Usagi Sailor Moon - Link Select

2014-09-29

TOKYO DIARIES - pt.4: Harajuku morning

My Sunday morning in Tokyo was spent meeting my brother in Harajuku to visit the Apple Store and have lunch before we went back to the office. I arrived half an hour early and had a peek around Takeshita-dori, the crazy end of Harajuku. In the past when I was a tourist to Japan, this place certainly had more appeal to me - nowadays I know I can get a lot of these "trend" items in Fukuoka if I really want them - but it's nonetheless an experience to walk down the packed, hyper colour centre of kawaii youth culture in Tokyo. On the other side of this street you'll find a nice little labyrinth of backstreets filled with some of the best small independent shops. But walking down Takeshita-dori can be a little overwhelming on a busy day. 

On Sunday I took a quick wander and snapped some photos. I promised myself I would come back and explore the other side of Harajuku before I left Tokyo on Tuesday. 



Riding the Yamanote Line brings back such distinct memories of our first times visiting Japan as tourists from Australia. It's a little natsukashii.


Arriving early in the day meant Harajuku wasn't too packed yet, so I took a little wander in the time I had.





I didn't eat a crepe - the symbol of Harajuku - but certainly enjoyed the cute sign designs.




We stopped by the new Omotesando-dori Apple Store which opened earlier this year. Afterwards, we had amazing burgers nearby. Mine was filled with edamame bean mix, and came with a fresh apple juice. Delicious.





That's all for now, but I still have more posts coming ♡
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2014-09-25

TOKYO DIARIES - pt.3: Electric Town

With an evening to spare and no real plans, I decided to stop by Electric Town, Akihabara, on Saturday afternoon. If you're after chasing Tokyo's neon lights, cosplay/maid culture, and electronics stores, this is the place for you (note: If you are into retro Nintendo, don't miss Super Potato). When we used to visit Japan as tourists, Kamil and I always enjoyed a trip to Akiba, always an exciting place.

This time I came in search of an art gallery I'd heard of called 3331 Arts Chiyoda, which is located in the outskirts of the area. It turned out to be a nice little walk through the crazy tourist centre of Akiba, the noise and light fading as I reached my destination. 






3331 Arts Chiyoda is a gallery located inside an old elementary school. You can freely roam the various floors, and inside each classroom is a mini-exhibition. I arrived in the evening and was wandering around some of the nearly deserted floors by myself, which was kind of creepy to be honest. But creepy in the best way. The interior of the building is totally white, which on the surface does a good job transforming it from a school into a place to display art. Yet there are elements of the interior which remain from the school (the bathrooms, wash basins near the stairs of each floor, classrooms) that give the gallery a slightly eerie feeling. 




On the first floor the main exhibition space was occupied with a showcase of print-makers' work from around the world. It coincided with a conference that was being held in Tokyo at the same time, and featured some wonderful pieces by skilled print-makers. 








After browsing the gallery, I took myself back to Akihabara to bask in Tokyo. Tokyo is like hyper-Japan to me; totally dissimilar to any other place. Not being interested in maid cafes and gaming doesn't take anything away from a stroll through Akihabara. I took purikura by myself, ate katsu curry and went in and out of shops that caught my eye. 


Thanks to this year's launch of a new Sailor Moon series on TV in Japan, you can now find Sailor moon goods in almost every character-goods shop. This is awesome, compared to only a few years ago when it wasn't popular and it was basically impossible to find anything Sailor Moon themed. 




Looking forward to sharing more of my Tokyo travels.

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2014-09-18

TOKYO DIARIES 2014 - pt.2: Hello Sandwich crafternoon

One of the highlights of my Tokyo trip was attending a "crafternoon" craft workshop with Ebony - AKA Hello Sandwich. I've followed the Hello Sandwich blog for years now, always enjoying her dreamy images from Tokyo. Ebony is an inspiring fellow-Australian living in Japan. She creates cute things all the time as a craft artist, designer and blogger, has released a Japanese craft book (pictured below) and a Tokyo Guide (which sold out before I could get my hands on it!) and is currently working on a new book to be released next year. Check out her stuff!

http://hellosandwich.blogspot.jp/2012/07/my-japanese-craft-book.html
When I decided I was going to Tokyo, I messaged Hello Sandwich instagram to see if any workshops were coming up, and I was in luck! So that's how I found myself upstairs at the cute craft shop East Side Tokyo Craft in Asakusabashi on Saturday, relaxing and playing with some cool craft tools for four hours with lots of lovely ladies.  




We set to work making two envelopes and decorating a sweet wooden box. Ebony gave lots of tips and showed us some interesting techniques and tools, and then we were given free license to get crafting! The colours of the Martha Stewart paints we used were lovely, and I went with pastels (predictable, I know) as my colour theme.






And here's my end result! Using the paints, stencils, and punchers, we all made our own unique set of three. I also couldn't resist shopping downstairs in the craft shop post-workshop where I picked up some neon mt tape, along with some great inks for my stamp-making hobby. 





Big thanks to Hello Sandwich Ebony - I had a wonderful time and hope you can make it down to Fukuoka some day soon!

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2014-09-17

TOKYO DIARIES 2014 - pt. 1: Settling In

I just got back from a five night trip to Tokyo. It's been about two years since my last proper visit there, and was my first time to travel there alone. Part-business, part-fun, part-family visit to my brother, it was exactly what I needed at this point in time.

Travelling alone affords you more time to spend with your camera, I've found. So this trip I focused on and truly enjoyed taking photos around Tokyo. This is the first of seven posts of my Tokyo Diaries 2014, starting off a little slow with a few moments around my first night/day settling into Shinjuku where I was staying, and a brief stopover I made in Shibuya on Friday.





On my first night, my brother and I shared a meal and an apple pie at a great restaurant in Shinjuku's Lumine 1 restaurant floor. Then, on Friday I headed to the office for the morning. I was staying at my brother's apartment in a central location, but was surprised by the peace and quiet of his neighbourhood despite its proximity to busy Shinjuku. 





On my way home, I decided to hop off the train at Shibuya for a look around.


Shibuya Crossing as charming and iconic as ever. Although it's such a stereotypical tourist shot of Tokyo, it's too hard to resist taking some variation of this photo every time I visit.




The reason I popped by Shibuya 109 (a noisy, crazy department store for fast teen fashion trends) was to check out the new shops: Punyus and Bubbles (which has its main shop in Harajuku). I picked up a really cute pancake cardigan and shirt from Punyus, and wonderful red velvet hair bows at Bubbles.


Looking forward to sharing more of Tokyo with you !
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