Life Hack – 100 yen store items

Transformation!
I must say, the 100 yen store belongs in the list of typical Japanese.
Incredible, how many different kind of things you are able to find there. From needles to notebooks, from cleaning sheets to brooms, from fake eyelashes to bicycle tools and so on.
And everything for 100 yen + 10 yen tax each! It is super cheap, useful and the quality is not bad too.

Divided in two parts, the first part is about some little items, which can be useful for other purposes. Maybe, it gives you more inspiration to come up with ideas of items of 100 yen store. The examples here are from Japanese people who posted in their own social media profile. Pretty awesome! The second part is about some items which are interesting and probably useful, but not what you would think getting one before finding them in the hyaku (100) yen store! That will be in the next post.

Let’s start with the tricks of certain 100 yen items!

If you need a hook next to the wash basin, toilet or kitchen counter to hang up the towels, 100 yen stores have plenty of those hooks. But some Japanese use them in a different way, which makes me consider to buy extra.

1.) Do you have a couple of glasses or sunglasses? How about displaying and storing them like this way. Hang up some of hooks!

 

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2.) I thought this is useful. In the summer either we use the air conditioner or the ventilator to cool down the rooms. Sometimes we store the ventilator, when we don’t use it, but we have the cord just randomly next to it, or entangled around the pole. This solution with hooks is great! Put 2 on the pole of the ventilator and entangle the cord vertically around the 2 hooks.


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3.)This is a combination of hooks and a phone ring holder. Attach a phone ring holder to the remote and hang a hook on the designated desirable place.

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4.) For stationary, papers, unused items, underwear, make-up, accessories etc., boxes and trays are useful. Instead of taking a box out of the main storage closet or rack, we can create a sliding shelves by pulling on hooks on boxes.

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5.) No place to store bananas safely, this is a solution: Use hooks and bananas are able to swing, without getting bumped by other products.

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Beside of the hooks, here are some other tricks with other items from the 100 yen store.

6.) These are actually cord clips to arrange cord wires, but it seems this user has stuck these on the mirror to hang toothbrushes. What I am the most convinced about this trick, it can drain and dry nicely. Some of those toothbrush

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7.) Are you good with hands and like to make things too. This rack is created with 3 items from the 100 yen store: metal racks (2x), wooden plates (3x) and chopsticks, It is not only useful but it looks pretty nice too.

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8.) With the same metal racks, you can also use them to hang the garbage bags.

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9.) For your precious clothing which can easily wrinkle, this is a good idea to store a certain shirt neatly. Just put it in a 100 yen plastic file case, with a matching tie or accessories. Also super easy!

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10.) Last interesting usage of a 100 yen item, magnet!
Difficulties finding your nail clipper, tweezers, metal clips, pins? Stuck them on magnets.

   

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Some useful ideas? Anyway, quite funny to see some people seriously doing these kind of tricks. Have you been using a 100 yen store item for a different purpose?

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Life Hack – Medicine

When you visit the hospital in Japan, the doctor obviously knows what kind of medicine fits to your health issue, whether it is fever, cold, muscle ache, bloating stomach etc. After receiving the prescription, you just go to the pharmacy and you can get the right medicines.
But in the case, you are not interested to visit the doctor and you just want to get the simple over-the-counter medicines, then you need to visit a drugstore. In Japan, most medicines are not obtained from the combini (24-hours stores).

Here is a list of the basic medicines for general illnesses or any other health issues.

Health issues like

  • Headache
  • Throat ache
  • Fever
  • Cold
  • Muscle ache

 

To help out kanji-challenged expats in Japan (like me), translation and pronunciation of the most useful medicines in Japan are noted. There might be different brands in various drugstores, but these items are common here and easy to find. Hopefully it is useful and easy to understand, since translation camera apps are not always doing their job properly.

The products are explained as:

    • Original Japanese name
    • English name
    • Japanese pronunciation / Japanese name in Roman
    • Function

Medicine in Japan

Medicines in Japan Medicine in Japan 2

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Life Hack – Different brands of Laundry products

Last time we distinguished different products which are useful for cleaning the clothes, keeping the clothes in good condition and making it easier. For example, the dry sheets which avoid molds and stains on clothes, sheets and futons.

As an expat it is difficult to know which detergent is for what purpose. Also, it is sometimes annoying to use google translation every time and you just take the risk buying one pack of detergent, without knowing what it actually is. I made once a mistake by buying a clothing deodorizer, I actually wanted a laundry cleaning detergent. It is useful to know which bottles and laundry brands are laundry detergents, softeners or deodorizers. This time, it is about different brands of typical laundry cleaning detergents which you can easily find in drugstores in Tokyo. So smaller chance of buying a deodorizer again, bigger chance to find the laundry detergent.

