Saturday, February 09, 2013

Tokyo ’12, Day 7 – Sumida Aquarium and Harajuku

On Sunday we woke up on time and got dressed. My dad had planned to go to the Tokyo Skytree on this day, because the weather was absolutely beautiful! The sun shone and the sky was clear and blue. After taking some outfit pictures we went on our way.
We left the hotel and got some money at the 7/11 around the corner. We followed the road up to Shinjuku station, where we got some bread rolls at Hokuo. I chose a Meron pan (‘Melon bread’). I am not sure if I had eaten this before on our trip, but let’s just say this was the first time.

Hokuo Bread Rolls
All the wonderful bread rolls and snacks! It was hard to choose! >_< My melon bread is the light yellow one.

We took the metro to station Kanda, where we had to reload our Suicas. From there, we took the metro to Asakusa and from there we took the special Tokyo Skytree line. The station and the metro itself were very crowded. After a while the metro started driving and we could see the enormous tower out of the window!
When we got out of the metro again, an enormous stream of people moved towards the Skytree exit. We followed the mass and walked into the sunlight, went left and went up the elevators. We could see the Skytree above us!
The elevators led into a building with restaurants like McDonald’s. We continued to follow the crowd out in the open again and it was there that I realized this was not going to work. There were so many people! We walked towards what we thought was the entrance, but there was a huge line. We asked a staff member in a very interesting Skytree dress where to go and followed her directions. When we walked around a corner, we found another line and a sign that something like 2 pm - 2:30 pm. The staff members couldn’t explain to us what was going on in English, but I suspected it was bad. I thought the sign meant that the line that was next to it was meant to buy tickets to get up the tower between 2 and 2:30 pm. It was 11 am by then. After asking random people we finally found out I was about right. I believe it was even worse, something about 2-2:30 pm meaning you could stand in line again or something, but let’s just say we didn’t exactly feel like waiting 3 hours in the hopes of buying tickets. My father was not very cheerful at that moment, to say it nicely. Well, we could have expected it. The Skytree is fairly new, it was a beautiful day and it was a Sunday! Oh well…

Tokyo Skytree
The wonderful Skytree. It was overwhelmingly high!

Finally we started eating our bread rolls (we hadn’t eaten anything yet) and my dad went to get something to drink.
I can tell you, my melon bread was so good~! It was sweet and soft on the inside, while the outside was a tad crunchy. I fell head over heels in love with this bread, it was a-ma-zing! ♥
We sat down for a while, not really knowing what to do. The food made us feel a bit better, but we all agreed that waiting to go up the tower would be a bad idea. We decided to come back later that week. Instead, we walked up to the middle of the square in front of the tower and we lay down on the floor in turns to take pictures. It must have been an interesting sight! XD We got up and walked back, until I saw a sign saying ‘Sumida Aquarium’. Suddenly I remembered a wonderful post on a Japan site showing pictures of the new Skytree aquarium with a huge basin with penguins. I suggested to go there instead and both my parents got enthusiastic again!
We went to stand in the (quite short) line and while my dad got tickets, a small group of children and their teachers walked up to the door, all dressed up in the cutest costumes! Two boys were dressed as Woody and Buzz Lightyear and one girl was a ladybug, so sweet! Tokyo loves Halloween, for sure!
We got our tickets and were allowed inside, where it was quite dark (like in every aquarium).
We passed several simple basins with plants and some windows that allowed you to look into a laboratory with basins where tiny baby animals were located. Then we entered a room completely focused on jellyfish. One basin had a lot of beautiful jellyfish floating around in it, while the soft light that shone into it changed colour from time to time. There were also several little basins with tiny baby jellyfish in them. They were so fascinating to look at!

Baby Jellyfish
These cute little jellyfish were only 15-17 days old!

We walked on and found a big basin around the corner with a lot of different fish. While I was taking a picture, my mom said: ‘Look!’. I removed the camera from my face and a big shark was swimming just past me. It scared me to death! XD
Around the corner it turned out the basin was actually even bigger and we could look down to the floor beneath us where people were looking at it too.
Across from the big fish basin, some smaller, rectangular basins were placed next to each other, containing different kinds of animals, from little yellow fishes to huge, big-lipped ones and from worm-like needle fish to rays.

Yellow Fish
This cute little girl was completely focused on the yellow fish.

Next to the rectangular basins was a low fence. When I looked down, I looked right at the penguin basin! I quickly called for my mom and we followed the path that gradually led us down to the huge basin filled with adorable black and white birds. We kept taking pictures of the cute penguins, but it was quite hard because they moved a lot. After a while, a couple of staff members walked into the basin to feed the penguins! From what I could understand, each penguin had a name and you could remember it by the coloured tags on one of their wings. I only remember Ichigo and Sakura, haha! XD

We took this picture while holding the camera above our head. You can see the penguins moving around a lot!

