Last week, EMODA flew me and Camille to Tokyo to cover their touchMe A/W 2013 fashion show. It was a real privilege, as touchMe is strictly invitation-only, and I am completely aware that without EMODA’s help, I wouldn’t stand a chance among the hundreds and thousands of Japanese EMODA fans who would kill to sit in the show.
The show started around 9PM at Belle Salle, Shibuya Garden, so we had a few hours free before the event. Kumiko, the awesome lady who guided us throughout the night, accompanied us to Shibuya 109 to shop for our outfits for the event. Earlier that day, I already bought a full-EMODA coordinate at the Shinjuku Lumine EST store… but that did not stop me for shopping again!
Check out our giant paper bags of goodies. Goodbye to all the money in my wallet, but everything was just too shiny. I especially love the current S/S collection as it’s very resort-like (appropriate for Manila throughout the year!) and most of the items are classic, just the way I like my clothes.
One of the best things I like about the brand is how it’s very influenced by Western high street and blogger fashion, which are two of my greatest style influences too. The way the individual items are styled together make it distinctly EMODA, but the individual items (on their own) are versatile enough to be worn by those not exactly interested in styling it the same way the shop staff and models do. The brand appeals to a very wide audience in this way. As long as you like clean, classic, minimalist styles, EMODA’s items will definitely speak to you. Even my mom likes EMODA!
Anyhow, Camille and I both got some nifty novelty items for free because we shopped A LOT. We got the cutest MODE style towels and pillow cases.
After shopping, we had pasta for dinner somewhere around Shibuya. Then we rushed to the event location for some picture taking.
This iconic background! If you follow Japanese magazines, you might have already seen this a few times. Many famous Japanese models and icons have their photos taken against this background. When it was our turn, a part of me went “I CAN DIE NOW!”
But then again, the show had not even started yet at this point. So maybe after the show, lol.
Outfits for the night. I opted for simple black and white, while Camille went for a spring-y blue and green coordinate.
I wish I had enough time to take outfit shots of other people because everyone who attended the show were all so freaking beautiful and well-dressed, you’d think they’re all models.
Just after being seated (front row, baby), I noticed a ton of famous models pass by. I normally don’t get starstruck but when it comes to the Japanese personalities that I only get to see in magazines? That’s a different story.
I saw Mai Miyagi about 3 times, AMIAYA, Wei Son, a lot of BLENDA models, Chinatsu Wakatsuki, etc. I was pretty sure that there were a lot more in the event hall, but everything happened so fast. My eyes couldn’t keep up! (On a semi-related note, I also saw Nana Suzuki the day before and Hamada Britney the day after - both in 109!) Hearts all over, anyway. Also shows how big of a brand EMODA is among the Japanese fashion scene/crowd.
The show started shortly after Camille and I were seated, and it lasted for about 20-30 minutes. Took a ton of photos, as usual, and I hope these do justice to the clothes.
This collection is called BUDDY CLOSET. Absolutely obsessed with everything. It’s all a tasteful mix of masculine and feminine elements, and the colors are all so rich and creamy. I was quite surprised with the brown items, but they all worked so well with the bright blues and reds in the end. Don’t know if it’s just me, but a lot of the coordinates reminded me of London street fashion.
No words, but “I covet”. <3
This outfit was my favorite. Warm and fuzzy feelings for A/W? Yes please!
A classy way of doing print-on-print. Same print but opposite colors.
The models were officially successful in making red eyebrows look cool.
I can’t even begin with this black series. The fabric is to die for! So classy, and I have some sort of inexplicable desire to touch it.
Same fabric for tops and bottoms seemed to be HUGE in this collection.
Printed bottoms and flat-brimmed caps are still in! The same themes are also present in their current S/S collection, though I think I prefer the darker neutrals that are coming up soon as I am biased with anything black and white.
Love how the orange hair accents give so much life to the dark outfits. Perhaps we’ll be seeing the EMODA team and/or staff with orange ombres later this year?
This fabric. This coat. <3
After the show, we were lucky enough to be briefly introduced to EMODA Producer Ena Matsumoto (So petite and thin-framed!) who is one of my many style icons. She was too nice to spend a few minutes to take pictures with us, as she was busy and in demand that night, and I knew we were taking a bit of her time! Made my heart melt.
She greeted us with “Hello! I am Ena, EMODA Producer!” then she asked Kumiko how to say “Nice to meet you!” in English. After we also introduced ourselves, I greeted her “Omedetou!” then she was like “Sankyu!” while rubbing her belly.
And I was like… OMG WHAT?! (in my head) I just congratulated her for the show!
Kumiko and I were so surprised because we didn’t know she was pregnant! Ena must have seen our faces, and she said “Baby!” to help clear the confusion. So excited for her! Maybe in the future EMODA will release limited edition maternity clothes! Ena will be the most chic mom ever.
There is nothing more fitting than to say that this person is responsible for making EMODA the brand that it is now. It is so admirable that she and her team have a vision of making it global one day, instead of just settling in one place. I see this vision happening very clearly, and I can’t wait for EMODA to tickle the fancies of the world’s fashion lovers.
I asked if I could take a few seconds of her time to snap about 2 solo photos of her and she gladly obliged with a wide smile on her face. But she switched back to “cool” mode as soon as I pointed the camera at her!
Spotted EMODA Press manager Erina Abe on the way out of the event hall. <3 She is wearing one of the skirts that is included in an on-going EMODA A/W 2013 exhibition. Want! I wish I could’ve stayed longer to catch the exhibition!
