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.
moussy is under Baroque with other brands such as SLY (blogged here), rienda (blogged here), RODEO CROWNS WIDE BOWL, UNDER BAR RAW., TWNROOM, Avan Lily, Lilidia, ENFOLD, Black by moussy and AZUL by moussy. They’re all usually found in one giant store called The SHEL’TTER TOKYO, but you can also sometimes find each one separately across Japan.
My love for moussy goes back a long way, and I even remember purchasing my first moussy item in Hong Kong back in 2011. It was a time when floppy hats were all the rage, but I couldn’t quite figure out my style yet and just settled for a brown one with a cute ribbon! Until now I still hold it dear, even though I haven’t been using it as often lately.
However, my favorite moussy purchase so far would be this bag from last year’s F/W collection. I have a special place in my heart for black bags because they’re the ones I tend to bring with me when I travel, and simply because I also have a ton of shoes in black, more than any other color. Makes it so easy to mix and match!
Lucky for me, they had a ton of these cute and functional studded black bags last year at Canal City, Fukuoka, and I would’ve gotten more if only I had an endless supply of money! I’m off to Hong Kong next week and I’m definitely going to splurge on the recent collection, if they already have it. Wish my bank account luck!
Models Chihiro Kondo and Rei Yasui. They couldn’t have picked better models. I love these girls!
Like the rest of the world, moussy seems to have caught the ’90s fashion comeback craze as well. They managed to make it more sleek and sophisticated though. I call it the “how fashion editors would interpret ’90s fashion” look.
It’s also refreshing to see more boxy and loose silhouettes lately.
Trends to try this season:
1) suspender skirts and overalls/jumpers
2) printed pencil skirts and longer-than-your-usual-mini skirts
3) statement shirts
5) plaid shirt wrapped around waist
6) oversized denim jackets
7) giant clutches
8) statement earrings
9) beanies and flat-brimmed caps
10) pointy shoes
11) low heels
13) moussy x MAC make-up look with light brown/blonde eyebrows, black smoky cat eyes, and either nude or red lipstick
14) either slicked back hair or messy hair (there seems to be no in-between, lol)
15) light brown hair
Blogging about my Tokyo trip last May first as I want to save Kyoto trip last April as the end of my Japan travel series. I still have a pending MOFW for this but I’m pretty sure I can finish everything before I go to Hong Kong with Crissey next month!
This trip was sponsored by EMODA and touchMe Collection (read about it here), but of course, since I was already there, I just had to extend a few days so I could go around, shop, take hundreds of photos, and be all tourist-y. The preparation for it was a little intense though, as I had to complete another set of VISA requirements even if I just came from Osaka and Kyoto a few weeks before this. It would’ve been ideal if the Japanese embassy already issued multiple-entry visas back then! I was thisclose to almost having to rebook my flight a day later. Phew!
Anyhow, let me deviate a bit and take this opportunity to mention that this blog turned 4 years old yesterday! YAY! And a few months before I created this blog, I went to Tokyo for the first time. I never had the chance to properly make a travel diary for it as the pictures were too outdated already by the time it occurred to me that I could do it, so this is my first official Tokyo travel diary! Quite fitting for my blog’s 4th birthday, eh?
Shibuya’s billboards last May. 4 years ago, I could still remember that they were promoting the J-drama Mr. Brain.
I can’t believe Mr. Brain was 4 years ago alreadyyy *feels old*
Scramble Crossing is known to be super crowded, but my brother and I were able to catch it with not too many people. Visit on an off-hour on a weekday for a more manageable crowd!
Getting a train ticket with my brother Juju. It’s easy to commute around Japan once you get the hang of it. Most of the ticketing machines have an English option so it’s not difficult to understand.
If you really have no idea what to do, you can always ask someone in the area to help you. I’ve never encountered a Japanese person who was unwilling to help in terms of directions! Some of them even make sure that you’re completely okay with your ticket before they leave.
First stop, Akihabara! You cannot miss Yodabashi-Akiba as it’s right by the entrance/exit of the station. 9 stories of gadgets and electronics? Yes please!
I was so tempted to get a Lumix GF6 as the commercials of Ayase Haruka kept on playing inside the trains, but I successfully managed to refrain from doing so as I already have a dSLR that has been working just fine! SELF-DISCIPLINE IS HARD.
