Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Japan trip Autumn 2015, Part 6 - Day 6: Shibuya, Yokohama (Chinatown) & Seirinkan

We were back in Tokyo on December 1. After a slightly eventful evening the night before with the train delay, we planned to sleep in a bit. We got an easy conbini breakfast in the morning, finished packing our bags and then checked out of the Airbnb apartment at around 10:30.
We had tried to figure out how to do package forwarding from the 7-Eleven near the apartment the night before so we wouldn't have to deal with our luggage on the trains, but the staff didn't speak English and we didn't want to take any chances with our bags being lost or delayed since we only had one more day in Japan.

Instead, we rearranged our suitcases so that we would have only two bags each, waited until most of the rush hour was over, and hopped onto the first car of the train so we could more easily stand to the side. 
It somehow seemed like forever to get from Shinjuku to Shinagawa lol. But once we arrived at the station, I am very familiar with the location of our final hotel - the Prince Shinagawa (N Tower), and we got to the lobby with no issues and were in no particular rush. We were too early to check in, but we lumped off out bags at the front desk. I had hoped the pocket wifi we ordered would have arrived by this time, but since it hadn't, I suggested we head out to do some shopping until check-in when we could come back, put our things in the room, and pick up the wifi device.

We headed over to Shibuya 109 (my choice lol).
I knew that it offered free wifi to (foreign) visitors and wanted to have a central location where we could meet back up since I knew Christa probably didn't want to follow me around the mall again. For some reason it took about ten minutes for my iPhone to connect to the wifi, but when it finally did, I took my time and explored each floor from B2 to 8, determined to find something I wanted to buy.

While I was browsing, I remembered that I wanted to check out One Spo based on a few things I had seen online before the trip. The display in the front of the store and a coordinate the shop staff was wearing sucked me in and I tried on a couple things and ended up buying them. It was a bit of a frivolous purchase but too cute to pass up and I knew I wanted to wear it on the last day of the trip. (You'll see it in a lot of photos in Day 7 <--check it out!)

Of course, I also had to stop by Liz Lisa one more time even if the stock was all the same.
But I still didn't end up buying anything. From there or anywhere else in 109 except three pairs of socks from Doll Kiss wtf lol. How lame is that? That was the trend of the trip though :|

Having exhausted my options there, I decided to take a look at Don Quixote. There were some things I didn't get a chance to purchase when I had visited the one in Umeda, and it was a good time to stock up because I wasn't planning on doing much other shopping and we were headed right back to the hotel after we met back up.
Unfortunately, the Shibuya DQ didn't have all of the items I had seen in Umeda :O I still found a few things to  buy, but I would still have to find another.

My bf finally remembered that he wanted something from Uniqlo so I headed back over there after making my purchase at DQ. I didn't find what he wanted since it was more of a spring item, but I did take advantage of the big full length mirrors for outfit pictures lol.
I'm wearing the Liz Lisa closet OP and pumps that I had purchased on Day 2 from Shibuya 109 and Primevere at Lumine EST.

I went back to 109 to get in range for the wifi and bumped into Christa even before our set meet up time. She was making a purchase at Samantha Vega!
She bought the small white purse in the center of the top picture which was a special item from the Sailor Moon x Samantha Vega collaboration that hadn't released back in March with the other items. She also purchased a Sailor Mars charm! I'm super happy that she purchased it. I was tempted to get something as well but I just bought a pure white Samantha Thavasa purse during the August trip and I'm not a big enough Sailor Moon fan to justify the price :| Christa buying something is the next best thing though!

Having accomplished our task of killing time, we went to pick up something quick to eat from the Yoshinoya take out window opposite 109 and then headed back to Shinagawa.

I picked up a few things from Shinagawa station on the way back to the hotel, and then I went back to the front desk, checked in, claimed out bags and poured into the room.
It was so good to finally have all of our stuff in one place and not have to worry about moving anywhere else.

I actually signed for the pocket wifi package when we checked in but I forgot it at the front desk when we were trying to bring all of our luggage upstairs, so I had to go back down and get it lol. Oops.

We leisurely ate our take out lunch and spent some time repacking our suitcases to determine how much room we still had for shopping.

