I’m in such a good mood today (won Best Wardrobe Blogger at the VSA last night omg thanks everyone), and I’ve nothing better than this entry to cap off a productive work week. This won’t be my last Japan entry for the year though, as I’m invited to Tokyo for the second time this year for EMODA touchMe Collection S/S 2014 with an old friend, Malaysian blogger extraordinaire Cheesie (whom I haven’t seen since this shoot back in 2011!). I’ll also be flying to the US end of October! There is ALWAYS room for more travel entries, yes?
More than the shopping part, I’m more excited to geek out and take tons of photos of the fashion show. I was initially a photographer before I crossed over to personal style blogging, and I can never, ever give it up because it’s already a huge part of me. I feel like my photography has been getting rusty recently, but traveling never fails to refresh my mind and give me new ideas. Can’t wait!
Anyhow, here’s the second part of my Kyoto trip last April. The first part consisted of a half-day tour, while this is the other half of this Kyoto-Nara 1-day tour. Already posted a separate Nara entry to avoid confusion, and well, Kyoto has a special place in my heart and I wanted to drag it on to 3 parts if it were only possible.
No picture of me in this entry because I was too caught up taking pictures and the tour didn’t allow that much free time. This is why I rarely travel with organized tour groups with fixed itineraries. :(
One of my favorite pictures in this post. The bicycles look so light and they look like they’re floating.
First stop was Nijo Castle (二条城), built by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period.
REAL NIGHTINGALE FLOORS, OMG. Across the Nightingale Floor a.k.a. Lian Hearn’s first book from the Tales of the Otori triology was pretty much my favorite book way back when I was in highschool. I convinced my younger brother to read the trilogy as well so when we were told that this place had nightingale floors, we totes freaked out.
Nightingale floors are called such because they squeak if someone steps on them (thanks to a few screws), thus being an effective way to detect intruders. Only expert ninjas can probably get away with it without the floor “singing”. We were able to pass through a whole corridor with nightingale floors, and they really sounded like chirping birds.
Ninomaru Palace, the residence and office of the shogun during his visits to Kyoto.
O hai there! Thanks for posing for my picture!
A little traffic on our way to our next destination, so I managed to get a few shots from the bus window. Stalking skills level up~
Love the colors in this one. Autumn feel even if this was taken in spring.
Second visit to Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺) or Golden Pavilion, and it still looks amazeballs! I’ve always visited Kyoto around this time of the year, but I’m so curious what it would look like during fall with the autumn foliage, and during winter with all the snow.
I can easily google photos but being there is a totally different experience.
Kyoto Imperial Palace (京都御所) for the first time. This was the former residence of the Emperor of Japan until 1869, when the capital was moved to Tokyo. This place is super strict - you need to have a large tour group with you or else you can’t go in. You also cannot drift away from your group for some reason, so it was quite hard for me to take pictures.
So clean. Looks too perfect to be true.
Fine spring weather!
The most important part of the palace. Through Jomeimon Gate is the Shishinden or the Hall of State Ceremonies.
Emperors Taisho and Showa’s enthronement ceremonies were held here.
These details are everything.
Time to leave Kyoto for Nara for a while! In the background you can see those cool riverbanks where students usually hang out. Well, I’m not sure if they actually hang out here but at least they always do in manga/anime/J-dramas, lol.
Snapped this from the bus window on the way to Nara. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think this is Ninna-ji temple? Really wanted to check this place out but we only had limited time!
One day, I’ll go to Kyoto during fall. I’ll definitely make it happen because I’ve already been here twice and I still can’t get enough. I feel like there are so many places to see and temples to visit and take pictures of. I’m such a history geek and I love being able to experience passing through the exact same corridors as some of the greatest people who ever lived.
Nara tour done! You can check it out here.
Now we’re back in Kyoto! This was our last night so we decided to just check out the areas near the Kyoto Station. This one is a department store called Avanti.
First stop, RIENDA! I’m honestly not too fond of their current A/W 13 collection, but their S/S 13 collection was, imo, their best collection to date. I blogged about it here.
Reminds me of my old hair! Long and brown with bangs. On one side of the store, they were selling really pretty lingerie too but I’m partial to practical ones like strapless bandeaus, lol.
