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After seeing these animal donuts I wonder if I should just turn this into a food blog, because sometimes this blogger spends the whole day in workout clothes despite only working out for an hour. However, I can always eat! Especially when its super cute animal donuts from Floresta Donuts.

Floresta’s animal donuts are blogged about everywhere scoring a billion notes on tumblr and scoring the adoration of Kotaku. But they’re actually deeper and better than just being cute!

 

Floresta Donuts is Organic, Natural and Local

Floresta (site) was started in Nara, Japan (famed home of the semi-tame deer) in 2002 by a husband and wife who wanted to make donuts that were “Nature Donuts”. That meant using local ingredients and all natural items from organically farmed sources. They focus on small batch regional production. The outcome is a deliciously light and not-too-sweet donut.
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Floresta’s tiny shop in Koenji. Theres no inside just a few sit-down chairs if you’d like to enjoy there. Floresta’s store placement seems to focus on neighborhoods where people can pick up their donuts on their way home.

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They have regular deals on their basics. All Floresta donuts are cake based.

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Here’s their basic lineup, which is tasty.

But I know you’re here for the animal donuts.

Floresta Animal Donuts

 

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The cuteness in edible form! Sakura season special bear and chicken sakura donuts.

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Look at that happy donut hole bear donut. Like he has a pool floaty of donut goodness.

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So simple but so cute! Chicken sakura season gentei Floresta animal donut.

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Their regular animal donuts are still super cute! Pandas, bees, tigers, seals, rabbits and more animal donuts. Each store will list a monthly schedule of what days of the week each animal is coming out. Not all animals are available everyday. For a list of all regular animals check their site.

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Regular animal donut line-up! Cat donut. This was one of their first designs. They use almonds for ears.

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My favorite the Floresta seal donut. Check out that cute expression! Again almonds for flippers.

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Seconds before it went into my mouth.

If you’re not a donut fan, they also do traditional desserts, shaved ice (during summer) and “nature icecream”

Finding Floresta

If you’re visiting Tokyo there are two stores in the area. The closest and easiest is Koenji. Which is a terrific neighborhood with tons of used shops.

If you’re visiting Kamakura to see the giant buddha you can also enjoy them.

Kansai area: Kyoto has one near the Kawaramachi subway station as well as an Osaka store and the main Nara shop.

Nutritional Info:

For calorie counters each donut ranges from 202 calories for the basic ones to more for the animal donuts according to Floresta’s website. If this is too sugary I have a big post about eating healthy in Japan coming soon. I’ve been working on it for months!

Ikumi Mama animal donuts:

Ms. Ikumi Nakao developed the animal donuts for Floresta. She has since left the company and founded her own shop, Ikumi Mama. Which specializes in animal donuts that look exactly like Floresta’s. She has one shop in Kanagawa near the Motosomiyoshi station which is about 25 minutes away from Shibuya.

 

More Doll eats Japan food posts? Get a hungry eyeful here

More Japanese sweets posts? Satisfy your sweet tooth here

 

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Merry Jenny (メリージェニー) is an aomojikei brand by Mark Styler (that does Murua, Emoda, Dazzlin, and Jouetie). It was started in 2012 by Yui Yoshikawa (吉河唯 blog models press interview here). She previously modeled in Vivi as a reader model (読者モデル), and was Dazzlin’s Visual Director. Merry Jenny follows in Dazzlin’s footsteps but also contains a unique almost Wes Anderson influence.

Merry Jenny quick details:

katakana: メリージェニー

About the brand: The concept is a happy girl 18-23 (all these narrow age windows for brands, so crazy). Since a happy girl is “Merry” and a popular girl’s name is Jenny the moniker “Merry Jenny” came about.

The main theme is “Innocent Kitsch Girl”.

This season’s theme is “Pranky Little Girl” a mischievous little lady

Stores: 4. Two in Tokyo. Two in Osaka

social: site | brand blog | instagram | twitter

Merry Jenny Autumn Runway

Like all Mark Styler brands Merry Jenny does a runway collection. Sadly like all Mark Styler brands the look is a bit more dolled up. If it was buyable like runway style I’d put it top 10 of favorite brands.

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Check out all the bows and other 3-d elements set in rich jewel tones that make the look seem retro youthful not childlike. The collection reminded me a lot of Miu Miu and Olympia Tan’s collections.

Kitsch from Merry Jenny AW 2014

Although their regular line isn’t as polished as the runway it still offers tons of kitsch and is one of the main reasons to enjoy the brand.

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Sweater sets are super trending everywere in Japanese fashion but Merry Jenny made the design their own by doing a quirky scribble print and making the bottom skirt flare instead of the popular straight style.