They were also selling so many different iPhone cases on the first floor! Ones that you can’t really find anywhere else.
The Akihabara that we all know. Moe moe kyun~
My brother and I decided to walk around a bit as the weather was quite nice and there was supposedly an event in one of the temples nearby.
When we got there, there were already people preparing for the event, but it wasn’t going to start any time soon.
This is what you get for always being early, lol. We had to wait 4-5 hours until it started but we already made an itinerary for the whole day and couldn’t afford to miss any of the spots that we planned to visit. Next time, maybe!
But it was cool that these wooden prayer tablets were Akiba-style too, with the illustrations and all!
Next stop was Tokyo Tower, which we never got to visit the first time we went to Japan. There’s a new, much higher Tokyo Sky Tree now but we figured we might get disappointed if we went to Sky Tree first before Tokyo Tower, lol.
But I think Tokyo Tower is much more iconic even if it is so much older and lower than Sky Tree! It has a charm of its own, and not to mention, Matsujun (and V6 Okada) has a movie named after this very structure… WOOT.
Built in 1958 and obviously patterned after the Eiffel Tower.
You can go up to one of the observation decks for a small fee, but there’s an additional fee if you want to go higher. My brother and I just settled for the one in the middle, where most people went.
There was a robot going around welcoming people to Tokyo Tower. Check out this grandpa-grandson duo looking so amazed!
The city of Tokyo.
Just because Shinjuku is unexpectedly battling it out with Shibuya as my favorite place in Tokyo.
Giant (fake) cherry blossom balls hanging from the ceiling.
And we’re off to another place again. I swear my brother and I went to so many places it was a miracle how our feet survived it all.
Guess where we headed next?
ODAIBA! Far from the city but…OMG GUNDAM. WE HAD TO.
You can’t miss this life-sized Gundam model that I think secretly works. Knowing Japan and how everything must have a function, lol.
I’m pretty sure it will work once aliens come to attack Earth…
Details. All the yummy details.
Obligatory tourist-y picture with the Gundam. Sue me for having a photo with the Gundam but not with Tokyo Tower. CHECK OUT MY PRIORITIES.
It was huge. And absolutely lovely. We went around Diver City for a short while before we decided to go back to the city before rush hour arrived.
Passed by Fuji TV on the way back to the station. Some kids were having their school field trip there.
This scenery. If you’ve seen Odaiba in J-dramas, you’d notice that there’s always going to be a shot of this scenery where you can see Rainbow Bridge and (even if it’s not too clear in this photo) Tokyo Tower.
There’s a fake Statue of Liberty here somewhere but this girl was more photogenic TBH
A peaceful and squeaky-clean park near Aqua City. Wish we had similar parks here in Manila!
Before heading back to Shibuya for dinner, we passed by Ginza and added yet another place to our day’s agenda. By this time, I was already quite tired though! I would’ve been less tired if I didn’t bring my 24-70 lens with me and brought the 40 pancake lens instead, but hey, ALL FOR GOOD PHOTOS.
I think I was extra tired during this trip in general because I just came from a week-long trip to Osaka and Kyoto which was also quite hectic and I’m generally unhealthy with no proper diet and exercise. Good luck to me!
Shibuya by night! All the pretty lights.
The famous Starbucks / Tsutaya in Shibuya.
ROLA. Love her so much. Her IG is amazing, and her daily outfits are all so lust-worthy. <3 I couldn’t get a copy of this book so I took a photo of the billboard instead. /cry
touchMe After Party truck ad on our way back to our hotel, before we crashed onto our beds in an instant. Productive day!
The next day, my brother and I decided to go visit Harajuku, Shinjuku and Omotesando!
It was fairly early in the morning so there weren’t a lot of people yet, but I was pretty shocked at how different the Takeshita Dori sign is now compared to 4 years ago! Lots of construction going on in the area as well.
Woohoo! Can you spot me and my brother?
Summer knit + floral pants + clear bag. All trendy items this summer!
Rainbow tutu! Not my thing but it’s adorable. Lisa Frank memories.
Girly shoes on sale! Would’ve gone crazy if I were still in my Liz Lisa stage!
