Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Japan Tag Düsseldorf 2015


On Saturday May 30th, I finally visited the Japan Tag in Düsseldorf, Germany! I have wanted to go for years and now I finally got the chance! I had a wonderful day, but before I go on, let me tell you a bit of back story. ^^
The Japan Tag (German for ‘Japan Day’) is an annual event that takes place in the city of Düsseldorf in Germany. Düsseldorf has a very big Japanese community, so it is not surprising a big, Japan-related event takes place in this city every year. The Japan Tag is basically a big market with stalls along the banks of the Rhine river, celebrating all kinds of aspects of Japanese culture. It is a very popular event, with often more than 500.000 visitors!
I have wanted to visit the Japan Tag for years, but every time something came up. I have visited Düsseldorf before and met up with some of the lovely German Lolitas. Some of them have become dear friends of mine! ♥ So when I told Miriam I was planning on visiting the Japan Tag, she immediately suggested to set up a lunch meeting and spend the day together! Of course, I was overly excited!
My parents would go shopping for a day in a nearby German city, while I would spend the day in Düsseldorf. Our plans kept shifting a bit back and forth however and I ended up being allowed to bring my friend Iris along! We were both super excited and counted down the days until the 30th of May. I also discovered, just one day before the event, that two of my favourite cosplayers, Reika from Japan and Liui Aquino from the Philippines, were attending as well! I thought I was going to die: I had the chance to meet two of my cosplay idols!? This wasn’t happening, it had to be a dream! I couldn’t believe it!

Japan Tag Poster
After multiple years, I could finally go to the Japan Tag!

Unfortunately, my mom ended up not being able to come with us because one of our dogs got sick, but my sweet dad decided to drive us anyway and go shop by himself. ♥♥♥
So sweet! ;_;
So that was the ‘general Japan Tag information’, now on to the actual back story of the actual Japan Tag! XD
On Friday the 29th I met up with Iris at the station and together we travelled to my house. We had a nice evening of eating dinner, talking and… outfit planning! Iris had decided to wear her lovely blue Cream Cookie Collection by Angelic Pretty and although she hadn’t completely finished her coord yet, she was nearly ready.

Outfit Details
Details of Iris’s adorable outfit. ♥

I, on the other hand, had been completely at a loss for quite a long time. I haven’t been feeling very well lately and had quite some challenging weeks, filled with negative things. I wanted to wear something that would make me happy, but I didn’t know what would give me that positive energy. But Iris was my saviour, for a couple of days before she had offered me (without me asking anything) to bring her pink Rose Last Note hat from Angelic Pretty, the hat love of my life! I was incredibly happy, honoured and grateful she would let me wear her hat before she had even done so herself, sparking my imagination for a coord after all! She also lent me her gorgeous lace gloves! Too kind… ;_; ♥
Another friend of mine came over to save my hair (I am the worst fringe-and-bangs-cutter ever) and she and Iris helped me experiment with my hair pieces, hat and accessories. I ended up with a very promising coord and got more and more excited! For proper continuation of this post, I will show you my outfit before I continue. My mom was kind enough to take some outfit pictures of me when I got back home, so here is my outfit! I hope you like it! ^^ I know I did! I felt like such a princess…☆

Outfit Japan Tag 1
❃ Princess of the Roses ❃
My outfit rundown:
Hat: Angelic Pretty (borrowed)
Flowers: Dreamy Bows, Claire’s and offbrand
Blue bow: Paris Kid’s
Bird clip: offbrand Cardigan: Primark
Dress: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright’s Millefeuille JSK
Tights: Primark
Socks: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: An*Tai*Na
Necklace: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Button: Angelic Pretty
Gloves: Angelic Pretty (borrowed)
Ring: Chocomint

Outfit Japan Tag 2
Even though we just made some quick snaps, my mom has really outdone herself with pictures this time!

Outfit Japan Tag 3
Detail shot of my beautiful Baby necklace and Angelic Pretty button.

