Getting Your Glam On: Getting Your Nails Done in Japan

Since I’m going back to the U.S. for the first time in four years, I want to try and look my best!  I also don’t like having to repaint my nails over and over while on vacation, so I recently got my nails done.

Although I was never much for getting my nails done in middle school or high school back in the U.S. like the other girls my age, I absolutely love getting my nails done in Japan.  It’s the one monthly “treat yo’self” thing I tend do for some personal me time.  🙂  I recommend any ladies reading try it out at least once!  That said, it was pretty intimidating making the first appointment when I didn’t know any Japanese nail salon lingo.  So here’s a quick guide if you’re in the same boat or don’t know what to expect your first time.

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Honyaku Konnyaku

© Shogakukan

Doraemon holding his honyaku konnyaku (translation jelly), that lets him understand any language.
© Shogakukan

I’ve been translating requests from friends or work, and song lyrics for years, but this week I was offered a part time position where I’ll actually be making a little money to translate articles for the fashion and idol news site Tokyo Girls’ Update.  It’s my first time working for a real Japanese company (and all the paperwork that goes along with it), so I’m sure it’ll turn out to be an adventure!

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New Years Greetings

© illustration wanpug sozai blog

2014, the year of the horse according to the Chinese zodiac. Variations include the unicorn and the pegasus.
© illustration wanpug sozai

Now that Christmas has passed, people are gearing up for the Japanese New Year, or Oshōgatsu.  Part of bring in the new year involves sending new years greetings cards, called nengajō, to family and friends.  These postcards arrive in your mail box on New Years Day if the sender posts before the Christmas deadline.

Think of it like the tradition of sending Christmas cards, but a little more involved because your mailing list will usually include acquaintances or connections that you may hardly ever see, or consider yourself very close to at all, out of politeness.

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