Friday, August 21, 2015

Japan trip Summer 2015 part 3 - Tokyo-based: Day 4 - 6

Day 4, August 4, was our last day in the Shin-Osaka apartment. Last moments here were mostly spent just packing up our things and making sure we tidied up appropriately and didn't forget anything (because it would be hard to reclaim). We had exchanged our vouchers for our 7-day JR Rail Passes on the night of Day 3 to be effective starting on Aug 4 until Aug 10, but we forgot to reserve our tickets for the shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Shinagawa at the same time, so we actually had to walk over to the station to do that in the morning before breakfast so we'd know what time to best leave the apartment. Thankfully that didn't end up taking too long, and we were able to reserve seats for the time we wanted and return to the apartment. After eating a bit of breakfast, we packed up and headed back to the station with all of our luggage. We hadn't done too much shopping yet at that point so it wasn't unmanageable.
Ice cream S bought on the shinkansen bc he was still trying to cool down lol
I started the morning in Liz Lisa wedge pumps that I bought on the first day of the trip, and even though I was wearing bandaids, since the shoes are different, they cut my foot in different places -__-. I thought I could handle it, but when I took off the pumps and actually looked at my feet, I realized that I shouldn't just keep wearing them lol. So I changed my shoes back to my original Liz Lisa wedge sandals on the train wtf.
We arrived in Shinagawa at about 01:30pm, grabbed something to eat from the station and then headed out to find our next Airbnb apartment. Since we usually stay in Shinagawa at the Prince, the station/area is reasonably familiar to us, and we were able to get to it without incident. We looked around, "checked in", ate lunch, starting unpacking a bit and discussed what the plans were for the rest of the day.

Shibuya was an obvious first stop because S and I both had things we wanted to do there. Two fishing stores for S (Sansui and Johshuya).

And Shibuya 109 for me.
I was looking for a new purse because the one I brought with me that I love to use on trips was peeling wtf. I'm thinking partially because it's been well used over the last 3 years and partially because it's synthetic lol. Plus I'm sure all the sweating I was doing wasn't helping wtf.

While I was shopping at Liz Lisa, I actually talked to shop staff Ikumin (IG @akaikumin) and LL Gals Minami (IG @minamiharada) for a little bit! I've never felt confident enough with my Japanese to be able to interact with shop staff in any store (much less Liz Lisa) too much. But I think Minami may have partially recognized me from my IG posts. I'm not super sure because my comprehension is not that good lol. Ikumin was talking to me in English though so that helped a lot. I follow both of them on IG myself, so I easily recognized them as well.
It was a really exciting experience to actually connect with the shop staff a little! As much as some people insist that any Japanese (language spoken) would be appreciated, I'm really embarrassed about how clumsy I am with it. Obviously if I don't practice, it will never get better, but it just feels really weird for me to be so bad with it since, you know, I'm Japanese. (Not that you're automatically born with language skills but still.) It's a personal hang up I have, and beforehand I always feel like I'll be more confident, but I get easily flustered when I'm actually in the situation, especially when I'm confronted with any vocabulary I don't know or too much keigo lol. Regardless, it was super nice to talk to both of them, even for just a little bit!

We also stopped by Uniqlo for a bit because I wanted to start buying the things my brother wanted lol. (Full length mirror so must selfie apparently.)

Somehow, by the time we were done, it was time for dinner. We were on our way back to Shinagawa on the JR Yamanote line to drop off our things before we decided where to eat when I suggested Seirinkan. We ate there last summer and really enjoyed it, so why not go again! The closest station to the restaurant is Nakameguro which isn't on the Yamanote line. We hopped off at Meguro because I forgot that to get to Nakameguro, you actually have to get off at Ebisu...But that wasn't really a problem because were able to just walk across the platform and easily catch a train going in the opposite direction for one stop to get back to Ebisu lol. From Ebisu, we caught the Hibiya line one stop to Nakameguro. I believe you want the west exit to get the restaurant. I was kind of going off of memory from last time (about the general look of things) so I don't remember exactly. The restaurant is down one of the alleys just a few blocks from the station, and it's easy to miss it, but since we were just there about a year earlier and I was using the GPS on my phone, we knew what to look out for.
We got there maybe about 1/2 hour after they opened and were seated right away on the second floor. Last time with the 4 of us, we ate in the basement where I think there was a "private party" or something of that elk this time. I think there might be 4 floors total in the restaurant. The rest of the restaurant seemed really empty most of the time we were there until about 10 minutes before we left, but it was still nice. I ordered the margherita pizza and S ordered what I think was shrimp scampi. 
I super love the pizza dough/crust for the pizza here. My dad has actually been trying to make pizza in a similar way (baked in a super hot oven for a short amount of time with homemade dough) but of course it doesn't even taste nearly the same! I was thinking S and I would share the pizza but I ate most of it lol.

