This was our shopping day. First stop, Harajuku! The mass of people on a Sunday in Harajuku was a bit overwhelming. I knew who else was getting off the train with us, based on their outrageous outfits…myself included. xD
Unfortunately, what added to the crowded streets were umbrellas, since it was wet and dreary that day. We were able to find Takeshita Dori after a bit of walking and proceeded down the street to all the lolita stores. While I went shopping, AS went to 7-11 in search of snacks. He came to find me so he could share the nikuman he found.
It wasn’t that good. ^^;
Different though xD.
Plain old nikuman.
Yet nothing beats a good ol’ nikuman xD.
The perfect looking melon pan. xD I don’t think it tasted as good though.
I still have to go back to Osaka and find that bakery that served the most delicious melon-pan I’ve ever eaten :9. Wish I took a picture of the restaurant name ^^;;.
Ramune kit-kat was the most unusual we found on this trip, unfortunately. Wish we had seen more!
After I finished my must see shops, we walked back the other way to see the shops we bypassed earlier. Somewhere half way down the street, we got intrigued by someone waving a sign that mentioned maguro and they waved us down a small alley and there was a restaurant there. I don’t think we were super hungry, but we hadn’t really eaten breakfast aside from the nikuman AS had bought us, so we decided to eat lunch there.
We left our umbrellas out in the full umbrella stand. AS had only just bought himself an umbrella because we only had one between us (which we found underneath the seat on the train on one of the previous days). I commented to AS that I wouldn’t want to leave my lolita umbrella out there and asked if we had to, since the rack was full of clear umbrellas that are so popular in Japan. How would you remember which one was yours? And how would you prevent someone from taking yours?
When we got in, I got the maguro that interested us and he was intrigued by the loco moco they offered on their menu. A loco moco is a dish that originated in Hawaii that consists of rice topped with a hamburger patty, gravy and a fried egg.
We sat at the bar table and stools instead of a regular table because it was full. It gave us a view of the umbrella rack. We watched people placing their umbrellas down or trying to find theirs. We also watched someone carry the one I was using off with them. xD Which was completely all right with me since it was free and a cheapo one considering AS’s umbrella was so much better than mine and he only paid 400 yen. So when we were done with lunch, I went out and grabbed a random (but better than the one I had previously) umbrella. ^^;
My professor said he started an “umbrella switching club” in Japan where he would just grab a random umbrella from a rack when it was started raining and when it stopped he would leave it at the nearest umbrella rack he could find xD.
Since it was a rainy day, lots of stores put their umbrella inventory in the front. I went umbrella crazy and bought 4 of them I think, all in the search for the perfect pink x white polka dot umbrella (I still haven’t found it – I thought I did the next day, but AS refused to let me buy another one ^^;). I also bought lots of accessories and I would’ve bought more socks if someone had let me. I love Claire’s in Japan! They have so much more cute, girly stuff than they do in US stores. AS gave me his wallet at this point, so he could go walk around. xD I believe I met up with him at Daiso where we ended up spending way too much money. 100 yen items really add up. ^^;
We walked back down Takeshita Dori after we were done and turned right at the end of the street so we could go to La Foret, a department store that was also on my must see list. We passed Forever 21 which had just recently opened in a Japan, so there was a long line out the door to get inside. And then we walked past H&M which was empty. xD I would’ve loved to have gone to H&M but we didn’t have time. Lolita fashion > mainstream fashion.
I’m pretty sure I ended up not buying anything there. I think it was that we realized we didn’t have our passports with us, so we couldn’t get the tax refunded if we bought anything that day. So we left and walked back to the station. I could see the famous bridge and some lolitas milling around, but I knew we were short on time. AS asked me if I was sure if I didn’t want to see it, but it was for the better considering the ambitious day we had.
From Harajuku, we headed to Shimokitazawa. We had to transfer to a local rail line though, so that was an interesting experience. We were unsure if we were going the right way at first. Why did we decide to go there? Shimokitazawa is where another lolita store is located. I asked him if he really wouldn’t mind going and I questioned it myself since it didn’t seem like it would be worth the work. I’m glad we did go though, because I found some super cheap stuff. There was a share of expensive stuff, but I got a decent haul. ^_^ On the way back to the rail, we saw a Cat cafe! We only stopped for pictures. I can pet enough cats at home. xD We swung by the 7-11 there to see what interesting goodies they had in stock.
The (fake) cat begging you to come pet it (we didn’t )
Don’t recall what this was, but looks like there was mayo. ^^;
Bacon cheese onigiri.