 

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I don’t know why but I think this is fabulous.

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This phone case sold out immediately. Love the traditional ribbon flap bookmark accent.

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Scribble line patterns across sweaters are popular especially in a navy/white or black/white combination but added kitsch was the astronaut.

Merry Jenny Shinjuku Lumine EST Shop Staff

On the second floor of Shinjuku Lumine EST is tucked the Harajuku-leaning aomojikei group of brands with Nadia, Jouetie, Lowry’s Farm and Merry Jenny. It’s a tiny store, but all Merry Jenny stores are. They’re always stocked and have super cute friendly shop staff.

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Of course houndstooth was the name of the game last Winter season so they’re both on the houndstooth prints.

Headbows were big last year and are even bigger this year.

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Check out their flatforms. Not so popular this year. Instead it’s flatter loafers, furry shoes and heels with bows.

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Sweater set-ups which had some traction last year are now all the rage.

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Her make-up in a lovely aomojikei style. I’m a bit unsure if she’s in circle lens, they’re getting so natural now.

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Her hair was so polished and smooth, I’m curious if she got a straight perm!

More aomojikei brands? What’s Aomojikei and more aomojikei brand talks and staff snaps

Need more shop staff snaps? Over 150 and growing here

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Visiting Japan in the Fall and Winter is amazing. November with Koyo is one of the most beautiful times to be in Japan and its not as tourist rich as sakura season. December is filled with Japan’s madness for Christmas and that Exile cover of George Michael’s “Last Christmas” on repeat. You don’t need to learn the song, it will soak into your bones. January is Hatsumode, snow and onsens.

However it gets really chilly in Japan and here are some travel, packing, purchasing tips to keep you just cozy and stylish during the cold months.

 

Layer

Japan is really good at heating places and not heating them (sarcasm meter to 10). I have no idea how their air conditioning is pathetic, but the heating is always stellar, even when you don’t want it to be. Often the trains in Japan are over heated, but everyone smartly dressed for the temperature outside. It’s like being in a toaster oven, a crowded deodorant poor toaster oven. So you’ll want to take off your coat and maybe another layer.

Wearing a chunky knit sweater only will be your heat downfall. You may find yourself sweating in Winter if not. Stores and restaurants can do the same thing, either over or under heat you.

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Here are some pieces from Fint’s recent Winter collection. All work super cute together, but you can layer and unlayer if you wish. Stash the coat or the cardigan or both in an eco bag if you get warm or layer all for chilly nights.

 

Pay attention to Japanese clothing brand catalogs and magazines they’ll show you how to coordinate for Winter Japan.

Shop Staff and Model snaps from Japanese brands

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All four different styles are ready to deal with the upcoming cold, but all can be easily tweaked for cold weather. But all these girls look trendy and able to add or cool down for temperature changes.

Some examples these shop staff can do to layer for full winter

Fint can add both a cardigan and a coat, and possibly change to thicker socks.

Moussy can either layer over the cardigan or exchange for a short one and coat.

Sly can either go for a nude tights/socks combo or wear warm shorts underneath, she can also top with a coat.

Snidel can go with a tights/socks combo and put a turtleneck underneath the dress. Turtlenecks are really trending right now!

Choose a thin knit over a thick jumper: 

Winter clothes are super cute and cozy but thin sweaters will serve you best in Japan. You can fit a coat over them but not feel overheated if you have to take a coat off.


 

 

Don’t look like a tourist while being one, carry a tote bag with warm essentials:

Many Japanese women carry two bags, one is the normal purse and the second is a reused shopping bag or eco tote. This can keep a variety of things such as a bento, change of shoes, or chunky make-up case. The best reason to carry one in winter is to stash an extra scarf, gloves, cardigan, shirt or hat inside. There’s a reason many magazines (like Sweet magazine) give away tote bags so often.

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Sweet Magazine for this month along with their reversible Cher ECO tote.

As a tourist you can use it as your emergency bag. Copy of your passport, bandaids, change of shoes, extra socks all the random needs you may have.

Being a tourist is different:

You may think you’re used to winter temps in your own country and most of Japan doesn’t get to full snow often, but the act of being a tourist is probably different than your day-to-day life. A lot of times being a tourist you leave your hotel or guesthouse in the morning and don’t plan to go back until late at night. Also you’ll be spending a lot of time outside, more than you probably do in your own country. Japanese temperatures can change +/- 10 degrees F during that time. Once the sun sets the temperature you dressed for in the late morning won’t be the same at night.

Also jet lag can really mess with your body temperature. I find my body runs very warm the first few days of any significant time change.

