Sunday, November 6, 2016

Japan Diary Day 3

Day 3 - Tokyo
Thursday

This day found us adventuring to Harajuku. I had actually only been here twice before. The first time I was with my school and we were only allowed to stay in Takeshita, I didn't really find anything good but I did find things my silly younger self bought. The second time was a very quick trip, which I think I've written about before. I flew in to Osaka, caught the train to Tokyo, went to Closet Child in Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Harajuku, bought some stuff and then caught the train back to Osaka in the evening. I don't really recommend that course!



On our itinerary for the day was WEGO, Laforet, finding a suit case for me, Q-Pot cafe and shop and of course Closet Child.

We started the day making our way down Takeshita Dori. We spotted WEGO straight off the bat, and I found the bunny backpack I had been coveting. We also picked up some cheap stockings. WEGO things are cheap, kind of Target or Kmart level cheap, but cooler. I wouldn't recommend their tights if you wear through good, well made tights regularly. I really love my back pack too, but part of the stitching on the back has come undone from stress. It's fixable, but I also take forever to get around to things so I haven't done anything about it yet. My tail bobble on the front pocket also came off. I can only imagine what their shoes might be like.. perhaps other people have had better luck. All of the sweaters we bought there have held up really well though! Thali only bought one this day, but we both got another each later in Osaka. I guess that's my warning about buying budget stuff, knowing what you are getting in for. I still really love my backpack though ♥

We wandered the street looking here and there until we made it to Closet Child! I really like Harajuku CC. It's usually considered pretty picked over but I didn't see much change in the stock over the week we were in Tokyo. I found some AP tights (I think they are the pair that match Romantic Rose Letter?) in lavender. But I think I mostly enjoyed looking at the other floors! I didn't purchase anything else at the time, but we did find Lizzy her gold MILK heart bag! I'm looking forward to dragging my mum back there later this year.

We eventually made it to Laforet. Big surprise, we had not eaten by this point. I had a peek in AP and picked up an accessory. I didn't experience the same rudeness I've heard reported from the shop staff here. I found them perfectly pleasant, but very preoccupied since they had their big end of year tea party coming up the following Monday. We looked at some other shops on the lower levels, and for the first time I got to see Rose Marie Seoir. I was.. really disappointed. I felt like perhaps they didn't have much, but also that the Chanel cabochons on some things were a bit tacky..



Rather than stopping here to eat somewhere, we made the rookie mistake of walking up to Q-Pot. I recommend walking, I don't recommend doing it on an empty stomach! And I especially don't recommend it when you are hungry and or sick! There is a Mos Burger part way down, if you need a savoury stop. This is probably about where Thali checked out for the day, she doesn't even really remember eating at Q-Pot (she got the tiramisu, it had a super bitter ganache. She thought the tea was okay, but called it 'builders tea'. She doesn't remember saying that.) I got the seasonal snow man and a cup of hot milk. I like hot milk a lot. I used to always go to Hudsons in Australia because they did a 'hot shot' which was hot milk with a dash of a flavoured syrup. I forgot that I don't really like Japanese milk. Somehow cream and ice cream is okay, but straight Japanese milk is terrible. It's kind of watery and has a weird flavour when compared with Australian milk.

After eating our sweets, I got a gacha from the machine and we went across the street to the Q-Pot store. It kind of confused us, as the store is down stairs with the opening on the ground level. There's also a mirror at one end of the shop, and if you're silly like me you'll think you can walk through. You can't. Thali made me a Christmas present of a pair of pink whip earrings, and we spoke to the super nice shop staff while they put everything through. Thali did the thing where she see's something she likes but decides not to get it, but more on that later.



We headed back to Takeshita. We stopped at Kiddy Land and in a stupor Thali bought a back pack and I got a puzzle. We pushed on to Jewelna Rose where I bought found a suit case on sale that I liked. We'd packed light and bought fold out bags, but I'd wanted to pick up a new smallish hand luggage sized suitcase. I have a small one, which we took, but it weighs about 5kilos on it's own. I'd trust it with my laptop, but I don't need it for clothes.

At this point we decided to call it a day. I stuffed all our purchases in one of the larger bags and the suitcase so Thali didn't have to carry anything as she'd gotten a bit of a fever by this point. We headed back to the train station poste haste.



