Best Japanese Drugstore Beauty Products

Hey, all!

As I mentioned several times in this blog, although now I live in Indonesia, I once lived in Japan for 3 years from 2013-2016. During that time, I, of course, used Japanese drugstore beauty products a lot. And by doing so, I found several gems that I keep re-purchasing even though now I’ve returned to my country.

So I thought today I want to share with you my own Japanese drugstore beauty products recommendations in case you are traveling to Japan but not sure what to get. Or maybe you are just moved to Japan and not sure where to start since Japanese drugstores are quite huge and potentially overwhelming since everything is written in Japanese!

So if you are interested in, just keep on reading!

Skin Care

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence

I can safely say that this is the best drugstore sunscreen I’ve ever tried in my whole life (and believe me when I say it, I tried quite a lot!). It’s super affordable, non-greasy, and quickly melt into the skin the second it’s applied. It does have fresh scent but not too overpowering. And I even feel like it adds adherence to my skin so that my makeup sticks better onto my skin when I’m using this sunscreen.

I don’t have any plan to try a new sunscreen anytime soon since I haven’t heard anything that’s close match to this one. If you could get your hands on this, I highly recommend you to try it out. And since Biore is a quite globally known brand, I’m pretty sure you can get this not only in Japan but maybe also in your country, too (it’s sold in select Indonesian drugstores, by the way).

Cure Natural Aqua Gel

Natural Aqua Gel Cure is a remarkable skin care product. Cure is a fragrance-free, color free and preservative free product made from activated hydrogen water that prevents oxidation. General chemical peeling uses strong acids (approx. pH1.3) to dissolve protein. Cure, on the other hand, gently catches dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and removes it.

citated from https://cureaquagel.com/

This one is I think maybe one of the most unique products Japanese drugstore has. It’s not a cleanser, not a facial wash, not a scrub, it’s an exfoliator in a form of gel. The texture it’s like gel but more liquid-y or watery, not as thick as man’s hair gel, for example. I’ve also mentioned it briefly on my post about my skin care routine.

It’s meant to be used only twice a week because it’s an exfoliator. I use it after I double-cleanse my skin or basically after I make sure there’s no makeup left on my face. To use it, you just have to take 1 pump of it on your palm, and then massage it all over your face like when you use your scrub. While doing that, just like its claim, you will find it catches your dead skin cells and removes it. I feel my skin is very soft and clear after using it.

Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder

suisai Beauty Clear Powder face wash is catching the eye of the worldwide audience with an enzyme-activated formula that whisks away impurities and unclogs pores as it protects the skin’s natural moisture. A popular choice for tourists who desire the Japanese secret to even, finely textured skin.

citated from https://www.kanebo.com/brands/suisai/

If you can’t already guess what this is, this is a facial wash in the form of powder. One small jar contains the powder is for one single usage. To use it, you just mix it with water. Adjust the amount of water according to how scrubby you want it to be. The more water you add, the less scrubby it is, and vice versa.

After using it, my skin feels so clean as if all the dirt has been taken off without making my face feels tight. It’s not very expensive, but here in Indonesia, it’s not sold in drugstores, but only in online shop run by personal shoppers so the price becomes quite expensive. So I can only buy it by asking my friends who are still living in Japan to help me buy it when they will have a short vacation to Indonesia. Since it happens only maybe once or twice a year, I use this fairly rarely.

If you can find it with reasonable price, I highly recommend you to incorporate this in your daily skin care routine!

Purequa Face Wipes

Actually, Japanese drugstores offer wide variety of face wipes, but I really love this particular one. It’s really soft on the skin so you won’t feel you rub your skin too hard. It’s really effective in removing our makeup as the first step of our skin care routine. According to my experience, it can also removes my waterproof eyeliner and mascara!

Makeup

Mote Liner

This one is really hyped up by many Asian beauty bloggers/ vloggers and after trying it, I agree with the hype. The tip is not a felt tip but it’s a very fine little brush that can bend. I personally like this type of tip because it makes applying liners so much easier. I’m in no way expert in applying liner, so I think this one is also very beginner-friendly!

