Thursday, July 17

Tokyo ’14, Day 7 – Shopping in Ikebukuro and Harajuku by Night


The next morning, on Monday, we woke up, got dressed and went down stairs to have breakfast. We decided to go to Ikebukuro that day, because my mom had never been there and I really wanted to show her around.
Unfortunately, my mom’s cold had gotten worse, so she wasn’t feeling so well. When we got back upstairs and I had taken a shower, suddenly something crazy happened: my phone started ringing. My phone was not supposed to have any connection in Japan, unless I had rented a Japanese one, and yet it was ringing! I went to check who it was and it turned out to be our home phone! Apparently, my provider has bought itself onto the Japanese market, because we could talk to my brother on the other side of the world without using Skype! It was quite crazy… Unfortunately, the phone call wasn’t a very positive one, so we promised to come back on Skype around 3 in the afternoon.
Since there wasn’t much we could do, we decided to still go to Ikebukuro and return on time to the hotel. We got our things together and left the hotel.

Outfit Pictures
Our outfits of the day. This is my favourite ‘normal’ outfit of our trip. *o*

We went on our way and arrived around 11 am in Ikebukuro. There, my mom had a lovely conversation with an old lady. She thanked my mom for standing up in the metro to offer her place to another elder lady and the woman thanked her for doing so. I thought that was
very sweet. :)
We passed several amazing posters for a Peter Pan theater production (Peter Pan has a special place in my heart) and finally we left the station. I looked around to see where we had to go. Of course I had to send us the wrong way at first (not too far this time though, thank God. ^^’), but it was actually a good thing, because we walked past some people handing out promotional bags of tissues. My mom, who could really use some, was so happy with them she jumped in the air, haha! XD
We walked on past some pretty high buildings, while I was hoping we were going in the right direction.

Ikebukuro
Wandering around Ikebukuro.

Suddenly I recognised a familiar crossing in the distance and I finally found the right way in the direction of the Sanrio Gift gate and the Sunshine City shopping centre! We waited for the traffic lights to switch to green, while I could already see the Milky Way café in the distance! I pointed it out to my mom and said I really wanted to visit that particular café. My mom immediately approved when she saw the location (right above a shop at the corner of a crossing) and heard about the menu! ✩
We entered the main shopping street and I pointed my mom in the direction of the Sanrio Gift Gate, but before we entered it, I spotted more promotion workers, so I suggested to my mom to walk behind each other to receive more tissues. We ended up with four new packages; my poor mom was so happy! ♥ x)
Finally, we could enter the Sanrio Gift Gate!

Sanrio Gift Gate
The front of the Sanrio Gift gate stands out so much. I love it!

Inside, both my mom and I danced around in joy~! The shop had so many adorable items; from pyjamas to hoodies and from key chains to writing utensils. Everything was so cute! I actually liked the non-Hello Kitty items even more than the Hello Kitty stuff! I had always liked My Melody, but I never expected to love the Little Twin Stars so much! We walked around and inspected everything, showing everything we liked to each other.

Sanrio Cuteness
Some of the first cute items I saw when I entered the store.

Oh my God, there were just so many amazingly cute items! I cannot remember everything, it’s just too much! Luckily, we took some secret pictures, which helps (bad us though *^^*)!
I saw so many adorable shirts and night gowns! I swear I could have worn them like every day wear, they were just sooo cute! >o< Also, they had so many key chains! Key chain heaven!

Rainbow of Keychains
The corner with suitcases, phone cases and countless key chains!

They had a whole corner with My Melody-related that were a bit more… ‘grown up’? For example: they had the My Melody x Liz Lisa for sale and lots of bags and jewelry that fit
that theme.
My mom, who isn’t particularly into a specific Sanrio character, totally fell for Pom Pom Purin, a yellow dog with a brown beret on its head, which makes him look like a flan pudding! I admit I totally loved him too, he’s just so sweet! ♥

Sanrio Merchandise
Some examples of merchandise: Little Twin Stars, Pom Pom Purin, My Melody and
general cute thingies.