When we finally got back on the Yamanote line, we headed to Ikebukuro to find my last lolita stop. Unfortunately, we exited the wrong exit and got hopelessly lost. We tried asking people for help, but they totally ignored us, so I finally went into a restaurant and asked one of the workers there. I felt so bad for doing so though, because it was obvious that they were super busy and she actually left and walked with us down a bit. D: We followed her instructions as much as possible, but when we couldn’t go any further, we asked another woman who was also working, though she wasn’t busy like the previous woman. We were actually pretty close at that point. Next time we get lost, we know to ask for Sunshine Plaza. ~_~ Though hopefully there won’t be a next time. I was getting a bit panicky since we had tried to backtrack and that got us even more turned around. :S
Japanese people are so nice sometimes ^^.
AS went to find the anime stores on the map, while I shopped. It was a little disappointing and I only bought a ring. I regretted wasting the time going to Ikebukuro until AS pulled out the K-Books bag and the stuff he bought me: K-On CD’s and an amazing item that made my jaw drop, which I won’t reveal until we do the loot post.
Luckily the train station wasn’t hard to find (and it made us wonder how we got lost) and we were on our way to Nakano to go to the flagship Mandarake store. Luckily not difficult to find. ^^;
There was a takoyaki stand so of course, we had to stop and get some. We also got some ice pops in milk and apple flavors. I was missing the apple aisu from Disney but the apple was nothing like it. Oh well. We got the milk flavor because it was cheap and I was curious about it since I saw the milk flavor at Disneyland, too. Omigosh! I was totally kicking myself as soon as I put it in my mouth. Milk flavor in Japan is like condensed milk! In Tokyo Disneyland, there is an ice cream store that offers a seasonal flavor. We had read it was earl grey when we left, but when we got there, it was milk flavor. Not knowing what it was, we decided not to get it. This is why I was kicking myself. Looking back on it now, I should’ve hunted down milk ice cream. ^^;
Mandarake takes a lot of time to go through since there are so many little stores on many floors. Getting lost at Ikebukuro had taken some of our time away, so we were trying to zip through them to get through all the floors. Luckily it’s not just anime, so some stores and floors were not interesting to us and we were able to walk past them. ^^; This is where we did the bulk of our anime merchandise buying.
I was drooling when we got to the card store because the bulk of it was Sailor Moon cards. It got the former card collector in me excited because the prices were so good, but AS dragged me out of there. ^^; He knew he couldn’t stop me when we got to the cel store, though, since I do still collect anime cels on and off. Luckily I decided awhile ago to focus solely on Tomoyo cels, which makes it a lot easier, but I still like looking at other series that I like. We were short on time and money so I couldn’t do that this time, but I hope the next time we go, I can spend more time there.
A nice store owner saw how many bags of stuff we were holding between us (anime figures are bulky ^^; as are clothes and heavy magazines don’t help either) and was nice enough to give us a large paper bag which fit everything we had bought up to that point. Thank goodness! Of course, AS carried it. The perks to traveling with a guy. xD
Mind you that everything added up in weight ^^;;.
We stayed until it was closed and then headed back to the train station. Since it was late, the only thing we knew that was open was the arcades in Akiba, so off we went.
Look at that comparison shot, Alice even has a green one in her hand. Coincidence xD?
We spent way too much money on UFO catchers. ^^; Sometimes you have to check prices to see what they’re selling for before shelling out the money to play the games. If you’re doing it for fun, that’s fine, but if you really want something, sometimes it’s worth it to find a store selling it. That’s what we ended up doing for my K-On cup. ^^; We saw a lot of machines with leeks in them. xD Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded one. One of the games we were successful in was had cups. We wound up with 2 of them from one machine because we can’t read Japanese. Last time AS was in Japan, he was able to swap out his prize for another one, but there was a sign in that machine that said no swapping. Oh well, so we tried again. I think he decided he didn’t want to waste anymore money on the cup but I wanted to try, so we put in 500 yen for 3 tries and I got it on one try. To this day, AS has repressed the memory. But I know that I got his Aria cup in one try. xD It kinda sucked wasting the rest of the 400 yen though since we spent so much on the first cup. :S
Beginners luck .
We played taiko drums and we took purikura for the first time, too! That was interesting, since we didn’t know what we were doing. xD I’m more well-versed in purikura machines now. We went to all the open arcades, but it had been a long day and we were tired and hungry, so we stopped at Yoshinoya to eat before heading back to our hotel. We still had packing to look forward to.
I got the set, of course.
AS’s yakiniku don.
We were still hungry so we split a gyudon.
Gamers at night.