On my last day in Tokyo, before I headed to the airport, I decided to follow Gervin's suggestion of going to Aoyama. Aoyama is known for a lot of things, but among fashionistas, this is *the* place to go to if you're in the mood for some high-end local and international designer shopping.
It’s not too far from Harajuku and Omotesando, but I came from Shibuya so I took the Ginza line from Shibuya Station to get to Aoyama-Itchome Station.
Also, there are no photos of me in this post because no one was around to take my photo. #foreveralone Maybe you can spot my reflection, at least.
Balenciaga. I covet.
Issey Miyake Men.
Suddenly, it’s so peaceful and quiet. Nothing like Harajuku and Shibuya!
You can’t skip the Comme store in Aoyama. They have most of the Comme des Garcons lines, including some of their collaborations with other brands.
People sometimes just come to Aoyama for the famous Prada store! I won’t spoil how the building looks like (but you can spoil yourself by searching on Google, I guess) but it was designed by Swiss duo Herzog & de Meuron. If you don’t know who they are, they were the ones who were responsible the Beijing National Stadium / Bird’s Nest.
Chloé flagship store in Japan.
Trivia: Did you know that Steve Jobs’ signature black turtle necks were all by Issey Miyake?
Tsumori Chisato. Bohemian style meets kawaii!
The main store of Yoku Moku is also in Aoyama! You can spot their blue brick lounge from a mile away.
I randomly chanced upon Blue Moon The Natural Bar while walking along one of Aoyama’s big streets! It’s a popular outdoor bar slash organic market that has a quirky, hipster vibe to it. I’ve only seen photos of it during nighttime so I didn’t expect that it looked like this in the morning!
Handmade wood collectibles. TAKAIIIIIIIIIII
Beautiful temple in the middle of Aoyama.
The FURLA Aoyama boutique is one interesting place. They have “FURLA yoga” on the 4th floor!
SARARIMAN x STARBUCKS.
Also, reflection #5.
Okamoto Taro Memorial Museum. His work reminds me of the angels in Evangelion.
Red Valentino. Can I live here? Their Aoyama store looks like some sort of futuristic castle!
The lantern-shaped Marc Jacobs flagship store. At night, the top part is supposed to light up like a lantern too!
Jil Sander Navy!
Undercover. Couldn’t sneak a photo of the interiors, but on the ceiling are thousands of lightbulbs that move with the wind and make sounds!
I was too early for Acne! The store was still closed when I went to visit. Some of the Aoyama stores open early, while some open after lunch or early afternoon.
Like the Alexander Wang store. I’ve been eyeing a particular Wang bag recently, and just when I was so ready to go shopping, the store was still closed! I just took it as some sort of divine intervention. Japan, why must you always drain all my fundsss
Oh well. Settled for pictures instead! I’d wear this outfit in a heartbeat!
Yohji Yamamato! THE MASTER. I was so shocked when the Yohji Yamamoto display at Shibuya all contained super bright colors! I’ve always been so used to seeing just black and white from him, lol.
Trivia: Did you know that Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo (of Commes des Garcons fame) were once rumored to be in a relationship back in the ’70s or ’80s? TOO MUCH PERFECTION~
Last shot before I got on the train back to Shibuya to catch a bus to the airport. I have no idea if I missed anything important in Aoyama, but I’m determined to come back again one day! I’m so in love!
Early that morning, I passed by a school in Aoyama and they were dancing to Arashi. Enough said.
Dumping all my photos from my short stay in Tokyo last May in this post, because I already posted a separate entry for Akihabara, and I’ll be posting another separate entry for Aoyama!
Japan temporarily gives me an infinite source of energy. It’s unreal how much I’m able to do in such a short span of time. When I’m here in Manila, all it takes is one blink for the whole afternoon to pass!
Safely arrived in Shibuya! I usually stay in Shinagawa because I like going home to a more peaceful station. This time, however, I had to book a hotel in Shibuya for convenience.
It’s not that I dislike Shibuya! It’s just that the station and the areas around the station get really chaotic at times, and I have crowd phobia (i.e. just looking at Laboracay photos makes me sick - what more if I go there?).
When I say everything in Japan is kawaii, I mean everything.
I posted this on my Instagram and people really thought it was GD. I doubt GD would be able to freely roam around the streets of Shibuya without being mobbed by fans.
Literally had no time to breathe, but it was all good because I never seem to get tired in Japan!
The elevator at Shinjuku LUMINE EST was so pretty.
Dropped by the Laduree at Shinjuku to buy myself some macarons.