Please note that the one that I have here is actually a limited-edition navy blue. They have other options too such as brown (also limited-edition) and of course black (permanent line)! Even though this one is navy blue, if you look it not too close up on my face, it doesn’t really look like I’m wearing a blue eye liner because it’s pretty dark. I enjoy wearing it so much lately!

Canmake Cream Cheeks

First of all, I found that many Japanese drugstore makeup products are too sheer for my skin tone or even my liking. Be it blushes, contours/ bronzers, lip products, etc. That’s because the nature of Japanese daily makeup style itself is usually a no-makeup makeup look. BUT! These particular blushes are exception! They are available in many different shades and formula so you will have some options there. Besides that, Canmake as a brand in general has other interesting products and it’s one of the most affordable in Japanese drugstore! I highly recommend you to check their other products also!

Miscellaneous

Megrythm Steam Eye Mask

I never knew this was a thing before I found it in Japanese drugstore. It’s an eye mask that releases steam that’s supposed to help us relaxing our eyes after a tiring busy day. Try to wear it before bed after a nice warm shower or bath!

‘Ashirira Sheet’ Detox Foot Patch

‘Ashirira’ is an acronym of ‘ashi’ which means ‘foot’ in Japanese and ‘rira’ which was taken from English word ‘relax’ that is read as ‘rirakusu’ in Japanese. This product is a pair of patches or sheets that you stick onto your soles before you go to bed and leave it until you wake up. The next day when you take it off, it’s supposed to absorb all toxic from your body. There are actually some debates surrounding this product. Some says it’s gimmicky and not doing what it claims. Some says it works. I think if we want to proof whether it works or not, we have to scientifically test it in a lab. I personally like wearing it but don’t feel significant changes just by using it daily (which I don’t). But I still think it’s nice to have and recommend you to try it out!

Honorable Mention

Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip

image courtesy: sociolla.com

I actually don’t have this with me right now but I used to use it when I lived in Japan. It’s a very light-weight and gentle facial wash. It cleans but doesn’t feel tight on the skin. It’s available here in Indonesia but I didn’t repurchase it because I’m currently enjoying my Cetaphil facial wash. If you live in Japan and need one that I recommend, it’s this one! It’s one of the most affordable also!

Lululun Sheet Masks

I think I only used it once but I remember liking it, and I know many peple are hyping this sheet masks so much. They have several options such as: hydrating, brightening, and balancing. I also didn’t repurchase it by now because to be honest, I like my Etude House sheet masks more because I feel the Etude House ones fit my face’s size better!

image courtesy: allabout-japan.com

That’s all my Japanese drugstore beauty products recommendation! I hope it helps you in sorting out your list to buy while you’re in Japan. Ah..writing this brings back all good memories and makes me miss Japan even more! I wish I could go back someday even just for several days!

What are products that most intriguing to you? Do you find your wish list here? And do you like if I write more about Japan’s related recommendation? Like for example unusual traveling spots recommendation? Or supermarket recommendation? Please tell me on comment section below!

See you on my next post!

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Colourpop 2019 Birthday Collection: Buy or Bye

image courtesy: colourpop

Hey, all!

Today’s post is another episode of my Buy or Bye series where I talk about recently-released full makeup collection and discuss whether it’s worth a purchase or not. At first I didn’t plan to make this a series in my blog, but from time to time, I find some full collections worth to discuss! I wrote one before, which was the Zoella x Colourpop collection. As they are still available now on Colourpop (CP) website, do check that link if you want to know more about my thoughts on that collection.

This month, May, Colourpop, the so-called brand that never sleeps, is celebrating their 5th birthday. CP has been releasing a bunch of new stuffs and drops many sales every other week, so of course this month is no different, especially since it’s their birthday month. According to their tradition, they always released a full huge collection as well as one special super shock shadow that is limited edition and comes as freebie for every purchase.

By the time I wrote this post, I actually have placed my order, so I’ll tell you what I got!

Ok, without further ado, let’s dive right into the post!

