July 14, 2017

Tokyo, Japan 2016 | Day 3: Shimokitazawa & Hanbey Izakaya

After shopping around Harajuku on the third day of my trip, Misato brought me around Shimokitazawa to check out a thrift shop and to meet her friend at a retro Izakaya. Shimokitazawa is a pretty hipster area a little away from the main JR line spots. There are lots of thrift store, market and places to eat and hangout.

Shimokitazawa station was undergoing some renovation when I visited, so I was a bit lost on the direction but I leave it to Misato to bring me around the area lol. Earlier the day we went to Raw Tokyo, a flea market that opens on the first weekend of the month, and now we were heading for a storewide 50% sale at this thrift store called New York Joe that happens on the first Sunday every month. It can get pretty crowded but you get to bring home some gems if you're lucky at a discounted price! I got a KTZ top here during my visit which you'll see in later post since I ran out of my own clothes to wear halfway throughout the trip (which I already expected it to happen because I didn't pack my luggage fully to load it with shopping hauls :P).

Walking around the streets of Shimokitazawa looking for the Izakaya.

Izakaya is a Japanese pub and here people flock to spend their time after work because most shops closes around 8pm. So nightlife pretty much involves drinking, eating or karaoke. The Izakaya we went to was called Hakuri Tabai Hanbey (薄利多賣 半兵ヱ) and it was located at the 2nd floor of the building. There are various branches all across Japan though the information on their site are all in Japanese, but I guess a little Google translating should be able to help you to find one closest to where you plan to go.

The pub is filled with Showa retro vibes and there's a waiting list to enter. Meanwhile you can sit down and take come photos lol~

Lots of Showa era decors with posters plastered all over the walls and figurines standing everywhere. The ambience and music matches the theme really well and it makes you feel really nostalgic. It's a really nice place to sit down and catch up with friends too.

I know it's a pub but I don't drink so I got this fun soda drink lol XD It's supposed to be sweet soda drinks for kids back in the days, but it's still something new for me hahaha. I'm childishly lame~

Oh also you can briefly see on the table the menu of the place. I didn't really know what was what so I left it to the others to order but you can see its price range.

Our table filled with food~~~ There were some food which I wanted to try like takoyaki, okonomiyaki yakitori and gyoza so Misato helped me to order those to share and they also ordered some more for me to try. I think there was oden and kushikatsu too. It was a great way to try out a variety of foods and if you're unsure what to order due to language gap I think you can always ask the waiter what are their recommendations (osusume).

That finally concludes day 3 of my trip and while I was editing halfway I realized that this day is taking way too long to blog because I went to so many places and took so many photos. My trip schedule was filled back-to-back everyday since I didn't want to miss out on any opportunities to explore Tokyo. It also makes me happy looking back at these photos and reliving the memories when I blog about them, plus it motivates me to work hard now so I can visit Tokyo soon.
July 13, 2017

Tokyo, Japan 2016 | Day 3: Omotesando, Harajuku & Urahara

Continuing my Day 3 journey from where I left off, after visiting Raw Tokyo, Misato and I decided to visit Harajuku again since I went there quite late on the first day and couldn't visit Laforet. Come to think of it, we might've skipped lunch that day because I remember all I had that morning was a swiss roll cake from Family Mart lol. Anyways, on our way there we passed by Omotesando and walked down the street, passing by rows and rows of branded goods shops which we can't afford haha~

Autumn trees everywhere! It was so beautiful!

Awkward potato in an OOTD shot. I was wearing a Vintage Reversible Outer, Frost Sweater from Unif, Stockings from Junie Moon and Clear Platform Shoes from Y.R.U. Braving the cold autumn weather in stockings hurhhhh~~~ As long as my body is warm I'm fine with wearing leggings in cold weather, though looking back now I wish I coordinated this outfit a little different since I look like a huge marshmallow thanks to the puffy jacket ^^;

Oh and we didn't actually cross the bridge, I just wanted to climb up to take a picture and to look at the view from above hahahaha!

And took these pictures from the bridge :P

Gucci window display. In my home country I wouldn't dare to step into these luxurious fashion boutiques because I know I can't afford a single thing there but when I'm overseas I'd go and check them out since no one knows who I am or where I'm from, plus it's not like I'll see anyone there again... ^^;

Being able to look at Gucci's A/W collection was so fun~ The brand really picked it up after Alessandro Michele became the creative director, though I haven't been following the latest collection because I felt like it was special for a moment then it died down. :/

Tokyu Plaza opposite Laforet.

