Tokyo Video: December 2019

A few weeks ago I compiled some of my video clips from our last trip to Japan (December 2019) into a 30 minute video. It’s a chronological mashup of many of the sights and sounds that we experienced on our trip, which took place mainly in Tokyo this time.

I hope that you will enjoy this video, which features dancing, singing, a Pokemon cafe, some cute dogs, amazing food, Sailor Scouts, robots, cram-packed stores, shrines and temples, kawaii monster girls, karaoke, mochi-pounding, snakes, and much more.

And even after my second trip to Japan, I am again dreaming of my return. Someday! ❤

If you’d like to see the videos from our last trip to Japan (2017) in which we traveled more broadly, check out this post.

Or, if you would like to read the detailed day-by-day blogs from our trips, they start here (2017) and here (2019).

Thanks for stopping by!

Tokyo Memories Day 9: Harajuku Fashion Walk, Shopping, Snakes, and Rainy Ramen

A month ago Dustin and I began our trip in Tokyo! So, as with our last trip, I’ve decided to copy out each day of my travel journal into my blog. Each day for the next 18 days I will share a post of what we did in Tokyo a month prior.

So, let’s get into it! (Or start with day 1 here)

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 9, December 22nd, 2019

This morning Dustin and I went up to the 3rd floor breakfast area and indulged in some very yummy omurice together. Then we went back to Harajuku and walked the gorgeous path to Meiji shrine. ❤ I got some delicious mitarashi dango on my way out.

I participated in the Harajuku Fashion Walk, which was a cool experience! I met a lot of other people done up in different styles, everything from colourful decora, frilly lolita, Christmas inspired, to intense gothic.

I wore my own designs which I had printed onto fabric: a skull lino print on my tights, cute 90’s illustration toy dress, and a silky scarf covered in a digital illustration of my own lips and tongue. I ended up buying a sweater later from an artist at Design Festa to complete my look (and it was rainy so I was starting to get chilly!) The girl who I bought the sweater from gave me an Umaibo stick and wished me a Merry Christmas ❤

FASHION. F-F-F-F-F-F-FASHION.

The fashion walk stopped at several locations to get group pictures. We got a lot of stares! We made a very eclectic bunch for sure. We also saw some people on motorcycles dressed in Christmas & Santa costumes.

After the walk I booted it to Tokyu Plaza since it was raining hard and I needed an umbrella. I settled on a black parasol-type umbrella from Lips & Hips.

Then I checked out Laforet, where I got a couple of cute things at the Sailor Moon store, and also visited a couple of REALLY cool fashion shops with street-fashion, lolita, mod, and more. I got a really awesome hoodie with a pissed-off looking teddy-bear on it who’s about to eat a cupcake(?) and it says YUMMY. The man who sold it to me had a very cool Jrock style. The store was called WRouge.

I finally had a chance to visit the famously strange and colourful 6% DokiDoki store, with its huge decorated bear at the entrance; I just got a sticker and a couple of pins, and snapped a few pics!

Next, I found my way to the Snake Center, where I enjoyed a delicious Kuromitsu (?) latte and held 4 different snakes, including a huge ball python named Jagger! Such good, cute snakes T-T I love them.

The last thing I did before trudging back to the hotel in my wet socks and shoes was to wait in a 30min lineup in the pouring rain for Ichiren Ramen. It was worth it though! You get your own tiny booth and stool, and order with a ticket: perfect for introverts or those who are feeling overstimulated! I drank every last drop of the delicious umami broth, which warmed me up and gave me the strength to get home in the windy chill.

Tomorrow is my tebori (handpoke) tattoo with Horimitsu! Excited!

Check out day 10, Tebori Handpoke Tattoo With Horimitsu, here!

Tokyo Memories Day 5: Pigs and Kawaii Monster Girls!

A month ago Dustin and I began our trip in Tokyo! So, as with our last trip, I’ve decided to copy out each day of my travel journal into my blog. Each day for the next 18 days I will share a post of what we did in Tokyo a month prior.