My new favorite place to shop for accessories and iPhone cases is Me% in Shinjuku! You can also find this store in Shibuya 109.
Spotted at Bic Camera Shinjuku. If this were not so expensive (4,100 yen is a little too much, I think), would you get it?
That evening, I had an important meeting with some important people! They took me to a fancy restaurant in Shibuya where we had the most awesome dinner!
Their project just got approved by the Japanese government, and I can’t wait to share it with you once all the nitty gritty preparations are done! Keeping it a secret for now!
I usually don’t like anything with red bean, but this was glorious.
My view every night I go back to my hotel.
My second day was my only free day, so I went to Akihabara to meet up with friends! Wrote about it here.
Here’s a photo of a rainy Shibuya crossing, taken as I went down the elevator in my hotel.
With Ashley and Emika in the middle of Shibuya! You can tell that Ashley and I were in total spring mode, lol.
Emika rocks black all year round! Made me miss my all-black style circa 2010/2011 (?)
We queued at the new Kiki & Lala Cafe, found on the 7th floor of Shibuya Parco. It only took us less than an hour, and I say “only” because on weekends, people line up for 2-3 hours! Crazy!
The cafe also sells official Kiki & Lala merchandise! Japan, just take all my money.
Even the menu is irresistibly adorable! We wanted to order everything!
Kiko and I got Kiki & Lala lattes that come with star-shaped sugar wands.
Ashley and Emika got Kiki & Lala sodas topped with ice cream.
I heard the reason why people don’t mind lining up for this place is because it’s only going to be open for a limited time. Kind of like a pop-up cafe!
Later that night, I met up with my friend Kumiko-san at Cheese Table, also found in Shibuya Parco.
Yes, almost everything in this restaurant has cheese in it, omg! I opened the portal to the cheese dimension, and I just wanted to stay there forever.
We had fondue (not in photo because we were too excited to eat it) and pizza. Nom!
After Tokyo Anime Center, Animate, maid cafe and cosplay purikura with Kiko, Izumi and Emika at Akihabara, Kiki & Lala cafe with Ashley, and Cheese Table with Kumiko-san at Shibuya, I spent the rest of the night with one of my favorite people in the world - Gervin! We talked for hours at the Starbucks in Shibuya (the one that’s visible from the scramble crossing).
I ended up going back to the hotel past midnight already. I told you - Japan gives me super powers. Super extroverted powers.
The next morning, with barely 5 hours of sleep, I met up with the lovely Ogawa couple (Sachie-san from CANMAKE Philippines, and her husband Tomo-san who owns a clothing store in Shinjuku) for breakfast. They took me to this popular french cafe in Shibuya where they served different kinds of bread and jam.
I swear we didn’t plan our matching outfits!
Wore some of my new purchases from EMODA Shibuya 109. Blogged about the store here.
Speaking of EMODA, their global webstore currently has sale going on! Up to 70% off! I’m so torn whether or not to splurge again because I already bought so much stuff in Tokyo last May, huhu. SHOULD I STILL…?!
Went back to my hotel to change! On this day alone, I changed outfits 3 times - once for breakfast with Sachie-san and Tomo-san, once for dazzlin touchMe show, and once for MURUA touchMe show.
Or 4 times, if you count my nighttime pajamas.
Super ladylike style for dazzlin! I was obsessive enough to match my outfits according to the brands’ concepts. I blogged about the dazzlin A/W 2014 touchMe Collection here.
After the dazzlin show, Shogo (who gave me his extra ticket to dazzlin) and I went back to Shibuya Station, where he took a cab to another work meeting, and I went back to my hotel to change outfit one last time. Then I waited for Ashley (I gave her my extra ticket to MURUA) at the station before heading back to belle salle for another show.
After the MURUA show, Ashley and I wanted to try out the Alice-themed cafe in Shibuya. I feel like you can never run out of places to go to in Tokyo alone!
I can’t remember where it was exactly, but I think it’s in the same building as Bershka.
There was a giant merry-go-round kind of structure in the middle of the restaurant. Wish we had similar themed restaurants in Manila too! I can already imagine all the pretty photoshoots.
The menu. CAN I TAKE IT HOME?
We ordered drinks just because they made them sound and look so interesting in the menu, but TBH I’d stay away from them next time! They tasted quite funky, though they were definitely Instagrammable.
Alice cosplay. As expected from Japan.
