Bought a bunch of clothes whilst in Japan, but I haven’t photographed it all, ‘cos too lazy and it’s not that interesting anyway :P But here’s some, because it’s quite typical of Japanese fashion (which, really, is just super-short skirts to show off your legs).. I bought the stuff below ‘cos it was all just so cute, and very reasonably priced!
And… well, I also bought ‘em because I felt so horrendously daggy and ginormous amongst the hot little Japanese girls everywhere. So I felt compelled to buy their cute clothes – to try and tap their awesome fashion energy :P
A shimmery soft dress in mint-green and white. Baggy, so very comfortable!
LOVE this military-style winter jacket. It’s super thick and warm.
Just a few of my running stream of consciousness thoughts on Japan..
The women are slimmer, more fashionable, and better looking than almost any other country I’ve been to. On the downside, I constantly felt fat and dowdy the whole time. It’s hard not to – the girls are just so slim and petite, with pretty faces and GORGEOUS hair (are they wearing great wigs or is it natural? We couldn’t figure it out!). Their fashion sense is amazing, especially compared to my thick-shapeless-jacket-and-jeans ‘fashion sense’ ;) They wear adorable little dresses and mini mini mini skirts/shorts.. despite the weather being sub-zero and freezing. How do they even survive?! Both Dad and Chris declared the women “very good looking” and I think Chris’ eyes were out on stalks half the time :P Total eye candy.
The toilets. I don’t ~fear~ going into a public toilet, not even the ones at train stations. They are always spick and span, clean, and smell nice. NO pee smell, NO pee splattered all over the seat, and NO period blood on the seat and/or soaked on toilet paper and dumped into bins with no lids. It made me want to leave China for good, when I realised how awesome Japanese public toilets are :P
The queueing. The Japanese are so civilised and organised, they queue for everything. NO queue jumpers!! Everyone stands orderly on the left-side of escalators (so people in a rush can walk on the right-side) – unheard of in Shanghai. In the train stations, the people boarding the train stand to the side, and in a queue.. letting people off first. Take note of this China and Singapore!!!
No shoving. At one of the busiest intersections in the world, NO ONE pushed me or elbowed me. People make the effort to not touch each other, and a bump results in a flurry of apologies from the offending party (instead of ignoring, or giving you a dirty stare). It was bliss… I’m so used to being pushed and shoved here, I almost felt weird with the lack of physical violence in Japan :P
Foreigners are treated normally. You don’t feel out of place as a tourist. Most of all, you’re NOT hassled until you want to punch someone. No one selling you random crap, no one hassling you for money, and no one trying to rip you off. It was bona fide bliss.
So what’s bad about Japan? I thought long and hard about this… and only came up with ONE thing. Prices. The fancy stuff is expensive. You can live fairly cheaply in Japan, but no where near China. In China, we get cheap massages any time we want, we have a housekeeper, we have a driver, and we can jump into a taxi without blinking. In Japan, that’s not possible on a normal day because it’s far too expensive. I think that alone makes China pretty awesome to live in :P
United First International Lounge, at the Japan airport on the way back.
It was GORGEOUS and so plush inside!
A beer pourer (!) in the ANA Lounge, alongside an assortment of wines
and spirits. We were fascinated!
A SAKE BAR!!! All free in the Lounge *whee*
Nice hot bowl of ramen. UMMM TO CLARIFY:
That says “ANA”+logo, and not “ANAL”…. *ahem*
Fachon Paris ice cream and luscious clam chowder, all free in the Lounge as well.
Japanese snacks = heavenly. Royce chocolate-covered chips, strawberry mochi,
Pocky dessert sticks, Japanese cheesecakes, green tea.
Food in Japan is utterly incredible, if you haven’t already noticed!
It goes back to the simple fact that Japanese do everything better. Their food, regardless of cuisine, is always delightful.. and their desserts are jaw-dropping. The come up with some amazing stuff, and even simple chocolates and candies are lovingly individually wrapped and decorated. I suspect 80% of the delight in food for a Japanese is in the presentation/wrapping :P
Here’s just a small snapshot of the goodies we ploughed our way through. So much food, so little time! I don’t think we ate a single bad-tasting thing whilst there. It’s surprising and strange how everywhere we went, the food always tasted good. If you’ve been to Japan, I bet you know exactly what I mean :) It’s no wonder it’s a foodie’s paradise!
