Thursday, July 30, 2015

Paris ‘15, Day 3 – Meeting RinRin and Angelic Pretty Tea Party

Saturday July 4th was going to be a really exciting day! In the morning, French Café organised an amazing meeting with none other than RinRin Doll at the crêperie Princess Crêpe. In the afternoon, the Angelic Pretty Tea Party would take place at the massively expensive Shangri-La Hotel, near the Eiffeltower. This day had everything to become amazing, but I am going to tell you beforehand for me personally it was not. Because Saturday was the hottest day of my whole trip. Now I know the majority of people don’t do well in heat, but I really don’t do well in heat. So unfortunately, the heat caused me to enjoy this day at least 50% less than I could have. I did enjoy myself though, and luckily the ‘after fun’ (editing pictures and making videos) has given me some extra fond memories. However, do forgive me for the amount of borrowed pictures again. I hope you will like this post anyway.
So for your reading pleasure, I will describe the events of this day slightly more cheerful than I felt (with the occasional heat-related whine). ♥

Marina and I woke up early in the morning. We had a swift breakfast (I wasn’t feeling too well, so not much for me) and started to get ready. Marina decided to wear her lovely Sweet Girl Room one piece in pink (she modelled the ivory version for Angelic Pretty in KERA last year, how cool is that?) in a lovely outfit with a bowler hat that I will show you down this post.
Back home I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to wear for the Tea Party. I feel like my Lolita style is slightly shifting, but unfortunately I don’t own any dresses that fit my new style (yet). So in the end, I decided to wear my absolute Dream Dress: Milky Berry! I adore this dress so much! Wearing it at an official Tea Party would be the ultimate homage. I decided to wear a fairly simple outfit during the morning and elaborate my outfit for the Tea Party in the afternoon with a different blouse, legwear and handmade pieces. This was my ‘normal’, morning outfit (taken at the hotel of the Tea Party but sssh). I hope you like it! ♥

Normal Milky Berry Outfit
✿ Summer Berries ✿
My outfit rundown:
Head bow: Angelic Pretty’s Milky Berry
Blouse: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Jsk: Angelic Pretty’s Milky Berry
Socks: offbrand
Shoes: Bodyline
Necklaces: Paris Kid’s and Angelic Pretty
Bracelets: Sweet&Tiny and offbrand
Rings: Angelic Pretty

I am really happy with how my hair turned out for this day! Ever since I started Lolita I admired girls (and Maki) with their big, poofy pigtails. I am so glad I get to live my young Lolita self’s dream!
Finally, it was time to go and Marina and I headed to the metro station with our bags filled with extra items we needed later. It was quite a stressful start of the day, since some miscommunication happened plus Marina and I accidentally got separated on the metro! In the end she waited for me at Bastille and we continued our journey to Princess Crepe together. We were very curious to see how many people had shown up, seeing as we heard some people were planning on queueing super early. When we walked around the corner, there were a lot of people but not as much as we expected, so that was great! ^^ We quickly joined Roxane in the queue. Suddenly, another stress factor happened: I realized I had taken everything I needed with me for that day… except for my Angelic Pretty Tea Party invitation. I felt so stupid and it became too much for me for a moment. In the end it was fine and my name would be on a list, but still… I felt like a total idiot. Oh well.

Waiting for RinRin
Waiting in line to meet RinRin at Princess Crepe.

It was actually rather cool during the morning compared to the rest of the day, which was nice. There were a lot of people I knew standing in line and I also met some new people. But everyone looked equally cute and/or amazing! I wish I took pictures of everyone, but here are some of the pictures I took. ^^

Cute Outfits in a Row
Clockwise from the top left: adorable Roxane & Marina, lovely Miriam, awesome Alice, cool Ludo & Bloody, Barbie Ninni, wonderful Sophie, cute Yoki and darlings Eveline & Astrid.

Standing in line was quite nice, since you could easily chat and take pictures while waiting. I was very happy to catch up with my friend Eveline and Astrid, who I didn’t know very well yet. I also met up with Emilie after such a long time again! After a while, one of the members of French Café walked by to write down orders for crêpes. In this way, the line could move more easily so everyone who wanted to could meet RinRin. Good organisation, as expected from French Café. ^^ I ordered a crêpe with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and walnuts.
Soon, it was our turn to enter the shop. Marina was especially excited to meet RinRin: she is her idol and she’d never met her before! Marina had been working on a special drawing for RinRin during the past days and now she could finally give it to her!
I quickly paid for my crêpe and took pictures of Marina. After that, it was my turn to meet RinRin and sit down on the chair next to her. She was happy to see me again and of course I was very happy to see her again too! ^^ First, we smiled for the picture (taken by Aliénor of French Café).

Roxane, Marina and me with RinRin
Roxane, Marina and me together with RinRin. ♥
Picture by French Café

Doesn’t RinRin look gorgeous in Marine Kingdom? God, this dress is growing on me more and more…
After taking the pictures, I had to write my name down on a piece of paper, so RinRin could sign a picture of herself and correctly spell my name next to it. We chatted for a bit and it was just so lovely. ♥ She is such a sweetheart. ;_;
When French Café announced they had set up a meeting with RinRin, I suspected she would be coming to the Angelic Pretty Tea Party that afternoon as a surprise guest. This presumption was only strengthened by the fact RinRin had to leave on time because she had ‘other commitments’. I think most people guessed the same thing together with me, haha! So when I asked her whether I would see her that afternoon at the Tea Party, she accidentally revealed she would indeed be there! Ugh she was just so cute! ♥

A Story with RinRin
I had too many pictures with RinRin that I loved, so I made them into a little story. I got a hug again!

