Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tokyo ’12, Day 4 – Akihabara



The next morning we woke up after a terrible night. My fear had become reality: it was almost impossible for me to fall asleep on the seed-filled pillow. It was so hard! My mom hadn’t slept well either and we had missed the alarm clock on my dad’s watch, so we also woke up later than planned. The night before we had decided to have breakfast in our old hotel and later go to Akihabara, but since breakfast would end at 10am (and you were allowed to enter until 9.30am) we had to hurry up and get dressed. Yeah, it wasn’t a very relaxing way to start the day. -_-
While we were getting dressed, my dad went downstairs to ask for soft pillows. We would receive them later on the day.
We left our room and went on our way. No outfit pictures for this day, we looked sooo tired -_- We walked to our old hotel and luckily we were still on time. It was nice to be back at our old restaurant, nothing had changed (except for the ‘strawberry source’ that was now ‘blueberry sauce’)!

Sunroute Breakfast
Our breakfast! I really loved the Japanese milk…

We ate our delicious breakfast, although not for long. Because we were late, we were asked to not stay too long. XD Oh well.
We left the restaurant, but both my mom and I didn’t feel so well. We sat down in the lobby of the hotel for a while (now my mom could see where my dad and I had walked a lot during our previous stay), until we felt a little better.
My dad suggested to go to the (huge) shopping center Takashimaya Times Square, the place we had bought tickets at the Disney Store last year. We walked up the stairs across from our old hotel and followed the route, crossing the big bridge over the railroads.

Shinjuku Railroads
The view from the bridge in front of Takashimaya. You can see MyLord and the building we call ‘the Robot’. ^^

We entered Takashimaya and browsed some of the many floors of the Tokyu Hands shop. We also visited the Disney store, where my mom and I squealed over the many adorable things they sold. I told my mom this wasn’t even half of what they sold at Disney itself, so she got more excited to go! ^^
We walked past the Barbie store (as in: clothes for little girls, so adorable!).

Barbie Store
Just look at the cuuuteness! I would so dress my little girl in outfits like these (if I ever have children, but let’s not talk about that now)!

We went to the toilet, where unfortunately the great view through the windows from last year was blocked by a big flag or poster on the outside of the building. Nonetheless we enjoyed the toilets very much. XD My mom was especially very enthusiastic over the little device that makes flushing noises so no one can hear what you’re doing! The special seat to put your baby or small child in while you went to the toilet was also praised a lot. ^^
We left Takashimaya and went on our way to Shinjuku station, where we took the Yamanote line to Akihabara.

Metro Map
One of the many metro maps! On this picture we were discussing the best route to Yokohama and Kamakura, but in the end we didn’t go there unfortunately.

The Yamanote line is a very nice way to go to Akihabara, since you can sit for quite a while. As we were tired, we didn’t mind that at all.

Yamanote line on Thursday
The Yamanote line on a Thursday morning. ^^

After about 30 minutes we arrived in Akihabara. It was quite a grey and cloudy day, but the temperature was still quite pleasant. We walked down the stairs, passing the coolest escalator I had ever seen: it went up, straight for a while and then up again. Childish as my mom and me are we went back up with it after which we went down the stairs again. XD We also passed a great poster with a mobile phone on it saying ‘Watch out for upskirting’, aka ‘Watch out for perverted people taking pictures under your skirt!’ I haven’t seen that poster anywhere else, I guess all the perverts assemble in Akihabara? ^^’

Electric Town
On our way to Electric Town~!

We exited the station through the Electric Town exit and found ourselves in a familiar street. It was nice to be back in Otaku Town!

Them Beatles
Don’t we resemble the Beatles on Abbey Road? With only two persons? In Japan? Walking in the opposite direction?

We entered the Labi, the wellknown shop with its escalators behind windows on the outside of the building (you can see it on the above picture on the left). Now my mom could see it too! Inside the shop they sell all kinds of electronic devices, from cameras to laptops. I swear: the shop itself is not very interesting except for its colourful earphones and mp3-players, it’s all about the escalators! My mom fully agreed with this quite soon. XD

Labi Escalators
If you ever get to visit Akihabara: take pictures on the escalators of Labi! That’s what it’s all about!

We exited Labi again and followed the street up to Chuo dori, the big boulevard. We went right and I saw one of the first Maids of the day already! I think she was quite intimidated by our three cameras, as she quickly ran inside. -_-
We kept following the road, as we wanted to show my mom the immense shop Don Quijote, where we had been last year too. But first we passed the entrance to the ‘Radio Market’, the maze of tiny alleys with tiny shops that sell tiny electronic parts. Of course we had to take a look inside!

Radio Market
My dad at the market. They really sold the smallest things!

The shops are so small, the shop employees stand on ladders against the wall and behind boxes to find things! Sometimes you even have a hard time to find a person in the tiny shops because they’re so stuffed with items!
We left the market again and followed Chuo dori, passing several arcades and Maids handing out flyers. Of course I took them with great happiness! =D
Finally we passed an alley with vending machines and we decided to get some drinks. I actually think it was the same alley as my dad and I got drinks last year!
My dad chose hot black coffee, my mom ‘Café au Lait’ and I chose a cute pink can with strawberries on it.

