Visiting Japan

Pom Pom Purin Cafe

Posted on August 19, 2016 by

pom pom purin cafe

Like many of you, I’ve been avidly following the character cafe trend which has taken over Asia with adorable cafes themed for our favourite kawaii characters popping up across Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and more. When I visited Japan in May, I was hoping it would coincide with an amazing popup cafe, but sadly missed both the Miffy and Rilakkuma cafes by mere days.

pom pom purin cafe

Luckily there are lots of permanent character cafes and I visited the Pom Pom Purin Cafe while in Osaka. It’s situated in the Umeda Hankyu mall, which also has a Gudetama cafe and a huge branch of Kiddyland. I managed to find it in the basement with all the other restaurants and it was completely empty on a Tuesday lunchtime.

pom pom purin cafe

The staff are quite happy for you to take photos of everything and wander about to see all the details. All the decor is so cute, with artwork on the walls, pudding chairs, a big figurine to pose with and lots of cute things on your table.

pom pom purin cafe

Here’s a look at part of the menu – you can view it in full here – it was so hard to choose what to have! Each cafe has a couple of exclusive regional dishes – in Osaka there’s okonomiyaki (a kind of cabbage pancake) and takoyaki (octopus dumplings) that are actually chocolate. In the end I went for the coconut chicken curry and chose a mango ice cream drink over dessert (it was a really hot day!).

pom pom purin cafe

The food looked just as cute as the menu pictures with lots of fun details and I took tons of photos. The curry was really good as well – sometimes kawaii food is very much style over substance but I would eat this again. The drink came with a free coaster that you can see there, but I forgot to take it home with me in all the excitement. So sad!

pom pom purin cafe

Here’s a close look at my drink. I didn’t want to eat the ice cream! There were real mango chunks at the bottom and lots of ice with mango soda and ice cream on top. It was very refreshing but it was almost impossible to eat the mango as it was trapped under so much ice. I would have been better getting a proper dessert.

pompompurin cafe

This was one of the times when I wished I had traveling companions so we could order more and try everything. I would definitely go back sometime to try some more dishes. Look how cute it all is!

pom pom purin cafe

Even though I was on my own, I wasn’t offered the Pom Pom Purin plush as a dining companion. Probably they didn’t know if I would understand. You can just see the shop there too which sells lots of plushies, stationery and more including some exclusive cafe items. I spent a long time deciding and eventually got a plush keyring. I bought most of the others below in Kiddyland.

plush

If you’re heading to Japan, there are permanent Pom Pom Purin Cafes in Harajuku, Yokohama and Osaka. You’ll also find permanent cafes themed around Hello Kitty, Ghibli, Gudetama, Moomins and more, plus random popups throughout the year. You can find out more about all those in my Planning For Japan guide book. I also just blogged about my visit to the Usagito bunny cafe over at Asking For Trouble.

japan guide

Cute Characters

Num Noms

Posted on August 18, 2016 by

Num Noms are a new-ish collectible toy line to hit the market. As soon as I saw them on shelves I had to grab a few mystery packs and a set to add to my ever growing toy collection.

num noms

Each character in super sweet – from the cute design to the scent these lil characters will make you hungry! You can mix and match characters to create your own menu and they stack upon each other. You can display them individually as well.

numnoms

I bought the pizza pack – because hello – pizza!

numnoms

The ice cream pack looks too sweet to pass up.

num noms

And if you like surprises like me go ahead and grab a few mystery packs. Each character slips over a lip gloss or stamp and comes with a collectable character chart.

No matter what your flavor is Num Noms have you covered. From sweet to salty you are bound to find your favorite treat in a collectable form. You can also pick them up at Amazon and Toys R Us.

Books, Zines & Comics, Kawaii Artists

Naoshi’s Ice Cream Work

Posted on August 17, 2016 by

ice cream work naoshi

Japanese artist Naoshi‘s art is colourful, kawaii and a little bit surreal, and even more impressive when you find out it’s made with sand! It’s called Sunae and involves filling in areas on sticky paper with colourful sand. You can watch Naoshi in action in this video.

OvercupPress_IceCreamWork_Monday_2

Naoshi has a new book of work available called Ice Cream Work, which follows the adventures of Ice Cream Man throughout a working week where he turns up at a birthday party, in sunflower fields, on the golf course and more.

ice cream work naoshi

Each spread is full of clever little details and bright contrasting colours and patterns. It would be really easy to forget all these details are painstakingly made with sand if it wasn’t for the texture. If you love colourful art, food and nature, this is well worth adding to your bookshelf as you’ll be sure to find something new every time you pick it up.

ice cream work naoshi

Ice Cream Work is published by Overcup Press and can be ordered online for $14.99 or through your favourite book store.

naoshi

If you fancy giving Sunae a try, Naoshi also sells kits in her Etsy shop alongside prints, originals, t-shirts and more. This reminds me that I have a kit I’ve never used so I’ll have a go soon and post the results on Instagram.

Cute Shop Alert!

Cute Kitchenware from Creative Stone Ceramics

Posted on August 16, 2016 by

CreativeStoneCera

Jae Suk Shin from Korea is both skilled in making ceramics and drawing animals. He sells his creations as Creative Stone Ceramics and I would really like to share them with you. How cute are these hand-painted dishes and mugs?

CreativeStoneCera

Yay for cats on kitchenware! All the Creative Stone Ceramics are one of a kind, so you’ll bring something special home. According to the description the painted ceramics are dishwasher and microwave safe. I think it’s nice how most of the paintings follow the shape of the dish.

CreativeStoneCera

Rest assured if you are not a cat person; there are also plenty of dog, bunny and panda related items in the shop.

CreativeStoneCera

For a little extra money you can ask Jae to make a custom mug, based on a picture of your pet. This would be a great gift as well (^_^).

SCK Favourites

Purr Maids at Paperchase

Posted on August 15, 2016 by

paperchase

What do you get when you combine cats and mermaids? The new Purr Maids collection at Paperchase! Your average kitty is not a big fan of water but these cuties look quite at home. I especially love this glittery notebook.

paperchase

For extra fun, the products include pastel rainbows, holographic and iridescent materials and lots of glitter. These filing boxes will make your boring documents much more kawaii.

paperchase

Head to the beach with this lightweight backpack and maybe you’ll spot some purr-maids.

paperchase

Of course there’s tons of stationery including some fun new multi-packs. You get all this for just £9.

paperchase

Or check out the lunch set with bag, water bottle and snack boxes.

Paperchase ship worldwide and if you’re in the UK you can sign up in store for a Treat Me card which gets you shipping upgrades, discounts and more.