While the drinks were disappointing, the food definitely delivered! Ashley and I loved this avocado and shrimp dish! It was shaped like a caterpillar too, so we couldn’t help but squeal (at the cuteness) when we first saw it.
Rabbit-themed pasta. This tasted good too! I’d totally come back to this cafe for this dish.
Apparently, this was part of a monthly special offer, so they gave us a free Alice gashapon at the end of our meal. YAY TOYS
My last night in Tokyo, and of course, some purikura had to be taken. <3
After this, I just have two more Japan posts (MURUA touchMe show, and quick Aoyama tour) before I start bombarding everyone with my US travel diaries! Please stay tuned!
Blame it all on my perpetually bad luck when it comes to traveling, because it rained on my only free day in Tokyo. Nothing new! The rain was so bad that taking photos in the middle of the street became a matter of life or death for our cameras! (That being said, there won’t any wide shots of Akihabara in this post, but I made sure to include tons of kawaii goodness for the otakus out there so don’t kill me for being a bad travel blogger just yet!)
Good thing I was with the best company I could ever imagine, or else I would’ve spent the whole day sulking in a corner alone… in Akihabara… which isn’t so bad either. 8D *otaku face*
I met up with my friend Kiko, who brought Emika and Izumi with him. Yay for new faces! Emika and Izumi are two half-Filipino half-Japanese kids with whom I fell in love instantly! They’re super sweet, and hanging out with them made me feel young again (They are both less than 20, lol I’m old).
No amount of rain could ruin our parade! We originally planned go to Tokyo Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station before Akihabara, but with the copious amounts of wind and rainwater blasting through our faces, we decided to just settle in one area.
We met up at Akihabara Station, and quickly made our way to the UDX Building. While we’ve been to Akihabara before, it was everyone’s first time to visit Tokyo Anime Center! This day had a lot of “firsts” for everybody, making each activity all the more exciting.
Finally! Tokyo Anime Center is on the 4th floor of the UDX, but it took us so long to figure out how to get there because the building’s elevators were confusing!
From the name, I thought it would be a huge place, but it’s only actually a small gallery where they exhibit posters, character art, etc. from the current anime season, as well as sell a few merchandise of whatever’s currently popular.
Won’t even take you 10 minutes to go through everything in the room. Don’t know if I should recommend or give it a thumbs down or not, but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to visit if you’re already in Akihabara!
All eyes are on Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei right now. I’ve only watched the first 2 episodes so far, but going to Tokyo Anime Center definitely motivated me to watch the rest of the series. The animation is beautiful but one of the character’s major brother complex turned me off a little, haha.
Naruto 10th anniversary poster + bonus cute SD Rock Lee!
Studies and sketches.
The Shingeki no Kyojin game is still going strong in Japan! Really wanted a Levi keychain but all his merchandise were sold out. Not surprised!
This mousepad tho!
Persona 4 character pins!
Thought I’d take a chance with this one since the Levi keychains were sold out, but pretty much all the Shingeki no Kyojin gachas were sold out as well, huhu.
HAIKYUU!! My current obsession! Sports anime are my everything right now - can you believe it? And I thought I was 100% allergic to anything related to sports.
I finished 35 episodes of Yowamushi Pedal in just 3 or so days (Thanks to jetlag for making me pass out at 8PM every night and waking me up at 4AM every morning!). Both YowaPeda and Haikyuu!! are both ongoing series! Now I have legit reasons to look forward to Mondays and Tuesdays. <3
Suddenly, ANOHANA! This series broke my heart and tore it to pieces, huhu. Watch it if you haven’t yet!
These merchandise have Anohana x Chichibu on them because Chichibu, Saitama is the setting for the series. Apparently, since the anime premiered back in 2011, there has been a growing interest in Chichibu among local and foreign tourists.
It’s amazing how much anime contributes to Japan’s tourism!
Persona 3 movie - I watched it after I got back from Tokyo… and all i can say that you should just play the game instead, lol. It’s good but the game is exceptionally awesome.
The P3 OST was, at one point, my OST of choice while going to and from buildings in Ateneo. I should write a book about how to treat your life like an RPG.
Next stop after Tokyo Anime Center was Animate! It’s only about 5 minutes away from UDX, so you can’t really miss it.
Animate, in a nutshell, is a mall for otakus.
On the first floor are anime/manga magazines and random snacks with the cutest packaging!
Too cute to eat!
Didn’t have time to go through the whole building, but I made sure to head to the two floors where they sold character goods!