When we were done, we headed back to Shinagawa and got ice cream from 7-Eleven. S got some kind of vanilla/blueberry swirl cone that looked like soft serve but it was already made (if that makes sense) and I got this Black Thunder ice cream!
I really like the Black Thunder cookie/candy snack thing, so I figured this ice cream would be a safe bet. And actually I think it might be even better than the cookie version! It's kind of huge though. More ice cream than I usually want to eat for dessert, but obviously that's better than it being too small lol. I think I probably ate like 3 of these throughout the trip.

Here's what the purse I brought looked like at the end of the day -
The body is mostly okay but the straps and some of the scallop details were seriously deteriorating/peeling. I didn't realize it right away, and by the time I did notice, it was already kind of bad lol.
Luckily, I was able to find a bag I could live with at Liz Lisa and it was on sale!
The main things I was looking for was room for the fans (wtf), all my things and possibly a water bottle + a compartment for my rail pass that would have easy access while still keeping it secure. I knew my pink bag was best for all of those things which is why I picked it amongst all the others I have to bring on the trip, but sadly I think it will have to be retired.

Day 4 wasn't too eventful with a number of hours of the day taken up by the shinkansen ride, but we were happy to get our priority shopping/browsing out of the way, and I was glad to find a new, suitable purse right away. 

My big plans on Day 5, August 5, was to meet up with Ebony in Harajuku! [Find her on Instagram - Tumblr - Blog - Twitter - Facebook].
This is how my hair looked when I left in the morning -
But I didn't pin it or style it that well, and it just took a few strong gusts of wind to muss it up lol. Plus the curls died pretty quickly in the humidity wtf. It was the first time on the trip that I attempted to really style it. I avoided it most other days because I didn't think it would be worth it and that was probably true.

Thankfully, Ebony was able to deal with being seen with me until I got a chance to fix it lol. We were supposed to meet at Harajuku station on the Takeshita Doori side at 11:00am (when the shops open). I jumped on a Yamanote line train from Shinagawa intending to get to Takeshita Doori about 7 minutes early, but I've only exited on the correct side of that station by chance in the past, so ofc I screwed it up when it actually mattered and ended up at the Omotesando exit lol. Then I had to figure out how to undo it and find the right exit which (note to self) involves going back to the platform and walking to the other end of it. By the time I found the right exit, I was a minute or two late and I was already almost sweaty wtf.

After a short introduction, we headed off to a cafe to get something to eat and chat for a bit. It was good to get out of the heat. I don't remember what the shop was called but it's just on the left side of Takeshita street coming from Harajuku station but not too far down. Maybe Cafe Solare according to Google Maps? I think we ate and talked for about an hour (at least)! I wasn't looking at my watch though lol. It was super nice to be able to just sit and get to know each other. 
When we were done, we headed out to do some shopping! Even during my study abroad, there was never anyone who closely shared my taste in fashion, so this was the first time I was able to browse with someone who wasn't just waiting for me to finish and could actually shop side-by-side (not counting the 5 minutes I spent with Berri in a Liz Lisa store in March lol). We went to Wonder Rocket and then to Liz Lisa.
where I snuck this picture outside of the dressing room after trying on shoes lol
Ebony bought an OP and I bought a small accessory mostly because I just wanted to get something lol. I was still looking for another pair of shoes to wear but didn't really find any in Liz Lisa that I really wanted to purchase. My feet were mostly okay wearing my Liz Lisa wedge sandals that I brought with me again but the bottom soles were still heavily threatening to come off with each step I took in them on the previous day (from the front lip). I was wearing the Liz Lisa wedge pumps again while shopping with my feet heavily wrapped + socks, but I knew I couldn't keep wearing them long term. And I liked the sneakers from Ank Rouge as an option but I didn't want to spend the rest of the trip in sneakers tbh lol. Anyway, I still wanted another pair of heels to wear.