PS: stay tuned until the end to get a 20% off discount code to shop on Colourpop website (NOT A CLICK BAIT)

Full collection

Since this is their Birthday Collection, of course everything must be so special. Not only it’s a HUGE collection, the main theme of this collection is also not disappointing (at least for me!). The theme of this collection is watermelon. Every items here are designed and named accordingly. The graphic design of the packaging is so cute, and you know I’m a sucker for a cute packaging. If I had unlimited amount money, I’d probably have bought everything just because of the packaging! ><

image courtesy: colourpop

The full collection consists of following items:

Main Squeeze eye shadow palette: USD 12
Best Served Chilled bundle: USD 24
Three liquid lipstick duos: USD 12 each
Melonade ultra matte lip: USD 7
Big Slice so juicy plumping gloss: USD 7
Three Supernova shadow and Mini Gliterally Obsessed duos: USD 12 each
Mini Gliterally Obsessed trio: USD 12
Two Full size of Gliterally Obsessed: USD 8 each
Birthday Treat super shock shadow: free with any purchase while stock lasts

Now, let’s break it down one by one!

Main Squeeze Eye Shadow Palette

In every CP releases, of course the eye shadow palette is the star of the collection. This palette is meant to be a red monochromatic palette, and it’s an addition of their currently existing monochromatic palettes, such as Brown Sugar, Ooh La La, It’s My Pleasure, and Just My Luck.

image courtesy: colourpop

Apparently, this was a highly requested monochromatic palette, and I was actually one of them who requested a red palette, so I’m not complaining. I love red, and I personally don’t have anything like this in my collection. I’m currently liking the 9-pan palette as I can create a quick look without having to think much. Since this one is right up my alley, this is the first item from this collection that I know I’ll pick up!

image courtesy: colourpop

However, after looking some swatches and reviews online, I must admit that a lot of the shades in this palette are somewhat ended up looking so similar once applied on the eyes. It’s also lacking in depth. There is no light enough or deep enough shade. If you look this palette as a whole, it’s full of medium and transitional shades only. The darkest shade which is the one on bottom right corner (“red bottoms”) could’ve been even deeper. And I can’t tell which one is the lightest shade, the 1st one (“frose”), or the 6th one (“big gulp”)?

Aside from that, some also mentioned that since it’s a watermelon themed palette, there should be a green, creme, and black shades. I personally don’t mind the fact that even though they claimed it to be a watermelon palette, it’s only consists of red colors. I’m sure they want to add this palette to the monochromatic palettes family without having to release another red-only palette.

With that being said, I did pick up this palette! This is my favorite item from this collection, the packaging is stunning, and the fact that it’s a 9-pan palette is also practical. I can’t wait to create all-red looks using it!

Best Served Chilled Bundle

This bundle is a collaboration with CP sister skincare brand, Fourth Ray Beauty (FRB). It consists of Watermelon Face Milk, Watermelon Seed Oil, and Watermelon flavored Lippie Scrub. Watermelon Seed Oil is previously existing product from FRB, while Watermelon Face Milk is a new one, and Watermelon flavored Lippie Scrub is also a new product from CP’s Lippie Scrub line. By the way if you’re wondering, Watermelon Face Milk is a light weight moisturizer that’s supposed to be hydrating but non-greasy.

image courtesy: colourpop

I’ve been wanting to try FRB products and CP lippie scrubs, but since I’m on a low buy year, I can’t just buy them whenever I want. I have to follow my low buy budget and schedule (PS: you can read my low buy rules here). So, when I saw that CP offers this bundle, which include literally everything I’ve been eyeing, I know I want to pick up this bundle. Additionally, from swatches and reviews I saw online, many people seems liking this bundle also.

