“Homesick” for Japan? Fortunately, Singapore has tonnes of Japanese brands and stores that can help you get your Nippon fix. Plus, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy all of them! Here are 10 ways to experience Japan in Singapore.

 1. Get your groceries

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Fill your home with everyday Japanese household products such as natto, miso, fresh fruits and vegetables (from Japan). It can get expensive to eat out at a good Japanese restaurant every day. And some days, you just have the hankering for a good home cooked Japanese meal. The easiest way to satiate your tummy is to whip up some delicious dishes yourself using ingredients normally found in a Japanese home!

Meidi-Ya | WebsiteLiang Court Shopping Centre #B1-50 , 177 River Valley Rd

2. Soak in an onsen

Pamper yourself after a long work week with a good soak at an ‘onsen’. So it’s not quite a naturally heated spring water pool with a view but hey, it’s as good as it gets here in Singapore. Yunomori Onsen tries to offer an authentic experience through its layout, open shower rooms and offering of five – six different hot pools. These pools are filled with specially treated water so they have almost the same pampering benefits as natural onsens in Japan.

Yunomori Onsen | Website | Facebook | Kallang Wave Mall #02-17, 1 Stadium Place

3.  Buy some snacks

Sometimes your cravings will hit you when you’re away from home. Prepare yourself by stocking up your office or getting something to toss in your bag. At Midtown Mart you’ll be able to find all sorts of sweet and savoury treats, such as Umaibo (flavoured corn snacks), unique flavoured Kit Kats and Calpis drinks to feed your every need.

Midtown Mart |Facebook | Marina Square #03-130A  12 Raffles Boulevard 6

4. Play in an arcade

Relive your childhood or just relieve stress at a loud, energetic, fun-filled arcade. Play (not so) oldies-but-goodies such as Street Fighter, Initial D and Mario Cart, shoot up some baddies at the Time Crisis or House of the Dead, take on your friends in a bout of modern booth games or just go nuts with the indoor bumper cars!

Timezone |Website | Facebook | Vivocity, Plaza Singapura, Tampines Hub, Causeway Point, City Square Mall & Waterway Point

5. Get your nails done

A must for the ladies. Not having well-manicured nails can almost be considered some sort of social faux pas for any career gal; especially in Japan where keeping up your physical appearance is of utmost importance for the ladies. Japanese ladies love their fancy, feminine, whimsical manicures, so where better to get one than Tiara Nail which hails from Fukouka Prefecture.

Tiara Nail |Website | Facebook | Far East Plaza #01-57, 14 Scotts Road

6. Have a hair-y makeover

While fancy manicures may not be the thing for all guys (or girls), a new hairdo is great for everyone. Start a new trend or join Japan’s latest hair movement by visiting a Japanese hair salon as they’ll have the in-depth know-what about the latest and upcoming looks. Stun everyone (like vegetables) in town by transforming into the most oshare (fashionable) guy/gal in town with a new hair style.

Art-Noise |Website | Facebook | Holland Village, 38A Lorong Mambong

7. Shop for clothes

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Staying trendy in Japan can be incredibly costly, and in Singapore even more so. Luckily, UNIQLO offers affordable and fashionable pieces that range from everyday wear to office attire for men, women and young children in the latest styles from Japan. They also often have special brand tie ups with famous titles from Pixar, Disney, Marvel, Capcom and more to tickle the fan boy/girl bone in you.

UNIQLO |Website | Facebook | Island-wide

8. Eat at a themed cafe

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As the home to many, many adorable characters, Japan usually gets some amazing seasonal, limited-time only, themed cafes. Singapore’s also started to pick up this trend with Hello Kitty, Pom Pom Purin and Pokemon -themed cafes springing up around our island. The latest addition to the list comes from Sanrio’s laziest egg, Gudetama.

Gudetama Cafe Singapore |Website | Facebook | Clarke Quay Central #05-229, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street

9. Indulge in ramen

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When you want to experience Japan in Singapore, you can’t miss out on a good bowl of ramen. There are plenty of shops around Singapore that provide pretty authentic and yummy tasting bowls of noodly goodness but our pick is Ippudo Ramen.

Ippudo Ramen |Website | Facebook | Mandarin Gallery #04-02/03/04, 333A Orchard Road

10. Doll up in a kimono

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You don’t have to fly all the way to Tokyo or Kyoto to experience wearing an authentic kimono. At SEQYA, you can arrange for special photo shoot sessions starting from $300. The basic tier includes 30-min photography session (with two 4R photo print outs OR a CD with five images) and rental of the kimono, obi, accessories, geta and props. You can also rent the kimonos for special occasions. They also offer dressing-up and makeup services instore.

Kimono Rental SEQYA Singapore|Website |Concorde Hotel & Shopping Mall #03-12, 100 Orchard Road


Have your own tips on how to experience Japan in Singapore? Share them with us in the comments below!

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