Thanks to these people for making it all happen! I really wish I can attend more Japanese fashion shows in the future, especially since I am more than happy to spread the love to international fans. I used to just dream about attending stuff like TGC and touchMe, so this was really an overwhelming experience.
But enough about me! This is supposed to be about EMODA!
Here’s a video of the show:
This is gonna be the first out of maybe 6 or 7 entries that I’ll be posting about Japan in the next few weeks. I’ve always been rather trigger happy when it came to travel photography, but this time, I think I’ve reached an all time high. At the back of my head, I was like “If I’m going to carry this dSLR that weighs like a baby for a whole week or two, I might as well make the most out of it.” And I did. And it gave me the worst neck, shoulder and back pains in my entire life, lol. But who cares? This is how I roll when I travel!
This first entry is mostly tourist-y stuff in Osaka with my family. It’s been 4 years since my last visit to Osaka and I remember we only went to Universal Studios then as we were on a set tour. This time, I was the one who arranged our itinerary for the whole week. *proud*
Landed in KIX via Philippine Airlines. The flight arrived late at night so we had dinner at the airport. It takes an hour to get to the city, so it was a wise idea to stuff ourselves with some yummy food before anything else.
My dad and my brothers ordered some beer!
When in Osaka, eat okonomiyaki! I had this super simple (but scrumptious) one just to fill my stomach for the night.
The next morning, we decided to go to Osaka Castle. We’ve never been to this place before (Idk why we decided to just go to Universal Studios last time) so I’ve always been curious about it.
Especially since there is an official Osaka Castle emoji on iPhone, haha. I mean, that *must* mean that this place is important, right?!
We took the train to Temmabashi station and walked 5-10 minutes to the Osaka Castle proper.
An old man looking at the castle from afar with his binoculars.
Birds on branches.
My twin brothers and two ice cream mascots. Yes, we know the one on the left is a girl, but it was just too funny as Chase (on the left) has hair long enough to be put in a ponytail.
This was in a food stall just before the entrance to the castle.
Now, time for the castle…
Two cats rolling around the grass.
Pretty spring flowers.
An adorable photo of a mother taking a photo of her daughter. Notice how the pink bag matches the flowers in the background, and how they’re wearing matchy-matchy coats! Too sweet!
Nifty vintage truck that doubled as a stall that sells art and coffee.
Lots of students were having a field trip that day!
Osaka Castle, finally! The most famous landmark of Osaka. Interestingly, while it looks like this from the outside, the inside is totally modern and is used as a museum (which you have to pay for before you can enter)!
I have a ton of shots from the outside but not so much inside as it was forbidden to take pictures in a lot of areas! But I’m not complaining. The castle is really breathtakingly beautiful, and I’d take pictures of it from the outside than from the inside any day.
More details. Looks so perfect, like a wedding cake.
The view from the top of Osaka Castle.
Buildings, and a school.
Inside the castle, you can see a lot of 16th century stuff about Japan, which you will definitely love if you’re a fan of Sengoku Basara! My favorite part about the museum is this big wall showing different crests of the main characters (I really sound like I’m talking about an anime!) during the Sengoku / Warring States period.
Recently, I just finished watching the Nobunaga no Chef live action too so it was fun to see all the familiar names inside the castle.
Was tempted to scream “OYAKATA-SAMAAA!!!” when I saw this Yukimura Sanada figure.
Shingen, you look so cute like this! But where is that bad-ass horse that you’re always standing on?
To draw the line between truth and fiction, lol. Somehow imagining history as animated or live makes it so much more interesting. I wonder when we’ll ever have a telenovela where someone from 2013 time slips to the time of Andres Bonifacio. Or Lapu Lapu.
After going around the castle, we went around the area (which was huge, ok) to find the best spot to take tourist-y Osaka Castle pictures. There were too many people taking pictures directly in front of the castle, and I didn’t want to risk being photobombed, so I walked all the way to some garden in the castle premises to have this taken! I think it turned out pretty well!
To those who plan on going to Osaka Castle soon, try to find this area :D
I love how it’s right in the middle of the city. Reminds me a lot of Intramuros! It is so accessible that some people pass by it everyday and even go jogging inside.
Similar feel to being in Rome and passing by the Coliseum, or being in Paris and passing by the Eiffel Tower everyday like it’s nothing new and totally normal!
NHK building near the castle.
So pretty even when it’s on the ground and people just walk on it / past it every single day. It’s these little details that make Japan so unique! Even the slightest details are not overlooked.
Took a random walk at some random place before heading back to JR Osaka Station. We stayed at Hotel Granvia which was probably the best travel decision I made during this trip that I planned/fixed. It’s right in the heart of the station, making it incredibly convenient to travel from one place to another.
Don’t even get me started on how amazing shopping is in this area! You can walk to Yodobashi Umeda, HEP Five, EST Umeda, etc. It only takes about 8-10 minutes via train to the Namba area where you can find Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade, Umeda OPA, etc.
