Tokyo’15 Ikebukuro

image

I think it’s kind of unfortunate how I only managed to visit Ike in the last few days of my trip because I was too broke by then. ._.

image

image

image

Aaaaanyway. Nii and I decided to go visit Tokyu Hands, which is supposed to be the biggest one in Japan (?).

There was a cat cafe on the 8th floor, but we were both too poor to enter so Nii brought me to go look at birds, tortoises and… HEDGEHOGS???!!! Unfortunately, I never got a chance to take a picture of the hog because they were both sleeping and well, I don’t think I was allowed to.

Can you believe a love bird costs more than a hedgehog in Japan? Egad! I’d have the hedgehog anytime and name it Sonic. Then have all my friends hate me for having the coolest pet ever and then naming it some punny name for shits and giggles.

image

image

image

image

In other news, Tokyu Hands was huge and we took at least 2hours browsing through and finding weird stuff like tiny rubber turtles for God knows what, and ice shavers because shaved ice is apparently a huge thing in Japan.

image

We found a Mister Donut while walking aimlessly and I decided wanted to sit and rest with a Pon de Ring but couldn’t because they were running a full house. ):

Pon de Rings are glazed mochi donuts and are definitely a must try at only 100yen!!! Sometimes I buy them repeatedly within a short time span and get embarrassed at myself.

So obviously the only solution is to buy a couple, have a seat and wait for the cashiers to change before getting up and buying more. 😄

image

image

image

We didn’t have much to do since we had no money to actually buy anything, so we went window shopping at what was probably going to be my last Animate in a while (or at least till next year) before heading home early. *sob*

image

image

The next day (or the day we flew back), we dropped our luggage at the baggage deposit at the Skytree (really handy) and window shopped at the mall. I had to get a few last minute souvenirs too.

image

image

I’m not sure how I missed it, but there was a freaking Rilakkuma store at the Skytree as well. The above picture is one with me and the dream Kkuma-kun. He’s half the price of that in SG but I couldn’t buy him because I was broke ;_;

image

image

image

Having walked most of the mall, we finished walking the rest in an hour and had tons of time to kill before we flew off.
Nii and I took a 45min stoning break before we decided to actually get up and start walking again. We then lost our way and couldn’t find the escalator to the 1st floor. You know, for something that looks like a tall skinny thing, you wouldn’t expect it’s interior to be so frustratingly complicated.

Somehow, we finally found our way out and decided to visit Ultimatecoffee again. I’m seriously in love with the design of the bar and everything. The coffee was amazing so we bought some back to grind and make at home.

image

image

image

Walking back to take our train to the airport, I spotted a more vacant Mister Donut and practically dragged Nii into it.

I started out with one Pon de Ring thinking it was all I needed but I was wrong because their Pon de Rings are to freaking die for.

I would have managed to get another ring without the cashier judging me in Japanese monolouge, if only I didn’t call Nii an asswipe for not doing something (I’m not sure what anymore). Basically I muttered ‘asswipe’ and he said ‘then buy your own damn donut you fatty’.

And if anyone is asking, I did buy that damn donut.

I asked for it to go (clever right) and ate it before we even got into the mall, which was literally less than a block away. Lol.

image

I’m not sure why Nii wanted me to try this. After all, we were already running late to the airport when we walking into Zara.

Note to self, bring more money to shop at JP Zara because it’s muchhhh cheaper. I’m not sure why and how but… I’ll just pretend it’s magic.
#everythingismagicifyoudontunderstandit #unlessitsmath #mathisntmagical #dontdomath

image

The fact that I finally had to leave was heartening. I never felt like I was in a foreign country while I was in Japan. I probably acted like a tourist but I never felt like one. /shrug

Everyone is so polite and friendly, it inspires me to be a slightly nicer person as well ;u;

Anyway, it kinda sucks because the next day after I touchdown, I’m back in mundane Singapore without Matsuya and 100yen onigiri and preparing for a full shift at work.

Oh well, life goes on. I guess I’ll just wait till I go again next year!

