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?

Space Series Rilakkuma Plushie – Store Exclusive! + New! Halloween 2014, JINS PC, Lawson Cat Series, & Umeda 6th!

Hello, and 好久不見 – long time, no see!

School has really geared up in the past few weeks, so my apologies for the infrequency. But without further ado, check out the Space Rilakkuma Rilakkuma Plushie – Rilakkuma Store Exclusive!

Space Series Store Exclusive - full

Go to the future, Rilakkuma!

Space Series Store Exclusive - pancake detail

One of my favorite details: a stack of pancakes with a star-shaped butter pat on top – mmmm!

Space Series Store Exclusive - dango detail

Ooooh Rilakkuma is also holding a delicious dango with it’s own planetary ring system and star!

Space Series Store Exclusive - space suit

I think they did such a great job with his spacesuit – usually glittery fabric tends to have a coarse texture, but this one (and all the other plushies in this set) have maintained their soft and smooth texture!

Space Series Store Exclusive - space suit detail

More fantastic details: a cute scarf, embroidered Rilakkuma space insignia, and bear-shaped belt buckle!

Space Series Store Exclusive - tag art

Tag art: Rilakkuma promoting space and time travel!

Teehee I really love this bear! I love all the tiny details they put into each plushie in this series, and can’t wait to see all the cool details for what San-X has in store for us next!

This planetary plushie was released in July 2014 as a Rilakkuma Store Exclusive design for the summer Space Series. Since I loved so many of the designs from the Space Series, I limited myself to just the brown bear from this line – I think even then, Bear Nation has a pretty thriving space program!

In seasonal news, be on the lookout for the new Halloween 2014 designs!

Halloween 2014 - plushie set

Rilakkuma and friends off to the masquerade ball! 1,800円 each.

Halloween 2014 - playset

A beautiful playset! My favorite detail is the kuma ghost in the window (and the giant candy doesn’t look too bad, either). 10,000円.

Fantastic! I really love the direction they took with this year’s line – a masquerade party sounds spooky and fun (I’ve never been to one!). These Halloween bears will be released this weekend on September 6.

But wow, aren’t we just starting September? Preparing for Halloween now seems a little pre-emptive to me (though Halloween costume shops are beginning to pop up around my town), but maybe this is a sign that I should start working on a cool costume. Last year, Simon and I went as eggs & bacon! What do you hope to dress up as for Halloween this year?

Rilakkuma looks like he’s going down the mild-mannered route like Superman with the new Rilakkuma x JINS PC collaboration!

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - cover

Rilakkuma falling asleep with his cell phone!

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - designs

Four awesome designs to match Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori, with unique designs on the temples! 4,900円 each

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - plushies

Awesome miniplushies with their own mobile devices, and a tag with a kuma wearing glasses, too! 1,300円 each.

This is such a cool collab! These glasses are specially designed to protect your eyes from the light from your PC and mobile devices, and the color themes are meant to match Rilakkuma and pals – and don’t they just look so smart in those glasses?

Also, check out this fantastic video short by San-X to commemorate this collaboration!

Hehehe this video reminds me a lot of Simon!

Of course, this isn’t the first time Rilakkuma has donned eye protection – the Aloha Rilakkuma series from last year also featured a bespectacled Rilakkuma!

And for you Lawson fans out there, check out this Rilakkuma Cat Series Lawson Exclusive!

Lawson x Rilakkuma Cat Series - Lawson exclusive

Doesn’t kitten Korilakkuma look so sweet in her basket? Oooh a little plush taiyaki too! 2,700円

So cute! Looks like Lawson specials are starting to develop a pattern of their exclusives being in pot-like containers – last year, it was a pie for the Happy Natural Time Series, and this year, it’s a basket! It’s a cute motif, I think.

Pre-orders for this set are now open, but they aren’t scheduled to be delivered until January 19, 2015 (wah). Conveniently, Lawson specials like this are generally available online, so Tenso might be a good resource for international Rilakkuma fans looking for a good price!

For Japanese movie fans, in a pleasantly surprising twist, Rilakkuma/Lawson are also teaming up with film Clover (クローバー)!

Clover - Rilakkuma

Lookin’ stylish in green!

The movie comes out November 1, and if you purchase a ticket in advance, you can get your hands on this lovely keychain plushie! Wow, I would love for American movies to have promotions like this hehehe

Browsing around the official Clover website, looks like the story revolves around a hotel employee who falls in love with her boss, and it is based on a manga series of the same name – not super sure how the movie has to do with Rilakkuma but haha Rilakkuma does look rather cute in green :)

Last but certainly not least, check out these great designs for the Umeda Rilakkuma Store 6th Anniversary!

Umeda 6th Anniversary - plushies

WOW AND YUM! They’re takoyaki themed! I think Rilakkuma’s ear detail is my favorite part! 1,500円 each.

Excellent! Takoyaki (たこ焼き) is a yummy breaded octopus ball served with sauce and bonito shavings that was first invented in Osaka in 1935!

My family went to Osaka last year and had lots of takoyaki – mmmm! As Umeda is the major business district of Osaka, seems fitting to celebrate the oldest Rilakkuma Store’s 6th anniversary with such a tasty part of its history!

These plushies will be released on September 13 (same day as the Bridal Series). Looks like San-X will be continuing with mini-plushies for its anniversary lines – I have yet to get one of these mini-plushies, but I do have good memories of takoyaki from Osaka, so I might just have to jump for these hehehe.

In other news, I spent my last weekend in Seattle, WA presenting my research at the 29th International Human Papillomavirus Conference! Wow, what an incredible city! I even spied a little Rilakkuma in the artwork at Blue C Sushi!