After making our purchases in Liz Lisa, we went upstairs to the Tralala store. I've actually never been in there before. I've only ever gone into the Liz Lisa portion for some reason. Since I had already been in the Penderie store in Kawaramachi, I kind of generally knew what stock and sales the store might have. A pair of wedge sandals on sale caught my eye after we looked around for a bit. They were the same ones the shop staff was wearing! After trying them on, I knew they would be a good choice. The design is simple but cute, there are a lot of straps on it to help keep my foot stable and the shoe itself is lightweight. And they're white, so I knew it would match with a lot of what I had to wear. 

We went into a few other stores after that including one that sold Sanrio products, and I ended up buying another bag - the Liz Lisa x My Melody x Little Twin Stars triple collab tote bag! None of the Liz Lisa stores had them in stock anymore and it was the same price as Liz Lisa was retailing it for, so I just bought it on a whim lol. The shop staff at the register there was surprisingly grumpy though! 
Ebony also introduced me to Moshi Moshi Box near the end of Takeshita Doori across the street. I don't think I would have thought to go there on my own and I had never heard of it before. Apparently it's kind of like Harajuku's Visitor Center? I used the center to connect to wifi to contact S because he was wandering around on his own that morning (with our pocket wifi) while I was shopping and I wanted to meet up with him after. I also had a chance to drink some water and just cool off in the AC lol.

Next, we made a quick stop at Daiso for me to get some shoe glue (to fix my Liz Lisa wedge sandals' soles) and then took some purikura back near the top of Takeshita Doori closer to the station. I'm really horrible at purikura so Ebony had to help me a lot lol. It was quite crowded in there actually! Then we stopped at the Family Mart (the one pretty much at the beginning of the street) where there is also free wifi, so I could text S to meet me at the apartment lol.

I had such a great time meeting with Ebony! Sorry I just realized that I hardly took any pictures during the time we spent together, but tbh I was mostly focused on shopping and talking lol! Here's the purikura that Ebony shared with me since she was able to get the emailed versions -
I don't know what I'm doing in this last picture lol. I'm really not very good at purikura - posing AND decorating lol. And I need the eye enhancement but Ebony really doesn't lol. Her eyes are already so nice and expressive and round! She's wearing the Liz Lisa x My Melody x Little Twin Stars triple collab angel OP in pink and I'm wearing the Liz Lisa x My Melody 6th collab sweets OP in pink!

I thought I was going to meet S in Shinjuku but we ended up meeting up at the apartment back in Shinagawa instead. I think it was about 03:00pm by the time I got back. He had spent the time going to fishing stores in Ueno and Shinjuku and then he got lunch back near the apartment.

We didn't already have a plan with what to do with the rest of the day, but there were a several fishing stores in Yokohama-ish area that he wanted to go to, so we took some time to figure out how best to route ourselves and then headed out.
We hopped onto a Hikari (? I think, else it was a Kodama) shinkansen in an unreserved seat for one stop from Shinagawa to Shin-Yokohama.
It was our first time catching the shinkansen without first reserving tickets (with our Rail Passes), but we realized quickly how much of a big deal it wasn't lol. Seriously. With the Rail Pass, it's just like catching any other train. (I'll probably try and write a little more about that in the Travel Notes post.)

Once we arrived at Shin-Yokohama, we hopped on a JR Yokohama line train to Yokohama station. We quickly went to the Yokohama Vivre Liz Lisa where I didn't buy anything, and then went to the fishing store over there for S. He did buy stuff lol.