Strawberry Drink
My drink matched my outfit! ♥

The first sip I took from the drink was… quite a shock. It was incredibly sweet, like many other drinks and food in Tokyo. My parents didn’t like it at all, but after that first strange sip I really loved the drink! We never found it again unfortunately.
We kept following the street and it started to rain. I tried to protect all of my Maid Café folders, but some got wet after all. We walked a bit faster to Don Quijote, home of the musical girl group AKB48. We passed a maid with a cute umbrella and entered the store.
Don Quijote is quite huge and it is easy to lose each other, so we made sure we stuck together. XD We took the escalator up and reached the food floor, a maze of canned, packed and wrapped food. You tend to get overwhelmed by all the different kinds of food, from candy to nuts etc. To be honest, I thought it was a bit weird the cans with little dead squids had cute, lively squids on the can to make everything look more adorable. I know almost everything in Japan needs to be cute, but this went a little too far. XD

Poor Squids
See what I mean? Poor squids…

We passed a pile of white boxes with cute, computer-like faces on them. They probably contained some kind of candy (at least, the example that was placed on top of the pile looked like it), so my mom bought a box to try it. ^^ Behind the checkout stood two employees, dressed as Alice and Luigi!
On the same floor we found a rack filled with amazing iPhone cases. During our trip we’ve seen the most awesome phone cases, it really made my mom and I want an iPhone!

Phone cases
This isn’t even half of the amazing phone cases we’ve seen. I swear I could’ve bought at least ten different cases during our trip, if I had an iPhone that is.

We went up another escalator and arrived at a floor with tons of figurines and manga-/anime related goods. The walls, the floor, the ceiling: almost everything was covered in goods. I saw some amazing figurines (Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, whoa ♥) and a super cute puzzle from K-ON! For a short moment I seriously considered buying it!

Don Quijote
A small part of the shop, just to give you an indication. :)

Everywhere you looked, you saw new things. When I saw a Darth Vader holding candy in his hands, my dad saw a Spiderman climbing the ceiling. The shop was so awesome!
There were also several masks, weird hats and costumes. Anything you can imagine could be found as a costume. I tried an Iron Man mask and a cake, my mom a Geisha wig and my dad tried a black Gloomy Bear. XD

Gloomy Bear Hat
My dad the Gloomy Bear. ^^ At the back hung a tiny bear body, hihi!

We walked around the floor some more. There was a whole department of clothes, socks and many tartan. My mom loves tartan skirts, so she spent a bit of time there. Meanwhile I looked around for a bit too. Everything was decorated in Halloween style, even the counter. One customer, a girl, bought about seven different costumes! I wonder if she was going to have a Halloween party with friends?
We passed the special AKB48 side of the store, but since I don’t know much about the group it wasn’t very interesting for me.
We decided to go back down the escalator. I remember we saw some cool bags with ‘Tokyo’ written all over them, but I don’t recall which floor it was. I also bought a cute button somewhere with a face like my mom’s candy box, but on which floor? No idea. ^^’
We left Don Quijote and crossed the street, heading towards Laox, the shop my dad and I had bought some nice souvenirs last year. We passed several very noisy arcades with the newest games and many crane machines with adorable prizes.
We arrived at Laox and went to the right floor, but unfortunately the shop had changed a lot! Where last year the key- and phone chains covered an entire wall, now there was barely any left of it! It turns out they were redoing the entire floor. I had been hoping to buy the cute lantern key chain I had bought for my mom last year too, but they didn’t have it anymore. I have to admit I was disappointed. Last year we bought tons of stuff, now I bought nothing. :( At least my mom bought a cute yellow chick phone strap. ^^ And I did see a cute Miffy couple dressed in traditional Japanese wedding clothes.
My mom, dad and me sat down on the stairs of Laox for a while (we were so tired) and discussed about what to do. My mom wanted to visit a Maid Café, but we decided to do it some other time since we were really tired. Unfortunately we never went back…
We left the Laox (passing a poster with Misako Aoki on it) and walked back to the station. We entered a food store called Atré 1, where they had the most amazing foods! I would have loved to try all the different kinds of sweets! We got some bread rolls and took the Yamanote line back to Shinjuku. In the metro my dad took some pictures of my mom and me. God we looked so tired. XD

Sleepy People
This picture is the perfect definition of ‘tired’. XD

We arrived in Shinjuku, where it was still raining. We walked back to our hotel and got some drinks from one of the vending machines.

Back in our room we ate our delicious rolls (mine was shaped like a cat’s head) when suddenly someone knocked on our door. It was a man who came to bring us soft pillows. Yaaay! I was so happy. XD
We sat down on our beds and ate our delicious bread rolls.

Cat Lunch
My cat bread roll was so nice! My parents liked theirs too.

