Friday, May 23, 2014

Tokyo ’14, Day 3 – Lolita in Harajuku and Shopping in Shibuya


Long post ahead~! Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you! ;) No seriously, it’s really long! Be prepared.

On Thursday we woke up with some trouble. The new time zone was still a bit strange, but we were getting there. The fact we had planned to go to Harajuku on this day, also helped us waking up! ^^
I took a shower while my mom got dressed, jumped into some pants and a t-shirt and we went downstairs for breakfast! Strange as it may sounds, I was really looking forward to breakfast in the hotel. I love breakfast on holiday in general anyway. :3
We arrived at the restaurant in the hotel and handed in two breakfast tickets. We put our yellow card on a table (to indicate to other guests that the table was taken) and went to get food. There was both a Western style and a Japanese style side. Although I love Japanese food, I cannot deal with rice in the morning. It’s just too much for me. So basically every morning I went for the yoghurt with blueberry sauce, almond jelly (so good and jelly-ish!), cucumber, tomatoes, scrambled eggs, chicken nuggets(?) or baked eggs, little baked potatoes, juice and milk. Apparently Japanese think Western people always eat fries or other snacks at breakfast? In our previous hotel they always had fries for breakfast as well! Typical.

Hotel Breakfast
Breakfast tastes so amazing when you’re on holiday! :3

After our delicious breakfast, we went upstairs again because I had to get redressed in Lolita~! ♥ My sweet mom waited patiently until I had done my hair and make-up (false eyelashes, ugh) and also helped me with my dress. I finally could wear my beautiful light blue Dreaming Sherbet dress from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright I had kept especially for this occasion. I love this dress so much and in this outfit I felt more like a Classic Lolita than Sweet, which was nice! Around 10:30 am I was done and we were ready to go!

Harajuku Outfits
Our outfits of the day! I’m afraid you’re going to see pictures of me mostly: my mom took so many! *_*

After taking our outfit pictures, I realized I had forgotten my umbrella (nooo!), so I went upstairs to get it. Back in the elevator, I got joined by an older, Western couple I had seen at breakfast already and they immediately bursted into compliments about my outfit. ♥ They asked if I was dressed in traditional clothes from my country (uhuh, no XD) and where I was going now (they had never heard of Harajuku before!) and if they could take a picture, which was ok of course! They were so nice! :3
We crossed the street and entered the post office, since we discovered there were ATMs there! Both my mom and I got some money and we went on our way to Shinjuku station. There, we had to recharge our Suica cards and after we had passed the gates, we walked to the platform of the green Yamanote line. The train just drove away when we got down the stairs (we seemed to have this almost every time we took the Yamanote line XD), which gave us time to take some pictures of the station.

Direction Harajuku
The Yamanote line, one of the most convenient metro lines in Tokyo!

The next train arrived really quickly and we patiently waited until we could get in. There were no more empty seats, so we had to stand. But since Harajuku was only two stations away, it wasn’t a problem at all. ^^ Also, my mom managed to take some pictures of me in the moving train and they turned out so cute! =D

Lolita in the Metro
Ready for a Harajuku day! :3

We arrived at the station and got out of the train, when one of the typical station tunes started playing. I had missed them, they’re so cute! ♫
We walked up the stairs, through the hall (passing the Innocent World advertisement) and exited the station. I really love Harajuku station: it’s so different from all the other stations in Tokyo!

Harajuku Station
This picture was actually taken a little later, but I am conveniently ignoring that
because of lay out appearance. :3

The sun was shining brightly and we decided to take some pictures on Harajuku bridge. Although the light was very bright and a little hard on my eyes, my mom took quite some nice pictures!

Harajuku Bridge Outfit Pictures
Taking outfit pictures on the famous Harajuku bridge was so much fun!

I tried my best to look cute and smiling, but the sun was so bright I kept looking down to prevent myself from tearing up. But sometimes this can result into the best pictures! The next picture is one of my favourites my mom took of me during our entire trip!

Harajuku Lolita
I love this picture so much! ♥

My mom guided me a bit around the bridge to take nice and creative pictures. It was so great to be her model! *o*

Harajuku Bridge
Harajuku bridge is just an awesome place to take pictures!

After taking pictures, we went on our way to Takeshita Dori. We were both very excited: my mom and I had been looking forward to shopping there for weeks! While walking, we passed a building with a billboard that showed the members of the band One Direction. It’s so amazing to see posters of Western bands so far away!
Finally we arrived at the Takeshita Dori gate and of course we had to take some pictures there. :3

Takeshita Dori
The gate leading to shopping heaven!

We walked into the street and immediately went right, into the ‘Le Ponte’ part. We were hoping we would find my mom’s destined camera bag there, but before we could browse for a bit, a couple of school girls walked up to me. They asked me for a picture, all while going ‘Kawaii kawaii!’ I was so happy, of course I wanted to take a picture with them! ^^

Taking Pictures
When people want to take pictures with me I feel so flattered! ♥

My mom and I walked on to some shops and we immediately got confronted with the cutest items! There were two shops next to each other where they sold the most amazing bags, shirts and even cutified Croc shoes! Items I would never find anywhere in my own country.

Cute Items in Le Ponte
Some examples of the first things we saw.

