We left Honolulu on March 22 at around 05:20pm. I went straight to the airport from work after getting my full 8 hours in lol. Luckily I don't work very far and can most of my things the night before and just add in the daily essentials in the morning.
Back in economy ~
Our flight landed in Haneda pretty much on schedule around 9 hours and 45 minutes later, close to 10:30pm. There was quite a bit of turbulence during the flight which didn't bother me but these long flights are starting to really take a toll - especially on crowded/cramped planes. The last hour is really killer for some reason.
There was a sizable line to get through Immigration but the staff was attentive and we were able to pass without much fuss. By the time we got to the baggage claim, our check-in luggage was just coming off the carousel so the timing was perfect!
After getting through Customs, we easily purchased tickets for the Keikyu line and caught a train to Shinagawa. No transferring this time! We exited the station and walked straight to the Airbnb apartment which is one we were already familiar with after staying there on our Summer 2015 trip.
It was already past midnight by the time we settled in and showered, so we quickly just went to sleep!
Friday, March 24 was the first real day of our trip. There's a 7-Eleven just downstairs from the apartment which is super convenient for getting a simple breakfast.
We woke up early thanks to the cold and partial jet lag and easily got ready in time to go to the Information counter at Shinagawa station 10 minutes before it opened at 09:00. We wanted to be sure to get our passes right away so we could also stand in the separate line to reserve our shinkansen tickets for the trip.
After that, my bf started his day and I went back to the apartment. The Airbnb came with a pocket wifi unit but since my bf and I would be separate fairly often, I knew it would be best to get another (so we could have one each). Even after the debacle during the last trip with the delivery, I decided to trust Pupuru again and set the same delivery time: 10:00am - 12:00pm which is the earliest time slot. I waited in the apartment from 10:00am until the package was safely delivered at around 11:15am.
I ripped open the package, turned on the wifi and headed out on my way.
I got to Shibuya via the JR Yamanote line just before noon and started shopping!
First stop Liz Lisa in its new location on the 6th floor of Shibuya 109 which is much smaller but still nice IMO. I don't mind the layout so much but it does feel quite tiny in comparison to the 5th floor store which now sells trendy shoes.
I tried on a few dresses and ended up just making a huge bulk purchase because I was surprised to find there were quite a few things I wanted that were in stock!
Once I made my purchase at Shibuya 109, I left the building without really looking anywhere else and hopped back on a JR Yamanote line train to get to Harajuku. Quickly exited using the Takeshita exit and was right where I wanted to be!
Since my bf and I decided that we weren't going to meet up for lunch after all, I stopped in the Family Mart at the top of the street for onigiri. It was so crowded and slow moving on Takeshita doori that I had plenty of time and cover to eat it lmao.
It really seemed like it took forever to get down to Liz Lisa which is kind of on the latter half of the street (but still kind of in the middle) but in reality it only took 5 minutes. If there was a minimal crowd, I'm sure it would only take half that time to get there though.
I saw a few things I wanted in the first floor and also went to look on the second floor as well.
When I was done in Liz Lisa, on my way back to Harajuku station, I stopped in Harajuku ALTA to look at Swimmer but it was way too crowded in there and I had too many bags to really browse much.
I continued on to Daiso to look for a few basic things and the lines were crazy long and it was also super crowded, but I managed to make my purchases after a short wait.
Next, Shinjuku station (after utilizing the JR Yamanote line again)!
Of course....I exited on the entirely wrong side of the station YET AGAIN. How many times can I make the same mistake before I just stop and take my time and look up what exit I should be using instead of just taking a chance. I ended up feeling really lost while simultaneously remembering being lost in the exact same place before so it was also stupidly somewhat familiar.
In any case, I eventually found my way to Studio ALTA.
Which was kind of for nothing because this Liz Lisa didn't have anything new that the others didn't and also they got rid of the Can Do on the fourth floor which I was really looking forward to going to :|
For the record, if you want to this Liz Lisa without walking around the entire station, IMO the best exit to take is the East exit or the Central East exit and walk through and out Lumine EST. When you get to the street level, you should be able to see the top of ALTA and instantly know where to go from there.
I wanted to meet up with my bf who was in Ueno, so we agreed to meet at Ueno Park.
It took us a while to get to the same place, but eventually found each other. There weren't many cherry blossom trees in bloom in the areas we were, and we weren't willing to walk around the entire park, but I was able to see a few!
We ended up just walking through a short section of the park to get to a restaurant to each a late lunch together.
My parents ate at Sushizanmai twice during our previous trip but I've never eaten there before. I don't really eat raw fish so the cucumber sushi is mine. Apparently my bf wasn't too big a fan of this though. He said the salmon didn't seem fresh at all.
Once we were done eating, we went back to Ueno station and separated again. Thanks to my JR Rail Pass, I was able to easily just catch an Asama-type shinkansen bound for Nagoya in an unreserved car. I got off one stop later at Omiya after a short but comfortable ride.
I know that when I'm at Omiya, the West exit is the one I want lol. Omiya Arche is right there to greet me.
Again, went straight to Liz Lisa on the third floor. This store had one of the things I wanted that the other stores didn't, so it was definitely worth the trip!
I also stopped at Daiei, which I always do in Omiya for some reason, and also the 100yen shop right next to it where I was able to get what I wanted that I didn't see in the Harajuku Daiso or the non-existent Shinjuku Alta Can Do. Score for Omiya! (Apparently didn't take any pictures of this which I'm not surprised about because my arms/hands were a little full.)
Feeling pretty tired at that point, I decided to just catch a train back to Shinagawa to drop off my purchases.
We had initially planned to eat dinner at a restaurant that specializes in unagi and go to a park, but it was too far away and my bf had gone all the way to Chiba without enough time to make it back, so we ended up just meeting back up at the apartment and getting Sukiya for dinner.
Unfortunately, I don't have very many pictures from this day because all I did was shopping. It's not the best for blogging, but it was very productive for me! I knew I wanted to get to as many Liz Lisa stores as feasible on the first day so I could figure out what was going to be in stock and if I was going to have enough clothes to wear during the trip. I got to 4 stores (Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku and Omiya) but thankfully, Shibuya 109 had 85% of the items I really wanted, and even a few I wasn't expecting to see. (Liz Lisa purchases will be shown in Part 8!) Thanks to a bit of jet lag, and all the walking around + carrying shopping bags, I was already so tired by like 20:00, but I wouldn't consider it a waste at all because I knew I needed a good night's sleep!
🌸 Japan trip Spring 2017 🌸
Part 1: Arrival and Day 1 - Liz Lisa shopping and Ueno Park
Part 2: Day 2 - Liz Lisa x My Melody Shibuya 109 release and Yokohama Ramen Museum
Part 3: Day 3 - Tokaido Shinkansen to Osaka and meeting Mintkismet/Rilakkuma cafe
Part 4: Day 4 - Hiroshima Peace Museum, Hiroshima Castle and Miyajima/Itsukushima Shrine
Part 5: Day 5 - Nagoya Aquarium, Nagoya Castle, Science Museum and Oasis 21
Part 6: Day 6 - Tokaido Shinkansen back to Tokyo and MariCAR Street Go-Kart Tour
Part 7: Day 7 - Kawatsura Strawberry Farm, National Art Center, Rikugien Garden Illumination
Part 8: Liz Lisa purchases/coordinates
Part 9: Travel Notes - Airbnb, JR Pass, luggage & Pupuru pocket wifi
Part 10: OOTDs
✦ Japan trip Winter 2017 posts
✦ Japan trip Spring 2016 posts
✦ Japan trip Autumn 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Summer 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Spring 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Summer 2014 posts