Somewhere between Harajuku and Otsuka, Thali decided she needed to get off the train. She then proceeded to give a poor Japanese woman a fright by gracefully fainting in the middle of the platform. The woman very kindly went to get help from the station staff, but I think he may have only started coming up the stairs as we were coming down them. I felt so bad, but Thali only wanted to get off the platform and out of the way. After a bit, we managed to get back on the train and head home. I tucked Thali into bed, went to forage (painkillers, check. Mos Burger, check.) and then probably sat around on my phone using the wifi, haha.

We visited a good number of places we'd wanted to, but we actually ended up heading home quite a bit earlier than we'd intended. I wanted Thali to get plenty of rest because we'd actually bought tickets to Disney Land for the next day (I bought them online. I didn't print them immediately. I forgot my password. I almost cried. There is no password recovery. I eventually remembered and printed like two copies just in case)! I guess more on that next, sorry, that's quite a cliff hanger!

Places of interest:
WEGO
Closet Child
Laforet
Angelic Pretty
Rose Marie Seoir
Q-Pot
Kiddy Land
Jewelna Rose
Mos Burger

*薬屋/くすり is what you'll want to look for if you need a pharmacy. We ended up with a stand alone shop right next to the station, and they'll often have them in department stores. Eve is a popular brand of ibuprofen, but the dose per tablet is quite a bit lower than Australian capsules. I originally picked up aspirin since Thali had a fever, but it didn't do much for her pain wise, so I went back and got ibuprofen later. Trying to clumsily trying to say ibuprofen (with a long ee sound at the start) will at least get them to find you the Eve, if you haven't managed to do so yourself. *

Day One
Day Two

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Japan Diary Day 2

Update! I have a computer!

Day 2 - Tokyo
Wednesday

 Day two saw us (me) waking up too early to actually do anything. Nothing really opens in Japan until about 10 or 11, and with the winter morning light I kept waking up around 6 or 7AM.

Thankfully, Sekaido, our number one destination for the day, opened at 9.30AM. I think we probably grabbed something to eat from the nearby combini (and then probably left it in our bag for the day) and went on our way.

Sekaido is an arts supply store of a proportion that I can't really describe. It's six or so floors of pens, paints, papers, frames, books- it starts with pleb stationary on the ground floor and moves up through the ranks of different artistic disciplines. We got there just after it opened and Thali was ready to leave just before Marui Annex opened at 11AM. I picked up a couple of pens and a notebook and mostly just followed Thali around as she hunted down her wishlist.

We moved onto Marui Annex, which delightfully is directly next door. I think Shinjuku is one of my favourite spots in Tokyo, I just generally really enjoyed it but I especially really liked Annex. Probably because we were there early on a Wednesday, the entire building was very quiet and the shopping staff were just really pleasant.

We browsed a bit, but we both knew our final destinations; Angelic Pretty and Jane Marple. Jane Marple happened to release a design that Thali really liked. She decided to pass on it, and bought a bow clip instead. We then headed over to AP, where I bought.... a bit. I walked out with a pair of shoes, a coat, and some accessories. I also picked up the most recent catalogues, I guess I just really like catalogues. My bag was ridiculous, and in the end I couldn't bring it home- I do already have one I bought home from a previous trip though! We also picked up some post cards at FEWMANY. The Imai Kira section (non postcards) was quite picked over (I blame my friends who came in November) but received a restock later in the week when we passed by again.

Thali went back to look at the JM skirt, said no. Found two other skirts she really liked at Lowry's Farm, bought them. We went downstairs and got our tax back. We went back upstairs and Thali bought the skirt. She got a Christmas shopping bag, which the shop girl made sure to mention. I made her bring it home.


 After that small dillema, we decided we desperately needed food (that food from the combini? Still in a back pack. Uneaten. Of course). We found Eat More Soup and Bread and decided nothing could be better on such a cold day. For the first part of the trip, I was a bit anxious about eating and walking, so we ended up starving by lunch time a lot. For people who like food we were really bad at stopping and eating it. Re-energised, we then hit up Closet Child, Maiden Clothing and Okadaya.

Shinjuku CC was probably the luckiest place for me over the whole of the trip. I found a dream dress, Maiden Ribbon Jacquard and also picked up a cute Shirley Temple regimental stripe dress- I was overjoyed to find a striped piece in pink! And both at very good prices. I've since altered the ST piece, since it was tiny, but you'll hear more on that at a later date. Maiden Clothing wasn't too far from CC, so we decided we might as well have a look- it was a bit of a bust though. I imagine it might be good if you like older or punkier stuff.