I want to thank French Café upfront for their wonderful effort that day, but also for their kindness and awesomeness. Every single member is so kind and fun to talk to! You guys are awesome!

French Café Crew
I am glad French Café always behaves so professionally. They are very serious when it comes to their work. XD
Right picture by French Café

After I took some pictures for my friend as well, I went outside and finally ate my crêpe (that Zoé so graciously had held onto for me)! I ended up not finishing it, but it was very good nonetheless.

Caramel Crêpe
A true Lolita’s breakfast(?).

Marina had to go to her ‘secret’ appointment (more info on this later), so I stayed behind with Roxane and ate my crêpe. Suddenly we heard a cry of panic. It turned out one of the girls, Lauren, had spilled caramel sauce all over her beautiful Dolly Cat dress. She was crying and completely in panic, but luckily some girls managed to get the stains completely out with some water and soap!
Roxane and I went to the metro and soon walked into some fellow Lolitas. Together we went to the location of the Tea Party: the Shangri-La Hotel.

Lolitas at Shangri-La
The sign to the fancy Shangri-La Hotel.

We didn’t spot the hotel right away, but we didn’t have to walk far. The street in which the hotel was located wasn’t really super fancy, but the hotel looked quite beautiful with lovely French balconies and a car service of course!

Shangri-La Paris
Ah, fancy hotels in Paris are so… fancy.

Even though there was still about an hour left until the Tea Party would start, I boldly asked a kind staff lady whether we could maybe take a rest for a while. It was no problem at all and she guided us to a part of the hotel with all these fancy rooms, one after another, there seemed to be no end to them! We sat down on some chairs and took outfit pictures.

Pretty Chandeliers
Just chillin’ in an expensive hotel in Paris. That’s what I do.

After a while, I went downstairs to the toilets to change into my updated Tea Party outfit~! The toilets were absolutely stunning (as expected) and many people were already changing or doing their hair and makeup. It was quite fun hanging out in the toilets, haha! I changed my socks and shoes and put on my hand made flower crown with strawberries. Sophie was kind enough to attach my veil to my blouse. Initially I had wanted to wear a princess sleeves blouse, but it meant I had to get out of my dress, change my blouse and put my dress back on. I was just too hot and icky for that, so I ended up wearing my short-sleeved Baby, the Stars Shine Bright blouse. I know, such a sin! A Baby blouse to an Angelic Pretty Tea Party! >0< But well, it was self-preservation…
Anyway, here is my updates Tea Party outfit. I hope you like it! ♥

Milky Berry Tea Party Outfit
✿ Tea Party Berries ✿
My outfit rundown:
Flower crown: handmade
Blouse: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Jsk: Angelic Pretty’s Milky Berry
Socks: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: An*Tai*Na
Necklaces: Paris Kid’s and Angelic Pretty
Bracelets: Sweet&Tiny and offbrand
Rings: Angelic Pretty
Scepter: handmade

In the meantime, I was reunited with Eveline, Astrid and Iris again. Finally, it was time to go to the Tea Party room! I followed the stream of beautiful Party guests and walked up a big flight of stairs. There was a special, golden sign with ‘Angelic Pretty Tea Party in Paris’ on it. Very fancy!

Angelic Pretty Sign
Our fancy private sign and the grand staircase.

At the top of the stairs, we arrived in a beautiful, big open room where people were standing in line to have their tickets checked. Even though I had been so stressed about forgetting my invitation, there was a list with names and numbers, so everthing was fine in the end.

Number Check
Tro-Tro and Ludo checking everyone’s tickets.

I waited for a while until I picked up my own number since there were many people waiting, plus I was distracted by the beautiful hotel!

Waiting in Line
Girls waiting in line with their invitations.

The ceiling and walls of the big open room were decorated with gold and marble and there were beautiful stained glass windows. I was getting more and more curious what the main Tea Party room would be like, since this place was already so gorgeous!

Shangri-La Paris Inside
Isn’t this place absolutely stunning!?

I left my bag at the wardrobe, went to pick up my card with my number, no. 48, and sat down for a while until we could enter the main room. By this time I wasn’t feeling very well already, but I ignored it.

My scepter guarding my Tea Party number.

Finally, it was time to enter the Tea Party room~! I followed the stream of people and entered the room. It was so beautiful! I really felt like I had arrived in a mini version of Versailles! The walls and ceiling were white and covered in amazing gold ornaments. There were mirrors on opposite walls, chandeliers and beautiful curtains. In front of one of the mirrors was a small, black stage positioned.

Gold Ceiling
Isn’t this ceiling like a dream? I want to live here!

Round tables with small flowers pieces, plates, cutlery and small pastries were scattered all over the room. Lots of seats were taken already, so I quickly took a seat myself.

Tea Party Room
Everyone taking places.

