The first thing we did was go to the JR EAST Travel Service Center near the New South Gate of JR Shinjuku station and exchange our vouchers previously purchased through JTB for the actual JR Rail Pass. We were only going to be in Japan for 7 days, so the most ideal situation would have been us for to have exchanged it earlier and having started using it from the previous day, but because we arrived so late on Nov 25 and none of the offices were open before we left for Disney, so this was our first chance and we were just going to have a "wasted" day of our 7 days.
We got our rail passes and then had a little time to kill, so we quickly headed over to Shibuya so I could do a little shopping. First stop, Shibuya 109 -
(Outfit I wore that day on the left, dress I was trying on on the right)
We spent about an hour just looking around, and then used Tokyo Metro to get to Omotesando. We left the station through exit A2, followed the signs to get to Maisen and then found our way to Hair Salon NALU which is on the second floor above 76 Cafe.
We got there at our appointment time, 12:00pm.
Christa's stylist was Yukari Takeuchi. My stylist was Yoshitada Dejima.
We were seated next to each other and the stylists discussed with us what exactly we wanted to get done during the appointment. Then, we had our hair shampoo'd and got the initial hair cut.
Next, due to our desired end result color and our starting natural hair color, we both required a bleach session.
Finally, the color was added.
Last was final styling!
End results in the salon -
(several different angles due to lighting. I think it didn't pick up that well inside the salon, but I was already really happy with the color!)
The salon experience wasn't exponentially different than any hair appointment I've had at home except the language difference obviously, but both Deji and Yukari were able to communicate with us without too much issue! (We did state that we were English speakers when we booked the appointments though.) In general, I didn't feel rushed or like a low priority and did feel very taken care of and comfortable throughout the whole process. If I wanted to get my hair done in Japan again, I would definitely come back to Hair Salon NALU and do recommend it to others. I would just be sure to set aside a good chunk of time for your appointment if you need to have your hair bleached in addition to color.
The appointment finished at around 16:00. By this time, we were both quite hungry but luckily Maisen is right next door!
Here's a picture of the salon (2nd floor) and 76 cafe (ground floor) that I took after we were done with dinner -
This is a terrible picture, but after we ate, we walked from Omotesando towards Harajuku. We had spent the last several hours sitting, so it was nice to walk for a little bit lol. It was about 16:45 but it was already so dark! It's not something I'm used to, haha.
We stopped at Kiddyland on the way to Takeshita doori.
Christa's hair color in Kiddyland!
My hair color and OOTD lol, trying to take advantage of any full length mirror but it is weird taking selfies like this in a public place lol -
Our next priority was getting to a couple Disney stores for Christa. You know how during my last trip, it was all about Liz Lisa stores for me and then fishing stores for my bf? This time it was still about Liz Lisa for me (duh wtf) but Disney stores for Christa. It still worked out really well!
We went to the Disney store in the Alta along Takeshita doori.
Because I wanted pictures of both of us with our new hair, we went to take purikura at the same place that I went to with Ebony last time at the beginning of the street on the Family Mart side.
We stopped quickly at McDonalds to take a small break and eat a little something. It wasn't too long after we had eaten "lunch" at Maisen, but it just felt like the time to eat "dinner" for some reason lol.
We felt pretty done in Harajuku after that, so we just headed back to Shinjuku so that we could check out the Disney store in Takashimaya as well! And I also wanted to take a peek at the Primevere Liz Lisa store in Shinjuku Lumine EST. (I guess I didn't take any pictures of this, sorry lol.) The Takashimaya is really close to where the Airbnb apartment is, so it made sense to end the night there.
It might seem like we didn't do much, but it was a purposefully pretty chillax day after our very full day at Disney the day before, and we got a major "accomplishment" done of the trip which was the hair cut and color!
In regards to booking an appointment with Hair Salon NALU -
I managed to make our reservations through the online booking via their website.
[Sorry I haven't gone through the whole process again and wasn't sure if it was going to work the first time so I didn't take screenshots at the time and therefore I can't do a step-by-step tutorial. What I'm providing here is all just based on memory, but I think it still might help if you've NEVER encountered this system before.]