This bundle retails for USD 24, while the actual total price of three of the items is USD 26, so we’re not really saving a lot of money by buying them in a bundle.

image courtesy: colourpop

I was actually a little bit iffy to buy liquid products internationally because I’ve read from several bloggers who ordered FRB stuffs that their stuffs came leaking (I read from my friend AlwaysCleia and PolishedAndInspired). I wish that they are sold individually so that I can pick up only the lippie scrub which doesn’t have high risk of leaking. But, since I’ve been wanting to try FRB products for a long time, I decided to pick up this bundle and just hoping for the best that there won’t be any spills during the shipping! ><

Liquid Lipsticks Bundles

There are so many liquid lip products within this collection and I like it since it’s very suitable with the theme. The three liquid lip bundles are: Sweet Crush, Slice of Life, and Our of Your Rind.

image courtesy: colourpop

Let’s talk about them one by one!

Slice of Life

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of one ultra glossy lip (UGL) in “Fresco” and one ultra BLOTTED lip (UBL) in “Swing Away”.

image courtesy: colourpop

It’s been a long time since CP released a new shade of ultra blotted lip so I’m very excited to try it. But I’m actually not a glosses type of girl. I like lip products that are pigmented and not sticky. If they were sold individually, I would’ve pick up only the UBL. But since they are only available in bundle (as of now), and luckily the UGL here is the only one that actually has color in it among the three bundles, I decided to pick up this bundle. I don’t hate glosses so I will just wear it from time to time.

Sweet Crush

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of one UGL in “Granita” and one ultra MATTE lip (UML) in “Sherbert Shop”.

I actually really like Sherbert Shop, it’s the type of lip color I like to wear. But since it’s only sold in a bundle, and I rarely wear glosses especially clear glosses, I decided not to pick up this bundle. Were they sold individually, I think I might’ve picked up only the UBL from previous bundle and the UML from this bundle.

Out of Your Rind

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of one UGL in “Scorcher” and one UML in “On The Grill”.

I don’t wear a lot of hot pink or fuchsia matte lippies because I find it too “in-your-face”. If the shade On The Grill was in UBL formula, I don’t mind it since UBL looks more muted than UML. I also rarely wear glosses, so this bundle is a pass from me. But I still think it’s a pretty color. I just hope it was in different formula.

Melonade Ultra Matte Lip

image courtesy: colourpop

I actually can’t justify why they include a single UML with only one shade option. I really like the color, tho, it’s right up my alley. But if they want to include a single item, there is one item I think is better than one shade of UML. They should’ve included a true red loose pigment! It much more makes sense to include a single loose pigment than a single UML that’s already available in bundles, too. But this is only my suggestion, I’m sure they had their own justification.

Honestly, if all of the items here were available as singles, I think the ones I picked up would be the watermelon lippie scrub, UBL in Swing Away, UML in Sherbert Shop, and this one. Since I have limited budget, I decided not to pick this one up, although I really really want to pick it up also πŸ˜₯

Big Slice So Juicy Plumping Gloss

image courtesy: colourpop

As I mentioned before, I don’t usually wear glosses, let alone a thicker one like this. I personally think the color is pretty and really suits the theme. I actually considered to pick this up because I think this time might be a good time to try this plumping glosses. But since I have a limited budget, this one didn’t make the cut.

Supernova Shadow and Mini Gliterally Obsessed Duos

It’s been a long time since CP released new shades of supernova shadow. The last time was in their collaboration with Zoella. I never tried a supernova shadow before, so I can’t say much about it. I imagine it’s just like a usual liquid shadow.

Gilterally obsessed (GO) is not a new product, but this time they released it in a mini size which I think is a clever idea! The full size is 15 g/ 0.53 oz and retails for USD 7.5. The mini is 3 g/ 0.11 oz, and if we break it down from this bundle, since supernova shadow retails for USD 8, this GO mini’s value is around USD 4.5. If you wanted to try it since before but not quite ready to commit to a full size, this could be your chance. But you might want to keep in mind that you pay around half of full size price with the amount of 1/5. Of course we can’t always value a product based on their weight only since there’s also packaging that contributes to the price. But I think I just want to mention this in case it helps you decide on whether to buy the mini or not.

There are three of these duos, they are Dear Summer, Sandia Smash, and Slip N’ Slide.

image courtesy: colourpop

Dear Summer

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of “Wish Me Luck” GO and “Sand Castle” supernova shadow. Wish Me Luck is an existing GO shade but Sand Castle is a new one.

