This post is for the ladies (or, adventurous men that love them!) who’ve ever wondered about how the Japanese ladies deal with their “time of the month.”
You’ve been warned! ^.~
When I first came to Japan, I had no idea what I would encounter in terms of ladies products. Or, as they’re sometimes labeled here: ladys products.
So, I came with a giant bag of pads (napkins) stuffed into my suitcase! At the time, I found inserting tampons uncomfortable, so I was a pad girl. I’ve since changed sides, though, and am strictly a tampons girl. Much less smell, much less mess! In fact, if it wasn’t for the dull pain in my abdomen, then I would hardly know I was on my period most of the time! I’ve long since gotten over any discomfort too, and now it’s just as natural as ever to sneak something up there to absorb the flow (since it’s just us ladies here!). But whichever you prefer, pads, tampons, or other, have no fear! Japan has you covered!
The thing I do dislike, though, is that on a tight budget like mine, buying tampons can get fairly pricey (I can eat for a few days on what it costs for a box of 36. I’m a pro at frugal-eating-in-Japan these days!).
I think I need a few pictures along to help out, so here we go ^.^
So, on with the journey!
I happen to be lucky enough to have several drugstores near me, so my broke butt always goes to the cheapest!
It’s about a 5 minute walk, but 1 minute or so by bike. Yesterday, I went by bike. ^^
This drug store is part of a large chain called Create SD.
Here is their website: http://www.create-sd.co.jp/
Feminine products are also sold at convenience stores and sometimes in department stores, but I head for the best selection/cheapest. LOL Am I predictable?
Most of this row is feminine products! Pads/napkins are the most common here, and come in all shapes and sizes! Some places only carry pads, even! (^^;).
Each brand has a special selling point: all-cotton, super-soft, super-huge, small, cheap, nice-smelling, etc. Just like pads in the States, and I guess all over the world?
These ones in the midnight blue package claim to be “for women who stand and walk on the job.”
See those blue and green boxes? Those and the row above them are the tampons.
A whole aisle of pads, but these few boxes are all us tampon users get!
There’s one main brand, called “charm.” Until this year, they used to just make “regular” and “super” sizes, but recently I’ve seen “compact” (pictured) and “slim.” (that firey red box on the far right)
The blue boxes on the left are another brand, Eldi (Or possibly LD). They are a new brand– a great sign! I would love for there to be more variety in tampons (both to promote tampon use and to drive down prices!).
Some pantyliners. In Japan, packaging is very important. Many ladies will gladly pay a little more for a cute package, as is evidenced! Even though in the end it’s just a piece of cotton that gets wadded up and thrown away.
That blue package at the top– stay tuned to the end of those post!
That thing on the left……. It’s a washable pad/napkin. Use it, wash it, and use it again! Possibly a great idea, if you like pads and you’re not put off by the scent of blood in your purse when you have to store it there on the go! This store is the only one in Japan I’ve ever seen to carry such a thing, so I imagine that it’s a new concept. I wonder how it’s selling.
I don’t use pads anymore, because I don’t like the smell, the mess, or how it makes me feel “unclean.”
Funny enough, the big box underneath the bottle is unrelated. It’s a product that eliminates back pimples!
(I’m in the “never heard of that” crowd. It seems like an odd pairing to me, but maybe I’m the odd one out here )
(cute) disposable pad. Not for me!
These are special underwear made to keep that pad in place! Kind of an interesting idea, actually! You can get the one that shapes your butt down, or pushes is a little up (theoretically!). At 1580 yen and up, they’re a little pricey, but I really may consider it!
My Melody specialty shorts.
Whenever you buy feminine products (or condoms/enemas/”private items”), the clerks put them in either a paper bag or a black bag. I guess it’s embarrassing to buy tampons! I don’t really think so, though. I mean, having a period is normal. Heck, it’s a great thing to buy condoms too, right? Nothing embarrassing about being responsible! (maybe if you buy the extra-small size, you might be embarrassed, though)
And now, umm.. Remember the blue packages that I said I’d address later?
I said that I don’t buy pads nowadays, which is true. But I was given a free sample a few months ago, and it’s just been sitting around.
On the package, is says “SUPER-assuring, all the way until morning! DELUXE 360″
Which means: “PAD THE SIZE OF A GIANTESS’ PANTIES!”
(Really, look at it in comparison to my giant tall-girl hand!)
Whoa! I freaked out.
It’s like… as big as my head!
I see that this.. size of pad could definitely be useful to some people. I found it a bit like wearing a diaper, though.. ^^; (I tried it on for just a second afterward)
But it just shocked me!
Try your hand at captioning it!
Just write your copy in the comments, or add text to the picture and upload the picture in the comments! (there is an option to upload images with your comments just below the comment box!)
I’ll think up a cool prize for anyone that comes up with an extra-special saying! *^0^*