Archive | Travelling RSS feed for this section

Japan Day 6: Osaka nostalgia and Eimi’s Art Show!

15 Aug

The next day I was pretty sleepy and groggy, but managed to human-up and get out to lunch with Caro to meet up with Nico and Chikuwaemil! They are both fantastic artists, and such nice people. It was Caro and my first time meeting them in person, though we had worked together before on a few projects for about half a year or so.  They both live in rather far out places of Osaka, and were so nice to come into central Osaka to come and meet us!

We went down to eat at the Dig Me Out Cafe, which was right below our cafe, and also the venue where the art exhibition we were in town for was set up! Eimi was the main artist for this show, but she had just finished hanging that morning and ran off to a meeting so she wasn’t able to join us for lunch.

Left to right: Me, NICO, Chikuwaemil, and Caro

Emi’s exhibition was already hung by the time we got to the cafe for lunch so we looked around and signed her guestbook!

Nico signing the guestbook.

Someone had gotten Emi this really cute panda bouquet!

We walked around Shinsaibashi a bit and looked at some stores before Nico had to leave to get some work done. Chikuwaemil and Caro stayed together and shopped some more, but I took a mini siesta back at the hotel because I wasn’t feeling so hot. When I awoke from my mini-nap, Caro and Chikuwa were in the middle of something, so I just took a quick walk around the Shinsaibashi and Namba area to visit all of my old stomping grounds quickly.

A view from the famous Doutonbori bridge. TONS of signs light up the sky at night. Thank god it was a nice cool and overcast day for once so I didn't die of heat exhaustion. This is the spot where I used to hang out with my current boyfriend and drink beers and eat a hot meat bun while talking about stuff late into the night. Ahhh, romance.

Another view of the signs next to the Dotonbori river.

After that, it was time for Eimi’s Exhibition’s opening party so I scooted back to the hotel and met up with Caro, Chikuwaemil and Emi there 🙂

Left to right: Eimi, Miho (one of Chikuwa's artist friends), and Chikuwaemil!

Info on the show

2 visitors to the gallery. I loved this girl's little pink horns and the eyeballs on her sailor jacket!

My friends that I was hanging out with the night before showed up too, and we all chatted and made new friends throughout the night and talked art. I took a ton more photos, which you can see here!

Around 10:30 or so we were super tuckered out, so Caro and I headed back to our hotel room to sleep forever and ever, and pack up to head back to Tokyo again the next day! (whirlwind trip, no?) We had a fashion show to attend back in Tokyo the following day, so our stay in Osaka was very short (though I came back for epic adventures once that was done).

In the morning Eimi was nice enough to meet us for a quick breakfast before we hopped on the bullet train back.

Eimi was SO CUTE and drew us both pictures! You can see her on the left flipping through one of her books and the adooorable sketch here!

After that we said our goodbyes and got on our train heading back northeast! The art show was really fun and I’m glad we were able to schlep down for one day to see it!

Here’s a quick extra picture of Caro’s apple juice bottle she bought on the train…

The girl says "I'm helping my mom with chores!" in the first box. Then in the second box.. uhh... sheep.

You can see the rest of the photos I didn’t post on my blog here! Be back tomorrow for an EXTREEEME update on the HARAJUKU KAWAII!! fashion show hosted by ASOBISYSTEM and some BEARBRICKS info about their massive display up in the PARCO department store in Shibuya!

‘Till next time!

Advertisements

Japan Day 5: Cruisin in Harajuku, Crashin in Osaka

11 Aug

Ah Wednesday! July 27th, we shim-shammied on over to Harajuku for some work meetings, some of which involved taking these photos, and some of which involved sitting in a tiny office talking numbers for a while. Eek!

It was a nice breezy day in Harajuku, so we were amped to be able to walk around and take it in a bit without burning our faces off int he hot hot sun.

Good old Sausage roll and matcha green tea for breakfast. Thanks Starbucks Japan! Or as thy call them, "Sta-ba"

Chillin on the street like a hoodlum, rocking my Garfield x The Hundreds T-shirt.

Walking around Harajuku, I took some quick snaps on the way to meeting up with our other teammates for today’s adventures!

Walking past Lotteria, I noticed they were advertising Choco... CORN??? WHAT?

I didn't have time to look at these closely, but these multifaceted pastel chains are craaayzay cute!