Not the best place if you’re struggling with any sort of self-imposed shopping ban as it’s going to be so hard to resist all the shiny things *u*
In the station itself, the North Building has Isetan and Lucua while the South Building has Daimaru. In Lucua, there’s an EMODA and a MURUA. <3
With my brother Juju at a coffee shop somewhere in the station. He ended up being my companion in my Tokyo sponsored trip shortly after this one! More on that soon! Will have to finish my Osaka, Kyoto and Nara posts first. *shiny eyes*
Took these pictures while waiting for boarding at Kansai Airport. As with all my previous trips to Japan, this particular trip to Osaka and Kyoto felt a little too short. I could’ve used an extra day or two to travel to Kobe or something, but I guess I’ll have to wait until next time. Nonetheless, Japan was still awesome. Nothing new!
With all the traveling that I do, I’m pretty sure some of you guys are curious if I’ve ever had any airport nightmares. Luckily, I’ve never had any weird transfers or unexpected delays, or worse, missed flights. Knock on wood that these will never happen! I guess you can call me paranoid for always arriving at the airport way earlier than the preferred time. You’ll never know! Usually, the check-in counters for my flight are still closed when I get to the airport, lol.
Most people (myself included) nowadays just look at the time on their phones. But when traveling, I always make sure to have two sources. Obsessive-compulsive me is always on schedule (though if the need arises, I can always adjust and be flexible) and looking at the time on my wrist is waaay faster than having to bring out my phone from my bag or pocket.
This particular Casio Sheen watch that I brought to Japan has a face that is entirely covered with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. You’ll never need a lot of jewelry with this on your wrist.
You can get it here.
Kept the rest of my airport outfit simple and comfy because I had to wake up at 4 in the morning to get ready.
This necklace style, where the ends aren’t connected, are all over stores in Japan! On one hand, it just looks like the necklace is broken. On the other hand, it’s like the jewelry version of a scarf. Unique design!
Stay tuned for my Osaka and Kyoto travel diaries! I’m already bound for Tokyo mid-May so I might just do a single MOFW (My Own Fashion Week) for all. Can’t wait to show you guys what I bought! So many cutesy floral stuff for a change. <3 The exchange rate is wonderful right now so I was able to get a lot of clothes for cheap. AND ALL THE GOLDEN WEEK DISCOUNTS. I die!
1) Celebrated my boyfriend RG’s birthday at Draft in Rockwell! Had this yummy meal all to myself while he ordered a scrumptious burger. NOM
2) Salmon sashimi at Marufuku in Ortigas.
3) Macarons at Chez Karine in Serendra.
5) Squinty eyes and pretty plants on a very sunny day. L-R: me (lol my legs are so landi), Tracy, Teptep, Kim and Krissy
6) Awesome double rainbow after a perfect weekend getaway with your equally perfect friends.
7) Celebrated my eldest twin brothers Chase and Juju’s birthday at Nanbantei at High Street Central. SO MUCH FOOD, DECEMBER. A few weeks prior to this occasion, I also celebrate my birthday on November 24 while my youngest brother celebrates it on November 27. Then it’s my boyfriend’s turn on December 3, before my brothers who celebrate theirs on December 10. Yep, we’re all Sagittarius.
8) Wearing my Baby-G x Ke$ha watch from Time Depot.
9) Had a shoot for ETC’s Etcetera with fellow bloggers Camille and Laureen! Thanks to all those who tweeted me good stuff about it. Actually, there were even some people who thought it was going to be a weekly thing. Huu, sorry guys. I wish it were possible to just do those cutesy videos on TV and NEVER speak, lol.
10) Got sent ProStyle Fuwarie hair styling mists right after it became available here in Manila. I’ve been using this for quite a while now (check out my Beauty Must-Haves post last January 2012) and I’m so happy they’re finally here! The one who brought it to the Philippines discovered it on my blog first. :D
11) Wearing my Haute Lifestyle dress for my boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding.
12) My favorite Brooklyn Omelette from Borough in The Podium.
13) With my niece Zoe at my grandparents’ (her great grandparents’) house for Christmas Day lunch.
14) Pizza and drinks at Locale Gastropub in City Golf with my boyfriend the night before I flew to Japan.
15) My happy self after arriving at our hotel room in Fukuoka. Wearing a JEANASIS sweater which was a gift from my boyfriend from the Collect Point in Singapore.
16) My fashion bibles! (SCawaii not in picture)
17) Ippudo ramen right after dropping our stuff at the hotel.
18) Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima!
19) Floating Torii in Miyajima!
20) Got myself the Vanilla Onyx body mist from MURUA! The other two I gave to my friends as late Christmas presents.
21) Wearing new purchases! EGOIST bag, SpRay jacket, CECIL McBEE sweater
22) Ramen again! From one of the restaurants in Ramen Stadium Canal City.
23) The cutest bath stuff at Tokyu Hands at Hakata Station. <3
24) Still at Tokyu Hands. TOY CAMERA HEAVEN! I got myself a Megane Cam but I wish I had all the money in the world to buy everything, lol. And I wish I already knew that I was going to get an Instax from my boyfriend for our anniversary in January because they had a complete row just dedicated to Fuji film.
25) Spotted these luxurious-looking macarons at one of my favorite places, the food section of Hankyu department store. The packaging and the colors make them look so precious.
26) Ichigo overload. It’s not too evident in the photo but these are HUGE. And insanely expensive!
27) The Japanese have the best food presentations ever! Everything is so cute, you wouldn’t want to ruin them by digging in!
28) Added one more CANMAKE blush to my already growing collection of Japanese brand blushes. The other one I gave to Crissey as a late Christmas gift. Gave in to consumerism and got myself this limited edition Hello Kitty eyelash glue just because the packaging was too cute to resist.