We went down to the basement of Laforet first then made our way up to the top floor. The mall has so many brands that I've been following and it was great to see and touch the items, and also to talk to some of the shop staff who were really friendly. The basement has Swimmer and also many other Lolita brands such as Baby The Stars Shine Bright, Nile Perch, Abilletage, Angelic Pretty and so much more. I wish I could take photo of the shops but they don't allow photography there. :(

Don't really remember the floor sequences thereafter, but here I met Rikarin at Jeffrey Campbell store! Was so happy to meet and talk to her, omg I was so shy ahhhh

Tried on a 3-way dress at Aymmy store. I wanted to buy an item from the store so badly lol since Seto Ayumi's my favourite Harajuku model thus my wallet suffered a 20000 yen damage that day. It was the most expensive purchase I did during the entire trip but I'm still very happy to own it. :)

Discovered this awesome shop at the first floor called Hoyajuku. The shop staff was so lovely and we ended up following each other on Instagram. Do check out their store's instagram, I absolutely love seeing their post on the new items they have stocked from various designers. It's a multi label designer store where young designers in Japan sells some of their items after being curated by Hoyajuku store. These young designers are to be looked out for as they are getting more and more famous in what they do!

And on one of the floors there was this brand called ankoROCK which was really cute to me since one of my cat's name is Anko. Plus there's a cat illustration on the clothing!

Laforet is a great place to check out lots of famous Harajuku brands and discover new brands which you might like. Oh I also went to MYOB store and their shop staff, Eno chat about hair colour with me. Her style is what I'd describe as 'Yabai', really cool and edgy.

After visiting Laforet we walked over to Takeshita Street because I wanted to check out this store that sells anime merchandises on the second floor and to go back to W♡C to buy a beret I saw on day 1. Saw some street snap photographers hunting people with unique styles on the way.

Unique people you'll see around Harajuku, especially on weekends. He gave out handmade rings for free which were really cute which sometimes I'd wear.

Found the store which I was looking for and say hello to the swim club boys~

It was fun to check out the store but I didn't buy anything there since I just went to Nakano Broadway the day before. Oh and the floor below sells lingerie so do look out for posters pointing towards the second floor if you try to look for this place at Takeshita Street.

So while I was in Japan, Kaila from Rainbowholic posted a facebook post of snacks to check out around Harajuku and one of it was this 'Zaku-zaku'. It had a long queue and smelt really good from outside so I wanted to try what was the hype about too. It was pretty good, really crunchy but a little sweet for me.

After we got our snack we walked over to Urahara where Sebastian Masuda's huge world clock display was at. The sky was already pretty dark by then.

Since we're at Urahara, of course I had to visit Dog! This shop has been visited by so many celebrities, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, G Dragon and so many more and I just couldn't miss out on it. Just locate the mannequin outside the stairs leading down to the store, or you can always use Google Maps if you're unsure.

It's said that many celebrities left their signature on their walls. It was really overwhelming and pretty hard to spot signatures because everything overlaps and is jumbled up together.

The shop staff were really cool and it felt pretty intimidating to talk to them since they had their gang of friends around. Looking at creative people like them made me felt out of league lol ^^; The remake designs were super awesome and it's mind boggling how people can think of so much ideas in creating and remaking garments to make them look so much better than they were before. Definitely check out if you have the opportunity to, even if you're not very into these kind of things it's surely and eye opener.

And at last I also visited the famous Santonibunoichi vintage store. I took these photos later on when I revisited Harajuku because it was already dark by the time I visited on day 3. The vintage pastel exterior totally fits the shop interior which you can see on their Instagram. I didn't manage to take pictures in there because well....

... After we left Dog and went to Santonibunoichi, all the Dog staff came over to meet their friends at this store. It became super awkward because we just saw those people at their shop and now they were at this shop we're visiting and browsing through clothing too. And while they were merrily chatting with each other we felt like we should leave soon since we only plan to window shop. ^^; I guess that's what happens when you have 2 introverts in a huge gathering lol, we'll take our leave~

And there sums up second part of my Day 3 experiences. It's not over yet because that night we headed over to Shimokitazawa to check out a retro Izakaya (bar), which will be in the next post~ ;)