08-27-2015, 10:41 AM
#1
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Friend is headed to Japan for two weeks --- suggestions? 

Kanayama #3 a better deal over there?

Any creams, soaps or aftershaves that don't smell colognish? 

What would you ask for if someone offered to bring you a few items back? 

Thanks!

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 08-27-2015, 11:24 AM
#2
  • TheMonk
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  • Porto, Portugal
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The best bet in Japan, IMO, are aftershaves. Almost impossible to find a decent cream, soap or brush anywhere. There are also a few stores (mostly in Kyoto) that have some very nice Kamisoris.

You can find a decent selection of aftershaves at Tokyu Hands and some BIC Camera stores around Tokyo, including 4711 Eau de Portugal, Kanebo's Valcan, Bravas and Auslese - most of which aren't available anywhere else but Japan.

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 08-27-2015, 11:31 AM
#3
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After reading your thread, I splashed on some Valcan aftershave by Kanebo for my afternoon shave.  That is the only thing besides Feather blades that I have used and recommend from Japan.

I think it is a good, light scent, and I read it is one of their standard pharmacy type brands so it shouldn't be too expensive.  My bride even likes it!

[Image: imgrc0066699759.jpg?_ex=128x128]

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 08-27-2015, 11:44 AM
#4
  • Thug
  • Active Member
  • South Africa
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I'm going to be there in just over 5 weeks and have similar thoughts on some purchases.

I had planned on buying a hone or two from Tools Of Japan and getting it shipped to my Ryokan in Tokyo but after our initial email correspondence, communication from Stuarts side went dead. So that has put paid to that idea.

I'm still toying with the idea of a Japanese Razor or two from one of the Ebay sellers.

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 08-27-2015, 11:47 AM
#5
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I was thinking Sake...

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 08-27-2015, 12:11 PM
#6
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(08-27-2015, 10:41 AM)Boonie21 Wrote: Friend is headed to Japan for two weeks --- suggestions? 

Kanayama #3 a better deal over there?

Any creams, soaps or aftershaves that don't smell colognish? 

What would you ask for if someone offered to bring you a few items back? 

Thanks!

Boy if you were into straights or honing you would of just hit the jackpot on getting some stones....

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 08-27-2015, 12:19 PM
#7
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Never the less if someone was to go to Japan and they happen To bring back a shiage toishe (fine grit jnat) I would feel obligated to send them money via PayPal immediately... Biggrin

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 08-27-2015, 12:26 PM
#8
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Besides kamisoris and straight razors, go for some Jnats. That's a unique possibility to get some professional advice and to touch and try them before you pay for them. Visit Morihei store in Tokyo. It really worth it. 
http://straightrazorplace.com/hones/6094...tokyo.html

Oops, just noticed that it is a friend who's going there... Well, may be not tennen toishi this time Smile

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 08-27-2015, 12:43 PM
#9
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(08-27-2015, 11:47 AM)primotenore Wrote: I was thinking Sake...

+1!

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 08-27-2015, 12:52 PM
#10
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(08-27-2015, 11:31 AM)kansaskyle Wrote: After reading your thread, I splashed on some Valcan aftershave by Kanebo for my afternoon shave.  That is the only thing besides Feather blades that I have used and recommend from Japan.

I think it is a good, light scent, and I read it is one of their standard pharmacy type brands so it shouldn't be too expensive.  My bride even likes it!

[Image: imgrc0066699759.jpg?_ex=128x128]

I asked my wife to get me some Valcan when she was over visiting her folks last year. She didn't have time.
She's there again now, so I will give it another try.

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 08-27-2015, 02:37 PM
#11
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How about Kai blades? Those are pricey but may be cheaper there.

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 08-27-2015, 02:57 PM
#12
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(08-27-2015, 10:41 AM)Boonie21 Wrote: Friend is headed to Japan for two weeks --- suggestions? 

Kanayama #3 a better deal over there?

