Sendai 4th Anniversary Hockey Rilakkuma Plush!

Though we finally broke a long dry spell with our first rain here in St. Augustine this week, it is getting hotter and hotter here!

Still dreaming of cooler temperatures with this cute new Hockey Rilakkuma Plush from the Sendai 4th Anniversary Series!

リラックマストア仙台店4周年記念 - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - 氷上のウィンタースポーツ - Sendai Rilakkuma Store 4th Anniversary Plush - full

Hockey Rilakkuma, ready for action!

リラックマストア仙台店4周年記念 - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - 氷上のウィンタースポーツ - Sendai Rilakkuma Store 4th Anniversary Plush - helmet detail

His white helmet features a yellow Rilakkuma emblem, and soft grey cage to protect his face!

リラックマストア仙台店4周年記念 - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - 氷上のウィンタースポーツ - Sendai Rilakkuma Store 4th Anniversary Plush - helmet cage flip

The cage also conveniently flips up when you want to see his handsome face!

リラックマストア仙台店4周年記念 - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - 氷上のウィンタースポーツ - Sendai Rilakkuma Store 4th Anniversary Plush - hockey puck detail

One of my favorite details: an adorable bright yellow, bear-shaped hockey puck attached by string to the end of his hockey stick!

リラックマストア仙台店4周年記念 - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - 氷上のウィンタースポーツ - Sendai Rilakkuma Store 4th Anniversary Plush - hockey stick and jersey detail

On the other end of his hock stick, a nice bear detail. His white and blue jersey features a blue bear emblem with “Rilakkuma” in the front and center, with three grey stars on each sleeve.

リラックマストア仙台店4周年記念 - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - 氷上のウィンタースポーツ - Sendai Rilakkuma Store 4th Anniversary Plush - skate detail

Charming plush ice skates for Rilakkuma, featuring felt blades and a yellow Rilakkuma design on the lateral sides!

リラックマストア仙台店4周年記念 - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - 氷上のウィンタースポーツ - Sendai Rilakkuma Store 4th Anniversary Plush - tag art

Tag art featuring Rilakkuma’s snazzy skates! Also with a peek at the gilded fabric tag with the big “4” representing the Sendai Rilakkuma Store’s 4th anniversary.

Continuing the sports anniversary trend for this cycle, Sendai celebrated their 4th anniversary in November 2016 with this athletic hockey Rilakkuma!

Did you know that ice hockey is one of the oldest professional sports in Japan? And ice hockey is a popular sport in Sendai, making it a very appropriate choice to celebrate the Sendai Rilakkuma Store’s 4th birthday!

I love the way this plush is constructed, from the flip-up cage down to his plush skates—absolutely adorable! I’ve never played hockey, but this Rilakkuma certainly makes me want to! Or at least just skate around a little bit indoors while the sun slowly roasts Florida.

Enormous thanks to my Aunt Lulu for helping me get this sporty Rilakkuma! I hope he still has the chance to play hockey here in sunny Florida haha.

Do people still do #FollowFriday / #FF? I’m notoriously really spotty with my Instagram/social media usage, but these are a few photos I’ve saved that I’ve been really inspired by!

View this post on Instagram

🐻 #rilakkuma #くま #リラックマ #ゆき

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So beautiful! I really enjoy seeing everyone’s unique Rilakkuma aesthetics as I scroll through the #rilakkuma and #リラックマ tags, and these photos always get me motivated to capture more Rilakkuma photos!

Be sure to check out the Rilakkuma Lifestyle Instagram for fun snapshots of my Rilakkuma plush ;)

Personally, I love shooting concepts of Rilakkuma with objects like what he is wearing, like this Burger Rilakkuma with a burger which I took back in 2015 hehehe.

Of course, I always have so much fun bringing Rilakkuma out with me to do errands, and I always bring Rilakkuma with me when I travel!

Do you bring your Rilakkuma plush out in public? If so, where do you like to bring them?

Sapporo 5th Anniversary Rilakkuma Plush!

Dreaming of snow and winter as summer gets closer?

Cool down by hanging out with one of my newest additions: Bobsled Rilakkuma Plush from the Sapporo 5th Anniversary Series!

Sapporo Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary Series - Bobsled Rilakkuma - リラックマストア札幌店5周年記念 - ボブスレー - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ リラックマ - full

I call him “Bob”.

Sapporo Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary Series - Bobsled Rilakkuma - リラックマストア札幌店5周年記念 - ボブスレー - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ リラックマ - helmet detail

Protective helmet to keep him safe and warm, with bear emblem in the front and center.

