fan of heights in all honesty and I especially hate using lifts. Of course, both of these need to be used when it comes to visiting the Tokyo Skytree. This being said I know Dane really wants to go and visit this whilst we’re in Japan and to be honest with you, I would hate to come back from our trip and think, “I wish we had gone and done it now.” So yes, I will suck it in and go! If anything whilst I will be scared, I know I’ll also love it!

Honestly guys, I could go on for hours about all the places in Japan that me and Dane plan to visit, but I could be here for ages and would definitely bore you all! 😛 These are the main places we plan to go and would love to go whilst we’re in Japan.

Our holiday STILL hasn’t sunk in for me and honestly, it won’t until we’re boarding the plane and I’m beginning to have a mini panic attack!

What do you think to the places both me and Dane would like to visit in Japan? Make sure to let us know in the comments and hey! Even suggest any if you’ve visited Japan yourselves!

Next time I plan to talk about food and drinks places we plan to visit, including cafes! 😀

Until next time, take care all and I hope you have a lovely weekend.

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Japanese Series: Places To Visit (Inc. Boyfriend’s too!)

Image taken from weheartit.com

Hello and welcome to post number three in the Japanese series! As I mentioned last week on the Asian Food post, I would today be talking about places I really want to go when I visit Japan. As well as that, I also mentioned that I would have a special guest on this post, which in turn is my boyfriend. He asked if he could write about a place he wants us to visit when we both go to Japan in the future and of course I wouldn’t say no!

I shall be talking about three places I really wish to go and visit in Japan, my boyfriends post will find itself amongst those posts and you’ll be able to tell which is his place that he wishes for us to go and visit… It’s snow related. 😛

Whilst the place he wishes to go and visit is snow related, all mine are kawaii and pretty much anime related, which makes me sound a little bad sad, doesn’t it?

This is going to be a pretty long post, so no time like the present to get talking about all the places we wish to go to when we visit Japan!

Sanrio Puroland

Image taken from weheartit.com

When I was talking to my boyfriend about places I could mention on here, I came up with four altogether, this being one of them but when I mentioned that I felt rather silly for wanting to go to such a place, he said he knew how much I wanted to go and it was definitely worth a mention!

I’ve been in love with Hello Kitty and all things Sanrio since the age of 11. I can’t remember how I came to discover who Hello Kitty was, but when I did I was hooked and for years I went out of my way to find things Hello Kitty related to buy. Eventually I discovered that Hello Kitty was by a Japanese brand called Sanrio and there were many other characters just like her and just as cute! I came to find out about Chococat, Charmmy Kitty, Cinnamoroll, Pochacco, Kuririn, My Melody, and many more!

Although Puroland isn’t number one on my list of places to visit whilst I visit Japan, I know it’s definitely there and it’d be a shame to miss it whilst I was there. I’ve seen many pictures of what it’s like inside Puroland itself and it looks like so much fun! I know I would end up spending a lot of money in there, I have to say and that would probably be one of my main reasons for going, to stock on cute Sanrio related products! This is more for children than adults, but after loving Hello Kitty since a very young age, the child in me would love this.

Pokemon Center

Image taken from weheartit.com

I don’t know if I have really spoken about it much, but I love Pokemon and have done since it came out on the Game Boy back in 1999. It’s been over 10 years since then and over that time there have been loads more games released, the anime followed after the game which I watched religiously as a child, card games were invented, and as well as that, Pokemon Center’s began popping up all over Japan, as well as in America.

When I first found out about the Pokemon Center, I thought it was just a museum and thought nothing more about it, but back in 2011 I did some research on it and pleasantly discovered that it was infact a shop! You could buy all sorts in there and I imagined how amazing it must be to actually go and wander around. Then one morning in 2013 whilst I lay in bed, waiting to go to work, I searching “Pokemon Center Japan” into YouTube and was greeted by hundreds of videos that people had recorded, all of them showing what the Pokemon Center was like. The one that showed up the most, was the store in Tokyo!

The stores are owned by The Pokemon Company in Japan and The Pokemon Company International in America. As I would be visiting Tokyo when I finally go to Japan, the Pokemon Center in Tokyo would be the ideal store for me to visit, this being said there is also a store in Tokyo Bay, so knowing me I’d go and visit both if it was doable!

I’ve already said to my boyfriend that I’ll probably need a lot of money for when we visit the Pokemon Center, as I’d want to buy a bit of everything to bring back home with me. I know when I visit Japan anyway that I’ll be buying a lot of stationery (they have the best stationery!) but I know I’ll want to come home with a huge Eevee plushie. Whenever I watch the videos of people in the Pokemon Center’s I just want to buy most of the things they show and I envy what things I watch people showing off that they’ve bought in haul videos.

This is probably number one on my list of places to visit in Japan… Alongside all the yummy food shops too of course!

Shiga Kogen, Nagano Prefecture – The place Dane (my boyfriend) wants to visit

Japan is a destination I NEED to visit in the near future, although being content with doing the expected things of visiting Tokyoʼs many attractions and districts (Iʼm looking at you Harajuku), getting communal in an onsen and traveling south to visit Osaka and Kyoto.

