Creative Japanese Health Products You Must Buy

By now, it is almost an established fact that Japan, our neighbor, produces some of the world’s best candies and jellies. Starting with the famous fruit konyak jellies, I’ve encountered blueberry and sweet potato pockies, green-tea powdered chocolate kit-kats, strawberry sodas, puffy melon breads, ice-cream mochi (rice-cakes), and this list of creative treats will go on forever. And often times, it is quite common to notice KIS teachers and students travel to Japan during their break or AISA sports seasons and return with humongous suitcases loaded with sweets.

But recently, I’ve found another reason to go shopping in Japan— not just for the delicacies, but for the convenient “over-the-counter” health tonics. These aren’t just any simple medications or prescription drugs you get from your doctors when you’re sick; these are useful, safe, and cheap daily life necessities that will assist you anytime and anywhere. Especially for the AP saturated high school juniors to worn out athletes, these five must-buys, highly accessible Japanese health products may one day come to your aid.

1) Eye drops for Computer strain and Contact lenses: Santen, Smile and Rohto

PC: Takasaki


These eye drops will certainly benefit many of our KIS students who spend day and night staring at their MacBook screens and smartphones or even those with dry eyes from wearing contact lenses. Also commonly known as eye refreshers, these eye drops contain  Vitamins A, E, B6, neostigmine methylsulfate, Allantoin and taurin that will relieve eye fatigue, a major cause of vision deterioration. Moreover, they will clear eye inflammation and provide extra protection from ultraviolet rays.

2) Cabajin Kowa alpha

PC: eBay

Cabajin is not just any temporary digestive pill. With its nickname “national gastritis pill,” Cabajin allows for a long term use in maintaining healthy gastric function. Its primary ingredient is the MMSC (Methylmethionine Sulfonium Chloride) found in cabbage juice that improves gastric movement; a total of 150 mg of MMSC contained in five whole cabbages are contained in six small pills, which is the recommended amount to consume each day. It is also worth noting that this particular medication is also widely available for purchase here in Korea as well, so perhaps you might want to try it out!

3) Loxonins

PC: Japan Health

Especially popular for its quickness and efficacy, this headache medicine is made out of ingredients that do not harm the gastrointestinal tract. It is non-steroidal painkiller that is lower in toxicity compared to other headache pills, thus creating less irritation to your stomach.

4) Kobayashi Medi-Shield


PC: Sendaikobayashi

These are waterproof “liquid” bandages, which means all you have to do is apply this thin, clear, odorless coat of this Medi Shield over your wound. Not only will it provide instant waterproof for any cuts, abrasions, scratches, or even burns, this will also clean and disinfect the wound by natural healing by preventing bacteria from entering.

5) Lion Cooling Sheets

PC: eBay

This is for anyone who is suffering from various muscle cramps after standing for long hours with high heels to playing sports. Japanese cooling sheets can also be a beauty product, almost like basic leg masks, providing instant soothing and moisturizing through vaporization of water. Moreover, they come with five aromatic fragrances—lavender, common sage, rosmarinus, lemon, and orange— that you can choose from.

– Sammie Kim 18′

Featured Image: Crescentia Jung (’19)

10 Healthy, Yummy, and Easy To Make Snacks


Do you get hungry often? Do you feel tired? Do you need food to concentrate? If so, you might want to try carrying around some healthy snacks. Snacking helps you stay nourished and full the entire day, and contrary to widespread belief, has been proven to help with weight loss. Eating 5 or more small meals a day (3 main meals, 2 snacks) instead of 3 heavy ones increases your metabolism and prevents you from overeating. The key is to eat before you’re crazy hungry and to eat healthy. Nowadays, because processed and malnutritious foods are terribly common, healthy snacking is a good way to stay energized and provide ourselves with necessary nutrients. And since KIS students are extremely busy, snacks should be convenient for on-the-run eaters. So, without further ado, here are some healthy, scrumptious, and easy to make snacks:

1. Apples With Peanut Butter

16854603019_877af8ce23_oApples and peanut butter make a great combination. Just like the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, apples have many vitamins and antioxidants that can prevent numerous diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Peanut butter also has a lot of protein —just remember not to eat too much of it! To make this snack, simply cut up some apples, scoop a spoonful of peanut butter onto your plate (to control portions), and dip your apples into your peanut butter. 

