Sunday, 13 March 2016

Japan 2016 - Travelling, Aoyama Flower Market and Izakaya

Hi everyone!

It's taken me a while, but I'm here with photos and videos from my Japan trip! Most of these are from my Snapchat, as I thought it would be a good idea for my followers to see what I was getting up to. I'd also like to point out that there are some days when I didn't take any photos (stupidly) or took photos/videos on my Snapchat and forgot to save them!

If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know that the last time I visited Japan was 2010, so this trip was very long awaited and highly anticipated! The time went so quickly from actually booking it all to then getting on the plane! (6 months-ish)

I was only going to be in Japan for a really short time (5 days, eep!) so I wasn't really able to see and do all of the things I wanted to do, but I managed to have a wonderful time, nonetheless.

So I flew on a Monday, meaning that my holiday didn't technically start until Tuesday.




Just some casual Airport wear - all black everything and brand new, white Adidas trainers!

So on my day of arrival, I had a minor hiccup which left me feeling incredibly stressed for a good solid hour, and ended up in a rushed video call to my parents at 7AM UK time... Not so great. 

After I managed to smooth things over, I ended up sleeping for most of the day because I was so tired. I really don't understand how people can sleep on planes. It's impossible! Next time, I definitely need to drink, or take sleeping tablets and see if it works! I decided to get up and get myself ready, and went out for a few hours in the evening.


I hadn't worn make-up in a few days, so it felt great to slap some on. I headed out to Shibuya, and my main mission was to buy hair straighteners, as my own UK ones wouldn't have worked well with the voltage in Japan. I managed to pick up a ridiculously cheap pair for about Y1200 which sorted me out while I was away. I also picked up a few other small things, like Instax Polaroid film (it's disgustingly expensive over here) and other bits.





I wandered around Donki and completely forgot that Japan has all of these crazy props and accessories for Fancy Dress! I ended up bringing the Squid hat back for a friend.


I ended my evening with some drinks and snacks in one of the Hub branches. They have a few of these dotted around, and they're supposedly the "best" British Pubs in Japan. I had also forgotten that in Japan, you can still smoke inside, so it was weird at first, being asked where I wanted to sit!

The next day, I had arranged to meet with a couple of friends. I had a semi-decent amount of sleep and was excited to get ready and get out into Tokyo properly again!



One of two days that I didn't wear all black! The striped top is actually a body, it's super cute. The weather was cold in Tokyo, but the sun shone so brightly, and it was lovely and warm when you stood still! My scarf is actually a cape, but I like to roll it up and wear it as a huge scarf. It's ridiculously cosy and is great if you're just looking for something to throw on over an outfit, and you can double it up again later when you wish! Excellent.




I met with my friend Mami and we had some lunch. These photos were taken by her, as my phone had died and was sitting in the Softbank shop to charge..(The first of many times this was to happen....) I first met Mami back in 2010, when I was booked in to perform at the very first Hyper Japan event. She's a hair and make-up artist, and has introduced me to some amazing people over the years! She works with a lot of famous magazine models, as well as DJs and also does regular bookings for weddings etc. We went for Okonomiyaki in Shibuya, in a great place tucked right around the back. It was so delicious, there's a reason it's one of my favourite foods!



After lunch, we walked through Center-Gai and she wanted to go inside this small pet shop. If you've been to Japan before, you'll know that these are often dotted around. It's actually kind of sad to see them, as the animals are often very small and young, and I don't know if they come from the best of places or how they are really treated when not completely on show for all to see... 


We walked through to Harajuku and Omotesando and found this great store called Rainbow Spectrum, and of course, I had to take a contrasting photo outside! How cool, with the rainbow!



Inside, they sold so many things in so many bright colours! We found some drawing pads in the store where people had been testing out the pens and crayons that were being sold. We opened one book and found my husband drawn inside! (For those who have followed this blog for a long time, you'll know that me and Mike got "married" in Disneyland back in 2013 - and to those who didn't, now you know, aha!)


We wandered around Harajuku and went to a placed called Aoyama Flower Market Tea House . It was amazing! It's a flower shop that has a small cafe hidden inside a conservatory at the back of the shop. As soon as we walked in, the wonderful smell of flowers hit us, as well as the beautiful decor and merchandising! I'm not a huge tea drinker, I mainly survive on Coffee, but I picked a Vanilla Tea. I think Mami chose a Rose Tea. It was served on this cute little tray, with a small flower in a glass.






Some (bad) shots of the inside of the conservatory. You could also choose to have light cakes and snacks inside, but I think just the Tea was perfect! My Mom would be in heaven coming here!









The displays were incredible, and were all blocked in colour, which made it look so beautiful. As Valentines Day was coming the weekend after, they had made some Valentines displays too. Holidays such as this are normally displayed in various cute ways all around Japan! It's so different to London, I think I prefer it!



An awful photo of me inside the shop, uploaded for your viewing pleasure.


It was getting dark outside, and I needed to make my way to meet some other friends, so we headed out to catch the train. On the way, we bumped into some people dressed up as Setsubun spirits. I didn't have the chance to go to a Temple for Setsubun on my first day, as I was asleep! I'd like to try this some time in the future!


I said goodbye to Mami and headed over to meet my friend Hiromi, and her girlfriend Miku for some dinner. We headed to an Izakaya in Shinbashi.



You may recognise Hiromi as "Hiromin" from egg magazine/Happie Nuts magazine.


We've been good friends since 2010, so it was great to meet with her on this trip! I also met with Miku, who was super cute and so friendly! We went to an Izakaya for drinks and food, and then went to an arcade to take Purikura and play some games.



Hiromi found a wig near the Purikura and put it on, making her look so different!

Sadly, I didn't save any of my Snapchat story from this day :( But I did take one video on my phone!

  video

That's all for now. I'll upload the rest of my trip soon!