Sapporo Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary Series - Bobsled Rilakkuma - リラックマストア札幌店5周年記念 - ボブスレー - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ リラックマ - front bobsled detail

The bobsled itself has a bear profile, with subtle red “ears” attached to the sides, with a large yellow bear design in the front.

Sapporo Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary Series - Bobsled Rilakkuma - リラックマストア札幌店5周年記念 - ボブスレー - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ リラックマ - side view

Profile shows two white racing stripes and a sporty yellow Rilakkuma title. I love the little bear for the dot on the “i”!

Sapporo Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary Series - Bobsled Rilakkuma - リラックマストア札幌店5周年記念 - ボブスレー - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ リラックマ - removable bobsled

This Rilakkuma is completely removable from his bobsled (no strings attached!) so other bears can have some winter fun, too!

Sapporo Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary Series - Bobsled Rilakkuma - リラックマストア札幌店5周年記念 - ボブスレー - あつめてアニバーサリーぬいぐるみ リラックマ - tag art

I think the tag art is uniquely beautiful, with a pretty snowflake design with little bears at the spikes. Nice peek of the fabric tag with gold foil embroidery describing the anniversary location and year, a motif of all anniversary designs from this cycle (compare to the satin ribbons from last cycle).

This sporty bobsled Rilakkuma was released as part of the Sapporo Rilakkuma Store’s 5th Anniversary celebration held November 2016!

This is the first Rilakkuma plush to ring in the current cycle of sports-themed anniversary bears! Last cycle was the Rilakkuma World Tour, featuring Rilakkuma and friends traveling across the world. This cycle, the designs all represent important sports in Japan! Also, I’m glad they brought back the full-sized bears for this cycle—just as I was starting to get used to the mini-bears from the past two haha.

This Rilakkuma design is especially meaningful because the country of Japan made their official bobsled/bobsleigh debut at the 1972 Winter Olympics, with the bobsled event being held in Sapporo! Furthermore, according to the announcement for this anniversary event on the Rilakkuma blog, this design is supposed to represent all winter sports, including bobsledding, skiing, and snowboarding. I love how thoughtful these Rilakkuma designs at representing significant slices of Japanese culture and history!

Big thanks to my Aunt Lulu for chaperoning him all the way here from the Philippines! We are so grateful for his immigration!

So happy that Bear Country is branching out to athletics! I’m also excited to have even more sports bears from this cycle to share with you!

In more relatable Rilakkuma news, this new design featuring sleeping Rilakkuma saying “Please don’t wake me up, I want to sleep more…” will be popping up in June!

Please Don't Wake Me Up, I Want To Sleep More - Rilakkuma - June 2017 - リラックマ

Haven’t we all been there?

Please Don't Wake Me Up, I Want To Sleep More - Rilakkuma - June 2017 - リラックマ - tote bag pass case

Tote bag: 2,480円. Passcase: 1,600円.

This line will be released in Rilakkuma Stores across Japan on June 3, and includes bags, passcases, pouches, and even a commemorative fork!

Such a big difference in attitude compared the sporty bears from the Anniversary line, huh? I think even Rilakkuma athletes want to sleep in some days.

What kind of sports do you want to see Rilakkuma play? Or are you more of a ~sleeping in~ Rilakkuma type?

 

Rilakkuma Factory #2 & Korilakkuma’s Strawberry Flower Plush!

Happy (belated) Mothers’ Day!

Catching up on my backlog, and sharing one very charming set that I think is very appropriate for Mothers’ Day: Rilakkuma Factory #2 and Korilakkuma’s Strawberry Flower Plush!

Rilakkuma Factory 2015 - リラックマファクトリー - Korilakkuma Strawberry Flower - コリラックマのストロベリーフラワー - リラックマ ぬいぐるみ - together

This time, Korilakkuma is larger than Rilakkuma!

Though not obviously thematically aligned, this sweet pair was released on the same day in September 2015.

At first, I felt that pairing them together created a narrative that Rilakkuma is toiling at the office/factory while Korilakkuma gets to enjoy her strawberry garden haha, but delving further, I think these two are paired perfectly together to paint two contrasting outlooks on adulthood.

This 2015 Rilakkuma Factory line is the second iteration of the popular Rilakkuma Factory series aimed towards office workers released a year prior in 2014. The theme for this Rilakkuma’s series was American Vintage—does this series remind you of the American vintage aesthetic?

Rilakkuma Factory 2015 - リラックマファクトリー - Korilakkuma Strawberry Flower - コリラックマのストロベリーフラワー - リラックマ ぬいぐるみ - factory full

Since he’s the second edition of Rilakkuma Factory, I call him “Fac-two-ry”.