Doing some re-con in the 7-11. Pepsi released a "Caribbean Gold" flavor for the summer. It taste like Sprite but less citrusy.

I love this crazy cat fabric! It was on the sleeve of a big oversized shirt.

Some cute yukata displays in LaForet

After meeting up with our bros, we took a short walk around Harajuku for everyone to do some shopping and visit a few stores they wanted to see. Poor Caro had been running around in meetings all week so she hadn’t had any free time to shop at all =0

Nadia!

When we arrived in front of  Nadia, Tavuchi informed us that this store was pretty famous in Harajuku for its selection of cute fashion goods, and their own original goods made especially for that store. The  red, white, and black platform sneakers that’ve been getting so much attention in street snaps lately are also sold here. I haven’t figured out if they are sold exclusively at Nadia or not, but I have found several other versions of the shoes around the web, after some research 🙂

Interestingly, when I was poking around in there, one of the shop staff came up to me and told me she recognized me from Tavuchi’s blog o.0 She was really cute, and she was pretty excited when I told her Tavuchi was there with me and pointed her out (she was busy browsing behind a rack of clothing).

I got a cute pterodactyl earring there ❤ and hummed and hawwed over the shoes, but they were just too expensive, unfortunately. The yen is pretty unforgivable right now!

My Dino earring I got from Nadia!

After that we headed over to G2? (Pronounced as “G two question), a cute thrift store that Caro wanted to revisit. When we got in there, lo and behold we saw our friend Kayo’s (formerly of the Polysics) line of “Kayowl” earrings in there too! So cute!

Poofy!

We stopped by one of Tavuchi's favorite stores off of Takeshita dori and she picked up this awesome Ziggy nightshirt!

I noticed on Tavuchi's blog a few days ago that she had done some DIY to it, and now it looks like this! So cute!

After that we hopped on over for a crepe break! Right around this time Tavuchi got mobbed by a SPANK! fangirl, which was pretty funny. Apparently she said to Tavuchi, in Japanese: “I’m your fan…! But.. only a little. Can I take your photo?” HAHA. After I heard that story, I taught Tavuchi the English phrase “Backhanded compliment.” Sigh. Haters gotta hate.

MISCHIEF MANAGED! this yummy Mille Feuille crepe got devoured in less than a minute after this photo was taken, haha.

Tavuchi!

Yoshitaka, Caro's translator! He's a super nice guy, but I've already warned him to watch out for the Yoshitaka fan club, which will surely form now that I've put this photo on the internet haha.

After that, though we had to say our goodbyes and hop on the bullet train to Osaka. Off to the land of awesome! I was excited to see all of my old friends there, but first, for a luxurious train ride ❤

Yum! Train bento!

Oh hello tiny tiny soy sauce bottle. Nomnom.

Here was Caro's bento set! So cute! She drew the little face on herself, hehe.

Yeahh I may have partied a little with a can of Chu-hi and some snacky bits. Caro was super sweet and bought us lunch and snacks ❤ Thank you Caro!

Trains are the bet way to travel ❤ you get to see the actual lay of the land and relax to the maximus.

We arrived We arrived in Osaka in the evening, and luckily our hotel was pretty close to the station. Caro was feeling a little under the weather so she stayed behind to rest up while I went out to meet some of my old Osaka pals and get some drinks. This night was pretty fucking epic, and reminded me of how crazy things were back when I lived in Japan. I’m only going to post a few “normal-ish” photos, but you can use your imagination to see where the rest of the night went, haha.

I went to the Suntory Old Bar that I used to work at in Shinsaibashi,met up with with my long lost freind Nicole, who I used to teach in Japan with, and went out for a long night of izakaya madness after.

Me and Nicole, the dup that struck fear into the hearts of every bar we went into. Oh, my dear Nicole, I hate not living in the same town as you anymore ;.;

And then some things started occurring.

So, funny story, we started out with a party of 4 at our table, myself NIcole, and her two house mates Trevor and Drew (the non-asians in the photo). After abuot 1 hour of sitting there, we aquired half of the Kyoto Ballroom Dance Club who was sitting behind us and were now our BFF. WHAT. THE. HELL. OSAKA.

Who are these dudes? I have no idea. They tried to teach us some fancy ballroom dance moves. The waiters kept telling us to PLEASE STOP DANCING IN THE AISLES. Oh god it was epic.