We didn't have anything in particular planned for this day and we had already done all of our "must dos" in Tokyo, so I checked our planning Google Doc for ideas and remembered that Christa had previously expressed interest in visiting the Hello Kitty Restaurant Cafe in Yokohama after I referred her to Cheesie's blog for ideas. I broached the idea of checking it out, she agreed and I figured out how to get us there.
We caught a JR Tokaido line train to Yokohama. The closest station to the HKRC is Motomachi-Chukagai which isn't a JR station, so we had to buy a ticket for the Minatomirai line. 

While we were on the train, I got a weird feeling about going all this way to visit the restaurant and, purely on a hunch, I tried googling for more information about HKRC. I had looked up a few sites before we left but only for access information. This time, I searched for "Hello Kitty Restaurant Cafe Yokohama closed" and, lo and behold, there was a result that listed the restaurant as CLOSED wtf lol. Not just closed for the day but shut down lol.
We had already bought the tickets for the Minatomirai line and were literally sitting on a train headed towards Motomachi-Chukagai anyway, so I switched gears and started figuring out what else was in the area. Fortunately, Motomachi-Chukagai is one of the stations closest to Yokohama Chinatown which is supposed to be quite good. I quickly discussed it with Christa, and we decided that since we had already paid for the ticket and expended the time to get most of the way over there, we would get off and check it out.
We got off the train and I was looking at the station map when I thought, oh hey, let's just go check at the building that the HKRC is supposed to be at - just in case. I mean, we're already over here anyway, we might as well just go and check. We've got nothing to lose at this point and only something to gain if that website was wrong. Christa agreed and I directed us towards an exit on the far side of the station based on Google maps.
And after about a 5 minute walk, I ended up leading us in exactly the wrong direction and we exited at the wrong end of the station...

At one of the entrances to Chinatown lol.
It was at this point that I realized that we simply weren't meant to visit the HKRC location, even if only to see it closed lol.

Yokohama Chinatown is full of panda merchandise! I really liked this panda ramen display and ended up buying 3 packets of it lol. According to the sign, the noodles are made black by adding bamboo charcoal powder and the white soup is made from boiled pork bones.

We continued just kind of blindly walking around taking in the sights. There wasn't anything in particular that we had planned to do (since we hadn't planned to come at all), so we didn't have much foresight into where to go. There are a lot of ready-to-eat food shops/restaurants, but neither Christa nor I am big on Chinese food and we weren't particularly hungry, so we didn't stop for anything.

We just ended up in another souvenir store lol.
I was excited to find these character spoons in it! (My family just calls them spoons but I looked it up and they're called "Chinese soup spoons" or "renge spoons"?) I use this kind of spoon somewhat regularly, and I thought it would be fun to have a couple with illustrations. The hard part was picking them! There were two more rows of choices even below this top pictured one. After putting way too much thought into it, I bought Daisy and Donald simply because I liked her bow and I wanted to get a set so that meant Donald had to come too lol. Christa ended up buying 4 different Star Wars spoons for her family.
When we were done checking out, I stopped to look at the map near the entrance of the store so we could figure out what else we would be doing since I kind of felt like we were just walking and not really doing anything. We were almost near the center of Chinatown at that point, but slightly closer to JR Ishikawacho station which is ideal because we want to use our JR rail passes as much as possible. (I was alarmed at first that I didn't realize we could catch JR to this area and had wasted money buying tickets earlier but then Christa reminded me that we didn't initially plan to come to Chinatown and I had routed us differently back when we didn't know the HKRC was closed.)

While we were on our way to Ishikawacho station, Christa pointed out a Daiso down a narrow alley because by this point she realized I like shopping there lol. And I'm glad she did! This Daiso had quite a few things that others didn't, including something my ex-coworker wanted that I hadn't seen in over a year despite going to many different Daiso locations at various times of the year since.

We continued on to the station and essentially had just done a brief walk through Yokohama Chinatown while buying things not even necessarily related to it lol. The gates at each entrance/exit though were really impressive! I wish that I could have gotten a nice picture of one with natural light but we didn't arrive in this area until the sun was going down and it only got darker from there.

From Ishikawacho, we went to Yokohama station and I dragged Christa over to Vivre so I could check out the Liz Lisa store there. I went in the front entrance like I had done on my previous two trips and was alarmed when I didn't immediately see the Liz Lisa there. I turned around and looked for the directory and was relieved to realize that they had just moved to the fourth floor. After I thought about it for a bit, I did kind of remember there being a renewal event for this location. I was so glad I didn't drag Christa all the way over there for nothing.
Although it was kind of for nothing because I didn't end up buying anything. However, I looked up the closest Don Quixote because there was still a few things I wanted and it was near the Vivre anyway, so that wasn't a complete and total waste. This Yokohama DQ had the items that I missed buying from the Umeda location and I was really happy to find them.

