FOR KEEPS

Flats - Vanilla Standard (Osaka), Clouding Cat crewneck - Scolar, Silver shoes - Jeanasis, Harajuku pin - WEGO, Leather bag - EMODA, Moleskine - Studio Ghibli Museum, Headband - Harajuku, Sunglasses - Shimokitazawa, Pen - MUJI,

A selection of my favourite purchases from Japan - a purely indulgent way to conclude my Japan 2013 travel blog, at long last...more than two months after coming back. I wrote so many posts with the aim to help out anyone who may be making a travel itinerary so I hope it's helped.

Japanese products and fashion are not cheap but, having lived most of my life in a fellow Top Three Expensive city, the prices were not a huge shock.

Many things (especially from brands) are well made and there is a lot more variety. If you're looking to save some money, secondhand or vintage stores also have way more variety than over here and are worth exploring.

High waisted shorts also from the EMODA outlet store (Venus Fort, Odaiba), as is the EMODA leather tote bag. I'm loving the bag - it's super, super convenient. As a tote, it's big enough to hold my 13 inch laptop but the top section can be folded in to make a shoulder bag that's just the right size for going out, plus a book or small camera.

My Ghibli Museum Moleskine, embossed with the crest... such a guilty pleasure purchase since the only option was a lined Moleskine (while I have a sketchbook) but it's so gorgeous *___* The black MUJI gel pen is refillable and I honestly think all pens should be.

The bottom of the Vanilla Standard flats are padded, which make them super comfortable. The leather is most likely fake but surprisingly soft. There are dozens of shoe shops all along Shinsaibashi and, on sale, a lot of them are only about 2000Y each. Surprisingly good workmanship too.

I bought the sunglasses in a little shop in Shimokita, near Tsukimasa. They have a lovely shape with subtle veins of colour in the clear plastic frame.

The biggest tip I got from a friend before leaving is that, if you do have the budget, buy whatever catches your eye then and there. Even if it's a large chain store and you see something you like in a particular branch, buy it then because there is no guarantee that you'll find it in another city (and you most likely will not, as I found out the hard way re: a cardigan at Osaka's Forever21).

For the most part, I followed her advice and bought way more than I am usually used to but, obviously, it's something you'll need to work on if you're a naturally conservative shopper like me - you may find yourself revisiting some stores in your indecision.

But I will say that I have not regretted any of my purchases, so that's something to keep in mind.

(☞゚∀゚)☞ JAPAN 2013 MASTERPOST