The penguins swam by a lot of times (they’re so fast!) and some staff members who weren’t splashing around in the basin told the audience a bit about the aquarium I guess, but I didn’t understand a word of it of course. ^^

Amazed Audience
On this picture you can see quite well how high the windows of the basin really were!

We looked around the room for a while. You could stand underneath a window of the penguin basin so you could look right into the water of the penguins, but as they were all at the front of the basin and the window was at the back, it wasn’t very interesting. There was also a gift shop and even there they sold Hello Kitty merchandise (and cute animal plushies).
We decided to walk on, passing a sign telling us you could have your picture taken by a photographer and have it placed in front of a cool background. We walked around a dark corner where you could look through bubble-like windows into the big fish basin. I was very surprised to find the little metal plates on the floor meant for blind people to navigate their way around. I mean, why would a blind person go to an aquarium? I guess it’s to accompany family…
We were very surprised to find ourselves at the exit of the aquarium already. The aquarium my dad and I had been last year was much larger. Despite the fact we loved the big penguins basin, I thought the aquarium was quite small. We had fun nonetheless of course. ^^

Sumida Aquarium
My parents at the Sumida Aquarium entrance/exit.

We were a bit lost at that point. It was 12:30 pm, so we still had the whole afternoon left to do things. Then I suggested to go to Harajuku, because Harajuku used to be really great on Sundays. Of course I had read the cosplayers on the famous bridge rarely come there anymore, but I was still curious as to what Harajuku looked like on a Sunday. My parents loved the idea and my mom asked whether I wanted to go in Lolita again. Of course I said yes! Then I realized we didn’t have our tickets for Disney yet. We had planned to go to Disney on Monday and as it was Sunday, we really needed to buy them. We decided my mom and I would go back to the hotel to get redressed, while my dad went to Takashimaya Times Square to get the tickets.
We took the escalators down and went back to the metro station (passing a shop called ‘One! Two! Tree!’ Isn’t that genius!?). We took the metro back to Asakusa and then went back to Shinjuku.
My dad and I sat next to each other, my mom facing us. A man and a woman got in, accompanied by their little son. The little boy had his mother’s iPhone in his hands and despite his very young age, he really knew how to handle it. He looked at the pictures on the phone and switched between them with his finger. He quickly noticed my mom looking at him and started to show her all kinds of pictures. He was cuuute! ♥

iPhone Fun
The little boy showing my mom the pictures. So sweet! ^^

We arrived at Shinjuku station, where my mom and I said goodbye to my dad and went on our way. The weather was so incredibly nice! Tokyo is breathtaking in the sun.

Jump in Shinjuku!
‘Yay, we’re going to Harajuku!’

We arrived at our hotel room, where I quickly made a coordinate with my new Fantasic Dolly dress, combining it with my new head bow, wrist cuffs and accessories. I combined it with a blouse, over-the-knees and shoes and some accessories I had brought from home. My mom also got redressed, to match my pink, white and black outfit! ♥
After a little while my dad joined us with our Disney tickets! Suddenly someone knocked on the door. A tiny girl with a mouth cover came to clean our room. It was quite hard to make her understand we would be gone again soon. XD
We went on our way again, left the hotel and took some outfit pictures.

Fantasic Dolly
I was extremely pleased with my hair that day. ^^

We walked back to Shinjuku station, where we took the Yamanote line to Harajuku. I wasn’t planning to sit down in the metro with my dress (I was full of energy anyway, so sitting was not necessary) when I saw an older lady standing. I showed her the seat in front of me was free and she thanked my wholeheartedly while she sat down (she was way too sweet ^^). I told her it was fine, haha.
We got out at Harajuku (the woman thanked me again ♥) and found ourselves in a big crowd walking up the stairs. It was quite busy, so to say. ^^’
We left the station and walked straight up to the famous bridge. There were no cosplayers indeed, but there was a very cute Lolita wearing Little Bears Café in a very OTT Sweet coord. When she saw me she got enthusiastic, so of course we had to pose for each other’s photographers!

Tokyo Lolita
I love how our outfits match quite well!

Clearly we weren’t the only tourists checking out Sunday’s Harajuku. I got photographed quite a few times, although not always being asked. Oh well, I didn’t really mind it. I asked my parents to take some pictures of me on the bridge. You don’t get to walk around in Lolita there every day!

Harajuku Bridge
I love the light in this picture!

