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Thread: Girl Stuff in Japan - Female Issues :]

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    Default Girl Stuff in Japan - Female Issues :)

    I wanted to start this topic for female issues because there are a few things I've come across and have been thinking about since I got my acceptance email. Not sure if there is already a topic started, if so let me know. If not, then please add.

    Two of my female friends who were in the JET programe (one for 2 years, one for 4 years) suggested bringing tampons and shampoo for thick hair with you. They said that the tampons made in Japan are contoured for a much smaller frame and they found they needed something that just "held" better. I'd assume that you can find western brand shampoos, but they suggested if you have thick or curly hair, might be best to take a supply with you. I'm hispanic and have thick full hair so plan on bringing my brilliant brunette stuff with me. I would like to get my hair cut every now and again (every two months or so) and was wondering about anyone's experiences in a typical hair salon.

    I've read other threads that said we should make sure to bring shoes, bras, underwear, etc. because we just won't fit into things in Japan. Is there any other girly stuff you wished you had that you can't find over there? Anything you didn't really need?

    Also, what are some of the popular Japanese girly/fashion magazines? What fashions are in style right now?

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    Default Re: Girl Stuff in Japan - Female Issues :)

    I can't help with the tampon or fashion things, but for the love of tapdancing Jesus, bring toothpaste.

    Japanese toothpaste is minty bathroom sealant. It doesn't have fluoride, a lot of it is grainy (like it's got fine sand in it) and after a month of using it, I couldn't cope. My teeth felt terrible, I had bad breath a lot and it was just horrid.

    Bring at least 3 tubes with you, arrange for more to be sent.
    For relaxing times when ITIL explodes, make it Japanistan time. (Actually, don't, it's broken forever)

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    okay dolphin you opened the thread, i am going to dive right in. Current female JETs...what do you do about BC pills...get them in Japan, or bring them over and declare them in customs? I did a quick query and came up with not a whole lot in past threads...

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    Was just thinking about BC pills too. And if anyone can give any insight on Gyn experiences in Japan, that would be some very useful info!

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    Was just thinking about BC pills too. And if anyone can give any insight on Gyn experiences in Japan, that would be some very useful info!

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    A decent, trendy salon in a big city will run you close to $60-$70 for a cut/style, at least in my experience.

    You shouldn't have trouble with shampoos...most Japanese girls have healthy, beautiful silky black hair so I would imagine there are high-end shampoos there...??

    I would bring a supply of BC and declare it...I think BC has only been allowed in Japan since '97, not that that matters, just a factoid I guess.


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    As for what fashions are popular--heels, heels, heels! EVERY woman in Japan gets dressed everyday...none of the western slobbiness you see most girls out and about in.

    Heels are the norm for virtually all women, everyday, everywhere. Typical fashion for the sub-30 crowd is stilettos, knee/thigh high white or black stockings, and short shorts or skirts, with conservative tops.

    "Dressing isn’t about showing off your body to men. Japanese girls aspire to something much more elusive: mote. Mote is softer than sexy. It means delicious and perfect, and Japanese girls set about the pursuit of it with alacrity. Tokyo ladies pride themselves on being master fashion editors, and it’s easy to feel under-dressed around them."

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    Senior Member kalliea's Avatar
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    Shampoo yes, tampons no.

    I lived in Japan for a year, and brought most of the girly stuff with me. The program I was in had about a dozen other girls, and we were constantly looking for things. Some things impossible to find, and other things just don’t work as well. Below is a list of things I’m bringing this time.

    Things you MUST bring:
    LOTION!
    Shampoo
    Deodorant
    Q-Tips
    Pads

    Things you probably want to bring;
    Toothpaste
    Mouthwash
    Detergent
    Facial wash
    Tampons
    Conditioner (hair)
    Body wash
    Razors

    Things you might want to bring:
    Make-up / Foundation (If you are fair skinned it is hard to find make-up that matches.)
    Any other hair products (Hair spray, ect.)
    Aleve, Advil, Midol, whatever your cramp killer of choice is

    Basically, anything you might not be comfortable using a different brand of you should take. Or anything that you really want to read the directions of. I never had a problem using Japanese tampons, but I will be bringing my own when I return anyway. The only problem I faced with pads is that they are TINY – absolutely not good for overnights.

    Shampoos, and basically all hair products, are made for Asian hair types, so if you have fine hair, it might work VERY differently. (As in, possible give you a pink tint to your hair…)

    Deodorant, Lotion – Impossible. Period, end of sentence. At least if you’re looking for something that resembles what you are use to. Lotions are generally more watery, with consistency closer oil then what we think of as lotion. No one was ever able to find any kind of deodorant that actually worked – AT ALL!