Rilakkuma Factory 2015 - リラックマファクトリー - Korilakkuma Strawberry Flower - コリラックマのストロベリーフラワー - リラックマ ぬいぐるみ - bowtie detail

Looking dapper in his monogrammed corduroy bowtie! And look at how fluffy his fur is!

Rilakkuma Factory 2015 - リラックマファクトリー - Korilakkuma Strawberry Flower - コリラックマのストロベリーフラワー - リラックマ ぬいぐるみ - tag art rilakkuma

Per Rilakkuma Factory tradition, tag art instructions on how to use this Rilakkuma plush paperweight. It’s no joke, he really is a formidable paperweight!

As the Rilakkuma Factory series tagline boasts, “Let’s enjoy your life with Rilakkuma!”, this Rilakkuma promotes work as fun and playful! The design is described as function in simplicity, a good reflection of the ideal employee and outlook on work as pleasure. And even in his cute plush form, this Rilakkuma is still very functional as a paperweight.

Then, this Strawberry Flower Korilakkuma series riffs on the ~responsible adult~ theme of Rilakkuma Factory by stating boldly, “I like cute things even when I grow up (大人になってもかわいいものが好き)” on the series page, which gives a contrasting flowery and fun approach to the responsibilities of adulthood. Very fitting for Korilakkuma, who probably loves bright pinks and flowers at any age! No alternative function here, just a beautiful Korilakkuma plush to look and play with.

Rilakkuma Factory 2015 - リラックマファクトリー - Korilakkuma Strawberry Flower - コリラックマのストロベリーフラワー - リラックマ ぬいぐるみ - korilakkuma full

This Strawberry Flower Korilakkuma stands tall next to Rilakkuma Factory, but she’s still standard size for a collectible Korilakkuma plush (about 21 cm).

Rilakkuma Factory 2015 - リラックマファクトリー - Korilakkuma Strawberry Flower - コリラックマのストロベリーフラワー - リラックマ ぬいぐるみ - pattern bear detail

Korilakkuma holds a plush bear with a pink floral pattern, very reminiscent of the small striped bear from the Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set (Stripes Stripes Everyday Series).

Rilakkuma Factory 2015 - リラックマファクトリー - Korilakkuma Strawberry Flower - コリラックマのストロベリーフラワー - リラックマ ぬいぐるみ - flower detail

A lovely deep fuchsia flower detail on her ear!

Rilakkuma Factory 2015 - リラックマファクトリー - Korilakkuma Strawberry Flower - コリラックマのストロベリーフラワー - リラックマ ぬいぐるみ - stole detail

And a fluffy stole in a strawberry flower pattern (like the smaller bear) with a delicate pink satin bow detail—very fancy!

Rilakkuma Factory 2015 - リラックマファクトリー - Korilakkuma Strawberry Flower - コリラックマのストロベリーフラワー - リラックマ ぬいぐるみ - tag art korilakkuma

Tag art featuring Korilakkuma frolicking among the strawberry field, no work to be done around here!

Overall, a very complementary matching set that is quite appropriate for adult Rilakkuma fans—bravo, San-X! What did you think of this unique pairing?

Photos from Seoul, coming soon!

Did you do anything special for Mothers’ Day?

American West Rilakkuma Plushes! + Independence Day weekend issue!

Howdy! Time to introduce the American West Rilakkuma team!

Kichijoji 5th Anniversary - American West - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - 吉祥寺店5周年記念 アニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - アメリカ西部 - 世界のリラックマ - full

Welcome to the wild wild (Rilakkuma) west!

Kichijoji 5th Anniversary - American West - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - 吉祥寺店5周年記念 アニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - アメリカ西部 - 世界のリラックマ - Rilakkuma holster and dango detail

Great details on Rilakkuma: dango in hand and in holster, with a shiny gold star and bear belt buckle detail. Rilakkuma also has a bright red bandana around his neck.

Kichijoji 5th Anniversary - American West - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - 吉祥寺店5周年記念 アニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - アメリカ西部 - 世界のリラックマ - Korilakkuma snake detail

Sharp shootin’ Korilakkuma wrangled a snake! She also sports a pink bandana.

Kichijoji 5th Anniversary - American West - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - 吉祥寺店5周年記念 アニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - アメリカ西部 - 世界のリラックマ - Kiiroitori lasso detail

Kiiroitori has a leather lasso that he holds on his left and throws with his right! His bandana is turquoise blue.

