Black and White Monochrome Rilakkuma Plush! + Kiiroitori Diary Store Exclusive Designs! + San-X Character Park Designs!

Not everything is as black and white as it seems, not even these black and white Rilakkuma plush from the Monochrome Series!

モノクロリラックマ - ぬいぐるみ - 白と黒を基調 - Monochrome Series - Rilakkuma Plush - Black and White Rilakkuma - cover

Surprise! These are two Rilakkumas, not a Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma.

モノクロリラックマ - ぬいぐるみ - 白と黒を基調 - Monochrome Series - Rilakkuma Plush - Black and White Rilakkuma - black Rilakkuma detail

The black Rilakkuma has black fur, with his other features (ears, paw pads, eyes, and nose) in grey.

モノクロリラックマ - ぬいぐるみ - 白と黒を基調 - Monochrome Series - Rilakkuma Plush - Black and White Rilakkuma - white Rilakkuma detail

White Rilakkuma has white fur with light gold accents.

モノクロリラックマ - ぬいぐるみ - 白と黒を基調 - Monochrome Series - Rilakkuma Plush - Black and White Rilakkuma - black Rilakkuma zipper detail

One of my favorite details: alternative zipper in silver toned metal, with a grey and white polka dot pattern on the inner pocket (compared to the usual blue and white).

モノクロリラックマ - ぬいぐるみ - 白と黒を基調 - Monochrome Series - Rilakkuma Plush - Black and White Rilakkuma - white Rilakkuma zipper detail

And of course, we know this is a Rilakkuma and not a Korilakkuma because of the zipper in the back (and no button in the front)! The White Rilakkuma’s zipper is gold toned metal, with a light peach pink and white pocket inside.

モノクロリラックマ - ぬいぐるみ - 白と黒を基調 - Monochrome Series - Rilakkuma Plush - Black and White Rilakkuma - tag art

Tag art design for both are identical featuring Rilakkuma on a black and white polka dot pillow, except White Rilakkuma’s tag has a gold border and Black Rilakkuma’s tag has a black border. Both have the same small fabric tag design of black and white stripes with an embroidered gold “R” in the middle.

Conceptually, I think this is a unique take on the standard brown Rilakkuma design, though I think the white Rilakkuma looks a lot like Korilakkuma hahaha. I like to think of these two as the black bear and polar bear of the Rilakkuma species hehehe.

These plushes are a little fluffier than standard Rilakkuma collectors’ plush, and they’re in a sitting pose, which is rather out of the ordinary for a standard release plush, which I appreciate!

This contrasting pair was released as part of the Monochrome Series from September 2016, a theme designed to emphasize the cuteness of Rilakkuma through a basic color scheme. Do you think they were successful?

Colossal thanks to my Aunt Lulu for facilitating the safe passage of these bears!

More Kiiroitori Diary news! Some amusing Rilakkuma Store exclusive designs being released:

リラックマストア限定商品 - キイロイトリダイアリー - キイロイトリのカツラセット - Kiiroitori Diary - Store Exclusive - wig set

Fancy wigs and hats for Kiiroitori! One Kiiroitori plush with the entire set of wigs/hats: 3,000円.

リラックマストア限定商品 - キイロイトリダイアリー - キイロイトリ家電 - Kiiroitori Diary - Store Exclusive - appliances plush - television TV washing machine

For all of your Kiiroitori and applicance crossover needs, Kiiroitori has turned himself into a television (complete with remote control with bear button) and washing machine (with Rilakkuma outfit and Kiiroitori brand detergent). Could this be a Kafka-esque take on how Kiiroitori assumes the role of entertainment and domestic work in their family unit in a way that has transformed his core identity? The world may never know. 1,500円 each.

リラックマストア限定商品 - キイロイトリダイアリー - キイロイトリのおともだちトリセット - Kiiroitori Diary - Store Exclusive - swanboat playset plush

Kiiroitori and his bird friends in a swanboat! So many new birds! I like the aesthetic of the black and yellow one, reminds me a lot of the pokémon Umbreon! Playset: 4,800円.

