Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tokyo ’14, Day 8 – A Very Lolita Day

This post has not been proofread yet, sorry for the inconvenience.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up realising it would be a bit of a different and special day. Because on this day, we would meet up with my friend Emilie! We were in Japan at the same time, which created the opportunity of making our mutual dream come true: spending a day in Harajuku wearing Lolita together! ✩
Also, it would be a National Holiday, so I was hoping things wouldn’t be too crowded.
My mom and I went down to have breakfast and after that, we returned to the hotel room where I did my hair and make up. Putting on my false eyelashes was a nightmare: somehow one side just wouldn’t stick! After at least five times trying and nearly giving up, I succeeded! One must look at her best when visiting Harajuku all dressed up of course! ^^
I had decided to wear my Promenade de Paris dress from Angelic Pretty combined with blue, white and a little pink. I was quite satisfied with my outfit. :3
Around 10 am I was all ready to go and we went downstairs to take some outfit pictures. Unfortunately, my mom’s cold had gotten so bad that she didn’t really want to have her picture taken that day, so I barely have any of her I’m afraid.

Lolita Outfit of the Day
Promenade de Paris for shopping in Harajuku. Do you like my outfit? ^^

We went on our way to Shinjuku station and took the metro to Shibuya. Although we wanted to shop in Harajuku, Emilie and I had decided to meet up at the ultimate meeting place in Tokyo: at Hachiko’s statue.
When my mom and I entered the train, we found ourselves right behind the windows of the drivers (there were two).

I really loved to see all the buttons and how the driver was steering with only a few levers.

It was quite cool to see where the metro was heading, but it was also rather scary! Every electricity pole we passed we only missed by a few centimetres and the few stations we stopped at were so precisely measured and built I was convinced the side of the train would ram right into them! But it was also exhilarating somehow, haha! XD
We arrived at Shibuya and followed the signs to the Hachiko exit. The weather was cloudy and grey, so we were hoping it wouldn’t rain.
We walked in the direction of Hachiko’s statue and after some looking around I heard a familiar voice and spotted a bright pastel-coloured spot in the crowd. We had found Emilie! ^o^
We hugged and I squealed and we hugged again and we couldn’t stop talking about how weird and awesome and strange it was to meet each other on the other side of the world! It felt so weird, I cannot describe it!
Suddenly, a woman got out of the train car we were standing next to (it’s located in the middle of the square in front of the station and serves as a tourist information desk) and she got all excited about our outfits and asked for a picture and asked where we were from and she complimented us a lot! She told us she loved the fact we used our natural hair with our outfits and didn’t wear ‘those fake looking wigs the Japanese girls use’. Emilie and I were both quite flattered about it. :3
Anyway, while my mom was looking at some folders in the train car, the woman offered us some folders (with Kyary on them, hihi) and finally, wished us a pleasant day. She was
so sweet! ♥
We walked up to Hachiko because it was picture time!

Hachiko Meeting
Two Lolitas and sweet Hachiko. :3

I was glad my mom wanted to have her picture taken with Hachiko as well. She really has a special place for him in her heart.

Mom and Hachiko
My mom and her beloved Hachiko. ♥

Now that we were in Shibuya, of course we couldn’t leave without taking pictures on the famous crossing! Already at this point, my mom took Emilie’s camera and hung it around her neck, to take pictures with both cameras, which she continued to do the rest of the day. Thank you so much mom! ;_;

Ready to Cross
Ready to cross the famous Shibuya crossing!

As soon as the lights turned green, Emilie and I started walking while my mom stayed behind and took pictures. It was quite hard for her, since after a few steps, people already started blocking her view, haha!

Colourful Shibuya in grey weather. If you look closely, you can see Emilie and me in the lower right corner. ^^

After the lights turned green again, Emilie and I crossed again, after which we crossed again but this time my mom came along. Everything for the picures of course. :3

Crossing the Crossing
Shibuya Crossing is such a wonderful place! You just have to take pictures there, there is no other way!