My mom also opened the box of candy while I put our pictures on my laptop and selected some for Facebook (putting pictures on Facebook was terrible by the way, the order got messed up almost every time). The box contained chocolate-like candy, but when you ate it it turned out to be chewy and a bit squishy, like gum. I still don’t know what it was, but it was very nice!
We rested for a while and decided not to do anything tiring for the rest of the day except for having dinner. My mom wasn’t feeling too well, so she didn’t want to eat something too heavy. In the end we decided to go eat okonomiyaki, the food I had been longing for all year (by the way, okonomiyaki is still quite heavy, but my mom insisted on trying it)!
We went on our way to Lumine Est, next to MyLord. We took the elevator up to the right restaurant floor and walked to restaurant Sauté. I had been waiting for so long to be back there!
After some looking at the menu (Sauté is one of the few restaurants that doesn’t have a shop window with fake food, but they do have an understandable menu) I ordered the same dish as last year. I was afraid it wouldn’t taste as amazing as I had remembered otherwise. ^^’
We received our food after a little while. My mom took some pictures, but again: we all look so tired, I just can’t post them here. Instead, have a picture of the food.

Okonomiyaki
The little flakes on top move because of the heat, it’s like your food is still alive!

My dad really liked the music that played on the speakers. He even asked who or what it was. The waiter was glad he liked it. ^^
We finished our delicious food (it was goood~), left Lumine Est and headed back to our hotel.

Shinjuku Clock
Beautiful Shinjuku by night.

Before we walked into the street of our hotel, we entered a Family Market to get ice cream. In the metro you have these little tv screens on the walls with commercials. We were especially intrigued by the new Häagen-Dazs ice cream, so we wanted to see if we could find it. We almost immediately found some at the Family Market, so my mom bought three pieces. From that moment she started disliking the Family Markets: it is also possible to buy hot dumplings and other food like that, but the smell was very strong. It made my mom nauseous. >_<
We ate the ice creams in our room (they were really good), sent an email to my brother and went to sleep (on soft pillows~). We hoped we wouldn’t be so tired the next day.

Purchase day 4
Purchase of the day

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tokyo '12, Day 3 – Lolita in Harajuku and Shibuya by Night



(Warning: very long post!)
The next morning we woke up and despite the fact I had slept quite well, my parents had had quite a rough night. Apparently the upper mattress of my father’s bed was missing, so he could feel all the hard slats of the bed frame through the other mattress. My mom had difficulty adapting to the new time zone, so she hadn’t slept very well either.
While we were getting dressed, my dad went downstairs to the front desk to complain. When he returned, he told us the person at the front desk had decided to give us a new room. Maybe it was a communication problem, but we didn’t really mind to move. The only downside was that we had to pack our suitcases and bring them downstairs to the luggage room until our room was ready around 2 pm.
We decided to have breakfast first in our hotel at the café. When we arrived there we waited at the counter, until a man walked up to us to help us. After a little communication trouble he wrote down whether we wanted coffee or tea. I think his pronunciation was fine when he said it, but maybe he was insecure. ^^
Initially we thought it would be a breakfast buffet, but it turned out to be a set breakfast. We sat down and we received our coffee and tea, a basket with bread rolls and jam, orange juice, yoghurt with honey and a cup filled with a custard-like substance. After that we also received a plate with salad, scrambled eggs, bacon sausages and, oh yes, fries. A very interesting breakfast. ^^’

Breakfast
Our first breakfast in Tokyo.

Despite the fact we are open to new things, we were all a bit afraid to try the custard-like stuff. It smelled a bit weird and finally I decided to try it. Well, I can tell you: it was disgusting! Ugh, it was so gross… I still don’t know what it was, maybe corn soup or something, but frankly I don’t care. Yuck!
To be honest: the breakfast wasn’t so great. The fries tasted a bit old (I still kind of liked them though XD) and the room was a bit boring and grey. The only thing that distracted from the cold environment was the tv that showed some beautiful natural sides of Japan.
We returned to our hotel room, where we packed our things and where I got re-dressed. We had decided to go to Harajuku on this day and I would dress in Lolita! Wearing Lolita in Harajuku was one of my dreams and it was about to come true! Before we went to Japan I had decided to wear my Jewelry Jelly jumperskirt in a mint and pink combination. The outfit looked a lot like my previous Jewelry Jelly coord, but with different accessories. When I was fully dressed we dragged our suitcases downstairs (very interesting thing to do in a big dress with petticoat underneath). Downstairs my mom and I took the suitcases to the special luggage room, so they would be safe until we could stall them in our new room. We finally left the hotel and went on our way to Harajuku, after we took some outfit pictures. We tried to do that every day, but unfortunately sometimes we forgot or we look super tired, so I won’t always put them in my reports. ;)

Mom and me
Mom and me ready for Harajuku!

While we were walking to Shinjuku station, my parents took pictures. My father had taken my camera, so I was camera-less for almost a whole day! It was actually quite nice. ^^
While walking, I noticed nobody seemed surprised by my appearance. This was exactly what I had expected: Lolitas are so much more common in Japan, I thought no one would care about my appearance. Well, was I wrong. XD

Lolita in Shinjuku
I felt so happy walking in Lolita in the streets of Tokyo! ^^

The sun shone and the temperature was quite nice! My umbrella, who was mainly there to compliment my outfit, came quite in handy. ^^
We passed the hysterical shops, including the incredibly white and neon Labi, whoa.

