Saturday, December 05, 2015

Hiroshima ’15, Day 5 – Japan Rail Pass, the Shinkansen and Some Shopping


On Wednesday morning we woke up fairly on time, because on this day we would travel to Hiroshima! We got dressed and went to buy some breakfast at 7/11 first. I especially liked my gelatine with fruits.
We packed our suitcases and checked the room one last time. Then we said goodbye to our room, took our suitcases downstairs, checked out and left our suitcases at the lobby. My mom and I had decided to take a train to Hiroshima at the beginning of the afternoon. We didn’t want to arrive at our hotel having to wait for our room. Since check in time was somewhere after 2pm or 3pm, we wanted to arrive after that. So we had decided to buy some last things in Osaka before we headed to Shin-Osaka, from where the Shinkansen departs.

Outfit of the Day
My mom didn’t want to have her picture taken, so it’s just my outfit of the day. ^^

During our trip, my mom didn’t want to be in that many pictures, so sorry if you don’t see that much of her. :/
We went on our way to Dotonbori to check out one of the gift shops there. I ended up buying a fake pancake key chain and my mom bought nothing. The souvenir shop was so great though, they had so many amazing things! Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t have bought a takoyaki-themed item after all. 8D

Osaka Souvenirs
Shopping for souvenirs!

I also took a picture with the Kuidaore Ningyo. This clown-like doll playing a deep resounding drum is apparently very famous, because everyone wanted to take a picture with it. We actually thought he looked pretty creepy. x) So a picture together with it was a necessity! Plus our outfits matched!

Creepy Doll
Isn’t this guy a little creepy? Also, please ignore the child that didn’t want to move. XD

We went on to Shinsaibashi. Close to the Glico man bridge was a big screen that was apparently filming people, since we saw ourselves appear. It was quite fun. ^^ Also, once again, the neon advertisements looked so great… What is this obsession of mine!? x)

Glico Man Once More
The Glico man in the distance. ☆

We crossed the bridge and walked into Shinsaibashi. I had decided I wanted to buy the bunny capelet at the Disney store after all, so we wanted to walk on until we reached the store. However, I got distracted by an incredibly colourful display at the Body Shop. It turned out to be the Body Shop x Sebastian Masuda (of 6% Dokidoki) collaboration! I had seen pictures of it pass me by on the internet and with its bright colours, the stand was hard to overlook. The kind staff lady (who spoke great English by the way) offered me to take a picture with the stand. If I uploaded it to Instagram and tagged it, I would get a present! Unfortunately, I didn’t have internet on my phone without a Wi-Fi spot, but I took a picture anyway! ^^

Body Shop Colours
Isn’t this colourful display amazing!? ♥

I also smelled one of the products of this line. It smelled super sweet, like peach candy.
We walked on and reached the Disney store. My mom went to look around for a bit while I tried to decide whether size S or M was better. I had the feeling they weren’t very different, when suddenly an adorable Disney store girl came up to me. She wore cute braids and her voice was incredibly high pitched. She asked me if I wanted to try the capelets on. I felt a bit awkward, but the girl was so sweet and helpful! Eventually I made my choice. I went to pay and before we left the store, I asked if I could take a picture with the cute shop girl. She was so happy haha!

Disney Store
Last time shopping at the Disney store in Shinsaibashi, Osaka.

Since I had read there were two Bodyline stores, we went on and tried to find the second one in Amerikamura. Unfortunately, we didn’t find it and I honestly don’t know whether there really is a second Bodyline store in Osaka. Oh well. x) We did however visit the big Kinji store, where I severely doubted about getting a cute polka dotted pink peignoir but in the end didn’t buy.
It was time to say goodbye to Osaka. We went back to our hotel, picked up our suitcases and went on our way to Nanba station. The journey there was very heavy. Despite the fact I had developed a technique making it easier to pull my suitcase, we still had to drag our luggage down some stairs, through gates and in and out of elevators. However, there was a positive side: we didn’t have to hurry at all. We took the metro to Shin-Osaka, where we went to find the Japan Rail Pass ticket desk.
As a foreigner, you can buy a special train ticket that allows you to travel around Japan for a certain amount of time. When you order it, you receive a voucher at home that you need to exchange when you are in Japan. My mom and I had booked a week ticket and we wanted to validate it from that same Wednesday until the next Tuesday. At Shin-Osaka, I left my mom with our luggage while I went to find the ticket desk. I soon found it, went back for my mom and we went up the escalators around the corner. At least, I thought I had found the ticket desk, but I went to ask at the information desk just to be sure. An old Japanese man, of course with no English skills, pointed me in the right direction. We entered the office and went to stand in line. When it was our turn, we pulled out our vouchers and for a moment I thought the lady behind the desk seemed confused, but apparently she was not and a whole process of showing passports, signing files and checking things started. It took a while until we finally got our Japan Rail Passes, but they looked very nice! ^^
After we were finally done, we asked for the right train to Hiroshima. Unfortunately, the reserved cars were already fully booked, so we had to try the non-reserved cars. So my mom and I went on our way.

