dinsdag 13 juni 2017

Japan 2017 day 8-10: Other things we visited in Japan

Sorry for waiting for the rest of the Japan trip report! I've been a little less motivated the last weeks because of everything that happened with our ferrets (yes they are both gone now sadly -_- ), and well as usual my job requires a lot of energy and the remaining time I'd rather spent offline with husband/friends/family. So I decided to make a shorter post about the remaining days in Japan still left to write about.

Koishikawa KĊrakuen.
This is another wonderful park in Tokyo worth visiting. It lies near Tokyo Dome. It's one of the oldest gardens, built in 1600-1867. It is a varied landscape-like garden with lots of upward paths, bridges, ponds and blossoming trees. Actually, it is where we saw the first pretty sakura tree!

Nakano Broadway
Frankly, we didn't make any pictures of Broadway itself, but while going there we had to eat lunch and came across an amazing bakery, truly one of the best I've had with, well, I think at least 30 types of bread or something and it was super-crowded. AND they had Totoro-bread, so awesome:

 Tokyo Tower
Next day: After we tried to see sakura around the palace (and couldn't find it), we decided to walk to Tokyo Tower. Of course I know that the Skytree is higher and more modern, but Tokyo Tower is still somewhat more iconic to me, I saw it in multiple anime so I was eager to visit it. It's almost 333 tall and with that the second largest building in Japan.
Within the tower there are several levels, one with a view and also a level with a food-court (I had a crepe from Baskin-Robbins!) and some shops. We also came across a huge Hello Kitty to take a photo with.

The view from one of the windows
on the floor in the tower.

We also walked around Roppongi, which is indeed a bit different (more modern) than the rest of Tokyo, we got so lucky with all the weather honestly so there was no problem with walking everywhere :D! Near Roppongi apparently there also was a huge cemetery which Nick wanted to visit. It was very impressive. Then we walked through the Meiji Jingu sports park (and funny enough, I only now see we totally walked almost forth and back to Aoyama-Itchome station, haha), there was a big park with heavily guarded entrances and we couldn't see what it was supposed to be but on Google Maps I can now see that it was where the Prime Minister is supposed to live, so that makes sense.

Onsen Monogatari
The last day we went to Odaiba, to visit an onsen (Japanese hot spring), and not just a random one but more or less an attraction with all kinds of baths. You hire a kimono and then first come into a communal space where they immitate a summer-festival (matsuri), with food- and entertainment stands and lanterns in the air.

Then there are the bath-spaces, seperate for males and females. Yes everyone is naked, except that you carry a small towel with you in case you want to hide your parts while walking. Haha, I was sort of nervous about what to do and such, but it's all quite simple, but most important: it's super relaxing! They have all kinds of baths, from hot-to-cold, some with special minerals, some outside and some special saunas too. When you leave the baths again, there are special places for you to clean and groom your skin, it was quite luxurious! I totally get why people visit hot springs (with others) now.

To end the journey we choose to do what we started with when we first went to Japan: a visit to the Government building restaurant, with its unreal view. However it was suuupercrowded this day, so I wasn't too hopefull when we came to the restaurant and they said 45 min. waiting time. But oh well, we decided it was worth it. Then 10 min. later the couple waiting for us left and we were first in line, hooray! Actually, it wasn't crowded in the restaurant at all so I did not get really why they had a waiting time. Maybe they just did not want a lot of tourists in. We had seats at the bar near the window and it was amazing!

The next morning it was up early to Ueno station to ride the train back to Narita airport and say sayonara to Japan again. Who knows one day we might see eachother again (but for now we had enough of Japan for a while ;) )!
Will miss this crazy view, bye again <3 !
As I did the last time, I've also made a video with everything that we filmed. Which isn't too much, but it was nice to make and hopefully is nice to watch. Thanks for reading again! Are you going to Japan in the future? What are you looking forward to the most? Or did you go to Japan...what did you like most about it?

zondag 28 mei 2017

Japan 2017 day 7: Escape room + Nippori + Shinjuku

Hi everyone,

Thanks for still reading if you do! Sometimes writing these feels kind of useless, but it's always nice to look back at later on. But you know, if you have thoughts, comments or questions, they are always welcome!

After one week in Tokyo again, what can we still do? Well, my husband likes escape rooms a lot and he thought it would be a lot of fun to do one together in Japan, so we booked one at Escape Hunt in Akasaka. It was Japanese themed room of course and for my first time (yes I never actually went to an escape room before this) it was lots of fun to solve all kinds of puzzles and riddles. Oh and yes, we solved it on time too!