Giant crispy sweet buns, hot out of the oven
Same shop, serving hot melted caramel on ice cream. It was GOOOOD!
Wonderful, ultra-creamy, smooth chocolates, that came so beautifully wrapped
Checking out the strawberries encased in mochi. Soooo good…
Did quite a bit of shopping whilst I was there…. oops! Not my fault, I couldn’t help it, the stuff’s all too awesome ;) I ADORE Japanese designed/made/sold stuff. The fashion is right up my alley, the skincare/cosmetics are top-notch and fascinating, and everything is just higher quality imho. It’s heavenly shopping there! Bought quite a bit but I didn’t take photos of everything because I’m too lazy and no one really cares what I buy anyway :P
But here’s a couple of things that I DID end up photographing:
Was shocked (and delighted) to see Lush there! Unfortunately, everything was
in Japanese so couldn’t understand :P Ended up buying ‘Sympathy For the Skin’
moisturiser and the Strawberry massage bar… smells awesome :)
My Italian calfskin gloves, lined with cashmere. It cost a friggin’ FORTUNE and the
bright orange dirties so easily. Arghhh..
Bought Covermark cosmetics… yes, the same brand I was raving like a nutter
about, in my previous Favourite Cosmetics blog entry. This powder foundation
is perfection! I also bought Mum the liquid foundation and loose powder, cos
they’re soooo good.
KITSON!!!!! One of my fave brands in the USA, they had a store in Japan, yay
The back of the mad cute lil pouch
Kitson tee, that is very very very me :P
Hello Kitty mineral water.. cos I like regressing into a 5 year old, okay?!
FASCINATING face wash/scrub I bought from the Onsen. As you rub the gel on
your skin, your dead skin cells ‘pills’ and balls up. When you wash it off, you’re
left with super smooth, silky, clear skin. I’m LOVING it!!!
A present for our furkids – jellies!
Incredible snacks Mum bought – in plain, and covered in white chocolate. Mmm..
We felt like a nice, classy dinner whilst in Japan.
I’d spent the whole day around Shinjuku shopping up a storm *ahem*, and I’d noticed that the massive Takashimaya department store had 2-3 full levels dedicated to restaurants, dubbed Restaurant Park. They range from mid-range to fine-dining, so I thought it’d be a great option to kick back and have a civilised dinner together.
After looking through every restaurant (we’re very particular about where we eat!), we finally settled on Komatsu Soba (そば処) on the 13th floor, because they specialise in – surprise surprise – soba. The restaurant boasts buckwheat soba, which has a slightly sweeter taste than regular soba. It takes three months for buckwheat to be ready for harvest, and so is $$$, especially since this restaurant serves 100% buckwheat soba.
So was the 100% buckwheat soba different, and worth the large price tag?
I sound like such a tourist, but I can’t really tell the difference! It was a little different in terms of taste to regular soba, but if I wasn’t told, I wouldn’t have been able to discern that this was 100% buckwheat, nor realise that it was much more expensive. I’m such a useless Japanese, I know ;)
The food was great, don’t get me wrong. Just that I couldn’t justify the prices (which were exorbitantly high). Personally, I think I’ll just go for the cheaper ‘regular’ soba and pay a lot less :P
Inside the ramen restaurant in Takashimaya
Gorgeous views of Tokyo
Some sort of salmon roll. It was good but a bit on the salty side.
Ramen with duck and leeks
Me and my curry soba (loved it)
Tempura set with soba
Steak set with soba
Sake and ice cold beer
Tucking in :)
Afterwards, we were still hungry for dessert and so started wandering around the streets of Shinjuku, looking for a dessert cafe. Finally, Chris spotted one. It was actually a small glass door, with a steep flight of stairs behind it. Totally non-descript and not much marketing at street-level. We decided to check it out and were so surprised and what lay at the top of the stairs – the whole 2nd level was the cafe, and it was lovely inside! Plush, warm and with lots of rich colours, it was lovely to chill out and have a drink and dessert.
After going up a narrow flight of stairs, the area opens up into this lovely cafe