Japan Rail Passes
Our Japan Rail Passes! Actually… that’s just the booklet, haha! ^^’

At first it felt quite exclusive: we had to walk past the information desk at the side of the gates and just show our Japan Rail Passes, after which we could just walk on. But since many, many tourists used them it didn’t feel so cool anymore later during our trip! XD We soon reached the right platform. Since there were gates and clearly indicated spots where to wait to board the train, I went to inform where the boarding spots were for the non-reserved cars. A kind station chef helped us out and we joined a line behind two Australians, with whom we had a short but nice conversation. Soon the train arrived and after it was prepared for us (they turned the chairs in the right direction!) we got to board. My mom and I were lucky: we found two seats next to each other. Nevertheless, we decided to try and reserve seats in the reserved cars for our next train two days later.

Shinkansen
Ready to travel to Hiroshima!

There’s not much to say about the train ride: it was fast and smooth, haha! I bought two drinks from an on-board vending machine and the cans were really cute. Also, the view was interesting but not spectacular. Although we did spot a huge, Notre Dame-like cathedral(?) somewhere along the way! Yep, I think that’s all there is to say about our first train ride with the Shinkansen. ^^ It was quite fun.

Shinkansen Summary
A photographic summary of our trip with the Shinkansen.

Finally, we arrived in Hiroshima. From the looks of the station itself you couldn’t really tell where you were: somehow there were barely any signs. However, posters of the nearby island of Miyajima gave it away a bit I guess. ^^
I led the way and tried to find the tram station. To get around Hiroshima, the best way is to take the tram. First I accidentally led us to the JR station, but a kind woman showed us the right way. Also, at the information desk next to the station gate was someone with a sign saying they spoke English, which was really great!
Finally, we exited the station. Now we spotted signs saying ‘Hiroshima station’ (so we were really at the right place, haha). People were chilling at a big, mushroom-shaped fountain and I was wondering whether it was a somewhat abstract depiction of the atomic bomb. There was also a giant poster promoting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Osaka Universal Studios. It was quite an interesting idea that Daniel Radcliffe’s face is even on a station as far as Japan. I know it’s not surprising, but it made me smile nonetheless. We walked up to the tram station, where we already spotted several cute little trams.

Waiting for a Tram
Waiting for our tram.

We had to wait for a while until our tram, the number one, arrived. Finally, it arrived and we immediately spotted the incredibly high entrance, which wasn’t an easy one with our suitcases. A kind tram staff member helped us drag our suitcases in (poor man) and soon we left Hiroshima station.
Paying for the tram was a bit confusing at first, but luckily there was a tram lady especially assigned to not only name the stations we passed, but also help tourists and people who needed to exchange money. Every ride within the city centre of Hiroshima cost the same amount of money, no matter the distance. When you arrived at your destination, you needed to deposit coins into some sort of tray -shaped machine which calculated the money itself so the driver didn’t have to or you would check out with your card. Since we didn’t have a card, we went with the coin option of course. The kind tram lady exchanged money with us so we would have exactly the round amount to deposit. Later, some tourists entered the tram as well so I quickly explained to them how it worked. ^^

Hiroshima Tram
The trams were quite a nice change from the metros and trains. ^^

After a while, we arrived at Chudenmae, our station. We deposited our money, dragged our suitcases down with us and then went to look for our hotel. We found it quite easily and went inside. Since it was late in the afternoon, we immediately received our key and went upstairs to the right floor. Our room was small, but quite comfortable and also quite pretty. And to our great surprise we had a view upon the river and even the Memorial Peace Park! We could see the world famous Atomic Bomb Dome from our window! This was all very surprising, because during the booking of this hotel you could ask for ‘river view’ if you paid extra, but we didn’t choose that option. So that was a nice surprise. ^^

Hotel View
This was our view to the right. Isn’t it amazing!?