After that things sort of got out of control and basically, I ended up back at my hotel at 5am-ish, knowing I was in for the hangover of the century the next day. I am a winner winner, chicken dinner.

So that sums up this day, which was mostly just a bit of work, followed by hanging out, and insane partying.

As always, the rest of the photos from this day can be found here!

Now it’s time to gussy up and get ready for an epic night of nerd-domom at the Iam8Bit Art show opening tonight! Wish me nerd-luck!

Japan Day 4: Drinking, Eatin, Fashion-ing, and Friends: DOG Harajuku store tour, Friend adventures, and Shinjuku Golden Gai

10 Aug

I’ve been getting some nice feedback on these posts I’ve been making 🙂 Thanks to everyone who’s reading! Hang in there for quite a few more days of posts keke..

Some people were asking, but normally you are NOT allowed to take photos in stores at all. The only reason I was allowed to take photos was because all of the shop staff were either friends of the people we were with, they knew of me somehow (I blame Tavuchi’s blog, haha), or we asked them very nicely and explained it was for blog coverage or industry research. So don’t be a jerk when you go to Japan and just start snapping photos. Always ask permission! Anywhoo, on to the next day’s activities!

The next day, Caro and I headed to Harajuku to work on some projects (Can’t really talk about what exactly they were though, yet) and got a nice walk about Harajuku with friends.

We had a quick yakiniku lunch meeting in this Hawaiian-themed restaurant that overlooks Omotesando crossing. Quite the view!

We headed over to Takeshita Dori, also known as Cat Street, to do some location scouting kinda things, and took some fun pics. A bunch of our friends somehow or another showed up to play so it was actually really fun!

The entrance to Takeshita Dori/Street, from the view of the front of Harajuku Station. I don't know why but I really hate those balloons.

More photos, and the rest of the day after the jump!

Continue reading

Japan Day 3: Harajuku Time Sales, Grimoire Store Tour, & SPANK! store tour!

9 Aug

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!

Steamed pork, with ponzu dipping sauce. SO DELICIOUS and summery!

Casual Sebastian! And Mika (right) during lunch.

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.

Yuka’s (left) shoes are SO KILLER! She said she got them off eBay..! I’m looking a little derpy here, but at least my girls’ is cute! Oh yeah, I made my skirt, too! Hard to see, but there are a bunch of hearts fluttering off of it heh..

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.

The crowds just outside the department store. I remember sitting down on a bench for a second, finishing a lemonade, and taking a deep breath before plunging into the darkness known as SUMMER SALES.

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.

Inside the madness, the great terror known as the TIME SALE begins.

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:

Panda pockets, my friends. It’s a thing, and I love it.

Jam pants. They’re a thing. Tell your friends. I really wanted a pair of these cray things but.. yeah.. just too crazy.

An Evangelion + Lotteria (a fast food burger chain) campaign. Uhmm. What the hell? Why not, I guess… haha.

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.

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!

Their second, and larger location, in Shibuya.

Really great displays for the clothing, so romantic!

Superfluous pic of me in one of their gorgeous mirrors they use for the dressing area

Proper shot of the dressing area. These magnificentlyheavy curtains come down when you untie the super fancy rope tassels

Can you say LUSH? Our TASSELS got TASSELS in ’em yo!

In any given corner you can see cute vintage shoes and cute vintage.. squirrels playing the piano with an acorn. OBVIOUSLY. This is super cute.

More beautiful displays

Some of the cute original accessories made by the Grimoire staff. These are pretty flowers-in-flowers with small gears or antique keys attached to them to make hair fascinators.

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!

SO CUTE! I love their handmade penguin guys! ❤

Spank’s Look is VERY DIY.. I love it! It’s so cute and playful!”

Hello Barbie salon head!!

Adorable earrings, necklaces and barettes are hand made and one of a kind!

All of these vintage shoes… WANT!

One wall space decorated to look like a SPANK! bedroom! I love how Tavuchi likes to throw wigs on top of th enecks of dressforms.. it’s so cute yet weird!

Unicorns, rainbows, stars, and cute girls. LOVE IT, LIVE IT!

Hey hey! The dress I wanted from way back!! I TOTES bought this (my only big purchase this entire trip!) to show my Spank love and, DUH wear a unicorn with sunglasses on it. I looove it!

