Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Junichiro Koizumi, I Miss You!

The DC area cherry blossoms were here last week. We had a lovely little hanami fête under our three trees last Sunday.

My family is feeling a bitter-sweet nostalgia for our years spent in Japan. Before our move back to the US, we were lucky enough to snag invites to the annual blossom viewing held in Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo.

Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo by u

It was a stunning day filled with kimonos, blossoms, Junichiro Koizumi sightings, famed sumo wrestlers, sake, and KFC (I kid you not, they helped cater). The Japanese love their KFC which leads me to my favorite picture on ever...



I've been intrigued by the Cate Blanchett ad I've been seeing for SK-II.

I've seen SK-II a million times but was never the wiser about it's significance. The story roughly goes: in a Japanese sake factory a scientist noticed that the workers who handled the rice grains/yeast had remarkably youthful, subtle and soft hands despite their ages.

Long story short...a team of scientists put their heads together and Pitera, the key ingredient in SK-II, was born. Pitera apparently allows "the skin's natural surface rejuvenation process to function at its prime, enhancing the renewal of the skin's outer layer."

Of course this miracle serum doesn't come cheap, a 5oz. bottle runs about $145. Fortunately, Komenuka Bijin is a product line developed around the same thinking (sake rice bran/yeast equals youthful skin) for about half the price.

Serum Toner is $76

Komenuka Bijin Facial Cleansing Powder $33


Shirahone Onsen by Sunsengnim

Japanese hot springs and bath houses are a fantastically therapeutic tradition. Shu Uemura is tapping into the vein of bath/spring culture with their classic line Pleasure of Japanese Bath. The line features four different bath oils in "traditional Japanese fragrances, each inspired by nature." Cherry Blossom, Cypress, Iris, and Citron.

Shu Uemura Pleasure of Japanese Bath: Sakura $40

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