Dad and me
On our way to the station!

We arrived at the square with the big orange clock. My dad wanted to take a picture of my mom and me from the other side, so he crossed the street. My mom and I were waiting, when suddenly a man walked up to me and asked in a bit broken English if he could take a picture of me. I told him it was fine, so he did. ^^ Then he asked me: ‘Do you have a telephone?’ For a moment my mom and I thought he was trying to hit on me! When I said I didn’t have one, he pulled out his own and asked if I could pose with it. It turned out he was a photographer making a photo series about ‘social media’. I felt relieved, haha! XD After he took more pictures, he asked me if I could write down on a piece of paper if I could write down in one word what social media meant for me plus my name and the date.

Shinjuku Time
Picture by my dad from the other side of the street. You can definitely tell at what time this was. XD

In the meantime, three schoolgirls walked up to us, calling me ‘Kawaii!’ (I was so happy ♥) and they asked me for a picture! I felt honoured and posed with them. They were so sweet! ^^
I wrote down ‘friendship’ on the piece of paper and posed for the last time. I received the photographer’s business card and we thanked each other. Then my father walked up to us, the picture he wanted to take never happened (oops!).
We crossed the street and walked past some people handing out packed tissues. They give these to people to promote a company or a store. In the first days my mom took every single one of them (because she liked it and because she had a cold).
We entered Shinjuku station and followed the signs that said ‘JR Yamanote line’. We walked up to the automatic gates and we could use our Suicas for the first time! They worked perfectly and I squeezed my big skirt through the gate. We walked down the stairs and arrived at the right platform. The metro just drove away, but it didn’t take long before the next one arrived.

Yamanote Line
Waiting for the next metro to come.

We stepped into the coupé and the doors closed. As there were no seats left, we remained standing and my parents took pictures. It was so nice to take the JR line again! The Japanese are so orderly and polite. No one pushes, shouts ‘Pardon!’ in your ear or jumps into the train at the last moment. Everyone is quiet, no one talks on the phone. So nice!
We passed Yoyogi and arrived at Harajuku! When we got out of the metro, I heard one of the lovely little metro musics playing. I missed those! ^^

A Lolita at Harajuku Station
Me at Harajuku station (you can tell who modeled for pictures most on this day)! You can see the famous bridge behind me.

We walked up the stairs and I showed my mom the Innocent World poster, our first encounter with Lolita. While walking to the exit, I immediately noticed that everyone was dressed even more stylish than in Shinjuku! We walked through the gates using our Suicas again and found ourselves in front of the beautiful Harajuku station. My dad crossed the street to take a picture of my mom and me in front of it. ^^

Harajuku Station
Harajuku station is one of the few old buildings in Tokyo. I think it looks so wonderful!

We crossed the street too and continued our way, heading towards Takeshita dori. I had seen on the internet that they had replaced the wellknown gate with flowers and balloons for a new one with a digital sign, flowers and balloons. Now I could finally see it in real life! That gate means a lot to me, because it’s the entrance to Takeshita dori,(or the exit, whichever way you’re going), the heart of Harajuku! It was also very recognizable for my mom, as every time she forgot what Harajuku was again, the only thing I had to say was ‘balloons’ and she remembered again.
Before we got the chance to walk up to the gate, I suddenly got ambushed by a group of about fifteen adorable schoolgirls dressed in dark blue uniforms. The ‘kawaii!’s rained all over me and they asked if they could take pictures with me! I was really flattered (again) and of course I said yes! ^^

Schoolgirls
Me and the adorable schoolgirls! I hope they don’t mind me posting them here.

After that, I spent about 15 minutes posing with the sweet girls, first in a group (and every girl wanted a picture on her own cellphone) and then with every girl solo. At first we did peace signs, then I suggested a heart-sign, which they loved! ♥ My parents had a lot of fun watching us and taking pictures.

Dark blue and bright pink
One of my favourite pictures! The contrast between my pastel-coloured outfit and their dark uniforms gives such an amazing contrast!

After the sweet girls were all done, more people asked me for pictures. Even three tall guys, haha! XD I never expected this, never! I really thought people wouldn’t care about me wearing Lolita, but apparently thy do after all! Maybe it’s because I’m a Western girl wearing the style?
Finally we were able to walk up to the gate and take pictures ourselves. Then we could enter Takshita dori!

Takeshita dori
Welcome to Takeshita dori~! ♪

I thought there were quite some people for a Wednesday morning, but it created a nice atmosphere. ^^ My dad went to get something to drink and I looked down the stairs leading to the Purikura room. My dad suggested to do Purikura later (but we forgot :( ).

Le Ponte
My dad getting drinks in a very colourful alley!

