Early this year, I booked a flight to Tokyo for work and a supposed vacation. After a few weeks, I was invited to Tokyo by Google Japan and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and coincidentally, the dates overlapped the trip that I had just booked. Talk about fate!
METI invited different bloggers from all over Asia to be ambassadors for Cool Japan (クールジャパン), a government funded initiative to bring more attention to Japanese contents such as anime, manga, food, fashion, etc. to other countries.
The main purpose of this trip was for us to participate in a new campaign called “100Tokyo”. “100Tokyo” is a new website which hopes to present Tokyo’s 100 best places and things to experience. This explains all our #100Tokyo hashtags on Instagram and Twitter.
I can never, ever get tired of going to Japan. I already went multiple times last year, but I still have tons of things I want to try. Thanks to METI and Google Japan for bringing us to different places so we can experience the best of Tokyo for ourselves.
On the night before the main activities, we had a welcome dinner at Ginza Sushiko Honten, a one-star Michelin restaurant that dates back to 1885.
You can find it at Marunouchi Bldg. 35F, 2-4-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6335.
Easily the best sushi I’ve ever tried in my entire life. Everything just melts in your mouth!
I was able to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi a few years ago, and have since included eating in any fancy sushi place in Tokyo as part of my bucket list.
After watching this documentary about Jiro Ono (an 85-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant), you’ll definitely want to go to the nearest Japanese restaurant for a quick sushi fix! So inspiring, and not to mention, visually appetizing.
Similar to the documentary, the sushi chefs at the restaurant we ate in also experienced years of rigorous training and hard work.
The next day, we went to Nihonbashi Hunatsukiba and rode a boat limo to experience the “Venice of Japan”. I’ve never been to Nihonbashi before so this was a new experience even for me.
With Laureen, Camille and pretty Thai blogger Melissa.
Rainy days always get me down! But dark!Nihonbashi was still gorgeous nonetheless.
Nihonbashi (日本橋) literally means Japan Bridge. The area was built around the first construction of the bridge in 1603, thus the name. Because it was the starting point for “Edo Five Routes”, a cluster of roads that connected Tokyo with outlying prefectures, Nihonbashi served as an immensely important place where people interacted and traded with each other.
Nihonbashi boasts of Japan’s first public company, postal system, bank and department store.
I’ll definitely come back to this place when the weather is better! I’m so intrigued after Miho from METI expressed her genuine love for Nihonbashi. I really want to check out Haibara, a 200-year-old shop that specializes in washi (type of Japanese paper). Their products have always been so good that it became part of the Vienna World Exposition in 1873 and the Paris World Exposition in 1878.
Another place I’m interested in is Yoshino-zushi Honten (吉野寿司本店) where the toro nigiri (fatty tuna) originated! Food is always a priority! NOM.
It’s both a good and bad thing that the JR Yamanote Line exists. I heavily depend on it to go to places like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa (where I like staying), Tokyo, Ueno, Yoyogi, Harajuku, and Akihabara, but sometimes it is too convenient that it discourages me from trying all the other subway lines!
To get to Nihonbashi Station, you can go on the Ginza, Tozai and Asakusa lines or Mitsukoshimae Station on the Hanzomon and Ginza lines. Nihonbashi is also a 5-10 minute walk from the Nihonbashi Exit of Tokyo Station.
After the boat ride, we headed to a new mall called COREDO Muromachi! It just opened on the day of our visit!
Our first agenda? Dressing up in kimono/yukata! Another dream come true!
Kyorakutei/Megurian (橋楽亭／囲庵)in COREDO Muromachi 3 is a place where you can immerse yourself in Japanese culture. This includes tea ceremonies, kimono dressing, etc. Definitely a must-visit for tourists.
We were free to choose the design we wanted to wear and I chose black and pink with hot pink color accent simply because it matched the lipstick I was wearing, lol. And because BLACK!
We had to strip down to our undergarments before these lovely ladies helped us to dress up. 3 layers and lots of ribbons to secure the layers in place, but it was all surprisingly very comfortable!
