Hair Rebonding

Posted December 9th, 2012 in Perth WA | 10 Comments »

I’d been wanting to do something with my hair …. again!  It really started to annoy me 🙁  My hair was curly (but not in cute ways), dry, and so difficult to set every morning.  Besides, I don’t have time to do it every day, so I just lived looking like this ↓↓↓

But I couldn’t stand it anymore – I see my friends’ photos from Japan and they look so pretty and well-maintained.  I wanted to colour my hair back to black as it’s much easier to maintain.  So I decided to go back to Nao’s place to have my hair a make-over.  (previous post)

I wanted to do rebonding (a process which permanently (and checmically) straightens your hair) – I started to rebond my hair when I was at high school, and have been doing it many times since then.  It makes my hair so easy to maintain.  I asked Nao if she can do rebonding, and she said yes!

You can’t do rebonding and color at the same time as it will damage your hair, so you’d better leave it about 1 week between each treatment.  Having your hair coloured first then do rebonding is recommended as the chemical used for rebonding may fade the colour  – although Nao said it shouldn’t be a problem if you leave enough time (1 week ~) between the treatments.

Here I come….!  On the way to Nao’s place.

Hair rebonding takes several hours to get done.  First chemical brakes your hair structure, then hot iron to straighten your hair, and the final chemical to seal the hair structure.  It sounds bad to the hair, but no, it is not harmful at all.  It even repairs hair issues like split ends and dandruff, and you only have to have re-touched your hair after new growth.
Hair rebonding straightens your hair and makes it sleek, shiny and fabulously straight. 🙂


I will colour my hair 1 week later. Now arranging my hair is so much easier!  I don’t mind strong wind blowing to me anymore as my hair will always stay calm and straight 🙂

I didn’t know about this but Nao told me that you can have hair rebonding in salons in Perth too – I thought it’s available in Japan only :p  But here it costs around $400!!!!  Wowwww so expensive.  I usually pay around $100 ~ $200 for hair rebonding + hair cut in Japan.
At Nao, it costs just $150 for short hair.  I think it’s very reasonable compared to other places.

As you can see on the photo, Nao will close her shop from 26th Dec till 16th Jan 2013. She is going back to Japan to spend New Year with her family 🙂  So envy her!


I’m loving it!

Nao in Canning Vale : 0430 927 880


Had My Hair Cut

Posted June 20th, 2012 in Perth WA | 5 Comments »

I had hair cut!!

I went to Nao’s place again.  (previous post)

I wanted to cut my hair short (my hair was below my shoulder and sooo damaged!), and I did.  Well, it turned out not as short as I was thinking, but I like my hairstyle now.

I did cut, colour and 4 foils (we call it “highlight” in Japan).  Because my hair tends to go reddy colour, I chose ash brown to dye my whole hair + golden brown for the highlights.

One thing I like about going to a home-based salon is that I feel more relaxed going there.  Price is often cheaper too. Nao has done a great job on renovating the room – automatic shampoo chair is one of them.  I’ve been to some home-based salons (Japanese) before, and they usually don’t have this type of shampoo chair.  You’ll have to do it either at the laundry sink or use their shower room to wash your hair by yourself.

When Nao washed my hair she did little massage with hot towel, and it was great.  I really needed it!

Now my hair is all new and I just love easy shampoo!

Make Your Own Pillow

Posted October 26th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Here is an unique Christmas gift idea.  Upload a photo and make your own pillow!

PillowMob makes your custom pillow and ship worldwide.  You can also chose to buy featured designs such as animal and people.

It’s $30.00 each, and it includes shipping fee!  I think it’s very reasonable price.  There are two options for the size : oval and circle.  Whichever you chose, I’m sure it will be a great gift to surprise your friends or families!



Posted September 17th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Kaba-kore (cover-colle), a short word for “cover collection”, is an order service from SoftBank in Japan to make customized cases for smart phones.  You can chose the design from three categories: from Oto-san Dog gallery, from design templates, or by uploading the images.

I like the idea of being able to use your own photo or image to create a case. No one else would have the same case!  The image will be printed to the sides of the case, and it looks great.

Oh, I just love the SoftBank’s character,  Oto-san Dog!!  So cute…. (one of my favorite character.  Post is here)  You can create novelty goods using this service as well.  Hmmm maybe I should make one for my iPhone!

There are also many collaboration designs available, including Pokemon, CanCam (a Japanese fashion magazine), and Hawks.  I also loves the Rock design of SoftBank tv CM family.   Oto-san Dog is so cute!

Fix My Appearance

Posted September 15th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | 1 Comment »

I’ve always thought I’m not really a girly person.  I prefer playing with dogs and cats rather than polishing my nails, and prefer going for a drive rather than going for shopping.  I like being alone sometimes, and do things at my own pace.  I don’t really like being in a group and do things together.

