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BE PREPARED

To feel as though you are only wearing 1/500th of the makeup your face has allocated for you.
(photo via Veronica Fish Illustration)
Mar 15

BE PREPARED

To feel as though you are only wearing 1/500th of the makeup your face has allocated for you.

(photo via Veronica Fish Illustration)



LOOK UP

Tokyo is a city that has been built ‘up’ more than out. There are a lot of cool places hidden is various levels of buildings. Even if you don’t find any extra places to visit that weren’t already on your itinerary, I had a good lol at some of the business names.
(photo via Alexei Riboud)
Mar 15

LOOK UP

Tokyo is a city that has been built ‘up’ more than out. There are a lot of cool places hidden is various levels of buildings. Even if you don’t find any extra places to visit that weren’t already on your itinerary, I had a good lol at some of the business names.

(photo via Alexei Riboud)




BUY THIS SHIT

Japanese train lines and fares are one whole headache. One time I got lost in Shinjuku station for 40 minutes. Buy a Suica/Pasmo card, load her up, and be done with it.
For more information:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_002.html
http://www.japantravellight.com/kanto-pre-paid-cards.shtml
Mar 15

BUY THIS SHIT

Japanese train lines and fares are one whole headache. One time I got lost in Shinjuku station for 40 minutes. Buy a Suica/Pasmo card, load her up, and be done with it.

For more information:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_002.html

http://www.japantravellight.com/kanto-pre-paid-cards.shtml



HARAJUKU IS A COOL PLACE

Actually one of my favourites in the world. I found the crowd here typically a lot more friendly than most places in Tokyo. While you expect this place to be the set of a Gwen Stefani MV after all the PR she’s done for it - you’ll find that everyone is just super stylish. There are definitely a few colour junkie kids about, but not as many as you would expect. This is also the area where you will find kooky and cool fashions in abundance to take home.
The stand out mall I visited (many times) “LaForet” is located in Harajuku - my favourite place to shop in the whole of Tokyo. Plenty of Japanese & international brand names, most erring on (or well into) the side of street wear, but there’s a little something for everyone.
One of the main streets here have two benches full of Japanese Street Style photographers waiting for hot talent to walk by. They act too cool, and probably are. I think they are mainly there on weekends.
I bought a crepe here from Angel’s Heart - it was delicious and I almost had a heart attack after attempting to finish it. Worth it.
I also found an underground Mexican Restaurant here too, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you where it is. Soz, babe.
LaForet English Website: http://www.laforet.ne.jp/en/harajuku.html
Mar 15

HARAJUKU IS A COOL PLACE

Actually one of my favourites in the world. I found the crowd here typically a lot more friendly than most places in Tokyo. While you expect this place to be the set of a Gwen Stefani MV after all the PR she’s done for it - you’ll find that everyone is just super stylish. There are definitely a few colour junkie kids about, but not as many as you would expect. This is also the area where you will find kooky and cool fashions in abundance to take home.

The stand out mall I visited (many times) “LaForet” is located in Harajuku - my favourite place to shop in the whole of Tokyo. Plenty of Japanese & international brand names, most erring on (or well into) the side of street wear, but there’s a little something for everyone.

One of the main streets here have two benches full of Japanese Street Style photographers waiting for hot talent to walk by. They act too cool, and probably are. I think they are mainly there on weekends.

I bought a crepe here from Angel’s Heart - it was delicious and I almost had a heart attack after attempting to finish it. Worth it.

I also found an underground Mexican Restaurant here too, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you where it is. Soz, babe.

LaForet English Website: http://www.laforet.ne.jp/en/harajuku.html




SHINJUKU CALICO CAT CAFE

Best place on earth. Or am I just a creepy cat lady? Go to here.
Ponko-chan, my heart aches for you. Your fluffiness, your scowl, your fascination with my pink handbag shaped like a bow.
For more information:
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/japan/090406/tokyos-cat-cafes
Mar 15

SHINJUKU CALICO CAT CAFE

Best place on earth. Or am I just a creepy cat lady? Go to here.

Ponko-chan, my heart aches for you. Your fluffiness, your scowl, your fascination with my pink handbag shaped like a bow.

For more information:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/japan/090406/tokyos-cat-cafes



MEN & WOMEN IN UNIFORM

So while the Japanese are undeniably a friendly and sweet group of people, for one reason or another the general public will be terrified of talking to you. If you get lost, or need directions - harass policemen, train dudes, posties, basically anyone in a uniform because it’s their duty to help you out.
One time one of the train guards tried to ignore me and I made his life a living hell. Just kidding, I just ignored his RUDENESS and kept asking for help until he gave it to me.
Mar 15

MEN & WOMEN IN UNIFORM

So while the Japanese are undeniably a friendly and sweet group of people, for one reason or another the general public will be terrified of talking to you. If you get lost, or need directions - harass policemen, train dudes, posties, basically anyone in a uniform because it’s their duty to help you out.

