From Frustration to Convenience: My Journey with Japanese Products in America!

My daily life

Lately, I’ve been realizing just how convenient life has become! I mean, back when I moved from Japan to the States in 1998, everything was so inconvenient. I had to give up everything, from the familiar cosmetics and shampoos I used in Japan to clothes and shoes. I tried to stock up on my essentials before coming, but they ran out quickly. At that time, my English wasn’t perfect, and even finding things was a challenge. It was really tough to find things I liked. There are still some things I haven’t found yet!

It was the late ’90s, and while the internet was starting to become popular, online shopping wasn’t as common. People still preferred going to stores to see and touch products before buying. Luckily, there were Japanese supermarkets like Mitsuwa and Marukai nearby, so even if they didn’t sell exactly what I wanted, I could at least buy familiar Japanese products or essentials. They were often 1.5 to 2 times more expensive, but it was worth it.

But you know, since I started living in America, wouldn’t it be nice to easily buy things around the neighborhood? So, I explored various shops back then. I didn’t even know what to call the skincare products I used – like moisturizer and toner – in English! It was that basic. When I went to the cosmetics section of Whole Foods, there were toners and serums and all sorts of things, and I didn’t even know which one to buy for the basic step of washing my face. I bought a toner, thinking it seemed watery enough, but it made my face feel tight and didn’t moisturize at all. Ugh! 😥 

You know, you can’t easily get skincare samples like in Japan here. So when I didn’t like something I bought, I’d use it on my elbows or knees, which ended up accumulating a lot of lotions and creams. What a waste!

Then, I don’t know how many years ago it was… I discovered that if you type Japanese words in romaji on the regular Amazon site, Japanese products show up! When I found out about this, I was over the moon. No, seriously! It wasn’t like this from the ’90s; it gradually increased, I think.

Nowadays, of course, I’ve found favorites among American groceries, clothes, shoes, and detergents, so it’s all good! But let’s face it, Asian skincare suits Asian skin, so now I can buy shampoo on Amazon and my favorite powder-type Fancl face wash. And when I cook Japanese food, I can buy all the must-have Ajinomoto consommé cubes on Amazon. It’s really convenient! And since Korean skincare is also available on Amazon now, I’m sure people here are also delighted?

My life now is like, “No Amazon, no life!” LOL 😆 

And recently, I’ve become really smart – I compare prices between US Amazon and Japanese Amazon before buying something and choose the cheaper option. Shipping from Japan costs extra, but considering the recent exchange rate, it’s sometimes cheaper to have things shipped from Japan. To all the fans of Japanese products out there, give it a try!

My must-haves:

Favorite Consomme Cubes:

Add this to your soups, stews, and curries for a delicious and flavorful boost!

“Cook Do” Japanese Multi-purpose Condiment with Chicken Broth & Burnt Garlic-sauce

Make delicious fried rice in no time with this easy-to-use paste!

Fancl Facial Powder Cleanser:

This enzyme-based powder cleanser is perfect for sensitive skin. It’s fragrance-free, additive-free, and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and clean. With continued use, you’ll notice a brighter complexion!


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