Japan Day 11/LAST DAY!: Koenji is my new love

After a pleasant bullet train ride, I made my way to Koenji to spend my last day in Japan with Tavuchi!

She was kind enough to let me stay at her place for one night before I headed back to America. She was pretty amped to show me more of her town and all the fun things to do. thankfully, it was a nicely overcast day where I wasn’t melting in the Tokyo heat for once!

As I mentioned before, Koenji is a great little place just 2 stops west of Shinjuku station on the JR Sobu line train. It’s calm and friendly, and sort of like not being in Tokyo at all!

Tavuchi helped me lug my heavy suitcase up her 3 flights of stairs to her apartment, and we prettied ourselves up a bit for a stroll through her hood. Tavuchi also blogged about our date day, too, so you can look at her post and pics there ❤

Before we left her place, I saw this amazing thing on her coffee table. Tavuchi said it was her roommates'.... IT'S AMAZING.

Our first stop wast to visit Tavuchi’s friend Toko (who I met on Day 3 in Japan), who runs the store Hikari in Koenji! Hikari is full of great vintage, remade, and original clothing from all over. It’s super quirky in there, I love it!

A mini shrine in the middle of the store. All of the photographs are either customers or Toko's friends she snapped while out and about.
Knickknacks and paddywacks galore!
How cute is Toko? She is giving us a proper farewell ❤

More of the day and pics after the jump!

On our way to our next destination, we got stopped on the street by a Street Snap guy who specializes in snaps of people in Koenji! His blog is called Kimoken! He was SUPER SUPER nervous when he walked up to us, and was sort of stammering and shaking, because he was a HUGE fan of Tavuchi’s and recognized her immediately as we walked down the street. Tavuchi is so goddamn famous, haha.

Behind the scenes! A pic of Tavuchi getting her photo snapped.
Here's how Tavuchi's turned out! You can check out this link to see the original post on Kimoken.
He asked for my photo too... I felt kinda dumb and kept smiling and he was like, "No! Don't smile! Keep your hands down. Look natural!" I never realized that in street snaps you are directed to look like you are bored. Haha. I usually put my hands on my hips sort of twist a bit but he yelled at me to face forward. Oof! Here's the original post on Kimoken.

We grabbed a bite to eat after that semi traumatic experience at, I dare say it,the BEST BURGER I HAVE EVER HAD IN JAPAN. It was super yummy, and rivals that of the “gourmet” burger places here in LA, for realsies!

I'll admit I was totally skeptical but this was AMAZE! Avacado heaped high, with a cream cheese and chedder cheeze mix squeezed on top. TO DIE FOR. YOU MUST EAT IT IF YOU ARE IN KOENJI!

We hopped around to a bunch of other stores after eating…

At a tiny store called MOUSE, 2 crazy miracles happened.

The outside of Mouse!
Miracle 1: UHM HELLO THERE. In this store I found a FIDM bag for sale!! I laughed so hard when I saw it. The owner was one of Tavuchi's friends (of course), and he was asking me what the bag was from because he didn't know! I told him I had gone to FIDM, and that it's a fashion school, etc. SUCH A SMALL WORLD. They give each student one of these at the beginning of the first year for free. It was on sale here for about 4,000yen I think!

The other little miracle that happened, that I don’t have a picture of currently (because Will has it on him, haha), was that I found a vintage pin on the counter there that said “I ❤ Michelle.” WHAT. THE. HELL. It was an amazing coincidence, and so I bought it. I think the button says “Made in Maine” or something like that on it haha.

After that, we stopped by the SPANK! store because Tavuchi left something there and had to talk to the staff about something or other. We meandered up the stairs to the store and I started playing with everything again, so Tavuchi started snapping photos haha. These next couple of photos are from her blog:

Me and shopgirl Asami!
Tavuchi and I modeling the latest SPANK goods haha. We look scary!
Hhaha awe are dorks. Everywhere we went, people bugged Tavuchi about her shirt and asked her where she got it! Seriously one guy wanted to buy it off of her, haha. It is a pretty boss Beasite Boys shirt, tho…

After that, we headed out to an awesome old-timesy izakaya! It was all old-fashioned-ey in there…

Old posters on the wall. Haha, I might be a little TOO amazed here...
At least I got in my okonomiyaki fix!
There was a big area of old fashioned toys, so of course I jumped in and started playing with everything haha.

After that we headed to the DVD store for no particular reason. Tavuchi is addicted to renting a bunch of DVDs all at once, so I was recommending some stuff to her.

