I’m so thrilled to finally have posted the first part of my adventures in Tokyo, Japan. As I’m sure you can imagine, someone like me who has a minimum of three different types of cameras on hand at all times has a ton of photos, but even the content you see in these next few posts has been cut down hugely! (However, still be warned, these posts are image heavy). So without further ado I really hope you enjoy my photographs and stories from one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever been so lucky to take!
Content in Part I of my Tokyo adventures covers Day 1:
- General travelling photos including flight pics
- Stores including Kitakore shops Garter, Secret Dog and ilil, Spank!, Nadia, Tokyo Bopper, Avantgarde and DOG
- Nicopanda Launch + meeting Nicola Formichetti
My flight to Narita airport was crazy early; it departed at 8:15AM. I managed to call up to snag an exit row reserve when I booked my flight though (extra leg room + nobody climbing over you, hells yeah) and I even ended up having the whole row to myself! (Except for 1 Australian guy who saw the empty aisle exit row seat and moved into it shortly after takeoff…). While I have a lot of trouble sleeping on most international flights, and find long haul flights very uncomfortable, the entire 10 hours was super comfortable and peaceful. Also, the flight attendant uniforms for Japan Airlines are super cute and I love the printed matching aprons they wear for serving meals.
Arriving in Japan and making my way to my hotel via train on my own was quite an adventure in itself. I hopped on the N’EX Express train from Narita to Shinjuku where from there I would jump on one more train to Koenji, where I stayed. I had been warned that Shinjuku was big and busy, and it really was… but harder to navigate than I had expected. Luckily after about 15 seconds of looking around the platform confusedly, a kind Japanese woman approached me and helped me all the way to my next platform. As people have told me, Japanese people really are exceptionally polite and helpful.
And the first thing I ate in Japan; Floresta donuts. The one on the right is chocolate orange, the middle tasted very strongly of honey/caramel, and the third is coffee.
The first morning was ridiculously beautiful, in that the weather was PERFECT! I was thrilled. After having breakfast at the hotel I headed out to meet Hayley (a good friend and stylist whom I assist) and her husband Henry, both of whom I spent most of my time with on this trip. We had lunch followed by a wander in Koenji and then to Kitakore shops as below before heading to Spank! in the afternoon
If you happen to stop by Kitakore yourself, be sure to be wearing shorts like I was that day huhu
Three super cute stylish girls we spotted near Kitakore.
Spank! store, Koenji.
This is where we went to meet Tavuchi, the owner and founder of Spank!, who is also a close friend of Hayley’s. I was so excited to meet Tavuchi, it was very much like meeting a celebrity. She is super cute, sweet and friendly, I was so happy to finally have met her. It was here that we also met (a now new friend of mine) Brandon of Lactose Intoler-Art, the mega-talented illustrator who designed my Manitas necklace which I adore, who happened to be in Tokyo the same time as us.
The Spank! store is incredible in terms of both interior and content, I could have spent many, many hours (and yen) there! I left with a few super awesome purchases for myself and friends back home. It also happened to be the day after Spank!’s 8th Anniversary when we visited, as you can see by the special in-store decorations.
Brandon and me.
(Excuse the face scribble… I was mid-talking when I snapped this bleh)
Tavuchi and me!
Next we headed out to Harajuku where Tavuchi took us on a tour of some of her favourite stores. As you can see in the photo below (as Brandon first pointed out), Tavuchi’s hair matches the ticket machine hehe
Nadia (ナディア フローレス エン エル コラソン)
I visited both this Nadia store (pictured below) and the 2nd Nadia store in Harajuku, Nadia Flores En El Corazon. Of course I know all about Nadia and their staff so being able to step inside the store itself for the first time was really awesome. As you may or may not know, Nadia is currently one of the most popular stores for teens/young adults in Harajuku. They design platform converse and also their own platform creepers, plus they stock a ton of carefully sourced clothing, accessories and hand-made products.
Tokyo Bopper (東京 ボッパー)
Yes… I finally went to the sacred Tokyo Bopper! *angels singing*. Although I already knew I couldn’t purchase any of the women’s shoes that I love because I don’t fit their sizes, it was amazing to check out their designs in-person. After handling some of their shoes, I could see that they were really solid and beautifully made. The staff were also super friendly and delightful to meet.
With the Tokyo Bopper staff. Photo credit to Brandon.
I’d seen tights by Avantgarde in a ton of Tokyo street snaps, but I had no idea they were by this brand. A store of entirely printed leg wear?! My dream come true. I even spotted the famous machine gun print tights and snagged those quickly along with another pair by Choco x MAM Avantgard a bit later during the trip.
It was in this store on a later day that I also met Juria (@Juria41/Juri41 on tumblr) who’s an up-and-coming street snap star in the Harajuku scene, and also a member of the Avantgarde staff. It was a day that I was sporting my new machine guns tights in the store, and she approached me thanking me for wearing their brand. I said I thought her flame tights were awesome (a.k.a. I pointed to her legs and said sugoi…) and then went on to mention I saw them on her twitter that morning and that I follow her tumblr too. Her reaction was super adorable, she seemed genuinely excited and thankful that I followed her, and then she proceeded to have a photo taken of us together. I gave her my card and she has since followed me back, and before I left the shop with my 2nd purchase she came over to shake my hand and thank me again – so sweet! I also had a chat with the store owner who speaks english, and he says in about 3 months Avantgarde will be shipping internationally, super excited for that!
Dog stocks tons of badass revamped clothing/vintage along with their customised platform shoes.
Kyary was everywhere in metropolitan Tokyo! And there were always trucks driving around Harajuku and Shibuya blasting tracks from her current album.
Grabbing a bite with Tavuchi, Hayley, Henry, Brandon and Hayley’s best friend Hilary before heading to LHP Store for the Nicopanda launch. We also checked out BUBBLES vintage clothing boutique which was super awesome!
Nicopanda Launch at LHP Harajuku, where we met Nicola Formichetti (!!!)Nicola Formichetti and me 😀 (Photo credit to Hayley)
And all of this happened on my first day in Tokyo! So incredible. and I met so many amazing people *___* This also concludes Part I of my Japan adventures. The following parts will be multiple days wrapped in one package, please look forward to them ◔▽◔
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