There was also a purikura place. I love purikura. :3
Despite all the cute bags, my mom’s camera bag wasn’t there, so we left the alley again and walked back into Takeshita Dori. On our right was the stairs to the little purikura hall I liked so much and we went downstairs. There were different machines than last time of course. I missed the Kyary machine a bit, that one had such cute options! I exchanged some money for smaller coins, but we decided to come back a little later since it was a bit crowded.
We went upstairs again and walked on to the Paris Kids’, or the Japanese Claire’s as I like to call it. I swear, if we had this shop in my country I would go there every week! They have such amazing jewelry! *_*

Paris Kid's
Paris Kid’s truly is accessories heaven to me! ✩

Of course, when we entered the shop, we were greeted by the entire staff working there with an ‘Irashaimase~!’ in unison. I had missed that and I still loved it. :3
I immediately spotted multiple things I liked, like flower head bands and cute choker necklaces. My mom was also quite tempted by several items. While we were browsing, my mom spotted a Western man sitting outside of the Daiso shop, clearly waiting for his wife. It was quite funny. XD
Even though we were quite tempted to start spending money at Paris Kid’s, we decided to come back later and walk on for now.
We returned to the purikura hall and this time it was less crowded. My mom suggested I’d go alone this time. I chose the incredibly pink ‘I ♥ P’-machine (P stands for Photo, Pink, Purikura, etc)!

Purikura
Ready for purikura! I cannot express how much I love this invention! ♥

I had to get used to the machine for a moment (everything Japanese >_<), but I managed to choose my backgrounds and music and other options. Then I went to take pictures! It was a bit strange to do it by myself, but also fun! The machine made my dress extra long instead of my legs though, that was funny. x)
When I was done, it was decorating time! It was a lot of fun (and this time I remembered where to find the eraser, haha)! I really liked the pictures. :3

Purikura Cuteness
Some examples of the pictures I took and decorated! I was very happy with the result of my deco skills!

We went back upstairs again and continued our way. We briefly looked around at Daiso (in case you don’t know it: it’s a store that sells the most varying items for cheap) and then went into a street we had never been before.
I had made a shopping map beforehand, so this time we visited some more shops we hadn’t been before. We briefly went into Conomi, a shop that sells school uniforms. There were so many cute uniforms and accessories! They were a bit expensive though, but so pretty nonetheless. We also visited the SBY Happy Room shop just across from Conomi.
After that, we went to a shop across from SBY on the second floor, called Fancy Pocket. It was completely new to me, but it was so cute! *o* They sold all kinds of really colourful accessories and writing utensils. I didn’t buy anything eventually (I wonder why..?), but it was such fun walking around there)!

Fancy Pocket
This cute shop was too hidden in my opinion! So much cuteness! ♥

Outside, my mom took some pictures of me on a couple of stairs with pretty flowers and then we walked back to Takeshita Dori, passing a stall with more cute accessories (so many accessories, uuhhh ♥). We walked for a bit and arrived at the Claire’s, the only originally Western shop in Takeshita Dori (or as far as I know..?). Since I used to work there, I had to pose in front of it, haha! Even though I know the Claire’s collection in my country really well, I wanted to see whether the Japanese Claire’s had different items. And wow, did they! They had so many different accessories, it could have been a different shop! I am quite jealous of the Japanese Claire’s customers. ^^’
We passed so many amazing, colourful and awesome shops. I don’t even know how to describe them (and for a change, I won’t try. I am already writing so much XD). I did notice there were some recurring trends. As summer was nearing, fruits like cherries, strawberries and even lemons were present everywhere (especially cherries), especially on necklaces and earrings. Also accessories with shells on them, preferably with a pearl. Clothes in pastels and with a checkered pattern were sold everywhere. So basically, everything I love! ;_; ♥ I also saw a lot of items with very wrong English texts on them, as usual, but also
a lot of French!
We passed a wall (to hide a construction site) covered in posters of dolls and arrived at Bodyline.

Bodyline
The Bodyline building really stands out a lot with its golden stairs!

My mom had told me that she had wanted to buy a pair of shoes there already last year, but she ended up not doing it. This year she was determined to get a cute pair of shoes! And so did I. :) We went up the stairs and entered the store, where they were still playing the same Disney remix music as the year before! 0_0 Poor staff members! They were incredibly cheerful and friendly nonetheless. Respect to the Bodyline team!
We walked around the corner and to the shoe section, where my mom and I started browsing. There were so many cute shoes, I didn’t know where to start! After some browsing, my mom found some pairs she liked, but decided to try them on and buy later that week, since otherwise we had to walk around with our new bought shoes all day long.

Inside Bodyline
One of the walls in Bodyline, covered in dresses and tulle tutus.

Just as we wanted to leave Bodyline again, I spotted something I thought was very funny. I don’t know if you know Bodyline’s owner, Mr. Yan, but he is very typical. Well, I spotted a wallpaper on a Bodyline computer, of him photoshopped in front of a beautiful Greek town. It was so weird but funny! x) Finally, we left Bodyline again.

Takeshita Street View
Takeshita Dori seen from the entrance of Bodyline. It was such a beautiful day!

There were a lot of amazing clothing stores that we passed. So many cute outfit
possibilities! *o* There were a lot of things not my usual style at all, but they still looked so amazing on mannequins or shop girls!

Stylishness
My mom with some cute outifts. ♥

We walked on and passed Liz Lisa (where I had to go inside for a moment to look at the beautiful clothes again) and then… we arrived at Closet Child!
In case you’re new here: Closet Child is a shop in Japan that sells second hand Lolita clothes. There are three shops in Tokyo and one of them is in Harajuku (well, duh).
My heart was pounding at this point! Closet Child can make dreams come true, but can also be disappointing. I was hoping for a dream scenario of course. We walked up the stairs and entered the shop, where everything seemed pink thanks to the pink curtains in front of the windows. I breathed in for a moment and then my mom and I started browsing together and showed dresses to each other.