So first of all, these designs are absolutely outrageous and hilarious, and I absolutely want to know if there is a backstory to all of Kiiroitori’s bird friends in the swan boat, because what on earth? Why is that grey bird in the back crying?

What I’ve always loved about the summer Rilakkuma releases is that they’re always a little weirder than the stuff they do the rest of the year, and I’m glad they’ve kept that tradition going this year hahaha!

With this news, we also get the official release date for the Kiiroitori Diary series: July 8! How exciting!

Are you planning on grabbing anything from this release?

Finally, sneaking into the ever-growing July news, the 2017 San-X Character Park design is here!

リラックマの謎解きイベント - あつめてぬいぐるみ - サンエックスキャラパーク2017 - San-X Character Park 2017 - cover

This year’s San-X Character Park is mystery themed, and includes all of the San-X characters solving mysteries with Sherlock Holmes inspired outfits! Well, everyone except Korilakkuma, who’s dressed as a count? SO CUTE investigating that strawberry though.

リラックマの謎解きイベント - あつめてぬいぐるみ - サンエックスキャラパーク2017 - リラックマストア限定あつめてぬいぐるみ 探偵デザイン - San-X Character Park 2017 - Rilakkuma plush

A Rilakkuma Store exclusive design for the mystery-solving Rilakkuma team! Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori sport Sherlock Holmes’ signature deerstalker with magnifying glasses, and Korilakkuma is adorned with a top hat, cape, and monocle. 2,300円 each.

I think I’ll try to get that Rilakkuma plush—he looks so adorable in his brown tartan getup!

The San-X Character Park event itself with have four puzzles to solve, with a special prize for those who complete it! The event starts on July 15, and will last until August 16!

I absolutely adore this design and theme! It’s very simple, but the reference is clear and well-executed. I’m a sucker for Sherlock Holmes adaptations like Sherlock, Elementary, and of course my favorite one, The Great Mouse Detective.

Are you a mystery or Sherlock Holmes fan? What do you think is the mystery they are trying to solve?

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?

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!

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!

Lemon Series Rilakkuma Plushies! + Rilakkuma Goes West!

Still feeling the summer heat? Check out these two Lemon Rilakkumas!

Lemon Series - フレッシュレモン リラックマ - full

When life gives you lemons…

Lemon Series - フレッシュレモン リラックマ - coverall detail

Beautiful blue seersucker coveralls with a lemon detail and monogram!

Lemon Series - フレッシュレモン リラックマ - hat detail

And a wonderful straw hat to protect himself from the sun!

Lemon Series - フレッシュレモン リラックマ - shorts detail

The lemon here is super soft (and comically flat), and his shorts feature a few lovely lemon blossoms!

Lemon Series - フレッシュレモン リラックマ - hat detail

A fluffy yellow lemon cap with a cute leaf detail!

Lemon Series - フレッシュレモン リラックマ - wing detail

And some dainty gossamer wings for the lemon bee Rilakkuma!

Lemon Series - フレッシュレモン リラックマ - tag art

Some lovely lemon-shaped tags! I think the art for these is excellent!

Lemon Series - フレッシュレモン リラックマ - bag

And since I placed my order through the San-X Net Shop, I was surprised by this amazing blue Rilakkuma tote bag that they included with my purchase – yay!

Eeeeee they are so cute together!! Their look is so fresh and I love the amount of detail in their outfits! I think both of their designs are an especially creative take on the lemon theme, and I am so happy that these two have joined Bear Country!

These lemon enthusiasts are from the Fresh Lemon Series, which debuted in February 2015. The lemon farmer Rilakkuma is from the standard release, and the lemon bee (fairy?) Rilakkuma is from the store exclusive release.

In other news, my wonderful Aunt Lulu just got back from a trip to Fukuoka, and was able to acquire these cute Rilakkuma plushes!

Sept Haul - 1

Strawberry Flower Koilakkuma, JAXA 2015 Rilakkuma, Rilakkuma Factory 2015 Rilakkuma, and a Factory keychain, too!

