Thursday, November 2, 2017

Day 10 - Nippori and Shinjuku

A day we had both been looking forward to - fabric town in Nippori. It's basically a whole street running about three blocks with fabric, trims and notions stores running the length of it. You could easily spend a few days and lots of money trawling through the store there, and it makes you appreciate how easy it is to cosplay with great materials in Japan. But we were limited by luggage weight so had to reign in our shopping to just a few hours.

After a quick late lunch we headed to Shinjuku. Unfortunately were were too late to make it in time to the Bunka Fashion Museum which closes at 4.30pm. So instead we wandered into Odakyu for a quick look through the fabric available there. By this point though we were both feeling pretty shopped out. Hard to believe, I know. I did however find the fortitude to wander into the Wachifield store at the back of Studio Alta.

Afterwards, we decided to call it an early night. We stopped by Mister Donut for some halloween themed deliciousness to take home for desert before heading back to Tawaramachi. For dinner though, we called into a local place that we walk past on the way to the train every morning. The food is ordered at the front of the store with a machine and then brought to you when it is ready. It's a very efficient way of serving food and I can see it coming into place across the world. And to top it off, the food was great too.

We then dragged ourselves back to our hotel to start sorting through our luggage as our days remaining in Japan are limited, and I really needed to know if I would be posting any fabric home to myself. Thankfully though, it all looks like it will come in just under my weight allowance.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

DAY 9 - Harajuku

Another big day had arrived, and brought with it sunshine. Today was the day that I would be introducing Abi to Harajuku - one of my favourite parts of Tokyo. After getting off the train, we immediately made our way straight to Takeshita Dori.

From there, we simply wandered the street, stopping in at any stores that looked interesting. We of course did make a pit stop for Crepes and made sure to visit Closet Child (second hand Lolita) and the Disney Store. From there we headed to Laforet (a fashion heavy department store). It was incredibly odd to shop through the basement level where all the Lolita stores are located and not really buy anything. I did grab a beret, bag and some jewellery. I was however disappointed that the Putumayo store was no longer there and likewise the Innocent World store has closed. I suspect many lolita stores will close eventually. I feel like there is an over saturation of brands and stores available now and Japan is not necessarily the hub of Lolita fashion anymore. But that's a whole other discussion. At any rate, I don't wear Lolita anymore but it was a challenge to resist the beautiful new dresses available.

Our next stop was the Q-POT cafe. It's somewhere that I have wanted to visit for a long time and who can really pass up the opportunity for tea and delicious sweets.

We then made our way to the recently opened Alice on Wednesday store. It's a very pretty store with a tiny door for entry and three stories of narrow stairs, but the theming inside is spot on.

Our final stop for the night was dinner. We stumbled over Serendipity which was a very beautiful diner type setting. The food was amazing and much more than I am used to eating. I couldn't even get through my burger no matter how amazing.

DAY 8 - Nakano and Akihabara

After the last four exhausting days at Disney, we decided to take it a bit easier for our next one. We slept in (shops don't really open until 10am or 11am anyway), before getting dressed and making the train trips out to Nakano Broadway.

It was a morning of shopping for Wachifield items, figures and magazines before we headed back to Akihabara. It was unfortunately pouring rain by this stage. In fact the news had advised for flooding in some areas. We managed to duck into a cafe to grab some lunch before braving the rain and heading back to Radio Kaikan for some more shopping. I was rather disappointed that the volks levels were no longer there and I wasn't able to add to my pullip doll collection. But then, things do change in four years.

After checking out a few more stores including the toy section in Yodobashi Camera, we decided that it was time to grab some food and head back to our hotel before we were washed away.

DAY 7 - Disney Sea Take 2

Our final day in the land of Disney. Unfortunately the rain had returned and we were set for a wet day at the park. Thankfully we were prepared with umbrellas and slightly more weather appropriate outfits. This day we were disneybounding as Villains Maleficent (Abi) and Ursula (Me). A rather appropriate choice given the villains theme at Disney Sea.


As our last day, there was a lot we wanted to get done. Mostly, catch the rides that we had missed so far. Our first port of call for the day was to grab a fast pass for the Nemo Searider Attraction (new in May this year). We then headed on into Lost River Delta to do the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ride. We fast tracked it through by going in as single riders. It meant that we weren't sitting on the ride together for the whole three minutes that it takes, but we were in and out in about 15 minutes instead of standing in line for 90 minutes.

Our next plan was to hit the Journey to the Centre of the Earth ride, but a wait time of close to 2 hours was so off-putting that we gave up and instead headed into Mermaid Lagoon, where we were able to do most of the rides, sit through the musical performance and grab lunch. We were also able to catch Prince Eric and Max who we did get a photo with (but not on my phone).

Our fast pass time had by then approached and it was time for us to swim with Nemo and Dory. It's a sweet ride but the video and movement effects aren't for everyone. Especially those with a touch of motion sickness.

Next up on the agenda was to do the riverboat ride - a great way to see all the areas of the park as the river flows through each one.

We then decided it was time to take a break from the rain and wind and headed into the American Waterfront and the SS Columbia (the big ship) for dinner. We waited in line for a good 90 minutes, but we did get into the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge where the sandwiches and parfait were amazing. Well worth the wait.

After a final wander through the park and shops, we had reached closing time (open an hour later than usual - 10pm that day) and headed back to our hotel to fall into bed.