Some of my friends are really women-like.  Shopping for clothes and handbags, getting manicure and pedicure, going to a hair salon every 3 months…  One of them bought some expensive facial and skincare equipments from Japan to keep herself beautiful : minus-iron face steamer, face roller, face lift machine, even an IPL machine to do at home.  Seeing them sometimes makes me think that I should be more “girly” at least a little bit more.  Yes, I admire them keeping themselves look tidy and beautiful.  I’d love to have good-looking hairstyle and fingernails all the time too.  I do want to, but I’m not sure if I can do it.  I mean, I can’t continue doing things sometimes.  Few days later I may forget about my manicure set and few weeks later it will be missing from my view.  I don’t know if I can change this personality now :p

When I realize I need to fix my appearance, however, I can’t wait any longer to get started.  When I’m in mood for it, I want to do it right now. (Yes I am blood type AB, my star sign is Pisces, and I’m Year of the Pig. These 3 things compose my character.)  Now is the time.  I really really really want to do something about my HAIR.  I also feel I need to do something about my face too.  My face looks so tired and unhealthy in the mirror.  Yes I’m 10 years older than 10 years ago, but I still want to look like me when I was 10 years younger.  (Haha :p ) But, this time, I’m keeping myself stay calm.  Because I want to get my hair done in Japan.

I’ve been to several hair salons in Perth, but I must admit that I still prefer salons in Japan.  Price-wise and technique-wise.  Over the last 8 years, I’ve had only one good experience here – it was from Hair Plus in Perth, and I actually liked the hairstyle I got.  Even a stranger told me “wow, how do you maintain your hairstyle so good without being in Japan?”.  My hair was just below my ears (so it was pretty short), and the colour was very light brown.  (I had it when I was writing my old blog)  At other salons, people are great and friendly, but I just wasn’t very happy with the outcome.

My current hairstyle is the worst, I think (*_*).  Before, my hair was always longer than my shoulders so I could at least tie my hair up.  But now, my hair is pretty short and I feel like I’m having a bad hair day everyday.  I don’t like how my hair is cut – the angle, length… everything.  It looks like I cut my hair myself.  I don’t want to say where I got my hair done (it might be just because of my poor explanation of how I want my hairstyle to be to the hairstylist) but I wasn’t happy with the hairstyle and hair colour I got…

It seems that my hair grows very slowly now.  Is it because of breastfeeding?  My hair should be longer than this… It’s been few months since I got haircut already!

I hopt it grows long enough to have new haircut in Japan.  Or I can get hair extensions, I guess…  I want to take photos of before/after and hopefully post them on Umeboss to show. :-p

Nao Hair Salon

Posted May 21st, 2011 in Perth WA | 6 Comments »

I had hair cut!  Yey♪( ´▽`).

I’d been wanting to have hair cut and color for the past couple of months, and I finally made a booking at Nao’s salon in Canning Vale.  This is a home-based salon.

She recently moved into this house and renovated one room to make into a salon.  The room is fitted with a large mirror and reclining shampoo-chair which she bought from a hair salon in Perth.

As the tip of my hair was really damaged and Hiro started to grab my hair, I wanted to cut my hair short.  Short enough to not being able to be reached by Hiro’s hands, but long enough so that I can play around with wax and mousse.  I also wanted to color my hair to light brown for a change.

It took around 2 hours, and my head is much much lighter now!  My hair on the floor looked like a head of human. I was wearing that amount of hair…

Here is a brief price list :

– Cut (trim) $20

– Cut (without shampoo) $30

– Cut (with shampoo & blow dry) $35

– Colour (includes shampoo & blow dry)

  • Short Hair $55
  • Medium $60
  • Long $70

– Perm(includes shampoo & blow dry)

  • Short Hair $80
  • Medium $100
  • Long $120

– Bridal Set $60


When Nao was styling my hair at the end I thought the silhouette of my head looked little too round in the mirror, but it felt fine when I touched it. I can probably play with my hair a lot – with hair pins, wax/mousse, and hair accessories. 🙂

Nao had worked in Japan as a hair stylist for years before migrating to Perth, and at her salon she’s only uses Japanese products which she directly imports from Japan.  She contacts her friends regularly who are also hair stylists in Japan to update the news and knowledge, she said.

She told me the customer before me was Umeboss reader :). Glad to know someone read my blog and actually tries the place!

Oh, I loved the reaction of D when he saw my new hair style.  “Is this for real?!”

Nao’s Hair Salon in Canning Vale

→ Read my newer post about Nao’s Hair Salon

* The price list shown above is old, and it may be now different.

