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Community Spotlight: Kelly

Can you briefly introduce yourself? Any social media we can visit to know more about you?

Hello friends, my name is Kelly. I am a lifelong Japanophile from the Midwest in the United States. I’ve always had a deep interest and appreciation for Japanese culture. I decided about 2 years ago that I wanted to use YouTube as a platform to share that with others. It’s my creative way of expressing my love of Japan.
The social media you can get to know me more on are Instagram @itskellykawaii and my YouTube channel Kelly Kawaii.

Spotlight - Kelly
On Kelly`s desk: daruma and notepad from Peko Peko Spirit of Japan Box

Have you ever been to Japan? If yes, what was the highlight of your trip? If not, where would you like to visit?

I have not been to Japan yet. I did, however, plan my first trip for April 2020. Unfortunately, our vacation to Japan was canceled due to the pandemic. I spent about a year planning every detail of that trip. There were many places and activities we had planned for our stay.
Some of the activities I looked forward to the most were visiting the Pokemon Centers + The Pokemon Cafe, exploring Akihabara, and really, just getting lost in Tokyo. I also looked forward to visiting Arashiyama, temples, tea houses and onsen around Kyoto. I even had a hotel booked for us right in the heart of Gion. We had planned to stay in Tokyo and Kyoto, while also visiting Osaka and Nara. It was honestly a very detailed trip.
The only silver lining I can see from this delay is that it will allow me to prepare even more for when we will get to visit. The delay will allow us to save more money for the trip and give us more time to continue learning Japanese.

Spotlight - Kelly
On Kelly`s shelves: ox statuette from Peko Peko New Year Box

What do you like the most about Japan?

It’s not one specific thing that I love about Japan, but the country as a whole. I love the uniqueness and complexity of the culture. It spans from Japan’s zen all the way to its otaku culture. I love how Japan celebrates and incorporates the past along with always innovating for the future. I also love how the people of Japan work together as a whole for the greater good. There are so many things to love about Japan, but I think that sums up my feelings in short.

How did you first hear about Peko Peko?

I feel like this is a funny answer, but honestly, I happened to come across Peko Peko while scrolling through my Instagram feed. From there I followed their journey leading up to their first box. I’m so glad I came across Peko Peko box, because it’s honestly my favorite Japanese subscription box.

Spotlight - Kelly
Peko Peko Box Spirit of Japan box tatamis coaster perfect for Kelly`s morning coffee

What do you like the most about our boxes?

My favorite part about the boxes are the stories behind the items. I love that with the combination of story and video, I feel like part of me really got to visit Japan and obtain these wonderful omiyage. It really is the next best thing to being in Japan!
The other great thing is that these boxes help support small and local businesses throughout Japan. Tourism is such a huge part of the Japanese economy, and it saddens me that a lot of these businesses rely on the income from tourism to stay afloat. I’m glad these boxes help give back

Which box has been your favorite so far?

Honestly, I have loved every box so far. They are all so unique and give me a new experience each time. But if I had to pick one, I would say their very first box “Senses of Japan“. I say this because it was the first subscription box to ever give me an experience. Everything was so authentic and I could tell this was a labor of love. That first box made me want to subscribe to Peko Peko regularly. No Japanese subscription box has made me feel that way before.

Spotlight - Kelly
Kelly hung on her wall tenugui included in the Peko Peko Spirit of Japan box

What future theme would you like to do?

I have been thinking about this even before being asked this question. I know the March box includes coffee. But, one theme I’d love to see that I’ve never seen in another box is perhaps a coffee-themed box exploring Japan’s coffee culture. Many people do not think Japan has a coffee culture, so I think this could be a fun and educational box for coffee lovers.
I think other fun themes would be a matsuri box which could cover a specific festival, or give the feel of Japan’s festivals in general. Another could be an onsen and ryokan theme.
And also, I think, would be having boxes that cover the current season. Japan really celebrates its seasons, unlike most other countries. I feel like they really go all out to celebrate Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. I think that would be an enjoyable theme to cover.

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