Souvenirs from Japan

Back in London and bought a pretty significant amount of Japan home with me 

A photo posted by Laila Layla (@lailapictures) on Apr 4, 2015 at 2:29pm PDT


I’d wanted to visit Japan for a very long time and knew I would want souvenirs; for months before going I was avoiding buying things I need so I could instead shop in Japan.You may have seen this snap on my instagram – one of my most liked images – today I’ll show you what I got! I have to say I felt very hypocritical as I’m just not the “haul” kind of girl. I don’t go crazy with my purchases; I shop rarely and I hate buying replacements or items similar to things I already own. I‘m also very conscious of where my stuff comes from and goes back too (as you may have guessed from my ethical and vegan lifestyle choices). That being said; I absolutely planned to buy a lot in Japan and purposefully took more money than I thought I’d need to live (first time I’ve ever done that for a holiday…!). 

japan tokyo haul stuff I bought items consumer kitsch kawaii cute adorableClockwise starting TL: brown cat tote bag, rabbit badge, socks x 4, gold rucksack from Harajuku, more socks, floral ears, variety of kanzashi*, heart-shaped Lolita sunglasses. Not pictured: kimono*, two haori*, about a million more pairs of ballet socks.

CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES: I didn’t buy any clothes as by Japanese sizes I am a humongous obese person – everything was absolutely tiny as anybody who has dealt with SE Asian sizing before will know all too well. Instead I splurged on socks! I spend a small fortune on imported ballet socks every year from the Japanese store Tabio in Covent Garden. Even though I stopped dancing about 4 years ago I wear the socks daily in the summer! In Japan it was 3 pairs for the equivalent of £2 and in London one pair costs about £9…! I’m glad that I didn’t buy anything I won’t use (well possibly the kanzashi) as it would have been very easy to succumb to a whole succession of novelty bags and hair things.

The ears and sunglasses are from Shibuya 109 – a huge shopping mall of lolita/goth/harajuku style clothing. I always wear ears when performing and thought these would be good for the summer. I’ve used the two bags almost daily. I also bought a kimono and two haori (summer jackets) from a place in Kyoto which I totally forgot to put on the floor when taking these images and was too lazy to go back and photograph.

japan tokyo haul stuff I bought items consumer kitsch kawaii cute adorable

Clockwise TL: notebooks, My Melody envelopes, journal, washi tape, mini card, grid notebook, london-themed masking tape (!), wooden animal pegs, mini card, Moomin stickes, animal file stickers, business cards, business card envelopes (!), terrifying stickers. Not pictured: a load of stuff from the Studio Ghibli place.

STATIONARY: I love stationary! I get through notebooks, pegs and tape at the rate of knots thanks to a very intense organisation system, but I really should have left the greetings cards as I am terrible at sending cards. Giving in person is fine but anything that involves going to the post office is basically a lost cause for me (thank you, PA). And who knows when I’ll next write a letter that calls for a My Melody envelope, but at least should that precious day fall I’ll be prepared.

japan tokyo haul stuff I bought items consumer kitsch kawaii cute adorableClockwise from TL: deer bag, My Melody tissues, japanese lady love omamori*, squirrel and duck keyboard brush, origami and paper chains, thank you bags, heart-shaped clips, no idea what that grey thing is and have no recollection of purchasing it, rabbit page clips, small geisha charm, chicken thing. Not pictured: an absolute ton of food.

Literally no idea what the grey thing is. I use these little bags a lot for compartmentalising all the boy’s stuff for gigs – who doesn’t want to have their big boy bow tie and braces to be stored in an adorable deer bag?! (This is probably why nobody in my band respects me). Similarly page clips are SO useful when it comes to organising music (I actually bought 4 packets of these and the other 3 have already been used). I think the thank you bags and paper chains probably could have stayed in Japan, I thought they’d make nice gifts but buying nondescript gifts that aren’t directly assigned to a person is never a good idea; they’ll probably be sat in my room for the next 6 months. Please tell me I’m not the only person that does that?

japan tokyo haul stuff I bought items consumer kitsch kawaii cute adorableClockwise from TL: boiled sweets featuring all your favourite Sanrio characters, envelopes with literally the exact same deer as on the bag in the previous picture, branded Hello Kitty ears, Hello Kitty tweezers (!), My Melody phone case, My Melody comb, My Melody pancake mix (may or not have bought 3 of these), Sanrio Puroland carrier bag (technically not a purchase), Little Twin Stars biscuits, small My Melody envelopes, Hello Kitty chocolates, My Melody and Keroppi tissues, Hello Kitty kanzashi, My Melody sweets.