We walked into a street and just looked around for a bit. My mom really wanted to visit the Spain Slope again, a small street with cute shops. So we went looking for it. Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought my Shibuya map with me, so my mom and I quickly decided to visit it on our last shopping day.
The three of us decided to go back to the station and proceed to Harajuku, but since the street we were in was so cool and colourful, we decided to take some pictures first. Emilie and I went to stand next to each other and just as we were starting to pose, a group of Japanese friends jumped next to us in one big photo bomb! There were so funny, we just went along with it!

Please excuse our faces, but this picture is just golden! XD

They kept posing until my mom was done taking pictures, haha! They were amazing! I wish I could send them this picture… :3
After the group had left again, we took some ‘proper’ pictures.

Lolitas in Shibuya
A classic hand heart without any photo bombs. ^^

We walked back to the Shibuya crossing, when suddenly a man walked up to us. He started off really friendly and saying we looked pretty in stuff (or at least, that’s what I understood. His English was very hard to understand), but then it got a bit awkward… He asked us how old we were (we are both over 20, so of age in Japan. Coincidence?) and where we were going. When we told him we were going to Harajuku, he asked us if he could come along with us. We didn’t really know what to do, so I pointed at my mom who was taking pictures of something and said we were with her. And then he said something about the fact that she was wearing a nice, short skirt!? Ahem, okay..? Eventually we got rid of him and went on our way again. Now, he was honestly not unfriendly at all, but we felt quite uncomfortable about the whole situation. Well, something I can cross off my list.
We took the metro from Shibuya to Harajuku and this time got out at the end of the station, at the exit right across from the entrance to Takeshita dori. Of course, a picture at the gate is obligatory.

Lolitas in Harajuku
Lolitas in Harajuku. I was sooo excited here!

It was indeed crowded for a Tuesday afternoon, but it was acceptable. We entered Takeshita dori and went right, into the Le Ponte area, to visit the Maxicimam shop! I had completely forgotten about it during the two Harajuku visits with my mom. So now we finally went to
visit it!
We took the elevator one floor up and arrived at the Maxicimam store. Emilie suddenly realised she had actually had dinner right around the corner one time during her stay, but that she had never realised the store was right around the corner! XD
So, the store itself. It was one of the tiniest stores I have ever seen in my life. We didn’t take any pictures I’m afraid, but imagine a sort of half open shop with barely any room to walk into the tiny space that is actually walkable. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the skirt I adore, but my mom did browse some of the cute cardigans they had.
We took the elevator down stairs again and walked to the purikura room nearby. Emilie and I were just talking about how we both had a favourite machine, when we spotted a Neo Dream purikura machine and squealed at the same time that that one was our favourite!
Likeminded spirits. :3
My mom waited outside while we went to take pictures!

A sneaky picture my mom took, hihi. :3

Emilie and I had a lot of fun taking posing. Sometimes we followed the example pictures given, sometimes we made something up ourselves. ^^
While we were taking pictures, my mom discovered a gashapon machine with little hedgehog key chains in it. She completely fell in love and bought three of them. Since they look very much alike, I think they are all the same. But who cares? They are adorable.
When we were done taking pictures, it was decorating time~! Since they were no other people, we had plenty of time to prettify our pictures.

Purikura: one of the best experiences you can have with your friend while in Japan!

After we were done, we walked back to Takeshita dori. It was shopping time! We just started walking, talking, taking pictures and entering the stores we liked. We took a brief look at Paris Kid’s, but it was a little crowded inside and I was afraid I would knock things out of their boxes with my petticoat, so we stayed outside. Emilie told me she had bought some flower crowns as well, but that they had broken really fast, which is a shame. :(
We continued our way and entered the really nice shop where they have super cute bags, but I always forget the store’s name. Emilie pointed out a really sweet bag with a Swiss them on it (they never have Dutch themes unfortunately XD) and we discussed the weird French we had seen in different shops. When we walked out of the shop again, my mom insisted on taking a pictures of us next to the cute clothes displayed outside. I am glad she did. :3

Shop Pose
This picture came out surprisingly cute, plus it shows you some of the adorable clothing this shop sold!

