Japan Trip 2010 – Matsumoto

All posts in this series:

(VERY PIC HEAVY~! Shopping related photos towards the end of the post! Feel free to skip through if you’d like!)


The third city on our itinerary: Matsumoto

We had very pretty views on the way there. I love the architecture of Japanese houses! Also, when you are out of the city you can tell that they really care about the land… Farms and greenery everywhere!

I’d recommend that if you go to Japan you should try venturing out of the big metropolitan cities and visit smaller suburban towns. (You’ll still get a lot of shopping done…I sure did. Haha. because you’ll always find a local mall somewhere.) When you get away from the big buildings you can see a beautiful mix of traditional and modern sights.

Look how small that ambulance/police car is!

There are many flower pots along the streets in Matsumoto. I love that.

The cutest little flower shop:

With GIANT fake flowers.. lol.

A lot of the cities we visited had rivers running through them. So beautiful!

And I love how Japan has so many animal or character mascots for EVERYTHING. Almost every kind of brand, service, or company has one! They also appear in a lot of older folktales, legends, as spirits, deities etc.

They even have an animal mascot for one of their main delivery service companies… a mommy cat carrying a kitten in its mouth. Thus… “delivery service.” LOL! So adorable.

Even in the suburban areas land is tight. Here’s a parking structure that works like a ferris wheel… the cars are lifted up off of the ground to save space.

Another advertisement featuring a western star: Leonardo DiCaprio!


Visited Matsumoto castle…

The bridge leading to the castle:

It had THE steepest stairs I have ever had the pleasure to climb. Haha. VERY VERY steep with narrow steps!

View from the top of the castle:

There were a lot of students on field trip there… I think these were middle school students and they all had to wear white caps.

After walking through the castle, we had to cool down a bit. It was HOT. They had a shady little area with a TON of vending machines. Perfect.

I got a vanilla wafer ice cream and my sister got the same type but strawberry flavor with little bits of chocolate inside.

We also visited a modern art museum featuring the artist Yayoi Kusama. She likes to work with dots! Her work is quite psychadelic. Pictures weren’t allowed but I did get some outdoor shots for you!

Giant spotted flowers reminiscent of Mario games!

Dotty Coca Cola vending machine:

After visiting some of the tourist-y places I just wanted to walk around the food/shopping areas!

On the way…I saw these two dressed up girls at the convenience store… I just HAD to snap a quick pic!

Okay now onto some of the interesting food I saw in Matsumoto.

A vending machine in my hotel lobby… mostly beer of course.

I found this interesting… Cocktail Partner drink to go with your alcohol! haha.

Apple pie… I think this area is famous for apples?

Giant apple flavored Pretz!

These were the first flavored Kit Kats that I saw, but they were a kind of spice/pepper flavor. And they came in a huge pack. Nooo thanks.

Chinese spinach Pretz? Not entirely sure if I’m thinking of the right veggie.

Passed by a Gyu-Kaku restaurant. I know there are a few of these in SoCal. This is the type of restaurant where your table has its own grill and you cook your own meats and veggies.

A 7-11 store! :)

At a grocery store there was a HUGE spread of bentos. Some chirashi I think… seafood over rice:

Tempura bar:

Ate a ramen dinner in a tiny little ramen shop:

YUM! Tonkotsu ramen:

There was this teeny little door in the middle of the restaurant:

I didn’t know what WC stood for until later.
WC = water closet = bathroom! How strange!

Okay what you’re probably all waiting for… the SHOPPING!

There was a PARCO department store right next to our hotel.

They had a MUJI store inside.. I am obsessed with MUJI! Its like IKEA but a lot better IMO.

Muji skincare, makeup, toners and a lot of facial cotton:

They even have food!

All of the Japanese department stores are sectioned off by floor (e.g. ladies, young ladies, men, housewares) then by brand.

Marc Jacobs section:

Theory section:

I saw these everywhere… handbag organizers. Pretty much every accessory shop had them.

A men’s clothing shop:

The “young ladies” floor:

A sock shop! Seriously there are sock shops EVERYWHERE in Japan.

I had to take a photo of this sweatshirt… LOL. Oh Minnie. A girl after my own heart.

I love looking at Japanese housewares!

Teeny vacuums in a range of colors you’d never get in the USA:

Cute little houseplants in pots:

House plants with little jelly water bubbles instead of soil!

Interesting little soap dishes… if you can even call them dishes!

Cake towels:

Borista organic fruity body lotions and soaps:

THE funniest things for your home… Pig-themed covers for your cleaning squirt bottles!!!

Cute little animal mops! Mouse, hedgehog and squirrel!

What I wore while window shopping: Moussy shirt, Paris Kids necklace, Heritage shorts, UNIQLO socks and Puma sneaks

Eco bags next to the cute kitchen goods:

“Washi” tape or colored masking tape. Very popular for crafters and design bloggers right now:

Examples of deco-fied cell phones. Interestingly enough, Japanese cell phones are mostly flip phones. They do have Iphones though.

The top floor of the building had a special Tokyu Hands Truck Market area! Lots of cute house goods!

Bathroom goodies… hooks, hand towels, and sponges. You can seriously choose a color scheme for your bathroom and almost EVERYTHING can be your favorite color! hehe.

More eco bags… Frosted Flake eco bag on the bottom right!

GIANT smooshy body pillows. I totally wanted to buy a pillow but the size was an issue.

I have never seen this before… these are edamame and candy shaped SPONGES that you use to clean the inside of bottles. You pop it in with some soap, shake it up and it will clean the bottles~!

Onto the MAKEUP!!!!


Hair extensions and irons:

Candy Doll cosmetics:

Candy Doll lipglosses and nailpolish:

Fasio cosmetics featuring Jun Matsumoto from the boy band Arashi (or you may recognize him from some popular J-Dramas)

If you look at the closeup you can see the various “cat-eye” looks you can achieve with these palettes:

Gorgeous Cat
Sexy Cat
Sweet Cat
Mysterious Cat
Cool Cat

Canmake makeup:

Maquillage… my favorite line for Japanese foundation :)

Majolica Majorca:


Random BB cream… BB cream is also a big trend in Japan too!

Nail art goodies:

Nail glitters:

More random goodies…socks again but with famous characters:

Tons of cute headphones:

Strange pouches with eyes:

Pencil cases shaped like shoes:

Camera cases:

Cute pink camera case made out of felt!

Colorful men’s undies and socks (I know.. so random)

Mini speakers in all shapes and colors!

That’s it for Matsumoto!

Next city: Takayama

♥ E&I