My brother did some shopping in Jimsinn which has been around Harajuku for a long time. They sell some nice punk-ish clothes and on the ceiling of the store are signatures from famous rockstars from all over the world.
The shop staff was an interesting fellow too! He practiced his English with us and he was really good!
L.CHANCE is my favorite place to buy accessories. You can find it everywhere but this place in Takeshita Dori has a 2nd floor that sells discounted items from previous seasons too.
I actually hate that it’s everywhere because I find something to buy EVERY SINGLE TIME. And it’s not even suuuper cheap! Gomenasai, wallet.
Hot item from Liz Lisa’s spring/summer collection.
Harajuku fashion! I used to love this kind of fashion a long time ago, though I never really found the courage to wear it as it’s not so much my personality. I really commend those like Reese (doesn’t this mannequin look like her?) who can pull this style off so well without looking forced at all!
Colors everywhere! And yet another multi-colored tutu!
Unique sneaker design from Lollipunks, a brand that sells fairy kei stuff (if my memory serves me right). Not something I would wear but it’s adorable nonetheless!
Near the end of Takeshita Dori is this underground WEGO store that you can’t miss!
Tokyu Plaza Omotesando / Harajuku
Matsuko Deluxe! And a mini Masami Nagasawa!
Chanel and Margiela in Omotesando.
Took a break from walking! A-ha! The opportunity to take a proper outfit shot! Wearing a dress from SLY, bag from Moussy, headband from INGNI and (whoa) sneakers from Converse! Must wear comfy shoes when traveling!
I also had a denim jacket from Lowrys Farm inside my bag. Didn’t expect for summer to arrive so soon in Japan so I overpacked a bit, thinking spring was going to be a bit longer. I was wrong! u_u
After a quick lunch, my brother and I headed to Shinjuku.
My first stop was RANDA!
Then we went to Shinjuku Lumine EST where I bought my white blazer set from EMODA. It was sold-out in Shibuya 109 so I was ecstatic when I found it in Shinjuku! Ended up wearing it for touchMe collection, and regretting not getting it in blue and black. HERE I GO AGAIN with my one style-many colors habit.
Didn’t take so many photos in Shinjuku because my back was already killing me at this point. I can’t wait for the time (maybe year 3000+) where humans can invent cameras that are as light as a feather. BRB, putting self into cryogenic sleep now…
Shinagawa! My brother and I transferred hotels from somewhere in Shibuya to Shinagawa because EMODA booked us there. 4 years ago, my family also stayed in the same area! Nostalgic feels!
My brother and I went on separate ways on our last day in Tokyo. He went to get his left-handed guitar somewhere, and I spent lunchtime and early afternoon with Camille at Shibuya 109.
By this time, I was already like my 3rd or 4th visit to Shibuya 109 in a span of a few days. Am I crazy? Most probably.
Saw Hamada Britney on the way out of 109. Also spotted Suzuki Nana on my first visit. This place is crawling with famous people!
And beautiful shop staff who make you wish you looked just liked them.
First agenda with Camille? PURIKURA! We went to the SEGA game center in Shibuya.
We had so much fun tinkering with these photo booth machines that we wish we could bring back home to Manila!
Because the Japanese level of beauty is so high, we’ll just settle for cheating. *low self-esteem tears* Kidding aside, PURIKURA = INSTANT PHOTOSHOP. They edit the pictures so fast! Makes you so giddy to take the next photo because it miraculously makes everyone look like a ViVi model!
Big eyes and clear skin in a matter of a few seconds! You can even add make-up, fake lashes and change your hair color. I swear you can go into one of these things with zero make-up on and come out looking like a goddess.
Nino CM! Also ABC-Mart is like heaven for fans of Converse, Nike, Puma, Adidas, Vans, etc. My brothers often find something to buy here, usually at discounted prices. I got my black sneakers from an ABC-Mart too!
Aww, time to part ways with Camille who met up with her mom and sister shortly after I helped her take outfit shots with her camera. My brother happened to be around the area too so we spent our last few hours in Shibuya checking out places we haven’t been to yet.
