I have the privilege to be able to travel to Asia on a fairly regular basis since my husband’s family lives in Taiwan. For the past few years we have visited them around the holidays, and this was our third year where we decided to stop in Tokyo for a few days before returning home to New York. It’s taken me about that long to get really comfortable with shopping in Tokyo in terms of finding shopping areas I enjoy, trying brands I’m curious about, and identifying products that spark my curiosity. It’s not so much that I had a set shopping list, but that I’ve gotten better at maximizing feelings of fun and success and minimizing feelings of aimlessness and confusion while shopping.
My husband and I just came back from our second trip to Tokyo, where we spent New Year’s in the middle of visiting both of our families for the holidays. Having gained some level of familiarity with Japanese cosmetics brands since our first visit last year, and having restrained my cosmetic purchases fairly well over the past year, I basically went in feeling ready to buy some stuff. The added bonus was learning about and having my first experience with fukubukuro, or “lucky bags” of products that lots of Japanese retailers put out for New Year’s sales.