HAHAHA look how they repackaged "Dinner for Schmucks!!!" THIS IS HILARIOUS. Basically the flag means.. Americans are idiots? HAHA

We got back to Tavuchi’s house a little late, and her roommate Yoruko came home and we sat up talking and throwing things and drinking beer for a while. They are such nice awesome people! I had a ton of fun, but the next morning when I woke up  (thanks to a little earthquake) I was a little sad to be leaving. I took a couple of quick pics before I left Tavuchi’s place..

This is a random cute little display from Tavuchi's living room. Her place is super cute, but I didn't wanna go around posting a ton photos of the inside of her house because.. that's super creepy haha. So, you get this one!
I also took this last photo of my rental cell phone-- such a cute menu! the little people on there ride their bike through a changing background haha. You can choose what kind of couple you want in the background, or if you just want a single man or woman riding through various backgrounds like a city or a farm town or whatnot.

Once Tavuchi roused herself from bed, she was nice enough to make me a quick breakfast and tea before I had to head out to get the train to the airport.

Cute heart shaped cup and she let me burn the new Mademoiselle Yulia tracks! WOOO!

After a quick breakfast (I feel pretty lucky to have experienced a TAVUCHI-STYLE BREAKFAST! haha so rare…!), Tavuchi helped me lug my giant yellow suitcase down the stairs again, and she walked me to the station. I have never wanted to NOT LEAVE a place so bad, haha. Koenji was totally awesome, and so were Tavuchi and her friends. I hope to go back soon!

I took the Keisei Skyliner train to the airport (cheaper/more efficient/faster than the bus) out of Nippori station, and watched as the sky got super dark and black and poured down rain onto the train as I looked out the window. Japan was sad to see me go!

At the airport, I noticed it was sort of dark, which was because they were also in the middle of energy conservation due to the earthquake, and had only half of the lights on during the day, and the air conditioning on low. It was actually quite pleasant, because I’m used to freezing to death in airports!

There was a really cool origami display in the airport. Look at this crazy scene of a hundred horses and birds and fish/dolphin swimming in the stream!
Crabs and fishies! So cute!
I really liked this one. It's a summer scene with traditional dancers and drummers and little fishies being grilled!

I have more photos of the origami on my Flickr, if anyone is interested in taking a look at it 🙂

I had to get rid of the last of my yen so I got this “SUPER COLD” (haha -2degrees celcius, guys!) beer and some oden!

Oden time!

I popped by the bookstore to kill some time and found some funny titles:

This is "Japanese (words) that even Japanese People don't know!". I feel like I should have bought this, haha.
This was odd. I liked the weird pictures, which clearly are of a woman leaning over in an airplane chair, but the title is "I thought, Am I going to die?", and there are like eigh volumes of this thing! Totally morbid, or am I missing some sort of huge joke?

And then, I boarded the plane and set out back to the U.S.

Bye bye!
Korean Air, I love you and your weirdo meals. This was breakfast when I was almost back to LA. It was the tea/seaweed rice soup thing haha.

And that’s the end! I can’t believe I actually kept up with this journaling of my trip. I’d like to note that it took me about a month to finish all of these entries, haha. So, if you enjoyed it, let me know! I think at some point, I got a little too thorough with my details of what I did every day, but hey, at least I’LL remember ❤

The rest of the photos from my trip are on my Flickr ❤

So if you missed any of my previous entries about my wonderful trip through Japan over the course of a week and a half, you can catch up using the links below! GO FORTH AND BE AWESOME!

Japan Day 1: Wet, Hot, Wild Japan Summer: Shibuya curse broken: Broken Doll, Koudai, and Dom
Japan Day 2: Kiiiiiii art, Shojono Tomo & SPANK!, Koenzine Release Party in Koenji, and The Lady Spade in Shibuya
Japan Day 3: Harajuku Time Sales, Grimoire Store Tour, & SPANK! store tour!
Japan Day 4: Drinking, Eatin, Fashion-ing, and Friends: DOG Harajuku store tour, Friend adventures, and Shinjuku Golden Gai
Japan Day 5: Cruisin in Harajuku, Crashin in Osaka
Japan Day 6: Osaka nostalgia and Eimi’s Art Show!
Japan Day 7: Asobisystem presents “Harajuku Kawaii” event + peek at PARCO’s Bearbricks’ Exhibit
Japan Day 8 & 9: By my one-sy to Osaka: Food, Rilakkuma, More Food.
Japan Day 10 & 11: Mostly food & Nostalgia, and GIRLS’ LIPS
Japan Day 11 & 12/LAST DAY!: Koenji is my new love (duh, that’s this post you’re reading right now!)

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