Funny Shopping Bag Designs

Posted May 2nd, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Looks painful…

… sexy… ?

Bra bag.

Hold your hand!

Looks heavy even if there’s nothing inside.

Nice idea…



Posted April 6th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Just received a package from my friend in Hokkaido – UNIQLO clothes and a book for Hiro.

What a wonderful gift!  Things must be still not as same as they used to be over there, but she did find the time to go shopping for my little boy…  Thanks!

She said that she heard on the news saying UNIQLO is getting popular in Australia, and that’s why she went to UNIQLO to buy some baby clothes.  Then I thought “Ok, there is no UNIQLO in Perth, but there must be few in Eastern states.  Actually, according to UNIQLO website, there is no UNIQLO shop in Australia.  (@_@)

The Japanese retailer UNIQLO is expanding worldwide now.  Personally I love UNIQLO too.  That’s one of the shop I go to every time I go back to Japan.  I love the simple design, and most of all, the price.  Reasonable pricing, basic and simple design, and wide variety.

When UNIQLO first opened in Japan, the image of the brand was just “cheap”  around me and friends.  So, sometimes we felt little embarrassed when someone said “hey, isn’t it UNIQLO you’re wearing?”  But now, UNIQLO is one of the biggest brand in Japan and very popular in other countries too.

I think, what changed the image of UNIQLO in us was when they did collaboration with famous artists and anime characters.  When I first saw the  tv ads of UNIQLO T-shirts designed by famous artists, my image for UNIQLO brand was 180° changed and it suddenly seemed to be very stylish.  Since then, they do many collaborations with famous brands and anime characters such as Disney, Dragon Ball, etc.

They sell many products, from panties to jackets, but my favourites are jeans and pants.  They hem the pants when you buy them for free, and give you a little card showing the name of the person (staff) who did it, so you can bring them back to the shop anytime if the size wasn’t right or there’s any problem.   Located in almost each city in Japan is the another reason why I go there too.

Nice and Easy

Posted March 29th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

It was such a beautiful morning!  I mean, I was awake from 3am trying to put Hiro to sleep, and after the sunrise I stepped outside to hang laundry then I noticed the air was pretty cold and the sky was blue.  I love this moment!  I’m excited to know that autumn is just around the corner 🙂  (Or maybe it will be hot again during the day?)

Yesterday evening my friend called me and we chatted for about 1 hour on the phone.  She was asking me how the things were, and talking about her workplace etc.  Then we started talking about Japan as she is flying back there next month for holiday for 3 weeks.  She said that she may spend lots of money in Japan, as usual…  Going out with friends, going shopping, eating out, travelling to sister’s house by shinkansen… I know what it is, because I’m like her.  We don’t spend much money in Perth (no shopping, not much eat-out), so when we go back to Japan we spend a lot.

I told her I’m thinking to have my hair cut sometime soon, and still can’t decide if I should get hair permed only, or get coloured too.  Then, she told me about “hair-clouring shampoo”.

There seems to be few brands of “colouring shampoo” sold in Japan that colour your hair as you wash…   Is there anything Japan doesn’t have?  There is a colouring shampoo for pets as well (*_*)

What to Wear When You are Pregnant

Posted December 9th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 2 Comments »

My memory is getting worse…  I mean, really worse!  And my body…  I feel tired, I feel sleepy, and I am cranky.  Even though I sleep early, I need 10 to 20 minutes to move my body and get up from the bed each morning.

Weather has been eased and it’s been pretty cool this week (thank god), but it was terrible when it was around 40 degrees (few weeks ago).  I don’t like hot weather.  To me, dry climate is much better than humid and wet climate like summer in Japan, but the heat still makes me cranky.  Plus the discomfort of my body… (Sorry D, friends, and colleagues!!)

I know being tired, sleepy and cranky are the common symptoms, but I also have really short memory now.  Like yesterday, I lost my house key and a key for the safety box for the office…  I realized it when I arrived home.  Luckily manager found them near the printer in the office, but I don’t even remember going near the printer yesterday!

I think one of the things making me so uncomfortable during the day could be the bra (sorry, male readers!).  Non of my clothes fit my body anymore, and so do my bras.  Before getting pregnant I used to wear pretty tight clothes that fit my body, and it was more comfortable than wearing lose clothes.  But now, everything has to be lose – especially around my belly and chest – otherwise I get really annoyed and cranky.  

I remembered that I had nude bra in the closet which I brought from Japan.  I haven’t worn it for a long time, but I thought it’s a perfect bra for me now as it doesn’t have any straps.  

I can also buy some more maternity bras, but I have no idea what is my size here and they are quite pricy.  I’ve got few from Japan and I think I try to survive with these bra and this nude bra…  Summer here is too hot for pregnant women!