To help out kanji-challenged expats in Japan (like me), here is a  summary of the most useful laundry detergent products in Japan. There might be different brands in various drugstores, but these products (of different brands) are common here. Hopefully it is useful and easy to understand, since translation camera apps are not always doing their job properly.

The products are explained as:

  • Original Japanese name
  • English name
  • Japanese pronunciation / Japanese name in Roman
  • Function
  • Instruction

Enjoy shopping and doing laundry!

Laundry brand products Japan1 Laundry brand products Japan

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Life Hack – Clothing products

This time, a list of products related to clothing, but probably, it would also be useful to know which bottles and brands are cleaning detergents, softeners or deodorizers. I made once a mistake by buying a deodorizer, but I actually wanted a laundry cleaning detergent. So next time, we will specify the laundry products. 

For now, a list of useful clothing related drugstore products. We distinguish different products which are useful for cleaning the clothes, keeping the clothes in good condition and making it easier. For example, in the summer, we need to be careful about molds, so in Japan there are dry sheets which avoid molds and stains on clothes, sheets and futons.  Or there is a convenient spray to smooth the clothes during ironing. These kind of convenient products are listed up here.

To help out kanji-challenged expats in Japan (like me), here is a  summary of the most useful laundry products in Japan. There might be different brands in various drugstores, but these products (of different brands) are common here. Hopefully it is useful and easy to understand, since translation camera apps are not always doing their job properly.

The products are explained as:

  • Original Japanese name
  • English name
  • Japanese pronunciation / Japanese name in Roman
  • Function
  • Instruction

Enjoy shopping!

Laundry Detergent in Japan

Laundry detergent in Japan

 

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Life Hack – Pesticides

As a North European, I haven’t experienced a lot of bugs at home, but since I have moved to Japan, I have come across my first cockroach and my first big rat. In the summer, my whole body needs to be covered with a sprayed layer of insecticide to prevent getting hundreds of mosquito bites.

It was quite new to me, to buy pesticides. The best way is to ask a staff of the drugstore, but if speaking is problematic as well, hmmm…. It might be useful to know about the pesticides in Japan.

To help out kanji-challenged expats in Japan (like me), here is a  summary of the most useful pesticides in Japan. There might be different brands in various drugstores, but these products (of different brands) are common here. Hopefully it is useful and easy to understand, since translation camera apps are not always doing their job properly.

The products are explained as:

  • Original Japanese name
  • English name
  • Japanese pronunciation / Japanese name in Roman
  • Function
  • Instruction

Enjoy shopping!

Pesticides 1
Pesticides 1
Pesticides 2
Pesticides 2

 

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Life Hack – Cleaning products

Everybody who moves to a new country, it is challenging to visit a drugstore and finding the product you want. The best way is to ask a staff of the drugstore, but if speaking is problematic as well, hmmm…. It might be useful to know about the products of the country.

To help out kanji-challenged expats in Japan (like me), here is a  summary of the most popular cleaning products in Japan. There might be different brands in various drugstores, but these products (of different brands) are common here. Hopefully it is useful and easy to understand, since translation camera apps are not always doing their job properly. Either, you are new and still need to get some products, or you have always wondered if you have used the Japanese cleaning products properly.

The products are explained as:

  • Original Japanese name
  • English name
  • Japanese pronunciation / Japanese name in Roman
  • Function
  • Instruction

Enjoy shopping in drugstores!

Cleaning product in Japan 1

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Free tour I : Earthquake disaster center

Earthquake Disaster center in Tokyo

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Did you know this Earthquake center in Odaiba? Experience the Tokyo earthquake in a remake Tokyo city with after shocks and learn at the evacuation center. It called: Sona Area Tokyo – Disaster Prevention Experience Learning Facility.

And it is free!

On the 1st floor of the center, there is the Disaster Prevention Zone. You will experience the earthquake of an magnitude of 7.3 and the visitor needs to survive by her/himself while answering questions. What to do during a big earthquake?

Sona Disaster Center in Odaiba

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On the 2nd floor, it is the Learning Zone. Like a museum, you will be informed by display- items, Project mapping and panels. How to prepare for a big earthquake and how to survive a big earthquake?

Sona Disaster Center in Odaiba 2nd floor

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Beside of these two facilities for free, everybody is also welcome to their roof garden and also to their BBQ garden. Although the BBQ garden cost 1,000 yen per person to rent the table-chair set and the BBQ equipment.