29) New rings from L.CHANGE at Canal City. Unfortunately, my favorite one on the right recently got lost/stolen/IDK. :( So I’m really careful with the other rings now.
30) My last meal in Japan. :( BRING ME BACKKK
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! :)
As you all know, I went to Fukuoka again last December with my family. This time, we skipped the touring part, shopped til our hearts couldn’t take it anymore, and stuffed ourselves with the best ramen in the world. Well, not exactly. Being history geeks and travelers at heart, we dedicated one day of our trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima. We’ve already been to Nagasaki, so naturally Hiroshima was a clear choice for our next destination.
It only takes about an hour to go to Hiroshima from Hakata Station via Shinkansen, which surprised me a bit since it took us longer to go to Nagasaki despite it being geographically nearer Fukuoka. Apparently the train from Fukuoka to Hiroshima is so much faster than the one we took before.
Where I spent an hour sleeping like a baby. It was exceptionally wet and cold the day we decided to go out of Fukuoka. Just our luck! I’m starting to think I have the worst luck when it comes to traveling because the weather was just as bad in London and Paris when I was there. The weather was perfect the day before and the day after, but we couldn’t schedule this later because of the year-end holidays. Most places would be closed, and of course Shinkansen tickets would be impossible to get because a lot of people would be going home to their respective homes (if outside Fukuoka, or even Kyushu) in time for New Year’s.
Passed by these factories while on the train.
Finally arrived at Hiroshima and headed straight to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, or the Atomic Bomb Dome or Genbaku Dome.
This building is what remains of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, and at present, is one of Japan’s most important landmarks. Since the bomb came from almost directly above the building, it wasn’t completely destroyed. Now it serves as a reminder of the nation’s hope to rid the world of war and nuclear weapons.
The 1983 replica of the T-shaped Aioi bridge, the aiming point for the bomb. The shape was easily recognized from the air, so it was an easy target. The fact that they had the clearest weather the day of the bombing pretty much sealed the city’s fate.
After the years of struggle after the atomic bomb, Hiroshima has successfully rebuilt itself. It looks so peaceful, you wouldn’t even expect that something so intense hit them at one point in history.
Sadako (not of Ringu fame) on top of the Children’s Peace Monument. I already mentioned her being *the* post-atomic bomb Japanese icon of hope in my Nagasaki post last year, but she is actually originally from Hiroshima.
She was two years old when the bomb hit. She was only able to live until age 12 because she heavily suffered from the after effects of the atomic bomb. It wasn’t all that bad though. She persevered and kept a positive outlook until her death. So inspiring!
Also one of the symbols of Hiroshima advocating world peace. Every 6th of August, they hold a ceremony here to memorialize the victims of the bombing.
An old watch that was found after the atomic bomb. The Peace Memorial Museum was packed with tourists from all over the world, wanting to know the whole story behind this very dark part of history. I won’t spoil it for those who have plans to visit this place in the future. The experience is quite inexplicable, especially the part where they interview the survivors about the tragedy that they witnessed with their own eyes. Not only were their homes destroyed, but most of their loved ones were also killed by the bomb and its radioactive effects.
A model showing how the area around the T-shaped bridge looked like before the bomb.
A model showing how Hiroshima looked like after the bomb. Everything was completely wiped out save for some structures that were near the epicenter.
In the museum, there were very graphic pictures and videos relaying Hiroshima’s story to those who went there to hear it.
A shadow of a person was imprinted on these steps as the bomb fell on the city.
Some survivors lived up to see the city rebuilt, but suffered from the most grueling sicknesses brought by a lot of factors, this black rain included. I couldn’t take pictures of the pictures of the victims because they were too graphic. :(
Depressing stuff aside, the Japanese are really something. Sadako was a wonderful example of how they continued on living despite what happened to them. As the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, one school boy encountered a rescuer and asked him to give his notebook to his family as he already knew he was dying. Some of the personal effects of those who died are still displayed in the museum. Not primarily for the tourists, but for the owners’ descendants to be able to claim them one day.
The rain made the visit to the museum and the park so much more saddening. T_T
To lift our spirits up, our tour guide Hiro (also the same tour guide from last time ‘cause we absolutely love her) brought us to a special restaurant.
The walk was long and difficult because it was raining like no tomorrow, but it was all worth it.
BECAUSE IT WAS OKONOMIYAKI TIME! All caps because I love okonomiyaki.
My friends would laugh at me and say that I love all Japanese food anyway, lol. I can’t help it if everything is just so good, and I surprisingly feel like I lose weight in Japan even if I eat a lot. This sorcery, I don’t even
Concert stickers as restaurant decoration. Not a fan of KAT-TUN’s music as much as Arashi’s, but hey, still Johnny’s! \o/
Just a few days after this one, Kanjani8 performed in Kouhaku for the first time. Congrats Eito!
My brother Chase. And a ton of wall scribbles. People from all over the world have written messages here, so it was fun to make out what they all probably meant. There were some familiar band names written too, but I’m not so sure if they were legit written by the artists themselves or just by fans haha hopefully the former
Kinoshita Yukina, Gekidan Hitori, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Tamori-san! No English subtitles, I promise! I’m afraid I love Japan too much that I recognized them instantly lolol much thanks to Arashi no Shukudai-kun and Music Station from years ago :D
Best okonomiyaki ever! <3 We ordered two different kinds - one that used soba noodles and one that used udon noodles.