I was actually intrigued to try this since I never tried a supernova shadow and GO before. But I need to consider whether I will get a lot of use out of it. On daily bases when I go outside, I wear hijab and my whole body is covered except my face and my palms. On the other hand, GO is intended to use on the body or maybe face except the eye area. However, there’s not many part of my body that is shown. The highest possibility is only to use it around my face or my eyes (which is not safe). But I can’t justify going to a mall wearing glitter on my face XD. So although I like the shades of this supernova and actually don’t mind wearing glitter, I don’t think I can get many use out of it. So I decided to pass on this bundle (and also any glitter products within this collection).

Speaking about the bundle itself, I think the shade of supernova shadow in this one is the most consistent within this whole collection, which is around red and coral color family. The other two bundles are too pink-y and purple-y, which I think a little off to be paired with the palette if you want to wear them together.

Sandia Smash

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of “Avenue of The Stars” GO, which also an existing GO shade, and “Ice Pop” supernova shadow, which is a new one. I actually really like the glitter since it’s very colorful, and I do think the supernova shadow’s shade is also pretty, and the overall shade of both of them quite matches. But again, since I won’t be wearing them a lot, I decided to pass on this one.

Slip N’ Slide

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of “Disco Lady” GO, which also an existing GO shade, and “Hazy” supernova shadow, which is a new one. Among the three bundles, I think the supernova shadow in this one doesn’t quite match the theme. It’s still a pretty shade, so if you like the shade alone without considering the whole theme in this collection, I’m sure you’ll be happy to have it! I also passed this one with the same reasoning as I mentioned above.

Mini Glitterally Obsessed Trio

image courtesy: colourpop

This trio consists of three mini GO retails for 12 USD. Each of them is 3 g/ 0.11 oz and if we break it down from the bundle’s price, each would be USD 4. The shades are “Starfire”, “Star Party”, and “Keep it Plutonic”, which all of them are existing shade. If you don’t want the supernova shadow bundle, you can have this instead. I myself didn’t pick this one up.

Full Sized Gliterally Obsessed

image courtesy: colourpop

There are two new GO shades in this collection which are “Trippin on Skies” (the left one from image above) and “Bring The Heat” (the right one from image above). They are just like typical CP GO that has been released before. I can’t say much about it since I never tried any of them. I also passed on this one.

Free Birthday Super Shock Shadow

image courtesy: colourpop

Just like CP’s previous birthday celebration, they give this super shock shadow (SSS) as a freebie with every purchase made during the birthday period. I love SSS and this color is perfect for this collection. I obviously get it for free with my purchase and can’t wait to play around with it!

Additional Bundles

Besides the ones mentioned above, CP also offer some additional bundles. The first one is “Birthday Bash” which consists of four previous birthday-special SSS retails for USD 20.

Birthday Bash bundle, image courtesy: colourpop

I didn’t pick this up because I have limited budget and for this purchase, I decided to pick up products I never tried before such as FRB stuffs, lippie scrub, and UBL, so this one didn’t make the cut. But now I’m kinda regretting myself by not picking this one up. They are special SSS and not sold in singles anymore so I should have pick this up to complete my collection. Now I only hope they make this bundle a permanent so I can pick it up a little bit later πŸ˜₯

The next bundle is “Sweetest Fling” which consists of Main Squeeze palette, Melonade UML, and Big Slice Plumping Gloss. This one retails for USD 26, which actually doesn’t save any money.

image courtesy: colourpop

The next bundle is “In Season” which consists of Main Squeeze palette, Best O liner, and Get Paid liner retails for USD 20. I actually considered to pick this up since it saves USD 3. But after considering the liners included here, I think I don’t really want them at the moment.

image courtesy: colourpop

Overall Thoughts

So that is it guys my thoughts about CP 2019 birthday collection. The ones I picked up are Main Squeeze palette, Best Served Chilled bundle, Slice of Life bundle, and Birthday Treat SSS. Overall, I really love the theme and in my opinion they executed it well with the selection of products, the graphic design, and the product/ shade names. There are some elements that could’ve been better, such as a wider range of reds in the palette, adding another type of product outside the bundle instead of one single shade of UML, and selling the products individually so that we could choose them more freely. In the end, I am still happy with my purchase and can’t wait to play around with it!