Kichijoji 5th Anniversary - American West - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - 吉祥寺店5周年記念 アニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - アメリカ西部 - 世界のリラックマ - hat detail

Each plush has a hat with a gold bear motif around a brown belt.

Kichijoji 5th Anniversary - American West - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - 吉祥寺店5周年記念 アニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - アメリカ西部 - 世界のリラックマ - back cactus motif detail

And of course, their design motif is hiding around here somewhere: it’s a cactus on their tails!

Kichijoji 5th Anniversary - American West - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - 吉祥寺店5周年記念 アニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - アメリカ西部 - 世界のリラックマ - tag art

Tag art: the cactus motif continues on their tags, where each cactus is outlined with a different color representing each different character: yellow for Rilakkuma, pink for Korilakkuma, and blue for Kiiroitori.

Kichijoji 5th Anniversary - American West - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - 吉祥寺店5周年記念 アニバーサリーぬいぐるみ - アメリカ西部 - 世界のリラックマ - meeting NYC Rilakkuma

They had to meet their fellow American Rilakkuma from NYC!

These patriotic mini-plushes were released in October 2015 as part of the Kichijoji Rilakkuma Store’s 5th Anniversary celebration, but I thought it was appropriate to write about for this weekend as the United States celebrates its Independence Day on July 4!

Like always, I enjoy the wonderful details such as Rilakkuma’s dango holster, and the cactus, bear and star motifs – really an excellent and cohesive set!

Gosh, TONS of things going on in the Rilakkuma-verse recently!

This weekend is the Anime Expo, and the Rilakkuma booth is presenting in full cuteness! JapanLA Clothing will be debuting their new Rilakkuma clothing line, and it’s alphabet themed!

Anime Expo 2016 - Rilakkuma booth

Check out the Rilakkuma booth at #4405, and follow the official Rilakkuma US instagram for more Anime Expo photos throughout the weekend!

Anime Expos 2016 - JapanLA Alphabet line

Sneak peek of the new Rilakkuma print and clothing line from JapanLA! Check out more of their items, including the white version, over at JapanLA’s Facebook page!

I really want one of the black tank tops! This line will be premiering at the Rilakkuma booth (#4405) at the Anime Expo starting today, and will be available online at JapanLA.com after the show!

Anyone going to be there this weekend? I’ve always wanted to go, but it’s just so far away! Can’t wait for when they expand out here and hold events in the southeastern United States one day!

Now for Rilakkuma news across the Pacific: the Teahouse (茶屋) Series is coming out this month!

Teahouse Series - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - standard

They’ve been transformed into yummy, fluffy dango! Standard plushes: 2200円 each. Hanging plush: 650円 each.

Teahouse Series - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - リラックマ茶屋のリラックマストア&キデイランド限定商品 - Rilakkuma Store and Kiddyland exclusive

Rilakkuma Store and Kiddyland exclusive! 2200円 each.

Teahouse Series - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - リラックマ茶屋のリラックマストア&キデイランド限定商品 - Rilakkuma teahouse

And Rilakkuma gets his very own teahouse set too! 4500円.

Teahouse Series - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - リラックマ茶屋×だがし屋すみっコ コラボ限定商品 - Sumikko Gurashi Shirokuma collaboration

Wow, it’s a collaboration plush set with Shirokuma from Sumikko Gurashi! 3500円.

Teahouse Series - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - リラックマキャラバン限定商品 あつめてぬいぐるみ - Caravan exclusive

Caravan exclusive design features Rilakkuma eating some dango – does he have a toothache? 1700円.

Teahouse Series - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - リラックマストア限定 - Store Exclusive

The Rilakkuma Store Exclusive designs have Rilakkuma and friends in gowns with dango details! 2200円 each.

Teahouse Series - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - リラックマストア限定 - bento box playset

A tidy bento box playset with the whole team! 5000円.

In Japanese tradition, these teahouses (茶屋) are free-standing structures built exclusively for tea ceremonies. They have a deep architectural history stemming from the start of the Edo period, and there are many famous teahouses across Japan. I think this a great part of Japanese history and culture, and I love that it is incorporated into this summer’s Rilakkuma designs!

Lots of great items! I will be trying my hand at getting the bento box, to match my Oden and Osechi set! I like the dango-shaped Rilakkuma plush, too. What about you? Anything catching your eye?

Next up in Rilakkuma’s World Tour is Mexico and Hawaii for Kamiotai’s 1st and Harajuku’s 4th anniversary, respectively!

Harajuku 4th Anniversary - 原宿店4周年記念 - cover

Beautiful beach bums enjoying the Hawaiian sun this summer with the local fauna! 1580円 each.