We then hopped back on the Yokohama line and headed for Machida. Again, fishing store and the Machida 109 Liz Lisa lol. The fishing store in Machida actually had some stores around it for me to look in so I didn't go into that one lol. Instead, there was a bookstore next to it so S asked me to look for this puzzle book his mom wanted. We didn't really know what it (the type of puzzle) was called because he had just randomly bought some books like that for her on past trips, and it turns out she likes them, but she wanted a book with a bigger font lol. Anyway, I was tasked with finding them without actually knowing what they looked like but I had some sort of publisher name? And I tried to ask the shop staff there but I think the publisher is old or stopped producing books or something. She tried really hard to help me lol. She looked it up on the computer and everything. It ended up with her taking me over to the puzzle books section (wtf I missed it myself) and picking out what looked like children's puzzle books lol. Apparently the ones S's mom has been doing are for kids hahaha.
As for the Machida 109 Liz Lisa, I did end up buying something there because we spent like 35 minutes to get to Machida specifically, and I just wanted it to feel more "worth it", idk. The first shop staff who approached me seemed to recognize me for some reason? It wasn't the one who helped me last time, so I'm not quite sure how or if she was mixing me up with someone else maybe, but she was really nice and patient but not pushy. After I picked out two things, I wanted to check out, but there was someone already at the register and the nice shop staff was helping her. Another shop staff came up to me and just kept trying to sell me stuff, but I really didn't want anything else and I just wanted to pay because I could tell S was getting impatient as well. Idk if it's because of the language barrier (I never obviously insinuated that I didn't speak Japanese and could comprehend at least 50% of what she was saying so I could react appropriately so I'm not sure if she couldn't tell) but I really felt trapped wtf. So much so that I almost said "forget it" and left the store without buying anything. The first shop staff did end up ringing me up at the register after about five minutes and truly she was really nice, but idk I just felt really uncomfortable in between and really turned off by the time I left. 

Last item on the agenda for the day was to go to a specific fishing store in Yokohama that was a bit out of the way. (It's in Yokohama but not near Yokohama station.) From Machida station, we took the JR Yokohama line to Nagatsuta and then transferred to the Tokyu Den-en-toshi line to get to Azamino. From the station, we walked a few blocks to get to the store. By that time, it was already dark, maybe around 07:00pm?
He shopped around for the things he wanted (idk it seemed like a long time to me since there wasn't anything to do lol), talked to the store clerk a little bit and then we left. I was actually hoping that I'd be able to go to a Daiso store that night, but it was already pretty late and we were a way's away from any Daiso location I knew of off the top of my head (and didn't want to bother trying to randomly find one that late at night), so we decided to just look for dinner in the area before heading back.

We stopped at a tonkatsu restaurant on the way back to the station. Well actually, we stopped at this other restaurant first that had a picture of unagi in the window, but when we looked at the menu, it turns out they didn't serve it?? So we skipped that one. Anyway, the tonkatsu restaurant was really empty! It was just us in there lol.
And it seemed like a mom and her son(?) who were running the restaurant and just watching soccer on tv lol. It was a nice, quick, simple dinner. We both just ordered tonkatsu. (Mine was a small portion.)

To get back to Shinagawa, we used the Tokyu Den-en-toshi line again to get to Shibuya and then we transferred to the JR Yamanote line.

Gets from Harajuku -
My one accessory lol
New shoes yasssssssss
So happy to find this randomly!

And from Machida -
I ended up buying myself this magazine at the bookstore besides the puzzle book because Liz Lisa pouch lol
What I almost didn't buy because I was feeling so uncomfortable

Looking back, I guess we actually do did quite a bit this day! I s2g can't stop gushing about how cool it was to meet with Ebony lol. She's so pretty in photos, but ngl she is somehow WAY prettier in person even in the humid weather lol! Plus she's really nice and easy to talk to. I thought I didn't do much shopping, but I guess I did buy a few things if I total everything lol. I think what made the day kind of long was that it was split in two distinct parts (late morning and then afternoon) and we spent a bunch of time on the trains, but we were able to check a number of things off my list and S's list. I hit 3 Liz Lisa locations (Harajuku, Yokohama Vivre and Machida 109) and he actually hit 5 fishing stores I think (Ueno, Shinjuku, Yokohama and Machida Sansui and then Pro Shop MOGI) lol. ✓ He's been to 3/5 of them before so two were completely new. Although actually, he tried to go to the Machida one last time but it was closed lol. All in all, a nice, full day but I didn't back to Daiso :|  lol. We ran out of time, and S was pretty tired/drained by the end of the day.