Any creams, soaps or aftershaves that don't smell colognish? 

What would you ask for if someone offered to bring you a few items back? 

Thanks!

Well, I go to Japan roughly three times every two years, and truthfully the only shaving related item I ever have purchased when there was a Feather MR3 neo razor (which is cheaper there than here) — and that took a lot more searching out than I had imagined that it would — and I speak Japanese.  

Your better bet would be to ask your friend to get some exotic alcoholic beverages not readily available in the United States.  For instance, Hibiki 17-year-old whiskey is rarely seen on these shores, though distribution of Hibiki 12-year-old is fairly widespread in the United States.  Primotenore has suggested sake, which is much less expensive in Japan than in the United States; but you really need to know about the rich and deep variety of sake offerings not to end up with something that merely replicates American-made sake like Momokawa or Ozeki.  

If your friend goes to the Yoshiike department store adjacent to Okachimachi Station (on the Yamanote train line that defines inner Tokyo), on the second floor will be found the broadest variety of sake perhaps anywhere in the world.  Your friend will need to know two words to separate the exceptional sake from the less exceptional sake:  kimoto (which is a method of brewing sake) and Yamagata-ken (which means Yamagata Prefecture on the Japan Sea side of Honshu).  The best sake in the world is brewed in Yamagata-ken, but only about one-third of it escapes to the outside world; the other two-thirds is consumed right within that province.  The kimoto method of brewing is the original, historic, method of brewing sake, but the process was all but abandoned when it was discovered (about the time of the Black Sox Scandal:  coincidence?) that throwing some lactic acid into the brewing vessel creates instant sake — and time is money.   In the past decade or so, kimoto brewing has been making a strong comeback, and its share of the industry in steadily increasing, but it still is a respectable minority rather than a mainline product.  Kimoto Yamagata sakes (such as Gassan no Yuki) do exist, and they are reasonably priced, but they are hard to find, so your friend might have to settle for either/or:  either a Yamagata sake or a kimoto sake; but that is not a bad choice to have to make, and you will enjoy the bottle he brings back.  

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 08-27-2015, 06:19 PM
#13
  • MattCB
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Japan also has some excellent plum wine....  I grabbed about 6 bottles the last time I was there and shipped them home.

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 08-28-2015, 12:45 PM
#14
  • refles
  • Senior Member
  • New York
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(08-27-2015, 02:57 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(08-27-2015, 10:41 AM)Boonie21 Wrote: Friend is headed to Japan for two weeks --- suggestions? 

Kanayama #3 a better deal over there?

Any creams, soaps or aftershaves that don't smell colognish? 

What would you ask for if someone offered to bring you a few items back? 

Thanks!

Well, I go to Japan roughly three times every two years, and truthfully the only shaving related item I ever have purchased when there was a Feather MR3 neo razor (which is cheaper there than here) — and that took a lot more searching out than I had imagined that it would — and I speak Japanese.  

Your better bet would be to ask your friend to get some exotic alcoholic beverages not readily available in the United States.  For instance, Hibiki 17-year-old whiskey is rarely seen on these shores, though distribution of Hibiki 12-year-old is fairly widespread in the United States.  Primotenore has suggested sake, which is much less expensive in Japan than in the United States; but you really need to know about the rich and deep variety of sake offerings not to end up with something that merely replicates American-made sake like Momokawa or Ozeki.  