Closet Child Harajuku
Some pictures in Closet Child. So many dresses! *o*

It was a lot of fun and my mom was so involved! I was lucky in the Angelic Pretty part: there were multiple dresses I liked, like Fruits Parlour in red, Petit Patisserie in brown, Magical Étoile in red (my mom hated that one though) and then… Wonder Cookie in white! ♥ One of my top wishlist dresses! ♥ In exactly the colourway I loved the most! ♥ Iiiiiiih! ♥ *scatters hearts everywhere* I couldn’t believe it! It looked so pretty and the colours were so vibrant and beautiful! Of course I immediately added it to my collection of ‘want to try’-dresses. When my mom saw it, she immediately loved it too!
Despite having collected all the Angelic Pretty dresses, we kept on looking through all the other dresses. I had told myself to check everything so I wouldn’t miss out on possible dream items. And then, while browsing the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright dresses, my mom found two Dessert One Pieces in black! I had tried on a pink version in Paris once, but unfortunately the zipper was broken. Which was a big shame because I loved the dress! I had told myself that one day I’d buy a Dessert OP, no matter the colour and since I was looking for a completely black dress, this seemed meant to be. And when I read the price, the deal was sealed! It was 4800 yen, a little less than 50 euros! Can you believe it!? Later we found out the currency was so positive for us, it was even less! Oh my God!
We also found a cute cutsew dress from Baby and finally, I went up to the counter and asked if I could try my chosen dresses on (in Japanese, I had practised this sentence). I had over three dresses, so the set got split up and the shop girl unzipped and loosened the dresses for me (not very well so I’ve learned, but this time I knew. Whatever you do when you are at Closet Child: loosen the corset lacing yourself!).
Already wearing a petticoat and blouse really came in handy again while trying on. It really shows you the potential (or not) of a dress. My sweet mom helped me with all the fitting, she was so sweet and patient! I am not quite sure which dresses I tried on, but I do remember Petit Patisserie. It would have been wonderful to buy that dress so I could match with Emilie’s pink version, but… it didn’t look nice on me at all! The colour was just weird on me, I don’t know. Anyway, it was a definite no, also from the mother side.
Maybe I tried on something else, I don’t remember, but then it was Wonder Cookie time. When it was on and closed, my mom’s reaction (‘Wow, okay! Yes, definitely yes!’) made it clear before I could look in the mirror. When I did, I got so happy! The dress is just so beautiful, I needed to take it with me!
After that, I tried on the black Dessert OP. Despite adoring it already, I was a bit nervous: the dress had no shirring anywhere. But when I put it on and my mom closed it, it fit! Like a glove! Perfection! Not taking this dress with me would be foolishness, so I ended up choosing two dresses! *_*

Trying on in Closet Child
Secret picture taken by my mom. :3 What do you think?

I got dressed into my own clothes again and told the shop ladies I would take the two dresses, but needed to get extra money first. While my mom stayed behind guarding my soon-to-be purchases, I went to look for the 7/11 to get money (initially I walked straight past it, stupid me). When I got back, I first browsed the accessories and chose two Chocomint rings and a pink bow clip to replace my broken one at home. From the brand jewelry cupboard I chose a gorgeous blue Baby, the Stars Shine Bright bow necklace (I like bows, okay? XD) and an Angelic Pretty mint Jewelry Jelly ring. My mom had also found an Innocent World bonnet for a ridiculously low price and I decided to get that one too. Finally, after at least an hour in the shop, I paid and we left Closet Child again. By the way, if you want to check all my purchases, just scroll down this post and you’ll find pictures. :)

Purchase Picture
Me with my purchases! Closet Child has bright pink bags now instead of dark red. ♥

My mom and I had gotten quite hungry, which only meant one thing: Harajuku crêpe time! After all that Lolita time, I owed my mom some food! XD After some doubting, we decided to try a new shop: Santa Monica Crêpes. It looked so pink and inviting, we had to try a crêpe from them! After looking at all the examples, I went to order two crêpes. Since I didn’t dare to order in Japanese, I wrote the numbers of our choices down. That helped. ^^ We quickly received our delicious crêpes.

Santa Monica Crêpes
My mom in front of Santa Monica Crêpes. The examples behind her are only a few of the complete assortment!

We walked around the corner to sit down on a little wall and to eat.
In order to protect my dress, I thought I had chosen a ‘save’ crêpe, with not too much stuff, but well… red berries and sauce are not so save after all. x) My sweet mom offered her red cardigan as protection until I was done. Luckily, I didn’t spill anything.
After our delicious (but incredibly heavy) crêpes, we went on our way again. We passed an amazing candy shop called Candy A Gogo, where a shop girl in a cute uniform offered me some candy to try. It was really good. :)
When we arrived at the end of Takeshita Dori (still looking out for my mom’s camera bag, but still not finding it), we went right, walked on and passed the building where Innocent World was located. I asked my mom if she wanted to see it and she said yes, so we entered the elevator. I had had an awkward situation there with my dad during our first trip and now my mom and I took the wrong elevator! This place is doomed, I swear! XD
We got out at the floor where Innocent World was located and entered the shop.

Innocent World
Innocent World, another one of those hidden shops.

We looked around for a bit, but barely dared to touch things. The atmosphere in the shop made us feel like something could break at any moment. x) The Classic Lolita and her mom were in the shop as well. My mom really loved the new hydrangea dresses line, but other than that she thought the shop was a bit boring, so we left again.
We arrived at the crossing in front of Laforet and my mom and I discussed where to go next. We decided to take some pictures in the mirrors of Tokyu Plaza, so we crossed the street. Unfortunately, some of the mirrors had been covered by blue stickers, probably as part of a promotion, so the effect was a little less nice than last time. But the view from the top of the escalators was still amazing!