The Harajuku Rilakkuma Store’s 4th Anniversary celebration starts tomorrow, July 2! The Hawaiian imagery they use is always very beautiful, but Rilakkuma and friends have visited Hawaii before in their Aloha Rilakkuma Series back in 2013 – I suppose it was a good enough vacation back then that they revisited again this year haha.

Kamiotai 1st Anniversary - 上小田井店1周年記念 - cover

Feeling festive with maracas! 1580円 each.

The Kamiotai Rilakkuma Store will be celebrating its 1st anniversary next weekend (July 9), and the theme is Mexico! And I love a poncho-clad Rilakkuma plush haha. Seems like they enjoy traveling in the Americas! They picked some great places to visit to enjoy the summer sun!

Also, a new smartphone app for the virtual Rilakkuma collector: Collect! Rilakkuma (Atsumete! Rilakkuma – あつめて!リラックマ) is out now!

Collect! Rilakkuma - cover 1

What better app idea than collecting virtual Rilakkumas?

Collect! Rilakkuma - cover 2

Whoa! That screenshot on the left looks about as stuffed full of Rilakkumas as the shelf in my apartment hahaha

You can download it now on the App Store or Google Play store! I’ll try to download it soon and figure it out with my extremely limited grasp of Japanese haha. Anyone tried this out yet? Looks very cute, and seems a lot like the cat collecting app (Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector) that has been super popular!

Finally, have you checked out Canon Asia’s collaboration with Rilakkuma?

Gosh, isn’t that the most adorable promotional video? Canon Asian has a great contest on Instagram right now for Asian Rilakkuma and photography fans – you can win a Canon EOS M10 kit and a limited edition Canon EOS M10 Rilakkuma plush just by posting your Rilakkuma photos based on their challenge themes – “food” and “chillout” are the themes going on right now!

I think this has motivated a lot of folks to take some very creative Rilakkuma pictures! I have really enjoyed seeing everyone’s Rilakkuma photos recently on Instagram, and it’s inspired me to take more time again taking Rilakkuma photos like I used to!

Stay cool, and have a wonderful summer!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle - Poolside

I’ll be having cocktails by the pool – red, white, and blue themed for Independence Day!

Tokyo Station 7th Anniversary NYC Rilakkuma Plush!

Rilakkuma visits the Big Apple! Check out this NYC Rilakkuma design from Tokyo Station’s 7th Anniversary celebration!

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store 7th Anniversary - New York City NYC - Statue of Liberty - 東京駅店7周年は 「アメリカNY」 ぬいぐるみ - full

Hello, Statue of Liberty Rilakkuma!

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store 7th Anniversary - New York City NYC - Statue of Liberty - 東京駅店7周年は 「アメリカNY」 ぬいぐるみ - sign detail

A kuma’s take on Statue of Liberty’s tabula ansata: with a variation on the classic “I ❤ NY” sign!

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store 7th Anniversary - New York City NYC - Statue of Liberty - 東京駅店7周年は 「アメリカNY」 ぬいぐるみ - logo detail

Even the Rilakkuma Store logo has a Statue of Liberty crown! Rilakkuma’s flowing robe also has small white bear shape details.

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store 7th Anniversary - New York City NYC - Statue of Liberty - 東京駅店7周年は 「アメリカNY」 ぬいぐるみ - ice cream torch detail

Rilakkuma’s torch is actually an ice cream with strawberry sauce!

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store 7th Anniversary - New York City NYC - Statue of Liberty - 東京駅店7周年は 「アメリカNY」 ぬいぐるみ - crown detail

A beautiful diadem with a silver bear detail at the base. Like the Statue of Liberty itself, Rilakkuma’s crown also has 7 rays, symbolizing the sun, 7 seas, and 7 continents.

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store 7th Anniversary - New York City NYC - Statue of Liberty - 東京駅店7周年は 「アメリカNY」 ぬいぐるみ - tail detail

My favorite detail of them all: the hot dog motif with “R” in mustard cleverly hidden on his tail! And a pretty Tokyo Station 7th anniversary ribbon, too.

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store 7th Anniversary - New York City NYC - Statue of Liberty - 東京駅店7周年は 「アメリカNY」 ぬいぐるみ - tag art

Tag art: a tasty, plump hot dog, a perfect symbol for NYC that Rilakkuma would enjoy!

Wow, what an amazingly detailed design to celebrate the Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store’s 7th Anniversary! This patriotic Rilakkuma came out in February 2016, as part of the Rilakkuma World Tour anniversary theme. He joins the Wild West Rilakkuma crew (who I will post about soon, too, promise!) as the newest addition to my “American” Rilakkuma collection.