We walked up to the Paris’ Kids, ‘the Japanese Claire’s’ as I like to call it. They had a looot of cute stuff and my mom was enthusiastic too! As this was just our first real day, we decided not to buy anything yet though. ^^
We walked around for a bit, overwhelmed by the colours and sounds of the shops. It was sunny, so Harajuku looked even more beautiful! My mom and I entered a shop where they sold adorable cookie- and chocolate bags!

Chocolate- and Cookiebags
Don’t you just love all the different bags? ^^

We walked on and I discovered a wonderful, old-looking gate between two buildings with the text ‘Jardin de Luseine’. It was strange to find something so… classic between the shops.
My mom was overwhelmed by everything: the colours, the sounds, the shop staff trying to get people into their shops by shouting things in the street. She took a lot of pictures. ^^

Takeshita dori shop
One of the many over the top colourful shops in Harajuku! ♥

We passed the two crêpe stalls next to Bodyline, but as we weren’t very hungry we didn’t buy any. Then two girls walked up to me and asked for a picture. Yay! ^^ I often got asked in Japanese, but as they were holding up either their phone or camera, I understood what was said.
I can’t tell you how amazing the shops in Harajuku are. Even though I have been there before, it seemed like every shop was new to me! (The only thing that I noticed was the fact the shop ManiaQ was gone, but I already knew that.

Mom being red
My mom in front of one of the coloured shops. What they sold? No idea! But it looked great!

As Bodyline was open, we decided to go there! We walked up the stairs and first my dad took some pictures of the shopping crowd, while I filmed a little.

Harajuku view
My dad being all touristy. ^^

Bodyline had been quite a disappointment last year, because of the loud music and the fact you couldn’t try things on. Those two things hadn’t changed, but oh well. ^^ The shop layout was a bit different from last time: the red curtains on the walls were still there, but the clothing racks were placed differently.

Bodyline
Bodyline from the inside. ^^ You can see my dad in the mirrow.

I went looking for the shoe section: my friend Emilie had worn such wonderful Bodyline shoes in Paris, that I had fallen in love with them! I wanted to buy them myself now, but I couldn’t find the shoes. Suddenly I realized the shop was way bigger than I remembered! Instead of the square-shaped shop I was in, there was actually a hall that led to the other part of the store: another square-shaped room. I really can’t remember whether I had seen that part or not last year, but I think I didn’t. ^^’
I found the shoe section and the wonderful shoes I was looking for! After some comparing I decided to try on a white pair, as white is a very versatile colour. I asked a shop assistant if I could get size 25 by first pointing at the shoes and then at a little piece of paper with sizes. She nodded (and said something in Japanese I didn’t understand. People often did that even though it was clear I didn’t speak the language XD), shouted something at a colleague (probably ‘I’m going to get something from behind’), pushed a clothing rack away and disappeared behind a curtain! I swear I thought there were walls there! O_O
She returned with the shoes and I tried them on. I also asked for a size smaller and they turned out to be a better fit. While walking around on them I felt like a ballerina. ^^

Shoe fitting
Not a very flattering angle for a picture, but I still like it. It shows a big part of the Bodyline shoe collection too! And I love how my dad is holding my umbrella. ^^

I decided to buy the wonderful shoes and walked back to the counter. My first purchase: white Bodyline shoes! ♥
In Tokyo the shopping staff is really great. They show you what you’re about to buy, how much it costs and also which size the item is. This is such great service (and you can never claim you didn’t know you got the wrong size or paid too much or something)! The shopgirl asked if I wanted to keep the shoe box, but I told her I didn’t need it. Then I left the shop, with my new shoes. ^^
When I got down the stairs, a girl studying to become a beautician (I believe) asked if she could take a picture of me. Of course it was okay, so she took a picture of my face. I swear I felt like a celebrity!
We briefly visited Liz Lisa and walked on.

Harajuku shopping
My mom and me, happy shopping. ^^

As it was past 12 pm now, Closet Child was opened too! While my dad stayed on the street, my mom and I went upstairs.

Closet Child
Ready to enter Closet Child! I was so excited!

I had told myself in advance that I really needed to look around well this time. Last year I was so overwhelmed by all the Lolita that I forgot to check the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright dresses for example. Well, this time it wasn’t going to happen!
We entered the pink shop and I looked around, just to absorb the Lolita atmosphere. Then I started to browse the Angelic Pretty dresses. They had a lot of wonderful dresses and I pulled out any dress I liked and would (probably) fit. I pulled out Lyrical Bunny in lavender and pink, Little Bird’s Symphonia in pink and white I believe, Tiara Rose in lavender, Happy Garden in lavender and Fantasic Dolly in pink! I showed them to my mom and we examined them both.