Tokyu Plaza
Tokyu Plaza’s entrance is like a portal to a different dimension! ✩

We decided to cross the street back again and go to Laforet. Before we entered, my mom agreed to take some outfit pictures in the shade this time. I know I already posted outfits pictures but I just love these so much! ;_; ♥

Triplets
I lightened these pictures up a lot because of the shade, which resulted into this.
I love the result! *o*

We entered Laforet and went straight for the lower Lolita floor. The first shop we bumped into was Swimmer, where I immediately fell in love with a bag! It was a transparent, heart shaped bag in either pink, lavender or black with the text ‘Toutes les filles sont des princesses’, the only French text that actually made sense. It came in two sizes and I was in love!
We browsed Swimmer for a bit and then I walked into Maison de Julietta, the Lolita transformation shop. It was sooo much smaller than I had expected! Even though there was a dressing room behind it, it was tiny! It looked very pretty nonetheless. The shop girl was very friendly and offered me two folders about Maison de Julietta; one in Japanese and one
in English.
We walked around the corner and entered the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright/Alice and the Pirates shop. I looked around for a little while, they had such cute items! Especially a sceptre with a little crown on it drew my attention. :3 There was a shop girl standing next to me, folding items, and I told her my dress was Baby as well. She wasn’t very enthusiastic about it, so to say. ^^’ She seemed a bit moody…
We left Baby again and walked on to pink heaven aka Angelic Pretty. ♥

Angelic Pretty Laforet
Angelic Pretty. Never have I seen a pinker shop than Angelic Pretty. ✿

While I browsed the shop, my sweet mom took secret pictures (it may be bad but she got quite good at it XD). Although the Sweetie Violet line had just come out the week before, there were no dresses left. Only a skirt or two and the dresses in the shop window. The print looked very lovely, especially the navy version. They did have the navy Sweetie Violet socks that I really loved, but I decided to buy them sometime later (bad decision: when I got back they were gone and I didn’t find them anywhere else. *sniff*). They also had a Berry Garden dress on a mannequin It looked nice, but certainly not tempting to buy it. There were many more dresses (like the quite ugly Alice in Wonderland comic print), but nothing that drew my attention much (except for Sweetie Violet maybe).

Sweetie Violet
Do you like Sweetie Violet? This print just keeps growing on me! *_*

After browsing nearly every item, we left Angelic Pretty again, walked past some shops and entered Nile Perch. The shop girl there was a bit moody too unfortunately, but I just looked around briefly and then left again. Despite loving Nile Perch items, they are ridiculously expensive, in my opinion. Although I did see some really cute buttons I considered buying, but I ended up forgetting about them.

Nile Perch
If you’re looking for pastels, Nile Perch is the place to be!

We walked on again and went back to Swimmer and browsed there some more. It’s unbelievable how they manage to stack this shop. Every inch is covered in cute accessories!

Swimmer
This is just an example of what you find at Swimmer. :3

We decided to leave Laforet again. Once outside, I wanted to take a picture posing in front of the Vivienne Westwood store. I didn’t even enter it, I just wanted to have it on picture. XD
We sat down on a little fence for a moment to rest a bit. It’s these little , insignificant moments that can lead to amazing, simple pictures.

Harajuku Crossing
My mom took too many nice pictures on this day! I love this one so much as well! ♥

It was around 3 pm by now, which meant we had walked around for four hours already without any breaks! But we had so much adrenaline that we didn’t sit around for long. I suggested to visit Baby’s second store a little further away and we went on our way again, but not before we took a selfie! We needed some pictures together of course. :3

Selfie Time
♥ ♥ ♥

We crossed the road and kept on walking, until we passed a drinks vending machine. We got some water (how adventurous) and walked on, until we reached a door with the Baby logo on it! We went inside, passing a sign with a picture of Misako on it and walked up the stairs.
The shop was smaller than I expected after having seen pictures of it, but it was also very cute. The dresses and items were displayed so beautifully. We browsed some dresses (my mom especially liked ‘Labyrinth in the reminiscent mirror’ in lavender) and I looked at the cute sceptre again. Two shop girls were busy with unpacking boxes, but when I told them I was wearing a Baby dress I got from Baby Paris (well, not really, but well) they got really happy and thanked me for supporting their brand. That was really sweet! ♥ After that, we left the shop again.

Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Harajuku
I quite liked the Baby shop’s location. It looks fancy and you can actually spot it
from outside.

We left the shop again and walked on a little, passing the MILK shop. We didn’t go inside and walked on, while I was looking for the Ribbon Cerise shop. I couldn’t find it (although I didn’t look that well) and we decided to go back to the crossing in front of Laforet and walk into Omotesando instead.
After some walking, I noticed an incredibly colourful shop called ‘Candy Showtime’. It was on my map, because I remembered Rinrin telling us about it at the Kawaii Event. My mom and I decided to walk down the stairs and expected to walk into a big shop, but it was tiny! The smallest shop I had ever seen! There was just the stairs and then about 4m2 with a check out and candy on the walls! It was amazing! *_* I looked around for a bit (there wasn’t that much to see, haha) and the shop girl was really cute! She let me taste some candy and it was so good that I decided to buy some! Back upstairs we had to take pictures of the cute shop entrance of course! After that, we had a bit of a misunderstanding with a guy. My mom thought he wanted to take a picture of us, while in reality he wanted to take a picture for us. It was quite funny. XD

Candy Showtime
The entrance and stairs of the shop. All those colours!

We decided to cross the Omotesando street by bridge. We passed a man on a bike with the cutest puppy in the front basket ever and walked up the stairs. On the other side of the street, I checked my map. We wanted to see the famous ‘Cat Street’, but it was a little vague where it was located exactly. We walked into a street I thought was the right one and kept walking. We passed the Candy Stripper store and I wasn’t so sure this was the right street anymore. But the Candy Stripper store front looked so nice, a picture needed to be taken!

Candy Stripper
We didn’t even enter the store, but I love how this picture came out!