X

Tokyo’15 Tokyo Tower

image

image

image

My visit to the Tokyo Tower is probably the highlight of my entire trip. It’s what got me started on nanoblocks and the reason why I wanted to go to Japan anyway.

I don’t care if people say it’s just a red and white Eiffel tower! It’s my red and white Eiffel Tower. Plus it was a radio tower first before a landmark because it’s totally efficient like that.

image

image

Look at this majestic thing. *swoon*

image

image

image

I don’t know man, it’s just really hard not to fangirl over smth so massive *hue*. Like GUYS IT’S GOT MY FAVOURITE COLOUR SCHEME ON IT. And it’s tall and it stands out and I don’t know I just like it alot, okay.

image

image

image

image

Another reason why the Tokyo tower is uber cool is because it housed (limited time only) the One Piece mech shop and cafe! I love mech shops, so colourful :>

I’m not a One Piece fan (don’t stone me) but I have tons of friends who loves the anime, Nii san included. Apparently it’s 18 this year, practically a teenager.

image

After walking 3 storeys of its souvenir mall, we finally bought tickets and headed up to the 150m observatory.

image

I’m gonna talk about the view in a bit but first, check out this bedazzled Hello Kitty Tokyo tower and be… dazzled. Lol.

In time to come, I can only hope Rilakkuma would become this big in Japan. 😂

image

image

image

image

The glass door elevator ride up nearly killed me (freakish fear of heights over here) but the view made everything worth it. I’m sort of happy we came closer to sundown, because everything got so much prettier which all the city lights in the distance.

In the day, all I could notice were the cemeteries littered all around the tower. Talk about being on holy ground, but the feeling of being near a cemetery had always given me a sense of serenity.

I’m not sure how you should respond to that above statement either so let’s move on.

image

image

image

Just for the sake of it being my first time here, Nii got me a photo card (?) thing to bring home as a souvenir. My entry ticket is in there too!

image

Now comes the fun part, the lookdown window.

image

So Nii probably never understood my extreme fear of heights or maybe what a phobia generally is (yeah I’m talking about you Nii, I KNOW YOU ARE READING THIS.) but wow did he have so much fun with mine.

image

image

Most of my pictures were taken from the safety of not knowing what it looked like under me and while I was sitting down. Why was I sitting down, you ask? Because I couldn’t feel my legs. It’s that bad, okay.

You see, as much as I love scenery and sorts, I can’t stand the thought of perpetually falling to my death. It’s probably the one reason why I can stay on the 12th floor of my flat and not think of a more convenient suicide. Instead, I turn to western medication in hopes that it would one day poison my body. But no, life is cruel and has got a death (haha pun) grip on me. My list of ‘immune to’ drugs just keeps on growing.

image

image

15minutes of whining, cover-mouth screaming, push and shoving later, I finally put my foot down (lolol) onto the glass. Eventhough it was for exactly one picture and give or take 20seconds.

In conclusion, my other list I have creatively named ‘Reasons why I’m a Hell-born’ grows. Obviously I’m no angle because I’d probably never fly even when I was made to. Sort of like a chicken.

Oh my God, I’d be an angle chicken.

*cough* Um.

image

image

image

Anyway, it was really hard for me to leave the tower. It’s even more beautiful at night. But Nii was hungry and I wanted to see Hachiko before I left so we descended and started walking (we walk everywhere before exercise and poverty seems to come hand in hand for us) to the google maps-given train station.

image

Introducing the famous Shibuya crossing! I think.

image

We found Hachiko pretty easily, since everyone stood in this magical 3meter photo taking radius from it.

image

image

In this neon light district, I saw my first ever Taco Bell and would have eaten there if it wasn’t for the fact that I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone that I ate there without telling them I was in flipping Japan.

Not alot of people know I’m in Japan, just the people who are close to me and the general internet so whoever you are, feel special now.

The day ended with authentic store bought onigiri and bread for breakfast the next day. Was extremely pleased with my loots, expecially the Tokyo tower exclusive gold medal/coins I got for myself and friends.

Now that I think about it, I never got to take a picture of it.

Oh well, I hope Google helps everyone out in that area.