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 ❤

We are trying to be robots. AWESOME ROBOTS. Tavuchi (left) and me (right)

Caro and Toko!

The Princess Set! Caro and I both got one, and it came with a free pin! We got to pick out of a box of pins hehe so cute ❤

Tavuchi ordered the Baby Pudding Set… so cute =D I love how there’re faces on everything!

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!

For now…!

SPANK!’s “closed” sign is even adorbale!

Japan Day 2: Kiiiiiii art, Shojono Tomo & SPANK!, Koenzine Release Party in Koenji, and The Lady Spade in Shibuya

8 Aug

How many parties + openings  can you cram into 1 day? Answer: FOUR! (FIVE if you count after party ramen).

As long as you only eat 1 meal, that is.

Our first full day in Tokyo (Sunday, July 24, 2011) was CRAZY PACKED as every event EVER was happening the same day! We put on our fancy shoes (and I packed comfy ones for the unavoidable max-pain-time), fun outfits, and braved the ridiculous heat to see our friends at their events.

Caro & I started the day by attending an art show/workshop hosted by Reiko Tada, who is also known as the drummer for the kickass Japanese band Kiiiiiii!

The exhibition was in a cute little gallery above a store in Kichijoji. Reiko’s style is super cheerful, playful, and childlike, but with weird little details that you only notice if you look closely! Right up my alley, haha.

Mural done by Reiko and a crowd of people waiting for the workshop portion to start.

Reiko (left in black and purple tshirt) begins the workshop.

These mini artbooks were adorable!

"In the KIIIIIIIIII of Life" is a short newsletter Reiko does for her fans about random events she's been to, or things she's thinking about.

We only stayed for about an hour, and then jetted off to the next location, which was 1) cramming some pastries that Caro got as a present  into our mouths while standing on the train platform because we forgot to eat and 2) popping by the 6%DOKIDOKI store in Harajuku to say hi to our friends! I don’t have any good photos from this visit, since it was literally 30 minutes or less that we were there, and we were all soaked in sweat by that point, haha. Oh, Japan summer! It was really nice to see Vani and Yuka, though we had JUST missed Sebastian and Mika since they were taking a much-needed lunch break. This was just one of many times we would see the 6%Dokidoki gang, so we gussied up, said goodbye and headed to Shibuya to attend FILMMAKERS!!! Vol 02 at SECO Bar in Shibuya.

We walked down the scary stairwell and paid our 1500yen to see our buddies who were attending the event. On the side of the venue, SPANK! and Shojono Tomo had tables set up to sell their products. We were super happy to see Tavuchi again, of course, and to meet Shojono Tomo, an artist who Caro recently has begun to represent in america as part of her Sweet Streets. The main part of the event was a large stage set up with people giving talks about making videos. In Japan, they call people who make independent films “VJs” so it was really confusing at first when I started to ask about the people on stage. The convos went like this:

Me: So, they SHOW VIDEOS like on MTV? Like a DJ but with videos?
Tavuchi: Uhmm.. yes! they make videos!
Me: Wait, they MAKE them or they SHOW them?
Tavuchi: They show them! And they make them!
Me: Uhhhh. So they… are filmmakers. OHHH THE EVENT IS CALLED “FILMMAKERS.”
Tavuchi: Yes….

English fail on my part, basically, ahaha! Anyway, on to pics from the event!

Spank! and Shojono Tomo were making collaborative items! You picked artwork from Tomo, and Tavuchi made it into a cute accessory! Such a good collab! Here is Tavuchi, Spank!'s owner, making a bow right at the table.

Shojono Tomo's half of the booth. She puts her artwork on clothing, bags, handkerchiefs, and tights! I ended up getting a pair ❤ Gotta support our artists!

Shojono Tomo and Tavuchi! They are awesome ladies and have been friends for a long time. Tavuchi even sells Shojono Tomo's items in her Spank! stores!

Me and Caro pose with our custom made giant heart pins! I love these! Features Shojono Tomo's art, and Tavuchi's amazing DIY skills. She made these in like 2 minutes!

More Spank! products!

A customized medical mask made by Shojono Tomo.So badass!!

Tavuchi even made me an adorable bow as a present! Here is a pic of the back of my head (which apparenly is already up on Tumblr and has a hundred notes on it, haha), and my messy hair, but the bow is SO adorable!

So excited to see Eimi again (left)! Her and her friend came to LA before for the Magical Girls' show in April this year, and it was nice to see them again!