If your friend goes to the Yoshiike department store adjacent to Okachimachi Station (on the Yamanote train line that defines inner Tokyo), on the second floor will be found the broadest variety of sake perhaps anywhere in the world.  Your friend will need to know two words to separate the exceptional sake from the less exceptional sake:  kimoto (which is a method of brewing sake) and Yamagata-ken (which means Yamagata Prefecture on the Japan Sea side of Honshu).  The best sake in the world is brewed in Yamagata-ken, but only about one-third of it escapes to the outside world; the other two-thirds is consumed right within that province.  The kimoto method of brewing is the original, historic, method of brewing sake, but the process was all but abandoned when it was discovered (about the time of the Black Sox Scandal:  coincidence?) that throwing some lactic acid into the brewing vessel creates instant sake — and time is money.   In the past decade or so, kimoto brewing has been making a strong comeback, and its share of the industry in steadily increasing, but it still is a respectable minority rather than a mainline product.  Kimoto Yamagata sakes (such as Gassan no Yuki) do exist, and they are reasonably priced, but they are hard to find, so your friend might have to settle for either/or:  either a Yamagata sake or a kimoto sake; but that is not a bad choice to have to make, and you will enjoy the bottle he brings back.  

just copied that down for my personal records.. thank you so much!

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 08-29-2015, 07:25 AM
#15
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(08-28-2015, 12:45 PM)refles Wrote:
(08-27-2015, 02:57 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote: The best sake in the world is brewed in Yamagata-ken, but only about one-third of it escapes to the outside world; the other two-thirds is consumed right within that province.   

just copied that down for my personal records.. thank you so much!

[Image: CgvAxpg.jpg]
The bottle-neck label for Dewa33.

Dewa33 (pronounced deh-wa-sahn-sahn) is a special cultivar of rice that was developed specifically for the making of sake; Dewa33 rice is grown only in Yamagata; it is not sold in stores, but only to sake brewers (kura), specifically, to kura within Yamagata Prefecture.  The label is a pun on a collective reference to the Three Holy Mountains of the prefecture, Dewa Sanzan in Japanese, from which flow the streams that provide the water that the kura of Yamagata use to brew sake.  

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 08-29-2015, 03:37 PM
#16
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It pleases me to see the discussion of sake here at the Nook. Thank you for your insights, Mel S Meles -- you are a cultured man.

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 09-08-2015, 02:02 AM
#17
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(08-27-2015, 12:52 PM)Rory1262 Wrote:
(08-27-2015, 11:31 AM)kansaskyle Wrote: After reading your thread, I splashed on some Valcan aftershave by Kanebo for my afternoon shave.  That is the only thing besides Feather blades that I have used and recommend from Japan.

I think it is a good, light scent, and I read it is one of their standard pharmacy type brands so it shouldn't be too expensive.  My bride even likes it!

[Image: imgrc0066699759.jpg?_ex=128x128]

I asked my wife to get me some Valcan when she was over visiting her folks last year. She didn't have time.
She's there again now, so I will give it another try.
This time she found some for me! It's nice.
These days it's regarded as a "throwback" type of product.

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 09-28-2015, 02:00 AM
#18
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I've been using Valcan pretty much daily since I got it, and it really does a nice job.
Like you, Kyle, my wife likes the scent -- and the face feel too.
She even volunteered to get me some more the next time she goes back!

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 09-28-2015, 10:45 AM
#19
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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(09-28-2015, 02:00 AM)Rory1262 Wrote: I've been using Valcan pretty much daily since I got it, and it really does a nice job.
Like you, Kyle, my wife likes the scent -- and the face feel too.
She even volunteered to get me some more the next time she goes back!

I haven't tried Valcan yet. I go to Tokyo every 9 months or so.
I'll pick some up next time.

I'm a big fan of Lucido (also Japanese), which is a pretty much unscented splash. It's got a bit of menthol
and I like the face feel a lot. It's my everyday splash.

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 09-28-2015, 10:54 AM
#20
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(09-28-2015, 10:45 AM)bjorney Wrote:
(09-28-2015, 02:00 AM)Rory1262 Wrote: I'm a big fan of Lucido (also Japanese), which is a pretty much unscented splash. It's got a bit of menthol
and I like the face feel a lot. It's my everyday splash.

Lucido is high on my to-try list. I can find it here in NYC for about $12. It may be less in the Japanese supermarket in New Jersey.
However, I will follow my personal principle of using things up before getting more new stuff.
I have some Speick and Lucky Tiger to get through as well.

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