 


 

Use the Gyaru-style rule of warmth:

What’s that rule? If you’d like to show a lot of leg or cleavage or other bare body part, double and triple layer the other parts.

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Great ways of layering and styling for winter I found in the Duras AW 2014 catalog.


 

Roomwear

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Liz Lisa roomwear. RIP. My favorite set-up.

From overseas you may ask, why I’m inside, the weather is outside. Sadly you’d be wrong. Japan apartments in my experience (I’ve lived in 5), the older the place is the worse off it is for heating insulation.

“Traditional Japanese buildings do not use insulation, and insulation may even be omitted in modern construction, especially in the low-end apartments; nor is insulated glazing traditionally used in windows, with these being generally single-pane” – wiki

What does this mean to you? Typically in hotels you will be fine, but if you’re staying in your own apartment or guesthouse you will be an icicle. Because of this Japan’s roomwear is stellar for keeping you cozy. They know they need to provide you with insulation because your house doesn’t.

I’m really obsessed with Japanese roomwear and it’s practical!

Cute roomwear stores for every price range:

Cheap:

Donki: Megastore of course sells a variety of room wear. It also sells kigurumi which can keep you warm (not recommended if you get up to pee a lot at night). Their sleep sock selection is quite good but quality not as good as tutuanna in my experience.

Shimamura: (site) It’s partner Avail as well offer cheap items and maybe some kawaii roomwear of a slightly high quality than Donki.

GU: Uniqlo’s stab at fast fashion Forever 21 offers roomwear options. I bought a pair of cute pink lace sleep boxer-style shorts for under 800 yen for summer. Not a good quality, but good enough.

Mid-range:

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Tutuanna was awesome last winter. Fluffy moko-moko Mr. and Mrs. Alpaca leggings and cat rocks with ears just for the home.

Tutuanna: (site) The sock store I blogged previously about, also does some of the cuter roomwear. I was obsessed with their fluffy warm alpaca leggings last winter. They’re my main recommendation since Liz Lisa Chambre a Coucher is over.

Spency:

Gelato Pique (site) sister brand of Snidel and Lily Brown it only does roomwear. Often not as kawaii, but good quality albeit at a higher price tag.

Rady: (previous post) Rady has both home and roomwear choices. Home usually means you can walk your dog in it, room is full sleepy time wear. They’re my next choice on roomwear investment because I’m a slug, but a fancy slug. :eyelashes:

 


 

 

Thick tights

Often skirts and dresses in Japan stay short year around, but tights places in Japan are excellent at providing a high denier tight to keep you cozy. Denier is a fancy tights word for thickness. Be sure to keep in the 70 to 100 denier range for tights during wintertime, hosiery.uk has a good graphic about denier. Tutuanna clearly marks their tights in the winter for this reason.

 


 

Heat Tech by Uniqlo

Heat Tech is the best thing ever.

If I had to make a more concise blog entry about staying warm in Japan it would just read Uniqlo Heat Tech in 40pt font. Times New Roman.

Uniqlo Heattech GOAT

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Some of the tops line of Uniqlo Heattech (light colors also available)

Heat Tech line by Uniqlo that makes innerwear basics such as camisoles, tank tops, leggings, t-shirts and long sleeve shirts. The actual material feels like a smooth thin shirt. None of that silly thermal waffling pattern. It’s extremely durable and cheap. I have Heat Tech camisoles ($12) I’ve bought five years ago that even after tons of usage and American machine washing there is no pilling and the threads are all intact.

The tight weave stops a chilly wind but is thin enough to layer. It feels about the thickness or less of a regular cotton t-shirt. Nicola (she has a new style blog, she’s gorgeous and stylish go read it!), Lucie and I were having a nomikai (drinking party get-together) and we ended up waxing poetic on Heat Tech for a good 10 mins.

My ultimate winter rec: Heat Tech. Uniqlo overseas stores stock it as well if you want to buy beforehand. I really recommend the camisoles. They hide under any close-to-the-body clothing item and provide so much warmth for such a tiny garment.

They have a summer version called Airism, it’s not as good.


 

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Kairo

If you’re planning on being outside for a long time like Koyo light-ups, Shrine touring, or Tokyo Disney consider picking up a kairo. Kairo (カイロ) are sticky heat packs and are found at any drug store or conbini, just look for the cute animals and sticky pack image if you don’t read Japanese. They’re quite cheap at 600 yen ($6) for a pack of 30. The most common you stick on your low back, but you can really put them anywhere. They recommend you don’t put on your actual body but on your first layer (like a Heat Tech tank top).

If you get cold easily or you’ll be outside a ton, they’re a great idea.