Collecting dresses
Collecting dresses in Closet Child! Please excuse my face. ^^’

I quickly decided to put Lyrical Bunny back, as that print doesn’t have my particular interest. I also put Little Bird’s Symphonia back, as I only like it in blue and I only wanted to buy dresses I really wanted. I took a quick look at the AP skirts, but as I highly prefer dresses over skirts that didn’t take long. I looked at a rack with some Metamorphose dresses and quickly discovered Blooming Garden in yellow, the only Metamorphose print and colour I truly love. When I showed the dress to my mom she immediately got enthusiastic. She loved the dress! I also picked out two Baby dresses, one with cherries and one I really can’t remember.
I asked if I could try the dresses on, but as you are only allowed to have a few pieces at the same time in the dressing room, I gave some dresses to one of the shop girls. I took off my shoes and entered the little curtain corner. The fact that I was already wearing a blouse and a petticoat came in handy: I could immediately see how the dresses would look on me in a (half) full outfit. I am not sure in which order I tried the dresses on, but I think I started with Tiara Rose. My mom called out to my dad, so they could judge together (♥ Isn’t that sweet? T_T). I walked out of the dressing room and looked in the mirror. I liked how the lavender dress looked one me and my parents liked it too, so I went on to the next one: Happy Garden. Despite the fact that it fit nicely, I didn’t like the way it looked on me at all. The parental front agreed. XD
Then I tried on Blooming Garden and I when I opened the curtain I was greeted by sounds of approval. My parents clearly liked this dress a lot and I did too. ^^
While I was trying dresses, a girl beautifully dressed in Classic Lolita walked around. My mom really loved her outfit, so she told her so. ^^ Luckily the girl spoke English, so she understood.
Then a little confusion happened (yay for Japanese that don’t speak any English). I wanted to trade the dresses I had tried on for the other dresses, but the shop girls thought my Jewelry Jelly dress was a Closet Child dress! I told them (in Japanese *^^*) that it was my dress and in the end we understood each other and we traded dresses. I tried the two Baby dresses and they fit me (trying on dresses was a lot more fun this time!), but I didn’t like them enough to buy them. I had almost forgotten about Fantasic Dolly, but when I tried it on it was already decided for me: I wanted this dress! I love Fantasic Dolly and even though the red version is my favourite, I loved the pink version so much! When I said I wanted to buy it, my mom was a bit disappointed: she didn’t like Fantasic Dolly as much as Blooming Garden. In fact, she thought Fantasic Dolly was a bit boring (a few days later she changed her mind though ;) ). I don’t know exactly when, but while I was trying on dresses I also noticed a lovely mint Angelic Pretty bolero with bows that was only 2000 yen (20 euros/25 dollars)! I tried it on briefly and since I loved it (and the price), I decided to buy it too. Before I went to the counter I quickly browsed the drawers with wristcuffs and picked out two beautiful pairs: one pink x lavender and one white. Although I doubted a bit about the white pair, I am glad I bought them! I also picked out two pairs of socks: one pink Jewelry Jelly and a Dreamy Dollhouse pair. I went to the counter to pay, where the Classic Lolita had just bought something. We started talking and she told me her name. We also exchanged blogs. ^^ When we walked down the stairs I asked if she wanted to be in a picture together and she agreed. ^^ She was so sweet!

Classic and Sweet
I am not sure if the sweet girl would like it if I show her face, I decided to heart censor. ^^ Don’t you just love her outfit? She was so pretty! ♥

We said goodbye and my mom, dad and me drank a little and did some people watching. We saw a woman wearing a HEMA dress, a very typical Dutch store.
The sun had disappeared behind clouds in the meantime, but the temperature was still very nice.
We followed Takeshita dori, passing a dog clothing shop. When we arrived at the end of Takeshita dori, we decided not to go right in the direction of Laforet, but straight on to the Harajuku Street sign.

Harajuku Street
The famous Harajuku street sign~!

We followed the street and discovered another dog clothing shop. There we met a woman with a dog with a pastel rainbow tail! Very… trendy. XD It did look cute though.
We roamed the quiet streets for a bit. Last year my dad and I hadn’t been here, so this was all new to us. I saw the Putumayo shop and we passed several other interesting clothing stores and a little eating place with a huge ‘Heineken’ flag. My dad took a picture of it: you have to stay proud of your heritage. ^^
After some more walking we found ourselves on Omotesando, Tokyo’s Champs-Elysées. We walked up the high bridge to get to the other side of the street. We walked up to Oriental Bazaar, the Japanese building-shaped tourist shop. There we walked into a group of (probably) American tourists. They walked up to me and said they loved my outfit. ^^ They also asked for a picture, so I posed some more~! They were very nice!

Tourists
Me with the tourists. ^^ I love the background of this picture!

My mom also took pictures of my dad and me in front of Oriental Bazaar.

Oriental Bazaar
I really like this picture. ^^ My sweet dad carrying my bags for me, awww. :3

After that we went inside. We browsed the goods a little. My mom especially liked the pretty boxes on the second floor, but she didn’t buy anything.
We followed Omotesando in the direction of Laforet, passing a Swarovski store (of course we went inside for a moment). When we arrived at the crossing, we immediately noticed a gorgeous building to the right: Tokyu Plaza.

Tokyu Plaza
Tokyu Plaza, one of my favourite buildings ever! Whoever designed this building is a genius!

