The Saem opened its first Manhattan/Chinatown location in February 2017 and it’s conveniently on the corner of Canal Street and Centre Street, inside the New Land Plaza building. I recommend coming to Chinatown in the morning for Asian/Korean Beauty shopping, eating an authentic Asian-style lunch, more K-Beauty and J-Beauty indulgence and then snacking on bubble tea or Chinese buns! There is also a Flushing branch but The Saem Manhattan is a pretty sizeable shop with three cosmetic hutches in the center and it carries the most popular products from Korea (I list a few to check out in my post)! The Saem I also have a really big surprise that I’m going to start rolling out across all my Photo Tour posts too… click to the exciting new feature that will add a new level of “touring” through these shops!
You read that right. There’s a K-town in Tokyo and it’s just like visiting Korea. Everything from the food, shopping and atmosphere – it’s just like walking over the border into Korea if you’re ever sick of ramen or sushi (God forbid). Japan’s Koreatown has K-Pop idol merchandise and K-Beauty galore. My idol merchandise buying days ended with the Backstreet Boys’ Black and Blue album so I had no interest in buying any more items with young boys embossed on them but I definitely wanted to check out the Korean beauty items and see how “Hallyu” has made its way into Japan’s city streets. I stuck to buying mostly Japanese beauty items on two week stay but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t curious about K-Beauty’s appearance on Japanese shelves.
Across the street from Shiseido The Ginza is Shiseido Parlour, the original building of where the company was founded. Shiseido Parlour is an old-timey style confectionery shop on the ground level with Faro, an Italian restaurant, cafe, penthouse bar and banquet hall on the upper levels. You’ll naturally gravitate towards the glossy, dark red exterior of the building and be greeted by giant roses made out of lipstick bullets! Half the reason you come to Japan is for the food and there are quite a few snacks you can buy to bring back home or dine-in to enjoy the ambiance of Ginza’s high-class culture.
One of the first brands I associated with Asian beauty is Shiseido as it was my mother’s preferred luxury brand when I was growing up. Shiseido was also one of the most accessible brands to purchase before there was the Internet or online shopping. In fact, there were a couple of Shiseido franchise stores that opened right in Chinatown, NYC where salesladies were able to make sales by speaking Cantonese to my mom. For my epic Tokyo vacation, I naturally wanted to visit the Shiseido Flagship right in the heart of Ginza, Tokyo’s premiere shopping district. The flagship has four floors with each providing a unique beauty experience. Right across the street is Shiseido Parlour, an old-timey style confectionery retail shop. If you’re a Shiseido fan, or at least a fan of any of Shiseido’s many sub-brands, look at through my mini photo tour to see if you’d like to step inside.
If you love cute character items and cosmetics, It’s Demo is a MUST-VISIT. The little kid inside you will scream with joy because it knows adult-you can buy everything you ever wanted as a child. This is getting a little meta but It’s Demo is the best store to indulge all those irrational desires for a Sailor Moon shaped compact or a My Melody phone case. At least with makeup and fashion accessories, it’s quasi-functional. It’s Demo has been described as a fashion convenience store because it also houses hair, phone and general accessories, hosiery, totes, decorative cookies and of course cosmetics as the main attraction. Their specialty is carrying almost anything with a cartoon character on it which ranges from Disney’s Frozen (and all Disney Princesses), Pokemon, Spongebob Squarepants, Doremon and even classic OG Sanrio characters like Keroppi, My Melody, Little Twin Stars, and Cinnamoroll! The store seems gears towards the 13 – 25 demo as the majority of the items were a little too kiddy for my personal taste but it was still worth a visit! I took photos from the Shibuya location where my Airbnb was located. Click to read more and peek inside.