Baby Cosplay

Posted September 3rd, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

Are you familiar with Japanese cartoon characters?  Bandai, a Japanese toy making and video game company as well as the producer of a large number of plastic model kits, is selling character featured baby rompers.

 ©石森プロ・東映 ©円谷プロ ©藤子プロ・小学館・テレビ朝日・シンエイ・ADK   ©ダイナミック企画 ©バードスタジオ/集英社・フジテレビ・東映アニメーション

©石森プロ・東映 ©円谷プロ ©藤子プロ・小学館・テレビ朝日・シンエイ・ADK   ©ダイナミック企画 ©バードスタジオ/集英社・フジテレビ・東映アニメーション

From top left: Devil Man, Dorami chan, Doraemon, Ultra Seven, Ultra Man.  From bottom left: Dragon Ball, shocker, Kamen Rider, Go-ranger (red), and Go-ranger (pink).

They also sell baby bibs in Japanese characters.

©石森プロ・東映 ©円谷プロ ©藤子プロ・小学館・テレビ朝日・シンエイ・ADK

©石森プロ・東映 ©円谷プロ ©藤子プロ・小学館・テレビ朝日・シンエイ・ADK

So cute..!  I personally like Doraemon (>v<)

Mr Hatoyama

Posted June 1st, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

Ummm… it seems that our Prime Minister is a little fashion icon in Japan!  I didn’t know Mr Hatoyama is such a fashionable man!

I’m sure his life isn’t that easy as a PM.  Wearing this colorful, vivid shirt gives me a positive, bright image of him, and Japan’s government somehow.

Shirtsmyway, an online shirt shop, has replicated the colourful shirt and named it “The Hatoyama Shirt”, and now offers US$500 apiece!  

“Prime Minister of Japan & Fashion Hero.”  According to the website, only 50 of the Special Limited Edition shirts will be made.



Fukada Kyoko

Posted December 22nd, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

If you have watched any Japanese films or drama, you may have seen this actress Kyoko Fukada.  She is about the same age as me (or older) and I’ve seen many of her dramas/films while in Japan.  Although some says bad things about her, I kind of like her.  She is cute, and I like her hair style and make-up 🙂

It was really a coincidence, but I was at Yuko‘s place to get hair cut today, and I saw a photo of Kyoko on the cover page of a Japanese fashion magazine.   Now she has short hair!



According to the magazine, this is the shortest hair that Kyoko has been with.  My image for her always had been “long hair” “brown, light color” “cute”, but now she looks like a lady.  I really love her current new looks. 🙂   Unfortunately I have no guts to cut my hair this short, but my hair is now short too.  It’s not because I saw her hair style on the magazine, I had been thinking to cut my hair to medium bob since few weeks ago.  

I love my hair style now, it’s nice and short, and easy to shampoo 🙂  I colored hair brown with few low-lights.  It’s summer!   

By the way Kyoko’s skin is so beautiful…  what does she use??

St James Hair Studio

Posted November 23rd, 2009 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | 12 Comments »

I was very excited to try this hair salon in Northbridge.  One reason is that I was dying to get hair cut, and another is that I wanted to meet this stylist “Kazu”.  I made a booking with Kazu and had a chance to chat with him on Sunday.

Kazu has been working at this St James Hair Studio for 10 years now. He was also a hair stylist in Japan, worked in Tokyo for 9 years, then moved to Perth.  Along with his job at this salon, he goes back to Japan annually to update his skill and knowledge by attending on seminars and catching up with his friends who are also hair stylists.

At the salon, I showed Kazu a sample photo of a hair style and told him how I want my hair to look like, then moved to another chair to get shampoo.  He put a steamed towel on my neck and massaged my head, it was so good.  He told me my muscle is tense – I didn’t know that there’s muscle on the head!  And, he could tell right after touching my head that my body is tired.  He is a pro!

He gave me lots of tips as well.  I asked him how I should dry my hair, naturally or by drier?  How to use hair iron and curler?  He gave me an advice on all the questions I asked, by demonstrating!  He showed me how to dry my hair: wear heat-proof conditioner on the hair first then blow dry completely with strong hair drier.  Then straighten up my fringe with iron, and curl the bottom of my hair with curler.  Wow my hair looks so different…

If you are seeking some tips or answers regards to hair, he is the one 🙂  He has many patrons here, including Japanese, Malaysian, Singapore, Australian etc.  I recommend you to book him at least 1 week in advance…  oh and he is going on holiday from 04/Jan till 24/Jan next year.

St James Hair Studio

Shop 2/218 James St, Northbridge WA 6003

Tel: 08 9228 3339

iPhone App – Japanese

Posted November 2nd, 2009 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Here are some of my favorite apps for iPhone.