After about an hour and a half there, we rushed off again (I think it’s about 7pm at this point?), this time with Tavuchi leading the way so that we could meet her friends at the Koenzine Launch party in Koenji. I could literally write a BOOK about the things I experienced in Koenji this night and the other few days I stayed there with Tavuchi later on in my trip. Instead, I’ll try to give you the short fun version, and save my deeper thoughts for a separate post another day, haha.

Koenji is a town just to the west of Shinjuko on the Chuo line. It’s credited as being the town where punk rock music was introduced to Japan, and is full of hundreds of little vintage stores, many of which not only sell straight up Western vintage, but also do amazing DIY remakes of clothing. There are many original clothing brands there, and the feeling is youthful, fun, and sort of vintage in itself. I felt like I wasn’t really in Tokyo anymore when I was here, it was so quaint and bustling with youth and really nice, open people, and it was really lovely.

Koenzine is a “zine” in the traditional sense, a print magazine created to show the spirit and artistic life in Koenji. With photography by Hanayo, the book showed many faces I was already familiar with (Tavuchi, Mlle. Yulia, Toko, etc). The Koenzine party was held in the Kitakore building, which is a massive building that is so old it looks like it’s falling apart, with makeshift floors built in as new brands want to open in there. Here you can find brands such as DOG, which Lady Gaga’s stylist basically pulled ALL of her clothes from and created her image from is housed there, along with Giza ilil, and a load of other stores I know I am forgetting, plus a small exhibition space in a makeshift “floor” in the corner of the building.

The photos really tell all! So on to photos!

Amazing things such as kickass ruffled mickey mouse men's briefs can be found in the awesome store, Garter. Caro is AMAZE in this photo! hehe

The ceilings are approximately THIS high! It's like eating the pill that makes you bigger in Alice and then going shopping! SUCH a cool building! And you can see Tavuchi's face down there, too :)Just some of the amazing DIY merch on sale in the Kitakore building!

Here is part of the exhibition they created in honor of the Koenzine launch. These items are discarded pieces from the stores in the kitakore building. You can see the old "Garter" sign laying in there, too hehe.

Small snapshot versions of the photos that are in Koenzine were tacked to the walls in the exhibit area. Here is Tavuchi posing next to the photo of her that appeared in the 'zine.

Here is a beautiful pic of Mlle. Yulia that appears in Koenzine.

Yulia (right) and I!

Yulia (right) is a famous DJ, recording artist, and designer that’s blowing UP in Japan right now! I am in LOVE with her music and kickass style. And yeah, us girls with colored hair have to stick together. She was DJing a set at the party and I got to chat with her a bit. She’ll be coming to LA soon for a shoot and I hope to hang out with her a bit then, too 😉

You can listen to Mlle. Yulia’s newest single, which just dropped on August 3rd, here:

Yulia's handmade jewelry line, called Giza, is sold exclusively at Garter and features impressive metalworking, which Yulia says she picked up when she was living in London for a few years.

Yulia (right) and Koshiro (left) DJ a set together. Koshiro is the owner of Garter, and also Yulia's beau ❤ this photo of them is ADORABLE. The awesome dude on the far right is Youhei, who you will hear more about later. He's awesome and another SOUL MATE of mine haha.

I had super fallen in love with Koenji by this time, and knew I had to make my way back there before my trip was up… which I did 🙂

We really wanted to stay longer but we still had ONE more commitment to go to, and were already sort of running late. We hopped the train back to Shibuya, and rushed to The Lady Spade‘s live show at a small bar/cafe there! I missed them so much! They also came out to perform for Magical Girls in April of this year, and it was our lovely reunion! There was a slight miscommunication, and we thought that their last set STARTED at 10:30pm, but actually, it ENDED at that time ;.; We arrived and it was over, and we were sad… BUT… BUT!! SLF (the leader/DJ of Lady Spade) announced they would do a special ENCORE PERFORMANCE just for Caro and I!!! ;.; TEARS STREAMING, FACES RED OF EMBARRASSMENT WE WERE SO HAPPY AND GRATEFUL! ❤

The new hotness. From left to right, Lotta (who wasn't able to come to LA, so this was our first time meeting her, Alice, and Tiffany!