We left the bridge again and crossed the road, where a sweet Japanese girl walked up to me and asked if she could take a picture with me, in perfect English. Of course it was okay, so again multiple posing. ^^ She asked me what my clothing style was and where I got my clothes. It felt quite strange to tell her I had actually bought them around the corner. XD
She asked if she could add me on Facebook, but she couldn’t find me on her phone. So in the end I gave her a link to my blog. ^^

The girl was so cute! Don’t you just love her outfit?

Some more people asked for a picture and then my parents and me went on our way again. We arrived at the entrance to Takeshita-dori but oh my God… It was so crowded! It was really unbelievable. I think my parents were a bit shocked… XD I quickly spotted another cute Lolita wearing Sweet Cream House and she too spoke great English! She was handing out flyers for a shop.

Sweet Cream House
My mom also took a picture of us with the girl’s phone. I have never seen a phone with so many key chains! My mom almost dropped it!

I also saw another (Western) Lolita at the other side of the street and I really think I recognized her from her blog. I was too shy to say hi though. And it was nearly impossible to get to the other side!
We continued our way and walked around the corner to check out some clothing racks, after which we walked on to a shop where my mom wanted to buy some pairs of cute socks. I waited outside of the shop (my petticoat got in the way a bit). I noticed there were significantly more tourists than when we were in Harajuku on Wednesday. Multiple people said I looked very pretty. ^^
My mom bought her socks and we slowly made our way through. We were quite hungry, so we decided to buy some crêpes at the crêpe stall! I don’t remember what we got exactly, but I believe we had strawberry ice cream with cheese cake, whipped cream and strawberries. We walked around the crêpe stall to join the other ‘crêpe eaters’. I swear, it was just like a corner for smokers, only then with crêpes! XD

Pink Crêpes
Our wonderful crêpes! ♥

We ate our delicious crêpes and then went on our way again.
Since Bodyline was next to the stall, we walked up the stairs and went inside, only to quickly leave again. The line in front of the checkout was spread around the whole shop! It was terrible! XD

Harajuku on a Sunday
View from Bodyline’s balcony. So crowded~!

Our next stop was Closet Child, so I could buy the yellow Metamorphose dress if it was still there. My dad made me promise I didn’t try anything on (he didn’t feel very comfortable in the hot crowd) and waited downstairs while my mom and I entered the shop. I quickly found the yellow dress to my great relieve! I would have been disappointed if it was gone, which reassured me I really wanted it and it was worth buying it! Then I noticed new dresses had come in, so I quickly started browsing them. They had so many great new dresses! Petit Patisserie in mint, Cherry Berry Bunny in blue… And then I found two gorgeous dresses covered in roses: Lady Rose! They had the one piece in mint and the jumperskirt in pink. I am not a big fan of one pieces, but when I pulled the jumperskirt out of the rack I fell in love… I had always loved Lady Rose, but it’s even more beautiful in real life! I turned the dress around only to discover it also had a bustle back which I had totally forgotten about! It even had the matching canotier with it! A real princess dress! I looked at my mom, who could easily read my expression. ‘I’ll ask if your dad is okay with you trying it on,’ she said. She knows me so well! My dad was okay with it after all (♥), but I had to wait for a while while another girl was trying on dresses. I felt bad for my dad…
Finally I could try on the dress and I loved it so, so, so much! My mom loved it too on me and I since it had a price you don’t find that easily on the internet, I decided to buy it together with the Metamorphose dress.
So I left Closet Child with two dresses! I felt a little bad about it, but then again: ‘Never regret the things that once made you smile’.
We followed Takeshita-dori and my mom browsed a dog clothing shop for a bit, where a woman with an adorable little dog was shopping.
We left Takeshita-dori and walked into Meiji-dori. We crossed the street to get to Tokyu Plaza, to take some pictures in the mirrors.

Tokyu Plaza Mirrors
We took so many great pictures, I just couldn’t choose one! ^^

It was getting dark and we were getting quite tired, so we decided to go back to the hotel. We went back to Harajuku station and took the Yamanote-line back to Shinjuku, from where we walked to the hotel. My poor mom was so tired.
Back at the hotel my parents rested while I dressed ‘back to normal’. We slept/read/uploaded pictures for about two hours.
Around 7:30 pm we felt better and decided to browse the shops in MyLord a little. My mom really loved that shopping mall!
The temperature was quite nice that evening, we walked around without coats or cardigans. Oh I can’t tell you how wonderful Shinjuku is at night! ♥
We arrived at MyLord and browsed the shops. They had so many wonderful clothing shops! From girly to cool to casual to sweet. My mom was especially fond of the shop Casita, where they had the most wonderful accessories. She bought a neon yellow coloured scarf she absolutely adored.