Outfit Japan Tag 4
Aren’t these gloves gorgeous? *o*

Outfit Japan Tag 5
I felt like such a princess with this hairdo! ♥

Outfit Japan Tag 6
Your way of posing can really determine your overall feeling.
From Classy Lady to Magical Girl!

Outfit Japan Tag 7
Details of my hat and flowers. ♥

Outfit Japan Tag 8
Bonus picture: our foster dog Mere wanted to be in a picture too. :3

Iris and I woke up really early on Saturday morning to have breakfast and get dressed into our outfits. We had to leave at 8:30 am and we had so much to do! I took ages to get my eyelashes glued on and due to lack of time, I quickly put on my hair pieces and decided to accessorize in the car. Poor Iris however had to run around and multitask (lashes, make up, clothes, wig!) and we ended up leaving about 15 minutes late. Luckily, we had a long drive ahead of us so we could finish our looks in the car. It was not exactly ideal, but at least we had each other. ^^
The car drive didn’t run completely smoothly. We had a roadblock that forced us to take another route and we had some absolutely dreadful weather: heavy rain, wind, even a hailstorm! I was very scared of the weather in Düsseldorf, since I had forgotten my umbrella! But well, we would see…
Finally, we arrived in Düsseldorf, where Iris and I inelegantly jumped into our petticoats. There were a lot of cosplayers and brightly coloured-dressed people walking around the station. A woman passed us by and asked why everyone was dressed so ‘funny’. ‘It’s Japan Tag today!’ was my answer. XD
We said goodbye to my dad and hurried into the station, where we quickly met up with Miriam and May! ♥ I was so happy to see them!

Three Sweethearts
Miriam, May and Iris. Aren’t these ladies looking lovely? ♥

After we bought an umbrella (just to make me feel calmer XD), we went on our way to have fun! Iris was very nervous to meet my friends, but everything went super well and she was already talking easily with May. ^^ Together we walked to the Japanese bookshop I had bought the Angelic Pretty mook during my previous trip and this time they had so many amazing magazines again! I chose the June edition of KERA, because I had wanted to buy it for quite some time. *o*

At The Bookshop

Iris posing with an Angelic Pretty mook. So many magazines!

I paid, we left the shop and started to walk around for a bit. Even though the Japan Tag mainly takes place on the river banks, you could find stalls and participating shops everywhere. We passed stalls with plushies and figurines, food, drinks and ice creams! Miriam persuaded us to try a green melon ice cream (which is apparently Korean by the way) and it was sooo good! It tasted exactly like melon!

Melon Ice Cream
Iris and I with our bright green melon ice creams! They were so good…

Unfortunately, the sky was turning ash grey and we found shelter in front of a super market nearby. While I was eating my ice cream an adorable Lolita dressed in Melody Toys by Angelic Pretty approached me and asked whether I was the writer of the blog Lolita Wonderland! I got recognized because of my blog!? Whooaaa, I was so excited and honoured! It turns out I had had contact with this girl before about her trip to Japan and I was so happy to hear she had had a good time! Whoa I am still so happy I met this sweet girl! ♥ I didn’t ask her for a picture, however you can spot her in my new video further down this post! ^o^
In the meantime the weather had changed into a ‘normal’ grey sky, so we walked back into the street and took some outfit pictures!

Miriam Collage
Princess Miriam. ♕

Miriam looked so beautiful in her princess-like outfit! The colour scheme she used is so unique and pretty! She also wore her Baby, the Stars Shine Bright butterfly crown and because I know she had wanted it for so long I was extra happy she wore it!

May Collage
Lady May. ✧

May… Oh May, how can someone always look so flawless? Her outfit was a mixture of pretty and utter coolness! Not only did she wear a ‘Kawaii Bitch’ button, but the one on her bag said ‘Fuck off’. I like that sense of humour. :3 Also, her hat! It was just too awesome! This whole outfit was too awesome…. *dreams away*

Iris Collage
Cutie Iris. ღ

Iris and I were more or less wearing the same colour scheme: pink, blue and white, but she put more emphasis on the colour blue where I did with pink. She looked so adorable (as she always does)!