 

Since I know Fall is a big travel time for Japan I’ll be working mostly on travel items and tips for a little bit, but I’ll sneak back into the Larme series, shop staff snaps and trends interspersed.

In other winter related posts: Check out the Winter Japan coat buying and tips. and back in 2009 a very gyaru post about getting ready for Winter

Fall leaves are coming to Japan, learn and see Koyo here

 

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Japan you outdid yourself once again with a pop-up shop and cafe collaboration in Tokyu Plaza for the release of the Ferragamo Incanto Amity fragrance. Yup a cafe collaboration with a fragrance. I had no idea if it’d be cool or horrible.

I ended up at Tokyu Plaza in the first place because I just finished a four hour hair appointment for cut, color and straightening nearby in Harajuku. My hair ended up being 10,000 yen in total (about $98) and I was riding on a cloud. 98$ for cut, color and straightening, let that sink in. OMG thank you Hot Pepper coupon and Harajuku salon (for those curious I went to LANGE Rope).

But I was starving! I always end up planning my hair appointments to run through lunch. Urg. So I thought I’d go get a small sandwich and latte from Starbucks in Tokyu Plaza, but the Starbucks was packed. I headed back downstairs when I spotted the Omohara Cafe and the pop-up store for Incanto Amity by Salvatore Ferragamo. Aptly named since Tokyu Plaza is at the intersection of OMOtesando and HARAjuku.

Once you see the pictures you’ll realize why I had to stop by.

 

First the Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Amity pop-up store!

Check out those Spring colors! I was here during Spring and it was just quenching all my feelings for flowers and pinks.

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Inside the Pop-up store there was a floral bench for photo-ops.

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Ferragamo Incanto perfume line is actually three fragrances. The main one is Incanto Amity (green bottle) then Incanto Charms (pink bottle) and Incanto Dreams (blue bottle).

You could spray each fragrance and test them out.

I was at the time actively searching for a new fragrance. I love Gucci Guilty and Coco by Chanel but was a bit tired of their scent. So I ended up buying Ferragamo’s Incanto Amity. It’s smells like jasmine and orange and was only 3,600 yen for the spray. Six months later I still like it, which is high praise from me since I get bored of fragrances easily.

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Since it was a pop-up shop they had a gatcha set up with mini perfumes depending on how much you bought.

Instead of doing it my shop staff plucked two travel fragrances for me of the scent I liked so I wouldn’t have to play chance. So nice!!

More on the shop staff below.


Omohara Cafe

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Omohara Cafe is a small 6 table cafe with mostly drink options. A bonus are the free current issue magazines you can read while sipping and taking a shopping break.

If you’re in Harajuku and just need a quick chill I recommend heading to Tokyu Plaza to the Omohara cafe or to the top balcony to rest your feet (see other food and chill recommendations in Harajuku below).

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Here is their normal menu. I’ve tried their green kiwi soda, tortellini and cheese as well as their cafe latte. The drinks are good. The food is just okay.

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And just for that month a perfume collaboration food menu!

I regret not getting the Tiramisu. Orange sponge cake with a marscapone mousse and a raspberry top. Yummy!

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Instead I got the Mandarin Sparkling Soda and Tortellini with Cheese. The tortellini was just alright, but the drink was great!

Never thought I’d drink a perfume inspired drink.

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It matches the set, awwwe.


Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Amity shop staff

My shop staff was so friendly I asked to take a picture of her. And she decided the best place was at the swing photo-op area. She was pretty happy to do the photos as you can see.

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Check out her cute shoes. I think she’s in the famous Ferragamo bow flats. Ferragamo’s bow items are pretty popular in Japan.

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Such a cutey!

Pop-up stores are the best.

That day I also treated myself to eyelash extensions. What I thought I’d be paying on hair 20,000 yen ended up being for hair, new perfume and eyelash extensions. #treatyoself


Harajuku chill & eat recommendations

If you’re in Harajuku and need a break my ultimate recommendation is the Q-Pot cafe, but for a quick sit enjoy Omohara Cafe or Beads Labo in La Foret has waffles and coffee and is usually not packed.

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My tasty waffle from Beads Labo + cafe in La Foret.

For food in Harajuku slightly pricey but Bills also in Tokyu Plaza is delicious (post later) but always a wait, cheaper is Gold Rush hamburg joint which is delicious always available seating and just down the street from La Foret.

Need more shop staff? Mostly clothing shop staff are here

Need more pop-up shop cuteness? 6 Princess by Shu Uemura pop-up shop in Shinjuku station is sure to delight

Need more perfume talk? All about gyaru brand perfumes and body sprays here

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