With its strawberries on cakes, love hotels and KFC, Japan gives Christmas a good try, but it doesn’t quite come out right. What we need at this time of year is some real, good old fashioned tradition, and nothing quite screams ‘IIIIIIIIIT’S CHRRIIIIIIIISTMAAAAAAAAAAAAS‘ like handmade wooden toys, excited children and the scent of hot, mulled Glühwein.
Thank Christ (literally?) for Nagoya’s annual German Christmas Market.
About the Christmas Market
Every year at Hisaya Hiroba in Hisaya-Odori Park, a German themed market brings a sprinkling of Christmas tradition to Nagoya. This year, from December 9th until Christmas Day, the market will be open every day, with its various Christmas events.
You can get some of your last minute Christmas shopping done at one of the many stalls selling handmade crafts, decorations, clothes and trinkets, but be warned that if you are with children you might not have much time for shopping, as you will no doubt be dragged off to marvel at the huge christmas tree, ride on the merry-go-round and then, of course meet Santa!
There’s a good chance you’ll be hungry after all that excitement, so you should make your way over to the food stalls stocked with classic German food such as sausages, pretzels, sausages, mashed potato, sausages, delicious cakes and sausages. To wash down all of that delicious, wintery food you can get great foaming German beers or the aforementioned Glühwein to warm your insides and fill you with a great deal of Christmas cheer as you watch one of the festive dance and musical performances on the stage.
German Christmas Market Details
German restaurants in Nagoya
If that’s …continue reading
Fortunately, a previous article on baby products has already (thank God!) shown us the kimono for babies and wet wipe warmer machines. However, there’s still a lot more in store when it comes to memorable and uniquely Japanese baby gifts for your family and friends in and outside of Japan.
Some gifts, like the diaper sushi cake, have been trending for a few years, while others are steadfast traditions in Japan. Ranging from cheap to luxury, here are five Japan-unique gifts to stay on up-and-up with baby fashion and products.
1. Trendy: Sushi Diaper Set
You’ve probably heard of the “diaper cake,” but Japan is taking that trend into fine dining with the diaper sushi cake or just diaper sushi. In Japanese, it’s referred to as “omutsu zushi,” or diaper sushi. Gaining popularity since 2012, it’s a stock of 10-cm by 6-cm diapers wrapped up as delicious-looking rolls and nigirizushi. Each comes with a diaper and one “household item.” For example, a tamago (egg) sushi is a yellow sponge and white diaper. We’re not exactly sure why you need your diapers like this, but then again, we’re not sure why you don’t. It makes for a cute and fun gift. Plus, the founding company even handcrafts the sets and ship overseas with an English website.
2. Cute: Totoro Diaper Cake
So, we have established that you definitely do need to buy a diaper cake gift, however, what if you’re looking for something a little cuter and less raw-fish-esque? Totoro, a favorite Japanese character from the anime “My Neighbor Totoro,” has its own themed diaper cake perfect for Studio Ghibli lovers and …continue reading
It’s that time of year when cosmetics collections featuring this season’s autumnal colors like dark earth tones or burgundies and reds for ruddy cheeks are released one after another. Whether you prefer a subtler or bolder makeup style is up to you, but we’ve picked eight new releases to highlight the fall tones you want to show off as the leaves change color and the colder weather moves in. Here they are!
1. Majolica Majorca’s Melty Gem
This season’s versatile gel blush Melty Gem from Majolica Majorca comes in four fall vivid colors and creates a lovely luster when applied. Though sold as a blush, don’t feel restricted to only use it on your cheeks — it can easily be used as eyeshadow and lipstick, too. The color payoff is way too beautiful to miss out.
Where to buy: Drugstores and cosmetic stores across Japan
2. Anna Sui’s Lipstick V
If you’re looking for a lipstick that lasts all day long, is rich in color, hydrates your lips and comes in ten different colors — this is the one. Plus, it comes in a lovely design that’s just too catchy to miss not only for yourself but as a gift, too. The best thing, however, is that this stick will stay intact for hours after application, thanks to a special hydration formula that makes it easier for the color to stay on — the color is easier to attach when the lips are moist, after all!
Where to buy: Isetan, Mitsukoshi, Sunshine city, @cosme and Anna Sui stores
3. Three’s When the Leaves Dance Collection Kit
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Source: Tokyo Cheapo
A cheapo’s paradise, Tokyo flea markets are awesome places for bargain-hunting. And there’s no shortage of them—you’ll find something happening in one of the city’s parks or parking lots just about every Saturday and Sunday, as well as some public holidays, throughout the year.
When you move to a new country there are all manner of little things that you don’t think about, things that might make moving into your own home a little more difficult. This is particularly true of Japan.
For me, aside from there not being an oven in my first Japanese home (and I even checked the bedroom in a vain hope of finding one after first moving in) the hardest thing to get to grips with was finding adequate furniture. Having lived in Sweden for some time before coming to Japan, I had become used to finding furniture that was not only stylish and chic, but also reasonably priced. I quickly found, having moved to Nagoya some six years ago, that I had to forgo one of these choices. There was, at the cheaper end of the scale, furniture stores such as Nitori, where the products I felt very much looked their price. Or if I wanted to buy things that made my apartment somewhere that I wasn’t embarrassed to invite friends over, then I was going to have to break the bank.
“Don’t worry!” a friend of mine said at the time. “There is an IKEA opening in Nagoya soon.” “That’s great!” I said. “When?” “I don’t know,” came the reply, “but soon.”
That was six years ago.
But now, finally, lovers of inexpensive but stylish furniture can rejoice, for October saw Japan’s tenth IKEA open in Nagakute, just a short hop from Nagoya.
What is IKEA?
IKEA is the brainchild of Swedish entrepreneur Ingvar Kamprad, created first …continue reading