So, let’s get into it! (Or, start with day 1 here)

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 5, December 18th, 2019

Today I remember Jonghyun, with love.

Today we got up extra early because I had made us an ultra-important reservation: the MiPig cafe in Harajuku!

We got to Harajuku early and first bought some eye wash and drops- my eye has been red and irritated the last couple days 😦 Then we sat at the tiny cafe at the entrance to Meiji Jingu (beautiful) and I got a tasty ice cream.

The MiPig cafe was even better than I’d hoped for. We booked an enclosed space, and the staff brought us 2 little pigs for our 1hr visit. Both of them almost immediately climbed into my lap and snuggled right into me! They were so sweet, gentle, and snuggly. Their names were Stella and Maple. We got a couple of tiny cakes and cafe au lait, but the pigs were truly the star of the show, dozing off in my lap. Amazing.

After MiPig, we high-tailed it to the Kawaii Monster Cafe, where we enjoyed wonka-esque colourful decor, fanciful foods, and a Kawaii Monster Girl performance. I got a picture with the girls afterward and they complimented my gel nails! ❤

I finished my Christmas shopping for Mom and Chy in Sunshine City, and then visited my old haunt the BL Gakuen Cafe where I met a kind British girl named Jasmine. We chatted for quite a while!

Edit: Day 6, Asaka Hagoita Festival and… Visiting a Host Club!? here!

Tokyo Memories – Day 2: Feeling Fancy in Harajuku

A month ago Dustin and I began our trip in Tokyo! So, as with our last trip, I’ve decided to copy out each day of my travel journal into my blog. Each day for the next 18 days I will share a post of what we did in Tokyo a month prior.

So, let’s get into it! (Or, start with day 1, here)

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 2, December 15th, 2019

I woke up at like 4am so I decided to go to the 6th floor and do our laundry (***note from current day Shauna- if you’re wondering why we already had laundry to do on day 2… I packed VERY LIGHTLY). There were hardly any English instructions in the laundry room and I couldn’t find any laundry detergent, so I used some hotel hand soap… then I used my translation app and I’m pretty sure the machine I used says “no detergent required”… -_- I used the all-in-one washer/dryer and all the other ones said to use detergent so I didn’t imagine… hope it won’t cause any problems!

O hai thar

I can’t get back to sleep T-T Today I have a hair appt. and my first ever nail appt. so I am excited!

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WOW. I had a really fun day! I went to Harajuku early so I would have plenty of time to find Nail Salon Avarice and Sozo Hair & Make. As such, I had time to explore a little, so I bought some gifts for people at the big Daiso on Takeshita street and I also got a couple of PomuPomuPurin items at Sanrio Vivatix.

Once I located Avarice (it was in a tricky location) I had over an hour to kill, so I decided to visit a cafe. I found a really cute one just down the road from Avarice called Hiroman’s Coffee, and it was a great choice: not too busy (since it’s away from the main tourist area) and so cute- vines cover the top of the exterior, and inside are lots of dainty and sweet decor. They also had cute parfait and snack options, so I got an “animal pudding” (pudding stamped with a cute pig, with a dot of whipped cream, a maraschino cherry, and berry sauce). I also got a strawberry iced milk with tapioca, and a cup of coffee. ❤

My nail appt. at Avarice was so cool- the place is on the second floor of a multi-purpose building, and when I stepped inside it had a very cool, laid-back vibe: cement walls decorated with “souvenirs from our clients”, mostly from trips to places like Mexico. 2 women were having their nails done as I entered, and after I was seated they put The Holiday (one of my fave xmas movies!) on.

Akira, who I’d made my appointment with, is an award-winning nail artist with 10 years experience, and he blew me away with what he did for me. 3 hours of insanely detailed, skilled work. I asked for nails inspired by the works of Yamamoto Takato, and he did it! Skulls, vampires, ethereal eyeballs, deadly flowers- gorgeous.

nails by @aki.laccio based on the artworks of Yamamoto Takato

With 5 minutes to spare, I ran across the street to Sozo Hair & Make for my hair appointment. It was the best salon experience I’ve ever had. Yusuke washed my hair and gave me a scalp massage, then before cutting my hair massaged my shoulders very well (I was stiff from sitting for 3 hours prior!)