While the traffic lights were red, I looked at a map of Harajuku. Then we could cross the street. We admired the countless mirrors of Tokyu Plaza, the building that had been under construction last year. Now we could finally see it. The shops inside it were nothing special, but we adored the outside.

Mirror, mirror on the wall...
Looking at the street from inside Tokyu Plaza is like looking into countless different dimensions!

We spent quite some time taking pictures of ourselves in the mirrors too!

Mirror shot
This is one of my favourite pictures of our trip!

We decided to walk on to 6%Dokidoki. While walking we passed a long line of people, waiting to enter the restaurant called ‘Eggs ‘n Things’. This isn’t very special you might think: Japanese people like to stand in line (I swear XD). But let me tell you this: about two weeks before we went to Japan we watched a tv show called ‘Erica op reis’ (‘Erica travelling’). It was the re-run of her Tokyo episode, in which they showed that same restaurant with a huge line. That show was probably two months old and they were still standing in a long line for that restaurant! I wondered what was so special about it..?
We quickly found 6%Dokidoki!

6%Dokidoki
When you know where it is, 6%Dokidoki is hard to overlook!

We walked up the stairs to the bright pink shop. Unfortunately neither Yuka or Vani was there, but the shop girl was incredibly friendly, showing me all kinds of adorable goods. She thanked me wholeheartedly when I showed her my 6%Dokidoki candy necklace.
I basically loved every single thing being sold, but I decided to buy a pair of ‘6%’ and ‘Dokidoki’ rings. I had always wanted a pair and now I had the chance. ^^
No pictures were allowed inside unfortunately, so my dad took a picture of me outside with my purchase.

6%Purchase
Me with my giant purchase! ^^

We continued our way to Laforet. We saw a woman wearing a yukata on the way, very lovely. We crossed the street and before we entered the building, I noticed they had removed the flower-like shop windows in front of it. That made me sad. :(
We entered Laforet and walked down the stairs to floor B1.5, the Lolita floor, passing some colourful paintings. I had seen on the internet that that particular floor had just been renovated and that the Angelic Pretty shop was completely new. It looked very nice on the pictures, so I was eager to see it in real life. After a very short visit to Baby, the Stars Shine Bright we walked up to Angelic Pretty.
The shop was even more beautiful than before: there was a beautiful glass shop window with two mannequins in it wearing Wonder Party, there was a big dressing room with curtains in the corner and the checkout had been moved to the right. The shop looked very pretty (I told one of the shop girls, she was happy ^^).

Angelic Pretty Laforet
Looking at all the prettiness! *_*

I browsed the goods for a bit: there were Wonder Party dresses, Glass Bottle of Tears, Sweet Cream House, Royal Cards, Shooting Star, Dreamy Horoscope and Toy Parade. I did like the Wonder Party dresses (the brown version is very nice), but my favourite version is the pink x sax version and since that one didn’t make the re-release I didn’t buy a Wonder Party dress.

Wonder Party
What do you think? Maybe a future purchase? ^^

When I had looked at everything, I wanted to leave the shop when suddenly something drew my attention. There were big AP buttons arranged on a small table and one had a chocolate print with ‘Angelic Pretty’ on it. When I saw it, I immediately thought ‘Emilie!’ My dear friend loves chocolate prints and since I wanted to buy her a present I thought this was perfect! I loved it so much! I decided to come back later, keeping it in my head.
Since the whole floor had been renovated, some stores were moved, others got removed. The Nile Perch shop looked amazing! All the pastels really drew attention! It’s a shame it’s such an expensive brand. Unfortunately B Be Bee was gone, but Swimmer got a lot bigger! They really have the cutest and most divergent things, from pink candy cane-like umbrellas to clothing hangers! I bought a bracelet and a heart-shaped hairclip there. ^^ My parents liked the shop too!
Swimmer inspired me to do a giveaway for the first time, so keep an eye out for that! ♥
Before we left I decided to buy the button for Emilie after all. I liked it so much, why wait to buy it? ^^
When we got back at the entrance of Laforet, it had just started to rain! Luckily we all had umbrellas with us, but I was a bit scared for my dress. Luckily the rain wasn’t very heavy, so my umbrella was enough.
We returned to Harajuku station, back to Shinjuku. After getting some bread rolls we walked back to our hotel, where my dad went to ask for our new room. Unfortunately it wasn’t ready yet, so we had to wait for a while. We looked at the pictures on our cameras and after about 20 minutes my dad went to get the key, while my mom and I went to get our suitcases.
We took the elevator up the 9th floor, where our new room was located. It was exactly the same one as on the 7th floor, even in the same spot of the hotel, but then two floors higher. XD We took the same beds as in our previous room (after checking he mattresses) and everything seemed fine, except for the fact we each had one pillow. This may sound a bit spoiled, but in our previous room we all had two pillows: one soft one and one filled with hard seeds or something. In our new room we only had the hard pillows, which I didn’t like. I hoped it wouldn’t be a problem.
Since we liked our white, free size bathrobes so much, we took a picture with them. XD Yes, we are crazy like that. These picture ideas aren’t always mine.