Sept Haul - 2

And look who came just in time to join the 2 other lemon Rilakkumas featured today! It’s Lemon Series Rilakkuma – Caravan Edition! Oooh and a cute mini Rilakkuma and mold set to make my own Rilakkuma rice meals :)

Wow! I’m so excited to see these bears!! They are still in the Philippines, but I will post detail photos when I see them in person!

And finally, a quick shout out to an awesome new design coming out in October: Kichijoji Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary Rilakkuma!

Kichijoji 5th Anniversary - cover

A snake-wrangling Korilakkuma, a sheriff badge-wearing Rilakkuma, and a lasso-toting Kiiroitori to celebrate the Kichijoji Rilakkuma Store’s 5th Anniversary! 1680円 each.

Wow! Super cute, and “American West” themed! As a xerophyte fan, I was hoping San-X would integrate cacti into one of the designs bahahaha, but I’m happy with the little cartoon cacti in the illustration lol.

Like the Sapporo and Umeda Stores, Kichijoji’s anniversary event is part of the Rilakkuma World Tour, where each Rilakkuma Store in Japan represents a special part of the world during their anniversary – great!! I’m so jealous of anyone who is able to make it out to this anniversary event on October 10 – they will also have a cowboy Rilakkuma mascot too!!

I think as an American, I’m obligated to get these haha, so I think I’ll go for the Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma hehe.

It’s funny how the cowboy wild west imagery has persisted for so long – I remember when I was in the Philippines for July 4 one year, we went to a buffet that was US Independence Day themed for the night, and all the waitstaff were wearing cowboy hats and boots! Though I think the connection between cowboys and Independence Day is kind of a reach hahaha, it was actually a really lovely meal that featured chili con carne and apple pie lmao so it was really fun and oddly comforting to see what things represented the US abroad.

How do y’all feel when you see your home country represented when you travel abroad?

Anyways, in real life news, I’m still working my butt off in internal medicine, but I get a lot of independence and responsibility now, so I’m really starting to feel like a doctor! I’ve got 3 more weeks of internal medicine inpatient work, then I’m off to do outpatient work! Just when I get settled doing one thing, I always have to switch gears haha, but I suppose that’s how 3rd year medical school goes. Until next time, take care!

Hankyu Rilakkuma Plushies! + End of August Update!

Hope you’ve been having a wonderful summer! Say hello to these two Hankyu Rilakkumas!

Hankyu x Rilakkuma - 阪急電車× リラックマ - full

Two Hankyu stationmasters, ready to work!

Hankyu x Rilakkuma - 阪急電車× リラックマ - hats 1

Cute stationmaster hats feature a Rilakkuma emblem!

Hankyu x Rilakkuma - 阪急電車× リラックマ - hats 2

The July stationmaster’s hat is black with a maroon and gold band

Hankyu x Rilakkuma - 阪急電車× リラックマ - bags

Cross-body bags for each!

Hankyu x Rilakkuma - 阪急電車× リラックマ - badge

ID badge says 駅長リラックマ (Stationmaster Rilakkuma)

Hankyu x Rilakkuma - 阪急電車× リラックマ - back

The back of their outfits say “Rilakkuma x Hankyu”, and you can notice that the straps of their bags are different colors, too!

Hankyu x Rilakkuma - 阪急電車× リラックマ - tag art

Tag art: features the front of the Hankyu line with Rilakkuma and friends, and the July stationmaster’s tag has an additional maroon border.

I love the color scheme of this line, and these bears hold a special place in my heart because I rode the Hankyu line with my family in 2013, and actually visited the Umeda Rilakkuma store while I was there! I’m so fortunate to now have these two Hankyu Rilakkuma stationmasters!

These two train kuma-ductors were released as part of the Hankyu x Rilakkuma (阪急電車× リラックマ) collaboration this year, with different colors for the April release (maroon) and the July release (black).

I really really love the transportation Rilakkumas, and I think they represent my most complete Rilakkuma collection. Hayabusa and Komachi Rilakkuma train plushes are already on their way over from Japan, and should be joining this collection next week!

Hankyu x Rilakkuma - transportation collection

New Hankyu bears joining the rest of the transportation team (Yamanote, Dr. Yellow, and Shinkansen) in bear country!