We walked on and ended up at Claire’s. Initially, Emilie didn’t really feel the need to go inside, but I persuaded her to do so after all and she was happy I did: the Japanese Claire’s really sells a lot of different things than the European Claire’s do. This time I took a better look myself as well and there was just so much cute stuff! How I wish Claire’s in my country sold these goods! *o*

Claire's Japan
Shopping at Claire’s in Harajuku. I never expected to find so many cute things there!

I ended up buying two cute items and we went on our way again. We soon arrived at Bodyline and we went inside. We took a look at some of the shoes and my mom showed which pairs she had bought. We didn’t stay for long since we weren’t planning on buying anything that day. When we got outside, my mom suggested to take pictures of us downstairs while she stayed on the balcony. It made for some nice pictures. ^^

View from Bodyline
I love how some people are looking at us and others try to find what we’re looking at!

My mom came downstairs and we walked on. While we were just walking and browsing, it was so nice to catch up on things and to hear what Emilie had been up to. Of course I could follow her moves through pictures she posted on Facebook, but hearing the stories behind them made everything even nicer!
We quickly arrived at Closet Child and went inside.

Entering Closet Child
Ready for some Lolita browsing!

We just browsed all the racks as usual, but not much new was added to the shop. We talked, compared dresses and browsed the accessories for a bit, but nothing caught our particular interest.

Lolitas in Closet Child
Browsing Closet Child together with Emilie was a lot of fun! ^^

Suddenly, I spotted a Lolita dressed in the blue version of Angelic Pretty’s Melody Toys. Although prints like these usually don’t really draw my attention, but as soon as I saw this print on the site I fell in love with it. And now seeing it in real life, my love grew even stronger! *_* I told Emilie: ‘I swear, if I find Melody Toys in blue, I will buy it in a heartbeat!’
Since she looked so lovely, I walked up to the girl and told her she looked cute. She got all flustered and adorable and told me she was wearing Angelic Pretty’s Melody Toys (I know, huhu :3) and she told me I looked cute as well! So then I got all flustered! ♥
We left Closet Child again and the three of us decided it was food time! We hadn’t noticed we had gotten quite hungry, so the most healthy and Lolita-safe solution was of course… a crêpe! ^^ Oh yes, I have eaten a ot of ice cream and crêpes during my trip…
We decided to once again go to Santa Monica crêpes (I swear, they got rich off us) and Emilie and I went to stand in line. Apparently it was busier than normal, because one of the staff members came to hand us a menu and wrote down our numbers once we had chosen.
Emilie’s crêpe was done before mine, so she crossed the street to my mom while I waited for my mom’s and mine.

Crêpe, crêpe, crêêêpe! ♥

When I received my crêpes, I tried to cross the crowded street safely without bumping into anyone and ruining their clothes with my chocolate sauce covered crêpes. When I had almost reached Emilie and my mom, suddenly a random guy pushed his camera right into my face and took a picture, without asking! I was so baffled for a moment that I couldn’t say anything and as soon as I had regained my speech ability, he was already gone. A little further away, I saw him harassing another girl who was holding up a sign for a shop. Luckily, she saw him coming and covered her face just in time. Oh yeah, then he asked her for permission! Luckily she send him away. I mean, what a douche! And hHow can you be happy with pictures of people looking up surprised and in the middle of doing whatever their business is instead of a pretty, posed picture!? I was quite pissed off, ugh!
Luckily, another nice guy came up to us and asked for a selfie with us. Naturally we were okay with it. Someone with decent manners is always welcome.
We ate our crêpes around the corner of the stand and I calmed down again. Talking about fun things always helps. After we got finished we went on our way again (I was secretly hoping to walk into the rude guy again so I could smack his camera out of his hands with my umbrella).
We walked out of Takeshita dori into Meiji dori and went to take pictures in the mirrors of Tokyu Plaza.