Street Snap
May took a street snap-style picture of me. I really like the result and definitely want to try taking pictures like this!

Finally it was time to head to the restaurant Miriam had made a reservation at. We had initially planned to eat at a Japanese restaurant, but it was completely booked! So we went with Chinese instead. How rebellious! XD
At the restaurant, we met up with some more German Lolitas. They were all beautifully dressed and super nice, but I didn’t take a group picture or even solo pictures of them because I was a shy idiot. :( Sorry girls, you all looked amazing!
We went inside and sat down at the big table reserved for us. Later, Ami (one of my German friends) joined as well. Ordering food was quite hard, since I didn’t know any of the dishes and everything looked tasty!

Ready for Food
Ready for food! But what to order..?

Iris and I ended up ordering things together so we could share and try multiple things. ^^ We flipped through my KERA while waiting for our food, which arrived quite soon. It was really good! I especially loved our sweet buns filled with vanilla paste. *o*

KERA and Food
Iris checking out the new KERA and food~!

Unfortunately, the restaurant was quite warm and stuffy, so my mind got a bit blank and I felt a little anxious after a while. I was keeping an eye on the window and it had been raining like crazy, which made me quite sad. I wanted to meet my dear Reika with beautiful sun, not shaking in the rain! I was really hoping for the sun to come out later…
We paid and left the restaurant. The fresh air made me feel much better and soon the rain stopped as well. We started walking towards the river, to the location where the Lolita meet that Miriam had organised as well would take place. We had to walk quite far, but it was ok. At a certain point the sun even came out!

Düsseldorf
A beautiful piece of Düsseldorf.

After walking for a long time, we arrived at the church where the meeting was planned. The meet had started at 3 pm and we arrived quite late, so we thought everyone would be gone. But there were still a lot of Lolitas hanging out! I spotted some familiar faces, like Siri, Cindy and Nancy as well as Poppy and Alexander from Belgium! I was so happy to see them again. ♥

Lolitas at the Japan Tag
Lovely Poppy and me, the beautiful Siri, gorgeous Amaya and Iris and Wlada showing
how to pose. ^^

The meet didn’t last very long (we had arrived late of course), but we did have the chance to participate in the group picture taken by the ever amazing Anh Binh. He truly makes the best pictures. *o*

The (biggest part of the) attendees of the Lolita meet. Click to enlarge!
Wonderful group picture taken by Anh Binh Photography