Ja neh~
X

Tokyo’15 Stranded

image

image

The title is kinda punny if you know what I’m gonna be writing about.

Hair. I did my hair in Japan.

So… STRAND-ED.
Hehehehehehehehehe

No? Nobody?

Ok.

image

Moving on, Nii and I woke up bright (like it was really bright. Sunrise is at 5am here) and early in the morning to meet Rachel and crew at Tachikawa Station at 11am.

We were late but with any consolation, everyone was as well. Hairdresser included.

The location was all the way in the coutryside, though technically it was still considered part of Tokyo. But it was far/bad enough for all of us to lose our wifi connection from our pocket wifis.

It was also a good thing that while waiting I was well caffeinated, meaning I was willing enough to wait out the end of my life in an air conditioned space or half an hour under the sun/random shadow on the ground with Japanese mosquitoes that would daringly take toxic blood from my veins. There was no in between.

It was also then that I was bitten by a mosquito (or maybe a couple) after years of not knowing what a mosquito bite felt like. How’s that for experiences?

image

image

image

The salon owners finally arrived and let us in. They were really nice people (them and everyone else in Japan, apparently), who offered us drinks and cookies while we waited for Chami Tea, our hairsdresser/stylist.

We did share and inside joke about how we were so far from civilization, they could sell us and/or our kidneys away and we could do nothing about it. Of course with that being said, anything and everything that was pushed to us turned up looking dodgy as hell and everytime we succumbed to our basic needs of um, hunger and thirst, one would be regarded with sad eyes by the rest.

Let’s just say that the phrase ‘this is how I go, isn’t it?’ was thrown around alot that day. That, and ‘if I fall asleep half way, please at least leave me one kidney, thanks’.

And let’s not forget about the cat we were snapping photos of all day. That’s Shiki. Shiki likes guys more but Shiki liked Hiro best, because Hiro is super cool. Oh and from the pictures, Shiki is really done with our shit.

image

image

I dyed my hair ombre silver while Rachel did hers pastel pink. I bleached my ends while she bleached her entire head. With both heads being done concurrently, we sat for a gruelling 11hours before we were finally done.

We got there at 12.30pm so you do the math.

image

A great deal of blow drying later, my hair came out looking like this. You can’t really tell it’s silver yet, I’m supposed to let it fade more. The only obvious parts are at my tips, my hair was bleached up to my mid ears.

Chamii was nice enough to throw in a little shaping and trim so my hair is slightly thinner at the top too!

Anyway, Nii and I only made it to Kanda station before we had to walk home (missed the last train) so basically we were stranded at the train station. Hiro did propose cabbing, but we were broke so we opted to walk back to Asakusa instead.

Talk about a 4km hike past midnight in a foreign country, Google maps save us now. I normally enjoy my walks but my new hair couldn’t be tied/tamed and I was really sweating it out while Nii was having a major headache. We eventually got home in half an hour (personal brisk walking record) but my gad, we really know how to torture ourselves.

The day ended with Matsuya (as usual), except I’m pretty sure they got my order wrong. But what the hay.

Funnily, the time we went to bed was the time we normally slept so nothing much felt different except for how tilted we both were.

To great legs and hiking, guys!

X

Tokyo’15 Asakusa

image

Came a time where Nii and I realized we would have too much travel at the end of our money instead of the other way round. So we decided to finally explore our area a little more.

image

image

You know how I mentioned I haven’t had a decent cuppa in days? Well I finally found it at KO•HI•KAN. The coffee is amazing like a slap in the twat. None that I’ve ever tried before. I’m pretty sure they roast it themselves and if not, I really want to know where to buy it from.

image

image

After coffee and pancakes, I was in a much better mood and together, we made our way over to the Skytree to window shop (because we were broke hahahahaha).

This is an excellent example of how coffee automatically turns me into a nice person. The last time I walked to the Skytree from the Ginza line, I threw a hissy fit and Nii had to literally fan me if not I’d lose my shit. I know, I’m really pampered, stahp.

But with coffee, I was actually in the mood to walk in the sun, take pictures and actually smile all without an umbrella (because we somehow lost it in our apartment rofl).