In the Mirror
Yay, a picture of my mom~! ♥

Upstairs, we took multiple pictures. The people coming up the escalator must have been wondering what we were doing! XD
Princesses in their Mirror Palace
The princesses looking down at their kingdom…
Just kidding. ;)

The sky was getting quite dark grey by now, but it didn’t matter since we were going into Laforet. Emilie and I both don’t care much for the upper floors, so to the basement we went.
We briefly visited the Etude House shop, but unfortunately they didn’t have the items anymore that Emilie wanted, so we went on our way to the Lolita floor.
The first store we went to was Swimmer. ^^ It was a lot of fun to look around there again (although I really had to make sure I didn’t knock anything off the tables). They had so many cute things! Even when I look at pictures now I see new things I hadn’t noticed when I was actually there!

At Swimmer
I really like this picture. The light is so romantic, haha! XD

Swimmer is such an amazing shop. They have so many useful and adorable things,
it’s unbelievable!
We crossed to the opposite shop; Maison de Julietta! Emilie told me about her experience with waiting in line to get her book signed by Misako! It sounded like a lot of fun, but also like a lot of waiting.
We walked on to Baby/Alice and the Pirates. It was nice to look around there again. Emilie and I showed each other some things we liked, like head bows and the adorable sceptre I will probably love for the rest of my life. ♥

A little look into Baby/Alice and the Pirates and the treasure chest filled with cute bags.

We looked at some dresses and bags and then went on. Next stop: Angelic Pretty~!
*angels singing*

Angelic Pretty Laforet
Despite having posted pictures of Angelic Pretty before, I am sure you don’t mind I’ll show you some more. ^^

I was happy to be back in the pinkness that is Angelic Pretty. The atmosphere just automatically makes me happy. Also, there was a shop girl wearing the yellow version of Whip Showcase and somehow I was really pleased about that. Maybe because I had just bought the blue version myself..? Emilie and I started browsing while my mom, being the smooth criminal/awesome mom that she is, walked around and took secret pictures.

Lolitas in Angelic Pretty
This is basically what we did all day: browsing, comparing and talking.

Suddenly, something happened. A light broke through the clouds (and the ceiling) and shone upon a dress hanging in front of another rack with dresses. It was Melody Toys, in blue, calling to me like a siren. Ahem, ok, no that’s not how it went… ^^’ But I did jump in surprise when I turned around and saw the exact dress I told Emilie I would buy in a heartbeat! Now, when I said that I exaggerated a bit I admit and I certainly wasn’t planning to buy the dress immediately, but I did walk up to it to examine it.
It really was Melody Toys in blue! But I didn’t understand why it was there. Wasn’t it supposed to be sold out? Until wise Emilie suddenly pointed out the price and the fact that it came with a head bow, which indicated that it was a special set (later I found online that it was indeed a very special set, only for sale in selected stores)! After some doubting, I decided to go ahead and try it on. While my mom and Emilie waited, I asked a staff member if I could try the dress on and she prepared it while I took off my shoes.
I entered the dressing room, which was cute as the clothes itself. The walls were covered in Sugar Pansy print wallpaper and in the upper corner was a beautiful Angelic Pretty umbrella wrapped in flowers and tulle. A cute lamp with pompoms hanging from it illuminated the small place surrounded by pink windows.
I had a bit of trouble with closing the zipper myself, so my mom came in and helped me, when suddenly… *pop*… One of the buttons of the straps came off! Oh my God I got so nervous and felt so ashamed! My mom reassured me the staff could easily fix it. I just kept telling myself that (while feeling terrible for wrecking a dress in a store).
Finally, the dress was on and I couldn’t help it: I just needed to take a picture! Even though the sign clearly said ‘No pictures’, I just had to do it! How often do you get the chance to actually try something on in a Japanese Angelic Pretty store? And well, I haven’t exactly followed the ‘no pictures’-rule anyway up until that point, so well. Oh God, I am evil… ^^’

Melody Toys
I couldn’t believe it: I was trying on a dress in an Angelic Pretty fitting room!

