01-08-2016, 09:51 AM
#1
User Info
I just got back yesterday from a delightful two-week vacation in Japan (spent with my in-laws and traveling with my wife and son).
I had an opportunity to see what shave goods are readily available in supermarkets and drugstores.
My observations may not differ much from what's been posted here before, but they're fresh, and I think there are at least some different insights.

Razors
Cartridge systems and disposables dominate the market.
I did not see any DE handles for sale, not even the Feather Popular.
However, I did see something interesting -- disposable shavettes. I bought a box of five for Y122 (roughly US$1).
Gillette, especially Fusion, has the prime shelf slots. Japanese makers (Kai in particular) maintain a presence, though.

Blades
Feather DE blades are still available in some places. The price is roughly Y500 for a five-pack and Y1,000 for a 10-pack -- i.e., kind of expensive.
I was interested to see that Schick injector blades remain pretty readily available.
I wanted to get some Kai DE blades but did not see them anywhere.

Brushes
I saw low-end boar brushes in a couple of places, including the Daiso dollar stores.

Soaps and creams
I saw no soaps. The Rohto Mentholatum cream was available in one places I saw.
Otherwise it's canned foams and gels.
I bought the Gatsby gel (from Mandom) for use with my cart razor (that's what I travel with). I was pleasantly surprised by its cool feel and performance.

Aftershaves
Japan has a well-deserved rep for abundant, reasonably priced, nice-smelling aftershaves.
I bought five kinds: Mandom (used today), Lucido, Auslese (there are a few different varieties), Bravas, and MG5 (I believe this is also from Mandom, judging by the packaging).
I also got the MG5 conditioner. Their light citrusy scent is very pleasant.

Accessories
In one drugstore, I saw the little barber shaving cup/scuttle that's been discussed here before (http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=27200).
The price was Y1,300 (about $11). I didn't feel a burning need to acquire it, though.

Japan has so many beautiful ceramic plates, cups, bowls, etc. No doubt scuttles could be commissioned.
However, mass-market ceramics would do nicely for shave bowls too.
The dollar stores have other things like miso soup bowls that could also work as shave bowls.

8 951
Reply
 01-08-2016, 09:59 AM
#2
User Info
Pretty cool. Thanks for sharing. I'm hoping to go one day myself. I'm one of the few members of management St my job that has yet to be sent. My cousin went and brought me back an individually wrapped Schick cart that contains a small pack of shave cream from the hotel he stayed in. Have not opened it but I am interested in trying the cream.

148 3,602
Reply
 01-08-2016, 10:28 AM
#3
User Info
Sounds like a very American-like selection of shaving stuff.  I'm a bit surprised by that I guess.

20 162
Reply
 01-08-2016, 10:35 AM
#4
User Info
I was surprised not to see the Feather Neo cartridge system. If I had, I would have been tempted.

The main reason I didn't get the shaving cup was the dinky size of the soap compartment. It's hard to imagine building lather in it.

8 951
Reply
 01-08-2016, 08:25 PM
#5
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
(01-08-2016, 10:35 AM)Rory1262 Wrote: I was surprised not to see the Feather Neo cartridge system. If I had, I would have been tempted.

Your experience pretty much corellates with mine.  On one of our visits, in 2014 March, in Yokohama, I held a Feather MR3 neo in my hand for the first time, but did not buy.  On our next visit, In October of the same year, I could find no trace of the MR3 neo in Yokohama or Fujisawa or Shinjuku stores (looking intentionally).  When my bride visited Kanto a few months later, she asked at Matsumoto Kiyoshi in Totsuka-cho if they had MR3 neo replacement cartridges, and was told that the store had never heard of them.  

In most of the shops that I visited, Feather DE blades were displayed (on the lower shelves, at knee level), but they were the only DE blades offered. Cartridge razors and their supplies dominated, and Schick seemed to have better product placement, across the board, over Gillette.  

1 1,110
Reply
 01-11-2016, 08:16 AM
#6
User Info
what exactly is a scuttle?

0 173
Reply
 01-11-2016, 08:57 AM
#7
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
User Info
Scuttles are two chambered bowls for your soap. Hot water is held in one chamber to heat the ( usually ceramic) bowl holding your lather and keep it warm.

2 3,171
Reply
 01-11-2016, 09:03 AM
#8
  • Aleksey
  • Enabler
  • Istanbul, Turkiye
User Info
It is interesting. I wish Gillette wasn't dominating the market in Japan, as they have unique products. I haven't heard of Japanese aftershaves. Are they generic drugstore type or they are also unique?

0 1,053
Reply
 01-11-2016, 10:30 AM
#9
User Info
The Japanese aftershaves are drugstore types sold at moderate prices -- US$4-10 a bottle. The makers are big corporations -- for example, Mandom Corp. is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. I noticed that some of them are now made in Vietnam.

Though the prices may be reasonable, the products are really quite nice. The scents are all but neutral (Lucido) or mild/agreeable. The face feel is enjoyable. Burn is not a factor (a plus in my book).

8 951
Reply
 01-11-2016, 10:55 AM
#10
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
User Info
Were the Kai cartridges more similar to Feather or Gillette?

3 587
Reply
 01-11-2016, 11:00 AM
#11
  • Wrathen
  • Senior Member
  • Gulf Breeze, FL
User Info
It's really neat to hear about other markets


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

16 792
Reply
 01-11-2016, 11:16 AM
#12
  • Aleksey
  • Enabler
  • Istanbul, Turkiye
User Info
(01-11-2016, 10:30 AM)Rory1262 Wrote: The Japanese aftershaves are drugstore types sold at moderate prices -- US$4-10 a bottle. The makers are big corporations -- for example, Mandom Corp. is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. I noticed that some of them are now made in Vietnam.

