Cool Japan Part 3: Asakusa and Tokyo Runway

Welcome to the last entry about my Cool Japan activities! After a long day at Nihonbashi, Harajuku, etc., we pretty much had the next morning free to do whatever we wanted. Until Tokyo Runway, that is.

It was Laureen’s first time in Japan so she suggested that we visit a temple or a shrine. We debated between Meiji or Asakusa, but we ended up picking the latter since Camille and I have already been to Meiji Shrine before. My last trip to Asakusa was already 5 years ago too, so I was pretty psyched to check it out again after so long.

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What’s there to see in Asakusa? Sensoji Temple! It’s only a few steps away from Asakusa Station, which you can access from 3 different subway lines.

Sensoji (浅草寺) is a Buddhist temple known for being Tokyo’s oldest temple, as well as one of Tokyo’s most colorful temples.

We entered through Kaminarimon (雷門 / Thunder Gate), protected by Fujin (god of wind) and Raijin (god of thunder) on each side. Before my first ever trip to Japan, I thought Fujin and Raijin were just characters from Final Fantasy VIII, lol.

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As soon as we entered the gate, we were greeted by Nakamise, a historical shopping street that is known for selling Japanese souvenirs like yukatas, fans, traditional snacks, etc.

So crowded because the weather decided to be extra sunny that morning. And apparently, it was Vernal Equinox Day (春分の日)!

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Found the cutest Kuroko no Basuke character goods along this shopping street. Don’t go to Sensoji thinking you can’t buy anything because it’s a temple! It’s Japan. Kawaii overload!

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Stuffed animals. Can I keep all of these?

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Cony and a bouquet made of hearts! White Day just ended so some stores were still selling these kinds of plushies.

White Day (ホワイトデ) happens on March 14th, a month after Valentine’s Day. This is a chance for guys to return the favor to the girls who gave them honmei-choco (本命チョコ / chocolate of love) or giri-choco (義理チョコ / courtesy chocolate) during Valentine’s Day.

I reckon it’s a lot more fun to be a guy in Japan during Valentine’s, lol.

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View from under the Hozomon (宝蔵門 / Treasure-house) Gate, the inner gate that leads to Sensoji Temple.

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To the left of the gate is the Five Story Pagoda / Goju no To, said to contain some of Buddha’s ashes.

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Not bird brushes on Photoshop, haha. These were very much real!

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With Camille, Laureen and Stella. The other bloggers went shopping in Shibuya 109 that morning. So tempting, but my love for historical places prevailed. 8D

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You can see Tokyo Sky Tree (東京スカイツリー) from Sensoji. I’ve never been able to visit it before, but I’ll definitely go the next time I’m in Tokyo!

It is currently the tallest structure in Japan, and the second tallest structure in the world (after Burj Khalifa in Dubai). Definitely something you shouldn’t miss if you’re a fan of tall structures!

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In front of the Sensoji Temple is an incense burner where a visitors from all over the world gather to fan smoke over themselves. It is said that the incense can heal any ailment and bring you good health.

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Make a wish, clap your hands twice, and toss a 5-yen coin for good luck.

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After Asakusa, we quickly dropped by Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (新宿御苑) to find a cherry blossom tree! I blogged about it here.

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Work those polkadot socks and slippers!

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It’s interesting how just 2 weeks after this photo was taken, the whole park transformed into a pink and white sakura paradise.

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Finally, it was time for Tokyo Runway! Time to cross another one off my bucket list. I’ve always ogled at these kinds of Japanese fashion shows (thanks to Youtube)! It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to attend one so early in this lifetime.

Tokyo Runway is considered one of the best “real clothes fashion shows” in Asia. The brands that they feature are all very wearable and affordable, and they invite guest models (sometimes as a surprise) to walk for the shows.

This time, they held it at Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

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We had tickets to the 2nd stage! Each stage is about 2 hours long. I really wanted to see Kate Spade Saturday, Lilidia and snidel too!

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While waiting for the other bloggers, I took some fashion snaps! I really loved this girl’s outfit. Classy and cute.

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So chic. I want that bright yellow headband!

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Matchy-matchy BFF fashion.

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Floral print + denim = a spring style staple combination.

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It’s all in the details.

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Xiaxue being absolutely adorable in her fluffy unicorn sweater.

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Real life doll, RinRin! She rocks the high blush trend so well!

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Around this time, we all got separated because of limited and reserved seats. Some of the Cool Japan ambassadors (Team Indonesia, China, Thailand) were seated on the bleachers, while some (Team Philippines, Singapore/Malaysia) were seated on the side chairs near the stage.

Some bloggers were coincidentally seated beside people who worked for Tokyo Runway so it was absolutely forbidden for them to take photos!

Lucky for me, I was seated at a very convenient spot (albeit alone) where nobody cared if I took pictures or not! So many girls behind me were taking photos from their phones too! Thank you universe for being on my side during this whole trip. :P

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Ishida Nicole

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Nakamura Anne

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Maikawa Aiku

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OMG. Watanabe Chikako! I miss seeing her on ViVi.

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Angelica Michibata

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Oshikiri Moe

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My current ViVi fave, Yagi Arisa! She’s also super popular because she’s currently Key’s wife on We Got Married Global Edition.

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I’ve been loving their episodes so far because they have really good chemistry! I hope the show lasts long since I’ve been learning quite a lot from their casual Nihongo conversations.

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Ebihara Yuri

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E-Girls

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Elli Rose. SQUEE

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Cecil Kishimoto

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AND LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST… I saw Fuji Lena. My life is complete.

Thank you to METI for sending us to Tokyo not only to witness the unveiling of the new 100Tokyo campaign, but also to experience these uniquely Japanese events and destinations.

100Tokyo” is a new website which hopes to present Tokyo’s 100 best places and things to experience. 

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