20% Discount Code

This is what I promised you guys. I have a referral link so that you can get 20% off your FIRST purchase only. This is not an affiliate code but I will get also 20% off my next purchase if you use this link to make your FIRST EVER purchase with CP. So it’s a win win for us!

https://www.talkable.com/x/boSyX0

This code (as far as I’m aware) is applied for all Colourpop’s products including new arrivals. So it’s a very good deal! Please feel free to use it or not. I really appreciate if you decided to use my referral link to make your purchase! ^^

image courtesy: colourpop

That’s all for today’s post! Now let me know what you think about this collection. Did you pick anything up? Which is your most favorite product? Or did you completely skip this collection? Please comment below!

I’ll see you on my next post!

Ramadan Culture that Confuses Non Muslims

Hey, everyone!

It feels like years since the last time I posted on this blog, while actually it’s only been two weeks! As I mentioned on this post, it’s a little bit hard for me to keep my old schedule to write blog posts since I got a new job. It’s actually even worse now because a relative who stays in my house and helps me take care of my son while I’m working went to her hometown for Ramadan and Eid (biggest Muslim celebration in a year). So basically I will be a single fighter until after Eid. Thank goodness my mom lives in nearby city so she will come help me every couple days in a week. That’s why I took a break from writing for two weeks just to let my self ‘breathe’ a little bit amidst this whole situation.

Speaking about Ramadan and Eid, last week’s Sunday evening (May 5th, 2019) marked the start of Ramadan month this year according to Islamic calendar. If you don’t know what Ramadan is, I found this article from Google where you can read simple and short but clear explanation about Ramadan. Ramadan month lasts for 30 days, and after that, we, Muslims, will have Eid al-Fitr celebration that usually takes up to one week long. So when I said my relative who helps me take care of my son is in a long holiday for Ramadan and Eid, it means I have to juggle between my son, my teaching job, and this blog all alone for around 5 weeks. I actually don’t know how I can handle that so if you’re a busy mom like me, please give me some advice!

In today’s post, since we are in the topic already, I thought I want to share with you my Ramadan experience among many people from different nations and ethnicity during my stay in Japan for three years. As Japan is a Muslim-minority country, not many people (Japanese or other non-Muslim foreigners who live in Japan) are aware about Ramadan’s customs. So I thought it would be interesting to share what non-Muslims think about Ramadan according to my experience. I hope you don’t mind that I take you to a trip down my memory lane so that you will get to know me little by little!

Now, let’s get started!

No Eating and Drinking During The Day

While non-Muslims in Indonesia (as Muslim-majority country) are aware about what Muslims do during Ramadan, that’s not the case for my Japanese and foreigner friends in Japan. When they first heard about Ramadan and came to realize that I won’t be eating and drinking during the day for a WHOLE month, they were shook!

“Won’t you be dead if you aren’t drinking and eating for more than 10 hours?” was the most common question I got from my friends. The fact is, we won’t (in God’s will). Our body can hold up to three weeks without food and up to four days without water (according to this article). So don’t worry, 12 hour-ish without food and water is doable!

The fact is, we must not drink and eat (or simply called ‘fast’) from sunrise until sunset, so the time will be different around the globe. In Indonesia, since we are near equator, we are so lucky to have similar hour-long between day and night. But during my stay in Japan, Ramadan always occurred in summer, so the day was longer than the night. At that time, I had to fast for about 17 hours. But I know it wasn’t the hardest fast known. In other countries, they have to fast for nearly 20 hours.