The Statue of Liberty is an incredibly meaningful symbol of freedom for us here in America. It is so fitting that the Tokyo Station Anniversary team selected NYC to represent them on Rilakkuma’s world tour this year, as both Tokyo and New York City are bustling cities that embody the metropolitan lifestyle of their respective nations. From the homage to Bartholdi’s original vision to a nod to contemporary NYC (hot dogs, I ❤ NY), this Rilakkuma plush design offers such a unique take on a classic symbol, and I really appreciate the depth of detail that I have come to expect from San-X plushies.

What else is fresh in the Rilakkuma-verse?

If you find yourself in Osaka this summer, you can relax at the Rilakkuma Cafe for a limited time only!

Rilakkuma Cafe - リラックマカフェ - dish

What a beautiful design featuring Koguma-chan, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori!

Rilakkuma Cafe - リラックマカフェ - goods

Rilakkuma Cafe goods! Plate: 1,080円. Notebook & pen set: 680円.

Opening on May 25, this cute cafe will offer a Rilakkuma-themed menu with special Rilakkuma Cafe goods – don’t miss out! I think their paper napkins are especially great, and I love how Koguma-chan is prominently featured!

I’ve always wanted to go to a Rilakkuma-themed restaurant! Japan often features seasonal Rilakkuma pop-ups for a limited time, and Taipei has a permanent Rilakkuma Cafe – I’ve always wanted to go! Maybe I can make my way to Taiwan sometime in my future.

Also, a sneak peek into the upcoming Teahouse series!

Teahouse Series - standard full

A multicolored dango theme with removable hoodie!

Teahouse series - jumbo

A jumbo Rilakkuma dango, how cute!!

Anticipated to be released this July! So look forward to this cute (and convertible!) design and more to come! I’ll post more information as soon as I learn more!

Back in the real world, I just finished my third year of medical school! After my super intense surgery rotation, I now have two major national board exams to take before I begin my 4th year of medical school – exciting but exhausting!

What are your plans for the summer?

Koguma-chan M Plush + Rilakkuma Store Exclusive Fishing Plush!

Long time no see! At long last, introducing Koguma-chan!

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - M - full

Welcome to the family, Koguma-chan!

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - M - face detail

What I really love about Koguma-chan’s plush design are the details that make him a unique character, but also one that jives well with the crew. Instead of a belly spot, Koguma-chan has a tuft of white fur. His white snout is taller, with a raised nose, and a mouth that doesn’t flare out as much as the others. Instead of being embroidered, his eyes are solid raised plastic.

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - M - side

As an “M” (medium) sized plush, he is structured a lot differently than the M classic Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma. He has a greater depth with a can-shaped base, and his ears are flatter and more mobile compared to the stuffed, spherical ears of Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma.

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - M - foot pad detail

One of my favorite Koguma-chan details are the honey, bear-shaped, embroidered foot pads! He does not have upper paw pads like Rilakkuma/Korilakkuma.

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - M - back detail

Like Rilakkuma’s zipper and Korilakkuma’s red button, Koguma-chan has a unique motif, too: a bear-shaped honey mark on his left bun!

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - M - tag art

Tag art: doesn’t seem to be the most fitting for a standard Koguma-chan plush without honey pot or Korilakkuma, but super cute regardless.

Koguma-chan (こぐまちゃん) was introduced in this spring’s series called “Korilakkuma’s New Friend” (コリラックマと新しいお友達), which was released this past March. Above is the M (medium) standard design, which I think is super adorable! “Koguma” (こぐま) means bear cub, and this bear cub loves honey!

I was also super lucky to get my hands on this Rilakkuma Store Exclusive Fishing design too, thanks to Brenda at Kawaiikkuma-shoppu.tumblr.com!

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - Fishing - full

Lazy days fishing with new friend, Koguma-chan!

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - Fishing - Koguma-chan detail

Close-up of Koguma-chan eyeing Rilakkuma’s freshly caught fish!

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - Fishing - Rilakkuma detail

This is actually my second fishing Rilakkuma! My first is from the Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary series.

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - Fishing - fish detail

Catch of the day! Plus, a little peek at the pink flower details.

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - Fishing - back

Hey look, bear buns. Koguma-chan has his signature bear-shaped honey motifs on his foot pads and left flank.

Korilakkuma's New Friend コリラックマと新しいお友達 - Koguma-chan こぐまちゃん - Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - Fishing - tag art

Keeping the pattern of inconsistent tag art: the famous ocarina scene featuring zero fishing. You can peep the illustration that inspired this plush design over at the official San-X Rilakkuma blog.

