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Bag Ladies

As far as I could remember, everyone carries two bags in Japan, particularly women. They have one main bag (a tote, or a shoulder bag), plus another one in plastic or polyester. The second bag can be anything from a simple ecology bag bought at a grocery store or 100 yen store or a bag from any shop. Knowing Japanese women, they prefer the later version. In fact, it is not rare to see women walking around with bags from Kinokuniya (major book store), Fauchon (French bakery), Afternoon Tea (goods store) and Dean and Deluca ( I learned about the later by watching the Devil wears Prada).
Moreover, they also like bags from major retail stores and luxurious brands such as Louis Vuitton. Those bags are so popular that they are even given for free when you purchase some fashion magazine. And the cherry on top is that it is sometimes a collaboration with a major brand such as Vivienne Westwood or Agnes B.

Agnes B tote bag free with the purchase of Nonno magazine


I do not really know the reasons why Japanese women like to carry two bags. But I suspect the following reasons:
- Their main bag is too small to hold everything they think they may need when they go out, so they need a second bag for all that stuff. Young women who can spend an entire day outside, may need a lot of things from an entire make up kit, replacement shoes, and or towels to wipe their sweat under the heat. In Shibuya you can even see some Gyaru carrying a small suitcase when they go out at night. It seems they need a lot of things for a night out on the town.
- Their main bag is too precious to hold other things that may be smelly or leaking. Japanese women are known to love designer's bags. Ladies of all ages like to carry Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci bags around town. And knowing the price of those babies, I can understand that they do not want to put anything that may ruin the bag in it.
- It is all about the environment. Having an ecology bag is more ecological than using a plastic bag. Besides eco bag are way cooler and more practical than plastic bag. You can wash them and reuse them. And they are very sturdy. They are also very cute, and their use is not limited to groceries. Some of them can even fit into a big and taken out to use seperately during lunch breaks to hold just a wallet and some toiletteries.
Like the Japanese women, I am becoming a bag lady. In the States I usually carried a big bag and put everything I needed inside (reason why it is always messy). However, since I came back, I starting following the trend by using eco bags. I had already some in stock but for some reasons, I bought some more. I am a nutcase when it comes to ecology bag or store bags. I find them so cute that I can barely contain myself when I see them on display at the Daiso 100 Yen store. But I have to stop buying them because after all, how many eco bag a lady really needs? Just one!!!



The latest tote bag I received after buying the July edition of Steady Magazine. It is made by Beams, a famous casual brand in Japan. I have to admit that I buy magazines in Japan just to get those bags. They are so cute and easy to use.

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