The next common question I got was, “Why would you sacrifice yourself like that just because your religion told you to do so?” First thing first, ‘fasting’ not only about ‘not drinking and eating’ only, but also about ‘abstaining our self from humanity desire or pleasure, such as sex, swearing, arguing, or smoking’ because this month is a special month for worshiping and getting closer to God. The fact is, personally, because I’m used to do it since I was a kid, I don’t feel any pressure to do it, but i must admit that fasting 17 hours in Japan was much harder than 12 hours in Indonesia. And about the ‘sacrifice’ thing, I feel like by abstaining myself from pleasure activities, I can focus more on my spiritual dedication. I always feel like I became a better person by the end of Ramadan by not arguing with people or restraining my anger. So definitely I must say rather than sacrificing myself by being hungry all day long, I feel the significance of my personal growth is worth the struggle (I hope it makes sense!).

Eating before Dawn

So how do we survive fasting during the day? We actually eat before dawn, and by ‘dawn’ here is also on different times around the world. In Japan when Ramadan lasted on summer, the dawn was 02.30, while in Indonesia it is typically around 04.30.

You might think that we eat a lot during this time, but actually, it’s hard to eat a lot while we’re still half asleep >< In the end, we can only eat just enough to start our day without looking too miserable.

I personally tend to avoid too much carbo or fat. It’s better to take a lot of protein and fiber as it slows down the digestion process, hence makes us feel full a little bit longer. I also make sure I drink a lot water.

Getting Together and Eating after Sunset

One of our favorite time would be none other than the time when we can break our fast. It is around 19.00 in Japan during summer, and 17.30 in Indonesia.

During this time, we usually get together with our family and friends and break our fast together. In Japan, in the city where I lived in, we have huge Muslim community because my city has some universities and research centers, so I can safely say that my city was very foreigner friendly. We have one mosque that is actually not very big, but because of that, we feel very close to each other.

During Ramadan, we had break-fasting schedule almost everyday in the mosque, and in every schedule, we took turn to prepare the food according to our countries. We have Indonesian, Malaysian, Arab, Egypt, Indian, Bangladesh, and Pakistan community when I lived there, so I’m so grateful to be able to experience so many different Ramadan dishes from around the world. We sat together without distinguishing nations and ethnicity, and we just felt as one big Muslim brothers and sisters :’)

Break-fasting menu from Arab Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Pakistan Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Bangladesh Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Indonesia & Malaysia Community, photo by me

So sorry for the low quality photos, guys. I retrieved those photos from my personal IG account. I took them around 2013-2015 when I was still living in Japan, at that time I didn’t know how to make objects look aesthetic on photos. I basically just took the photos for documentary purpose. But I’m sure you get the idea! XD

Praying until Late at Night

And after break-fasting, we had a special prayer that was longer than usual (and by ‘usual’ here I mean months other than Ramadan month). This prayer actually can be done alone in our own home or together in the mosque. But definitely it feels different when we pray together in the mosque and it feels more Ramadan.

This prayer usually started around 21.00 in Japan because of the summer time, while in Indonesia it started around 19.30. The length of the prayer is actually different according to each mosques’ custom. In our mosque in Japan, this prayer usually finished around 22.30. But this is not an obligatory prayer (like I’ve said before). There were several breaks in the middle of the prayer, so we can go home during those breaks if we want to. Or we can completely skip it from the beginning and do it alone in our home.

So after the prayer, me and my friends usually rode our bicycle together from the mosque to our apartment or dorm in Japan. Even though it’s almost midnight, it felt so nice to be with friends, riding our bicycle in the middle of the road. How I missed those time when I was young and free XD

So those are our Ramadan culture, especially when I was living among many Muslims from different countries in Japan. This is such a rare experience and I can’t thank Allah (God) enough for giving me the opportunity to meet my brothers and sisters from around the world and share Ramadan together for once in my lifetime. When I think that I might not be able to repeat this experience, I am a little bit sad. But at least, I have this memory to remember forever :’)

That’s all guys for today’s post. I hope you enjoyed reading it! If you’re not Muslims, do you find this culture interesting? Or maybe do you have some Muslim friends and know how their Ramadan culture is? Are they different than mine? If you’re Muslims, where are you from and how is your Ramadan culture? Share it on the comments below because I’m really interested to know about that, too!

See you on my next post!