Walked around the city again after lunch so we can burn all the yumminess that we ate and get to our next destination!
The ferry station from Hiroshima to Miyajima.
Was greeted by this deer as soon as I landed in Miyajima! OMG, MEMORIES OF NARA! Ugh, bring me back to 2009 when I went on a Tokyo-Kyoto-Nara-Osaka tour. Back then I didn’t shoot in RAW because I didn’t have enough memory space so now I need to take more pictures hahaha EXCUSES T_T
Miyajima means “Shrine Island” so it’s the more popular term, but it’s originally called Itsukushima. By this time the rain had gotten so much worse so I don’t have any pictures of my outfit that day for Lookbook. I am not going to sacrifice my camera for some outfit pictures, haha
Something that never changes every time I go to Japan: transparent umbrellas.
I could totally imagine how much prettier this place would be in autumn with all the fall foliage! Or spring with all the sakura!
The famous Miyajima floating torii, which is one of Japan’s three best sceneries. One down, two to go. I’m not totally sad that I didn’t catch it on high tide, when the water makes it look like it’s floating, because it only gives me more reason to come back here one day.
Foggy mountains and the Itsukushima shrine from afar.
The Itsukushima Shrine is built on stilts because it’s built so close to ocean that it can get covered by the water at high tide if it weren’t.
The floating torii view from the shrine.
Father and son.
One of the streets near the exit of the shrine. Looks straight out of a movie. Looove!
Japan’s “it” girl! Takei Emi endorsing Maquillage. She is so pretty I doubt she even needs to use all that make-up lol
Dropped by Oyster ‘Kakiya’ 牡蠣屋 which is supposedly one of the best oyster bars in the island. TEARS! Because these were sooo good it puts all the oysters that I’ve eaten in the past to shame.
Oyster overload at a random stall. Don’t forget to try out the oysters in Hiroshima!
Late afternoon-almost evening in the shopping street in Miyajima. So pretty even if it was freezing! I didn’t buy anything (was saving my money for some shopping at Tenjin Core) but I enjoyed just looking around for nifty souvenirs and street food.
HELLO KITTY DESSERTS! SO ADORBS
Aww, time to go back to Fukuoka. I would say that one day in Hiroshima and Miyajima is enough, but I wish I could’ve stayed an extra day to explore more places. I checked out their Facebook page, and OMG GOOD JOB PROMOTING HIROSHIMA! I would totally go back based on the pictures and write-ups they regularly post there. Or maybe I’m just biased. <3 If it were only possible, I’d fly to Japan once every quarter.
Fukuoka post and My Own Fashion Week (MOFW) featuring Japanese brands coming up next! Posting the second travel entry after all the look posts!
About 2 hours away from Fukuoka is another famous tourist destination. Nagasaki was very famous as a port city in the past, but most people would recognize the name as that second city after Hiroshima to be destroyed by an atomic bomb during the 2nd World War.
My family and I took the Express Train from Hakata Station in Fukuoka straight to Nagasaki Station. Had a free day so instead of just shopping we spontaneously decided to check this place out.
Best decision ever.
If you take a bus to Nagasaki from the Hakata Bus Terminal in Fukuoka, it will take you around 2 and half hours. Great alternative if you’re a bus person.
Near the Nagasaki station. Purdy clouds.
L from Death Note (lol)
Took a bus to go nearer the Atomic Bomb Museum.
Passed by a building with tokusatsu sentai mascot Daiwaman X by the window.
My family and I had lunch at some revolving sushi restaurant near the museum.
And every single plate looked like this. How are the Japanese able to maintain their weight when all the food available in the country is so good?
The Peace Memorial Park outside the museum. After the bridge is a giant space where the hypocenter monument lies.
Folding a thousand cranes can grant you a wish, according to Japanese legend. These cranes donated by the locals expressed their desire for peace after the tragedy that happened to them.
By the entrance of the Atomic Bomb Museum.
Going to save everyone from very graphic war photographs, but in a nutshell, most of the contents of the museum were remnants that were saved after the atomic bomb hit Nagasaki, as well as detailed timelines of World War II so people can understand the events that led to this very specific and traumatic moment in history.
And here I started tearing up. One part of the museum presented different accounts of atomic bomb survivors.
At this stage I was bawling. Not only did civilians suffer from losing their family members, but they were also exposed to the “atomic bomb disease” caused by heat rays and radiation.
“The Boy Standing by the Crematory in Nagasaki” by Joe O’Donnell. Very “Grave of the Fireflies”, don’t you think?
One of the most tragic, most heartbreaking war photographs I have ever seen in my entire life. The story behind it is so powerful and moving as well.
The photographer was interviewed by a certain Seiko Ueda - “I came in from Sasebo to Nagasaki and looked around from a hill. Men walking with white masks caught my attention. The men were working besides a big hole of about 60cm deep. They were putting the corpses piled up on a wagon into the hole with burning lime . Then I saw a boy of around ten years old walking toward them. He had his little brother baby strapped on his back. In those days, it was quite common in Japan to see young boys carrying their little brother or sister on their back while playing in the field. But this boy wasn’t here to play. He had a very important duty to come to this crematory. You could see it on his face. And he was barefoot. The boy came to the edge of the crematory. His face was stiff and his eyes were bracing for an ordeal. The baby on his back looked deep asleep and the head was bent backward. The boy stood there for five or ten minutes. Then the men with the white masks came towards him and started to untie the straps. At this moment, I realized that this baby brother he was carrying was dead. The men gently held the baby’s arms and legs and slowly put him into the hole where the hot stones are laid. I could hear the steaming sound of the baby’s flesh burning. Then a gleaming red flare danced up in the air. The bright red color like the sunset was reflecting on the yet tender boy’s cheek as he stood there straight and still. That moment, I realized that the boy was biting his lip and it was bleeding. He was biting hard as he gazed his little brother in flames. When the flames had calmed down, the boy turned on his heels and left the place silently.”