And of course, since summer is beginning to wind down, San-X is pummeling us with new releases to make our bank accounts weep. Check out what’s new!

Two Rilakkuma Stores are celebrating anniversaries in September, and the first one is the Sapporo Rilakkuma Store’s 4th Anniversary!

Sapporo 4th Anniversary - cover

All bundled up! Is Kobear supposed to be a yeti, arctic wolf, or what? 1580円 each.

Sapporo 4th Anniversary - tour

Sapporo’s anniversary event will also feature a special appearance from this North Pole Rilakkuma – awesome! The polar bear plush looks just like the Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening playset polar bear!

This year’s anniversary theme for Sapporo is North Pole, which is very fitting because Sapporo certainly has a reputation for being one of the coldest locations in Japan! These chilly Rilakkuma plushes will be released as part of the Sapporo Rilakkuma Store’s anniversary event on September 5!

Next up is the Umeda Rilakkuma Store’s 7th Anniversary!

Umeda 7th Anniversary - cover

Korilakkuma is cruising on a gondola with a lovely hat that has its own ears haha, Rilakkuma’s making pizza, and Kiiroitori is indulging in pizza and gelato at the same time! 1580円 each.

Umeda 7th Anniversary - tour

This talented Rilakkuma pizza maker will be showing off his mozzarella basil pizza during the Umeda anniversary event – yum!

As the first Rilakkuma Store, the Umeda Rilakkuma holds a special place in Rilakkuma history. This year, the theme for their anniversary is Italy, and Rilakkuma and pals are celebrating by making some pizza! I’m not sure if Umeda has a connection to pizza that made them choose this theme, so if anyone know, I would love to hear!

I think this design is super cute, and as a lifelong pizza fan, I will most likely be getting the Rilakkuma from this series. Umeda’s 7th anniversary event will be held on the September 11.

Finally, since this is the 7th anniversary of Rilakkuma Stores in general, starting this September, all of the Rilakkuma Stores in Japan are featuring this super adorable Rilakkuma passport event called the Rilakkuma World Tour!

Rilakkuma Passport - cover

Passport/stamp book design featuring Airplane Rilakkuma! Sample stamps from Sapporo and Umeda, too!

Starting September 5, you can get a Rilakkuma passport if you make a purchase over 2000 yen, and then collect stamps at the 11 Rilakkuma Stores you visit during their anniversaries. As you got a peek of in the Sapporo (North Pole) and Umeda (Italy) anniversary designs, each anniversary design represents a different part of the world, so you can feel like you’re touring the world while you go from Rilakkuma Store to Rilakkuma Store – wow! What a wonderfully creative idea, and totally something I would love to do if I were in Japan!

As a sneak peek of what’s to come, the San-X Net Shop Facebook page shared a photo of this year’s Christmas 2015 Net Shop Exclusive playset!

Christmas 2015 San-X Net Shop Exclusive - sneak peek

Looks like a tasty dinner!

I always look forward to their playset designs every year, and it’s great to see a yummy Christmas dinner being shared by Team Rilakkuma! Pre-orders coming soon!

In other news, I’m currently doing my internal medicine inpatient rotation for medical school, and it’s really a blast! Long hours, but I’m really enjoying everything I do, I just wish I knew more haha, but I suppose that will come with time since I am just a student now! Magical Dining Month here in Orlando has just begun, so I’m really looking forward to sharing some wonderful meals with friends this month!

That’s all for now! What do you have your eye on, Rilakkuma or otherwise?

End of June update!

Hello everyone, and sorry for the long delay since my last post! I’ve been working hard on my neurology clerkship, and got to see all kinds of cool things like angiograms, EEGs, and lumbar punctures. Lots of hard work, but I just took my neurology final yesterday, and next week, I will be starting with my psychiatry clerkship – wow, my third year of medical school is already flying by!

Since we’re gearing up for summer, Rilakkuma fans have a lot to look forward to, as generally Rilakkuma releases come in big waves this season! Here are a few releases I’m looking forward to!

Panda Series - cover

They’re cuddly pandas!

Panda Series - standard

Standard edition: 1,800円 each.

