How I Spend my Yen

It’s not hard to shop in a shopper’s paradise like Japan, you think. But remember the times where you point at tourists in Chinatown and laugh at their naivity buying “Singaporean” goods from the street peddlers. Well, if you don’t want to be one of them, then you should continue reading to know what are worth buying. To me, at least.


Novelty

It’s Japan, for goodness sake. The place you can expect wacky inventions or at least, innovative novelty souvenirs, before it gets bastardised by imitators. You should be able to easily find them in the bigger lifestyle department stores like Tokyu Hands or LOFT.


Adult

With Japan’s adult industry contributing so much to their economy (and the world), you haven’t visited Japan if you haven’t been into an adult DVD store, a cabaret club or its less savoury variants, a multi-storey sex shop or all of the above. While DVDs of every genre (including made-in-Singapore ones) is available at almost any corner, you wouldn’t wanna risk the wrath of Changi Airport’s custom officials as it’s prohibited to bring in obsence materials into Singapore. Just take note of their DVD codes and move on. However, if you are just looking for adult toys, whips, chains (hey, no one’s judging), M’s Pop Life Department in Akihabara is probably your best bet for range and prices.

Tenga Fliphole
There isn’t a less crude way to describe this product. This technological marvel helps you help yourself on lonely nights. Unlike their main series, the Fliphole allows for up to 50 uses or more depending on your threshold for hygiene.

Hand Made

Skilled craftsmen abound in a land where arts are appreciated and well rewarded. Most of these craftsmen have skills and techinques passed down throught the generations and have devoted their lives to their craft. I’m always fascinated and inspired by the workmanship and effort put into each and every product.


Charms

So many years of history isn’t for nothing, as Japan offers probably one of the richest range of traditional goods, from paper umbrellas to artwork. But their good luck charms are the most meaningful and affordable as souvenirs

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Maneki Neko
The Maneki Neko or “Fortune Cat”, as known to us Chinese, originated from the Gotoku-ji Temple in Setagaya (See map). You can still find them for sale at the temple.
Black Charm from Zozoji Temples
Good luck charms don’t usually come in black, so this one from the Zozo-ji Temple for victory and protection is attracting attention for its colour following that of the Amida Buddha.

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