A voice sounded through a microphone and everyone sat down. The two ladies who had been present as translators and organisers were present again and one of them was translating. She asked whether she should speak in both French and English and through the whole room it sounded ‘Yes~!’ She walked us through the programme of the Tea Party: there was time for food and chatting, there would be an exclusive fashion show, a raffle and of course the result of the best outfit contest. There would also be a special guest (I wonder who it could be? *o* Hehe). Then, Maki and Asuka appeared and welcomed everyone. I was so happy to see them again! ♥ Asuka thanked everyone for coming despite the heat, haha!

Welcome to the Tea Party!
Lovely Maki and Asuka. ♥
Picture by French Café

Maki and Asuka looked amazing as usual. Maki looks gorgeous in lavender and Castle Mirage is a beautiful print! I really like to see how Maki’s style as ‘evolved’ through the years. I have seen her sport huge pink cotton candy hair to big poofy ponytails to subtle, natural styles like this. I am really looking forward to see where she will go next!
I also absolutely adored Asuka’s pink outfit. Every Tea Party I have been to Asuka has worn pink. I know she wears other colours too, but it’s true! I think this is my favourite outfit from her though, she looked so stunning!
Then, it was time for drinks and pastries! Every table had enough pastries for every guest to have one of every kind. Plus, we also each had a small glass with red fruits in them.

Invitation and Food
Amazing Tea Party food. My absolute favourite pastry was the yellow meringue one, which I called ‘the party hat’.

Next to every plate was a piece of paper, on which you had to write the number of your favourite outfit. I thought the print was just so cute! I was a shame we had to give it away again…
Suddenly a loud crash sounded. Iris, who was sitting at my table, had put had put her handmade carousel next to her chair and it fell over and broke! She was really sad about it of course, she had worked really hard on it! Luckily Maki and Asuka could comfort her.
We were joined by two more girls at our table and we talked with each other for a bit. It’s always nice to get to know new people.

Pouring Drinks
Eveline pouring Yoki some water. Water was very popular at this party.

After the lovely food, I walked around for a bit and talked to people. I also took a look at the prize table of course. There were a lot of wonderful prizes again!

Raffle Prizes
The lovely prize table. I especially loved the chocolate bags.
Pictures by French Café

Finally, it was time for the fashion show! I was really excited for this and with good reason. There were six models in total, showing three prints. The first two girls were Bloody and Marina! Remember when I wrote about Marina’s ‘secret meeting’? It was actually modelling rehearsal! ^^ She and Bloody showed us Classic Fairy Tales, a brand new print that was completely unknown to the rest of the world at that moment! We were the very first people to see it. The print really reminded me of Baby, the Stars Shine Bright actually, with a forest and little animals. It was quite lovely. Both girls walked with confidence (even though Marina had a shorter walk because her walking route was obstructed by someone). They did so well!
I was busy filming the whole show and even though I do have some pictures, I will show you French Café’s pictures anyway. ^^

Classic Fairy Tales
Bloody and Marina wearing Classic Fairy Tales.
Pictures by French Café

The next two models wore Dreamy Planetarium, a print that had shown up in KERA magazine before. It’s so beautiful in real life! I think I love it in every colour now!

Dreamy Planetarium
Marine and Anastassia wearing Dreamy Planetarium.
Pictures by French Café

And finally, the last print: Luminous Sanctuary and also my biggest crush of the day. This print was shown in KERA magazine before as well and I already liked it back then, but at the Tea Party I fell head over heels in love with it. This print is just so different and beautiful and elegant and everything positive! Maybe one day I can say I own it, I would really like that… Also, the announcement of the special guest! Guess who it was? RinRin indeed! ♥

Luminous Sanctuary
Mila and RinRin wearing Luminous Sanctuary.
Pictures by French Café

So beside the fact that I adore RinRin to no end, she also made me love Luminous Sanctuary even more… Isn’t this print gorgeous?

Fashion Show Models
All the models in a row. Don’t they look gorgeous? ♥

It was such an honour and a pleasure to be able to see an Angelic Pretty fashion show in real life! I am so happy I got to have this wonderful experience. Like I said, I also made a video of the show, to let others experience some of the magic too~! ✧.
I hope you will like it. ♥

After the fashion show, we could walk around and chat with each other again. Even though the room was air-conditioned (I felt the actual heat outside on the balcony, which made inside feel like heaven) but I was still feeling really hot. I kept on trying to keep my head up and enjoy myself nonetheless.
In the room next to the Tea Party room, French Café had set up a corner to take pictures in with balloons and cute, Angelic Pretty-related signs, like text balloons saying ‘I need a Misty Sky re-re-re-re-release’ and ‘We want more chocolate prints’, but also an Angelic Pretty bow, Dolly Cat and cross. A lot of cute pictures were taken there, so I shamelessly will post some of my favourites here, also to give you a little look in some of the amazing outfit at the Tea Party.

Cute Outfits Part One
Lovely outfits collage, part 1. ^^
Pictures by French Café

And some more because I am horrible at choosing! Although I am sure you will forgive me because who doesn’t like pretty outfits?

Cute Outfits Part Two
Lovely outfits collage, part 2
Pictures by French Café

After walking around the room for a bit, I managed to take pictures with both Maki and Asuka. I somehow kept missing out on RinRin, but I was glad I had already had spent so much time with her at the Japan Expo and of course during the morning meeting.
Some people really have a preference when it comes to Maki and Asuka, but I really don’t. I love them both so much! ♥ They always look amazing and are really the face of Angelic Pretty!

