Thursday, January 10, 2013


So much to cover so little time! I'm condensing today down to the basics. First of all, I went to Harajuku for the first time!!!! Ahhhh!!! I was so excited to go! If you don't know what that is, here is the long and short of it according to wikipedia "Harajuku is also a large shopping district that includes international brands, its own brands, and shops selling clothes young people can afford." So yeah. More specifically today though I ended up on Takeshita street in Harajuku.

Before that though, we had to take three separate train lines to arrive. The first one was easy, 3 stops away from the apartment with a transfer at Medaimae station heading toward Shinjuku I believe. At Shinjuku we transferred to another train and three stops later arrived in Harajuku where we proceeded to Kiddy Land and were unsuccessful in our search for a baby, or really much any kind of doll (unless you count the $120-$150 ones we saw. Yikes!) for my youngest sister's birthday.

Kiddy Land. 1 floor of Snoopy and friends, three floors of toys and a little bit of Ghibli (especially Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service) and one floor of Hello Kitty and Rilacuma (sp?).

On Takeshita Street there were shops, shops shops selling everything from what looked like wanna be gangster type clothing to Lolita! Oh, the Lolita! Guilty note here, I'm a HUGE Lolita fan! I practically died of happiness walking into Body Line where I proudly bought my first (on sale!) Lolita dress!

You aren't allowed to take pictures inside the store, so this was the best I could get.

Basically, Body Line is the Walmart of Lolita. They're cute and they don't cost your soul in the exchange (okay, so maybe just a little bit). The dresses that I saw were running from about $35 - $70 on sale. Happiness ensues. Life completion. I can die happy. Here is my dress. Still need a petticoat and undershirt though. Hehe!

Also for the record I tend to run a 16/XL in the US so I was really, really worried that nothing would fit me. Thanks to the elastic waist and bust on this I fit into what seemed to be their largest size, a 4L. I'm going to go back another day to see if I can manage this feat again in a non-elastic dress. Right now is a huge sale at Body Line so they don't allow you to try on the dresses and it was thanks to all those helpful tips I learned from mom that I crossed my fingers upon buying the non-returnable dress.

Our next stop was food. Desperate need as we had been in Harajuku for about 2 1/2 hours now. Ayumi decided on a cafe and she ordered the Tiramisu and I cake (which ran about $5, but I was still happily oblivious thanks to Body Line). I want to say this straight off. The cake was really good, but it was soooo light! I took a bite of the cake expecting it to be slightly filling, but it was like I had eaten nothing at all, which isn't to say it wasn't a delicious nothing. It totally was delicious, but when I left I wasn't feeling weighed down at all by the cake. By the way, for perspectives sake, the fork is like half the size of a normal fork. So like, child size. Just for reference. 

A bit later on we saw Closet Child, another Lolita store, but this one generally specializing in having used Lolita from all the name brands that I would kill to fit into. We walked in just to see the price range and I found it to be very expensive. The cheapest dress I saw (and I didn't look for long) started at about $70 and went up. Yikes! I ran out of there pretty quickly. We saw one other shop and with about the same prices. Moral of the story, Body Line is my new best friend.

Soooo many choices! But there wasn't nearly that much actually put into the crepe.

After much shopping, since my original intent (which was fulfilled!) was to buy birthday presents for the family back home, we made one last stop for crepes! I had strawberry chocolate and whipped cream! It was definitely delicious, but ran about $5, so that will only be an occasional treat. 

Last up on the list is toilets. Yep. Again. I know, I keep running this circle, but here goes. Today was the day. D-day. I finally had no option but to use a Japanese style toilet. With a queue running out the doors into the station and not wanting to seem like a sissy in front of a bunch of women I stepped into the first available stall which was, to my horror, Japanese style. It wasn't so bad, but I definitely prefer western style toilets. There are bars in front of what I can only describe as a hole in the ground for you to hang onto while you squat and do your business. If the one you use winds up having no handles, make sure you're facing the little hood at the front of the toilet. You then wave your hand in front of this little sensor that all the bathrooms I've visited so far seem to have and it will flush and take your deeds away.

Oh, and I want to add about the ride home. Yeah. You know those pictures of the sardine trains in Japan? Well, it wasn't quite that bad, but it was almost as bad. I thought I was going to get trampled by the crowd on the way out the door. Yikes!


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