Friday, September 6, 2013

Kobe Summer Study Abroad (p3)

It's been awhile, but I guess I may as well finish this up. In this third part, I wanted to talk about the shopping I got to do in Japan. I didn't take very many pictures in or around the stores because we wanted to "blend in" (or just not been immediately identified as tourists) as much as possible. Also because I don't think photography was allowed in many stores.
My favorite place to shop was Hep5 in Osaka. Hep5 contained the closest Liz Lisa to where I was staying and this was the first ever Liz Lisa location I stepped into. I was sooo nervous. I didn't know what I was looking for and I almost didn't want to touch anything! The set that the sales girl had on was adorable, and it was also on a mannequin so I think that's how I asked to see it. I wanted to try it on, but they would only let me try on the jumper skirt. I didn't realize the difference between trying on clothes in Japan and America so Holly and I were really really confused as to why she wouldn't let me try on the top, and didn't understand at all what the girl was saying when she said I couldn't, haha. This was where I bought my first Liz Lisa items! The set was around 14000yen which was a lot to me to spend during the first week (of six) but it was awesome.
 I ended up going back to the store twice during the last two days because they were having a sale for buy two items for 8400yen! I bought 2 OPs on the first day (while not even realizing there was a sale) and went back the next day for 2 more OPs after figuring it out, haha.

The big shopping center near the university is Sannomiya. It includes a huge cluster of stores. Most days I didn't go throughout the whole mall, and I think I even got a bit lost on occasion. It didn't have a Liz Lisa (which I guess is good because then I would have spent way too much money since Sannomiya is so close), but it did have a wide variety of stores besides. There's a portion of Sannomiya called Vivre. It seems like it was a portion that catered to the "trendy" side of Japanese fashion. There were 6 stories (if I remember correctly) including an Anap and Pink Mix.
 There was also a shop that sold Liz Lisa shoes. I'm grateful for that shop because I always got really nervous in the actual Liz Lisa shops and it never crossed my mind to try on shoes in there. This was where I learned that despite looking to be the right size, M wouldn't fit me for Liz Lisa. (I'm an L for Liz Lisa shoes, US size 7.) Unfortunately, the shop didn't carry the shoes I wanted in L so I never bought any.
On the top floor there was an Angelic Pretty store. Katherine and I went there a couple times and I was really close to buying a JSK that was on sale for around 12500yen, but I decided I would rather spend that money on Liz Lisa instead. It was a lot of fun trying on the dresses though.

The shop staff was really friendly and no one else was ever there when we went, so she helped us quite a bit. I'm glad Katherine did end up buying quite a bit because I would have felt a bit guilty otherwise. The JSK is one of the things I almost regret not buying...It was on the simpler side but the fit was quite good, and it was marked down quite a bit! I think this was before I knew about the large Lolita community and saw the pictures I've seen on Tumblr so I didn't know what a treat it was. That being said, they only had it in pink and black, and I really wanted the navy colorway. I also didn't have very much room in my suitcase left. In the end, I'm not sure how much I'd wear it other than to take pictures (and post it on Tumblr :|) so I guess it's just as well.

One of my favorite things to shop for in Japan is underwear sets. They're a lot cheaper than most American brands, plus they have a better fit, more push-up and more variety for someone my sizel. The stores are also pretty prevelant. I think I ended up buying around 10 sets by the end of the six weeks and never spent more than 2500yen for a set. Some I even got for less than 1100yen! One of my favorite brands was Aimer Feel. I also bought a sleep set from this brand.
 When we went to Tokyo for the weekend, I was determined to hit Shibuya 109 and Harajuku. None of my friends were interested in the same fashion as me, so I went alone. Luckily, Graham's friend Cleo helped me get a train pass so I could get lost as much as I wanted and would pay the same fare. By that time, I was more or less familiar with how to catch the train and it's mostly one big loop so I knew I wouldn't get too lost. I also carried around a train/subway map that my host mom has graciously provided me. There are absolutely no pictures of me at any of the shops because I was too shy to take selfies there. Or even stop in the middle of anywhere and attempt to take one because it seemed to go against the general hustle and bustle. (Again, doing my best to blend in.)
I had no idea where I was going when I first got off the train in Shibuya, but there are maps everywhere so I just followed them as best as I could and pretty soon I was in the basement of 109! I shopped in quite a few places and went into a good deal of stores. After I got through all the floors, I was pretty exhausted and it was hard to shop with so many packages. I had wanted to head to Harajuku immediately after (because it's just one stop away) but I had so many bags, I kept banging into people and it was hard to catch the subway. #Firstworldproblems for real. I can't even remember if I went back to the hotel to drop off the bags...But I think I did because I wanted to calculate how much I had spent in 109. Next was going to Harajuku and searching for the Liz Lisa. They had a lot of the same stock as the 109 Liz Lisa so I didn't buy anything. They also have a Chambre a Couche section at the Takeshita Dori location but I thought I wouldn't want anything there so I didn't go upstairs :| I didn't buy very much in Harajuku. I think because I had spent a good amount in 109 alone.
It was a little intimidating to be out in an unfamiliar city by myself in a country where I couldn't really speak the language, but the shopping was awesome. I can't believe the others missed out on going to 109 and Harajuku, but I ugess it's not really their style. I think they went to a musuem and to look at shops in Ginza instead. I thought I would also head over to Ikebukuro (and hit that Liz Lisa), but I decided that was enough spending.
Ugh, there was so much great shopping. When I went to Japan in seventh grade, I did no clothes shopping and instead was so happy with buying two Mogu pillows. This time, I made sure I made up for that. Knowing what I know now, I maybe which I had spent a little differently (aka MORE), but during a six week trip, I think I did okay. I just wish I had documented it a bit better (or maybe written this blog post sooner than over a year later, haha).
Shopping is precisely the reason I want to go back in 2014, especially for the summer sales! I would love to go around New Years for the fukubukuro, but I don't want Autumn/Winter items :\. The horrible thing about the summer sales is that they're during the hottest season (duh), but I think it'll be worth it. Hopefully I'll be able to save enough money and go :)

Other photos of things I bought/tried on:



  1. Gosh, next time I go to Japan, I'll also try some Angelic Pretty dresses, so fun ^-^

    I love this light blue dress you tried, was it from Liz Lisa?

    1. Hmmm, no the light blue jumper skirt was from...some store in a Shibuya 109-esque building in Kyoto. I dont remember the name but it may have started with a P like Pink Mix or something like that.