Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Soap from Japan

Every time I travel I try my best to look out for "local" made natural soap just to experience different culture.  This time I came back from Japan with some commercially made goodies because I had a hard time finding truly handmade soap from scratch.  Maybe I just didn't know where to look, but with limited time these are what I found:

I don't know how to read Japanese, but since it's a language originated from Chinese, I can pretty much guess the meaning by reading the Chinese characters.
The right side big pouch is a 4-pack different scented sulfur bath soak.  The left top black soap is made with some type of charcoal for detoxication.  And the left bottom is a delicate small round facial soap that smells so good I just have to get one even though I only use salt bar for my combination skin face. 
I think these are milled soap since they are commercially made.  I can only recognize some of the ingredients like water, fatty acid, sodium hydroxide, EDTA, fragrance and some dye colorants.  This little round 50g facial soap costed me 200 yen, which is around $2.10 depending on which exchange rate of the day.
Now this one costed me 700 yen!  But it is one big bar with very similar ingredient list as the facial soap except there's charcoal as colorant and no fragrance added.  I bought it at a famous hot spring town called Hakone by Mt. Fuji.

I couldn't wait, I tried one of the soak pouch already, it's the cherry blossom one.  It was very fine colored powder with very strong fragrance added.  one little pouch made my bath water a beautiful medium pink, bubbly and smelled divine.  Unfortunately I don't feel the volcanic benefit at all, it felt just like a regular bath soak, nothing special.  On the other hand the 4-pack only costed me 450 yen, I don't feel so heart broken that it didn't meet my expectation.  


  1. Such a treat tho to have soap made from a town so close to a volcano!! The packaging is so pretty too. I think Japan could use a few homemade soap stores called "Shieh Designs" I bet your soaps would fly off the shelves over there.