Next we planned to go to Nippori to look for nice fabric again, although I had a lot more time now, I was done a lot faster since I just had only to buy some things for myself and not to sell anymore. At the Tomato store they had a really nice collection of Sanrio themed fabric too, it was hard to choose what to take with me! They also had some new fabric for lolita-esque looks, this time with aquarium/ocean theme too but I don't want to splurge so I only bought two fabric pieces (sorry, the picture is a screenshot from my video so it's not too sharp).
It was lunchtime so we went looking for a place to eat again, and next to Nippori station there was something like a family-restaurant. It was kind of hard to order again, because the older woman helping us couldn't speak English, and apparently you had to order a whole menu set including drinks, but there wasn't a list with drinks, there was a self-service corner though so apparently you had to order the drinks in advance and then get it yourself. Anyway, we ordered something different (and yes again rather a big meal for a lunch...I'm sometimes so happy that this is not so usual in The Netherlands, I really don't like feeling 'full' and at night it's okay because you can just sit down and rest but during the day you have to do stuff so yeah that is kind of annoying for me). I ordered some kind of egg-meatball and Nick ordered a tonkatsu dish. It wasn't as special as we thought, but decent nonetheless.
 And here we were again, not knowing what we wanted to do in the afternoon. We just went to Shinjuku again, I still wanted to visit Marui Annex for the lolita shops there. It was raining too so it wasn't so bad to go inside a mall again. Next to lolita (and relatable fashion) shops, there were also some jewelry shops that were really lovely and inspiring. And we also found a Yuri on Ice cafe! It was totally booked though, but they had a photo corner that you could visit for free, yay so nice!
Downstairs there was another cute cafe, it was Cinnamoroll themed but there was such a long line and the decoration did not seem too interesting really so we skipped it. I already bought a Cinnamoroll gachapon item anyway.

That evening we spent in the hotel again, there was a really cute cat show on TV! Wondering if we still had things to visit in Tokyo? Yes we did actually, next day we are going to a park and Nakano Broadway!

maandag 8 mei 2017

Japan 2017 day 6: Toys at Akiba + Asakusa Sensoji Temple

It was monday the 20th of March and apparently a holiday: Vernal Equinox Day in Japan, so a lot of people had the day off and probably it was going to be very crowded anywhere in Tokyo. And yes, it was. We wanted to go to Asakusa, but that alone would not be a enough to fill the day, so we decided to go to Akihabara shortly again first.

That's a loooot of troopers
 I was very curious about the Yodabashi Camera there, because technic stuff + Akiba can only mean that it's massive. And yeah it was, there were multiple elevators and there were people promoting the newest items everywhere in the store. Mostly I wanted to go see the toy-section though. Guilty pleasure, but we both love to go to toy stores, not only for the games but I like cheesy toys, and to see what people design for kids these days.

And well, it wasn't only for kids, there was a lot of anime and other merchandise too, so lots of nice stuff and I really enjoyed seeing everything!
They had arcade stations for kids too!
I wanted to buy this so badly but it wouldn't have fit in our suitcase.
On to Asakusa for lunch and then see the temple. It was supercrowded already at the station though and I couldn't decide what to eat. While browsing some shops I saw a side alley and luckily there we found a peaceful place to eat. It was a really small cozy family-oriented restaurant, where I ordered a lunch set with all kinds of things. I had to say the fried tempura was pretty nice, Japan's fish dishes are so much better than what I can find in The Netherlands (everything smells literally fishy here if you ask me and I hate that smell).

 Apparently we wandered in a wrong direction though because the main gate for the temple was on another side. That said, we could find the main temple square anyway, because of the crowd going there. I'm not kidding, take a look at the photos on the side!

Surprisingly the whole complex wasn't as big as we thought. The temple itself was big, but just several smaller shrines, a small pond and some food stalls next to it.

 However, the street with all the small shops going to the temple was long, it really is a touristic place and very different from Meiji Shrine for example. Nice to see, but I wouldn't go to Sensoji again.
Since we had still some time left, I'd thought to go to Shibuya again and visit 109, luckily Nick agreed because by now he obviously was really done with looking at fashion all the time :P! It took us a while to find the right exit of the station though, but because of that we could see the crossing from above a bit!

After that we were both quite tired because of the crowd and felt like eating and staying at the hotel. Buying food from Lawson and resting while watching Japanese TV is really quite enjoyable too!

Coord & Wardrobe Catch-up March-May

Taking a short break in between the Japan travel diaries for catching up with the coordinations/outfits I've worn last months and recent purchased pieces!

Tea Party time!!
For easter I had a lot of choice, because I own at least three dresses with bunnies on them, but the obvious choice was going for Happy Garden (not worn yet and pure Easter!). And just a week before there would be OTT Tulips: an OTT tea party in Amsterdam, which was really nice ♥ ! To be honest, I was pretty unsure if my outfit would be over-the-top enough, since I usually don't wear big things on my head. If you've been a lolita for the last years you know that a lot of people really go BIG for the huge events. Literally, hair-do's that are as huge as people's faces and nothing is plain, everything perfectly matched. I was really busy the weeks before the event (our ferret Annie died :( ) so I had little time to do stuff and crammed in some time in the nights of the days before the event.