Miriam, May, Iris and I then formed a group together with Poppy, Alexander and two girls we had just met (the adorable Wlada and her friend) to go and find Reika. And Liui of course, but we kept saying ‘Reika! Reika!’ x)
We walked up the boulevard next to the river where the biggest part of the Japan Tag took place. It was very crowded. Everywhere you looked there were people, stalls covered by white tents and more people. So we started our quest to find the Amazing Japan booth, where Reika would be (and Liui, hehe). But, unfortunately, this was not a very fun part of the day… That is an understatement actually: it was quite terrible. It started out as quite fun: we walked, talked, laughed and tried to find the booth together. But soon the crowd thickened. We tried to find our way through the people while staying close to each other, which proved to be quite a challenge. We walked and walked and didn’t see the Amazing Japan booth anywhere. And worse: a grey sky was approaching. And when I say grey, I mean grey. And the inevitable happened: it started raining. The clouds rained everything they had in them down on us! I clung to my umbrella, desperate to keep at least my head dry (I would have been mortified if I ruined Iris’s hat). It wasn’t really cold, but there was a lot of wind and everything got soaking wet in a matter of seconds. It was a terrible rain shower and I was so sad and feeling miserable in my pretty clothes on a day that should have been 100% amazing.
Finally, the rain seemed to thin out and finally, it stopped. But then the next bad thing happened: we found ourselves on the wrong side of the street. There was a construction wall set up on the left side of the road, causing a human traffic jam and we were on the bad side. People pushed and pulled and I got so scared to end up alone, I grabbed Poppy’s bag strap and didn’t let go until we managed to get to the other side. There, we had to wait for the others until we were finally reunited. Who the heck puts up a wall in the middle of the street before a big event!? It was so dangerous!
We kept on walking and still didn’t find the booth. We had walked for almost an hour by then and still there was no sign of my dear Reika. Out of the blue, the sun came out, shining down on us as if the giant natural shower didn’t just happen. From then on the sunshine didn’t stop. I should have looked at it as a sign of good luck, but by then I was feeling so miserable I barely noticed it, for we had arrived at the end of the market. The German girls said this was the end, there was nothing more behind the bridge. Poppy went to ask at the cosplay stage whether they knew where we had to go, but when she came back she said they had told her the cosplay guests would probably be gone already! Somehow we had missed the booth and all our troubles had been for nothing! I could see the church where the Lolita meeting had taken place all the way down the road, it was so far! It was then and there that I started crying… I felt so bad! I had been looking forward to this so much! And even though I knew I wasn’t the only one who wanted to see Reika, I felt like everything had been my fault and everyone had gone through all these troubles for me. I didn’t know what to do and just stood there crying. What could we do? Go all the way back? Iris and I had to be back at the station at 6 pm, there was not enough time! Miriam and May tried to find the location of the booth on their phones, but the internet connection was just too slow. They kept on trying anyway, they were just too sweet. ;_;
We decided to ask one more time at a booth where we thought the people would know and suddenly, they told us: ‘Yeah, it’s just behind the bridge!’ Miriam and May were really surprised, because they genuinely thought there was nothing more!

Japan Tag Map
Next time I will look up every detail of the booths I want to visit! x)

Together with Poppy and Iris I ran to the bridge, hoping the guests would still be there! Finally, I spotted the booth on our right and we hurried to it! I saw several lines waiting in front of the big white tent and I hoped with all my heart… And then, I spotted her! I saw Reika! And I broke down in tears another time… But this time they were tears of joy. I was so happy and relieved we found them! We were quickly joined by the rest of the girls. I am so happy and grateful everyone helped me to find the booth. I was so scared I had caused everyone trouble, but they were all happy for me we had found it!
I went to stand in line with Poppy and Iris. We talked with two Dutch cosplayers in front of us (one of them said to me, after my emotional breakdown: ‘Ah don’t worry, I will probably react the same way in a moment!’). I could see Reika already, dressed as Mikazuki Munechika from the game Touken Ranbu. Even though I have never played this game, she looked absolutely gorgeous! She had so many amazing details in her costume, she looked fantastic!

Reika Arikawa
My dearly beloved Reika! ;_; ♥

I had handed Iris my photo camera and Poppy my video camera, so they could both capture the moment for me. Then, sooner than expected, it was my turn! You could choose several ‘packages’, like a poster + selfie or a selfie + postcard or sticker + polaroid for 10 euros. I went for that second option and soon found myself right in front of Reika, the cosplayer I had been admiring from a distance for such a long time! She was smaller than I expected, about my height, but so mesmerizing I couldn’t look away… She signed the back of my postcard and then turned to me, greeted me and we posed for the polaroid picture together. She immediately turned to Iris with my camera with me and my dear Iris snapped several pictures at the speed of light, resulting in great pictures. I am so grateful, thank you so much again dear! ;_; ♥

Posing for Pictures with Reika
You might not be able to see it in my face, but I was SO HAPPY at this moment!

Reika then turned to me again. I don’t remember all the things she said to me (I was shaking too much), but then she hugged me! She signed our polaroid and I almost started crying again and told her I was so happy. She was touched and then hugged me again! I almost died there and then…

Reika Hug
Hug number two!