Left the museum with bloodshot eyes, but our tour guide Hiro-san managed to sum it all up in a good way. She mentioned that this museum wasn’t made to make the Japanese purely appear as victims of the World War since they admit that they also had their own share of violence back then. It was made so that everyone can learn from this traumatic experience, having just been reminded of that time when human beings actually resorted to these very grave measures.
A monument of Sadako, of “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” fame.
Not Sadako of Ringu fame.
Walked past the bridge from the museum to get to…
…the monument that marks the hypocenter of the atomic bomb.
They were able to estimate its exact location because all the trees around this point were still standing, which could only happen since the initial impact of the bomb was vertical.
A piece of rock that was exposed to atomic bomb radiation, preserved behind a protective container.
Suddenly, a photograph of my brothers to lighten this entry up! No more depressing stuff after this, I promise!
A few blocks from the museum is this very large space they call the Nagasaki Peace Park.
Lots of installations and monuments to help promote world peace were donated by artists from all over the world and were displayed here.
And I finally got to take a picture of the canned coffee I mentioned in one of my older Fukuoka posts. My brothers always had to get their daily caffeine fix, but it would never be satisfied by any other kind of coffee except for this one.
While we were in Japan, at least.
Random view of the pathway to Oura Catholic Church.
And of course we had to try some meat buns while we were there.
Bumped into this cat while walking and…
…soon after realized that it just might be the artist of these portraits (lol)
What would a manga writer think about this situation?
Oura Catholic Church is Japan’s oldest standing church, and is the only Western building to be designated as a national treasure. Can’t believe this has been preserved since 1863.
Nagasaki has a very large population of Catholics, which only explains the very famous line “Hiroshima in anger, Nagasaki in prayer.”
Behind the Oura Catholic Church is Glover Garden, an exhibit of mansions of Nagasaki’s former Western residents. Failed to take pictures of the actual recreated houses for some reason I can’t remember! To compensate, I shall just post a cute picture of some koi fish fighting for food.
From the houses you can enjoy a nice view of the port city of Nagasaki.
Our tour guide Hiro-san showing us a photo of one of Japan’s most loved heroes, Ryoma Sakamoto. Prior to this introduction, I already had an idea who he was… thanks to JIN, that genius Japanese drama about a doctor time traveling to the past and saving people with brain surgery even if it wasn’t even invented yet. He traveled to Ryoma Sakamoto’s time!
He continues to be a very relevant figure in Nagasaki, as he established the Kameyama Shachu in this place. The Kameyama Shachu or the Kaientai is only Japan’s first trading company!
Ryoma Sakamoto also had a secret meeting place inside one of Glover’s houses. I saw it. I just failed to take a proper picture of it (again).
Used my ninja photography skills once more because the branches were framing this girl perfectly and I just had to take a picture.
Found out she was trying to take a picture of the sunset so I took a picture of it too.
What better way to end the tour than to see cherry blossoms! They’re not supposed to bloom until spring but our tour guide says that the tree must’ve gotten confused with the very erratic weather conditions they’ve been having.
2 years ago, I missed the cherry blossoms in Tokyo by a few weeks! /cry
Took the bus back to somewhere nearer the Nagasaki Station since it was getting late. Snapped a photo of this couple that we saw earlier at Glover Garden. They were also so excited about the cherry blossoms so I guess it really is very rare to see them bloom in winter.
After dinner, we walked around this place called S TOBI. It was already rather late in the evening and the stores were closing but our tour guide made it a point to drop by a certain dessert store to get a slice of cake for her daughter. Too bad I can’t remember the name of the store but they supposedly have the most glorious treats!
Perfect hair and perfect coats! Managed to do zero shopping in Nagasaki but it was all good because I can be such a geek sometimes! This place has such a rich history that no amount of shopping can ever compare to the things I was able to see here.
Long, educational day at Nagasaki ended as soon as we boarded the train back to Hakata Station in Fukuoka. Spent the first hour in the train sleeping, and the next hour just fooling around with my brothers Juju and Calel. Managed to re-enact parts of Inception while pretending to sleep/dream. Aptly called the whole thing Trainception afterwards.
Psyched to go to Hiroshima some time in the future. Heard the place is just as wonderful! I hope more people can go visit Japan this year. Why this place is my favorite cannot be fully explained by these pictures or words. I can only try.
Tenjin is the downtown area of Fukuoka where all the shopping centers are. Because the previous day was very hectic, we decided to relax, do some shopping, and take a break from doing all sorts tourist-y things this time.
I did most of my shopping in a mall called Tenjin Core, which also houses some very familiar brands if you avidly follow Japanese fashion magazines. Practiced my ninja skills and quickly took a few pictures of the stores and the mannequins when I was done shopping and had no money left, hahaha.
Deep red and old rose (or smoky pink, as they call it) were two of the most prevalent color trends consistent in every store I went to! Sooo pretty!
