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)

An Honest Guide to Universal Studios Japan

Read on for tips on how to enjoy your time at Universal Studios Japan!

Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is one of Osaka’s main attractions, attracting more than 11 million people every year, but it reached the height of its popularity after The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWOHP) was opened to the public in the summer of 2014. Naturally, as a Harry Potter fan myself, I had to visit USJ when I went to Osaka over the spring break. I did read about USJ before I went there, but most of what I experienced was completely unexpected. To make sure that your time there is as good as it can be, I compiled a short, frank list of tips about Universal Studios Japan and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


Before we flew to Osaka, our family wanted to go to USJ on Friday but was unable to make any final decisions because the weather forecasts predicted that it would be a rainy day. We had to go either on Friday or on Saturday. Saturday wasn’t supposed to rain, but we knew that weekends brought more visitors. In the end, we went to USJ on Friday and didn’t regret it. Yes, it rained, but our umbrellas protected us well. Even on a rainy weekday, the park was packed. Everland and Lotte World wouldn’t stand a chance against the swarming crowds of Universal Studios; I don’t want to imagine how many people there would be on sunny weekends. USJ is actually visited by more Japanese people than tourists, so on weekends when there’s no school or work, you can expect to see more visitors than attractions.


My family arrived to the park at 8 in the morning, thirty minutes before it was to open. We thought that we came pretty early, but when we arrived, we saw huge lines in front of the entrances. We were only able to enter at around 8:45. Most people bought their Studio Passes, or entry tickets, online, so they were able to line up in front of the entrances right away. I would recommend buying your pass beforehand if you don’t want any delays on the day of. Here’s a special tip: the line in the middle moves faster, so if you’re keen on getting in quickly, sneak into that one.

Plus, if you come in around the time that the park opens, you’ll be greeted by all of the USJ workers standing along the edge of the road. The workers really do genuinely seem happy and devoted to USJ, which is quite welcoming for us tourists.


Express Passes are convenient ticket that let you enjoy popular attractions once with shortened waiting times. They also can be used to guarantee a spot for viewing the parade. Express Passes can be purchased on the day at the park, but are available only while supplies last; most will not be available on the day if they are sold out beforehand. There are different Express Passes that shorten waiting times for different attractions, so make sure to check out the different options before making a final choice.

Many Koreans buy them up to a month in advance because they sell out quickly. My family, again, was not able to buy them earlier because we didn’t know which day we would end up visiting the theme park. When we went to the ticket booth on Friday, we realized that most of the passes were already sold out, so we bought Express Pass 4 ~The Flying Dinosaur~.

PC: Kristin Kim (’20)

The Express Passes allowed us to enjoy our time there because we never had to wait more than 10 minutes for any of the attractions we rode. The only drawback was that the Express Passes are quite pricey; the cheapest option is 4,500 yen with tax (about $40.51), and the most expensive one is 20,700 yen with tax (about $186.35). To enter the park, however, you also need a separate Studio Pass, which is 7,600 yen with tax (about $68.42) for adults. The waiting times for more popular rides can climb over 100 minutes, so if you don’t mind paying a little extra money, Express Passes will really enhance your experience at USJ. If you have specific attractions that you really want to ride, buying the Express Pass earlier will be a strategic choice.


One thing I noticed at Universal was that everything is expensive. The passes, the food, the clothes, the souvenirs  – everything was very overpriced. Out of all of the worlds, however, WWOHP had the most expensive items. The Hogwarts robe was over $100, and the wands was also about $50. Universal knew that devoted fans will buy these goods despite the costs, so they set the price very high.

But if you are on a vacation and you don’t plan on coming to Osaka again anytime soon, you might as well spend some money on things you want to buy. Just remember to be aware of how much money you are spending so that you still have enough money to enjoy the rest of your stay at Japan!

If you ever get to visit Universal Studios Japan, just refer to these tips. As a person who was just as confused and uninformed as any other person before this trip, I promise that they will help guide you around the theme park.

– Kristin Kim (’20)

Featured Image:

List headers designed by Crescentia Jung (’19)

Typhoon Etau Hits Japan

Japan’s latest natural disaster crisis.

On September 9, Typhoon Etau hit the eastern zone of Japan, letting down rain of a whopping 60 centimeters, which is more than double the amount of rainfall that normally falls during the entire month.

The tropical storm caused the Kinugawa and Shibui rivers to overflow as much as 8 kilometers past their banks. 24 people have been reported to be missing, while at least 27 have been injured by the consequent flooding. Almost a million people in Tokyo and seven other prefectures of Japan have been advised to evacuate their homes as thousands already have. Evacuees were taken to local elementary and high schools, with the Japanese Red Cross providing mattresses, pillows, blankets, emergency kits and radios. Around 100 houses were flooded in Osaki City alone, forcing residents to climb to their roofs for safety before being rescued. As Hisako Sekimoto, a 62 year old woman recalled, “there was no time to escape…” and the only passage to safety was the upper floors. The flooding has also caused massive landslides in Japan, particularly in Joso City where the most dramatic amount of rain fell.

Shizuo Kambaya for AP Images
(Shizuo Kambaya for AP Images)

While this is not the first major flooding that Japan has encountered this year, with Typhoon Goni having hit the southern island of Japan, Kyushu, injuring 70 people, the rainfall experienced within the past few days was “unprecedented”, as Takuya Deshimaru, the chief forecaster at the Japan Meteorological Agency, claimed. Firefighters and members of Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force used boats and helicopters to rescue residents, and almost 6,000 emergency service and military personnel came to help with the rescue effort.  

Yoshikazu Tsuno for Getty Images
(Yoshikazu Tsuno for Getty Images)

The flooding has also caused environmental concerns within the global community. The rain caused by Typhoon Etau is the most that the Fukushima prefecture has seen in the last 50 years, overwhelming the drainage pumps of the nuclear reactors and consequently spewing contaminated water into the ocean, according to a Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) spokesman.

While Typhoon Etau has moved out into the East Sea, the storm in Japan is far from over. According to Ken Moritsugu, the bureau chief of Japan’s Associated Press, the “river is flowing directly into one side into the eastern side of the city and as a result, it will be a while to get rid of the water,” while mountains may collect more precipitation, making it harder to drain the water and possibly causing more mudslides.


– Seiyeon Park (’17)