It was UtaPri’s teacher Hyuga Ryuya’s birthday recently, so they had these little banners in the UtaPri section to celebrate it. You can also write your own birthday greeting on a little piece of paper, and leave it on a box that they especially provided for the character!
Shingeki no Kyojin section = JUST TAKE ALL MY MONEY
I got myself one of these. They made the titans look so cute, I can’t.
Shingeki no Kyojin-themed food - it exists. I wonder if these taste like humanity’s desperate cry for survival…
Sailor Moon fever! <3
YowaPeda’s Onoda would fit perfectly in this scene.
You can dress up your stuffed teddy bears in your favorite character’s outfits! Dibs on the Free outfits on the lower left and the SnK outfits on the lower right!
Haikyuu!! iPhone cases - yes, they also exist. (I mean, what *doesn’t* exist in Japan?)
And so do UtaPri cases. I’ll have one of Ren, please!
Japan will leave you bankrupt if you don’t exercise any self-control!
Evangelion 3.0! Man, that movie was definitely something. I don’t know what I was thinking back in 5th grade when I first got hooked with this series.
I watched the 3 movies, and I ultimately decided that there’s way too many symbolisms in Evangelion for a 5th grade kid to properly decipher. Or for anyone to totally get, methinks. I mean, x number of years have passed, and I still go “WTF?!” about so many things in the series…
Izumi, why so cute?!
We were talked into going to a maid cafe! D: DUN DUN DUN
Maid cafes are super strict when it comes to taking photos… or doing anything, actually! Everything they offer is overpriced and the food they offer usually don’t taste like anything special, but the whole MOE MOE KYUN HAATO HAATO DOKI DOKI KAWAII experience is unique enough to try at least once in your life.
Interestingly, I have actual Japanese friends who have never been into one of these cafes before! They call maid cafes tourist and otaku traps - hahaha are they really?
Sneaked in a group shot when the maids weren’t looking!
These cost us so much, but all is forgiven because they’re cute enough to be blogged and Instagrammed, lol.
To complete our Akiba experience, we took some “cosplay” purikura at a nearby game center! Since we still weren’t over the maid cafe we just went to, the following photos happened…
These were fun! Check out our telenovela pose on the left. <3
The costumes are kind of like aprons that you can just tie around your neck and waist. They may seem like actual clothes from the front, but in reality, the back part is totally bare! You can’t not wear anything underneath!
After our fun afternoon at Akihabara, Izumi had to leave, and I went to back to Shibuya with Emika and Kiko to meet up with Ashley!
Last day in Tokyo today, and my way of mourning is by posting about… well, Tokyo. I think I took way too many photos last March, but there’s really no amount that can justify the beauty and diversity of Tokyo. It’s such an interesting place that’s sure to tickle your fancy in one way or another.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet, since I still have yet to prepare for my flight back to Manila, but these are just some of the photos I took on my last whole free day when everybody else went home already. Also included some photos that couldn’t fit in all my older Tokyo entries. Exploration time is the best!
View from one of the many exits of Shinjuku Station.
Recently, Shinjuku’s been growing on me. I’m starting to let go of Shibuya bit by bit because it’s getting a little bit to chaotic for me. Signs of aging, lol
Found sakura on top of Isetan Shinjuku. Was not surprised they had a whole garden on the roof deck.
Will I be able to see these again next year? I hope so!
Pink and white, and all sorts of cute.
Snapped on my way to my main destination that day.
ARTNIA, the Square Enix cafe. I wrote about it here. It took me a while to get here because I was unfamiliar with the place, but it shouldn’t take you more than 20-30 minutes from the station like me, haha
dazzlin shop staff at Shinjuku LUMINE EST. I love shopping here more than Shibuya 109 because the spaces are wider and not cramped, and you can more or less find the same brands anyway!
I met Mari Kotake-san, the sister of Asami Kotake-san of MURUA. Mari works with the brand RODEO CROWNS!
I met up with her because I forgot to give Momoko-san and Asami-san something, and she was kind enough to pass it along for me. Much thanks <3
Shinjuku just after sunset.
Spotted at Studio ALTA in Shinjuku! I waited for my college friend here, and it gave me so many nostalgic feels because Studio ALTA was actually one of the first shopping malls I was able to visit the first time I ever went to Tokyo.
Liz Lisa also surprisingly followed the vintage style trend all over Japan!
At a restaurant in Shinjuku called Brooklyn Parlor. I met up with my college friend Harvey who has been working for Uniqlo in Japan since we graduated.