He gave me the hime (“princess”) style cut I’ve been dreaming of for months. I haven’t had a haircut in over a year (since I was saving $$$ for this trip) so it feels good to have a fresh cut <3. Yusuke was meticulous, and also made me feel relaxed.

The assistant was a girl from Vancouver who was very friendly and we chatted about Canada, my nails, the YMM wildfire of 2016, and other stuff.

I asked Yusuke if he could recommend someplace to eat, as I was pretty hungry by this point, and he told me about a ramen shop called Hajime, so I stopped there for a bite. I got soup all over my white shirt ^-^’ but luckily it came off pretty easily for the most part.

I finished off my day picking up some souvenirs from Oriental Bazaar (traditional handicrafts) and the big Kiddyland store on Omotesando. The Omotesando Christmas lights seemed to go on forever- beautiful!

I caught a train back to Ikebukuro and thought I could figure out my way back to Sunshine City, but I ended going in circles a few times. I definitely gave my legs a good workout today.

Check out Day 3, Two Tattoos, Mewtwo, and Nintendo, Too, here!

Japan Memories Day 4: SHINee Day, Harajuku Purikura Fail, and a Shiba named Hamu!

This is day 4 of revisiting my journal from our trip to Japan last year! If you’d like to start at the beginning, here is day 1.

So, day 4, here we go!

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 4, October 4th, 2017

After powering up with some konbini snacks, I decided to go on a solo adventure today. I headed out to Ikebukuro station, where I took a non-JR train line for the first time using my suica card. It was easy! I took the Maranouchi line to Akasaka and sought out Theme Cafe/Bar #2 of the trip: SMT Tokyo (SMT is the company that my favorite Kpop group, SHINee, works with!). My goal was to have a drink at the SHINee bar where they have huge portraits of each member adorned by artistically placed neon tube lights. I asked the man at the door if I could dine in the SHINee area, but he said something about “unfortunately…” and I knew reservations were often standard at places like this, so I felt a bit let down, but no biggie. I asked to see the gift shop, which was upstairs, and he pointed me in that direction. The walls going up were covered with portraits of SM artists; I saw Taemin, Jonghyun, and Key.

To my surprise, the SHINee bar was directly next to the gift shop, on the same floor! A woman offered me a stool and handed me a menu. I got to “dine with SHINee” after all! I got a korean soda and a sort of bibimbap salad that was delicately presented with edible flowers, kimchi, and light broth. At first I was alone, but then two girls came up and sat near me.

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After my success at SMT I took a brief stop in Harajuku on my way to Shin Okubo. Being a Wednesday it was pretty busy, but not insane. I bought some limited edition Halloween Sanrio stuff, explored a couple clothing shops, gawked at huge cotton candy poofs, and attempted doing purikura… I accidentally chose a 2 person set, which I did by myself, and then I couldn’t figure out how to print my pics (there was another booth I was supposed to go to, but I couldn’t find it?) so I left awkwardly without my pics… ^-^’ Oh well, maybe I can go with one of my friends sometime and they can show me how to do it.

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Isn’t this Arisa? I recognize her from Key & Ari’s “We Got Married” season!

At Shin Okubo I found some really cool SHINee merch and got a tasty drink at theme cafe #3 of the trip, Kpop Cafe Caesar, which was decorated with kpop stuff, including SHINee!

Before heading back to the hotel I donated some money to an animal rescue and got to pet an adorable Shiba Inu named Hamu, who was blind. Then I visited a 100 yen shop CanDo, and went back to donate again and see Hamu a second time before calling it a day!

Tomorrow is day 5: Akihabara, Eorzea Cafe, Pokemon Centre, and meeting up with a friend!