In March this year, me and the other Pastel Doll girls went to Japan! I've been before and plan to go as often as possible as it's one of my favourite places, and today I'm going to give you the Fashion Special version of our Japan trip! I also went for the first time a few years back so I'll kick off with my very first trip to Japan.
When I first went to Japan, I was just getting into Lolita fashion, so I begin my fashion tour by visiting all the big Lolita shops - I was overwhelmed by Angelic Pretty! This is the Osaka store, and it is definitely the most pink shop I've ever been to! All the products and stock are laid out perfectly, and all the shop girls are dressed in Lolita fashion. It seems like it'd be a lot of effort to do it everyday but they all looked so lovely! You can see one of the shop girls in the window!
Baby, The Stars Shine Bright isn't that far from Angelic Pretty and this is their Osaka store (and me looking like a huge tourist.) I would really love to actually visit the store in Lolita, I always feel a bit out of place as the stores are always perfect! You can't take pictures inside, but inside the Baby store, they have racks along the outside edge with a display with accessories in the middle. From what I remember, the changing room is really huge and well decorated - even has a throne in it!
Aside from Lolita, I also really loved fashion brand Liz Lisa and it's sister store Tralala. Tralala seems like a more casual version of Liz Lisa, and I regularly buy things from Tralala if I can find them! Liz Lisa can be a type of Gyaru fashion, but it doesn't have to be. It's really just cutesy, girly clothes. They usually feature printed floral patterns and minty/beigey colours.
Look how cute their store is! I actually bought a top from Tralala, I still own it and wear it now and then. It's really comfy and cute, and it wasn't really that expensive either. I don't really see clothes and fashion like this outside of Japan, so I try and buy what I can while I'm there.
Above is me being a dork in Hello Kitty Land, haha. I went the first and second time and I have some more pictures of that too! I wish I had some matching shoes at the time - I have something wrong with my knees so I generally have to wear sensible shoes - gah! I call these my 'geek shoes' I'm sure you can see why, haha. Hello Kitty land was so cute though, there were kids coming up to me and wanting to try on my kitty ears! My friend had Kuromi ears, so we matched, I looked sweet and she looked gothic.
So, that was my first trip to Japan. I did a billion other things as well, I visited Shibuya 109 which is where Liz Lisa and Tralala were based, and I did purikura nearly every day!
I love all their English stamps. 'I love friend!' So this was my first trip to Japan from 2011.
Fast forward to this year - 2013, and I was back again, in March of this year. This time, I wrote a blog of all my adventures from beginning to end while in Japan, even though it was a bit difficult to keep up with doing that! My Japanese had improved a little the second time I went so I was able to enjoy basic conversations some more. Of course, I really looked forward to doing Purikura again and we vowed to show off all our outfits, so here is one of me and Celestiadoll on our first day.
If you don't know what Purikura is, it's a Japanese photobooth. You get in the booth, it snaps a picture of you and a friend, and you can edit it with all the cute stamps and pictures! It also seems to make your skin brighter and eyes appear larger, so it can be quite flattering sometimes. Once you've finished decorating, you can print out your finished pictures! If someone is waiting to use the both, there will be a time limit on the decoration stage, otherwise you can just tell it when you've finished. They release new ones every now and then that have different stamps and different themes, sometimes there will be a celebrity on the booth and these ones tend to be popular. You can find them all over Japan, and mostly they will be in the arcade with all the grabby machines and video games.
You get 2 strips of Purikura pictures (they are actually stickers) so both of you can have one!
So it's really fun, we made all the pictures sparkly!
Our first week was spent in Osaka, and you have to visit Shinsaibashi if you are in Osaka. There is so many cool things to see and places to eat, and they have the big Glico man sign! It looks cooler at night though.
We visited Bodyline in Osaka, and they had a big collection of Lolita and Gothic goodies. Bodyline is good for beginner Lolita's as it has decent quality garments at a reasonable price. I use it to pad out my wardrobe with blouses and the like! I bought some cute things from Bodyline this time, I bought a ruffly polkadot skirt and a white bunny hoody to co-ord with my other stuff! I liked their store in Osaka because it was less busy than the one in Tokyo, the one in Harajuku can get a bit frantic at times. Also I always laugh because they play Disney remix music which amuses me. As you can see, this store is pretty huge.
We also spent a day in Kyoto, a traditional region of Japan. We had a Maiko Makeover, which made us look like a Japanese Maiko girl! The staff were nice, the lady running it said that I had beautiful eyes *_* How nice! They did our makeup and dressed us in the traditional kimono, they were really beautiful garments. There were so many layers to them, and it was really tight, I thought I would struggle to breathe! As well as this, they had lace front wigs to complete the look. The photographer was actually hilarious and kept pulling faces which made me laugh too much!
The photos came out really nice and it was a really fun experience, I'd definitely recommend it! If you are ever in Japan, you should check them out at Yumekoubou. They even have plans for boys too! Their basic plan is very reasonable.
We were lucky enough to visit Japan in Cherry Blossom season, it can be quite difficult to time it right but we managed it. It can be busy at this time of year, but we didn't have any problems with transport - the season was much earlier than expected so maybe other tourists weren't ready!
The next day, we visited Sanrio Puroland (I call it Hello Kitty land.) Me and Celestiadoll had a picture with Kitty-chan herself, how lucky! (I finally bought some matching shoes later on, I promise.)
In Osaka, there is a place called Den Den Town, and it's sort of like a mini Akiba. You'll find a lot of electronics, anime and cosplay stores there, and I also recall seeing a lot of Maid Cafe girls there too! If you like anime and cosplay it's definitely worth checking out while you are in Osaka and if you have time.
So much anime stuff! And of course, Akihabara in Tokyo is the main hub of all the geeky hobbies so we went there for a morning. I found a hilarious table flipping game, and we wandered around and looked in the arcades. I went to some of the cosplay stores there and they have so many amazing wigs, I wanted to buy them all. And I was being a massive weeb in cosplay!
That same evening, we visited a themed cafe - Alice in Wonderland themed! It was so amazing and cute, the girls where dressed up as Alice, some of them as the Mad Hatter, the costumes were really sweet. The food was on the expensive side, but really well presented, so if you want to check out a themed cafe then I'd recommend this one a lot.
I think Shibuya and Harajuku are my favourite places in the world. Shibuya 109 building is packed full of amazing fashion brands and clothing, Galaxxxy, Glad News, Glavil, Ma*rs, Liza Lisa, Tralala - all sorts of brands! I bought a tattoo dress from Glad News because it was just so badass, the women in the store was so lovely too! I was really impressed with their customer service. Bought a bright pink handbag from Ma*rs and a really amazing dress - it has long, bell shaped lace sleeves. I still haven't found an opportunity to wear it yet but if I ever go to a gyaru meet it'd be perfect for that. And, I got a dress from Tralala, it's a stripe sailor dress, I wear that a lotttt. The only problem is, it's quite short so I have to wear shorts with it or something (not made for tallish western ladies haha.)
I also bought some Dolly Wink eyelashes! I was raging because I lost one of them on a rollercoaster in Segaland which was pretty hilarious - I was like how many yen have I lost with a single eyelash?! They are nice quality though, I also bought some Diamond Lash glue. That stuff is awesome, could glue your eyes together if you aren't careful!
And so concludes my Japan fashion tour! I love Japan and I'll be going back next October, so I'll be sure to post a lot more items then.