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Monday, January 06, 2014

2013 Taiwan Trip Day 1 (Ximending)

Hi everyone! In case you were wondering about the lack of updates, it was because I went to Taiwan for a vacation with my family!!! We were there from the 24th to the 30th of December, and of course, in the process, I took a gazillion photos to share with you all. This is day 1 of our trip.

To start off is the ramen dinner which we hadon our first night. We went to this restaurant named arashi and I ordered their tonkotsu ramen with additional char siu slices. This bowl was like 220 NT (approx 330 pesos) which I think is already affordable relative to the ramen restaurants here in Manila...

Look at them char siu slices!!! #omnomnom #happytummy 

And here is the general look of the streets in Ximending. I was told that this was the teenagers' hangout place as it was full of stores selling beauty products, youthful clothes and lots of Western apparel brands . The green signage is of La New, which apparently is their up and rising shoe brand. Even TV ads of local channels are from this shoe company. And as you will see there is also a L'Occitane outlet as well as signages for facial care and cosmetic treatment centers. 

But what I am going to elaborate on on this post is my amazement at this store called Mag Freak. It is basically a store brimming with Japanese magazines across all disciplines. As in brimming. I almost went crazy with all the choices of magazines inside!

This is just the first floor, mind you all. They have three floors of Japanese magazine display space! THREE FLOOOOORS!!!! You can see my brother (with the giant backpack) already rushing into the store to see what it has... 

They have all the possible Japanese fashion and beauty magazines you can think of in this store, with the popular ones like CuTIE, SCawaii, Popteen, Seventeen, ViVi, Marie Claire, an-an, non-no Can Can, VoCe, and Spur. And relative to Hong Kong prices, their selling prices for these imported magazines are livable! 

What I also like is that they sell copies of the more popular magazines up to two months back so you need not worry about no longer finding an issue in case you missed it! 

But in general, I must say that the selling prices for imported or air flown issues of a Japanese magazine are significantly higher than when Taiwan has a franchise of it. A copy of Japanese Popteen costs about 240NT (360 pesos) while a copy of Taiwanese Popteen costs 98 NT (about 150 pesos) despite having nearly identical contents. The only differences are that spreads containing too many items not available for purchase in Taiwan are replaced with spreads containing more available items... 

And look, there's even a Ray issue with Miranda Kerr on the cover! I am amused as to how she seems to be beloved by the Japanese to the point that she appears on Japanese magazine covers and has an endorsement deal for a Japanese liquid detergent. 

And this is a photo fo the second floor. The second floor is basically the manga floor, as it is brimming with comics of virtually any Japanese work you can think of. I did not linger in this floor as I am currently not into any manga... 

And this is what the third floor has... it's full of cosplay and gothic lolita and gyaru fashion magazines. Can you spot your favorite cosplay/lolita magazine here? 

And there's also a good supply of cutesy pet magazines!!! 

And they have a whole wall full of anime merchandise! Not that there are no anime goods stores here in the Philippines, but rather, the stores here do not sell items as authentic as what this store has. Moreover, there's a greater selection of merchandise for a given anime, not just limited to figurines and uchi-wa's. 

And look, even the lift doors have anime ads on them! I have yet to see this in the Philippines... 

And that ends my visit to Mag Freak. My brother and I visited another anime goods store named Index RCG. It is purely an anime related store as there are no magazines. They sell plushies, figurines, manga, and other items related to anime characters. 

We didn't buy anything from Index RCG, but I did buy two boxes of false eyelashes from this beauty store! It doesn't have a name though, and it does not have each variant for each item it sells, so I think that the owner is simply reselling items that she thinks are hot or very saleable for prices lower than when bought at Watsons or Sasa... 

On the way back to the hotel, we saw this arcade full of plushie machines!!! But the plushies are uber cute! I was squealing when I saw this cube full of peas in the pod plushies!

This Totoro machine is also very cute!!! 

This is the road on the way home... 

Yaaay, so that completes my entry for our first day in Taiwan!!! What can you say about MagFreak? Please do tell me in the comments box!!!

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