With Maki and Asuka
With Maki and Asuka. ♥

Then, it was time for the raffle! Everyone sat down, took a good luck at their number and waited with excitement. Maki and RinRin held up the prizes, Asuka drew numbers and one of the translators said what the prizes were and read the numbers.

Asuka drawing Numbers
Asuka drawing numbers. *drumroll*

Every time, multiple numbers were drawn and all the girls who won something got to pick a prize (there were different versions or colours of each prize) and assembled on the stage. After all the numbers for a certain line of prizes had been called up, pictures were taken with RinRin and Maki and you could sit down again.

RinRin and Maki showing Prizes
RinRin and Maki showing the next prizes.

It was very exciting to see who won and what they won! Of course I was constantly hoping for my number to be drawn, but at the same time I was happy for whoever won something! I was sitting at quite a lucky table: Agata won a ring and Astrid, Yoki and Eveline (all sitting next to each other) won the same cutsew! However, I was the happiest for my friend Joana, who won the exact chocolate bag she really wanted! ♥

Chocolate Bag Girls
Joana with her fellow chocolate bag winners. I was so happy for her!
Picture by French Café

Unfortunately, I didn’t win anything this time. I have been extremely lucky at previous Angelic Pretty Tea Parties, but this time I wasn’t. However, everyone who didn’t win anything received an adorable little tablecloth with snowflakes on it and a Castle Mirage post card, which was really nice! ^^

Raffle Prize
My raffle prize. ^^

After the raffle there was some leftover time before the announcement of the best outfit winners, the best opportunity to take some more pictures in the amazing Tea Party room.

Posing for the Picture
A group taking pictures with Maki and RinRin.

I often forget to take pictures with people, but this time I did pose with two amazing people: Ludo and Mila. Can I just say that Ludo looked like a Disney Prince? He wore Angelic Pretty, but in the classiest, most awesome way I have ever seen a man do! *swoon* And also, Mila. Well I love Mila, can’t say much more about that! I was happy we could take pictures together, since we didn’t see each other much as she was so busy. ^^

With Ludo and Mila
With Ludo and Mila. ♥

If you were thinking I don’t look honestly happy here, well: I was. However, the heat (despite the air-conditioning) was really getting to me. I kept drinking iced tea and water, but it never seemed enough. Ok, enough heat whining.
Finally, it was time for the results of the outfit contest! The first and second place of the contest voted for by the guests ended up in a tie! The winners? Tiya from France and a girl whose name I forgot from Germany! Coincidentally, they both wore Angelic Pretty’s Mercator Antique shop!

Best Outfit Winners
The two best outfit winners!

Then, it was time for Maki to pick her personal favourite outfit. Everyone had to close their eyes and Maki would walk around the room and put a special Angelic Pretty sash on the winner. It was quite exciting: you could hear Maki waned along the room, getting closer or getting further away from you. Suddenly we heard a shriek and everyone opened their eyes: Maki had put the sash on Lauren! The poor girl who had gotten caramel sauce all over her dress had won best outfit!

Maki Favourite Outfit
Lauren wore Maki’s favourite outfit of the day!
Left picture by French Café

Then it was time for the group picture! We had a bit of trouble fitting everyone in, but we somehow managed to! I don’t have a frontal picture (yet), but luckily Marie took a great picture from the side as well. ^^

Angelic Pretty Tea Party Group Picture
The group picture of the Angelic Pretty Tea Party in Paris 2015!
Picture by French Café

We went back to the Tea Party, where Maki, Asuka and RinRin thanked us for coming. They told us the Tea Party had sadly come to an end, but everyone would be handed a bag with presents in the hallway. My table was up first, so I said goodbye to the beautiful room and walked into the hallway. It’s strange, but something Joana said suddenly came back to me: we would never ever even enter these hotels. It’s our dresses that get us inside. Isn’t that beautiful? XD
I arrived in the hallway, where Maki and RinRin handed Angelic Pretty bags to all the guests and waved them goodbye.

RinRin saying Goodbye
RinRin handing out goodie bags.

I picked up my bag and of course took a look at what was inside. We didn’t just get a Tea Party souvenir, but actually multiple things! We all received a lovely ‘thank you’ card, an amazing Tea Party badge with the Dolly Cat cat on it and three different clear files with Cherry Marguerite, Dream Marine and Milky Cross on it. You can see them down in this post.
After a bit of waiting, I managed to approach RinRin again! I was feeling so hazy at this moment so I was glad I managed to talk to her one last time. She was the sweetest and gave me the most amazing pep talk and told me to write her. I don’t remember everything she said unfortunately but I do know that I cried (again) and that she made me so happy! ♥ Thank you RinRin, you are amazing…

With RinRin
A last picture with RinRin. ♥

Maki and Asuka spotted me crying and I said I was really happy I could meet RinRin again. I asked: ‘Can you take her with you again for the next Tea Party?’ RinRin translated for me and Asuka said: ‘Ah, you like RinRin?’ with a smile. I thought that was cute. ^^
I was also very happy to be able to give her my present! I had bought a package of stroopwafels (very loved typical Dutch cookies) for her, Maki and Asuka. She was so happy with them and told me she really loved them when she tried them in the Netherlands in 2013! I also managed to give Maki and Asuka their gifts and they were happy with them. ^^

Stroopwafels with RinRin, Maki and Asuka
RinRin, Maki and Asuka with their gifts.