I walked out of the dressing room and looked in the mirror. I loved the dress, truly, but something held me back. While I was doubting, a sweet shop girl walked up to me and adjusted something, when she discovered the loose strap. I thought I would die of embarrassment, but when I gave her the button she was completely okay about it, even apologetic! So it was no problem after all, pfew!
I was still doubting and needed approval from judge Emilie and judge mom, who ultimately got me over the line to buy it and I haven’t regretted it ever since! ♥
I took the dress off again, somehow managed to put my other dress back on and then looked around the shop some more with Emilie. I also found the mook I wanted to buy, so I added it to my purchases.

Paying at AP
Lolitas buying Lolita items in a Lolita shop. ✩

While the shop girls were preparing our purchases, one of them got out a needle and some blue thread and sewed the popped button right back on, within the blink of an eye. I was very happy about that!
The shop girls walked us out of the store, thanked us and we went on our way again. ^^
We left Laforet again (passing a Ladurée make up shop) and decided to head for Harajuku bridge to take some outfit pictures (because we didn’t have enough pictures of course :3). Once outside, we took a purchase picture with our pink bags.

Angelic Pretty Pink Bags
Angelic Pretty pink; the colour of happiness. ♥

We started walking again, but before we went on to Harajuku bridge, we first entered the store where my mom had seen her camera bag. She could finally buy it!
We entered the small, round store and quickly found the bag. It was available in black and brown and it was also on sale! My mom doubted a moment between the two colours, but in the end went with black. :3

Mission Accomplished
Mission accomplished!

We walked on and soon arrived at Harajuku bridge. We had barely set foot on the grey stones or we got asked for pictures by a bunch of older ladies. They were so sweet!

Tourist Snap
I always love it when people want to pose with me or with friends!

We crossed the bridge to take pictures in front of the stone wall, but it took a while before we actually had the chance. A lot of people that passed asked us for a picture (and some didn’t, but let’s forget about that). Everyone who passed with us was incredibly kind and interested in the fashion. One group of girls turned out to be Dutch, so I could explain to them in my own language what style we were wearing. Finally, we had the chance to take pictures ourselves.

Yellow, Pink and Mint
Emilie in yellow, pink and mint. ♥

I really loved how Emilie bow in her matched her bolero so perfectly! I also really liked her wristcuffs! They weren’t elastic, but had click buttons!

Blue, White and Pink
Me in blue, white and pink. ✿

My mom also took some pictures of us together. I really like the result! Although our outfits didn’t really match so much in colour, the pastels still looked really nice together.

Together with my dear. ♥

It started to rain a tiny bit, so we decided to go back to the purikura hall to take
more pictures! ^^
When we arrived there, it had gotten a bit more crowded. While my mom waited outside, sitting on the ground, we looked around. We decided not to do the NeoDream machine again, but we tried the ‘GirlyMac Style’ and the ‘Oh my Girl II’ machines. We especially liked that last one, because it made a collage of our full body shots!

More purikura~!