I couldn't read the Japanese instructions, but based on my experience, I believe what you need to do is send a (blank) email to email@example.com. You can put information in the email but it doesn't matter - the receipt of the email to that address just prompts an automated email response and you'll be wasting your time if you think someone is going to read what you write. (Yeah I did that.)
In the automated response, you will get a link to register (for your appointment). The registration is in Japanese, but I was able to figure it out with Google Chrome. If you've ever filled out a registration form for any Japanese online shop, it shouldn't be too hard. You need to input your name in hiragana, so if you don't have a Japanese keyboard installed, just google for something to help you.
After you register, you can go directly to making your reservation in the same window and you will also receive an email with a link (in case you closed the window. You only need to proceed one way or the other).
From there, you need to select what services you want to get (cut, color, extensions, treatment, etc), if you have a preferred stylist (check out Cheesie's notes at the bottom of her blog post here), and then I think the last option there before clicking next was asking if you only want to look at weekends or something. I left that last drop down as the equivalent of "none" or "NA" because I wanted my choice of all the dates.
The date selection screen is a little confusing because it only displays one week(ish?) at a time. There's three links/buttons below the date choices. If the date you want to reserve for is not shown on the screen when it loads, you want to click on the second button to move forward in the calendar until you reach the dates you want. The first button/link will advance your reservation and the third one will take you to the previous page. Select your preferred date and then use the first button/link.
I believe you pick your preferred time next, confirm the information you entered (and have the opportunity to leave a comment) and then submit. (I don't remember the exact steps but basically it was pretty straightforward since I don't remember anything being confusing.) If you have selected a specific stylist at the beginning, you will only get the choice of times that that stylist works. For example, if you picked Stylist A, and Stylist A only works from 12:00 to 16:00, your time choices are limited to 12:00 to 16:00. So, if you wanted to make an appointment at 10:00, you have to go back to the beginning and select a different stylist or just say that you don't have a preferred stylist.
If all goes well and you have submitted your appointment request properly, you should receive an email with the subject line "ご予約ありがとうございました".
My accepted reservation had the following text in the body:
"Hair Salon NALUです。ご予約受付けました！ありがとうございます。Unfortunately, I do not know what it will say if your reservation cannot be accepted, but I have a feeling it will definitely have a different message than what I received and that will be a huge indication. At that time, you may have to go through parts of the process again.
DATE (dayoftheweek) TIME
ALTERNATE METHOD: When I was first looking to book the appointment with Hair Salon NALU, I knew it was connected to the Number76 salons in Malaysia, and therefore thought I might be able to use the same contact method. However, when I looked at the number76.com website (for the Malaysian salons), it didn't seem to be the same as the one for the Tokyo branch and that made me question whether I could use the email contact method.
It wasn't until after I attempted to use the first method described above that I saw this post from the @number_76 Instagram page: https://instagram.com/p/9akF-
If I was to book an appointment knowing what I know now, I would probably try and do the email contact method since it doesn't involve any translation issues or possible miscommunication.
✦ Japan trip Autumn 2015 posts
Part 1 - Day 1, November 26: Tokyo DisneySea
Part 1a - Planning for Tokyo DisneySea
Part 2 - Day 2, November 27: Hair Salon NALU, Shibuya & Harajuku
Part 3 - Day 3, November 28: Ghibli Museum, Shirohige Cream Puff Shop, Ikebukuro, Rikugien Garden & Nagomi no Yu
Part 4 - Day 4, November 29: Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari & Fire ramen in Kyoto
Part 5 - Day 5, November 30: Minoo Park, Kaiyukan, Tennoji, Namba & Umeda in Osaka
Part 6 - Day 6, December 1: Shibuya, Yokohama (Chinatown) & Seirinkan
Part 7 - Day 7, December 2: Ueno Zoo, Alice Café & Yebisu Garden Place
Part 8 - Liz Lisa & Other shopping purchases
Part 9 - Budgeting for a week in Japan
Part 10 - Travel notes: Planning, Tips, Accommodations & Pocket wifi
✦ Japan trip Summer 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Spring 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Summer 2014 posts