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    I was actually able to find the same exact aquafresh toothpaste they sell over here in a grocery store in Japan. I think if you aren't in the complete inaka it might fairly easy to find a good western toothpaste. But it is true that standard toothpaste (especially the free ones in the hotel rooms) is horrid there.

    BC can be had if you ask. It's definitely not that common but is available.

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    Puma, you do realize that a significant portion of Japanese girls who've graduated high school have dyed hair, right?

    I sure hope they'll ruv you rong time.

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    Yeah, I was actually thinking about this yesterday, trying to remember what I needed when I was there and what was a waste of time to bring. I wouldn't bother with shampoo, I lived there a year...I was frightened to death when people told me to bring shampoo because theirs sucks...I still use Japanese shampoo to this day. I have curly thick hair. I love their shampoo. I had to try a few brands, but they have some great choices.
    BRING DEODORANT!!! When I went to visit last year they were just introducing Secret stick to Tokyo.
    Toothpaste, I always used American toothpaste.
    Pantie-liners, if you use them-because I don't ever remember seeing them there, ever. And those are essential, I think. Oh, and if you use any sort of wash/feminine wash bring that, because they don't have any of that.
    Tampons, they have them, but I had my own supply. I used some of theirs because I had an emergency on a trip in Kyoto, they worked fine for me. I dunno. So it's up to you. But I think I'd bring some.
    Face wash. They have some great kinds, for all different skin types. But if you are in love with a certain kind...you probably cant get it there. So bring your own. I did.
    FOUNDATION-BYO. I had too, theirs doesn't match my skin-tone. So make sure you have someone at home who can send you some, or bring some until you know you can find some in JPN.
    RAZORS. Their razors suck, because no one uses them. So, once again, BYO. Some places have some decent kinds, but they are sorta expensive so, I'd just stick to the kind you like.
    BRAS- Seriously unless you want frilly-ass bras, that are hella padded...I mean, they stuff a small child into these things. BYO. But hey if you buy them here, you go up a cup size! (Note: if your chest is on the larger size you may have a hard time finding a bra at all...so be careful, make sure you bring a few quality bras with you).
    JEANS: You can find jeans, but I suggest bringing a few great pairs of your own that will last a while. Because the jeans here run SMALL! And I am not big...but I have a giant ass (sigh), I found...and am OBESE...by Japanese standards because I don't wear a size 000. And yes, they have that size at GAP in Tokyo. And their jeans cost about 15800 yen a pop. If you go to Harajuku they have jeans but it's hard to find the style maybe you are accustomed to...So bring a few great pairs. Just in case yours rip...like mine did (sadness).
    MEDS: Midol!!! If you get the cramps, they don't have the medicine we have, they have like tic/tacs, "here, have this tic-tac in this slyly disguised medical packaging, it will make you feel better," DON'T take them it's a trick, might as well have a goddamn tic-tac! So, bring a lifetime supply. No, but bring enough for a few months and have it sent over from time to time. And Pepto tablets, because, as maybe no one wants to say it, you'll need it. People are going to offer you new foods and drinks and you are going to try new things, or you will be hung over, or what have you. BRING THEM! The swallow kind. They are a lifesaver! No one wants diarrhea, or vomiting to ruin their day. And some TUMS, chewable, or the equivilant, ALL of these mentioned MEDS are legal so you can bring them into customs. But trust me you cant get them there, so make sure you bring them you will need them and you will be sorry with out them.

    **Oh, here is a word of advice for the ladies, be prepared to feel fat. Lol. Even when you aren't. When shopping for clothes, jeans, etc. clothes run extremely small, especially pants. So, make sure you bring some great pairs of your own, and when you do go out shopping be prepared for the sizes and the trials of trying them on. 'Cause you are definitely NOT FAT!!! You just more than likely aren't Japanese stick thin! So love yourself. Because I know my friends and I had those days walking around shibs and Harajuku where we just felt fat. So, you're beautiful and lovely! Have that gorgeous dress that makes you feel great and bring it! BRING IT! even if you think you wont need it, 'cause you will. And use it! And you will feel better!! Because you are gorgeous!

    For great fashion tips look at Non-no magazine, or JJ (my two favs) if you can get a hold of one you, can get it at a kinokuniya. But basically girls dress up, ALL the time, in heals. But the style varies, which is great. But everyone HAS style, at least where I was. Skirts, jeans, cute tops, sweaters, etc. You'll figure it out when you get here. And you're wardrobe will gradually become more Japanese/American. So you'll say "I can't wear this, it's too American" and when you get back to the states "I can't wear this, it's too Japanese"

    Oh, condoms, Birth control, be responsible ladies.