We finally realised we had gotten tired and my mom and I suggested Emilie would cake with us to our hotel to have some rest. We went back to the station, took two quick instant pictures and then returned to Shinjuku, where we rested for some time while the rain fell from the sky.
We discussed a bit about what to do for dinner and Emilie suggested she’d show us the izakaya (Japanese pub) her brother had taken her. After that we could visit Closet Child Shinjuku and Marui Annex. It sounded like a lot of fun, so my mom and I agreed. So off we went again, Emilie and me still in Lolita.
We walked for a while in the direction of the ‘robot skyscraper’, until Emilie suddenly went left into a building and my mom and I followed. We stuffed ourselves into the tiny elevator and went up some floors, after which we arrived right at the doorstep of the izakaya.
Emilie led us inside a bit of a dark restaurant with wooden tables. We sat down and she explained to us how it worked: there was an iPad-like screen on the wall on the left and we could choose anything we wanted. The menu was in English as well (!) and the prices were clearly indicated. Water was on order and for free. After some looking down the menu, we decided ordered something delicious with noodles and egg (but I forgot the name of it) and some gyoza. There were also free edamame beans, which were delicious. Not long after, the food and water (in huge glasses) arrived and it was time to eat!

Good Food
This stuff was sooo good! I am glad Emilie recommended it! *_*

Unfortunately, my mom confessed to me later that thanks to her cold she had barely tasted anything! Poor her, the food was so good… :(
After we had finished, my mom paid for all of us (♥) and we left the izakaya again. It was quite a wonderful experience (except for the smokers next to us XD).
We went on our way again, this time to Closet Child Shinjuku. We climbed the narrow stairs and looked around for a bit, but nothing really caught my attention.

Pink Dresses
Dresses everywhere~!

I did however find an adorable pink tulle skirt for 1250 yen that was just too adorable to leave behind, so I decided to get it. ^^
we left Closet Child again, went into a convenience store to get some drinks (and where I embarrassed myself by dropping every single coin I had in my wallet on the counter) and went on our way to Marui Annex, the replacement department store of what used to be Marui OIOI.

Shinjuku by Night
Shinjuku, beautiful by day and night.

We followed Emilie, meeting two adorable Lolitas along the way, and soon arrived at Marui Annex. It looked quite different from what I expected.

Marui Annex
Marui Annex, the new Marui OIOI.

We took the escalators up to the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and Angelic Pretty floor. Next to the elevators where special shop windows and of course I had to take a picture of the one Angelic Pretty had made.

Berry Garden
Berry Garden on display for Angelic Pretty. ♥

We also passed a shop window for an accessories shop that featured pictures of my Facebookfriends Lunie and Marie. That was pretty cool. :3
We walked around the corner, passed the Metamorphose shop, briefly browsed the Baby shop (where they were vacuum cleaning, hihi) and arrived at the Angelic Pretty shop.

Angelic Pretty Marui Annex
Angelic Pretty at Marui Annex.

The shop was really big! And there were like four shop girls! The shop was really pretty, with fancy wallpaper and an awesome pouf to sit on (which my mom did gratefully). Emilie and I browsed the store and I quickly found two items to my liking: a pink barette bow and the wristcuffs Emilie was wearing in blue. After some doubting, my mom recommended the wristcuffs so I got those.
One of the shop girls in particular looked incredibly adorable, although I questioned her use of red shoes in an outfit that had no red whatsoever. She was a-do-ra-ble though and she was so kind, showing me all kinds of things. Ugh, she was too cute! ♥
I paid and we left the shop again. We decided it was enough for the day and we left Marui Annex. We walked to Shinjuku station, where finally, after a long day, it was time to say goodbye to Emilie. We hugged and fake cried and then officially said goodbye. I waved at her until I couldn’t see her anymore.
My mom and walked around the station, I bought a (really nice) drink at McDonald’s and we returned to our hotel room, where I could finally change into my pajamas.

McDonald's Drink
This drink was so nice!

I took pictures of my purchases, my mom and I talked and then we went to bed.
Emilie and I managed to make our dream come true! I am so happy I was able to have this experience with her and no one will ever be able to take that away from us!
It was amazing…♥

Purchases of the Day
Purchases of the day

Thursday, July 17, 2014

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.

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! ^^

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.

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 of the day