Blue C Sushi - Rilakkuma

I wish my old phone had a better camera, but here he is! He must be a Fansclub Rilakkuma since he’s getting picked up by a crane!

Hehehe, Rilakkuma follows me around even when I’m out of town! I really love Rilakkuma spotting when I travel!

Update on the anniversary plushies

Hey really quick update on the anniversary plushies: turns out the fishing Rilakkuma/Kiiroitori is just to commemorate the 5th birthday of the Rilakkuma Stores in general, which is why it falls on Umeda’s anniversary (the oldest store) but can be purchased at all 8 Rilakkuma Stores across Japan on September 14.

Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary - announcement

Fishing Rilakkuma is for every Rilakkuma Store!

Meanwhile, Umeda gets its own store-specific 5th anniversary plush too!

So basically there will be two “birthday” plushies at the Umeda Rilakkuma Store on September 14: the Rilakkuma riding the fish AND the 5th anniversary set with all 3 of the Rilakkuma crew: Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori. You can also get special Rilakkuma event medals at Umeda and Tokyo Station!

Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary - announcement

Wow, Rilakkuma’s 10th anniversary AND the Rilakkuma Store’s 5th anniversary!

So continuing the new anniversary theme of Japanese culture/traditions (see previous update post), Umeda’s special set is chestnut themed!

Chestnuts are known as a symbol of autumn in Japan, and are used in seasonal dishes such as Kurigohan (栗ご飯, Chestnut Rice).

You can even find chestnuts in Japanese folktales, proverbs, and nursery rhymes such as “The Crab and the Monkey” (さるかに合戦, saru kani gassen) – a short story where a crab is killed by a monkey, and the crabs kids and friends (one is a chestnut) seek justice.

Probably more on chestnuts than you cared to know about, but it’s nice to know the cultural context of these plushies. My family had a package of roast chestnuts while we were in Japan, they sell them right on the street – pretty convenient!

I’m still not sure super what Kiiroitori’s costume is supposed to be, so if anyone could enlighten me, that would be great haha he kinda just looks like a lion to me. (UPDATE: WOW, apparently Kii is a raw chestnut!! Thanks so much, Ariel!)

So pretty cool: so far this year, Sapporo’s theme is the harvest moon, the 5th Anniversary for all stores is the red sea bream, and Umeda’s is chestnuts!

Anyway, that’s it for me today – more photos of plushies to come as I finish studying about cholesterol and HDL, LDL, and VDL haha.

The Tale of Four Rilakkuma Stores!

Hello! I’m more than halfway through my Japan trip and I finally have time to sit and blog for a bit about what’s happened so far!

Thank you everyone for your well wishes – we arrived safe and sound at Tokyo!

The plane was really nice – I had so much space that my Rilakkuma even had a platform to himself hahaha

Rilakkuma on Airplane - window view

Descent into Tokyo!

Anyway, for the first two nights, we were in Tokyo, just minutes away from Tokyo Station!

We were kind of in a hurry to get to dinner rather late at night, so we didn’t get to shop but! we did get to check out the Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store! Ariel already made a post on this store recently, but it’s really quite incredible to see a Rilakkuma Store in person!

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store - front

Will shop here for real soon!

We’re going back to the Tokyo Station area for a day before we leave Japan, so I will be sure to shop there for real next time!

The next day, we went to the Tokyo Skytree Rilakkuma Store!

Tokyo Skytree Rilakkuma Store - front

I got one of those Skytree plushies with all three of the Rilakkuma crew!

Tokyo Skytree Rilakkuma Store - cashier

Paying the Rilakkuma Store workers’ salaries in one fell swoop.

This was the first time we got to spend a great deal of time at the Rilakkuma Store. They had a bunch of Skytree specials (though the Tokyo Station one also sold a few Skytree plushies), and I feel like I circled the store over 20 times analyzing everything before paying and leaving.

I’ll post close-ups of what I bought at a later post (they’re all stowed away in luggage right now booo), but here’s the list of the Skytree haul:

The small 22cm watermelon anniversary plushies were sold out, but there was no shortage of the XL version – I wonder why?

Strangely enough, there were even Halloween 2012 Kiiroitoris still in stock?? Hmmm…

Whew! Then the next day, we ran over to the Harajuku Rilakkuma Store!

Harajuku Rilakkuma Store - front

It’s the Rilakkuma half of the floor! I love how the entrances to each Rilakkuma store is slightly different.

Harajuku Rilakkuma Store - side Korilakkuma

Look who’s hiding on the side!!

Here at Kiddyland, half of the fourth floor is devoted to Rilakkuma! Even the bathroom is painted with a Rilakkuma theme haha

The plushie haul from Harajuku:

They’re gearing up for their anniversary on the 29th – so sad I’ll miss it!!

Finally, on our way out of Osaka, we stopped by the Umeda Rilakkuma Store!

Umeda Rilakkuma Store - front

Hello, Rilakkuma!

Even more plushies to be bought here!

I didn’t even know what the Holiday collab was, or what Holiday even is but I snagged one anyway since I was already there. Turns out it’s some clothing brand haha, so cute!!

I was really shocked to see that they had some of the Fukuoka 3rd Anniversary plushies there (I wasn’t even in Fukuoka!) – guess they had a few left over? I always assumed the anniversary plushies flew off the shelves like hotcakes.

There was also a healthy stock of Rilakkuma apparel that the other branches I visited didn’t have, so my family stocked up on some Rilakkuma shorts haha.

Whew! That’s 4 out of 8 Rilakkuma Stores! I know during the next trip, I’ll have to stop by the Fukuoka, Sapporo, Sendai, and Kichijoji branches!!

I’ll have to write more when I finally get the time to photograph each of them, but that’s all for now!!

All’s quiet on the Rilakkuma front until the Wonderland release, I’m guessing!