Friday, October 30, 2015

Osaka ‘15, Day 1 – Flight and Arrival

Hi everyone, I am back from my trip to Japan! I’ve had an absolutely amazing time and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! ^^ If you want to have some general information about our trip first, please read this post. ^^ I will do my best, as always, to describe things in the best way that I can, but forgive me if I forget things or tell things twice! Also, if you have any questions or remarks, do not hesitate to comment! Ok, here we go. I hope you enjoy my reports!

After what seemed like a really long time suddenly Saturday October 10th seemed to arrive out of nowhere! Of course I had been preparing for our trip for a long time, but with school and other commitments time suddenly seemed to fly by! However, on the morning of the 10th I woke up excited but quite calm, since I had packed everything neatly and the only things I had to add were some toiletries. My mom and I were quite excited and wanted to spent some more time at the airport than last time, so we said goodbye to our dogs and then my dad drove us to the airport.

Ready for a Trip
Our journey begins!

We soon arrived at the airport and my dad parked the car. We dragged our suitcases and bags with us and entered the airport, where we checked the signs to find out where we had to check in our luggage. We quickly spotted our flight to Osaka Kansai airport and discovered the flight to Tokyo left at the exact same time as our flight! Interesting coincidence. ^^ We had to check in our luggage at desk 10-13, so we went on our way.

Osaka Kansai
Can you spot our flight? ^^

A couple of weeks before we had dropped off my brother at the airport as well, since he was going to study in Oxford, England for three months. The gate he had to check in his luggage at was a different one and it took ages for him to leave his suitcase behind, so I was glad we got to check in our luggage at our own ‘trusted’ gate. ^^

New Suitcases
Ready to check in our new suitcases! Aren’t they nice? *o*

While my dad waited for us, we went to check in our luggage. We chose the first line we saw, but it turned out to be a line with stewardesses behind desks checking in for you and I know it might sound crazy, but I preferred to do it myself. So ignoring the annoying stewardess that had been snapping at other people and us, we went to stand in the self-check-in line. We soon sent off our suitcases (I always get so nervous and relieved at the same time at this point) and went back to my dad to say goodbye. We would be away for two weeks and of course we would Skype to see each other, but still. My mom cried, for a bit, but we were doing pretty ok, haha!
We said goodbye, waved a couple of times and then went through the hand luggage and passport check, into the airport.

Tokyo Dreams
My mom and I were both wearing our ‘Tokyo Dreams’ sweaters (even though we were going to Osaka. XD)! ☆

My mom and I were both really looking forward to spend time at the airport, because last time we had to wait in line to exchange money for a long time. We had some really nice sandwiches and cake, but then had to go to our gate. This time we had a lot more time, however our beloved airport was under construction! :( There was no natural sunlight coming through the windows, shops were moved and the restaurant with the divine cake was gone (yes, we actually went looking for it and asked around). Luckily, the big perfume store was still there, so we went to browse for a bit. My mom had planned to buy herself some perfume, so she bought the one she had planned on: Noa Noa.

My mom with her first purchase of our trip! I really love perfume bottles, some are
so pretty! ♥

While we were looking for our cake restaurant, we also walked into the M&Ms store, which was a really nice surprise! Apparently it’s new (I’m not sure whether it’s temporary?)! I have been to the M&Ms store in London, which is really big and awesome, but this store was quite small and lots of fun. Everything was Dutch-themed, which was cool. :3 And the staff was really nice.

M&Ms Store Schiphol
The Dutch M&Ms store.

We decided to find some place to eat. During previous times at the airport we passed a typical Dutch restaurant, so we decided to go eat there for the first time. We decided to have some poffertjes (tiny Dutch pancakes) and smoothies. We had to wait for our poffertjes for a bit, but after we got them we could choose from several syrups and jams to put on top of them. ^^

Poffertjes and Smoothie
Our delicious and very typical Dutch lunch!

We then went on for some shopping! We don’t usually buy really big things at the airport (at least, not on the way to our destination), but we couldn’t pass the opportunity to visit the Nijntje store! ♥ I had spotted some super cute key chains there and I decided to get my mom and myself one.

Nijntje Store
Me with Nijntje and the cute key chains I bought. ♥

We made a brief visit to the toilet and then went on to our gate. It took me a while to figure out which was ours, because it was located right in between two others. My mom sat down and I went to ask one of the stewardesses whether I could walk through the gate to take a picture of our plane, which was ok. ^^

KLM Plane
The plane waiting for us to take us far, far away…

I also posted a picture of our plane on my Instagram. I had barely told anyone I was going on vacation. Not to keep it a secret necessarily, but mainly because I was very busy and somehow felt more comfortable not talking about it yet. So many people were surprised haha. ^^
We waited for a while until it was time to board. We were mainly surrounded by Japanese people returning home, but there were some Westerners as well.

Ready(?) to board!

Soon it was announced that they would name row numbers so people could board peacefully, however everyone immediately got up and started forming a (giant) line! My mom, me and a darling old Japanese lady looked at each other and decided to wait for a bit, even though our seats were almost at the back of the plane. So no naming of row numbers unfortunately, which would have made everything a lot easier, but well. We talked a tiny bit with the sweet old lady (to the extent of my Japanese language abilities) and finally decided to go stand in line as well. The line moved smoothly and soon we were allowed to enter the plane.
Our seats were at the back of the plane, so there was no one sitting behind us. Seriously, if you are able to choose your own seats and these are available: get them! It’s so nice! *o*
We installed ourselves, I texted my dad, he texted back and despite some worrying reports about missing passengers, we left on time!