    Oh heres a thing, no eyebrow waxing. CRAZY. You gotta learn to do it yourself. Mine got wild. So, I should learn that. Manicures are insanely expensive, if you're used to that. I never got a haircut and am nervous about that, but my friends did. Theirs came out great. That's all I can think of for right now. Yay.

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    Default Re: Girl Stuff in Japan - Female Issues :)

    Quote Originally Posted by dolphincandi
    I would like to get my hair cut every now and again (every two months or so) and was wondering about anyone's experiences in a typical hair salon....Also, what are some of the popular Japanese girly/fashion magazines? What fashions are in style right now?
    When I studied abroad in Japan a friend took me to a hair salon, and it was the best haircut of my life, hands down. It was a little on the expensive end compared to what I usually get done here--I think it ended up being around 5,000 yen--but for the quality of service it was worth it (plus I don't cut my hair that often). I think that's a fairly typical price, but I did see cheaper places. A couple other people I studied with hit up salons there too and all of us came back with the impression that they take haircuts pretty seriously in Japan. So, I guess what I'm saying with this really long reply is you should be able to get a great cut in Japan.

    As far as the fashion magazines go, I haven't read many myself but friend is really in Vivi, and I think that it mostly fashion stuff. When I was there last summer layering seemed to be pretty popular, which was nice because it meant some of the Japanese sized shirts actually fit me as they were meant to be worn over other shirts :P

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    I pretty much second everything that Kalliea and Roux said, with a few additions (just based on my experiences)

    Deodorant is #1, as everyone has already said, it must be reiterated!

    I didn't have too much trouble with tampons that I recall and pads were just fine (though it's a little surprising to see them measured in cc's at first, for people from the USA at least, haha). I ended up getting the night-time one's a lot because I think Asian girls don't get as strong a flow, but besides it being a little uncomfortable I didn't mind it (plus without SEA mail (at least that's what I was told when I went to send New Years gifts to my host family?) you have to do it all airmail and that's EXPENSIVE :!: )

    Shampoo-wise I found Herbal Essences there and just stuck with that, so I think you should be fine. The market I found it at was pretty tiny so I don't think it'd be too difficult to find. I also found Venus razors and Gilette Satin Care shaving gel. (Though I did live in a small town in Kobe so if you live in the country it might be different) If nothing else I don't see why you couldn't stock up on things like these in Tokyo (if you are feeling adventurous!) and take them with you from orientation.

    If you're really attached to your hairdryer you might want to bring that. The typical ones aren't as strong as ours here in the US, but you could probably find a reasonably powerful one if you're willing to pony up a bit more. I used a Japanese one and didn't have much trouble, but my hair isn't very thick.

    The things I found most necessary were my moisturizer and face-wash. If there's something that works for your here BRING IT, because chances are low that you'll find it in Japan, especially if you can't read the bottles. I also brought my own makeup (foundation and mascara being the ones I was most picky about.. Japanese eyeshadow was pretty much the same, but the cheap stuff was still a bit more expensive than what we see here with covergirl, revlon, etc., $10 for two colors..)

    As for BC, I did it all in here because I was told it's a lot more expensive there, but I don't actually know that. If you explain the circumstances I don't see why your OB-GYN wouldn't give you a years worth, that's what I ended up doing. I tried to declare it, but I think I scarred the Japanese man and he said it didn't matter.. but maybe he just didn't want to hear about my pregnancy prevention methods.

    Advil!!! I was forewarned that pain meds aren't the same (i.e. not as effective as we're all used to) so I brought a big bottle and was glad I did, though since I had it I never looked around or tried anything out, so I can't say if it's true, but I'm glad I did it.

    Lotion wasn't too bad either, but I think if you have a set preference that you don't want to change it's definitely best to bring your own.

    Bringing up shoes was a good point too, if you're like me and with big feet (size 9~10, usually the latter) you're not going to find many shoe stores stocking your size (at least not the crazy corner ones that are everywhere). The only ones I did were either incredibly cheap (I mean 300 to 1000 yen kill-your-feet shoes) or REALLY expensive shoe stores ($200+) So if you have a favorite pair I'd be sure to bring them.

