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?

 

Goodies from the Rilakkuma Booth at Anime Expo 2016!

Woooo! Check out this swag from the Anime Expo 2016 Rilakkuma booth!

Rilakkuma Anime Expo 2016 - swag

Collectible Rilakkuma bag, fan, sticker, brochure, and deco tape – wow!!!

Haha so I didn’t actually go to Anime Expo this year but! Rilakkuma.crossing did, and she picked up a ton of Rilakkuma stuff for me from their booth – so huuuuuuuge THANK YOU!!! (And check out her Rilakkuma-filled instagram!) I appreciate the opportunity to live the Anime Expo this year vicariously through her haha.

As someone who buys most of their Rilakkuma online, Rilakkuma events like these are always something I wanted to go to! I love meeting other Rilakkuma fans and actually seeing Rilakkuma stuff in person haha – maybe one year I’ll get to go!

I love the stuff they gave out this year because look! There’s Koguma-chan! Haha the introduction of Koguma-chan (Korilakkuma’s New Friend Series) has been a huge highlight for me this year, so I love that he is so prominent in their merchandising here in the US now too!

And woohoo that the fan features my favorite Koguma-chan scene with Rilakkuma playing the ocarina :D

Rilakkuma.crossing also picked up a black tank top for me from the newest Japan LA x Rilakkuma clothing line!

Rilakkuma Anime Expo 2016 - look 1

Casual with Rilakkuma

Rilakkuma Anime Expo 2016 - look 2

Dressing up for a night out with black leggings and heels!

Rilakkuma Anime Expo 2016 - look 3

Just relaxing, maybe.

Rilakkuma Anime Expo 2016 - look 4

(I wonder what’s over there >>>>> hahaha)

Rilakkuma Anime Expo 2016 - pancake necklace

And finally I get a chance to pair an outfit with my new pancake stack necklace from Oh Lucky Charm!

Rilakkuma Anime Expo 2016 - tag art

Clothes have tag art too!

I love it! Super soft material that matches will lots of other items – easy to dress up or dress down!

I feel so confident wearing this, and I can’t wait to see what Japan LA cooks up for their Rilakkuma clothing line next!! You can pick up this top and their other collaboration pieces over at Japan LA’s online store!

Elsewhere in the Kuma-verse: have you spotted the A’PIEU x Rilakkuma collaboration?

Super cute!

APIEU is a Korean cosmetics brand, and their Rilakkuma collaboration line includes foundation, bronzer, blush, cleanser, and eye products is out now – wow!

I definitely don’t need any more beauty products, but I have to admit, I’m a huge sucker for cute product packaging and marketing.

Speaking of egregiously cute, the newest addition to the summer Teahouse Series is this San-X Net Shop Exclusive plush!

Teahouse Series - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - 大きいだんごもーちもちクッション - Net Shop Exclusive - cover

Big dango cushion! Korilakkuma even has her signature button! 10,800円 on pre-order.

Teahouse Series - リラックマ茶屋 ぬいぐるみ - 大きいだんごもーちもちクッション - Net Shop Exclusive - instructions

There’s even a spot to rest your head next to team Rilakkuma!

Okay, well isn’t this just adorable? Seems about time for a dango-heavy theme to feature the Rilakkuma team faces in each of the dango pieces haha. I think this is a really creative and appropriate design, and just perfectly big and bombastic as I have come to expect from Net Shop exclusives.

Pre-order is now open at the San-X Net Shop, with expected delivery in early October.

Finally, the Rilakkuma World Tour is wrapping up with its final locations, and as such is wrapping up with a final bus playset!

Rilakkuma Store 7th Anniversary World Tour - スペシャルアニバーサリーぬいぐるみセット - 世界のリラックマ - full

How worldly! 13,800円 available on August 6th.

This big yellow bus features the themed Rilakkumas from London, Mexico, Africa, Austria, Hawaii, and France – and their tour guide in pink is who I’m guessing is the big boss representing all of the Rilakkuma stores celebrating their anniversaries!

That’s all for now! Any new Rilakkuma additions in your horizon, or did you get to go to the Anime Expo this year?

I just started my internal medicine rotation this week and it’s been so great so far. I also finished all of my exams for the year, so right now, I just have to focus on learning and getting ready for residency next year – feels amazing!

Stay cool with Rila-cool-ma!

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!

Rilakkuma x Hayabusa x Komachi Plushies! + New! Rilakkuma goes to the Netherlands!

Beep beep! Say hello to the Rilakkuma x Hayabusa x Komachi train bears!

Rilakkuma x Hayabusa x Komachi - リラックマ×はやぶさ×こまち - full

Beep beep! Two new train bears!

Rilakkuma x Hayabusa x Komachi - リラックマ×はやぶさ×こまち - Komachi front

Each design differs slightly with each model. Komachi Rilakkuma’s front (hood) has a grey window panel, and two dashed white arcs.

Rilakkuma x Hayabusa x Komachi - リラックマ×はやぶさ×こまち - Komachi side view

Komachi also has a single side door with two side windows.

Rilakkuma x Hayabusa x Komachi - リラックマ×はやぶさ×こまち - Hayabusa front detail

Meanwhile, Hayabusa Rilakkuma’s hood has a narrower window with lights, and also the two dashed white arcs.

Rilakkuma x Hayabusa x Komachi - リラックマ×はやぶさ×こまち - Hayabusa side view

Hayabusa Rilakkuma has two side doors, and has a lovely violet stripe at the base.