2. Granola Bars

16853025688_dd99a0d9f6_oLooking for a snack you can bring to school? Granola bars are the perfect fit: wrapped, solid and small! They have lots of oats, nuts, and fruits that will fill you up. The best part is that there are many different kinds, so you have a variety of flavors to choose from. Just remember to check your allergies and the sugar content before you buy one.


3. Smoothies

16833405107_46b3f4869e_oSmoothies are very healthy and heavy enough to keep you full. In addition, it’s quite a time efficient treat. Just throw the ingredients into the blender, blend it, then pour it in a cup. Not to mention, you can personalize your smoothie according to your likes and dislikes. You can put in basically anything you want, but the most mouthwatering smoothies will have one handful of greens (kale, spinach, etc), one fruit depending on the size (bananas, berries, etc), and one to two cups of liquid that serves as a base (water, milk, etc).

*Tip: add lemon juice to your smoothie to mask the bitter tastes of certain green vegetables!


4. Banana And Peanut Butter

16420663223_0b2db4f510_oThis snack is for those with an incurable sweet tooth. Bananas and peanut butter make a very sweet yet healthy snack that can help soothe your candy and baked goods cravings. Bananas have lots of potassium and vitamins, and they help maintain your blood pressure and heart health. Although pretty self explanatory, to fix up your serving of bananas and peanut butter, simply spread some peanut butter onto your banana. To turn this snack into a meal, you can add some sliced bread to make a sandwich and spread the peanut butter on the bread instead of on the banana.


5. Yogurt And Fruits

17039980181_9fd38bd8a0_oYogurt contains a lot of vitamins and probiotics. It can help with intestinal problems and the maintenance of a lean figure. If you want to get even healthier, replace regular yogurt with greek yogurt, which has less fat and more protein. If you don’t like the taste of yogurt because you think it’s too bland, try adding fruits to add more flavor and sweetness.


6. Nuts

16418379884_4031df138b_oNuts are also a great snack to bring to school. They’re nutritious and they don’t spoil in a short amount of time. Nuts are also a great substitute for chips; they have a lot of Vitamin E, unsaturated fats, and omega 3 fatty acids. Just grab a handful and place them in a ziplock bag to make an instantly travel-friendly snack or stop by your market to purchase packaged nuts.


7. Tuna Stuffed Celery

16418383984_5e3b9682ed_oThis snack can be turned into a meal by increasing the quantity of the ingredients. Celeries are very low calorie vegetables that include lots of dietary fibers and antioxidants. Tuna is a lean protein that enables you to consume protein without also consuming a lot of fat, like red meats do. Grab a can of tuna, drain out the oil (do not eat this, it’s basically oil mixed with chemical preservatives to help the tuna last longer), and scoop some onto the celery. You can also add a small dollop of mayonnaise or other sauces/condiments if you’re not keen on veggie-eating.


8. Cream Cheese And Cucumber Sandwich

16853021208_96b21c191c_oAlso wholesome enough to eat as a meal, a cream cheese and cucumber sandwich provides you with most of the necessary nutritions. Spread the cream cheese thinly on a piece of whole wheat bread (whole wheat bread is much healthier than plain white bread) and add slices of cucumber on top. You can add another slice of bread depending on how hungry you are.


9. Tortilla Chips And Salsa

16853025358_144d928a07_oThese last two snack ideas are for people who are not yet ready to go full on healthy but would still like some healthier alternatives to the junk foods they love. For the first one, if you have a chips addiction, opt for some low sodium corn tortilla chips and some fresh salsa instead of the chemical filled, processed bag of chips. If you want to make your own salsa, chop up some onions and tomatoes into little squares and squeeze in lemon juice.


10. Strawberries With Dark Chocolate

16854603619_8262d77361_oIf you absolutely cannot live without chocolate, try making your snacks healthier by dipping fresh strawberries into dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate and can be healthy for you if it is made of more than 70% cocoa. And adding some fresh fruit and/or vegetables is a great way to instantly make your foods healthier. To make this snack, break up some dark chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, and dip the strawberries in it until they are half coated. Then, let them cool in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.

*Tip: You can do the same with yogurt and strawberries without the microwaving!

– Minji Kim (’18)

Illustrations by Irene Jung (’16)