(Not pictured: a load of food including Hello Kitty shaped pasta, Hello Kitty shaped boiled sweets,Hello Kitty shaped rice crackers, Hello Kitty and My Melody socks, My Melody ears hat).

I talked about this in my Sanrio Puroland post and vlog (where you can see me buying some of this stuff) that the park is really geared towards the merchandise. I actually left with one medium carrier bag and there were many people holding huge boxes or 6+ family size bags, so was actually quite balanced with my purchases. I’ve used the phone case the most, obviously, the comb and tweezers now live in my bag, and the tissues are serving me well during hayfever season. I went to Sanrio Puroland quite late in the trip so quite a lot of the images and characters were already on stuff I had bought (such as the deer and the envelopes) but I didn’t mind! And FYI the Little Twin Stars biscuits are absolutely disgusting. They genuinely taste appalling.

japan tokyo haul stuff I bought items consumer kitsch kawaii cute adorable

One of the worst photos I have ever taken. Clockwise starting TL: carrier bag (technically not a purchase), two pack of Disneyland and Disneysea notebooks, Easter 2015 postcard, reverse of carrier bag…, geisha Minnie bag filled with sweets, sparkly Minnie hair bow, “love” omamori with Mickey and Minnie design.

I really wanted some specifically Japanese mementos of Disneyland – I mean you can get most of the Frozen-related crap and generic Mickey and Minnie duvet covers or whatever in both London and Disneyland Paris, so I’m good for that kind of thing! I sought out Pan Asia Gifts, the one shop (!) selling “Asian-themed merchandise” in Disneyland Tokyo, which is where all of the above (bar the bow) came from. I thought the postcard would be a nice way to commemorate all my beloved, insane Easter decorations from DisneySea! If you’ve not read my in-depth analysis of why DisneySea is the best park you can do so here (and Disneyland post is here).

Kanzashi – japanese hair ornaments. SO NICE to be in a country where hair accessories are designed for people with thick hair (my hair rejects clips, barrettes, bobby pins and most other western accessory).
Kimono – nope, not the flimsy swimwear cover-up but the actual traditional Japanese dress.
Haori – summer jacket variation for a kimono.
Omamori – small amulets/charms, with a wish/note/prayer tucked inside and sometimes a charm as well. Normally themed for something (i.e. good luck in career, happy home). Both of mine are love charms… maybe they don’t work outside of Japan :( So there we go! The only thing I’ve not shown you is all my Sailor Moon purchases.. stay tuned. I just want to stress again that I definitely do not endorse buying huge amounts of stuff in everyday life. What are you like when it comes to holiday spending, have any of you gone this crazy before?! All my posts on Japan!

20 thoughts on “Souvenirs from Japan

  1. marieken says:

    Wow, you found some really nice things. I think I wouldn’t have any trouble spending money in Japan. I’m a big fan of paper stuff and cool stationery, so I bet I would find tons of goodies!


  2. lifeofskip says:

    love all these cute little finds! (especially the wooden animal pegs… so random but unique!) Japan must be so exciting. i actually just wrote a post myself about exploring NYC and picking up sweet little trinkets like that – would love for you to check it out!


  3. Denise says:

    I love Sanrio and I am really amazed by your shopping in Japan! All so sweet, the way I love things, colorful! I share with you my ill-will of going to the post office :) I loved the notebooks, the socks (! so sweet!), the sunglasses in the shape of heart… I can see why you wanted to postpone shopping, to get these amazing things there!


  4. auderoylin says:

    I love the floral ears so much! My college has a tradition in which we wear white dresses and floral crowns; I think the floral ears would be such a unique spin! Ahh you got so many cute socks! I wish my shoes were transparent so that people could see the cool socks underneath haha. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s


  5. Jane says:

    You got heaps of cute stuff! I can see why you bought a lot. I think it’s okay to go a little overboard overseas, since you don’t know if you could get any of it back home!


  6. Elizabeth says:

    I too adore stationary and tend to buy more pens and notebooks that I could possibly need in this lifetime! And your socks are so so gorgeous! x


  7. jennie says:

    I think it’s totally okay to have bought all these things, they’re all so cute and so different to the kinds of things we see here. Plus mementos from great trips are always a must have <3


  8. winnie says:

    Completely obsessed. Looks like you got so many cute things. I actually have a stash of those ‘grey things’ at home. I’ve got them in pink and in little bows too. They were useful as hair velcros for a while – but now I have resorted to clipping my hair back with a little grip again! Looking at all your purchases make me smile!


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