We must have done more than we usually do the previous day or exhaustion was finally catching up to us, because we slept in the latest we ever did on Day 6, August 6, until like 08:30am lol! Most other days we were up by like 07:30am or earlier. I had something planned that I thought we would do that morning, but due to the later start time, we postponed it until Day 7. But that meant we had no plans for Day 6, so what to do?

We ended up going to Tsukiji so S could eat sushi (for breakfast). We got lazy and didn't end up leaving until like 10-ish. Last time when we went with my parents, they wanted to go early at like 08:00am - 08:30am and had been there before (without us on a previous trip bc we were being lazy then too) and knew what they were doing. This was our first time going on our own lol. We decided to take the most direct route rather than the route that included JR, so we went to Shinagawa's Keikyu station and caught a train that would take us to Daimon station via Toei Subway lines and then we transferred there to get to Tsukijishijo. For this, you can actually use Keikyu/Toei Subway with one ticket, but we did have to do a fare adjustment (which is not a big deal unless you're in a rush I guess).

We exited Tsukijishijo station with everyone else that was seemingly going to Tsukiji Fish Market, but we didn't actually want to go where they were selling whole fish or where the auction had been held. We were just trying to go to the place where they sell things in kind of an open market. Having been there before, we didn't anticipate having any trouble finding it, but we ended up walking in circles for a little bit somehow which was killer in the mid-morning heat. Now we know, from the station exit, turn right, not left (where most other people are going).
When we finally found it, S looked around for a restaurant that might be suitable and went in by himself since I wasn't planning on eating anything. Instead, I walked around the stalls by myself and shopped a bit. There isn't really a lot that I wanted to buy except a few things I remembered from last time, so I mostly was just walking to kill time. I was separate from S so only one of us had the pocket wifi, so I had to make sure he was able to find me again once he was finished. After I had managed to get myself lost once or twice (idk how I did that when the stalls are pretty much just in their lanes), I decided it was best to just go back to the one the restaurant was on and wait for him there, assuming that he hadn't left yet. It turned out to be pretty good timing because I just had to wait 5-8 minutes and he was finishing up with payment.
(Edit: added pictures from S's phone)
Then we walked around a bit more so S could do some shopping for his family. I have to say, I think I never felt worse in the heat than this day. I don't know if it's because I was doing so much aimless walking with no intention (plus the walking we did when we were just trying to find it), if it was the amount of people there or how little chances there were for respite in AC or if it was the fact that I hadn't had a lot to eat prior to going, but I felt totally awful by the time we were leaving.
We went returned to Shinagawa by backtracking the way we came and doing a fare adjustment again. Then I had to rest in the apartment for an hour or two before feeling well enough to go out again. It was probably dehydration mixed with idk? probably not having eaten enough for that amount of sweating and walking I was doing in the heat?

After resting, we headed back out to Shibuya. Actually, it kind of worked out that we didn't go with the original plans because S had wanted to go to Shibuya Sansui anyway. He was making a bigger purchase that he had arranged before the trip through email with a specific staff member who wasn't working when we came on Tuesday and also wasn't working Wednesday, so this was his first chance to meet up and complete the transaction.
I just had to dawdle around the store while that was going on lol. It's too hot to aimlessly walk around outside.

After that, we decided to do a little more random shopping. We took the Yamanote line to Shinjuku where I went to Studio Alta to check out the Liz Lisa and didn't buy anything. But I saw signs for the 100yen shop on the 8th floor (apparently I didn't notice it before) so we rode the escalators all the way up there.
This is the only picture I took from that apparently
We bought a few things, rode the escalator all the way down lol and then just returned to the station. There's a fishing store in Shinjuku as well but S had already visited it on the previous day, so no need to go again.

Next, Ikebukuro - also on the Yamanote line. We were going to yet another fishing store and Liz Lisa lol. Both of these we've been to before, but we couldn't remember exactly how to get there after exiting the station from the north exit. Once I checked the GPS and realized we were on the wrong size of the tracks, I remembered that we had to take the pedestrian underpass lol.
The locations are actually quite simple from there really. Sansui first (fishing store ootd pic ✓) and then we also stopped at P'Parco so I could check out the mon Lily store which I missed out on last time because I got so exasperated about not being able to find Parco.
There was some pretty good sale prices for some older stock. OPs and tops for literally 500yen (+ tax). There were also some for 1000yen (+tax). I almost bought a 500yen OP but backed out last minute because I knew it really wasn't my style and I just would end up just selling it. Instead, I bought a different OP that definitely wasn't as cheap but more to my liking. The shop staff was wearing it as well. A couple days later, I saw that someone I randomly follow on IG actually bought the 500yen dress, and I was happy I didn't because it really seems like that girl's style!