Okadaya is a dream, and my one goal there was to buy fake flowers. Achieved, we had a look at fabrics but decided since we were thinking of going to Nippori, we skipped buying anything for today.


Thoroughly exhausted, we made our way home and picked up dinner and dessert from the basement of one of the big department stores in Ikebukuro. I became readdicted to Kagome fruit and vegetable juice, and I 100% attribute it to not getting as sick as I could have, more on that next time, haha. We happily found a Takano kiosk there, and got dessert! We'd intended to go to their cafe but had ended up feeling a little too intimidated. I'm sad we didn't! Since these were delicious, and the fruit was particularly good. I guess it's something to save for next time !♥


 Places of interest:
Sekaido
Marui Annex
FEWMANY
Angelic Pretty
Jane Marple
 Eat More Soup and Bread
Closet Child
Maiden Clothing
Okadaya
Takano Fruits Parlour

Day One






 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

It's Been A While

Hello!

So, it's been a while since I wrote a blog post. I do intend to get back to it, but at the moment I am without a computer of my own and without many of the photos I had taken or prepared for posting.. My poor laptop died on me a little while ago, and I haven't yet replaced it. So it may be a while yet still again.

I'm also in a bit of a rut, but I'm hoping doing some cleaning will help. I've not yet found a spot to take photos here that I like, but I must admit that there are still quite a number of boxes about. And really I'm not sure what I should take photos of. I did a very big wardrobe overhaul, which is still not really finished. I lost a lot of my patience for lolita fashion, and a lot of my patience with myself. I think this is a bit of a turning point, and I'm not really sure where I want to go. I guess at least I am somewhat in a position where I can decide that for myself, so at least I have that.

Maybe I'll write about that sometime, maybe I'll see where this blog goes. I always really try to write for myself and try not to be too apologetic about whether I hit a schedule or make readable posts.

I guess that I'll be back when I manage it; get a computer, find a good place for photos, decide what I'll even write here about. I'll still continue my Japan and About a Dress Posts, but other than that I'm not sure.

Until then!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Japan Diary Day 1

In the first weeks of December, Thali and I made our first trip together to Japan! I've done a little day by day diary of our adventures.

Our trip was for two weeks. We attempted to accquire tickets to the Angelic Pretty tea party but unfortunately we weren't successful. It was a bit of a shame, but we had a great time regardless!

We spent the first week in Tokyo, and the remainder in Kyoto/Osaka. I think next time we'll go for a little longer and give ourselves some more relax days (and maybe keep a day free for when one or both of us inevitably becomes ill!). The day actually coincides with the date (so day 1 was the 1st of December) so I'm not going write it for each, but in case you were wondering!

This was my 6th trip and Thali's 3rd trip, I think. My Japanese is rudimentary at best and I can muddle along, but I'm really grateful to my friends who helped me with double checking information (ily jordi and aviva). I used google maps for all our travel, since it's pretty extensively integrated with Japan's public transport. I have an excessive number of screen shots of gmaps instructions and well the actual map with markers. I don't think there was anything we looked for that we couldn't find.

Let's begin!

Some of my final haul. I needed a photo to start with since I didn't take many at all for this day.
Day 1 - Tokyo
Tuesday

Our flight arrived early in the morning on the 1st. We'd packed light, so we skipped over leaving our luggage anywhere and jumped on the Skyline. It was a few changes and jumping across lines and train companies, which is a great challenge when you've just gotten off a nine hour flight, but we made it to our first destination- Grand Bazaar in Shimokitazawa!

The store is really lovely and the shop staff were really nice. It was super quiet, and we mostly browsed alone. Thali was lucky enough to find JM's Royal Stripe midi skirt in green, and I picked up two cardigans. One was a lavender glitter cardigan from ETC that Thali had picked up and suggested to me, I dithered but I'm really glad I got it. I've already lost count of the number of times I've worn it. We picked up a few cakes on our way to the station that were super tasty. I think it would be nice to spend a bit more time in the area next time, but that it seems the kind of place that would take a while to get to know.