Anything with egg <3
Tokyu Plaza in the middle of Harajuku. You can’t miss this place because of the unique design of the building! I usually go here for Baroque Japan Limited’s global flagship store The SHEL’TTER TOKYO.
Couple having fun at Harajuku.
The famous Prisila wigs!
Have a nice back?
As usual, Harajuku street style is the best. You’ll never know what to expect!
I walked back to Harajuku Station to rest early and pack my stuff, when I was lucky enough to witness a part of Harajuku Fashion Walk!
And then I realized that it was a Sunday. Lucky!
I used to just see this style in photos when I was in high school. Seeing it in the flesh was way too awesome!
I was taking photos, and the man on the left approached me, asking if I was able to take good ones. From there, we had a short conversation and I found out that he’s the guy behind JapaneseStreets.com! What a coincidence, right? The guy on the right is Junnyan, a Harajuku fashion icon and one of the founders of the Harajuku Fashion Walk.
I feel like my luck doubles every time I’m in Japan. Can I stay here?
Gingham is trendy, even in Harajuku fashion!
Mikako Tabe in Harajuku Station.
All things come to an end, eventually. Too bad I had to go back to Manila so soon! Even if I’ve already been to Tokyo so many times, I never run out of new places to go to.
Back at Shinagawa, I had a quick dinner with artist Shogo Sekine! He gave me this artwork and it was way too overwhelming, knowing how good and famous his illustrations have been in the fashion and lifestyle circle in Japan. He’s the guy responsible for some of the LINE stickers that we use on Instagram! Such a talented person!
I took over a thousand new photos in Tokyo this month, so this entry will definitely be not the end of my Japan series. Until next time!
These were mostly taken during my last whole day in Tokyo! Camille was already leaving later that afternoon, but we were both set on trying out this brunch place that my friend recommended. Even if it meant waiting in a long queue. Anything for good food!
On our way to the station, I saw a couple of girls wearing Japanese university graduation outfits called “hakama”.
We finally arrived in Roppongi! Camille and I got lost for a bit because we’ve both never been to Roppongi before. At least we got to familiarize ourselves with the area? *optimistic*
Roppongi (六本木) is popular for nightlife among foreigners. During sakura season, people come to Roppongi to do nighttime (illuminated) hanami!
While waiting in line for our turn at the restaurant (which we found after about 10-15 minutes walk), we took some photos!
Here I’m wearing a MURUA top and skirt, EMODA reversible jacket and socks, RANDA shoes and a new 3.1 Phillip Lim bag that I bought in Isetan Shinjuku the day before. Hype this look on Lookbook here.
MERCER BRUNCH (マーサーブランチ)! To get here, take the subway to Roppongi Station, NOT Roppongi-Icchome Station (our mistake). It’s quite near Tokyo Midtown.
Camille had some sort of coconut milk drink and I had a classic latte.
We shared two dishes - salmon with avocado and poached eggs, and steak with scrambled eggs. Both came with the most heavenly french toasts. Highly recommended!
The salmon was glorious. I want to go back! The 20-30 minute-long queue was definitely worth it.
Tokyo Midtown, home to the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, the Suntory Museum of Art, and the tallest building in Tokyo.
I accompanied Camille to the station below so she can do some last minute shopping in Shibuya (or was it Omotesando?) before catching the airport limousine to Narita. Wish she and Laureen (who left the night before) could have stayed longer!
I stayed behind to do some sightseeing. Did some on-the-spot research and decided to go to Roppongi Hills. I was originally planning to head to Tokyo Imperial Palace (how geeky, right?) after this but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go around Roppongi since I was already there.
Spotted Arashi for Japan Airlines!
Roppongi Hills (六本木ヒルズ) is a popular building complex where you can find the Mori Tower with an observation deck on top.
View from the top. That’s Tokyo Tower right there!
Scene from a mecha anime?
Scene from a J-drama?
In the same tower as the observation deck was an Andy Warhol exhibit and an Andy Warhol cafe.
Yayoi Kusama goodies at the souvenir store!
Had nothing else to do in Roppongi so I went back to Omotesando!
Omotesando (表参道) is an upscale shopping area where you can find international luxury goods stores. Surprisingly, however, you can find some quirky stores, cafes and restaurants in the side streets.
Isabel Marant love.
Carven. Such a fan. I want to live here.
Went people-watching in front of Omotesando Hills, a super fashionable shopping mall along Omotesando. I wasn’t in the mood to do any shopping on this day, so I pretty much spent my time either constantly taking photos, or blindly walking around with no particular destination, lol. Best thing about traveling alone!