Panda Series - caravan

Caravan edition: 1,500円

Panda Series - store exclusive

Store exclusive edition: 2,100円 each

Panda Series (パンダでごろん) – July 2015

This is the big summer series this year! San-X usually saves the animal themes for the major fall release, but I really love this design! Pandas are so adorable, aren’t they? And I really love the idea of bears dressing up as other bears haha.

In addition to plushies, there’s lots of other cute products in the series, like this super adorable tissue box cover – wow!

I’m definitely getting a plushie from this series, but not sure which one yet! I’m leaning toward the caravan design right now, because I love the panda dango!

Tower Records 2015 - cover

Looks like Rilakkuma’s take on the Rolling Stones!

Tower Records 2015 - standard

Look at these rockstars! I always love a Rilakkuma in a jumpsuit hehehe. Only attainable by lottery after buying another product.

Tower Records 2015 - cafe collaboration

Glad to see that the Riakkuma x Tower Records Cafe is continuing this year too!

Rilakkuma x Tower Records 2015 – July 10

I look forward to this collaboration every year – I love seeing Rilakkuma and friends as rockstars! They look super cool this year with their sunglasses hehehe. I hope they release a playset like last year, too! Seems a little more complicated to get the standard sized collectible plushies this year though, since you have to buy something, then hope you get the plush though a lottery (thanks for the info, sundusts!).

I’m also really happy to see the continuation of the Rilakkuma partnership with Tower Records Cafe, too! There were some pretty amazing photos from last year’s event (check out angelacarpediem’s!), and I hope I get the opportunity to go in the future! I wonder what Rilakkuma-themed meal they’ll be serving this year! Rock on!

Kamiotai Opening - standard

Hooray, celebrating another Rilakkuma Store! 1,900円 each.

Kamiotai Opening - playset

Adorable playset released on the same day at all Rilakkuma Stores! 3,580円.

Kamiotai (上小田井) Rilakkuma Store Plus Sumikko Gurashi Shop Opening – July 3

Wow, another Rilakkuma Store is cropping up in Japan! Cool that it’s another Rilakkuma Store plus Sumikko Gurashi Shop like the one they recently opened in Fujimi. This time it’s in Kamiotai, in Nagoya!

In this series, Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma hold a golden (Kiiroitori) orca whale, a symbol of Nagoya. A very cute and meaningful design, and I love that these bears are sitting down (that Kiiroitori whale must be heavy)!

On the same day of the Kamiotai opening, Rilakkuma Stores across Japan will also be selling a special Rilakkuma playset! Can anyone shed any light on what they’re snacking on? Kinda looks like something dipped in honey.

Hahaha all of these new store openings are gonna make it hard for me to see all of them! When I went to Japan in 2013, I got to visit 4 out of 8, but now there are 11, and probably more to come! So cool to see more and more Rilakkuma Stores crop up!!

Harajuku 3rd Anniversary - cover

Popcorn Rilakkuma ready for the movies! 1,580円 each.

Harajuku 3rd Anniversary – July 4

In addition to a new Rilakkuma Store opening, the Harajuku Rilakkuma is celebrating it’s 3rd anniversary with a popcorn theme during Independence Day here in the US! Rilakkuma seems like the only one who avoided being actually inside a popcorn bucket himself haha. I like that they’ve been going with food themes for recent anniversary plushes :D

Any Rilakkuma designs catching your eye? I’ve been eying the Mister Donut beach towel promotion recently, and might pick up the blue design since there are a ton of affordable ones on auction right now!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Rilakkuma Plush Set!

In honor of these wintery months, I present the Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - full

Rilakkuma and friends get to relax on a giant polar bear!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - Rilakkuma detail

Rilakkuma’s arms back in a perfect relaxed pose!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - Korilakkuma detail

Korilakkuma lazes around with her favorite toy penguin!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - Kiiroitori detail

The bears get their own striped boots, while Kiiroitori gets… some shorts? Looks kind of like a diaper hehehe.