We wandered around a little bit, looking at the shops and apartments above them (living in Harajuku must be super expensive, but what a location!). We walked into a side alley and it was so quiet there! When I think of Harajuku, I think ‘colours’, and ‘noise’ and ‘liveliness’! But this place was so quiet and calm… It was amazing.

Cat Street Alley
The other side of Harajuku.

We went left, passed an apartment with a super cute barking Dachshunds and ended up at 6% Dokidoki! Apparently the street we had walked in before was the right one after all. x)
I really love 6% Dokidoki’s location. It’s a super bright and pink apartment with yellow balcony fences in the middle of a normal, grey street. It really shows what the brand is about I think!

6% Dokidoki
6% Dokidoki! I love both the shop’s name and location!

We went up the stairs and entered the store. Recently they had a renovation and the store was even more colourful and flashy than before! I was especially fascinated by the fact that the two shop girls were dressed in plain black with just one or two accessories. It was such a contrast!
My mom went to sit on the outside stairs while I browsed on. She couldn’t handle the rainbow attack, which was very understandable. Suddenly, a very colourful, third shop girl walked in and I had the feeling I recognized her. I asked her for her name and of course: it was Mel! The newest 6% Dokidoki shop girl! I had to ask to check, but yes, it was true!
I ended up buying a ‘Kawaii Anarchy’ button (I love buttons these days) and a black glittery bow. After I had paid, I asked Mel if I could take a picture with her and she said yes! I was so happy! ♥

6% Shopgirl
Mel is so cute and kind and colourful! She made my dress look pale! :3

We left 6% Dokidoki, took a quick look from the outside at the Barbie Store, went back to Omotesando, crossed the street by bridge again and walked into what was hopefully the continuation of Cat Street. It looked quite fancy. :3

Cat Street
A picture of what probably was Cat Street. XD

We walked on for a while. We passed another Candy Showtime shop, where they were making the candy on the spot. It was amazing to see! Finally, I suggested to my mom to go back. I had gotten quite tired by now. She agreed and suggested to go back to Takeshita Dori and walk it in reversed direction, back to the station. So we did.
While walking through Meiji Dori, we did briefly visit the Prisila shop (well, after I figured out how to open the door. Apparently I cannot tell push and pull apart ^^’). I just wanted to know what kind of colour I would need if I would buy hair pieces from them. After leaving Prisila, we walked past an advertisement I had seen on many pictures before: a big mirror with Europe painted on it. Since I finally knew where it was located now, I had to take a picture!

Mirror Europe
My own country isn’t even named, but I don’t care~! ^^

We entered Takeshita Dori and slowly walked back while taking pictures of shops. The sun was started to set, creating beautiful light. The only shop we entered was Paris Kids to finally buy some things there. It took a while until my mom and I had decided what to get: there was so much! My mom only chose a cute set of earrings, which I bought for her. ♥
We almost left Takeshita Dori, until my mom insisted to walk into the Le Ponte side alley one more time, to see if her camera bag really wasn’t there. Well, it wasn’t, but she did find something else: a Robin Ruth bag with ‘Japan’ on it, a bag she had been looking for since last time in Tokyo! She immediately bought it, she was so happy! =D

Bag Buy
I can’t believe my mom found her dream bag!

Finally, we left Harajuku, took the Yamanote line back to Shinjuku and stumbled back to the hotel. My feet hurt so muuuch! We got some bread rolls from the Hokuo shop (Melon Pan ♥), but when we entered our room, I just lay down on my bed in my dress. I was so tired. >_< But somehow my bed gave me magical strength, because in five minutes I was up to get redressed, eat my melon pan and take pictures of my purchases!
After some time of resting, we decided to go to Shibuya, browse some shops there and also have dinner. So we went on our way~!
We quickly arrived in Shibuya, which looked so amazing in the dark night as usual. The neon lights and television screens create such a futuristic, but also well-known and familiar atmosphere! Shibuya is how I had imagined all of Tokyo before I got there. It’s just so amazing!

Shibuya By Night
Shibuya by night is just so jaw-dropping gorgeous!

Of course we couldn’t continue our way without greeting Hachi, the famous dog, so we went there first.

Hachi and Mom
My mom absolutely adores Hachi! ^^

We went on to Shibuya 109, the incredibly loud shopping centre with the most fashionable shops! Shibuya 109 really is a landmark in Shibuya.

Shibuya 109
Shibuya 109!

I really wanted to see the new KOKOkim shop, created by model Yu Kimura. We briefly browsed some floors and shops, like the amazing but quite expensive Ruby Rose, and then found KOKOKim shop. It was completely pink and cute and the clothes were sooo pretty! They really expressed Yu Kimura’s style. I especially loved the dresses and berets, but I ended up not buying anything.

KOKOKim
The super cute KOKOKim shop. All the clothes were just so adorable!

Since it was getting late and we were getting quite hungry, we left Shibuya 109 again and went to look for something to eat. But we were so tired we didn’t really know where to go. We found one restaurant we were tempted by, but when we entered we had no idea whether to go upstairs or stay there and the staff wasn’t very helpful, so we left again. To be honest: we had been stupid. We should have gone for dinner before going shopping. Oh well.
We passed a Krispy Kreme donuts place and since I had heard many great things about this shop, we went inside to get some cute spring-themed donuts.
Eventually, I suggested to go to Yoyogi, which is one station before Shinjuku, and get takoyaki from the place my dad and I had eaten during our first trip. So we went back to the station and drove to Yoyogi. But when we got there, it turned out the restaurant was gone! ;_; I was quite sad about it: I wanted my mom to finally try takoyaki! Oh well…
At this point we had gotten so tired that we decided to go back to our hotel and commit the ultimate sin: get food from McDonald’s and eat it in our room. We were just so tired, we couldn’t decide anymore. But it was the best decision after all. It was really nice to sit on our bed and eat. *_*
We were starting to feel better while eating when suddenly, our room phone started ringing! I was a bit scared; I didn’t expect any phone calls! I picked up the phone and it turned out to be the front desk, telling me our package had arrived (it took me a while to understand this, they spoke English with a very heavy Japanese accent). Yay, our tickets to Kyoto had arrived! The man told me someone would bring them to our room in five minutes, how fancy! I was quite relieved when I finally had the tickets in my hands. They had arrived very much
on time! :3
After that we ate donuts and skyped. The donuts were so good~!

