Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hokokuji Temple & Bamboo Grove Garden at Kamakura

When I was planning my Japan trip, I wanted to visit a peaceful and relaxing place with nature to clear my mind, body, and soul from all the stress I was going through in the last 3 years. I didn't want to go too far outside of Tokyo since I mainly wanted to stay in Tokyo. So I thought why not visit the Hokokuji Temple with the bamboo grove garden in Kamakura. I have seen a few videos on youtube about this garden and it looks absolutely stunning and beautiful. Although probably not as beautiful as the Arashiyama bamboo forest in Kyoto. In comparison to the one in Kyoto, it is a lot smaller but it is definitely less crowded so you can really enjoy nature in peace. 

Hokoku-ji is a small Zen temple in Kamakura (鎌倉) with a bamboo grove garden of more than 2,000 moso bamboos.

There are different ways you can get to Kamakura from Tokyo and it's about an hour away by train. I took the Yokosuka Line to Kamakura station. At the station, there are lots of exit sign with pictures that direct you which exit to take to where you want to go so you won't have to worry about getting lost. There are actually many temples you can visit in Kamakura including the Kotokuin Temple with the Great Buddha statue which is one of the most famous and popular tourist spots in Kamakura. 

And right outside of the station, you will find a tourist map of Kamakura that shows you all of the temples and where they are located including which bus stop to board at to get to your destination. To get to Hokokuji Temple, you take the #5 bus at the bus stop terminal. 

Near the tourist map of Kamakura, there is also a clock tower and even free wifi service you can connect to in case you need to use google map, very convenient!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Japan Haul: Makeup & Beauty Products

A Japan haul post on some makeup and beauty products that I bought from my most recent trip. Mostly just restocking on usual products that I like and use most often while trying some new things.

As usual, always stocking up on my favourite face and eye makeup remover by Bifesta and the SANA soy milk moisturizer cream that I have been using for years. 

Hand and foot mask from Daiso. I have bought the foot mask before and it really helps to keep my feet moisturized and soft so I decided to buy the hand mask too. Haven't had a chance to use them yet. 

Also got these Disney character oil blotting paper sheets from Daiso. 

Sailor Moon face mask and my favourite eye mask that helps to prevent wrinkles and fine lines by the brand Kracie. I also have the other 2 Sailor Moon face masks and now I have the complete collection! 

This isn't really a Japanese brand product but it is one of my favourite face masks by the Taiwanese brand My Beauty Diary. It has somehow become really difficult to find them or even buy them online so I was really happy when I found them being sold at Bicqlo in Shinjuku. 

Also got this heat shoulder pad from Bicqlo in Shinjuku. You heat up the pad by putting it in the microwave and it helps to ease and relief pain on the shoulders and the back. 

This was actually the only make up product that I bought during my trip this time which is the Love Liner liquid eyeliner that is really popular. I got one in black and one in pink brown. Excited to try the pink brown one to see how it would look on my eyes. 

A really unique and cute face wash that I saw from a YouTuber who I follow recommend buying. It forms a "rose" shape in the whip foam when you use it. 

And last my favourite purchase is the SK-II facial treatment essence toner which comes in the limited cherry blossom bottle that I have been wanting to get so badly. The bottle is so pretty!!! I always buy a bottle of the toner in Japan and it usually lasts me for about a year to finish it. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Japanese Snacks from Tokyo

Another post on Japanese snacks and food that I bought from Japan from my most recent trip in April. I really need to dedicate a whole suitcase to just snacks and food from Japan. Because everything looks so good you want to buy them all and bring it back with you. XD

I didn't get to buy much this time around as I had limited space in my suitcase plus I already have 3 luggage and this is all I could fit in my hands free carry bag, lol. 

As usual, I always buy a box of Calbee+ fries home. These are the BEST fries ever! I decided to give their chips a try since I never bought the packaged ones in a box before as I always buy them freshly baked at the shop and eat it there. I've tried the ones they sell at the convenience stores and they are really good. I bought the roasted seasweed soy sauce flavour which was a top recommended by the staffs at the store. It was not bad but I don't think I'd buy it again. 

I finally got the try the TOKYO BANANA! I have wanted to try them for years but never had the chance to. I bought this limited edition box at the Narita airport in maple syrup flavour. The packaging is soooo cute! I love the bow on the wrapper and there are even hearts on the banana. It kind of taste like a sponge cake with maple syrup cream inside and was not bad. Although next time I'd definitely love to try a different flavour. 

And because it was actually sakura season when I was in Japan, there are soooooo many sakura theme/flavour snacks and desserts everywhere you go. But I have to say, they're really a hit or miss and these 2 did not live up to my expectations. The first box on the left side is this sakura jelly that I got from the Tokyo Tower gift shop and box on the right is a sakura daifuku mochi that I got from a department store. 

The sakura jelly did not even look like what was shown in the picture of the packaging. It also tasted like you were eating sugar. It was SO SWEET!!! I ended up throwing it away after only eating 2. (-___-")

And the sakura daifuku didn't look as appealing either and tasted kind of weird. It didn't really have the "soft" texture in mochi and was kind of hard to chew. To sum it up, sakura theme/flavour food in Japan is really just a gimmick. A lot of times they do not taste as great as it looks. So be careful and don't fall into the trap! 

I picked up this box of matcha flavour cookies from the Doraemon Museum. I really just wanted it for the pretty metal tin box that it comes in, lol. But the cookies were actually really delicious that I finished the whole box in one day. XD

And lastly I got this bag of sucking fruit candy from the convenience store in strawberry and honeydew flavour. My friend actually asked me to buy her a few bags and told me they're really good. They're kind of like those lychee jelly candy and is pretty addictive once you eat one. I actually finished eating a whole bag by myself at the hotel one night when I was in Tokyo, lol. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Makeup, skincare, beauty products in Japan

Continuing from my tradition of sharing and showing new makeup, skincare and beauty products that I come across during my trip in Japan. I always find so much joy whenever I am shopping for makeup, skincare and beauty products in Japan. Even when I don't buy all the products I see, I always enjoy looking at them and discovering new products! 

I have always wanted to try KOSE ESPRIQUE products ever since I've seen Namie Amuro's commercials advertising for their makeup products. However, she's no longer the image person for the brand anymore as it has been passed on to Keiko Kitagawa. I think Keiko is very a suitable image person for the brand though and I'm loving the new commercial she has done for the makeup brand too. It definitely makes you want to buy their products especially since it looks so pretty on Keiko. She's such a natural beauty!

Speaking of Namie Amuro, I will forever miss seeing her advertisements in Japan when she retire in September this year. T__T I also really like these 1 day colour contact lenses on her. She makes them look so natural and pretty on her eyes. 

New canmake makeup products! Canmake is one of my favourite brands for makeup products, especially their eye shadow, BB cream, and concealer. Also new is a new image person advertising for the products. 

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