Somewhere in between, I also received an amazing-looking chocolate bar from Agata! Thank you so much again dear! ♥
I took some more pictures with people, including Honda-san, and then it was finally time to leave the Tea Party. At this point I was feeling so terrible there was only one thing I wanted: get changed. While Marina, Roxane and Anastassia took pictures and waited for me I went to the toilets and somehow got changed into a normal dress. I looked like a mess, so no more pictures of me from this point. XD But I felt so much better, God that was the best choice ever.
I went back to Marina and her friends and we left the hotel. It was so hot outside! My poor friends were still in Lolita, argh!
While my friends were checking their phones for a place to eat, I was looking for my metro ticket when suddenly, we spotted RinRin and her camera crew a little further away to film another segment for RinRin’s appearance on Kawaii International. She was wearing her Mermaid Kingdom dress again. She spotted us and waved and since my friend were busy, I approached RinRin one last time and thanked her for being so amazing. ♥ We talked some more for the last time and then it was time for her to go. Thank you for inspiring me so much RinRin, you are incredible.

Bye bye RinRin!
Bye bye RinRin!

Together with Marina, Roxane and Anastassia I walked for a while until we reached a McDonald’s. There, we had dinner (obviously) and just talked and talked for ages. The girls spoke a lot of French and taught me some interesting things. It was really nice. ^^
Finally, we left McDonald’s again (or as some French say ‘DoMac’ as I learned). On the way to the metro Marina and I had a really touching conversation that I am not letting you into, but still wanted to mention so I would remember it myself. ^^
Marina and I returned to her apartment where I had the best shower of my life. Never in my life have I taken completely cold showers, but this weekend I did. And it was great. x)
I had brought stroopwafels for Marina and her boyfriend as well. We would have loved to have a small ‘stroopwafel party’ with some friends, but we ended up having a lovely, unexpected evening with just the three of us with a chocolate fountain, fruit and stroopwafels. It was super nice. ^^

Chocolate Fountain
A chocolate fountain to end the day with. What could be better?

Finally, it was time to go to bed. It had been an incredibly long day and the next day would be very eventful as well, so we needed our sleep. ^^

Purchases and Gifts of the day
Purchases and gifts of the day

And to end this post with, here is the video I made about out the meeting with RinRin and the Angelic Pretty Tea Party! Please check it out if you have the time! ^^ I hope you like this video! One more to come~!

Thank you for reading! ~☆~

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Paris ‘15, Day 2 – Japan Expo

On Friday July 3rd one of my dreams came true: I went to the Japan Expo! The Japan Expo is the biggest Japan-related convention in the world (outside of Japan). Last year’s edition welcomed around 240.000 people! I’ve been wanting to go to the Japan Expo for about six years already, but things always came up and I never got the chance to go. This year I wasn’t supposed to go either actually. A big Tea Party called ‘Doll Classica’ was planned with model Midori as a special guest. I was really on the brink of ordering tickets for Iris and myself when it was announced that Midori couldn’t attend anymore because she was ill! She made a heart-breaking video in which she said how sad she was she couldn’t come, almost crying. :(
Even though I love Tea Parties, the main reason I wanted to attend was to see Midori again, so when it was announced she wasn’t coming anymore, Iris and I decided to go to the Japan Expo instead. So in the end we had a fun day planned after all!
Iris and I met up around 10.15 am, got her some breakfast and then went on our way to Gare du Nord, from where we took the train to Parc des Expositions. It was quite warm already, so I was grateful I had brought my fan along (he really become my best friend during these heat wave days). We were sitting opposite a cool cosplayer and arrived around 12 pm. There were a lot of anime posters around the stations, which I thought was really cool!

Posters at the Station
Two of the posters we encountered along the way.

We followed the stream of people around a big building and soon found ourselves in a giant hall. Our bags were checked (well, “checked” the French way) and we entered a second giant hall with lots of gates and fences. Iris and I both had a one day ticket and we were quite lucky with them, because the line for four day tickets was really full, while we got to walk on easily. Finally, in the next hall our tickets were scanned and we were in! Of course, the Japan Expo opened at 9 am already and we arrived later, that probably made a real difference! ^^

Lovely Iris in front of the Japan Expo welcome sign.

We entered the official Expo and there were so many people! There was also a lot of noise of a concert happening close by and there were stands everywhere! For a moment I was so overwhelmed. I could hardly believe I was finally there! We had no idea where to go first, so we decided to go left.

Welcome to the Japan Expo
I’m sorry for the not so great picture, but it’s the only one I have from our entrance so I put it in anyway. ^^

I must honestly say, I came terribly unprepared: the only things I knew were that I wanted to visit the ‘Jeunes Créateurs’ (‘young designers’) part and that my favourite cosplayer Reika would be attending. I have met her before at the Japan Tag in Düsseldorf, but if it were possible I wanted to meet her again. ^^ Other than that, I had no idea about the layout of the convention, performances or guests whatsoever. But to be honest: I quite liked it that way. There was no pressure of having to be at a certain point at a certain time, which was
quite relaxing.
We went left and tried to stay away from the stage where a band was playing super loudly, when we suddenly waked into a big wall indicating we had reached the ‘Hiromu Arakawa exhibition’. Hiromu Arakawa happens to be my absolute favourite manga artist, because she is the creator of Fullmetal Alchemist, the greatest manga ever created (in my humble opinion of course).

