Japanese fashion magazines

One of the things you must do when you are in Japan, is to buy Japanese fashion magazines. You can get them at bookstores or even in the convenience stores, which can almost be found on every street corner. On one hand, you get to catch up on the latest Japanese trends and fashion and on the other hand, you receive the best free gifts. Usually I only get a small sample of face cream with my magazines here, but in Japan, this is totally different. You get all sorts of cute things like tote bags, mirrors, key chains, purses, ear phones, earrings, bracelets, jewellery bag, make-up bags, head bands, fans, scarves, socks, hair scrunchies, insulated lunch bags, mascara, eye lashes, watches, and pouches. Often, the magazines also collaborate in making the gift with famous designers and brands such as Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, Coach, Kitson, Jill Stuart, Agnes B, Sonia Rykiel, Armani, YSL, Bathing Ape, Cher and Anna Sui. It is a good way of getting a designer's item for little.

During my last trip to Japan, I have bought these two magazines, mainly just for the gifts.

Le Sportsac 2011 Spring & Summer mook
Le Sportsac Catalog, 1300 yen.
Japanese More Magazine July 2011
More magazine, 700 yen.

Although the gifts are packed tightly in flat carton boxes attached to the actual magazines, it is really easy to see what gifts you get with the magazine. They often place a fairly large picture with some details shots in the left or right upper corner of the magazine cover. The price of the magazines is also quite easy to spot, even when you cannot read Japanese.

I based my choice on the gifts that did not look too bad in quality and that I could use regularly, therefore it cost me a bit more. But there are also really cute magazines of 400-500 yen with nice gifts. In the larger bookstores, the free gifts that come with the magazines are often put on display. The freebie will be unpacked and placed near the stack of magazines, so you can touch the material and see how big it is, before you decide to buy it. In convenience stores, you just have to rely on the picture and take the gamble.

Freebies of Japanese More magazine
The freebies shown at the left upper corner of the magazine: I got a tote bag and a small Clinique foundation sample.
price of Japanese More magazine
The price of the magazine (700 yen) in the right upper corner
With the More magazine, I received a large tote bag of the brand Gelato Pique. The patterns on the bag are really cute. It has small red and blue stars (my favorite pattern!) and small handwriting's. The material is really sturdy and waterproof. Inside, there is a small pocket sewn in. Sadly, it does not have any lining. 

Gelato pique tote bag freebie with More magazine
Large tote bag with long handles
Gelato pique logo on the tote bag
Logo on the front.
Inside of the Gelato pique tote bag
Small attached pocket inside
The other magazine is a catalog of the brand Le Sportsac, Spring & Summer 2011. In Japan, it is normal for brands to publish catalogs (also called mooks, short for magazine books) with pictures of their newest products in them. Along with those catalogs, you get a small gift from that brand. The contents of these mooks are not always that interesting, just pretty pictures of models with the brand products. That's why you should really look if the gift is worth it, while with magazines, the celebrity on the cover and the interesting contents of the magazine alone are worth paying for.

The gift I got with the Le Sportsac mook is a large foldable tote bag with a cute strawberry print. This print is limited edition and only available in Japan. There are in total three different prints that come with this issue, you can see them here. Even though I was tempted to buy the one with a star print again, the strawberry print was just too cute to not get.

Le Sportsac Spring Summer 2011 Mook tote bag strawberry print
Large tote bag.
This large tote bag can be folded up as a small zippered pouch (see picture underneath) and the zipper needed for the transformation is located on the bottom of the bag. The bag is really lightweight and sturdy, perfect for grocery shopping. You can just take the small pouch along in your handbag.

Le Sportsac Spring Summer 2011 Mook tote bag strawberry print fold as small pouch
Folded up as a small zipper pouch.
It folds up very thin.
The measurements of the bag and how it can become a small pouch.

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