Luckily I found this small basket at Dille & Kamille, decorated it with some cute fabric, bow and feathers and I just had to take this bunny and chicky with me. The yellow shoes I bought in Japan are decorated with pink bow clips I already had and I put extra feathers in there as well. And then the main extra was the headdress, made with yellow and lavender lace, feathers, fake eggs and chicks and a flower. I added some extra pink bows on the shoulder straps to add some extra pink accents to match the rest. So..maybe it was as big as other people's take on OTT, but for me this is quite some effort to what I do usually and I was pretty happy with it too, loved wearing something very spring & easter-themed!

The week after that was Easter for real and my husband and I planned a brunch on the friday since we had both did something different for the saturday and sunday. I took maximum use of the Happy Garden jsk and wore it with some simple pinks this time! Sorry for the flowers on my face but I was really looking weird on that photo, but it was the best pose-wise :P. On the monday we still had a 'bank holiday' and I wore my other bunny dress with another handmade accessory that I had for a while.

Funny enough another week after that there was the spring holiday for a week, so even more chance to wear lolita fashion ✿ yay! We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in the cinema and it wasn't really hard to make a matching coord at all for it.
So happy I could wear these cute socks with the constellation dress too! I went for just a bow on my head though, since it was very crowded in the city because of Kingsday and we were just going to the movies anyway. Did you see the movie too, if so what did you think of it? I really enjoyed it again, it's great to see a more emotional approach from Marvel.
Casual outfit because we had to cycle!
The yellow bag might be a bit random
but I really felt like using it that day.
The cupcake bracelet was
made by my mom-in-law ♥!

Yay for spring! Yesterday was a very sunny Sunday so I thought it would be great to do a walk through one of the biggest parks in town and finally without a coat too. I didn't plan on wearing lolita in the first place but it was such a relaxing day that I just played around with some clothes to wear and thought: why not. It wasn't so great for my husband though because he had to wait longer suddenly. Sorry love <3 next time I'll let you know in time!

And last update for now. I bought AP's Toy March in navy! Whaaaat? Yes! Really, it's been one of my fav. prints but it usually is too pricy for me so that's why I didn't put it on my wishlist (I guess I was just a realistic?). But I saw that someone was selling it for a while and suddenly dropped the price so I took my chance. So girls, put all your dreamdresses for real on the dreamdress list because one day...you might really get it ♡!

woensdag 26 april 2017

Japan 2017 day 5: Mt. Fuji / Kawaguchiko lake and karaoke

After days of being in a crowded metropolis, we were really excited to see something else for a change. and of course when you think of a tourist place to go in Japan it is easy to think of Mount Fuji, yet we did not visit it last time, so we planned to go this time, depending on the weather.
We didn't know in detail how many times the trains would go. At the Shinjuku station ticket office we discovered the train only went once every 1,5 hours or so and that you still had to wait about 40 minutes for a transfer too.
We just bought the tickets but googled stuff while waiting and then discovered that once a month there is a rapid line between Narita, Tokyo and Kawaguchiko station and while we had to wait a little longer, the journey would cost less effort. Luckily, JR will give you a refund for your ticket on the day if you haven't used it yet and so we changed the plan!

At least the station looked cute!
The view from the train was stunning ofcourse, there are lots of hills and smaller towns. I have to say, the landscape did look a bit 'dead': it was mostly very sand/amber/brownish-colored, which of course has to do with that it was still kind of cold outside and Spring only started, but even then it just did not look as fresh as nature in The Netherlands does I guess. It's always nice to see new things though, and it was very beautiful! One stop before the final station we could finally see Fuji-san (how Mt. Fuji also is known as) and it was amazing!

We chose to go see Mt. Fuji from Kawaguchiko Lake, since it is one of the most popular sighting-spots in the Fuji-5-lake-area and would be beautiful if the cherry trees were in blossom. But they weren't. At the small station it was really chaotic, since there are lots of tourists and lots of ways to travel and there isn't an easy explanation anywhere so we did go to the small tourist center and they told us that walking around would take way too long and we better take the bus.
But it didn't take that long at all in the end. Then we searched for a way to buy a ticket for the bus but then discovered that you just pay in the bus itself and had to wait even longer, also it was really unclear which bus was which because they just switched the locations, not the bus itself. I was so glad that we could finally sit down in the bus, pfff.

Walking back from the panorama spot was really nice, it was pretty quiet if you walked near the water and the view was just really stunning. One thing is that it can be quite foggy in the air and as such it might be hard to see the mountain, so I'm sorry that the photos look a bit vague, but that was really how it looked:

The trainride back was also interesting: a station assist bought a ticket for us so we had no idea if that was actually valid for the transfer-train as well, but we just tried and apparently it was. Finally back at Shinjuku, we hoped to find a yakiniku restaurant but failed and just went to one of the many small restaurants near the station. There we had some fried food, for example fully fried garlic (and yes it was utterly soft and delicious!).

With regained energy I thought it would be a nice night to try karaoke. It was so much fun to do, but it took a long while for us to figure out how everything worked with reading romaji (Japanese written down in the western-way) and what songs to choose, but we managed in the end and prolonged our stay for some times even. It was kind of awkward to order drinks by the phone though, haha, but it was a really great experience and I hope I can do it again!