Yes, nothing can beat moussy. Blogged about this brand here.
First time I didn’t buy anything from Cecil McBee! I prefer their A/W stuff in general.
Spotted, pretty Jun Hasegawa modeling Baby-G. She cut hair super short now and she looks better than ever. Of course, I’m biased because I have short hair too, lol.
Multi-colored kicks at huge discounts! Very K-pop style! These reminded me so much of Crissey, especially the pink ones.
Long tour day ended with a wonderful dinner at Morita-Ya. It’s on the 11th floor of Isetan in Kyoto Station.
Beef that melts in your mouth! We were also seated beside a huge window with a great night view of Kyoto. Must go back. Trips to Kyoto seem to get better every time.
As promised, here’s my Fukuoka travel diary after a whole week’s worth of MOFW features. Since this is not my first time in this place, I pretty much spent my time here just bonding with my family, stuffing ourselves with the arguably the best ramen in the world, and of course, my favorite - shopping!
People have a notion of Japan being a difficult place to go to because of the language barrier, but it’s not like they put zero effort into bringing tourists in the country and showing them the beauty in their country. In that one year in between my previous and my latest trips to Fukuoka, a lot has changed in terms of tourist-friendliness - more restaurants have printed out English menus, department stores have suddenly given out shopping privileges for non-Japanese passport holders, etc. I think now is a wonderful time to go to Japan, actually. Your thoughts and words can never be entirely lost in translation. They’re also trying their best to help too! :D
I usually stay in Hotel Miyako which is right in front of the station. This is the view from the entrance of the hotel. It’s super convenient to stay here because you can go shopping whenever you want, lol. Plus there are a ton of places to eat inside Hakata Station so you’ll never grow hungry!
Don’t forget to visit the food section of Hankyu and the beauty section of Tokyu Hands.
First picture of me straight out of the plane. As usual, we took the direct flight to from Manila to Fukuoka via Philippine Airlines.
First stop? IPPUDO! Let me be annoying and say that my family and I were already hooked on Ippudo even before the ramen craze trickled over the rest of Asia.
So hooked that it is also a must for me to go to the Ippudo in SG and HK even if the experience is a little different from the original. Never fails to give me nostalgic feels from the very first time I was able to taste Hakata ramen. <3
Before sunset, we decided to go around the station for a walk. They finally finished the new roof deck area!
They had these cute stalls where you can buy souvenirs and traditional Japanese desserts.
There was also a shrine.
And a giant space for kids to play in!
Such a tranquil place.
Overlooking the city.
We also dropped by the new cinema area which wasn’t there the first time we went to Fukuoka. My dad watched Les Miserables because he couldn’t wait - the Metro Manila Film Festival was still going on when Les Mis was already being shown in different countries. We had to wait til mid-January to be able to watch foreign movies again.
When in Japan, visit Maruzen and buy all the Japanese magazines. :D Well, I didn’t go crazy this time because I already knew exactly what I wanted - ViVi, SCawaii, Jelly and the recent Ninagawa Mika photobook.
Plus I was so afraid to go over my baggage weight limit because it’s normally the books and magazines that I buy that make my luggage so heavy by the end of the trip. T_T
I also buy my magazines in other countries where it’s available! They’re everywhere in HK. In SG, you can get them at Kinokuniya.
Before going back to the hotel, we stuffed ourselves with some yummy Marbre Blanc parfaits. <3
On our third day (second was spent in Hiroshima and Miyajima), we went to Tenjin for shopping! First stop was Tenjin Core which is one of my favorite places to shop in Fukuoka! You can go to this place via subway. There’s an underground shopping center that connects the different buildings together so it’s super convenient during winter time when it’s too cold to walk outside. After Tenjin Core, I went to Parco to check out EMODA and MURUA with the other MarkStyler brands.
Didn’t take a lot of pictures here because my mind was 100% concentrated on shopping! And by lunch I couldn’t carry my camera properly anymore because I was holding too many paper bags lol #shopaholicphotographerproblems
Besides the ones I posted here, Tenjin Core houses other brands like Liz Lisa, rienda, dazzlin, INGNI, PeachJohn, Heaven and Earth, GILFY, DURAS, and Lip Service. I know I missed a lot but I’m typing this all purely out of memory. My bad for not taking proper notes. Anyhow, their fall/winter collections were mostly oxblood + brown + black and old rose + white + cream. Adorbs!