After Shimokitazawa, we jumped on a train back to Ikebukuro. We stayed with Panda Club in their nearby airbnb. It was super cost effective for the area, though would have been cramped for people not really used to small apartment living. We got into Ikebukuro just in time for check in! We took some time to relax and get rid of that gross I just got off a plane feeling and then went for a look around Ikebukuro~

Ikebukuro is a place that's very easy to get to know! There's a lot of signage and it's not too difficult to navigate. We looked in at Closet Child Ikebukuro and I picked up some accessories, and Thali a cute regimental skirt. We took dinner at Saizeriya and I won Thali a tiny puppy key chain in a crane machine. They've gotten really difficult! Saizeriya is a cheap eats kind of place. I don't know that they're great (and they got rid of the salad or added shrimp to it and I was sad) but if you want something cheap, warm and filling they're not too bad.

We poked our head into a chemist and picked up some make up and for our dessert, we celebrated our first night with parfaits at the Milky Way Cafe. Mine came with candles, given the number of things we did or almost knocked over it probably wasn't the best idea. We survived though, and headed home with our spoils ♥

Places of interest:

Friday, February 5, 2016

About A Dress: Angelic Pretty's Belle Epoque Rose

I'd like to introduce a small little series of blog posts I'd been thinking about writing. If you're interested in reading my thoughts about a specific piece from my wardrobe, please let me know and I'll put it to the top of the queue. The photos may be a bit of a mix, but here go's it.

Belle Epoque Rose was one of my first purchases last year. I ordered through Tenshi Shop as soon as the first tiny shots showed up in Kera, though I probably didn't need to as it took some hours for it to sell out online. I did score the candle with it too though! And though I couldn't get the post card, my dear friend Lizzy was able to get it for me from the France pop up.

BER is part of AP's lavender label line, and was a bit more expensive than the usual release at ¥32,184. With shopping service fees and EMS postage to Australia, this dress comes second in price in my wardrobe only to Cats Tea Party.


Stock Photo

Print: Belle Epoque Rose
Brand: Angelic Pretty
Colour: Pink
Release Year: 2015
Fabric: Printed Satin (100% polyester)
Condition: New
Arrived: April 2015
Stock Photo Accuracy: You tried


 
A lot of what I like about BER is in it's overall feeling, which is probably a bit sad to say with the section coming below. The print photographs well, has a lovely sweet feeling and is a little bit princess-y. The chiffon bustle back is the perfect detail (and will never require ironing!). Print wise, I love the delicate look of the lace overlay over what would otherwise be bare solid coloured parts of the print.
 


The mix of white lace and cream in the print can make coordinating with either a bit of a nightmare (my usual trick is to just do both together). It photographs best with white, since the cream tone can be easily eliminated, but in person it is definitely there. If you're a purist, you'll want nothing to do with this.

On the bodice there are two rows of ribbon lacing down the seams. If you look carefully you can see one is thinner than the other at the top, causing a small bubble in the fabric. The pink ribbon in the 'lacing', the three satin ribbons on the front are a warm pink, whereas the detachable ribbon atop the bodice is a similar cool pink tone to the prints colour, but is almost wildly fluro compared to it. 

The print. I've read before that people were upset with it's quality. And I have to admit, when I took my dress from it's box, I was a bit too. It's not an easy thing to photograph, and I think it contributes in the end to how well the garment does photograph but, it definitely lacks any crisp feeling. I'm not sure if its a design choice on behalf of AP, but it was a little bit of a let down to start with. In the end though I stopped putting my nose up to the fabric and stood back to appreciate it. I mention this more for anyone considering buying it's sake, as it might be a sore point for some people. I'm pretty unphased by it now though.

Another very small thing is that I think the lace is all rather generic? There's nothing special about the embroidery, which is okay just not very exciting.

 Click to see bigger!

Coordination Suggestions
For simple tastes; pink, white, cream, roses, ribbons, gold.
For something a little more interesting; dark green, mint, navy, black, dark pink. Vintage clocks, rocking horses and perfume bottles feature in the print and could be drawn in as a smaller motif for jewellery, or as an ambitious Marie Antoinette style hair piece for more OTT looks.

More of my Belle Epoque Rose coordinates here.

Care level
Delicate fabric, delicate trims. Take care with sharp jewellery, walks over rougher terrain and unkempt park benches.  I have only hand washed this piece so far. You'll want a clothes airer that you can lay the dress on to dry (in the shade), as hanging by the straps when wet will likely damage the garment.


Final Thoughts
I love this dress. It may seem a little silly given the large negative section above, but I really do. I'm not even upset about what I paid but it's definitely not a dress for everyone!