Iris had already suggested I could give Reika my card, so before I turned away she and Poppy nearly screamed to do so. So I did! And Reika was happy and gave me hers in return! Yep, I had pretty much melted by then. Poppy took pictures with Reika as well and bought a wonderful photobook of hers.
Finally, it was time to leave Reika (*sniff*). We left the booth and I checked the time. There wasn’t a lot left and I doubted about standing in line for Liui too, but well… I was there, he was there… Let’s do this! So Iris and I went to stand in line again, soon joined by Poppy. Ah, I am so glad we did… Liui was an absolute sweetheart! He took a lot of time for everyone waiting for him yet also entertained the people waiting (like us). He was dressed as Tadashi from Big Hero 6 and was just… argh so cute all the time! ♥

Liui Aquino
Pictures taken from the waiting line. Isn’t Liui super cute? *o*

After a short wait it was my turn and Liui turned to us and asked whether we were wearing decora fashion. Pretty close I‘d say! This already made me so happy! Then he asked us for a selfie with his phone! Aaah! *o*
I entered the booth and told the woman working there I wanted the polaroid _ sticker or postcard + selfie package again, while in the meantime Liui was distracted by Poppy and Iris who were taking pictures and videos of him. He made funny faces for them, causing them to laugh until he noticed I was done and was standing there enjoying from the side he looked all embarrassed in the cutest way (*more fangirling*)! ♥

Posing for Pictures with Liui
Posing for our polaroid and for my camera.

Ugh Liui was just so adorable! His English was perfect, so we were able to talk a lot with him. He said: ‘Why are you guys so cute!? Like candies!’ *o*
He signed the polaroid and put it in my bag. And then I got a hug~!

Liui Hug
This picture makes me melt… ♥

He gave me a high five when he suddenly noticed my blue bow ring, grabbed my hand (Aaah~!) and admired it: ‘Whooaaa, everything is so cute!’ We did a fist bump and he said: ‘Balalaaa’, like in Big Hero Six and I died some more! Ugh it was just so amazing, looking back at the video makes me smile all over again!
Finally, it was time to go. I looked back at my wonderful cosplayers one more time and then all of us went back to the station. We had to walk really far and I was slightly stressed out because my dad would be waiting for Iris and me, but we had some lovely company
with us. ^^

Reika Book
Poppy drooling over her Reika photobook. XD

We made it back to the station and met up with my dad. We quickly got some food at Burger King (where we were served by the weirdest dude. Not sure whether he was being dumb on purpose or not…) and then went on our way back to our own country. Back in the car, Iris and I told my dad all about our day and I cried again over the wonderful meeting with Reika and Liui. I just couldn’t believe it happened and I still can’t! Sorry for all the fangirling in this post. XD When we arrived home, we got redressed, talked for a bit and went to sleep. It had been an amazing day!


I hope you enjoyed this post and all my rambling, haha! I had a fun day despite the struggles and I felt really pretty in a long time. I will surely remember this day for a long time!
I want to thank the wonderful Miriam and May for their amazing hospitality that day. You girls were amazing, thank you! ;___; ♥

Purchases of the Day
Purchases of the day


6 comments:

  1. So glad it turned out to be a great day! Hope it really picked up your spirits :) And all you lovely ladies look amazing! <3

    Kieli~<3
    rainbowstarcandyshine.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much dear! It sure did. :3

      Delete
  2. I wish I would have been at the lolita meetup ;__; I had to do an exam at the university and came later and not in lolita :( But I'm really glad, we met at the street near the bubbletea shop xD Short but good ! Hope we meet again ^.^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahw dear, I'm so sorry you missed it! I loved our short meeting though haha! Isn't it terrible I recognized your shirt before I recognized you? XD

      Delete
  3. Dit staat echt super hoog op mijn to do lijstje! Helaas kan ik nooit wanneer Japan Tag is..
    Dan maar een keertje gewoon naar Dusseldorf en alle Japanse winkeltjes af gaan ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Düsseldorf is ook erg leuk zonder de Japan Tag en wie weet valt het een keer op een dag dat je wel kan. :)

      Delete