Tokyo May 2013

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 I never had the chance to properly make a travel diary for it as the pictures were too outdated already by the time it occurred to me that I could do it, so this is my first official Tokyo travel diary!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?

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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*

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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!

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HACHIKO!

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Hachiko everywhere.

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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.

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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.

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They were also selling so many different iPhone cases on the first floor! Ones that you can’t really find anywhere else.

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Spring flowers!

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The Akihabara that we all know. Moe moe kyun~

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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.

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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!

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But it was cool that these wooden prayer tablets were Akiba-style too, with the illustrations and all!

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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…

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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.

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There was a robot going around welcoming people to Tokyo Tower. Check out this grandpa-grandson duo looking so amazed!

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The city of Tokyo.

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Just because Shinjuku is unexpectedly battling it out with Shibuya as my favorite place in Tokyo.

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Giant (fake) cherry blossom balls hanging from the ceiling.

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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.

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Guess where we headed next?

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ODAIBA! Far from the city but…OMG GUNDAM. WE HAD TO.

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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…

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Details. All the yummy details.

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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.

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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.

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Passed by Fuji TV on the way back to the station. Some kids were having their school field trip there.

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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.

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There’s a fake Statue of Liberty here somewhere but this girl was more photogenic TBH

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A peaceful and squeaky-clean park near Aqua City. Wish we had similar parks here in Manila!

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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!

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Shibuya by night! All the pretty lights.

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The famous Starbucks / Tsutaya in Shibuya.

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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

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touchMe After Party truck ad on our way back to our hotel, before we crashed onto our beds in an instant. Productive day!

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The next day, my brother and I decided to go visit Harajuku, Shinjuku and Omotesando.

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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.

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Woohoo! Can you spot me and my brother?

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Summer knit + floral pants + clear bag. All trendy items this summer!

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Rainbow tutu! Not my thing but it’s adorable. Lisa Frank memories.

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Girly shoes on sale! Would’ve gone crazy if I were still in my Liz Lisa stage!

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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.

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The shop staff was an interesting fellow too! He practiced his English with us and he was really good!

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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.

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Hot item from Liz Lisa’s spring/summer collection.

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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!

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Colors everywhere! And yet another multi-colored tutu!

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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!

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Near the end of Takeshita Dori is this underground WEGO store that you can’t miss!

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Tokyu Plaza Omotesando / Harajuku

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Matsuko Deluxe! And a mini Masami Nagasawa!

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Chanel and Margiela in Omotesando.

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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

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After a quick lunch, my brother and I headed to Shinjuku.

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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…

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Matching caps!

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First agenda with Camille? PURIKURA! We went to the SEGA game center in Shibuya.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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I hate rain, if I’m traveling. But I like it when I’m spending the whole day inside my house. Agree? :)

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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

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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

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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!