Ready for Take Off
Ready to go! Osaka here we come! ♡

We taxied for a while until we arrived at our take off strip. The plane started to speed up and soon we left the Netherlands and flew off, on our way to the other side of the world! I looked out of the window and for a moment I felt like it wasn’t real, as if I could wake up at any minute, as if I was dreaming. But it was real, I was flying off to Japan, after all those weeks, months even, of preparing and waiting.
My mom was breathing her nerves away while I held her hand and looked outside.

Bye Bye Netherlands
The start of our 11 hour flight.

Soon the ‘seatbelts on’ sign was turned off and the stewardesses started moving. I checked the entertainment (movies, yay!) and we were soon handed headphones, a drink and some nuts. A little while later, dinner was served! We could choose between Western or Asian and we went with..? Asian, surprise, surprise! It was the same meal as during our last trip, which was great since we loved it!

Airplane Dinner
Our airplane dinner. I love airplane food so much. ♥

During the flight, I watched two movies: Inside Out (loved it!) and Pitch Perfect 2 (was decent). The immigration forms we had to fill in were handed out quite early. It felt a little weird to having to fill in four different hotels as locations, but well: you never know whether it’s important or not. I also tried to sleep, as usual, but it didn’t happen. Me and airplanes don’t go well together in terms of sleeping. I did however watch Titanic with my mom on her screen: she just wanted to watch and didn’t need sound, so I had headphones on. We only watched the happy first half though, haha!
Somewhere during the flight, my mom and I switched places. Because we flew through the night, not that much was to be seen, but my mom was very happy to sit next to the window nonetheless.

View from the Airplane Window
One of the beautiful views when it was still light outside. ♥

The route our plane took was a bit different from our trips to Tokyo. During previous flights we always flew really high up over Russia, then the sea and then over Japan, but this time we actually flew over China and Korea as well! Around the time we flew above Beijing, it was finally time to open the curtains again and have breakfast!

Airplane Breakfast
Our breakfast was very nice as well. ^^

I was really excited we would be flying over Korea, but unfortunately it was really cloudy so we couldn’t see a thing. ^^’ I know it’s not true, but I always feel like it’s always grey and cloudy in Korea and this only fuelled my belief (even though it’s not true of course haha). XD
The pilot wished us a good morning, gave us some flight details and soon our descend started. By this time, I was sitting in the window seat again and something really weird happened: during our last hour I felt so sick! I don’t know what happened, but I got all dizzy, nauseous and so tired. The only thing that helped me was looking away from the window and rest my head on my mom’s shoulder. Thank God it lessened right before landing, which was, by the way, quite scary! When we descended through the clouds, the sea was rapidly coming closer and closer! I knew Kansai airport was located in the sea, but it was almost like we were crashing into the water! Luckily, the pilots knew what they were doing (XD) and we safely landed on the landing strip.

Arrival at KIX
A grey welcome to Japan!

We had arrived in Japan!

Even though our flight, arrival and first day in Japan felt as one long day because of timezones, I count the flight and arrival as day 1. ^^

And to end this post with, here is the video I made about our adventures in Osaka! I filmed a lot and tried to make the best videos I could about our trip. I hope you will like it! ♡
You can find day 1 from 0:00 until 1:54. Please take a look if you want! ♡

Thank you for reading! ~☆~

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Four Cities, Three Trains, Two People, One Country!

Dear everyone,

the past few months seemed to take forever… I have been through a lot of things, both happy but mostly frustrating, painful and saddening. But today, the 10th of October 2015, I can say is a very special day for me!
Today is the day I am going to Japan!!! I can’t believe I am actually going again! It will be just my mom and me, a true girls trip! I am so excited!

I have been to Japan before and if you want to, you can find all the posts about my trips in my “Travels” section. This trip however will be very different. Instead of having Tokyo as a ‘home base’, we will travel around the country! Our Japan Rail Passes are ready for us and I am so excited! It has been a dream of mine to travel around Japan and we will visit so many amazing places. We will visit Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo and will make side trips to Miyajima and Nara. I cannot put into words how excited and above all how grateful I am for this adventure!

I will try to post pictures on my Instagram mostly, so if you want to stay on top of things you can follow me! My username is @lolitawonderland (surprising huh). Or add me on my Facebook! Please do send me a message with your friend request: I usually don’t add people I don’t know.

Of course, I will write extensive blog posts once I return, so please look forward to them! Whaaah I am so excited!

Dewa mata suguni ne~! ♥
See you soon~! ♥

Friday, October 02, 2015

Under the Sea Announcement!

I’ve had to keep this secret for months and I cannot tell you hard it was to keep it, but now my lips are no longer sealed and I can finally tell you about the thing that’s been keeping me busy and excited for months:

Under the Sea

This incredibly exciting event is organized by Street Fashion Europe. Their previous events, Enchanted and La Vie en Rose, were great successes and their third event is starting out promising as well!
♥ The first announced guest? Juliette et Justine and designer Mari Nakamura!
♥ The dates? May 7th&8th, 2016!
That’s right, this event is taking place in the country of yours truly and I’m incredibly honoured and happy to say that I am part of the Dutch team that is making this event come true! We are working very hard to make this a succes! Unfortunately, I am not able to tell you more than this, but I can assure you more exciting things will be announced soon! The venues will be great and the yet-to-be-announced guests are (in my personal opinion) amazing!

You can find the event page here: Under the Sea event page.
Please consider attending this event if you can, it’s going to be spectacular! Hopefully I will see you there! ~☆