This Rilakkuma plush was released as one out of three Rilakkuma Store exclusive designs from this series, featuring Koguma-chan interacting with Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori.

I’ve been holding onto these two cuties for a few weeks now, and I’m so glad I can share them both with you now! I’m thinking of ordering one of the ocarina Rilakkuma bears, either the Caravan design or the Net Shop Exclusive design. I’m leaning towards the Caravan design for its mobility right now, but we’ll see (also I’m running out of shelf space!!).

Koguma-chan is really shaking things up in the Rilakkuma world, and I can’t wait to see where he shows up next!! Is the Rilakkuma crew going to be expanding to four members soon, or will Koguma-chan be more of a bit player?

What about you, were you able to snag a Koguma-chan for yourself?

Gearing up for summer, San-X has a big release coming up, the Sea Otters Series!

Otter Series - だららっこ リラックマ - cover

Cute and relaxed for summer, with snacks in tow!

Otter Series - だららっこ リラックマ - standard

Standard series (left 3): 1,900円 each. Large hugging plush (far right): 3,600円.

Otter Series - だららっこ リラックマ - Store Exclusive Rilakkuma + Kiiroitori

Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori enjoy a soothing hot tub and seaweed. Rilakkuma Store Exclusive: 2,800円.

Otter Series - だららっこ リラックマ - Store Exclusive Korilakkuma + Kiiroitori

Korilakkuma stuns Kiiroitori with seaweed! Rilakkuma Store Exclusive: 2,300円.

Otter Series - だららっこ リラックマ - Store Exclusive Rilakkuma + Korilakkuma

RIlakkuma and Korilakkuma swim on their backs, heads tilted to the side. Rilakkuma Store Exclusive: 1,700円 each.

Personally, I really love this design – I’m usually not as enthusiastic about Rilakkuma’s animal designs compared to the complex/conceptual (or food) designs, but I do think this series captures the spirit of Rilakkuma in the summertime really well! What a great series to ring in these warmer months :) Totally reminds me of one of my favorite YouTube videos, Otters Holding Hands from the Vancouver Aquarium.

This aggressively adorable series will be hitting shelves this May – which designs are you eyeing?

I think I’ll aim for either the standard Rilakkuma otter, or the Store Exclusive Rilakkuma otter who faces the side. I might wait to see the other exclusives (Net Shop, Caravan, Lawson) before committing though (I’m attempting to show restraint haha).

I’m having a tough time figuring out what Kiiroitori is trying to be, looks like a fish in some designs, but then a jellyfish in the standard plush design, if anyone can enlighten me, that would be excellent.

Also, I’ve noticed that San-X has begun releasing multiple Store Exclusive designs starting with the Korilakkuma’s New Friend Series, which is pretty nice! I love having a wide variety of designs to choose from, though I suppose it makes collecting an entire series a little more expensive haha.

Elsewhere in the Rilakkuma world, Rilakkuma and friends have been traveling all over in their Anniversary World Tour! Since I posted about the Tokyo Station release, the Kuma Krew has since been to Africa (Fukuoka), the United Kingdom (Lalaport Fujimi), and France (Kobe)!

The next stop for Tokyo Skytree’s 4th Anniversary is Austria!

Tokyo Skytree 4th Anniversary - cover

Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori flex their musical talents! Korilakkuma tries her paws at policing. 1680円 each.

You can pick up this musically-inclined set at the Tokyo Skytreetown Solamachi Rilakkuma Store on May 21, and go meet Composer Rilakkuma, too hehehe.

Austria has produced a lot of famous composers, including Mozart, Hadyn, and Schubert. Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori in this series looks like they’re based on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself, who was one of the most prolific and influential composers of the Classical era. Born in Salzburg, Austria, he was known to be a musical prodigy, able to play the piano and violin by the age of five, which is beautifully represented in this Rilakkuma anniversary design as Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori’s instruments of choice.

Have to admit, I do love this anniversary theme a ton! It’s great to see the wanderlust side of Rilakkuma! I picked up the Tokyo Station 7th Anniversary NYC Rilakkuma, and will share those photos with you on the next post – look forward to it!

In other news, I’m deep into my surgery rotation which hopefully explains a little bit of my absence (sorry!) – I’m on the colorectal surgery service right now and learning a lot! I have 3 more weeks to go, and then I take 2 board exams, and officially become a fourth year medical student in June – woohoo!

Lots of hard work ahead, but won’t be a problem with Rilakkuma by my side!

Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive!