We rested for a bit and then went on our way to visit the Sun Mall and find a place to eat. The Sun Mall, which was only two tram stations away from our hotel, is a shopping mall that has several Lolita stores on the 4th floor, including the second Angelic Pretty we would visit during our trip! We took the tram and soon found the shopping mall, which was in a roofed street. I immediately spotted a display of Lolita dresses inside, so inside we went.

Lolita Display
The Lolita display at the entrance of the Sun Mall.

We walked around the first floor for a bit, which was really nice. There were a lot of shops I didn’t know yet, but also the shop Algonquins. Usually this shop is not my style at all, but they did have a beautiful cape-like coat that really drew my attention. It was a bit too expensive though, sadly.

Algonquins
The cool Algonquins shop.

We went up to the 3rd floor where I was happily surprised to find a big section of purikura machines! Not only that, there was a whole row of mirrors and desks where you could do your hair and makeup before you went on to take pictures! The mirrors were over the top deco’ed with whipped cream and sweets. It was absolutely amazing!

Sweets Mirrors
I want this amazing makeup corner in my own room! *o*

Soon I also discovered there were racks of clothing that you could rent to take pictures in! Among other things, there were clothes from both Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and Angelic Pretty for rent, it was so cool!

Purikura Clothes
A selection of the clothes you could rent to take pictures in. ♥

Even though we didn’t do any purikura (and no one else with us because there was no one there) I loved walking around this corner of the shopping mall. It was unexpected and colourful!

Sweet Pink Pictures
I really like these pictures my mom took! ^^

There was also a small section of arcade games, like the cool taiko drums game we had seen in Osaka as well. Two girls were playing on Kyary’s ‘Fashion Monster, so cool! There was a Daiso shop too, but we didn’t enter it.
Finally, we arrived at the Lolita floor! This floor was really big, long and open, so you could walk right in and out of the shops. It felt a bit like Laforet in Harajuku or Marui Annex in Shinjuku (both in Tokyo), but these shops felt even more… open? I can’t really explain it, sorry. ^^’

Sun Mall Lolita Floor
The Lolita floor of the Hiroshima Sun Mall.

The first shop we encountered was Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. Hey had some lovely dresses on display, I especially liked the new Sleeping Beauty print in pink. Also, as much as I love Angelic Pretty, Baby makes the prettiest blouses aaah! I mean, I love AP blouses, but Baby wins in terms of elegance.

BtSSB Hiroshima One
Browsing the Baby store.

They also had lovely cardigans, but they were a bit too much in terms of price to my taste. One of my absolute favourite items in the shops was a royal blue one piece though. The colour was so vibrant and lovely… ♥

BtSSB Hiroshima Two
Aaah, this dress…. The colour was so gorgeous! ✧

We passed the some other shops and then finally arrived at Angelic Pretty. The shop was open and bright and pink of course, with lots of closets filled with clothes and a little table with magazines surrounded by three chairs. There were so many lovely bags on display on top of the cupboards and the dresses all looked so nice hanging next to each other. Can you tell I really love Angelic Pretty shops? x)

AP Hiroshima One
The Angelic Pretty shop in Hiroshima! ♥

The shop’s atmosphere made me very happy, but it was the shop girl who made me truly happy. She was wearing a black beret, black one piece and amazing lavender platform shoes. Her hair was bright pink and… she was plus sized! I cannot tell you how happy this made me, because not only was she rocking her outfit like hell, but the fact she was working at an Angelic Pretty shop filled me with joy. Also, she was incredibly nice! She spoke a bit of English and with some hands and feet we had a lovely conversation. She was overjoyed to hear I was a Lolita too and immediately went to find all the magazines she had in the store when I told her I had been at the Angelic Pretty Tea Party in Paris! Unfortunately, she didn’t have the Gothic & Lolita Bible I am featured in, however we did find a picture of the Fashion Walk in Spoon Magazine (I believe). She also asked about our trip and whether we would still be in Hiroshima on October 18th, since there would be a Halloween party with Kimura Yu. We would be in Kyoto by then, but the fact she mentioned it was so cool! Aaah, she was so nice! ♥ I ended up giving her my card too, hihi.