Hiromu Arakawa Exhibition
The Hiromu Arakawa exhibition.

The exhibition was small with art work, manga panels and a big transmutation circle in the middle where you could take pictures. I didn’t look at everything, but just being there made me so happy! ^^

Fullmetal Alchemist at Japan Expo
I’m in a picture with Edward Elric! *o* Also, transmuting~!

We walked on and were a bit at a loss of where we were (we couldn’t find a portable map) when I spotted the rainbow-coloured NHK booth! We were attracted by the amazing colours and were greeted by my friends, the always cool looking Aliénor and Funassyi personification Sandra. They offered us to take pictures in front of the colourful background of the booth with their amazing pancake hat and crusty crown props (they looked so real)!

NHK Kawaii Booth
Lovely Sandra and Aliénor and Iris and I with our amazing headwear. ♥

It was really nice talking to the two girls again. It’s always great to talk to people off Facebook once in a while, haha! x)

NHK Booth Headwear
Don’t the hat and crown look truly edible? It’s quite amazing!

Iris and I walked on and accidentally ended up in the Jeunes Créateurs area, the part we were looking for. We actually spent most of our time there during the day I think, haha!

Jeunes Créateurs
The Jeunes Créateurs area.

Iris and I decided to walk past each and every stall in a certain pattern, but often got distracted. We did see every stall in the end though, go us! There were so many amazing stalls and they sold the most varying things. There were super pink stalls selling adorable jewelry, steam punk stalls, stalls selling replicas (I saw the most horrific Victorian Maiden replicas I have ever seen) and so much more! I was most drawn by the pastel-coloured stalls of course, but I enjoyed every stall!

Cute Stands at Japan Expo
Some close ups of different stalls at the Jeunes Créateurs area.

I was planning on buying some accessories and I certainly had a hard time choosing! I am already not the best at choosing, but there were so many amazing stalls and goods it’s really no wonder! So I told myself to first check out all the stalls and later return to pick some things to buy. ^^ Although there was one stall I already knew I would return to for sure: Moon Bunny! I have loved their accessories for a long time already and I was very happy I got to see them in real life at La Vie en Rose in February. I was definitely planning on returning to their fabulous stall. ☆

Moon Bunny
Moon Bunny~! ♥

There was another stall I was looking for for another reason. A couple of days before I left for Paris, I discovered I had won a giveaway by the lovely shop of Les Bijoux de Sharuru, which makes adorable little decorated boxes! Lucky me! *o* I soon found the stall and had, again, a hard time choosing my prize. Eventually I chose a really cute one, you can see it at the end of this post. Also, the owner of the shop is looked so cool! She had combined Lolita with… well, awesomeness and it looked so sweet!

Les Bijoux de Sharuru
Les Bijoux de Sharuru and its adorable owner. ♥

I was happy to also walk into some familiar faces at the Japan Expo! I didn’t take many pictures of people and especially not from people I don’t know. *sigh* But I did take some pictures of (Facebook)friends. ^^

Cuties at Japan Expo
Lovely Rehem at her stand, Anastassia and Rosie looking adorable, Shimi super cute as Pusheen and Yuma looking charming. ♥

After we had seen all the stalls, we decided to explore a bit more of the Japan Expo. We started walking around again when suddenly, we heard oud drums in the distance. Naturally, we got curious and went to take a look. We ended up at a stage with a big audience, where a group of drummers/performers was doing a show. I only learned their name later, but they are called ‘Takarabune’ and they were amazing! They drummed, danced, jumped, did goofy slapstick acts, it was hilarious and wonderful. At first Iris and I watched from a distance, but eventually we sat down on empty chairs as well. The picture below nor the video at the end of this post do this group justice, they were incredible!

Takarabune Performance
The amazing members of the Takarabune group.

The blonde guy, called Takashi, was my absolute favourite, but really every member was super energetic and fun. I wish I could have seen the entire performance! *o*
After the performance, we went to look for Reika. We didn’t really know where to go, so we asked at a stand and a super friendly girl went to show us. Unfortunately, Reika was just out for food, so we went to the toilets to get freshened up (heat wave remember?) and sat down near her booth to eat some food ourselves.
We hadn’t sat down for very long wen suddenly, Reika returned (with food) and we were second in line to meet her! Poor girl, she had to eat in between people. I would have left her alone if she didn’t jump up to meet her fans again. ^^

With Reika
I am so happy I got to meet my dear Reika again! I cannot believe my luck. ♫

After the meeting we went outside in the courtyard for some fresh air. It was so hot in the sun, people were really crammed into the shaded corners. But it was quite pleasant in the shade indeed, so I understood why. XD

In The Courtyard
People in the courtyard of the Japan Expo.