<Kiss X Bijin Tokei> website


“Kiss” is the Osaka version of bijin-tokei “the beautiful woman clock” (I wrote about it before in here ) ranked the first place of the entertainment section at the “Kiss FM Kobe” release first day supported in Kansai area around Kobe by many listers.  Like original bijin-tokei, this “Kiss” is one of the popular apps for iphone.


<Wa Kingyo>


“Wa” means “Japanese” “Japan style”, and “Kingyo” means goldfish.

Pretty goldfishes drawn on the Japanese style of painting swim elegantly.  You will be surprised by their cute movement.  This is similar to “Koi Pond” (I wrote about it here )  Enjoy relaxing time…. 🙂  This app is created by a Japanese.



… ummm, this is one of those crazy Japanese stuff.  In this app, you blow into your iphone or rub the screen with fingers, then the skirt of the pretty girl in the picture goes into an upskirt.   There are a few different girls on the screen to choose from and they all wear different clothes, such as yukata (Japanese casual summer kimono) and office lady type of clothes.  To me, I think it’s an obsession and I don’t like it, but this app is ranked in the top 10 and it seems many people around the world is enjoying it.  If you want to have this app on your iphone/touch, please make sure not to show to your girl!

Hair Salon in Japan and Jakarta

Posted October 29th, 2009 in Jakarta | 2 Comments »

My hair is now getting messy again and need to get trimmed …  It’s shame that I didn’t have time to go to a hair salon while I was in Japan.  I think I need to color my hair soon too..  My hair is originally dark dark black, and not straight.  My mum used to cut my hair when I was little, and I always looked like I was wearing a black helmet :p  I don’t like my hair because it’s little wavy, and go messy if I don’t take care of it using treatment and hair wax.

I’m flying off to Jakarta sometime soon and I’m thinking if I should go to a hair salon there… but I doubt if they can do the job as I expect.  I mean, I can’t speak Indonesian and they normally don’t speak English, so it’s gonna be hard to communicate and tell them how I want my hair to be done.  

If I end up going to a salon, I will be with mother-in-law.  If she goes to a salon, she offer me to get “cream bath”.  … I think I wrote about it long time ago on this blog, but when I heard about this “cream bath” thing I thought it was something like a “special treatment”.  Then I found out that hair salons in Jakarta and Japan are pretty different.  :p  I was surprised when they used cold water for shampooing too!  It was a kind of culture shock…  

I think some foreign people will experience culture shock too when they visit Japan’s salon.  I mean, there are some weird hair salons across Japan.  One of them is “maid salon”, where all the staff wear costume of maid and serve you.  It is a kind of cos-pure (short term for costume-play in Japanese)  Some of the salons have a few different kinds of costumes, and their services don’t only limit on hair-cut but also nail care, heard spa, ear cleaning…  Of course they are targeting on male customers ( ? ) though customers are not allowed to take photos inside and touch the staffs.

Well, I heard that hair salons in Perth don’t normally do shampoo and hair-blow as a service (or include in their prices).  If so, do customers go home with hair all over their clothes?  Or with wet hair?   It’s just surprising to me that Japanese salon usually does shampooing and blow-dry as a part of the procedure.

Except for the surprise of cold water, hair salon in Jakarta was fun to me.  Once they spread “cream” on my head, 2~3 staff come over to me and start to massage my arms and shoulders.  Ummm writing about this makes me want to get the massage!  Yes I think I will go to a hair salon in Jakarta.  Not for a hair cut, but a massage perhaps :p

Souvenir from Japan Sep/09

Posted September 28th, 2009 in Japan | No Comments »

Here are some of the souvenirs I bought from Japan trip.

Most of them are junks from 100 yen shop. :p  In the photo, the two banana cases, pink square kitchen timer, frog looking silicon pinch, yellow shower head are from Seria – one of 100yen shop in Japan.  I actually prefer Seria to Daiso now because the products in Seria are nicer and stylish.  And Daiso sells not only 100 yen products but also 200 yen ~ 500 yen products in the shop, so it’s bit confusing…  although I bought a tea pot from Daiso for 300 yen and it was a good shopping.

The green bean looking toy and white & black square things are from local electric shop near my house.   The green bean toy is called “Puni Puni Edamame” – Electric Popping Soybean Pod Keychain.  It’s just a funny stuff…  The white & black “Human Player” is a toy that you answer 50 questions on the initial setup and create another “you”, then you can watch what another you is doing on the screen anytime.  You can also create other people like your friends or family and play games too.  The personality of another you is made based on your answers.  I bought it because it’s cheap: retail price was about 3600 yen but the shop was selling it at 300 yen!  

