Day 3 for me was Monday, July 25, and definitely the worst jetlag I experienced on the entire trip. Weirdly enough, I didn’t feel tired at all on Sunday, since it was a constant GO GO GO battle for us, but I had small bursts of downtime on Monday which made me almost fall asleep in the weirdest places.
I woke up early and headed out before Caro for some meetings for work-related fun times. Later on, I was able to grab lunch with 6%DOKIDOKI‘s Sebastian and Mika, his assistant, and catch up on things. Lunch was delish!
After that I scooted over to the Harajuku 6%DOKIDOKI shop again to say hello to my buddies there and pick up a few cute things I had spotted the day before but didn’t have time to get. I like that they have a good range of prices, from some select goods that are cute and small, like little rings for 800yen, to their custom made clothing which is.. well, a little out of my range at the moment, hehe. I did a quick pic with Yuka and Vani after that, maybe you can see the sleepiness in my face? haha.
Caro was busy in a different part of town, so I took the opportunity to poke around my old haunts in Harajuku and dip into some of the craziness that is the Japan Summer Sales (the last day of which, for a lot of stores, was this day). Summer Sales usually start the Saturday before the Obon vacation, which is good timing for the general public because 1) school kids get off for summer vacation right around then so they have free time to buy things and 2) the general public can buy nice cute things to wear during their 1 to 2 week long Obon summer vacation.
I went to a bunch of smaller stores, but the biggest hoo-ha in the area was definitely the huge sales going on at LaForet, the big fashion department store on the corner of Omotesando crossing.
So, not only are most products in the stores on a huge price cut- i was seeing up to 80% discounts! – but there is also the demon known as the TIME SALE in Japan, where for a limited time, usually 30 minutes to an hour, there’s an ADDITIONAL discount on top of what’s already advertised. Once the girls start screaming “TAIMUUU SEEEE RU,” customers begin to RUN, not walk, into the department advertsing the discount, and push and pull each other around until they grab their desired items and hop into line. It’s the most unruly I’ve really ever seen J-peeps, and it’s not even THAT bad.. just… CROWDED.
I did, in case you were wondering, pick up some AMAZINGLY cheap things from these time sales. I believe I got:
2 necklaces: 1000yen
1 pair jeans from World Wide Love!: 1000 yen (used to be 8400yen!)
1 scary looking USB mouse from Swimmer: 800Yen (previously 1500yen)
I was on kind of a tight budget while in Japan, so being able to buy gifts for people or things I needed for 1,000yen or less was pretty awesome.
I love having an easily concealable camera so I can take ninja photos of things I really like, but don’t feel like buying. Window shopping is insanely satisfying for me.
Here are some other random photos I took while putzing around Harajuku:
Right around the time I was pondering whether to get an Evangelion burger, I got a text from Caro to meet her in Shibuya to meet some of her friends and take photos of Grimoire. I scooted over there and met up with Caro and her friend Valerie Fujita, who is a French photographer who recently began shooting in Japan about a year ago. Valerie was a total sweetheart, and I’m glad to have had time to hang out with her. Valerie was to shoot some photos of girls working in the Grimoire store.
Grimoire is recognized as one of the premiere brands that brought Dolly-kei fashion to Japan (and is often confused for Mori-girl fashion) that stocks unique vintage items from Europe and the US, and creates original accessories and remade items in their store. What is so amazing about this store, however, may not be the products themselves, but the atmosphere of the decor in the store itself. Grimoire is a store that has taken great pains to create a magical forest wonderland that absorbs you and makes you forget about the outside world when you enter their doors. Simply shopping in the store is a cathartic experience, and I can see why so many girls flock to their two branches in Shibuya. There’s a more complete article about Grimoire and its founders here on TokyoFashion.com!
After that we hoofed it over to Koenji again (YAY!) to meet up with Tavuchi and so that I could finally see the SPANK! store! I am a terrible person and have not actually BEEN to a SPANK! location before! Currently there are 2 locations, one in Shibuya, called “Spank me!” and one in Koenji, if you ever wanna check it out 🙂
A quick intermission… this is a pic of a weird bilboard on the train platform… WHATTTT?
Now get ready for a completely different sort of store tour! SPANK! is located in a cool shoutengai (covered shopping street) in Koenji, about a quick 3 minute walk from the station, and up a small flight of stairs. When you open the door, you’ll hear the store playing cute pop punk music of Tavuchi’s choosing, and often, you’ll hear Mademoiselle Yulia’s tracks playing, as Yulia and Tavuchi are good friends from way back (so cute!)
Get ready for the visual candy!
Tavuchi met up with us shortly after the crazy photo/shopping spree we did in SPANK! and we hopped down to Baby King Kitchen!
This restaurant is really cute, because it 1) caters to young children (there are crayons and kids books, and big benches/couches so you can sit with your little ones, and a baby swing!! There’s a little bell to ring at the bottom of the stairs too so the staff can help you carry up strollers) and 2) makes really cute kids cafeteria-style food for ADULTS too! Whee! We met Tavuchi and her friend Toko there (who co-runs the store “Hikari” in Koenji) and, as my jetlag pulled into full gear, made small talk while I slumped into the corner of the couch and started to fall asleep 😦 I SUCK AT EVERYTHING OH GOD! I felt SO BAD because we were supposed to hang out all night this night and I totally died! the heat and the jetlag were too much for me 😦 Lame! At least I was able to hang out with everyone for a bit and eat the yummy food though ❤
Today was the must jetlagged/sleepy day I had, unfortunately, BUT! I was able to shake it for pretty much the rest of the trip. We had a wonderful time hanging out and meeting new friends this day! It was only about half work related which was good, too!
I’ll do my best to continue updating about my Japan trip!