Bathrobe fun
My dad, me and my mom in our doctor-like bathrobes!

We ate our rolls (which were delicious *_*) and I uploaded our pictures to my laptop. We looked at them for a while and rested a bit too. I also took a picture of my purchases of the day. You can see the picture at the end of the post. I tried to take pictures every day I bought something, but sometimes I forgot. So some pictures are made at home. ^^
After we rested for a while, we decided to go eat something and then go to Shibuya to see Hachi. It was still raining, but it wasn’t very bothersome.

Shinjuku by night
My dad took this wonderful picture near our hotel.

We decided to eat Omuraisu at MyLord, my dad’s favourite food from last year (I finally know what it’s called now)! Omuraisu is egg filled with rice. It’s quite nice. ^^
I can tell you: Tokyo looks so wonderful in the rain. Sure, I prefer sun, but rain + night = *_*. We decided to take a different entrance to MyLord because of the rain, via the entrance to the station my dad and I took a lot last year.

Umbrellas
My mom and me with our Japanese and Austrian umbrellas. ^^

We passed the bakery we had been to last year (they didn’t have any cups with fruit and whipped cream anymore :( ), the shop where I had bought my sweet pink watch (the shop had changed and I couldn’t find the watches anymore) and we also passed a Paul! Remember the bakeries in Paris called Paul? They had one here too! O_O Of course we took a picture of it. XD
We entered MyLord and took the elevator up to the floor with the restaurant, where we had to wait for a while until a table would come free. People watching is never boring in Tokyo, so we enjoyed ourselves. We could also decide in advance which dish we wanted from the shop window. Original me chose the same plate as last times. I just liked that one very much. ^^’

Omuraisu
My dad with his favourite food! My mom looks a little tired. ^^’

The food was very nice and my dad was happy. ^^ We paid and left the restaurant, walked into the station and took the metro to Shibuya.
When we arrived there it was still raining, but to be honest: the big crossing looked so cool, reflecting the big neon lights and television screens! Like I said: Tokyo by night and rain is very beautiful!
We went to visit Hachi. My mom already knew about him because of my stories of course, but she had also seen the movie only a few days before we left. She liked him very much. ^^ Unfortunately our pictures didn’t come out very nicely, so no pictures here, sorry. -_-
We had a lot of fun crossing the famous crossing (huhu) and we took some pictures.

Neon Shibuya
Mom and dad in Shibuya by night. ♥

Despite the fact the rain made Shibuya look very beautiful, it was still wet so there was not much else to do then to go inside some place. I suggested to go into Shibuya 109, the famous tower shopping center. When my mom heard it is a shopping center with a lot of noise and interesting shops, she immediately wanted to see it. She was very eager to shop during our trip. ^^
Before we entered Shibuya 109, we discovered something very handy: some kind of table was placed in front of the entrance, carrying lots of long, plastic bags. They were meant for umbrellas to be put into them, so the shops wouldn’t get wet! So clever! I’ve seen these tables in many places.
I played a little with the floor guide (it was a big, pink touch screen, what did you expect?) and then we went inside. We started on the upper floor and worked our way down the tower. We arrived on the 8th floor, where MärpleQ is located.

MärpleQ
My dad took some secret pictures again. ^^ I am really happy with this one!

I had seen people wearing the coloured salopettes from this shop and I really wanted one too, preferably in pink. When we entered the colourful shop (it almost hurt our eyes, haha) I quickly found one and I asked if I could try it on. When I exited the dressing room (on socks) my mom wasn’t very enthusiastic about it and neither was I. Somehow the pink salopette didn’t look nice on me. I also saw the red version hanging and since I liked that one too, I decided to try it on. I exited the dressing room, looked in the mirror and got very happy: I loved the salopette so much! Apparently red is more my colour after all! ^^

Red salopette
When I was in the dressing room, my dad asked me to jump out quickly for a picture! ♥

I thanked the adorable showgirl (everyone is just so sweet!) and we browsed some more shops, including Tralala (nothing interesting this time unfortunately) and the OTT deco’d shop Ruby Rose. After a while, we needed to leave. Every shop had loud music and since the shops are all next to each other all the music mixes and they don’t match. ^^ Even I turned a bit crazy there!
Since my mom and I did a lot of shopping that day, we decided to go to Tower Records for my dad. He deserved it! XD
After a bit of walking we found the store.

Tower Records Shibuya
Like many stores in Tokyo, Tower Records is hard to miss.

We just followed my dad into the elevator. There was little screen showing what the security camera was filming, so my mom and I started to act crazy, haha! XD

Elevator fun
Yes, we are crazy people, yaaay~! XD

After my dad had browsed enough, we headed back to the station. You could tell the shops were closing: long lines of people headed home.
We arrived in Shinjuku and went back to our hotel, where we skyped with my brother at home and drank some coffee and hot chocolate. Then we went to sleep. It had been an amazing day!

Chocolates for anyone who actually read everything up to here! ^^’ Seriously, you are amazing! ♥

Purchases day 3
Purchases of the day