In conclusion, coffee is essential to my existance because without coffee, I’d probably end up dead in some alley after making a snide remark at someone from the yakuza or something.

image

image

Japanese dogs are hella cute, by the way. Especially the Chow chow, oh my gad just look at it. It’s so puppy you might as well call it a ‘chew chew’ at its current state.

image

On the way over, we walked past the river and watched the proceedings of the still ongoing obon festival. Once again, it’s really similar to the likes of the mangas I read. They don’t kid around, no sire.

image

image

Afew lanes down, we discovered ultimate coffee,

image

image

Which had by far the most gorgeous coffee machine I’d ever seen in my life. I’d never fan-girled so hard in my coffee infused life.

image

Not to mention their extensive Ultimate Coffee merch. Why must their wood tampers be $280? Oh yeah because they’re flipping WOOD tampers.

image

More pictures because I just can’t express how perfect the bar looked in words.

They do all sorts of pours, from V60s and Chemexes(?), to cold brews and syphons. I was hoping the cold brews would be bottled like they are most of the time in Singapore but these weren’t. No matter, because the coffee was super good anyway.

image

We walked around the mall till sunset (it’s at 5pm so it wasn’t too long) and i decided that I’d try leading the way back to our apartment with only the use of my fantastic not really sense of direction.

image

image

An hour and a number of dark alleys later, I finally found our way back to the river where it was extremely lit up and people were dancing rhythmically in a circle. I stood there for a solid 10minutes trying to remember the steps. I kind of get it, except I forgot the beat within the next 10minutes of crossing the Asakusa river.

image

image

Having walked for so long, Nii and I worked up an appetite and decided to go look for our daily-and-sometimes-twice-a-day gyu-don. He proposed Sukiya (which is pretty much the same thing) so we went hunting for it.

Of course we turned around when we found it though. We don’t speak Japanese so we couldn’t order our food without it getting really awkward.

So Matsuya it was and it was for many days to come.

Because we’re a couple of f- gaijins.

X

Tokyo’15 Obon Festival

image

We decided to go yukata shopping around our Asakusa district instead of Comiket because it was seriously too hot out and there was no way I was squishing in cosplay with a thousand other sweaty bodies.

image

We found a great place at ROX that amazed me with their extremely colourful displays of silk kimonos. Definitely getting one in this lifetime. Talk about wedding goals, I’m terrified of the idea of it. But wow, such pattern, much kawaii, very silks.

image

image

image

image

I finally decided on one, though it was not from the shop above (people are on a budget you know) and wore it out to go look around at the festival.

Initially, I wanted to have something of a darker color and definitely not pink but I thought why not? It’s not like anyone here knew me. If anything, it was my chance to finally be a demure creature of the female species- or at least pretend to be one. My life moto is ‘Fake it till you make it!’ anyways.

And by God, demure sure as hell is tiring. I had to take so many more steps because I couldn’t take big ones.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Somehow, we found our way to the Sensoji Temple. The gates were really huge and there were so many people queuing up to pray.

image

Here’s a picture Nii snapped. Can you guess what he was trying to do?

Yeah. Trying to play the ‘Who can get the most yukata clad girls in one frame’ game. Very much like the one with fishes from around the world on Miniclip. Does anyone even remember that place? Or is it only me.

image

image

image

Moving on, we turned into a street/lane that was filled with tons of Japanese street food and souvenirs. It reminded me so much of Taiwan for a moment, except I didn’t get to see most of the food being displayed. There wasn’t much variety too, you just knew there was food being sold there. Nii and I would have sat down (I think?), except convenience stores were our lives now. And Calpis soda. Never forget the Calpis soda.

Later in the day, we went back to our apartment, showered and headed out again. It’s nice that we get to go out so late and there would still be food waiting for us at Don Quijote or any other 24hour mart. I mean, sure walking back to our apartment through our dodgy alley at 12am can sometimes be creepy but remember kids, I quote the unspoken rule of Amnesia, don’t look back.

Either way, (dodgy, creepy or whatnot) I still feel pretty damn comfy where I am now and there’s still tons to check off the Japan to-do list.

Till next time!

X