Tried it on once and I still have no idea how they were able to do this. I heard some people have to put on kimonos and yukatas on their own! It’s definitely not an easy feat!
There were some ladies who also volunteered to fix our hair and tie them hair up with cute floral clips to match our outfits! How thoughtful of them!
Cool Japan / 100 Tokyo crew and representatives from the Philippines (Me, Camille, Laureen), Thailand (Melissa), Taiwan (AiAi), China (Lala), Singapore (Xiaxue, QiuQiu), Malaysia (Cheesie) and Indonesia (Stella).
There was a kimono exhibit in the same mall so we went there to check it out.
We were allowed to wear our kimonos for a while so I can definitely attest to its comfort! I was so sad when my little dream sequence had to end and I had to go back to wearing normal clothes! /CRY
Took detail shots of the patterns and embroidery on the exhibited kimonos. It’s no wonder how some of these go for tens of thousands of dollars.
Would love to wear this dainty-looking one.
Kimonos are definitely works of art!
Patterns printed on washi. These became my iPhone wallpapers for a while.
You can find a cute souvenir shop at the mall’s ground floor. Here’s a quirky fan that needs no introduction.
It’s traditional x modern/pop culture collaborations like this one that give me so much life! Japan will never be not cool.
Calling all Hello Kitty fans!
The next photos are all about the stores and products that you can find in the new COREDO Muromachi.
Because it’s Easter today, here are some bunny chopsticks at a chopsticks store that sells so many different designs and colors!
Not your ordinary slippers.
World-famous Tabio socks that are proudly made in Japan.
Unique design from a glasses store called POKER FACE (ポーカーフェイス). The items are produced in Sabae, Fukui Prefecture, the leader in Japanese glasses production.
Can I live here?
Looks like my future house, lol.
Team Singapore/Malaysia decked out in pastels! Too adorable not to post.
Lunch time at Hounenmanpuku, still in Nihonbashi! Finished this in about 10 minutes. SO GOOD.
I heard getting a visa to go to Japan won’t be required anymore for Filipinos. I noticed there are more flights from Manila to Tokyo too. It’s definitely our year! You can check out the 100Tokyo website as you plan your itinerary. You can also refer to my blog’s Tokyo tag to read about my own experiences.
Happy Easter! <3
This was the reason why I went to Tokyo last weekend! So incredibly honored to be invited by EMODA again to cover the S/S 14 show alongside Cheesie whom I haven’t seen in 2 years. We shot some photos against the iconic touchMe collection background, and this one turned out best:
Coincidentally matchy matchy poses despite the contrasting fall and spring styles. We’re both wearing EMODA F/W 2013 everything (except for my bag)!
On my way to Shibuya to meet up with Kumiko, Alicia (Kumiko’s intern) and Cheesie, someone on my Instagram feed posted a backstage photo of one of the models from the EMODA show. I was so shocked to see something entirely different from their present “BUDDY CLOSET” collection! This didn’t spoil me one bit, and if anything, I was even more excited to see the whole show.
“PINUP LADY” is probably EMODA’s most refreshing collection to date, since they deviated from the usual aesthetic they’re known for and introduced new themes that, when put together, are still amazingly, distinctly EMODA. All the individual pieces are classic, but when styled together become very trendy. The vintage-inspired hair and make-up add so much to the concept as well!
Without further ado, here are some shots I took from the show:
Pearl earrings and pearl necklace set is totally my style! Time to bring them out again for next season.
Pushing the limits and matching everything – top, outerwear, bottom and headband. Surprisingly, it works!
High neck trend from this fall/winter will still trickle down to next spring/summer.
Off-shoulder is also far from being dead.
This pink jacket is everything! EMODA usually has these oversized jackets every season, but having them in pastel pink is definitely going to convert non-believers to this brand.
Gingham and tropical print-on-print.
Who would’ve thought the combination would work so well?
My #1 most favorite outfit from the whole collection. I’d wear this in a heartbeat. I need this gingham jacket and bottom set in my life.