Accessories heaven. They’re all into giant bows, shiny hair ties and bolo ties/necklaces at the moment.
One of my all-time favorite brands, Liz Lisa
Only a part of the complete assortment of false eyelashes that you will ever need in your entire life.
A blonde Yamamoto Yusuke appears!
After shopping for winter clothes that we can probably wear in a tropical place such as Manila, we walked around the city to look for a place to eat.
Nothing like burger omurice to give that much-needed boost for a busy shop-til-you-drop afternoon.
Why can’t we have these glorious Starbucks marshmallow dark chocolate and white chocolate macadamia cookies here?
Somehow, we all managed to consume our frozen drinks even if it was freezing outside. Some things in life are just strange that way. Like bare legs in winter.
While my brothers were checking out the Tower Records in Solaria Stage, I practiced my ninja skills again to take some street snaps of people in the area.
Reminds me of my friend Cheesie, mermaid hair, tan skin and all!
His coat - I covet! Easily the most perfect shade of green/teal I’ve ever seen.
Went back to Hakata Station for dinner. Tried their KFC out, and it was so good (see what I did there) I finally understood why the Japanese are all KFC-crazy.
After a long day, in our hotel room, it was good to be greeted back by Matsujun and Hyde on Music Station.
(Cecil McBee sweater, Topshop pants, Esperanza boots, from Japan necklace, LV bag) If you like this, you can hype it on Lookbook here.
Wore this yesterday to meet with people for some exciting 2012 collabs, and to the Rockwell sale with my mom. First Lookbook entry of the year.
Recently, I’ve been buying everything in this lovely wine color. Before I got rid of the blonde, I made a conscious effort not to wear too much red so as not to appear too cartoonish - Ronald McDonald, anyone? My recent Fukuoka trip, however, made me realize that this kind of dark wine red slash maroon is something I (and my hair) very much approve of. It’s not too bold or shocking (not my personality at all) but still makes a pretty good impact when paired with most of the neutral colors in my closet.
I wish I could’ve taken a photo of a random Japanese guy rocking similar pants at Hakata Station a week ago. He made me want to try out the color scheme he was wearing, and at the same time made everyone around him want to check him out because he was working it like such a pro.
Chikako from ViVi also inspired me to go back to my more neutral Fall looks, temporarily. Spring is just a few months away…
After arriving in Fukuoka on Christmas day, our super hectic 9 AM to 9 PM tour around the city finally commenced on the 26th of December. Fukuoka is a very small and simple place compared to other places in Japan I’ve been to (Tokyo, Nara, Kyoto and Osaka specifically) but it has its own charm, I believe. It used to be a merchant town with a very rich history, being the gateway to Japan a long time ago. I definitely wouldn’t mind visiting this place every so often - such a quaint place perfect for a much-needed peaceful vacation.
Photo-heavy entry ahead:
Early morning at some random street. I love how everywhere you go in Japan, it’s always so clean and orderly.
Couple holding hands before crossing the street.
Hakata-bei at the Rakusui-en Garden. The locals didn’t want the ruins of original Hakata buildings to go to waste after the war so they made these patterns and used the materials to create these famous Hakata walls. Recycling at its finest.
Lovely Japanese garden. Here also lies a reconstructed Meiji period tea house where I was able to try out their maccha tea along with some complementary Japanese sweets.
Authentic green tea that was rather bitter but meshed so perfectly with the sweets served with it.
Took a photo of this vending machine because my brothers ended up getting addicted to Suntory Boss Coffee Rainbow Mountain Blend.
Passed by Canal City for about 5 minutes on the way to Kushida Shrine. Canal City had a grand sale the day before I left Fukuoka so I ended up going here the second time during my stay.
In Kushida shrine, there was this magnificently decorated float dedicated to the gods Ohatanushi-no-mikoto, Amaterasu-omikami and Susanowo-no-mikoto.
Our tour guide Hiro-san showed us an artwork of how men would look like during the Yamakasa festival. She said her previous tourist clients would always giggle after seeing this. I could only imagine.
She also mentioned something about this rock in the shrine that locals use to determine whether or not someone is fit for sumo wrestling. And of course my 100-105-pound brother Juju accepted the challenge.
Heard a story about the wind of god or kamikaze.
After Kushida Shrine, we went to Tochoji Temple, a family temple of the Kuroda family, lord of Fukuoka province.
The sight to see here was this Fukuoka Daibutsu or the Great Buddhist statue, one of the largest wooden figures of the seated Buddha. Used my ninja skills to take this picture.
Behind the statue is a small museum in a dark tunnel of sorts that shows a collection of paintings of hell, etc. However, at the end of the narrow tunnel, where the light eventually goes out, you can find a thick ring if you’re lucky. They say you can go to heaven if you find this ring. I did!
Giant five-story pagoda.
Failed at showing the epicness of it for the sake of taking an artsy fartsy shot with a tree in front of it.
One of the regular temple visitors asked me out of the blue where I was from, and gave me a really interesting gift. He gave me a Delta airplane figurine, which I guess he carries around with him everywhere. And now it’s with me! I hope this means more travel opportunities in 2012. Thanks, Delta-san.
If Ultraman transformed into a car, this would be it.
A few blocks from Tochoji Temple was a quiet Zen garden in the middle of the neighborhood.
Suddenly, my collar.
Managed to snap a photo of Family Mart while on the way to Tenjin. Everyone here is crazy about KARA! Gekidan Hitori is pleased.