We also took a look around the second floor, where they had some lesser known characters and lots of plushies. God this shop is such a cuteness Walhalla! *o*
My mom and I decided to come back later and first walk around Ikebukuro a bit more, before making some actual shopping. We followed the street, passing a lot of loud shops and a cinema. I really loved to see the Japanese movie posters. The one for Frozen was particularly pretty. We took a left and I quickly spotted the Closet Child Ikebukuro shop window above the Starbucks in the distance. We entered the building and took the elevator up, but when we arrived at the right floor, the shop was closed! We turned out to be half an hour too early, so my mom and I decided to explore Ikebukuro a bit more before coming back. We walked back to the main street, where I quickly spotted a game station where they had purikura as well. My mom and I browsed the UFO catcher machines first. We both suck at playing them, but just looking at all the prizes was a lot of fun! I particularly liked the machine with all kinds of small alpacas and my mom developed a love for the Rilakkuma one. :3

UFO Prizes
Some of the UFO catchers’ cute contents!

We took the elevator upstairs and explored the two(!) floors of purikura machines! We soon discovered a corner where you could even rent costumes to take pictures in! I had heard about places like these, but now I could see it for myself!
I quickly found a machine to my liking. It was called ‘NeoDream’ and the outside was filled with pretty, dreamy girls in flower crowns. This time my mom joined in and I guided her through the purikura process.

Inside a Purikura Machine
The inside of the NeoDream purikura machine! Doesn’t it look futuristic?

It was a lot of fun to take pictures together and the decorating was even more fun! It immediately became clear I had chosen the perfect machine, because the backgrounds, stamps and pens you could use were all flowery, dreamy and beautiful! *o* Our pictures turned out so pretty! Even my mom, who said she looked like Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer all day thanks to her cold, liked them a lot! ^^

Puricuteness
Two of the pictures we took! I loved this machine so much! ♥

While I was waiting for our pictures to come out and trying to skip the whole ‘send the pictures to your email address too!’-process, we saw two girls preparing to take pictures in Vocaloid costumes! I don’t know why but it made me so happy to see them all dressed up!
We got our pictures and by this time, Closet Child would be open, so we left and went
back there.

CC Ikebukuro
Approaching Closet Child Ikebukuro.

We took the elevator up again and yes, this time it was opened indeed! I don’t really enjoy Closet Child Ikebukuro’s atmosphere, because it is mainly focused on CDs and the punk clothing style, but it was still fun to look around. My mom especially liked the cabinets with dolls in them. She fell completely in love with one of them, but didn’t buy it.
Closet Child Ikebukuro had more interesting dresses than the last time I was there, but no real dream items. Or so I thought, because while browsing the Angelic Pretty dresses I found Whip Showcase by Angelic Pretty in sax blue, which is a print I have been loving for quite a while! I also found two cute non print dresses I wanted to try on and… Baby’s Princess Honey’s Tea Salon. Ever since Emilie wore hers to the Baby Party in Paris, I have been in love with this dress. I got to try it on myself when I stayed at her place and since then, I have been dreaming of owning it. But… this was the Lace Up version and not the Rose Ribbon version. So it wasn’t the exact dress I liked. Nevertheless, I wanted to try it on.
I cannot remember in which order I tried the dresses on, but well. I really liked Whip Showcase, but the two non-print dresses were a no go. My mom really hated the black dress with pink tulle and the other dress made me look like a giant cupcake in the negative sense of the word. Princess Honey however was gorgeous… in the skirt part. The upper body however looked weird. The one who designed it clearly hadn’t thought of fitting actual boobs into this dress, for the shirred upper part looked strangely saggy. The idea of twinning with Emilie was very tempting, but having to wear this dress always covered with a bolero or cardigan just sounded like a bad idea. So eventually, I only bought Whip Showcase.

Inside CC Ikebukuro
A little glimpse into the Closet Child Ikebukuro kingdom…

While I was trying things on, an amazing Sweet Lolita in a yellow dress with pink accessories was walking around. What made me even more happy was that she was plus sized and was completely rocking her outfit! She looked awesome. ♥
I also browsed the accessories department and ended up with a pretty pink Baby head bow, a Chocomint tulle head bow to match my Whip Showcase, a cute pink bangle, a gorgeous black and silver glittery bow and a pair of mint ‘Hug’-earrings.
Finally we left the Closet Child shop again (my poor mom, I took a bit too long there… Sorry mom! ♥). We had gotten hungry, so we decided to go to the Milky Way café! ^^ I had read about this café and seen pictures of their amazing ice creams and parfaits. All their food has star-shaped elements and the parfaits are all designed to match a zodiac sign. We walked up the stairs and were immediately welcomed by a big table filled with fake sweets in front of a window that gave you a perfect look into the café!