More Prada gingham on matching top and bottom sets. Too cute!
Suspenders trend from this season will still be relevant next season. Instead of pairing them with sweaters, leather skirts and beanies, pair them with crop tops, floral prints and cutesy headbands!
Trends like tropical prints and matching top and bottom sets from last spring/summer will still be around for EMODA S/S.
Can’t get over overalls? Here’s a top version that you can easily layer over printed bras and bikini tops! What a genius idea for a cover-up!
EMODA’s way of mixing prints.
Probably my second favorite from the whole collection. It is so refreshing to see EMODA mix different prints together!
This set looks so comfy. I want to buy it already.
Barbie doll feels. Blue gingham is also super cute!
Another outfit I’d totally wear.
Matching top and bottom set in dark blue denim.
Do not know if this top is naughty or nice.
With all the fitted tops and bottoms in this collection, you ought to wear an oversized jacket to balance it all out.
Tattoo stockings were all the range last year, and they’re bringing back the same idea to socks now! This one reads, “Pinup Lady”, as in the concept.
Bringing sexy back, as well as these nostalgic mid-length shorts back! I swear fashion is just one endless cycle.
Definitely the one outfit that stood out the most in the whole collection.
Peekaboo. I see you. Way to be a tease, huh?
The classic pin-up look with a cutesy twist.
The kind of EMODA style we’re all used to seeing, but with PINUP LADY concept hair! Makes such a huge difference.
I can already sense that this will be my new favorite jacket.
EMODA S/S 2014 was such a wonderful celebration of the female figure. Instead of the usual oversized silhouettes we often see from them, there were a lot of waist-baring, waist-emphasizing, hip-hugging, butt-showing items from this collection.
After the show, I dropped by the after party at SHOTO GALLERY for a bit. It was held at a huge 3-story events place which eventually got packed with die-hard fans of the brand.
There were also so many girls taking selfies against the wall in the first floor! They were all doing kawaii purikura poses which makes me wonder if acting kawaii comes naturally to every girl in Japan because it really does seem like it!
The second floor was absolute heaven! There were props in the middle of the room that you can use to accessorize with 4 different EMODA backdrops. I already thought the selfie-taking would end at the first floor, but the EMODA fangirling became even more intense on the second.
Ashlee chose cat-eye glasses, and of course, I chose these super kawaii cat-ears headband. There were other props as well and I wish we could’ve taken more pictures…
…but we got too distracted by all the (bottomless) sweets that were being served! This pictures taken before the room was opened to the public, but these were literally gone in a matter of minutes once the doors were opened. If this isn’t heaven, then I don’t know what is.
You know something’s going to be up when EMODA’s invite doesn’t have any black in it. :)
Thank you touchMe, Mark Styler and EMODA for flying me to Tokyo again! I had a fantastic time, and the show was nothing short of amazing. I’m actually quite inspired to dress for spring/summer as early as now!
P.S. If you’re wondering where Ena was all this time, she was on maternity leave! I heard her baby was supposed to be due on the same night as the EMODA touchMe show. Anyhow, congratulations to her as she finally gave birth to a healthy baby very recently!
If you adore EMODA as much as Cheesie and me and want to do the same things that we do for the brand, you might want to apply to be an official EMODA ambassador because they are searching for one! You can check out the details here. This is a huge deal, you guys! <3
Here is the complete video of the show:
Hello from Kuala Lumpur! I’m here on a sponsored media trip but yesterday I found some time to meet up with Malaysian blogger Cheesie for a quick collaboration. She is my long lost brain twin and there were just so many bizarre times when we would be all “OMG! SAME!” the whole day I was with her. It was even more strange to review these self-timer photos after, and find out that we did a lot of matching expressions as if we deliberately talked about it beforehand.
I wish it were possible to fly in any time I want so we could have more of these dainty impromptu Japanese-inspired photoshoots.
P.S. Thanks for all the advanced birthday greetings! I will be turning 23 in a few minutes!