The round looking white machines are from Yodobashi Umeda (I wrote about this shop in my previous post).  The one in the box is “Aqua Rain”, a floating fountain with prismatic color light and quiet sound of waterfalls.  The another machine next to it is “Relaxing Spa Light”, a floating mood light with 4 different nature sounds (river, insect, bird and wave).

  Those type of machines are for Japanese people who take bath every night.  We bought them just to remember Japan, even though we hardly take bath in Perth. :p

I just love shopping in Japan.  Every time I go back, there are always something new and they are not that expensive.  In the shops I saw more interesting toys such as Bowlingual Voice – a machine which translates dog’s bowwow into message, Home Star – a home planetarium machine which projects beautiful stars on your ceiling, and you can also chose which day’s stars to be projected: eg 21/Sep/08. etc etc.

If you like these gadgets it’d be fun to just look for some “treasures” in electric shops in Japan.

Yuko Home-Based Hair Salon

Posted September 6th, 2009 in Perth WA | 4 Comments »

I had my hair cut and colored in Perth few weeks ago. The lady who did my hair is Japanese. I knew about her from Perth News – a Japanese website in Perth. She currently uses her house as a salon. 🙂

As I hadn’t had my hair cut for awhile, my hair was a mess! She showed me few Japanese hair catalogs, and I decided to go with light marron color hair. I asked her to make a fringe too, just for a change. My hair is around 10cm below shoulders, and it was $120.00 including cut, color, shampoo and dry. I think it’s pretty cheap.

She said that she’s been working as a hair stylist in Tokyo since she graduated her school in Japan. She also has experiences working in a hair salon in Perth, and last year went back to Japan for 3 months as holiday. As soon as her old colleagues knew she was in Japan, they called her up and asked her to work in the hair salon that she used to work before. According to this story, she must have been a good worker!

When I told her that I was getting married in few weeks, she offered me to get aqua-gel nails. She’s into nails (manicure, pedicure) too and brought a machine from Japan.

This machine produces UV -Ultraviolet light. Aqua -gel become solid under UV, so what she does is brush aqua-gel on nails and put the fingers inside of this machine. After 30 seconds the gel becomes solid (but not too hard). I decided to have this aqua-gel nails done, I knew I had to do something with my nails before the wedding anyway…

I got graduated pink color with silver stones.

Her price list:

☆CUT Mens $20 / Ladies $30

☆Colour $100~(include cut&shampoo&pretreatment&browdry)

☆Perm $100~(include cut&shampoo&pretreatment&browdry)

☆super straight perm $200~(include cut&shampoo&pretreatment&browdry)

She uses Japanese products such as ShiseidoMilbon.

YUKO san
0450 32 4916
happy_kappy [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot] jp

Wedding in Perth and Japan

Posted September 2nd, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 6 Comments »
I can’t believe my wedding is just 2 days away!  I still can’t feel it’s real.  We’ve lived together for years already, so we are like married couple anyway…  
I didn’t really dream to be a bride since I was a child.  I was like “well if it happen to me it’s fine”.  I knew I was little different from my friends.  They were type of people who wanted to get married and have kids while they’re young.  In fact, most of my friends in Japan got married ages ago and have few kids already :p.  
So, I wasn’t a typical girl who dreamed to be a housewife.  But now, I’m becoming “Mrs” soon and I realized that I should enjoy this once-in-a-life-time moment seriously…!   I’m trying to be calm and imagine how the things are going to change in my life.
The biggest thing I can think of is where I stay.  As I am getting married with non-Japanese boy, and we have a life together in Perth, I think I am settling down myself in this city.  Hmmm I still miss Japan though (><)  Hope I can go back to Japan at least once a year to spend time with my family.
As I mentioned earlier my family and friends are not coming to our church ceremony in Perth.  I don’t mind it at all, but I still wish if my family could get involved in this special occasion somehow.  So I decided to go to a photo studio in Japan and get some photo shoot with my family and his family all together.  This idea is nice actually.  I wear a wedding dress in church ceremony here in Perth, then I can wear kimono (Japanese traditional dress) in Japan. 
Japanese people are very tuned in to the stages of their lives, and in old times people changed their kimonos to fit both the season and the occasion.  There are few types of them … ↓↓↓
Furisode kimonos (kimonos with long-flapped sleeves) are worn only by unmarried women.   In old time young Japanese women declared their love for a man by fluttering the long-flapped sleeves of their furisode kimono.
At weddings, the bride wear a pure white kimono known as a shiromuku. White color symbolizes the ability of the wife to change as need be to suit her new family, because white fabric can be dyed any color.  It’s also said that white color signifies the beginning of a journey.
Once a woman is married, she no longer wears a furisode. Instead, she wears a tomesode, a kimono with shorter flaps on the sleeves. The tomesode can be either black or another color, and black tomesode are worn for formal occasions, such as the weddings of one’s relatives.  Colored tomesode can also be worn on formal occasions. 
Traditionally a bride wears a white kimono (shiromuku), but I think I will wear “uchikake” – an another type of wedding kimono. (the photo)
My mum and mother-in-law are wearing tomesode 🙂  It’s of course her first time to wear a kimono for mother-in-law, and I hope she can wear it!  Kimono is quite uncomfortable to be wearing for long time, and hard to move around.  
It was few years ago when I wore a kimono the first time, when I was 20.  In Japan when people turn 20 years old they wear kimono (or these days some people wear suits) and cerebrate this special occasion.  In Australia they cerebrate when they are 21, but in Japan we cerebrate when we are 20.  I was wearing furisode , and it was really really uncomfortable!  Although I loved the kimono, I couldn’t wait to get changed :p  