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - polar bear detail

The polar bear! Whose ear features a blue and white striped pattern, and is continuous on the back side of the plush, too!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - xiao stripes

One of my favorite Rilakkuma details from this year: little striped bear! Wow, so adorable! Wish they also sold a larger plush bear like him!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - tag art

Tag art: just like the plush itself!

Awesome! I absolutely love plush sets like this :3

This plush was a Rilakkuma Store exclusive honoring the opening of the 9th Rilakkuma Store in Kobe back in April! This plush follows the Stripes Series theme, which debuted a month prior to the Kobe Rilakkuma Store grand opening. How great to have this little piece of Rilakkuma history!

Big thanks to my Auntie Lulu for helping me acquire this cuddly plush! She has been so wonderful in helping me get new Rilakkumas lately :3

There have been quite a few new happenings in the Rilakkuma world since I last posted, but here are a couple of recent highlights!

What do you all think about this Mobile Exclusive Space Series Set?

Space Rilakkuma - mobile site exclusive

Whoa! Check out this cosmic Rilakkuma diorama!

Hehehe, what a unique plushie design! This boxed plush set costs 7,800円 (6,800円 for those with a paid membership), and orders will be taken until January 13.

What about these fancy Rilakkuma contact lenses?

Rilakkuma Contacts - full

A Rilakkuma Hearts Series theme for your eyes!

Manufactured by Refrear, these cute contacts are 1,800円 for 10 contacts (5 single-day uses). They’re a nice, subtle look – I wonder how many people would even notice a change if I wore these though?

What about this Hatsuyume Rilakkuma plushie?

Hatsuyume - full

I dream of Rilakkuma!

Wow! I really love this concept and design! This auspicious plushie is 8,230円, and will be released on January 1 and 2 in all Rilakkuma Stores.

Hatsuyume (初夢) is the Japanese word for the first dream had in the new year. Traditionally, the contents of the dream would foretell the luck of the dreamer, and it is considered to be particularly good luck to dream of Mount Fuji, a hawk, and an eggplant – how awesome to see these 3 symbols in this plushie! I’m guessing a dream with Rilakkuma would make you even luckier! ;)

Apologies for the lack of updates recently: schooling and responsibilities just get in the way of things sometimes, eh?

How has your winter been going this year? Any Rilakkumas for gifts?

My family surprised me with an XL Winnie the Pooh Tsum Tsum last night!

Rilakkuma + Tsum Tsum - Pooh Bear

Rilakkuma and Pooh Bear Tsum Tsum wish you a happy new year!

My family is so thoughtful! That Tsum Tsum game is way too addicting! Hope everyone is having a wonderful time as 2014 comes to a close!

Hot Pot (Nabe, 鍋) Rilakkuma Plush Set!

Now that it’s starting to get chilly around these parts, how about a warm hot pot stave off the cold?

Presenting… the Hot Pot (Nabe, 鍋) Rilakkuma Plush Set!

Hot Pot Set - box

Who could be inside?

Hot Pot Set - in box ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

It’s a plush Rilakkuma hot pot!

Hot Pot Set - pot full ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

Out of the box!

Hot Pot Set - inside ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

Every item, all snug inside!

Hot Pot Set - ingredients full ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

All of the ingredients inside, laid out!

Hot Pot Set - characters ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

Rilakkuma is a green onion (長ネギ), Korilakkuma is a squid (イカ), and Kiiroitori is a shiitake (しいたけ) mushroom!

Hot Pot Set - bears only ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

Rilakkuma holds a green onion like a backpack!

Hot Pot Set - ingredients only ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

Ingredients: 3 x napa cabbage (白菜) with 1 x that is bear-shaped, 1 x tofu (豆腐) with a Rilakkuma face, 3 x carrot pieces (にんじん) with 1 x that is bear-shaped, 1 x shrimp (エビ), 1 x shiratake noodle (しらたき) bunch, and 1 x shiitake (しいたけ) mushroom.

I was really excited about this purchase, and it’s probably going to my major investment this winter! Since I have a bad habit of splurging during the spring/summer, I usually cut down significantly on buying during the winter months, but this year, this hot pot set is my exception!

I definitely have too much fun with this set – assembling and reassembling them in different configurations can be quite therapeutic haha.