Spring Donuts
Cute, cute donuts. :3

After that, we discussed where to go the next day and then went to sleep. It had been an exciting and colourful day~! ♥

Home made cookies for anyone who actually read everything up to here! This post is even longer than last year’s Harajuku post ! ^^’ Honestly, you are amazing! ♥

Purchases
Purchases of the day

Bag Purchase
Bonus: my mom’s awesome new bag!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tokyo ’14, Day 2 – The Narita Express and Enjoying Shinjuku


Finally we were allowed to unbuckle and get our things. All the sleeping Japanese were suddenly up and ready to go (as always XD). The annoying Japanese man managed to slap two other passengers with his bag. -_- God, he was so annoying! My mom managed to get our hand luggage cases from the shelves and we got our things ready. When the plane had emptied a little, I lay down on the floor to check if we really hadn’t forgotten anything. If I don’t do that, I will worry, so I need to check. ^^’ Then, we walked after the other passengers and exited the plane. After we had left the tube, we took some pictures. Our first pictures in Japan!

First Japan Selfie
Our first selfie in Japan! ^^

Our plane looked so beautiful in the morning sun that we took some more pictures of it. It’s strange tot hink that you spent so much time in this enormous flying object and then you just leave it behind again!

Blue Plane
Bye airplane! Thank you for taking us this far! :3

We followed the signs to the immigration hall, passing various ‘Welcome to Japan!’-signs. :3 After some walking (through the hall with the shortest and most useless moving sidewalk ever) we arrived in the immigration hall and went to stand in line, passports and forms ready. There were significantly less people waiting compared to last year, but it was still the same hot temperature. XD Finally I could show my passport to the man behind the desk, have my finger prints and photo taken and walk on. My mom took a little longer: the woman behind the desk had never seen such a new passport before! My mom had it made right before we left. ^^
We arrived in the baggage hall and when we arrived at our baggage belt, I immediately spotted my mom’s suitcase, yay! I quickly dragged it off the belt, after which my own suitcase soon followed. I was so relieved! One of my worst fears is losing my baggage, but up until now it has never happened before!
We put our suitcases onto a cart. There was barely anyone waiting for the last form check, so we quickly walked up to an empty line. But when the man asked for my form, it turned out that the man at the passport check had taken it and never gave it back! Now I had to fill in the same form as in the plane again! -_- That annoyed me a little. All that information again! Oh well, I quickly went through it and we went to stand in line again. When the man checked my form, he asked me where our hotel was situated and when I answered ‘Shinjuku’, he asked me (in Japanese) if I spoke Japanese. ‘Juuust a little’ I answered. XD My mom was very impressed though. Luckily, this time we were allowed to walk on.
We walked through a small hallway, where an awesome poster that said ‘You&Tokyo’ was stuck to the wall next to the door. Of course we had to take a picture.

You & Tokyo
Me and Tokyo. I was very ready to go there!

We walked through the doors and arrived in the big hall with the arrivals sign and desks for travel advice. I quickly spotted the desk meant for train tickets and the Narita Express, the train that rides from the airport to Tokyo. When we got there, there was a note stuck to the window saying we needed to go to the desk in the downstairs hall. Since there was a woman in uniform practically standing next to it, I asked her (with some hand work) whether we needed to go downstairs and she nodded yes, so my mom and I left our cart and took our suitcases down the escalator. We arrived in the big station hall and went to look for the train tickets counter, where my dad had bought our Suica cards the year before. A Suica card is a transportation card where you deposit an amount of money on to travel. Since we had kept the ones from our previous trip, we didn’t need them, but we did need Narita Express tickets. We quickly found the counter (hard to miss, with all the red banners) and we went inside. When it was our turn, I showed the lady behind the counter the advertisement my dad had printed out about a discount ticket for foreign tourists. After we had shown our passports, we bought tickets for only 50% of the original price! *o* Unfortunately, since it was 9:10 am by now, the 9:15 am train would be hard to catch, so we chose the 9:45 am train. Finally, after paying with our fresh yens, we got our tickets! ^^

Narita Express Tickets
Tickets? Check!

My mom and I calmly went on our way to the right platform, but when we got there, the 9:15 am train was still there! For a moment we doubted about waiting for our own train, but we decided to be rebellious and take this one instead! I mean, it was right in front of us and we had tickets. Plus, on my previous trips, no one came to check on us. So we took the ‘risk’.
We stowed our suitcases, sat down in random seats, got politely chased away two minutes later by the people who officially had to sit there, chose different seats, chose different seats again for a better view from the window and finally, the train started driving. The train wasn’t quite as empty as last time and we were also a lot more awake. During our previous trip, my mom was quite sick during our first days, but this time she wasn’t, so she could enjoy the ride. ^^

The Narita Express
The Narita Express. Destination: Tokyo!

We stood still for a while in a random place and then drove on. We passed trees, houses, villages and then cities and skyscrapers. It was strange: since this was my third time in the Narita Express, the landscapes passing us by weren’t new anymore. It was almost… familiar!

Close to Tokyo
One of the many views seen from the Narita Express.