SLF (stands for "Shit Lives Forever") DJing the tunes for The Lady Spade

Group photo! the projection screen sorta killed this, sorry! Left to Right: Tiffany, myself, Caro, Alice, and Lotta.

Hey! It's Imai-san from The Aprils! He was here to support his friends The Lady Spade. Such a cute photo of Imai and Caro 🙂

My soul mate found me again! Ken was at the event too and we had a few beers, like soul sock bruthas do haha. He is really such a fun dude! And check out his badass chain! It's plush, and part of his "Broken Doll" line that he sells at his store in Shimokitazawa.

The lovely ladies pose for another photo. So artsy!

Here’s a short video I took of the performance:

No late night party time is complete without some FOOD! If you’ll recall, Caro and I only ate ONE OTHER TIME today, and those were just pastries about uhmm… 10 hours before this. So we headed over with our friends to a ramen place nearby and ATE UP! Alice was SO CUTE and I got to meet her boyfriend and friends who came along with us to eat!

nomnomnom

SORT OF A LONG STORY, but Alice was pointing to two guys and said "That's my boyfriend!" I didn't know which one so I said, "The one who looks like Luffy from One Piece or the other one?" It was the other one. This is the other guy. He's awesome and one of Alice's friends hehe.

Oh my. There are SO SO SO many more photos than what I posted here, so please take a poke at my Flickr to see them all! I think I’ll be adding these to my Facebook, too since it seems easier for people to find themselves there 🙂

I have JUST gotten over my jetlag so I am gonna do my best to catch up on my posts from Japan! Hope you all are enjoying the read! Please as if you have any other questions such as locations, links, etc for anything you see here that I may have forgotten ❤

Wet, Hot, Wild Japan Summer: Day 1 Shibuya curse broken: Broken Doll, Koudai, and Dom

23 Jul

I’m awake! in Japan! And only vaguely hungover! Congrats to e.

This morning is probably going to be a pretty rare opportunity for me to update while on this trip, so I figured I may as well make a post before I disappear for a bit.

On Friday, I headed to the airport and met up with Caro (of Sweet Streets, and my travel buddy for this trip!). We knew that Tavuchi was supposed to be on this same flight into Japan, but she was no where to be found as we were boarding. We even heard the desk announce her name over the PA system. Right before the doors to the plane closed, we saw her wander in at the very end with her heart sunglasses on her face looking pretty pleased with herself. We asked her why she was so late, and she just said, “Oh I was eating udon.”

Uhm. Best reason to be late for a plane? Hahaha.

The majestic California mountains as we fly away from Los Angeles.

TIt was my first time on Koeran Air, and I’ve gotta say, I am HOOKED on this airline!!  The seats are nice and roomy, the food is awesome, they give you free slippers and a toothbrush, you have an individual screen to watch both american and asian movies and play games for free on, and the stewardesses are actually NICE TO YOU. WUUT.

Bibimbap, seaweed soup, pickels, and oranges. And a glass for wine to make you sleeps haha.

I watched a really cute Japanese movie on the plane called Patisserie Coin de rue which features Yu Aoi, who was also Hagu in the live action movie version of Honey & Clover. WATCH IT BITCHES. But get ready to cry. About desserts and family and stuff.

Read on to see my first meeting with Broken Doll, Koudai and Dominika!

Continue reading

A Chubby Bunny Graduation

27 Jun

Last weekend, I graduated from FIDM, with a degree in Visual Communications (visual merch, planning retail interiors,styling, etc. Hard field of study to describe in one sentence..!)! This is my second post-high school graduation, so I was a little wary of going at first (I previously graduated with a B.A. in English, Advertising and Japanese from Penn State University many eons ago),  but I’m glad I went and experienced it!

Thanks for Will, True Mee, Alcuin, and Chrissa for coming to the graduation to support me! I felt like the odd man out since everyone else’s parents were there haha. Mine Were too far away to make it, and frankly, I think I’ve subjected them to enough boring ceremonies in my childhood to make them sit through another one.

The graduation was at fancy schmancy Staples center in downtown Los Angeles, home to the Lakers, and other sporting events that I have no clue about 🙂 I loved their projection screens though. That would be the one thing I notice haha.

Pictures ahoy!

Customized my boring black mortarboard (aka graduation cap) with blue and pink glitter gradient, bunny hears, a bow, rhinestones and sequins! I even cut the head cap part in half to fit more like a proper ladies' hat!

Continue reading