    Fashion-wise Puma has it dead on, girls in the US show off the top, Japanese girls show the BOTTOM. (though I saw a few girls who did both at the same time, was completely shocked) They wear tiny shorts and skirts with smart tops, though many wear leggings or tights underneath (even in the winter!). Heels are a must :!:

    The first time I went to Japan I was about 50 lbs heavier than I am now (so if you're overweight, don't put too much stock into your clothes, you might have to buy new ones later!! I lived in a place where I walked 20 min to school (one way) after the train ride, plus all the shopping I did (lots of walking)! and the Japanese food diet does wonders :wink: I lost about 15kg there and then continued to drop after my return) so for those wondering, you CAN find clothes (I was a size 16-18 at the time), but if you live in the country it'll probably be a little harder. A lot of the cheaper stores (Cinema Club, Honey, etc.) will have LL and even LLL (their XL and XXL which is a bit smaller than Western standards, being made for Asians and all). Pants were another issue (I did find a couple), but I found plenty of shirts. Plus, I see plenty of heavier Asian girls in cute clothes, so I'm convinced there are stores for the plus-sized somewhere! Like Roux pointed out there are GAP stores, but they are much more expensive than in the US (i.e. $75 for a skirt (on SALE) that would have cost $30 here.. $125 for a dress that would've been maybe $50.. that's how I went through all of my scholarship money!)

    As for haircuts, I was a baby and went home at Christmas anyway so I had it done there, but like it's been said here, most salons take the job very seriously (especially if you're a gaijin) so I don't think it would be too difficult (bring a picture if you don't speak any Japanese!)

    One thing I was warned about before I went to Japan is to not get involved in the brand-name game. I thought it was stupid advice, especially not being a materialistic person, but it was true. Girls dress to the 10s everyday in Japan and their accessories match.. Chanel, Burberry (huge right now, you see a lot of scarves too), Coach, Louis Vuitton.. I had extra money from a scholarship and without realizing I was really sucked into the whole thing and ended up blowing about $600 on Burberry stuff while I was there just because that was the life style of most young girls. I plan on being better this time though!!

    Wow I think I wrote a book on accident :smt005 I'm glad to have a girls thread to commiserate in though.

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    Despite my status as Hambeast From America, I am SO FRIGGIN EXCITED to be able to find makeup and hair products made for people who look like me. Jesus Christ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by puma
    Heels are the norm for virtually all women, everyday, everywhere. Typical fashion for the sub-30 crowd is stilettos, knee/thigh high white or black stockings, and short shorts or skirts, with conservative tops.
    Crap, really? I can't walk in high heels. I fall every time. Platforms work for me, because it's like walking in sneakers with an inch or two added everywhere, but make just my heels go up... and I'm on the floor. Especially if there are stairs involved.

    Is anyone going to notice if I wear nice flats?

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    The pepto bismol and tums are not necessary. You can find similar medicines like that. They work the same. No, they might not have the same name but this is not a third world country. You can find an antacid.

    Edit: Roux they most definitely have normal razors and all girls use them. A lot of Japanese girls even shave their arms. They have even have some of the exact same brands...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trippetta
    Quote Originally Posted by puma
    Heels are the norm for virtually all women, everyday, everywhere. Typical fashion for the sub-30 crowd is stilettos, knee/thigh high white or black stockings, and short shorts or skirts, with conservative tops.
    Crap, really? I can't walk in high heels. I fall every time. Platforms work for me, because it's like walking in sneakers with an inch or two added everywhere, but make just my heels go up... and I'm on the floor. Especially if there are stairs involved.

    Is anyone going to notice if I wear nice flats?
    They have kitten heals, or yeah, just wear flats (It's a great thing flats are in!), I didn't wear heals that much because of all the walking. I don't know how Japanese women did it...you'll be fine. A lot of people wear flats, cute flats and kitten heals, wear what you're comfortable with.

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    Senior Member Zephy's Avatar
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    Ashleigh, thank you so much for touching on the plus-sized clothing issue. (I'm currently an 18, but am ever-so-slowly losing weight and hope to weigh a good bit less by the time departure rolls around)

    *cue fat girl and pringles comments from the peanut gallery here.*

    I have no illusions about my size. I'm on the larger side and readily admit and accept that. I know I'll be mammoth in comparison to Japanese, but I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that I'm NOT Japanese

    It's good to know I may not have to get friends/family at home to buy EVERYTHING for me, should I need stuff.

    Out of curiousity, are size 8 1/2 - 9 shoes too large to find easily there?
    I'm so tired of playing, Playing with this bow and arrow, Gonna give my heart away, Leave it to the other girls to play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meelynnmurder
    Puma, you do realize that a significant portion of Japanese girls who've graduated high school have dyed hair, right?

    I sure hope they'll ruv you rong time.
    Mostly just women in the mizu-shobai.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalliea
    Shampoos, and basically all hair products, are made for Asian hair types, so if you have fine hair, it might work VERY differently. (As in, possible give you a pink tint to your hair…)
    Seriously?? That is good to know. I have really fine hair. I didn't pass this round for JET, but I am still planning on making it over there, and I'd rather not end up with pink hair...at least not unintentionally. Might be cute though...
    Tofu Robot says, "Meat is Murder!" Mwahahaha....

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