Milky Way café
All these ice different ice creams sure looked promising! *o*

My mom and I took a good look at the different kinds of parfaits and then entered the café, where we got welcomed by the staff.
Everything looked really cute! The walls were dark blue and dotted with stars. There were big windows overlooking the small crossing down on the street. The tables were simple, round and white, but their stand was star-shaped as well! My mom really liked the place as well. ^^
We got seated at a window table and received a menu. On the table was a sheet of paper with horoscopes for each sign. I couldn’t read mine of course, but it was cute nonetheless. We took a look at the menu, where you could find all the ice creams based on zodiac signs. Unfortunately I am not familiar with the general characters for every sign. Yet it didn’t matter, for both my mom and I had already decided which parfait we wanted.
We ordered and observed the staff, looked at the details of the café and talked for a bit. Three girls sitting at the table next to us had ordered ‘regular’ food, served in star-shaped bowls, and it looked so good! If I ever come back I definitely want to try whatever they had! *o*
Finally, our parfaits arrived and of course we had to take pictures of them! I had ordered a parfait with berries and waffles, while my mom had ordered one with caramel and pocky sticks. They looked so pretty! *o*

Milky Way Sweets
The one on the left was mine, the one on the right my mom’s. Look at the star-shaped cookies on top! ✩

Not only did they look pretty, our ice creams tasted really good as well! ♥ I think I have said it before, but I just love that all of the parfaits and ice creams I have eaten in Japan were pretty and delicious! I think this should be something of an obvious thing, but I have been disappointed in restaurants in other countries before. So yes, this is something I really appreciated during my trips. ^^

Happy Ice Cream Lovers
Me my mom and me, enjoying our not-so-healthy but oh-so-delicious lunch. ✩

After we had finished, we paid and left again. We decided to return to the hotel after doing our shopping at the Sanrio Gift Gate. We needed to be back at the hotel on time to Skype of course. After some more browsing at the Gift Gate (which was just outside the Milky Way café), we got our things together and bought some lovely items. ^^

Sanrio Purchases
With my purchases (and another subtle look into the shop, hehe…). ^^

We walked back to the station (passing a girl in a super cool Gyaru-like outfit carrying a Baby parasol and red heart bag), where we briefly browsed a bag store and went to the toilet. Then we took the metro back to Shinjuku.
Back at the hotel we Skyped with the home front and rested. I took pictures of my purchases and we talked for a bit. Finally, my mom and I decided to go to Harajuku in the evening! We really wanted to go there while it was dark. As for dinner: a crêpe would do perfectly. :3
Around 5 pm we got our things together. I decided to wear my new ‘Hug’-earrings and black bow, since they matched my outfit so well! It made me like my outfit even more. ^^

Updated Outfit
My favourite outfit, version two! ✩

We arrived at Harajuku station, where it was pleasantly crowded. Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures of my mom from this point on (except for one), because she wasn’t feeling all that well. She enjoyed herself a lot, but she preferred to stay out of pictures. In case you were wondering. ;) And if you weren’t… Well now you know anyway. XD
It was slowly getting darker, which was perfect. Of course we had to take some pictures underneath the Takeshita dori entrance gate.

Harajuku Evening
Ready for a Harajuku night!

We immediately entered the new Wego shop, which was opened this time. We were hoping this was the shop where my mom’s destined camera bag was sold. It had just closed for the day when we were in Harajuku a couple of days earlier, so maybe we would finally find it?
We browsed the entire store and while they had amazing fruit-themed jewelry (and many more awesome things!) there was no camera bag. I even tried asking, but no… We didn’t let it get us down though and we crossed the street to Le Ponte, where we wisely bought some drinks. I swear, we should have drunk way more during our days.
We walked on and just enjoyed ourselves while browsing some stores and pointing out cute items to each other.

Harajuku Colours
Evening approaching in colourful Harajuku.

Finally, we reached the ‘crêpe part’ of Takeshita dori and my mom and I decided to get crêpes at Santa Monica again. Since it got dark really fast all of a sudden, the store looked really pretty with its neon lights!

Santa Monica Crêpes
I really recommend Santa Monica’s crêpes! Not only does the store look cute, the crêpes are so damn tasty!

