So, after 7 years of wanting to go to Japan, and a whole lot of planning, I finally made it to Japan! Originally, the trip was supposed to be with HIBISCGYARU member Shin, but due to personal reasons, she wasn't able to come, so there was a point when I actually wasn't going to be going at all. I had one day to try and find someone to come with me, and after my boyfriend saying no because he had no money, I am lucky that my girl Niijii came to the rescue~
This trip wasn't just going to be the first time going to Japan, it was also going to be 10 days of filming for a segment on popular TV programme, Mezamashi TV...so you can understand that it was going to be exciting but also very nerve-racking! For the next couple of days, i'll write a a detailed desc. of everything and everyday and what we did etc etc:
Day 1: Monday 28th December 2009
This was our arrival day in Japan. We met the Fuji TV film crew that we would be working with for the rest of our time in Japan as well as Koko Shira's main presenter, Yuki Sakamoto. We walked out of the arrivals gate to 2 guys and 2 girls holding up a sign with a Fuji TV border and my name "Eilish" written in quite cute child like writing ;p
They wanted to film us straight away, so we were whisked away to begin! We brought them British presents of Tea, Marmalade, glittery British flag and taxi stickers, and 2 flags, a Union Jack on a wavy stick and an England football wall flag; and they seemed to love them! We eventually left the Airport after some filming and eating. Niijii wasn't very well when we arrived and was sick, but he got well again in the car on the way to our hotel.
Let me introduce you to the film crew;
Ikuo - the programme's director and occasional presenter of Koko Shira
Gen - helper; he basically sorts out getting permission from all the places they want to film, and sorting out any bookings for places we want to go to and handles the money side of things
Koto - camerawoman
Yuki - main presenter of Koko Shira. Not as crazy as she seems in the programme. She's actually really quiet and her english is good!
We decided to give them all English names to be more comfortable with them and also because it was a fun idea:
Ikuo -> Paul
Gen -> Peter
Koto -> Poppy
Yuki -> Amy
L-R: Ikuo (Paul) and Gen (Peter)
L-R: Yuki (Amy) and Koto (Poppy)
Paul, Peter and Poppy became known as "3 Pea" or "Edamame" during the trip : D
Our hotel is called Aizuya Inn, and is located in Minami-senju, around 15/20 minutes from Tokyo Station, and 30/35 minutes from Shibuya and Roppongi. It's a hotel mainly for foreign travellers, but there are also Japanese guests from other parts of Japan that stay there too. It's comfortable, cheap and the owners are really awesome. The fact that the rooms are yours, and yours only are great. You don't have to worry about other people that you don't know staying in the same room and that. I would recommend to anyone wanting to visit Japan on a short holiday!
After arriving, we were filmed some more, and then the film crew left. Niijii was feeling a lot better, so we decided to go into Shibuya for the first time. We would be heading in the next day with the crew but we wanted our own view of it. Minami-senju's residents are all old people, and it's no surprise that they were shocked to see me and Niijii walking down the road to the station. Surprisingly enough, noone seemed to give a second glance when we walked past (we were manba at this point) by the time we got to the station, got on the train and got off. We were tired and didn't really pay much attention to the trains properly so we ended up getting of in Roppongi and WALKING all the way to Shibuya......BAD IDEA. It took about half an hour, but it was still early, like not even 6pm, but the nightime surrounding gave a false guide to the time and threw us off at first~
We reached Shibuya and it was crazy! We managed to find Center Street and the first place we happened upon was Purikura Mecca, probably one of the oldest and most famous of all purikura shops in Shibuya. The only downside about the shop is that it's tiny and gets very crowded really quickly. The machines are also extremely close together so you have hardly any walking space once you manage to get past the girls stuck in the doorway. We went inside, but alas, too busy, and there were a lot of girls staring at us, so we decided to find somewhere else. As we turned to leave, I saw some tanned girls with big braided hair and coloured clothing, but no makeup. I said to Niijii; "Lol, manba with no makeup" They saw us and one turned round and kinda like looked like she was really scared, then turned to her friend behind her and looked like she was really excited. They ran out of the shop and we walked through Center Street, attracting a LOT of attention. Some gals sitting on the street called us over and tried to communicate with us which was quite awkward. Only one could speak english and seemed to like the fact that her friends were talking to us in Japanese and we couldn't understand a word. She would translate something after a long time and it was too weird to stay any longer, so we just walked off.
We caught the attention of some foreigners who asked us to take photos in Japanese and seemed really shocked when I replied "yeah whatever" and would then start a conversation with us. Now this next bit isn't racist, but surprising to me. There are LOADS of black people living in Japan! Roppongi is like, THEIR place, and Shibuya is a place where they deal drugs....a lot. They saw us and shouted "Yamanba!" and actually seemed quite happy to see us haha. We walked back towards Mecca and we saw the manba we had seen there standing outside. One was wearing crazy glasses, like with fake eyes inside them lol. Niijii said "I swear that Ga-ha..." but it didn't look like her at all. She was just a short tanned girl with crazy white weave, and a stitch towel on her body and a stitch hat on her head. she could have been anyone! We carried on and were stopped by the manba running up to us shouting "Mixi! Mixi!". A boy that wasn't with them before immediately started gabbling at us in Japanese and me and Niijii just looked at each other and eventually I just shrugged my shoulders and said "wakarimasen" :s. He stopped, looked at the two girls, and got out his phone to show Niijii a photo of himself from his Mixi. Niijii was then like "OH yeah. He's from my mixi friends lol". We stood there for a few seconds before I said "uhh...hajimamashite...koneko desu!" ;p and pointed at Niijii and said "Niijii desu".