We went inside again and aimlessly walked around some more. We passed several interesting stands that promoted the most varying things. The only conventions I’ve been to are nothing like the Japan Expo: always aimed at anime and manga fans and the occasional fashion lovers. This convention celebrated everything about Japanese culture. Of course it was to be expected from the biggest Japan-related convention, but still. It was so amazing to see.
We passed a stand promoting a site to support your favourite idols and they let you take pictures with cute frames, so well… why not? ♥

Cheerz at Japan Expo
Aren’t we adorable? XD

I wish I could remember all the amazing things and stands we passed, but frankly my brain doesn’t have the space for it. It was just too much to process. So many wonderful goodies, people, stalls. My memory has just given up on certain parts. However, I do remember this traditional singer a shamisen and singing in a fabulous dress!

Singer at Japan Expo
We didn’t stay long for her performance, but she was quite good. ^^

Coincidentally, here we walked into the cosplayer we had met in the train. That I do remember. Oh brain.
Iris and I decided to head back to the Jeunes Créateurs area and just walk around. We went to the Summer Tales Boutique stall, owned by my friend Katie, who happened to be present there now (when we went there an hour earlier, she was just walking around). The STB stall looked cute as ever and it was really nice talking to Katie and her team. They all looked fabulous~! ☆

Summer Tales Boutique Team
Team Summer Tales Boutique represent!

I fell head over heels in love with Katie amazing magical girl-like moon necklace and she was super kind to show me where she got it. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it anymore in a colour I liked, but it was nice sending a little time with Katie and just talking about… well stuff. ;)
We returned to the Jeunes Céateurs area, where we revisited as many of the stalls as we could. We also stumbled upon the Axes Femme stall, where they had the most amazingclothing. God I love this brand so much, it’s like casual Lolita heaven! They had some gorgeous skirts, even more gorgeous blouses, lots of jewelry and the shop girls looked stunning! We also got to talk to a nice man who was the owner I think? He was very happy to hear I love the brand and I promised him that if I ever return to Japan I will definitely visit one of their shops there!

Axes Femme at Japan Expo
Doesn’t the Axes Femme shop girl look amazing? This brand is so wonderful…

By this time, I finally decided it was shopping time! So I went back to the Moon Bunny stall and ought an adorable set of melty moon earrings and an adorable cookie-like hear clip. You can see my purchases at the end of this post. I also visited another one of my favourite stalls: Jule et Lily. This adorable couple makes amazing jewelry by laser cut (is that what you call it?) and I really wanted to go back an buy something from tem. Their adorable shell necklaces had caught my eye earlier (I am really into shells these days), but somehow they were just a tad too big for me… Until I suddenly realised that just to the right of them were shell necklaces one size smaller and they were just perfect! After some doubting about the colour, I went with the iridescent white shell. I still can’t believe I found that amazing necklace. I absolutely adore it! Thank you so much Jule et Lily, you are amazing! ♥

Jule et Lily
Adorable Jule et Lily at their wonderful stall. ♥

Suddenly, while browsing, we walked into sweet Anastassia again and she excitedly asked if we were coming to the NHK booth too to meet Rinrin. Excuse us!? *o* We knew Rinrin was in Paris, since there would be a special meeting the next day with her at crêperie Princess Crepe, but we didn’t know she would be at Japan Expo that day as well!? Iris and I quickly followed Anastassia (after she had fangirled over a video of her favourite band first. XD) and arrived at the NHK booth. There, a big, life-size Domo-kun was present and not long after fairy-like Rinrin appeared indeed! Thank you so much for telling, Anastassia darling. ;_; ♥

Rinrin and Domo-kun
There she was, Rinrin, in all her pastelly adorable glory! ~♥~!

Rinrin was filming for NHK Kawaii International, so there were camera people present, which was really cool! First, we were asked if we had any questions for her (we had to come up with questions real quick, haha). At first, a translator was present, but since Rinrin speaks perfect English and we, the audience, were pretty ok with it as well, she quickly switched to us personally.

Rinrin was wearing Angelic Pretty’s Cherry Marguerite, which suited her so well! ♥

It wasn’t very clear to us what the Kawaii International crew had planned, but we were happy when it turned out we could all approach Rinrin separately, talk to her and take pictures! The camera crew pretty much just filmed things without interfering, which was really nice.

Pictures with Rinrin
Everyone got their moment to talk and take pictures with Rinrin.

All the girls around me were very excited to meet Rinrin, who is an idol to many. No one could deny that she is just so super cute! Plus, everyone around me looked super cute as well. I nearly felt underdressed in my ‘normal’ clothes! x)
It was Iris’s turn and it didn’t take long before she started crying while talking to Rinrin because she was so happy to meet her. I don’t remember what was said back and forth again, plus it was quite noisy so I didn’t catch everything. However, I thought to myself: ‘For once I am not going to cry. I have no reason to cry so I won’t.’ When it was my turn, I approached Rinrin and we talked for a bit (did I mention she’s super sweet?). I don’t remember what was said in which order, but it was a lovely talk. ♥ I cannot really describe how I felt during the meeting, but I was just so overly happy! Rinrin said she really liked my outfit and I told her that she was my inspiration to start growing my hair out again. ‘Ah, will you dye it as well?’ she asked me very enthusiastically. ‘No I won’t,’ I said a bit too fast, because ever since I said that I suddenly have the incredible need to dye the tips of my hair a bright colour.
At a certain point I told her we had met before and asked whether she remembered me. I never expected her to, she meets so many people. But then she said: ‘Ah yes I do, from the Kawaii Event in the Netherlands!’ So yeah, then the tabs opened and my tears started rolling like crazy! I was just so, SO happy she remembered me! I sometimes feel so unimportant and meaningless, so when someone like her remembers and recognizes me means a lot. (Also, the cameras happily zoomed in on my cry face. Who knows what we will see in the newest Kawaii International episode..?)