My mom and I both chose the same crêpe: whipped cream with strawberries and a piece of chocolate cake. They made the perfect dinner-and-dessert-at-the-same-time! ♥

Brownies and Strawberries
Our delicious crêpes~!

When had finished our food, we decided it was Bodyline shopping time! My mom was finally going to buy her Lolita shoes!
While the same hyper Disney music was playing in the store, my mom took a good look at the shoe department. Last year she had been doubting about a particular pair of shoes, but when she looked at them again she didn’t like them as much anymore. Instead, she fell head over heels (pun intended) in love with a super cute pair of wedge heel black shoes with a white scallop brim. They looked so nice on her! I liked them so much, I tried them in blue myself and I was sold as well! So we ended up getting matching shoes!
My mom really got the hang of it and pointed out another pair of shoes she liked, asking for my opinion. They were a lot more standing out, with crossed straps and a bow and everything. Yet I really liked them and she tried on the white ones, because that particular pair happened to be her size. But when she stood in front of the mirror, she liked them so much she ended up getting them in white! Go mom! *o*
After some misunderstanding with a male staff member about which shoes we wanted to buy and which not, we paid and left the shop very satisfied. :3

Bodyline Purchases
The only picture of my mom of the evening, with her purchases!

Next stop: Closet Child. Because why not? It’s not like I already spent ages in the Ikebukuro branch. ^^’ My mom still came with me so enthusiastically, she is too sweet! ;_; ♥

Inside CC Harajuku
Closet Child looks very different in the evening. The fairy tale-like pink light is gone, but it doesn’t make the shopping experience any less fun! ^^

I browsed the racks and there were some new things, but nothing interesting for me in the Angelic Pretty part. Then suddenly, when I slid some dresses to the side, I discovered Metamorphose’s Fancy Egg with bustle back in sax blue! I have been admiring this dress ever since I had seen my friend Emilie wear it in pink and the sax version was just as beautiful! The matching bonnet also came with it, but I couldn’t find its price. When I asked, the kind shop girl told me it was a ‘setto’, a set! So the bonnet was included in the price! How awesome is that? *o* I decided to try it on.
This turned out to be… an enormous adventure. ^^’ Although we tried our hardest (yet very careful), the zipper would just not close in any way! At first I thought it was me, but my mom immediately said it was the ancient thing 95% of all Lolita dresses have problems with: the transition from skirt to bodice. I really wanted to see whether the dress looked good on me, but that damn zipper just didn’t want to listen! Eventually I came up with the genius idea (if I may say so), to move the zipper side to the front, to my belly, and get the zipper up to the bodice while holding my breath. It was a great move, because it worked instantly! The dress fit really well and it looked so pretty (I just ignored my very not-matching black shirt underneath), I decided to get it!

CC Accessories
A picture of one side of the accessories department.

I paid and finally we left Closet Child again. My Lolita shopping levels had raised to the maximum for that day. :3

CC Purchase
With my purchases. ^^

We started walking again and just followed Takeshita dori, looking at the illuminated shops and shop windows. Harajuku looked lovely in the dark evening. We entered Meiji dori and walked up to the Kinji store that I wanted to visit at last. But it was closed! :( Oh well.

Harajuku Shops by Night
Harajuku shops at night.

Since other shops were closing as well, we decided to slowly walk back to the station. We passed a store that had carried cute pug-bags the previous year, when suddenly my mom gasped. She pointed at the window of the closed shop and guess what? The camera bag! We had finally found it! This shop didn’t exactly match the description the man in the hotel lobby had given us, but who cares? We finally found it! Since we would go to Harajuku again the next day, we would surely return!
We walked on and suddenly I recognised the sign of the little takoyaki restaurant that had closed down in Yoyogi. I should have known they have multiple stores! Finally, I could let my mom try takoyaki! I ordered us a takeaway plate with eight takoyaki balls and we sat down a couple of meters away on a little wall to try some. The takoyaki were really hot though and I managed to get some burning hot sauce on my finger! It hurt quite a lot, but thankfully I didn’t burn myself heavily so I didn’t feel it much during the next days.

Takoyaki
I just love takoyaki, despite the fact it tried to burn my finger off! ^o^

We decided to let the takoyaki cool down, so we returned to the metro station and to the hotel. There, we finished the takoyaki (yum! ♥), I took pictures of my purchases and we went to bed. It had been an absolutely wonderful day!

Purchases
Purchases of the day