After that, we thought we would go and get a pretzel or something from Auntie Anne's for a snack, but the one near Parco has so little seating! I think maybe they have one or two standing tables and four bar chairs in the back that are bolted to the floor which were all occupied. We were actually looking more for a place to rest so that wouldn't do lol.
Instead, I just went straight down into Parco to B2 to take a look at the Liz Lisa there. Similarly to Machida, I decided to just buy two things because...why not? But also because I needed more clothes to wear since I only brought 5 outfits to wear with me lol.

I wanted to go to Omiya since we were already pretty high up the Yamanote line and it wasn't too much more north, but S decided he had had enough for the day and wanted to start winding down instead of keeping going farther. Instead, we decided to take the Yamanote line back down to Shibuya and then transfer to go to Maisen in Omotesando. There are other Maisen locations, but we've been to this one before, and it was simple to find and we had liked it, so we didn't bother trying to find another. Besides, I think this is the original anyway!
We were fairly early for dinner so the restaurant wasn't very crowded and we were able to be seated right away. I think the kind I got was called Tokyo-X loin and S got the kurobuta fillet?
I liked mine better and he liked his better but that's because we look for different things in our tonkatsu lol. Both tasted great of course but in their own way.

Since we still had a little time, I still really wanted to go to Daiso to pick up some things that my mom wanted me to get, so we went to Harajuku. We pass a lot of 100yen stores throughout the day but since I want to buy some of the things in volume, it was best to go right before we were planning to return to the apartment. I made my purchases (that S had to carry) and then we called it a day and went back to Shinagawa.

Purchases that day -
A few things from Tsukiji including the black garlic my dad likes
A mess of things from Daiso (which I just threw in my duffle)
From the 100yen shop at the top of Studio Alta
(I already started eating the Mentos lol)
Convenience store purchases after returning to Shinagawa
Clothes shopping

I'm not sure I would exactly call this day good or productive for myself, although I was really happy to make a purchase at mon Lily! And also check a few things off my list that I was asked to bring back. It was kind of mostly a filler shopping day except for S who was actually doing real things like eating sushi from Tsukiji and arranging his larger purchase. I didn't take any pictures in the morning in Tsukiji because I was just dragging so badly in the heat omfg.
In general, it was good to be back in Tokyo though! There always feels like there's a bit more things to do here (for us in particular, esp in regards to shopping) and the Rail Pass was making it easy to get around and not worry too much about transportation cost. It wasn't valid yet in Osaka so we were paying out of pocket for each excursion over there. But with all the shopping, my suitcases were definitely starting to fill up and there was still 5 days to go! Haha.

  Japan trip Summer 2015 posts:
Part 1 - Osaka & Kobe: Day 1 - 2
Part 2 - Kyoto & Namba: Day 3
Part 3 - Tokyo-based: Day 4 - 6
Part 4 - Sendai: Day 7
Part 5 - Tokyo-based: Day 8 -9
Part 6 - Osaka: Day 10 - 11
Part 7 - Airbnb & accommodations
Part 8 - Liz Lisa purchases
Part 9 - Other shopping
Part 10 - Travel notes

  Japan trip Spring 2015 posts
  Japan trip Summer 2014 posts


  1. O.o You got something from Mon Lily? Ooohhh, I wanna see it <3 and huh? My time doesn't count TT_TT Crai. And I love the Tralala shoes you got - I have last years version and I love love love them - I think you'll like the ones you got as well.

    1. Yeah I wore them for a lot of the rest of the trip and they were really good! Lol.

  2. I really your style of clothing! Lovely ʕ•͡ᴥ•ʔ
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  3. I tried black thunder for the first time when i visited my friends just this summer as well! definately love the ice cream more~ if i could, i probably would've brought some back to the states! XD