Selfie with Rinrin
Rinrin took selfies and snap chats with everyone, resulting into this picture I really like! ☆

Later she told me she always notices my comments on her Facebook statuses and how they make her happy, causing a second literal wave to flow down my cheeks. Oh yes, telling myself not to cry worked really well. XD

Lots of Emotions
Being filmed, drying my tears and hugging Rinrin. ;_; ♥

Rinrinreally is just so kind and sweet and amazing. I have met Rinrin before and I know she is very sweet, but somehow I had forgotten just how sweet she really is. Not only does she look impeccable and amazing, she is also really kind to her fans and compliments everyone on the smallest details. She truly is a role model and I hope every Lolita gets the chance to meet her at some point in their Lolita career.

Rinrin and Me
More pictures with Rinrin because I love her. ♥

We also took a group picture which I am going to share with you too, because I didn’t share enough colourful pictures yet! ^^ I do look slightly overheated in my opinion, but since we were still experiencing a heat wave I can forgive myself. ;)

Group with Rinrin
Group picture with Rinrin~!

At a certain point, Rinrin had disappeared like a ninja, while Iris and I were talking with Aliénor and Sandra. Rinrin has said something odd: the fashion walk organised by Angelic Pretty on Sunday was supposed to be cancelled and a new one was scheduled at the Japan Expo instead? It seemed a bit strange and no one knew about it, so we were determined to find out about it the next day.
The rest of the time we spent at the Japan Expo is a bit of a blur. I bought the last things I wanted while Iris went on a hunt for tights (which she ended up not finding). I had hoped we would be able to leave before the closing of the Japan Expo at 6 pm, but we unfortunately took too much time, causing us to leave with the big crowd of congoers. We did end up leaving at the same time as Rinrin, so we said goodbye and ‘See you tomorrow!’

Saying Goodbye to Japan Expo
Leaving Japan Expo.

Once we got outside, we got hit in the face by the remaining heat. Iris put her shoes back on (she had walked around barefoot most of the day because her feet hurt) and we headed towards the station.

Japan Expo 2015
Bye bye Japan Expo! See you next year..

Unfortunately, it soon became clear we had a problem. The station was super crowded and the line to buy train tickets was incredibly long. We had forgotten to buy two way train tickets and I wasn’t very keen on standing in line for hours, while my fatigue was catching up on me and I felt so hot… I could feel tears stinging behind my eyes, so I said to Iris: ‘Follow me, I have a plan.’ We walked into the station, holding our one way train tickets in hand. We walked up to the ticket gates, where staff members made sure everything went smoothly. What I did then is something I am not really proud of and is something I never do, but in this case I deemed it necessary since I was feeling worse and worse. I pushed my ticket in the slot and, of course, it came back out. I pretended I didn’t understand what was going on and the man behind the gate took my ticket from me. He started explaining in French why the ticket didn’t work, so I asked him for English and he stated over, saying: ‘This ticket has already been validated.’ ‘Ah it isn’t a retour ticket?’ ‘No, it’s already been validated.’ ‘But I thought I had bought a retour ticket!’ It was crowded and hot in the station, so the tears immediately came up. The man looked up at me and asked: ‘Why are you crying?’ ‘Because I am tired and hot and I don’t know what to do,’ I said, crying even more. Then the incredibly kind man ushered me to a side gate and let Iris and me through without a ticket. I must have looked like I was about to pass out or something, auch! I thanked the man wholeheartedly, dried my tears, and we could walk on to the train! Like I said, I am not proud of what I’ve done, but I think it was a good choice.
After that, we had to get through a train ride from hell (people crammed into a sauna train for 30 minutes. I sweat in places I didn’t know could sweat, ew) and finally we arrived back in Paris. Iris went back to her hotel and would call a couple of friends to have dinner with, while all I wanted was a cold shower. I was really happy to see Marina again and we exchanged our adventures of the day.
I wasn’t really planning on eating anything fancy, but eventually Marina came up with the plan to check out this new buffet restaurant just down the street. Best idea ever! *_* The restaurant had a (slightly weird but very interesting) Asian buffet plus some… non-Asian things like French fries (hey, we’re in France I guess) and the food was so good!

The interesting buffet consisting of sushi, rice, meat in sauce and other things.

I am still not sure whether the food was so good because we were hungry or because the food was genuinely good, but the evening was great. ^^ Marina and I talked so much and it was really nice. ♥ I really cherish that moment.
After dinner we went back to Marina’s apartment, talked some more and then went to sleep. The following day would be a busy one and we needed our rest, but the day had been super fun!
I am so happy I finally got to visit the Japan Expo! Looking back at other people’s pictures there’s a lot I didn’t see, but I don’t mind at all. I had a fun day. And that’s what counts. ^^ I hope to go again, maybe next year?

Purchases of the Day
Purchases and gifts of the day

And to end this post with, here is the video I made about out Japan Expo adventure! Do check it out if you have the time please! ^^ I hope you like this video! More to come~!

Thank you for reading! ~☆~