Japanese Cars

Posted August 8th, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

I’m dreaming…. to buy a new car!

Well, I’ve been driving my current car for just 3 years, so maybe I should keep this car for a little longer.. but I really wanna buy another Japanese car (>_<)! All my friends in Japan drive very cute/cool cars.

When I was 18~20 I was a student, and also working at Izakaya, convenience store and some Yakiniku restaurant near my house. Most of the staff there were at my age and we became close friends. We used to go out a lot 🙂 They sometimes pick me up from my house and went to karaoke, Izakaya or just for driving around Biwa-ko Lake at night. One of them had a black Odyssey, and she took all the back seats away and line with some far carpet on the floor. When my friends and I got in the car we just sit at the back area and play… it was roomy 🙂

At that time lots of my friends had “Suzuki Wagon-R” “Mitsubishi eK-wagon” “Honda Life” “Daihatsu Move” “Nissan Moco” “Suzuki Alto”… small, boxy looking car. (small cars are called “kei-car” in Japan) Those type of cars were so popular among Japanese girls, and I think they still are.  Targeting on young ~ 30th women.

I really like Nissan CUBE and Toyota BB… so cute (>v<) I like the new model Cube cubic. I wish they are available in Perth to… but unfortunately lots of Japanese cars are not sold here 🙁 I thought about importing Nissan CUBE before, but everyone said “what! It’s just CUBE, ume. You don’t wanna spend lots of money on this car just because you want to drive it in Perth.” … that’s true, it’s not worth importing it considering all the trouble I have to go through :p

Cars in Japan are very cheap compared with the prices in Perth. Ahh… I can’t believe I had to pay almost double to buy my current car here (>0<). And there are more cute cars in Japan which cost less than AUD$10000.00. Well I live here now and I know I have to accept it, but every time I go back to Japan and see my friends’ cars with cool parts and some accessories I wish I could own one of them in Perth.

While I was in Japan last year I saw lots of hybrid cars on the street: Toyota Prius, Harrier, Estima, Lexus, Honda Civic… If I live in Japan maybe I could afford hybrid Harrier too 🙂 … maybe!

Hair Style

Posted August 7th, 2009 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | 16 Comments »

One of the thing I think about while living in Perth is “where can I get hair-cut?”

In Perth there are only a few Japanese-owned hair salons, so there’s not much choice for me.  I’m sure there are lots more Japanese-owned salons in Eastern states, but not in Perth at the moment 🙁

I know there are hair salons owned by Chinese or some Asians, but I only want to have hair-cut by Japanese hair stylists now.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they are not good.  It’s just easier for me to explain the details : how I want may hair to be cut etc.  And, I had some bad experiences with non-Japanese hair stylists in the past. :p  It’s easier to get hair cut, colored and permed by Japanese because they know how Japanese girls want to look like… kind of “same point of view” “common sense” that only same nationality people understand 🙂

Now, because I live in Perth I actually don’t really care about my hair style 😛  I just have hair cut only once a half year…. wow :p  So, every time I go back to Japan I realize “oh my gosh how can I be in Japan by looking like this (>0<)”.  When I see Japanese girls on tv or internet I realize how cute and tidy they maintain themselves.  Ummm…  I panic, and think that maybe I should go to hair salon before I go back to Japan, but then I realize it’s much cheaper to go to hair salon in Japan than here.  So, going to a hair salon is the first thing to do in Japan every time I fly to Japan.

Japanese applications for the iPhone/iPod Touch

Posted January 16th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

I have updated photos from my Japan trip.  Please click here to see 🙂


I gathered up few Japan-related iPhone/iPod Touch applications.

From the App Store:


<Koi Pond>

it’s a virtual koi pond that resides on your iPhonepod

Imagine gazing into a pond of crystal clear water.  Picture bright, playful koi swimming through its shallow depths.  So close. . . . Can you touch them?