Sona Disaster Center in Odaiba <credit>

Disaster Prevention Experience Learning Facility

Information:
Address: 3-8-35 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Phone number: 03 3529 2180
Website: https://www.tokyorinkai-koen.jp/
Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 ~ 17:00
Admission fee: Free

Eartquake disaster center in Tokyo
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Bbq garden

Information:
Address: 3-8-35 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Phone number: 050 3816 6374
Website: https://digiq.jp/portal/experience/73728/0#home-moreinfo
Opening hours: Weekdays: 11:00 ~ 15:00 and Weekends, holidays, July and August 11:00 ~ 15:00 & 14:00 ~ 17:00
Admission fee: 1,000 yen per person

Extra information: table, chairs and BBQ equipment set are prepared. Bring own charcoal, food and drinks. Or order food, drinks, charcoal, tents and extra items with an extra charge fee.

BBQ in Odaiba
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How to prepare for an earthquake?!


Regularly, we feel a small earthquake in Tokyo. It is quite common here, but it has been predicted that there will occur a big one in Tokyo before the year 2050. For foreigners who haven’t experienced any earthquakes, it can be frightening. How to prepare for any kind of earthquake?

 

1.)Install this useful app Yurekuru on your phone. It gives warning notifications a few seconds before an earthquakes happens.

2.)  On the website of Japan Meteorological Agency, you can find out about the latest Japanese earthquakes. It updates immediately after any earthquake. It is good to know where the main core was, in the case you would like to escape to other cities.

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3.)  Discuss with other girls in your sharehouse, about a safe place outside, if the sharehouse is not safe to be in after an earthquake. At least you wouldn’t be alone outside after the disaster.

4.)  Let the embassy of your country know you are living in Japan by registering your contact information. The embassy can assist you more before, during and after the earthquake. In my experience of the earthquake in 2011, the Dutch embassy contacted the Dutch people who had lived in Japan, that the embassy could arrange airplane tickets from Japan to the Netherlands for free.

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5.)  Make your house dangerous free. So check if the bookcase is standing against the wall and if certain breakable items are not on the top of a furniture. If necessary, you can tape certain cabinets or closets on the floor, just in case.

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6.)  Prepare an emergency kit. You can buy those kits in Don Quijote, Amazon.com, home good stores and home centers. Or you can prepare an emergency kit by yourself.
What kind of items are useful to have before the earthquake:

  • A couple bottles of water
  • Flashlight + spare of batteries
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Cash
  • Medication
  • Radio + spare of batteries
  • Canned food and other ready-to-eat food
  • Work gloves
  • Big plastic sheets, like garbage bags or poncho
  • Copy of all your important documents, health insurance, bank information, passport etc.
  • Whistle
  • Swiss army knife
  • Pen + paper

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3 Ways to Stay Warm in Japan!

We’re currently still in the depths of winter here in Tokyo and everyone’s feeling the chill! Here’s some distinctly Japanese tips to stay warm while we wait for spring. It’s just around the corner and I can already taste the sakura  Starbucks drink… but until then try some of these out!

  1. Go to an Onsen (Japanese Public Bath)

If you haven’t already visited a Japanese public bath, winter is the best time! If you can get out to the countryside and experience a real onsen, you’ll see a multitude of benefits to your skin and health. And best of all, it warms up your whole body so you won’t feel cold all day!

If you’re currently in an inner city area, there are plenty of onsen-style public baths where you can get the same warming effect. Just remember these bathhouses have strict rules so read up properly before you go!

  1. Eat Nabe

Nabe is Japanese style hot-pot. You can throw pretty much anything in which makes it a handy recipe when you’ve got a fridge full of random bits and pieces. You can even buy a pre-made broth at the supermarket, making this dish idiot-proof! Add ingredients to the simmering pot and once they are cooked, everyone can take their pick and eat from their own bowl. While eating, add more ingredients and the whole process starts again! Unlimited food!

If you’re not confident in your cooking skills, brace going outside in the cold to a restaurant. It’ll be worth it! Here’s a list of cheap restaurants for nabe, some are even all-you-can-eat! Amazing!

  1. Use Self-warming Products

 

There’s so many to choose from! Cold back? Back pad! Cold hands? Hand warmers! Cold eyes? Heated eye mask!! Seriously, any type of coldness you may have is covered in this wonderful country.

Self-heating bags can be placed inside your pockets to keep your hands toasty while you’re outside. They’re sold in all supermarkets, drugstores and convenience stores, look for something called ‘Kairo’. They’re super cheap and last for up to 20 hours (use them while you wait for that friend who’s always late…). Simply take them out from the plastic bag, shake them a few times and they start to heat up. Technology!

What are your tips for beating the chill? Leave a comment and let us know!

Stay warm, ladies!