To ensure that this jaunt over to Yokohama wasn't a total bust for Christa, I made sure that she got at least a little something out of it too, and we went over to the other side of the station to find the nearest Disney store.

The nearest store happened to be in the SOGO on the east side of Yokohama station. Due to the movie being released soon, it featured a Star Wars theme throughout the floors and also had some special items and displays.
Christa bought a few things for her family. I looked around for myself but I don't know the series enough to buy anything for myself or others lol. I'm not sure if I've even seen an entire movie from start to end.

We made our way to the floor with the Disney store and Christa headed over there while I browsed the outer area a bit before joining her.

By the time we finished, it was around 20:00 and about time to eat dinner. I suggested what has become one of my favorite places to eat in Tokyo - Seirinkan. The only downside about it is that its nearest station isn't accessed by JR lines.
We could have caught mostly JR lines to get there and then transferred to Tokyo Metro, but since we were in Yokohama, we were able to catch just one train directly to Nakameguro via the Tokyu Toyoko line for only 100yen more than what we would have to spend for the one stop using Tokyo Metro, and it would also be saving us some time and trouble.

We arrived in Nakameguro, and I was able to navigate us to the restaurant with relatively little issue. We were seated right away on the third floor. (I've now had the pleasure of dining on the basement, second and third floor of this restaurant. The first floor doesn't really have customer seating.)
Christa and I each ordered a margherita pizza for ourselves lol. I've never eaten the entire pizza by myself but that night I did. And Christa finished hers too! I think it was partially because we were eating dinner so late and we had done so much walking just before, but also because it's so delicious and I didn't want to waste any of it lol.

We finished our meal and then stopped at a conbini on the way back to check for any snacks to buy. We had to use Tokyo Metro to get back to the JR Yamanote line and then back to Shinagawa.
We headed back to the hotel after quickly browsing through the bookstore in the station. I bought a couple magazines and Christa found something as well. When we got back to the room, Christa realized that she had unfortunately left her small purchase from the conbini back at the bookstore, but she was too lazy to go back and get it lol. I told her we could try and ask for it the next day since it's not like we won't use the station again. We decided to just call it a night.

This was a bit of a fail day on a scale of things. We didn't have anything solid planned and the one suggestion that we were going to explore ended up being closed down lol. That being said, it could have been a lot worse since moving all of our luggage from the apartment to the hotel could have been a bigger hassle than it actually was. For shopping, this day wasn't too bad though. I finally bought an outfit and was looking forward to wearing it on the last day (even if it was just one). And the accidental trip to Yokohama Chinatown did yield some pretty good purchases for me even though we didn't do anything specifically in the area besides tourist shopping, and the Yokohama Don Quixote had what the Shibuya one lacked. Plus we ended the night with fantastic pizza! There wasn't anything particularly exciting from a blogging standpoint, but I think we had to have at least one day be a little bit more low key of the trip and we needed to be well rested for the last day, Day 7!
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

This post might seem a little lacking or all over the place because YET AGAIN, Blogger has found a way to screw me over and I had to completely rewrite and format this post. Similar to what happened to my "Am I too old for Liz Lisa" post, the draft I had completely finished writing and was just waiting for the right time to publish was somehow deleted and replaced with a duplicate of the Day 7 draft (not only in title but in content too).
I have no freaking idea how this happened and I tried as many solutions as possible because this time I noticed the deletion/duplication within an hour of it occurring, but to no avail. My ready-to-publish Day 6 draft from the other day is gone and I'm pissed, but I'm not sure what I can do. If anyone has helpful advice, please let me know. I'm tired of this happening to me. I tried going back to old preview urls of the draft, but that yielded no results except an error page. I will try and be more diligent about saving copies of my posts to an alternate source like a word document but REGARDLESS, I don't think this should be happening anyway??
Edit/FYI: I finally got through to the Blogger Help Forum and apparently you can't edit two posts at the same time or edit one and then immediately edit another -__-

4 comments:

  1. Ah pizza looks delicious! And the purse that Christa bought is really pretty♡ I love sailor moon *-*

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    1. They've been releasing so many great (properly licensed) Sailor Moon collab products lately!

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  2. All the Star Wars stuff!! The pizza looks yummy as well. Lol. XD

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    1. I wish I knew people I could have bought it for!

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