Though the prices may be reasonable, the products are really quite nice. The scents are all but neutral (Lucido) or mild/agreeable. The face feel is enjoyable. Burn is not a factor (a plus in my book).

Thanks for the Info. I love their impact on Whiskey market, and I hope we see that kind of impact in shaving market, too.

0 1,053
Reply
 01-11-2016, 11:25 AM
#13
User Info
(01-11-2016, 10:55 AM)DayMan Wrote: Were the Kai cartridges more similar to Feather or Gillette?

I don't have any firsthand knowledge of the Feather carts. But from what I could see, the Kai carts weren't a whole lot different from any other OTC product.
I imagine one would have to test them in real life to see if the steel is better. Kai DE blades have a good rep in that regard, and I have ordered some because I had a gift certificate from West Coast Shaving.

8 951
Reply
 01-11-2016, 12:11 PM
#14
User Info
(01-08-2016, 08:25 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(01-08-2016, 10:35 AM)Rory1262 Wrote: I was surprised not to see the Feather Neo cartridge system. If I had, I would have been tempted.

Your experience pretty much corellates with mine.  On one of our visits, in 2014 March, in Yokohama, I held a Feather MR3 neo in my hand for the first time, but did not buy.  On our next visit, In October of the same year, I could find no trace of the MR3 neo in Yokohama or Fujisawa or Shinjuku stores (looking intentionally).  When my bride visited Kanto a few months later, she asked at Matsumoto Kiyoshi in Totsuka-cho if they had MR3 neo replacement cartridges, and was told that the store had never heard of them.  

In most of the shops that I visited, Feather DE blades were displayed (on the lower shelves, at knee level), but they were the only DE blades offered. Cartridge razors and their supplies dominated, and Schick seemed to have better product placement, across the board, over Gillette.  

That's unfortunate. Wonder if I should be stocking up on Feather carts for backup...

16 1,027
Reply
 01-11-2016, 08:17 PM
#15
User Info
I miss daiso that was my store. Even had one on base

2 359
Reply
 01-12-2016, 08:39 AM
#16
User Info
Thanks for sharing the information. That's surprising and unfortunate considering all the Japanese shave related products.

16 1,982
Reply
 01-12-2016, 06:35 PM
#17
  • Crag
  • Senior Member
  • Menifee, Ca 92586
User Info
Last March I went to Yokohama for the Denso Corporate meetings and found an abundance of shave goods, but mostly things I had never heard if so I didn't indulge. I was sort of bummed that I hadn't seen anything with the Feather name on it at all...unfortunately I was only there Monday thru Thursday and had almost no time to roam about searching.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk

74 1,523
Reply
 01-12-2016, 07:43 PM
#18
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
User Info
I'm curious? Japanese youth are famous for adopting many western pop icons such as Japanese Elvis impersonators etc. How many Japanese shavers do we have on the forum? can our renaissance in wetshaving penetrate other cultures via the web?

2 3,171
Reply
 01-12-2016, 09:44 PM
#19
User Info
(01-12-2016, 07:43 PM)kav Wrote: I'm curious? Japanese youth are famous for adopting many western pop icons such as Japanese Elvis impersonators etc. How many Japanese shavers do we have on the forum? can our renaissance in wetshaving penetrate other cultures via the web?

I'm also interested in that question. Also, I've been wondering how many of our current members have adopted the use of kamisori straights. One of these days I'll get around to trying a straight razor, and when I do it will be a Feather kamisori.

3 1,484
Reply
 01-13-2016, 05:24 AM
#20
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
User Info
(01-08-2016, 09:51 AM)Rory1262 Wrote: I just got back yesterday from a delightful two-week vacation in Japan (spent with my in-laws and traveling with my wife and son).
I had an opportunity to see what shave goods are readily available in supermarkets and drugstores.
My observations may not differ much from what's been posted here before, but they're fresh, and I think there are at least some different insights.

Razors
Cartridge systems and disposables dominate the market.
I did not see any DE handles for sale, not even the Feather Popular.
However, I did see something interesting -- disposable shavettes. I bought a box of five for Y122 (roughly US$1).
Gillette, especially Fusion, has the prime shelf slots. Japanese makers (Kai in particular) maintain a presence, though.

Blades
Feather DE blades are still available in some places. The price is roughly Y500 for a five-pack and Y1,000 for a 10-pack -- i.e., kind of expensive.
I was interested to see that Schick injector blades remain pretty readily available.
I wanted to get some Kai DE blades but did not see them anywhere.

Brushes
I saw low-end boar brushes in a couple of places, including the Daiso dollar stores.

Soaps and creams
I saw no soaps. The Rohto Mentholatum cream was available in one places I saw.
Otherwise it's canned foams and gels.
I bought the Gatsby gel (from Mandom) for use with my cart razor (that's what I travel with). I was pleasantly surprised by its cool feel and performance.

Aftershaves
Japan has a well-deserved rep for abundant, reasonably priced, nice-smelling aftershaves.
I bought five kinds: Mandom (used today), Lucido, Auslese (there are a few different varieties), Bravas, and MG5 (I believe this is also from Mandom, judging by the packaging).
I also got the MG5 conditioner. Their light citrusy scent is very pleasant.

Accessories
In one drugstore, I saw the little barber shaving cup/scuttle that's been discussed here before (http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=27200).
The price was Y1,300 (about $11). I didn't feel a burning need to acquire it, though.

Japan has so many beautiful ceramic plates, cups, bowls, etc. No doubt scuttles could be commissioned.
However, mass-market ceramics would do nicely for shave bowls too.
The dollar stores have other things like miso soup bowls that could also work as shave bowls.

Thanks Rory, cool piece.

7 2,361
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)