vaneea no sekai

SK-II is Like Drugs

SK-II cosmetics have done me very well over the years. I started using it in 2008, just when I returned to Indonesia. My skin was having a problem with Jakarta very polluted air and after trying several brands, SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser and Facial Treatment Essence combo solved my problems and kept my facial skin healthy and hydrated. Their powder and foundation are perfect match on my skin tone as well. This Japanese brand is superb! I slowly started acquiring different products, most works very well. Out of 12 products I tried, only 3 are so-so.

First Love Patisserie: Hokkaido Thousand Layer Cake

Another Japanese dessert store has open in Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta. First Love Patisserie. Thousand layer cake a la Hokkaido. Apparently the patisserie has been in business since the end of 2010, but this is the first time I’ve seen its outlet. According to a Jakarta Globe interview of the owners it seems that the brand came out of Malaysia.

I'm sorry for the bad picture, I took this with my blackberry.

When I first saw it yesterday, I tugged James, “Look, Baukumchen!” We immediately went over and picked some tiny samples. Wow, delish! It turned out that it was not baukumchen. It was something better. Placed in between countless paper thin crepes are equally thin layer of vanilla cream. Yummy mille crepe One bite, I was caught. Good bye ‘back to my original weight by July dream.’

Faux Kobe Beef

Kobe beef. Its name has soar far and wide across the globe as the premium of Japanese beef. Regardless the fact that its lower standing in Japan, outside Japan Kobe beef is all the rave. Interestingly, Matsuzaka beef, its superior, is less well known. People outside Japan flock to high class restaurants, willing to pay premium above premium just to have a bite of Kobe. Little do they know, what they are having is a fake branded beef.

I savored my first faux Kobe Beef in 2006, in a Japanese restaurant, downtown Chicago.

Vaneea’s Desk – January

New year, new calendar, new agenda. Check what I got to start off the year.

Vaneea's Desk - January

I picked up a 2011 pop-up calendar in Takashimaya, Shinjuku during our honeymoon. I spotted it on the second day of our trip, but had some doubts. After looking around all over, I came back and grab one. I couldn’t find anything cuter. Of course, it only marked Japanese holidays, but I written in Indonesian ones. In the front left, you can see my pink agenda. My husband found it in O|O| (Marui) Shinjuku. He bought a blue one for himself. I will post detailed pictures on it one of these days.

Although not 2011 related, I also have knick knacks I got from Japan in my previous trips. My pen holder is a miniature milk glass bottle which was the packaging of Botejyu Farm’s mango pudding. The stuffed gray bunny is a portable speaker we got from OIOI Shinjuku; it doesn’t work well. Both of these we got during our pre-wedding trip. I got the tiny ceramic bunny to the right of my pen holder in Asakusa, in 2003, I believe. If you are curious, in the background of my desk, on the white rack, you can see three cat shaped toys. We got those in a designer toy store in Shinjuku; will also be posted soon.

I hope everybody is having a great start of the year!

‘SHIB’: Upcycled Sakabukuro Tote Bag by HITOMONOKOTO

HITOMONOKOTO, a web store and gallery based in Tokyo, had taken a creative approach to upcycling by turning sakabukuro or sake bags into tote bags. They named them ‘SHIB.’

Sakabukuro is probably a foreign vocabulary even to many Japanese. It is both rare and vintage. Here’s the description from the HITOMONOKOTO website:

Brewers used the sack “Saka-bukuro” during the Edo- period to filter “Nigori-sake”(unrefined sake) into “Seishu”(refined sake). This process was used up until the early 20th century. Every summer, craftsmen repeatedly applied persimmon juice on sakabukuro to improve waterproofing and antiseptic properties. Due to this process, the cotton fabric’s appearance has changed, similar to tinged brown leather.

“SHIB” are made from hard-to-find,dark sakabukuro cloth that is elastic,like leather,and has a black shiny appearance. No two “SHIB” are the same color. Blurring and scratching reflect the unique texture of sakabukuro cloth to which persimmon juice was applied repeatedly over the years.

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