This wonderful plush set was released as a Rilakkuma Store Exclusive on November 1st.

Nabe (鍋) refers to a variety of Japanese hot pot dishes that are traditionally cooked and kept hot by portable stoves in the middle of the dining table – a really great way to share a meal among family and friends!

Amazingly, this plush set not only comes with an adorable collection of Rilakkuma hot pot ingredients, but since it was originally intended to serve as a gift set, it also comes with a gift certificate to order hot pot ingredients out of a choice of 11 different hot pot combinations!

Hot Pot Set - gift certificates

This one I put in the front looks the closest to the plush hot pot, I think! (Cameo appearance in the corner by hard-working paperweight, Factory Rilakkuma)

Yum! Haven’t picked which one I’d like yet – they all look really great! Just in time for winter, too!

What kind of noodle dishes is your favorite? Personally, I am quite partial to udon soups.

In other news, check out the Year of the Sheep () 2015 plush design!

Year of the Sheep 2015 - cover

Cute and fluffy sheep for the new year!

Great! Love their little daruma of each other. Would love to see a combo plush with all three of them like they did for this year’s Year of the Horse 2014 Rilakkuma Store Exclusive. The sheep is Simon’s zodiac year, so hopefully I can pick one up for him!

Monet’s La Japonaise Rilakkuma Plushie! + New! Cat Series Store Exclusive Design!

I can’t wait to share this Rilakkuma with you – it’s La Japonaise Rilakkuma!

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - full

Beautiful vivid colors, just like Monet was famous for! And good to finally see a Rilakkuma turning to his right side hahaha

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - Kiiroitori detail

Kiiroitori standing in as the fearsome samurai!

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - fan detail

Rilakkuma holds a beautiful red, white, and blue fan – and even the white crescent matches the original art!

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - dango, leaf detail

A parallel metallic leaf motif, and of course Rilakkuma would be hiding away a dango in his left paw!

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - tag art

Tag art featuring the illustrated Rilakkuma interpretation of the original piece! Looks like Kiiroitori hopped off the kimono for this one haha

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - sketch

Simon also drew this sketch of La Japonaise Rilakkuma today – I love it!

Wikimedia - La Japonaise

What do you think? Does the Rilakkuma interpretation capture the essence of the original work to you? I think the Rilakkuma version is much more adorable hehehe

This Rilakkuma design is based on Claude Monet’s La Japonaise (above). As I wrote about in a previous post, this Rilakkuma plush is especially exceptional to me because it’s such a subversive take on the Western gaze upon Japan that was so dominant during the era of Japonsime. Besides being exceedingly cute, this plushie design has so many layers to it as a Japanese take on a famous Western piece inspired by Japan.

This plushie commemorates Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan, an exhibit at the Setagaya Art Museum in Tokyo this summer where Monet’s La Japonaise was displayed! The exhibit will also be moving to Nagoya in January, and I’m guessing this Rilakkuma will be following La Japonaise there as well!

Korilakkuma was summarily left out in the plushie design, but you can sneak a few peaks of her in the background fans of the illustrated version of this design.

In other news, check out the Rilakkuma Store Exclusive line for the Cat Series!

Cat Series Store Exclusive - Rilakkuma

Pull the toy mouse from Rilakkuma’s ear and watch them come back together again! 1,680円.

Cat Series Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - Kiiroitori

Kiiroitori is interactive too! 1,680円.

Cat Series Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - Korilakkuma

Korilakkuma sadly doesn’t have an interactive component to her, but she does still have a little kitten to play with! 1,380円.

Wow! I love how interactive these plushies will be!

These plushies will be released October 4th. Wow, can’t believe October is so close – guess I have to start looking for a Halloween costume!

In American news, San-X was recruiting for Rilakkuma lolita girls to staff their NYC events on October 10-11! Darn, official Rilakkuma events always seem to be so far away, but one day, I hope to be able to cover an event like this in person to share with all of you!

Whew! I am so glad to be done with that cardiopulmonary exam – what a doozy! Now that I’m in the endocrine/reproductive module, I feel much more relaxed like Rilakkuma!