So excited to share the Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive plush set today!

Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive スぺシャルネコぬいぐるみ - full

All together, they make a super cute Rilakkuma kitty tower! Their promotional page always has them side-by-side, but I love them as a tower too!

Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive スぺシャルネコぬいぐるみ - Rilakkuma

Rilakkuma and his kitten pal are separate from Korilakkuma and her kitten!

Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive スぺシャルネコぬいぐるみ - Rilakkuma kitten detail

Rilakkuma’s brown kitten is a little sleepy! Though taken out of context haha I think he looks a little smug.

Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive スぺシャルネコぬいぐるみ - paw pad

I love the paw pad detail!

Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive スぺシャルネコぬいぐるみ - bottom view

Bottom view to better highlight the snuggly shape!

Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive スぺシャルネコぬいぐるみ - Korilakkuma

Korilakkuma dresses up as a brown cat, with her own white kitten!

Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive スぺシャルネコぬいぐるみ - Korilakkuma kitten detail

Korilakkuma’s kitten has lovely fluffy whiskers just like she does!

Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive スぺシャルネコぬいぐるみ - bow detail

Cute matching red bows on the back!

Rilakkuma Cat Series Net Shop Exclusive スぺシャルネコぬいぐるみ - tag art

Tag art replaced Korilakkuma’s kitten with Kiiroitori!

What I love most about this plush set is that they both fit snugly on one’s lap! This plush set was particularly exciting for my family because many of us are allergic to cats hahaha so this is as close as we can get to having cats of our own!

There are lots of great details like the bells on each of them, and the matching motifs: Rilakkuma/Korilakkuma and their respective kittens have matching whisker designs (two lines on each side for Rilakkuma, and generously fluffy ones for Korilakkuma), and Korilakkuma has a matching ribbon design with her kitten.

Also very interesting that Rilakkuma’s cat costume is that of a Calico cat, which are almost exclusively female due to a biological phenomenon called X-inactivation. The genetics behind their color patterning is really elegant, and I love that it’s represented in this Rilakkuma plush!

I preordered this cuddly set back in October 2015, so it’s great to see them after a long wait! These super cute cat-kumas were a Net Shop exclusive design released in the second iteration of the Rilakkuma Cats Series in October 2015.

Elsewhere in the Rilakkuma world, there are lots of cute new additions, here’s what I’m looking forward to:

Tokyo Station 7th Anniversary: On February 11, the Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store celebrated their 7th anniversary with a New York themed Rilakkuma plush set! I think it’s very fitting because Tokyo definitely has the hustle and bustle feel just like NYC! I ordered the Rilakkuma from this series and can’t wait to see him – I love that his “I <3 NY” sign has a bear shape in the place of a heart!

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store 7th Anniversary - cover

Rilakkuma is front and center as the Statue of Liberty, and while I’m not sure what Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori are directly representing, they look like they’re ready to tour NYC! 1,580円 each.

Where would you like to see Rilakkuma and pals travel to next?

Introducing Koguma-chan (こぐまちゃん): In this new series called “Korilakkuma’s New Friend” (コリラックマと新しいお友達) to be released in March, Korilakkuma makes friends with a new little brown bear cub named Koguma-chan! I think this series and the marketing so far has been so great, though my favorite detail is Rilakkuma playing an ocarina in the middle of the woods while Korilakkuma is off making friends with new bears haha – I think personality-wise, it’s very fitting for each character. You can find an awesome translation of Koguma-chan’s story over at PescaMaryan’s blog! I ordered the medium Koguma-chan hehehe.

Korilakkuma's New Friend - Koguma full

Lots of different sized Koguma-chan plushes for your interest, each with a cute yellow bear motif on his paws and back! Mini hanging plush: 900円, Small: 1,200円, Medium: 2,300円.

Korilakkuma's New Friend - Rilakkuma Korilakkuma Kiiroitori set

Of course, Rilakkuma and pals are in on the fun too, and they are all dressed up as Koguma-chan with their own yellow honey motifs! 1,900円 each.

As for new additions, my wonderful aunt Lulu was able to secure a Rilakkuma Osechi playset! Lots of new Rilakkuma to look forward to, I just hope my schedule allows me to post more often!

Outside of Rilakkuma news, I rang in 2016 on my pediatrics rotation! I just took my final exam in pediatrics yesterday, and will be starting my 3 month surgery rotation next week. My schedule just keeps getting busier and busier, but nothing like shelves stuffed full of Rilakkuma plush to help me relieve the stress!

What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Simon and I will be going to a restaurant called Soco for a dinner date – yum!