The stitch girl then surprised me and Niijii by announcing "uhh...ge-ha" and pointed at herself. Me and Niijii's mouths dropped lol it was so funny and I went "EH?!" because she looks SOOOO different to her photos. She was only wearing dark foundation and had a silver nose stripe. She is way shorter than her photos make her out to be..I think I was a little taller or maybe the same height, and im shorter than Niijii and Polly from HIBISCGYARU so I was even more surprised.
When people saw us all together, they immediately asked for photos...:
L-R: Ano-tan, Ge-ha, Me, Niijii, Naonki
They took us to an alley way (yes, really) and we sat down with them for a little bit trying to converse with them in broken english and japanese before we went to Mecca and took purikura. Ge-ha showed us some photos from her stitich suitcase taken on a throwaway camera that included Yunkeru, Tomonya, Ano-tan, herself and some others. She was surprised that we knew the names of people.
I think they got fed up with being with us because they couldnt speak any english and we couldnt speak any japanese so after taking purikura, they hurried off to a supposed Galcir meet, and me and Niijii took purikura together. We headed back to the hotel after as we were tired and needed to get up early for the next day, our first proper day of filming. It was a weird, but also great first night in Japan!
Day 2: Tuesday 29th December 2009
So, day 2. As mentioned already, we were going to be filming everyday. Today was to be the start of the real filming process out and about in Shibuya! The film crew didn't film us doing make-up on the first day as we requested not to, but they filmed us making up on the second day. Well, rather, they filmed me, as Niijii was sick on this day and I don't blame him for not wanting to put makeup on. He hadn't slept in the night, and had gotten up twice to be sick, so what should have been an awesome first night in Japan turned out to be not so great :(
For those who eventually watch the programme (whether it be when it's broadcast in Japan, or whether you see it when they mail me a disc), you'll see that I do 3 different make up styles while im there. The first day I was manba, but because we were going to be visiting 109 for filming (although me and Niijii visited it the night before and manba in tracksuits in 109 really aren't all that welcome lol), and I don't really wear typical gal clothes with manba makeup, I decided to be banba instead. So im clearing that one up right away before anyone decides to say "Yuki (presenter) says you're going to start manba makeup but you don't do manba makeup, wtf" and bitch it about. ANYWAY.
So, the film crew arrived early, maybe like 10am. Okay, thats not actually that early haha, but still. Its really difficult to do any kid of makeup when you have a camera and 6 people crammed into one room because you get distracted SO easily. So much so that it took me 40 minutes just to do makeup because I was asked lots of questions, and my stuff was filmed throughout, and also because i had to rummage around for things too during this process. I guess in total, just putting the slap on my face only took 20 mins,but the other 20 mins were spent pissing about with everyone. Once we were out, it was great! We headed straight to Shibuya and started to film right away. We wanted to ask some gals questions about the way that they thought I looked, but there weren't really any about, so we decided to go into 109. As I had suggested, there were gals inside, but not very many. I guess because the majority of them were still at home putting on makeup or something, it was only 11ish, but I guess thats still quite early for gal!
I had a browse round the shops and the film crew interviewed some shop staff about me. There was such a sweet server working in Golds Infinity with such cute hair and outfit! She was really helpful and sweet, not just because she was on camera, and I saw her again on the start of the grand sale and waved and she waved back, so she was genuinely a nice girl! haha! There were two matching clothed girls hanging around the store because of the camera and the disctinctive "Koko Shira" white jacket. They came inside and browsed around and then got their little interview haha. They were quite sweet actually, and we saw them in Center Street later on, and they seemed excited to see us again which was cute :p I picked up a black hat from Maison Gilfy:
And some tops from Golds, which ill show you later : D One is just a plan jumper type top of creamy white colour, with fake crystal buttons on the bottom which make the top fold up on one side, and its loose so your shoulders are exposed. The other is silver with a black skull and some writing on the front with thin straps at the top with fake crystal studs and a gold chain on one side:
http://e-shop.shibuya109.jp/webshop70/shopdetail?ctc=/&shc=GD&cmc=GD94226&moneySrch=&scbk=2 (the middle one)
(the white/cream one)
So cute! Skulls are definitely in at the moment. The tops I bought my bf in 109-2 have skulls on them, all 3 of them haha! Anyways, we went up to SBY to take a rest and because Niijii wasn't feeling well again. By the time we got up, he had decided to go back to the hotel, although I felt really awful because he would be by himself and we had promised not to leave each other alone on any day, but he said that I shouldn't worry, so he went back. Magazine models work in 109, not all of them, but two work in SBY, and Nicole from Ranzuki works in a shop on a lower floor. Yuki taught me how to say "please can i take a photo" - "shashin issho ni totte kudasai" and I went and asked them. Trouble is, the film crew made me say it twice, so when I asked the first time, the poor girls got into place and then were asked to repeat the scene again (really fake obviously lol):
After 109, we headed to Center Guy for some food and purikura. I can't remember the restaurant's name, but the food was really great, and we went there a second time before the trip was over hehe~
After this, we went to Donki and HMV. I wanted to buy some Para DVDs but the places I went to only seemed to have a limited choice. HMV only had Chozen ParaPara I ♥ Dance! and another old one, one of the Gakuen high school ones, both of which I own already.
On the way, the film crew had been stopping girls and asking them what they thought of my look. The general response was "cute!" "choooo gyaru!" "she looks like Aina Tanaka" and two girls said "you are god!!!!!" which was strange haha! At some point, we went back to the hotel to check on Niijii. He was sleeping at this point, and had been for the whole day, and so, the film crew filmed what I had bought and then left to come back again the next day. Here are some pictures from this day:
Me and Yuki waiting for the boys to finish filming upstairs in SBY
A classy hoe at the end of her day