You run your fingers across the cool  surface of the pond.  Water ripples away from your touch.  The koi, disturbed, dart away.  Only to quickly forget and swim close to you once more. . . .

There are several settings you can control, such as the hue of the water, the number of fish and number of plants.

Koi Pond was released July 30th, and has found itself #1 at the App Store in a relatively short amount of time and with good reason




In this application, traditional musical instrument “Mokugyo”(wooden gong) of Japan can be performed looking at beautiful scenery in Japan.

The wooden gong was brought by Japan hundreds of years ago.
It is possible to see in the buddhist temple etc. in modern days.
Because the sound is very Oriental, and is mysterious, it is used by the Kabuki.

You will be able to relax by hearing the sound.
In addition, beautiful scenery in Japan is displayed one after another in this contents.
As a result, you will feel a higher relaxation feeling.
(This relaxation feeling is called “Nagomi” in Japan.)

Mokugyo was released October 20th 2008.




Japanese clothing brand UNIQLO have been using their UNIQLOCK – an online timer/screensaver thing – to promote their latest wares for the past couple of years.  Now you can download it to your iPhone/iPod Touch.

This thing seems very odd… but I guess it’s a fashion??



<Furu Furu Pocky>


This is kind of a game you want to do when you want to pick one person out of several people.  It’s very simple, whoever pick the pink pocky is the winner.

eg: who is in charge of cooking dinner tonight, who will be a seeker on hide and seek etc…




Bonsai is a Japanese art!  Those miniature trees are available on your iPhonepod.  There are numbers of Bonsai apps: Bonsai Blast, Bonsai wallpaperyour own Bonsai Tree, iBonsai etc…

I have iBonsai and it’s pretty 🙂  iBonsai uses a random-number algorithm to grow infinitely diverse bonsai trees before your eyes, which you can then rotate around in 3D and save as your wallpaper.


Here is more!

My Chopsticks -My Hashi-

Posted January 7th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

I bought plastic chopsticks from Japan for my lunch at the office.  In Japan, everywhere I looked there was this word “ECO”.  Eco bags, eco fridge, eco house etc…

Carrying your own chopsticks and not using any disposable chopsticks are getting common in Japan.  (called My Hashi = my chopsticks)  Most restaurants serve disposable chopsticks when customer orders a meal, and they are thrown away after used.  There were used to be lots and lots of rubbish everyday in food industry.  Since people started to carry their own chopsticks and use them in restaurants or for convenience store food, the amount of rubbish actually decreased!  That’s a great news 🙂

There is another merit to be an eco-person in Japan.  If you bring your own eco bag when you shop, and not use any plastic bags from the shops, you can get some points on your shopping member cards and they can be exchanged to either cash or some prizes! 🙂  You can do it everyday and good for wallet and environment.

At my office in Perth I get free lunch everyday, and used to use disposable chopsticks.  Now I’m using my own My Hashi 🙂  (← from 100 yen shop again )

Mobile Phones

Posted January 2nd, 2009 in Japan | 6 Comments »

Every time I go back to Japan there is one thing that I feel inconvenient…  Mobile.

Because the mobile service in Japan (and Korea?) is different from its in other countries, Japanese mobiles don’t work in other countries.  Same thing, mobiles from other countries don’t work in Japan either.  so I can’t use my Australian mobile in Japan.  Every time I’m in Japan I have no mobile…. :p

It’s pretty tough not to have mobile phone in this world!  Really really inconvenient (>x<)  Besides, I won’t get to see lots of public phones in Japan theredays…  Very difficult to contact with my friends and family.  Last time I was in Japan I had to meet my friend at JR Nagoya station.  I wasn’t sure if I was at the right meeting point so I wanted to confirm with her, but I couldn’t.  I couldn’t even leave the position to look for a public phone. (if I leave, she won’t be able to find me)  I asked few people around “where can I find a public phone?” but no one knew!  Surprisingly, even a staff who works at a souvenior shop inside of train station building… :p

I feel like I’m lost in this modern city.


By the way, I always get amused by Japanese mobiles.  We could do lots of things with Japanese mobiles from long time ago (since I was in Junior high) like emialing, interneting, GPS, downloading musics and games etc…  but now there are more things you can do with mobiles.

Mobile phones with pedometer, calorie counter and cholesterol counter are new to me (Sportio).  And collaboration with AQUOS (AQUOS Mobile), with famous accessory brand (4°c Mobiles), with Disney (Disney mobiles) are new too!  So cool 🙂

Men’s Bra

Posted December 20th, 2008 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

In Japan there are bras for men??  … and according to the fasion news in Japan, this item is extremely popular and people have to wait for few months to book up the stock!

Wow… interesting :p

There are also other color available.  (pink, red, white…)

Is it only Japan, or worldwide?