And then, after about 45 minutes, a conductor came by! Of course this had to happen the one time we decide to do something… wrong. We put on our most innocent faces and while I could hear him mumble to himself it was the wrong train, he was kind enough to not say anything about it to us! ^^ Or he didn’t know how to in English, also a possibility. XD
After passing some stops, we finally arrived in Tokyo! We passed Shibuya station (I saw the famous scramble quickly between two buildings *_*) and after that, we arrived at Shinjuku! My mom and I reunited with our suitcases again and the train stopped. We got out, checked all of our belongings and then I led the way.

Shinjuku Station
The Narita Express at Shinjuku station. Somehow I really like this picture!

It was quite warm, but that could also have been caused by the fact we were dragging heavy suitcases. We went up some escalators, walked through some quiet hallways and suddenly, we found ourselves in the big hall close to the south exit of the station, surrounded by passing Japanese people. We needed to regain breath for a moment, so we stationed ourselves near a pillar, just looking around. I already saw at least five amazingly beautiful outfits passing by! ;_; I really missed that! My mom had exactly the same!
We followed the stream of people and arrived at the ticket gates. I didn’t know how to get through them without using my Suica card, but after a brief conversation with a station man, we discovered our Narita Express tickets would let us through. Finally, we walked into the Japanese open air, into the sun, and I started crying. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t contain myself! I was so happy to be back in my beloved Shinjuku, with my mom, in the sun, in the busy atmosphere of Tokyo!
I quickly regained my dignity and we went on our way to our hotel. We had booked a room in the hotel my dad and I had stayed in during our first trip and since I really liked that hotel, I was very happy we could stay there again!
We arrived at the big crossing with the orange clock and took pictures of it while waiting for the traffic lights to turn green. We could already see our hotel in the distance!

In The Distance
I was so happy to be in Shinjuku again!

We crossed the street, waited for another green light, crossed the street again and turned left. We kept walking for about a minute, passing a McDonald’s with advertisements for interesting drinks and hamburgers I had never seen anywhere before and then arrived at the hotel. I was so happy to be back! ;_;
We walked into the (for me) wellknown lobby and went to the desk to ask what the check in time was again. It was 2 pm and since it was now 11 am, we had lots of time. My mom and I left our suitcases with the lovely suitcase ladies and then went on our way to explore Shinjuku! Well, after we visited the toilet. I love Japanese toilets, with the pre-heated seats (yes, I am crazy. XD)!
When we got outside, we walked up to the first drinks vending machine we saw. We needed a picture of it. :3

Drinks Machine
I wish we had more vending machines with cheap and amazing drinks in my country!

We crossed the street and entered the Family Market convenience store a little further away, since I wanted to check to see if there was an ATM there. Unfortunately there wasn’t, but it was fun to look around for a moment nonetheless. There were a lot of magazines, like KERA, and also some more… explicit magazines. ^^’ And of course, there was food! We found green KitKats, lots of cute desserts and ice creams and a huge amount of interesting drinks. Most packings only had Japanese writing on it, so about 85% of the time we had no idea what it contained. But it can be strangely relaxing yet adventurous to not know everything. :3

Candy and Drinks
Japanese candy and a rainbow of colourful drinks!

We left the store again and walked back to the orange clock crossing. Of course, our first set destination was MyLord, our favourite department store! We decided to cross the busy road by the bridge overhead.

Bridge to MyLord
The road to MyLord.

Before we entered MyLord, we took some pictures of both the left and right view from the bridge. Did I mention I reallly love Shinjuku? I couldn’t stop taking pictures of everything!

Views from the Bridge
The left and right side view from the bridge leading to MyLord.

We entered MyLord, where we had to take a mirror selfie of course! We walked around the first floor we had arrived on and almost nothing had changed since last time we were there. There was the cute, stuffed make up store, some cute clothing stores (one called ‘Kus kus’, which means ‘Kiss kiss’ in Dutch) and one of my mom’s favourite stores: the Grain Plaire, a shop filled with string of glittering glass beads and other DIY items.

Beads
Beads, beads and more beads! Can you believe this was only a small part of the total amount of stuff they had? *_*

We loved browsing around at Grain Plaire and my mom was already looking for colours she wanted to buy later, when suddenly I started to feel really bad. I got dizzy and really hot and we had to sit down in a quiet part on some stairs for me to feel better again. I have no idea what came over me, but thank God it didn’t last long! ^^
We went back to the Grain Plaire and I looked around for the cute Decoden items they had last year, but I couldn’t find them. Since I wasn’t planning on buying things right away, I decided to ask for it later. I had told myself to talk more Japanese this time (although my Japanese knowledge is… well quite small), but I had to build up some courage first. ^^’
We left the store, passed the cute Home&Kitchen store and walked on, to find our first display of fake food! ♥ There was a cute café called Hawaiian Pancake Factory where they had the cutest pancake dishes! We agreed to go and eat there sometime later (but we never did… ;_;).
We walked back to the escalators and explored the rest of MyLord. This department store barely has any shops I know by name, except for the Candy Stripper maybe, but that’s what makes it such a great place! There are so many cute stores with such varying contents!

Candy Love
Some of the first accessories I really loved. Look at the cuteness! ✩

I saw so many amazing outfits, both on mannequins and on shop girls, I started to think more and more: ‘We are in Tokyo!’ Tokyo and stylish people really belong together.
After a while we arrived at a shop with a surprisingly familiar name: F.i.n.t. and wow, did I fall in love with this shop! ♥ The shop girls looked amazing, with beautiful blouses and skirts and straw hats with ribbons. The items in the shop were all so dreamy and gorgeous! I entered the shop with eyes probably twice their normal size, I was so amazed! There was one shop girl who showed me some items (she was so cute!) and when she pointed out a magazine where their clothes were featured, I spotted Midori Fukasawa modelling them. I told the shop girl I loved Midori and that I was a Lolita. She was so cute and enthusiastic!
After I walked around some more (keeping myself from drooling over everything), I finally gained the courage to ask another shop girl (the most gorgeous one of all *_*) for a picture. She got all flustered and cute, iiih! ^^
Finally my mom and I had explored all the shop floors and we arrived at the first restaurant floor. We didn’t want to have a meal yet, but we liked walking around and just check the different menus.
We got a bit tired and empty, so we decided to eat something after all, but… at McDonald’s! I really wanted to try one of the avocado burgers I had seen on an advertisement, so we went back there.