AP Hiroshima Two
Chatting with the lovely AP girl. ^^

Oh, I almost forgot to mention: I bought something too! They had the same sale at every Angelic Pretty store and nothing really interested me at first, until I spotted they had one Cameo Window necklace left in the colour white. I absolutely loved this jewelry series, but in white only (the other colours weren’t to my taste). And they had the necklace here! On sale! Lucky me, another item I loved online now in my hands. ;_; ♥
Finally, we left the Angelic Pretty store and went to look for a restaurant to have dinner at. We didn’t really know where to go, but decided to get some donuts at Mister Donut, which was right next to the Sun Mall, for dessert.

Mr Donut
Buying dessert before having dinner, bad us! XD

We decided to just walk back in the direction of the hotel. This way we would save on tram money and maybe we would find a restaurant too. And we did! We passed a restaurant that specialised in curries! My mom really wanted to try Japanese curry, so we decided to try it. The restaurant was small but cute, with a bar to sit at and some tables with benches. They even had a cupboard filled with mange to read! We sat down in the back and looked at the menu. Luckily it had English translations too. Eventually both my mom and I chose a curry and a side salad. We had to combine our food ourselves, so we went with ‘mild spiciness’ and white rice. While we were still deciding what to eat, the elderly couple next to us started a conversation. At first I wasn’t really up for it, but they turned out to be quite nice. They were American and had been travelling around. They also explained to us to press the button on our table to call for a waiter, that helped a lot. XD Finally, our food arrived and the couple left, so we could eat in peace.

Curry and Salad
My curry and side salad.

The food was really good and my mom loved it, but the problem is… I really cannot deal with spicy food. And even though this dish was supposed to be ‘mild spicy’ it was still quite hot to me. Luckily my meat was super good and my salad… Oh my God you guys, my salad. It was a fried chicken salad and out of the dressings you could choose I believe I chose something like sesame seed? Anyway, it was so good. ;_; My heavenly salad, I get hungry again when I think about it. ♥ I decided to get fried chicken again whenever the opportunity would rise again!
We paid, left the restaurant and sooner than expected we arrived at our hotel, where we ate our donuts. ^^

Donuts
Our delicious dessert. My favourite one was the donut at the front. ♥

Then I took purchase pictures, did some school work (yes really) and then we went to bed. It had been a nice day and we needed energy for the next, because we had big plans!

Purchases of the Day
Purchases of the day

And to end this post with, here is the video I made about our adventures in Hiroshima! 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 5 from 0:00 until 1:22. Please take a look if you want! ♡


Thank you for reading! ~☆~

8 comments:

  1. I'm so excited to read your reports before my own trip to Japan! :D Great purchases!

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    1. I'm afraid I won't be done before you leave, but I hope you will enjoy them dear! <3
      Thank you!

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  2. I didn't know Hiroshima was that big and also had lolita stores o_o wow!
    That Btssb x Disney cape is so incredibly cute :3. And AP stores always look so amazing, it's like instant sweet-lolita-ness all over or something. Glad the shop girl was so nice ^^

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    1. Surprising huh? When I thought of Hiroshima it was always with the nuclear bomb in mind, so everything grey and rebuilt. But when I was looking up Lolita stores there turned out to be some in Hiroshima too! ^^ And the city is much nicer than I expected, but of course it didn't stay stuck in the bomb's aftermath forever (stupid me).
      Isn't it? ;_; It's so soft and fluffy!
      Ah yes, Angelic Pretty is just instant happiness... <3

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  3. Hey,
    I just found your blog through the blog reel on FYeah Lolita. I really enjoyed reading a couple of your entries. I'll have to spend some more time here when I'm not at work.

    I also read your "About Me" page. I also studied Classical music for a few years (I guess I'm in a hiatus at the moment), I learnt French and Japanese at university and I'm a lolita <-- obviously. I also happen to love the Sherlock TV series and, only recently, began writing a lolita related blog.

    I've subscribed to your blog and I look forward to reading many entries to come. Happy Frilling!

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    Replies
    1. Hiya! ^^
      Thank you so much for reading, it makes me so happy! <3

      Oooh, we have a lot in common then! *o*
      Happy Frilling to you too!

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  4. I heard about that second Bodyline in Osaka too, but I couldn't find it either! I did, however, find AP, Putumayo, Pierrot, Innocent World, BTSSB, and Milk.

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