Rilakkuma x Hayabusa x Komachi - リラックマ×はやぶさ×こまち - top view

While they came out together, each of them is very different by color and by design!

Rilakkuma x Hayabusa x Komachi - リラックマ×はやぶさ×こまち - tag art

Tag art: Rilakkuma and friends riding the trains!

I’m always so excited to introduce new bears to my transportation Rilakkuma collection!

This pair of bears from Komachi and Hayabusa came out in July 2015 as part of an ongoing collaboration between Rilakkuma and Japan Railways (JR). As I wrote in a previous post when this design was first announced, these two lines have very meaningful names, as Hayabusa (はやぶさ) means peregrine falcon (a bird that has the fastest speed in the animal kingdom), and Komachi (こまち) is named after a famous waka poet from the area, Ono no Komachi.

Of course, this all means that my transportation Rilakkuma collection just steadily grows…

Transportation Collection - 10-23-15

My complete transportation Rilakkuma collection as of today! Can’t wait to see which designs are next! Yamanote (x2), Hankyu (x2), Dr. Yellow (x2), Shinkansen, and now Hayabusa and Komachi!

I think this is my most complete series in my collection! One day, I’ll take them all to their origin trains like Liemzie did for her Hankyu Rilakkuma – make sure to check out her adorable photos and video of her Hankyu Rilakkuma at the Hankyu line in Osaka!

In other news, the second Cats Series came out this month, and I love the direction they’ve been taking with it this year!

Cats Series 2 - cover

A second year of cats!

Cats Series 2 - puppets

Standard line features Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma puppets in costume! 2,800円 for both.

Cats Series 2 - Net Shop exclusive

Net Shop Exclusive features a life-size (cat-sized) Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma in full costumes, nestled with kittens that look just like them! 8,424円 for both.

Remember the Cats Series from 2014? Looks like it was so successful that they revisited the cats theme again this year, too! 2015 is seeing lots of renewals, including the second iteration of Rilakkuma Factory! Personally, I love long term series that are revisited each year, like train bears, so I wouldn’t mind seeing other series revisited like the Bonjour Series or the Space Series!

I really adore the Net Shop Exclusive for this line because its to life-size! I love the Rilakkuma Cats Series because as someone who is highly allergic to actual cats, this is as close as I can get to snuggling with a cat in real life! The pre-order for the Cats Series 2 Net Shop Exclusive will be open until November, so make sure to place your order soon!

Speaking of new iterations on successful lines, check out this year’s Rilakkuma x J!NS PC line!

J!NS PC 2 - glasses and case

In addition to your glasses, each Rilakkuma x J!NS PC order comes with a beautiful cleaning cloth and case – wow!

J!NS PC 2 - plushes

In addition to glasses, you can also get J!NS PC-themed Rilakkuma plushies! A playset featuring Rilakkuma and pals sleeping with their glasses on for 4,100円, and a plush stand for 2,300円.

J!NS PC 2 - exclusive plush

Of course, they had to shake things up with this adorable exclusive: you can’t directly buy this diligent Rilakkuma working on his Kuma-book late into the night, you must purchase a pair of J!NS PC glasses, and win from a lottery where only something like 11 plushes will be given out, whoa! Wonder if any will pop up on the auctions, this is certainly one of the most exclusive collector’s items!

J!NS PC is an eyewear design that is crafted to block out the blue light from computer and phone screens that can be harmful to your eyes. Most relevant, however, is that their collaboration with Rilakkuma is one of the cutest I have ever seen! All of their Rilakkuma collaboration products, which first came out in 2014, are really adorable and they are a testament to a quality collaboration!

Currently, I have the Rilakkuma plush from the first collaboration release. One day, maybe I will get my own set of J!NS PC glasses too hehehe – right now I’m just admiring their products from afar!

And to keep following Rilakkuma around the world, the next destination is the Netherlands, courtesy of the Sendai Rilakkuma Store’s 3rd Anniversary!

Sendai 3rd Anniversary - cover

Beautiful traditional outfits for team Rilakkuma! 1,580円 each.

What a creative design! Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma are wearing the traditional Dutch folk dress, while Kiiroitori is nestled in a klomp, a wooden clog from the Netherlands (though his is made of cloth!). My favorite part of this design is the tulip motif, as Holland in particular is quite famous for its tulips. Did you know that the Netherlands exports two-thirds of the world’s total fresh cut plants, flowers, and flower bulbs? Flowers and tulips in particular are a very meaningful symbol to Dutch culture and economy.

I’d love to spend some time in the Netherlands one day – so far, I’ve only had a stop-over in the Amsterdam airport, so I’ve never actually stepped foot in the city, but I’d love to travel there one day. Thanks for the inspiration, Rilakkuma!

In personal Rilakkuma anniversary news, as a true American patriot, I placed my order for the American West Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori from the Kichijoji 5th Anniversary recently, so I should be able to share that set with you soon!

The next anniversary location will be at Tokyo Station in February 2016! Where in the world would like to Rilakkuma to go next? He’s been to the North Pole, Italy, the American West, and the Netherlands so far – where to next?

Finally, word on the street is that Rilakkuma and friends will be joined by a new bear friend in March 2016! I’m already quite comfortable with the current crew, so let’s see what happens in March!

Hope everyone’s keeping warm! The temperature here in Florida is rather perfect now :D I’m right in the middle of my outpatient internal medicine rotation, and life is pretty swell! Take care, and stay relaxed like Rilakkuma!