There is one thing I must do and that is to snowboard in Shiga Kogen, Nagano.

As Natalee may have explained, I am an avid snowboarder going on yearly trips away to the French Alps. Resorts in the French Alps tend to be very similar and having to go there every year is becoming quite monotonous. Apart from going up north to Norway and visiting the homeland of my all time favourite snowboarder, Torstein Horgmo, snowboarding in Japan is a high priority.

Japan is notorious for is snowfall, is an incredibly mountainous group of islands and has literally hundreds of Skijo (ski hills). Adding the fact some of my favourite snowboarders, Kazuhiro Kokubo and Tadashi Fuse, are both from Japan it all greatly adds up for me to snowboard there. If you want to truly understand what it is like to snowboard in Japan see the snowboard film “Seven Samurai – The Catcher on the Line”. And to quote Jimmy Peterson from his book “Skiing Around the World”:

“Snowstorms breeze into the Japanese mountains almost unabatedly from December until late March. The cold, stormy fronts blow in from Siberia, picking up extra moisture as they cross the Sea of Japan. They then dump enormous amounts of white fluff all along the western side of Japan. A number of the Japanese resorts rank among the most snow-rich ski areas in the world.”

image taken from powerhounds.com

That above image should give you an idea of what I want to experience.

Most tour operators (I.e Crystal Ski) would suggest going up north to Hokkaido for the fresh powder. There are two problems, I can think of, with that.

The first being that it’s an 1hr 30min plane ride away from Tokyo, where as going to Shiga Kogen is nearly a 4 hour drive away. Bear with me on that. Yes it takes longer, I have taken multiple 24 hour coach journeys to the Alps and even with flying there is always a 2-3 hour transfer from the airport. Plus flying is always a hassle of checking in, boarding and waiting to fly. So I can handle a measly 4 hour bus journey. In the long run it is much cheaper and you get to see the sights of Japan en route.

The next reason is as follows…

Image taken from flightcentre.com.au

Do I need to explain more?

Well yes. This is the Jigokudani Monkey Park, located on the edge of the national park in the Nagano prefecture, a short distance from Shiga Kogen. A place where just under 200 macaques live and bath in the natural hot springs, which you can visit and get up close to. How close you say? These guys are supposedly incredibly tame and let you get within inches of your camera to take nice close-ups, whether I want my camera/phone stolen by a monkey is something of contention. Having it in such a close proximity to a great resort would be incredible and taking a day trip to visit the park is a must in my book.

Ghibli Museum

Image taken from weheartit.com

Like most people, I LOVE Studio Ghibli movies and since I first discovered their films back in 2004/2005 when I watched Spirited Away and since then I have gone on to watch My Neighbour Totoro, Porco Rosso, The Cat Returns, Kiki’s Delivery Service and many more!

I vaguely remember finding out about the Ghibli Museum even existing due to reading about how there is a short film about the cat bus from My Neighbour Totoro and how it was only being shown at the museum at that time. I researched a little about the museum and since then I have wanted to go there myself!

I won’t talk too much about Studio Ghibli here, as I’m saving it for my fourth and final Japanese Series post next week, but I will say this much… Studio Ghibli is the Japanese version of Disney so I can only imagine the museum to be like a mini version of Disney Land, but that little bit better!

Upon checking out the website in the past about what the museum is all about, I’m already craving to go at this sentence:

Standing in front of a sign that says “Ghibli Museum, Mitaka”, a very large Totoro welcomes you at the entrance. When you look through the portholes, soot-black Dust Bunnies are there as well. But this is not the real entrance. Totoro shows you where the real entrance is.

Real entrance??? This is a total children’s fantasy, adventure world, and it just sounds wonderful! Plus the fact that you are greeted by a huge Totoro, is somewhat of a dream come true.

Some of mine and my boyfriends friends have been to the museum and they’ve told us nothing but positive things about it, but as well as that I’ve seen various YouTube videos about it too and all of the people in question spoke of what a wonderful place it was to visit and how they want to go back in the future.

This isn’t number one like the Pokemon Center, BUT it is the second place I would like to visit and I already know like the Pokemon Center that I WILL need a lot of money when I visit, as I will want to buy myself a huge Totoro to cuddle and keep on my bed.

As my boyfriend and I are both big fans, we both really want to visit the Ghibli Museum and it’d be lovely for us to venture around together.

We’ve really got into Studio Ghibli more than ever and with my boyfriend collecting all the films, our visit to the Ghibli Museum in the future will be extremely exciting!

Speaking of Studio Ghibli, next weeks post is going to be a really exciting one!

As I mentioned above, my fourth and final Japanese series post will be about Studio Ghibli and I’m excited to write about it come the weekend.

So, which places would you like to visit in Japan? Hey, have you been to Japan? If so where did you visit, any places you can recommend?

My boyfriend recently inquired about prices for our future Japanese holiday and now we have decided to save up for it! So as many suggestions as possible, especially kawaii and food related!

Until next week, talk care all and I hope you’re enjoying this series.

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