Don’t think shopping in Japan is just for girls though. Most places usually have 1-2 floors just dedicated to men’s clothing. My brothers like buying from RAGEBLUE.
Hello me! Simple and comfy outfit for shopping. Nothing special!
After a long day, we had yakiniku back at Hakata Station. So rich in flavor huhu I felt so guilty for my stomach after each bite! IDK how everyone manages to stay thin in Japan considering the high quality of food being sold everywhere. The sorcery!
On our last free day, we walked from Hotel Miyako all the way to Canal City. It’s only about 10 minutes away so it was definitely a good warm-up exercise in the morning.
Except it was raining again. Gosingtian family, bringing the rain from Manila to wherever they go to, since… the beginning of time.
This is one part of the mall where you can find Western brands like Zara, H&M, etc. My brothers went crazy at H&M because they were having a sale and they were selling good collared shirts at Y1500 and blazers and jackets at Y2000-3000. NOT BAD AT ALL.
There’s a part in Canal City where I spend hours shopping - it’s on the second or third floor of the mall where they sell brands like moussy, SLY, rosebullet, Ungrid, EGOIST, Esperanza, etc.
Wearing new purchases from the day before. You might find the SpRay jacket, CECIL McBEE sweater and EGOIST bag familiar from my MOFW posts!
One of the special things about Canal City is that they have a Ramen Stadium! It’s like one giant food court full of ramen restaurants with different specialties, cooked in distinct styles. Only the best ramen restaurants can continue selling their ramen here so I think after a certain point, the one with the least sales will have to give his space up for a new “challenger”.
Long queue probably means the best so we queued along with the people haha but it’s already our second time here so I guess this restaurant (Kizuna) still remains to be a fan favorite after all.
Cafe MUJI after a long day of shopping! The MUJI in Canal City is like one big multi-level department store. If you think that the ones we have here is already huge, you should check this particular MUJI out.
My brother Juju having cake!
My cafe au lait. <3
On our last night in Japan, I was lucky enough to catch Kyary and AKB48 perform on television. <3
I was luckier last 2011 though. I caught the whole Kouhaku on NHK on New Year’s Eve. If you still remember my old Fukuoka post, I managed to catch some screens of Arashi and Laruku.
Time to say goodbye to my hotel room. Wearing mint houndstooth pants from Romwe. UGH writing about this trip now is making me miss Japan so badly.
At the airport. Goodbye, peaceful city of Fukuoka! *tears*
‘Til the next travel post and my next trip to Japan! I hope you guys can also visit Japan soon! :)
"My Own Fashion Week" is back, and this time, I’m featuring Japanese brands! I wear them regularly, even when I’m not explicitly promoting them, but for this particular series, I’m going to be wearing my new purchases from my recent Fukuoka trip last December 2012 (so it’s still MOFW 2012). I couldn’t be more excited for this, really. Totes right up my alley because my personal style is deeply rooted in Japanese fashion. Well, I can say that my style at this point in my life is also mixed with Western high street fashion, but I still follow ViVi, etc. like bibles!
Speaking of Japanese magazines, this sweater was featured in a recent JELLY issue and worn by one of my fave models Miyagi Mai. Perpetually a fan of black and white, I couldn’t take my eyes off it when I walked into the CECIL McBEE in Tenjin Core. These are the kinds of sweaters that anyone can always wear regardless of trends. Classic. But for this look, I went all-out trendy for a change! I paired it with black and white items too, since black and white (together) is going to be huge this spring/summer. Good for me - I always wear them anyway.
CECIL McBEE is a brand I *always* go to when I’m in Japan. They sell stuff relatively cheaper and more affordable than most gyaru brands, and they usually have huuuuge store spaces with the widest variety of styles to choose from. I’m sure they’re one of the highest-selling gyaru brands because of this! They also sell cosmetics, bags, etc. So much love. Paired the color block sweater with my EMODA bag (which I ordered online some time last year) that is super popular in my Instagram, haha. Because they think it’s a Phillip Lim. :))