My mom with her purchase! If you look closely you can see the Baby Tea Party pins she received on her bag. ^^

We had gotten quite hungry and decided to go eat at the buffet restaurant, where they had everything from spaghetti to French fries and a chocolate fountain. We had to wait for a little while until we were allowed inside. The food was so good! I was I had had more room so I could have eaten more! XD

Our different plates.

Around 9:30 pm we left MyLord again (we passed the adorable café Ducky Duck where they had the cutest plates with Alice themes) and walked back through the beautifully enlightened streets. We went to get some money at the 7/11 and then returned to our hotel room. It had been a long and fun day, but we really needed to rest, for the next day we would be going to Disneyland!

Purchases of the day


  1. great day! I really wish to be there on day in the future =)
    And I really like you new design :)

    1. It was! ^^ I hope you will be! =D
      Thanks! I really like it too!

  2. whaaah ;A; you are so super duper lucky to have met those adorable lolitas! I can´t wait to go to japan now ;A;
    Also, I would have DIED in the jellyfish room ;V; I LOVE JELLYFISHES SO MUCH >W< <33333
    Awsome day!<3

    1. Thank yoooouuuuuu! <3
      Haha, I know you love them so I selected my best picture just for you (I am serious here)!
      <3 ^^ <3

  3. I get so excited every time you make a post! It's under a month to my first ever trip to Tokyo! And if I undestood right, we're staying in the same hotel as you did, the Shinjuku Washington hotel? :D Does the staff speak good english?

    Thank you for this entry! Harajuku looks really crowded. XD Is it usually the japanese lolitas who ask for pictures or is it ok to ask them? I've heard that some of them don't like their pictures taken, even if you would be wearing lolita too.

    And to continue with questions that I have been pondering on.. Is ok to try on shoes in the brand store/CC just like that or is there some spefic etiquette in Japan for that? :D I've heard that your not allowed to try on blouses.

    Your outfit is really cute!

    1. Oh I am flattered you like them! =D And how exciting! I hope you have a wonderful trip. ^^
      Yes, the Shinjuku Washington Hotel, that's right! =D The staff's English is okay. Not perfect, but (mostly) understandable. ^^

      Haha, you're welcome? XD <3 Harajuku on a Sunday was... interesting. I really recommend you to go on a weekday, much more comfortable!
      The Lolitas I happened to meet were very happy to take pictures, I did ask them and they were okay with it. They even wanted pictures with their own cameras too. Maybe some are not comfortable indeed, because they don't like their face on stranger's pictures. My only advice is: ask nicely and if they seem hesitant don't push it (not that I expect you to be pushy or anything, but that's the only thing I can think of really). ^^'

      Uhm... I think it is okay. Maybe if you either ask or just point at a pair of shoes they will tell you if it's okay or not. You have to do this with anything you want to try on really. They will prepare it for you. ^^

      Haha, keep the questions coming! If you have any more, don't be afraid to ask them! Whether I can answer them is the next step. ;)

      Thank you so much~!!! <3 I am really happy you think so as I always admire you and your outfits so much!

    2. Thank you for the answers and nice comment about my outfits! :3 One thing I also love about your entries is the fact that your parents seem so sweet and fun! That they are actually interested in everything and look so joyful in all the photos! :D My parents were not interested in going to Tokyo at all, so I'm going only with my sister.

    3. Aw you're welcome! ^^
      My parents are really amazing. I am very happy and grateful they always support me in any way. I am glad other people notice it too, haha! ^^
      Shame your parents don't want to go, it's such a fantastic place! But now you do have some great quality time with your sister. You can make great memories together!

  4. The Yellow one is suppppper cute! The pink too but I think it's too floral for my taste (never thought I'd say that!)

    1. Haha, thank you! The pink dress is VERY flowery indeed, haha! It's a great dress though and it has a gorgeous bustle back you can't see. ;)

  5. Thank you so much for your posts my dear Rosalynn ♥
    They are so full of joy and beautiful pictures !! *o*

    They make me feel like I'm in Tokyo too, seeing all the beautiful things that you see ♥
    So thank you for sharing a part of your beautiful holidays in Japan ! :3


    1. Thank you so much darling! ♥
      You really are too sweet!

  6. I have been reading your blog for some time and you make me desperately want to pack up everything and go to look like you're having so much fun! :)
    I love all these vacation recaps that you are recounting for us and the nice photographs. And also Lady Rose!!! ♥ I am so jealous that is one of my dream prints! haha

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I really hope you will like my future posts. ^^
      Japan is awesome! I hope you can go there someday if you want to! =D
      I am so glad you like my reports! They take sooo much time to make but it's always so worth it. ^^
      Lady Rose! *_* I still can't believe I own it now. I hope one day you'll get it too! =D