Picture of a girl in the bus mirror. Quite eerie, yes? My brothers were joking how much creepier it would be if I opened this photo in my laptop and found the girl looking at me all of a sudden. Ahh, chills.
Snaps of people on the way to Tenjin…
…where people look like aliens!
Had lunch at one of the most popular sushi restaurants in the area. I wasn’t able to ask what the restaurant was called but I still vividly remember their gourd logo.
Stockings at 0-4°C. All that fur on her ankles just might’ve been her savior.
Obligatory Arashi photo.
Two girls looking like they’re having a very fun conversation. Snidel paper bag, I see you!
My brother Chase. It’s all bokeh behind him but after lunch we headed straight to Dazaifu City via subway. Dazaifu may be a very popular tourist destination, but a lot of locals also go here to pray for success in their examinations.
And for the strangest reason my siblings and I were all so coordinated.
Had a ¥700 cafe au lait at one of the coffee shops there. I don’t want to think that I just paid for the immensely dainty cup and saucer lol
Some local treats like Umegae-mochi (sweet rice cake with bean jam) and Onigawara Monaka (sweet bean jam sandwiched in mochi wafers) were being sold on the way to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.
This shrine is dedicated to Sugawara Michizane, also known as the god of learning.
Found a street performer in the area who was able to make this monkey stand on a pole.
The girls on the right were brisk walking because they were in such a hurry to get to a place with a heater. Brr.
Girl at the Dazaifu station.
It was freezing like crazy when we decided to go to our last stop of the day…
Fukuoka Tower stands at 234 meters, making it the highest seaside tower in Japan. Fun fact: They change the lighting and decorations around the building depending on the season. They would have, of course, the standard lighting on an ordinary month, but they would have a “Milky Way decoration” in July and August, a “St. Valentines Day decoration” in February and March and a “Blue Christmas light decoration” in November and December.
Just after sunset, this was how the wonderful city of Fukuoka looked like when I was there. <3
Back at Amu Plaza in Hakata Station, we had a late dinner. We were already so hungry but we decided to brave the waiting line for this much-hyped restaurant.
The verdict? BEST RAMEN I’VE EVER TASTED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. All the ramen that I’ve tried now fails in comparison.
Where can I find authentic barikata Hakata noodles in Manila?!
I’m back! Spending the holidays in Japan was a blast. Such a magical place with a much-enviable visual culture, as always! Easily my most favorite place in the world.
This time, my family and I went to Fukuoka instead of Tokyo or Osaka for a change. Surprisingly, there’s a direct flight from Manila to Fukuoka via Philippine Airlines. Glad to know that different parts of Japan are finally getting more and more accessible to us.
We arrived in Fukuoka just before dinner, so we headed straight to the subway from the airport. The hotel that we stayed in was just right across Hakata Station, making it so convenient for us to go around the city without having to allot so much on cab fare.
Since we were so hungry from the flight, we decided to grab a bite to eat at some random ramen place at Hakata Deitos…
…and a nice cup of iced coffee at Marbre Blanc Cafe where we also enjoyed some wonderful parfaits and not to mention, a group of good-looking waiters who looked as if they came straight out of an anime/manga.
After dinner, we roamed around the station some more. Managed to snap a photo of these two adorable kids who both seemed so grown-up, already shopping for stuff on their own!
Fluffy white dog outside Hankyu department store. The stroller has “I <3 HUG” all over it.
Yet another puppy in the department store. Adorbs!
Some very expensive but high-quality men’s shoes. ￥19,950 or approx. ₱11,200 for one pair!
Personally one of my most favorite Japanese brands of all time. I’d buy everything they’re selling if only they weren’t too pricey. Just look at those lovely fall colors!
Laguna Moon was selling some really nice coats with fur collars.
If I had to share a Japanese shoe brand, this would be it. Esperanza makes some of the best quality, trendiest shoes I’ve ever seen in my life. Luckily, I was able to get the boots I’ve always wanted (ViVi, the things you do to me…) in Canal City a few days after this shot was taken. At 50 freaking percent off! #freddiemercury.jpg
Cecil McBee! I still remember my first experience with them. I bought this skirt, and found myself surprised to be escorted out of the store before they handed me my paper bag! Talk about super special customer service.
Dolly Wink Otona Line! Got a blonde eyebrow pencil for myself and brown eyebrow powder for my BFF Crissey. On the left is Ayumi Hamasaki’s line of false eyelashes.
Someone bring all of these Japanese beauty products to Manila, please?
Apparently, in Japan, KFC = Christmas. How cute is Santa Sanders!?
Passed by some izakaya-style restaurants in the station. Drinks on Christmas day!
Favorite photo from this set. Remember this photo? The geeky photographer in me is a sucker for these kinds of photos that tell a story. <3
Christmas day ended early for us… only because we had to prepare for the next day. More photos from my Fukuoka trip soon.
Also, Happy New Year! 2011 has been a rollercoaster ride, but I’ve learned to just go with it instead of resist it. Good riddance. Thanks for the great year, Tumblr folks!
Say hello to my 5-year-old collection of Japanese magazines. They inspire me so much fashion-wise, so I always make it a point to get recent issues of my favorite ones (Popteen and ViVi are my Top 2) every time I go abroad. They’re a wee bit pricey, but so totally worth it.
A bit unrelated, but I have a soft spot for Nylon too.