I hate rain, if I’m traveling. But I like it when I’m spending the whole day inside my house. Agree? :)
WC by Chinatsu Wakatsuki flagship store. I saw her during the EMODA touchMe show. I died a little inside because she was drop-dead gorgeous. T_T
Shibuya OIOI / Marui! LOVE. Though all of the clothes here are generally more expensive than the ones in 109. But brands like snidel can be found here. <3
Last photo before I tucked my camera away and spent my last few hours resting! I started to feel sick (prolly because I overworked myself carrying so much shopping + my camera that weighs like a baby) so my brother and I went back to the Shinagawa area so the atmosphere is generally more relaxed and chill! We ended up eating at some fancy European-inspired place in the station that served the most amazing pasta. I can’t think of an ending more perfect than that! <3
Two Kyoto posts coming right up!
Debuting my lighter hair color in time for spring/summer. Actually, this is only my lame excuse for simply being fickle about my hair. No bleaching involved since my hair ends are pretty much fried already. I just missed the light brown after 3-4 months of dark hair. To be quite honest, as much as I loved my previous color (which was quite *mature*), I think I was really made for this in-between brown and blonde thing. Makes me feel lighter and brighter too!
I can’t believe I’m already on my 5th day (LOL, it sounds like I’m talking about my period) of MOFW, which means I only have 2 more purely Japanese fashion features after this! Sad face.
On a lighter note, this outfit is very me circa early 2012, back when I was obsessed with wearing oxblood with light blue denim and black. I also came back from Japan around then, so I’m pretty sure they’re the ones to blame for all the red that I’ve been consecutively wearing. Never a bad thing though, because I love it anyway. Matches the red of my blog layout!
This jacket is from a brand called SpRay which I was able to visit in Tenjin Core Fukuoka (but they also have a store in Shibuya 109). The whole place looked like my closet because they had so many sweaters, jackets and collared tops a.k.a. my default uniforms. And the prices were comparable to CECIL MCBEE as well, which I previously mentioned is already an affordable gyaru brand compared to most.
Spazzed like a crazy person as soon as I laid my eyes on this jacket, because it was perfect in so many ways. I’ve been meaning to get a red varsity jacket (since I already have a black and a pastel one) but it was so hard for me to find the ideal length and design since I usually only found short ones with like, weird embroidered text. :))
Paired the jacket with my ever-so-trusty moussy bag, also purchased in Fukuoka. It only occurred to me now that the handles look very Givenchy!
Say hello to what I call my ultimate dyslexia top! Some of the letters are flipped, making it almost impossible to understand at first glance. It would take you a good few seconds (given you have perfect eyesight) to take it all in and realize what the message is. If you don’t want to go through the effort, I’ll just type it out. It says, “Don’t you think now is the time to be adventurous while we’re still young?” While I think we can be adventurous at any age, I do feel that I’m in the prime of my youth and that it’s the perfect time to try out new things and have fun, without all the serious stuff (like health problems and physical limitations for example) that goes with growing old.
I don’t have a lot of graphic tops but I just felt drawn to this particular one as soon as I saw it on a mannequin in the MURUA store at Parco (same place where I bought my EMODA dress from my previous entry). I guess I thought it would be a good reminder to my ever-so-introverted and conservative self, to dare to go out more and not be so anti-social like I always am. Note to self: Be more adventurous, meet new people, be open to more opportunities, have fun, etc.
Anyhow, it’s not the first time I’ve mentioned MURUA here before. As with EMODA, it’s one of the most popular MODE brands out there, if not one of the pioneers of the movement. Recently, they got Kate Lanphear to style their fashion show, as well as to collaborate on some exclusive designs for the brand. How cool is that? MODE is really going global these days. I’m still waiting for the day when MURUA decides to open a global webstore just like EMODA. T_T
On another note, my bag is also from Japanese brand moussy. Got it from their Canal City store. Their recent campaign features Charlotte Free (and her fabulous pink hair), and I remember them also getting Agyness Deyn a few years back. I absolutely love visiting them specifically for the bags and shoes. This one that I have here is such a gem with its classic design with a hint of edginess, studs and all. It can also fit so many things inside, including my camera - my primary requirement for everyday bags.
P.S. Thanks to SNSD I Got A Boy, I am OBSESSED with flat brim caps! I need more!