Avocado Burgers
The advertisements that had drawn my attention.

We stood in line and we quickly got to order. They had an English menu, but I pointed at the avocado burgers and also ordered two diet coke. The McDonald’s lady repeated my order after me, but the way she said cola was really weird… We received our order and went up the stairs to find a place to sit. The second floor had an empty table and we sat down. I was so happy to finally have something to drink that I quickly took a sip from my coke… only to almost spit it out in the neck of the person sitting next to us! It was the nastiest surprise ever! My coke wasn’t coke, but… it was black ice coffee! It was so gross! And suddenly I realized what the lady had said. She had said ‘aisu kohi’ and not ‘aisu kora’. I quickly warned my mom before she got the same experience as I did. She tried it anyway, but didn’t like it at all either. I went downstairs and bought a big diet coke this time. Bleh...

Coffee in Disguise
You evil sucker! >_< Oh well, another experience I can add to my ‘no thank you’-list.

The avocado burgers were really nice, by the way.
We decided to go back to the hotel and sit on a bench for the remaining time we had to wait. On the way back, we passed a truck filled with bottles and cans to refill some of the vending machines. I though that was funny. :)
We picked up our suitcases, sat down until it was 2 pm and then went to the hotel desk to ask if our room was ready, but we had to wait an extra 20 minutes, so we sat down again (well, my mom sat while I used her lap as a pillow). After a while, a man and his daughter sat down across from us and my mom and I immediately spotted the amazing bag the girl was carrying. It was shaped like a camera! Perfect for my mom! My mom asked the girl where she got it and she and her dad told us they had bought it in Harajuku! While they got up, the man briefly explained where the shop was located, when the girl spotted my Sherlock shirt and started fangirling for a moment with me. That was nice. :3
Finally, we could pick up our room keys and we went upstairs, all the way to the 14th floor (yay, high with a view)! We entered our room and it looked exactly the same as the room my dad and I had during our first trip, bathroom window included! It made me very happy! =D My mom was happy to see the alarm clock she had loved so much from our pictures. XD

Hotel Room
Our beds, our window, our bathroom window and our view. :3

We went on Skype to talk to my father and brother and went to sleep for a while after that. We were so tired. x)
It was a good thing I turned my phone’s alarm on, otherwise we probably would have slept much longer. I wished we could, but since we had to get used to the new time zone, this was the only way.
We decided to go to MyLord to get something to eat and out of tradition we went to Obon de Gohan, or as we liked to call it: ‘the restaurant with the cups’. During our previous two trips we also ate there on our first night. So we went on our way.

Orange by Night
On our way to have dinner, I had just had to take more pictures of the clock!

We arrived at the restaurant and after some trouble with ordering, we received our food. It was absolutely delicious (God I had missed Japanese food)!

Japanese Food
My mom was so happy to eat in this restaurant again!

After paying we left MyLord and of course, the sensible thing to do would have been to go to the hotel, take things easy and go to sleep. But no. XD We decided to walk around Shinjuku for a bit.
We went outside, went left, walked around Tower Records and past Lumine Est. There, we encountered our first ‘weird English’. In the shop window were examples of outfits from shops inside and they had some interesting texts on them.

College and Teaspoons
The first one is kind of okay, but No. 1 teaspoon..? ^^’

We walked on until we reached the big square with the big tv screen above Studio Alta. You often see it on pictures of Shinjuku and it has always the same advertisement on top of the building.

Studio Alta
Studio Alta.

I had seen pictures and had read about Studio Alta before, but I had never been inside. So we decided to do so this time! And the first shop we encountered? Liz Lisa! *_*

Liz Lisa
The amazing Liz Lisa shop. It even smelled wonderful there!

God I love that store and their newest clothing line was absolutely to die for! Apparently it was called ‘Peaceful French Mermaid’ (yes, really) and it consisted of pastel-coloured dresses, skirts and accessories with gorgeous prints with mermaids and shells. They also had a line with divine flower prints! loved everything! ♥

Liz Lisa Outfits
The left outfit was part of the mermaid line, the right one to the flower line.

We went up the escalator to explore the rest of Studio Alta. It was quite a lot smaller than I expected, but still had a lot of stores! One store had Paris Kids’ accessories and amazing bags with different species of cats and dogs on them.

Animal Bags
Aren’t these bags so cute? *o* I especially loved the chihuahua one.

Other shops had amazing accessories and two shops were completely dedicated to wigs or hair pieces. The hair piece shop was super colourful and even had a special little house-thingy where pictures could be taken I believe. I also saw a picture of Misako, which probably indicated she wears their hair pieces as well..? ^^

Colours and Hair Pieces
The super colourful hair piece shop! *_*

Another shop sold gala dresses, where we discovered a gorgeous necklace my mom wanted to keep in mind to possibly buy later.
Despite it being quite smaller than Shibuya 109, the shops in Studio Alta made even more noise! At one point there were three shops located in a corner with different music playing and since I was already tired, I almost went crazy there! XD
Around 8:30 pm we finally went back to the hotel, where we went to sleep. It had been an amazing, but tiring, but wonderful day! ♥