One time one of the train guards tried to ignore me and I made his life a living hell. Just kidding, I just ignored his RUDENESS and kept asking for help until he gave it to me.



CASH BASED SOCIETY

Japan is largely a cash based society, so carry a lot of it. It’s safe to. Bet you didn’t think of that… now you have!
For more information (including etiquette tips etc: http://educationjapan.org/jguide/money.html)
Mar 15

CASH BASED SOCIETY

Japan is largely a cash based society, so carry a lot of it. It’s safe to. Bet you didn’t think of that… now you have!

For more information (including etiquette tips etc: http://educationjapan.org/jguide/money.html)



YOYOGI PARK ROCKABILLIES

These guys are cool as fuck, and a lot of fun to watch. Probably not the best photo example of how tough these dudes look (I couldn’t help myself, these boys look so sweet playing hairdressers!) but rest assured you will probably feel intimidated when you see them in all their tight leather glory.
When I went to see these bad boys, I couldn’t help but shyly approach the Godfather for some photo ops. Immediately, they turned into kittens and started playing nice guys. I even took a swig of whiskey from his hip flask! Heart eyes, heart eyes, heart eyes.
Yoyogi Park on a Sunday is where you will find them. Right near Harajuku Station!
WARNING: Do not mock them! I watched them almost beat up on some goofy looking dude. Dreamy sigh.
Photos where they look tougher:
Here, here & here.
(Photo via Everyone Associates)
Mar 15

YOYOGI PARK ROCKABILLIES

These guys are cool as fuck, and a lot of fun to watch. Probably not the best photo example of how tough these dudes look (I couldn’t help myself, these boys look so sweet playing hairdressers!) but rest assured you will probably feel intimidated when you see them in all their tight leather glory.

When I went to see these bad boys, I couldn’t help but shyly approach the Godfather for some photo ops. Immediately, they turned into kittens and started playing nice guys. I even took a swig of whiskey from his hip flask! Heart eyes, heart eyes, heart eyes.

Yoyogi Park on a Sunday is where you will find them. Right near Harajuku Station!

WARNING: Do not mock them! I watched them almost beat up on some goofy looking dude. Dreamy sigh.

Photos where they look tougher:

Here, here & here.

(Photo via Everyone Associates)



BARBIE STORE

In Japan, Barbie is a real fashion store full of makeup, clothes, home-wares, and more.
Upon discovery, I passed out and then regained consciousness & dropped a few hundred STRAIGHT AWAY.
On my way out I was stopped by a cute Japanese girl who asked “Can I photo you please, you are so beautiful! Thank you!” - IT’S A BARBIE WORLD, BITCHES!
Located in LaForet Mall, Harajuku.
(Photo via musebreakz)
Mar 15

BARBIE STORE

In Japan, Barbie is a real fashion store full of makeup, clothes, home-wares, and more.

Upon discovery, I passed out and then regained consciousness & dropped a few hundred STRAIGHT AWAY.

On my way out I was stopped by a cute Japanese girl who asked “Can I photo you please, you are so beautiful! Thank you!” - IT’S A BARBIE WORLD, BITCHES!

Located in LaForet Mall, Harajuku.

(Photo via musebreakz)



MILK TEA & OTHER DRINKS

I won’t lie, as someone from an art/design background I’m the biggest sucker for cute packaging, ever. You won’t be at a lack of it in Japan. Cute drinks acted as small, daily luxuries for me.
Drink vending machines are everywhere - so don’t miss the opportunity to try a warm drink from one! I’m still wondering why the hot/cold vending machines haven’t hit the western world yet - are we that far behind in technology??? Anyway, my drink recommendation is the “British Style Royal Milk Tea”. I think I downed maybe 50 of these a day. Actually, if you see “Royal Milk Tea” on the menu in any cafe - TRY IT! If you like tea, you won’t be disappointed. Royal Milk Tea is easily one of the things I miss most about Japan.
Other suggestions: Yoghurt flavoured Fanta (bought this due to a weak “dare”, it’s basically Calpis), actual Calpis (drink it like a mermaid), and anything with Rilakkuma’s face on it (why even front).
A can of British Style Royal Milk Tea: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/108596479/
Mar 16

MILK TEA & OTHER DRINKS

I won’t lie, as someone from an art/design background I’m the biggest sucker for cute packaging, ever. You won’t be at a lack of it in Japan. Cute drinks acted as small, daily luxuries for me.

Drink vending machines are everywhere - so don’t miss the opportunity to try a warm drink from one! I’m still wondering why the hot/cold vending machines haven’t hit the western world yet - are we that far behind in technology??? Anyway, my drink recommendation is the “British Style Royal Milk Tea”. I think I downed maybe 50 of these a day. Actually, if you see “Royal Milk Tea” on the menu in any cafe - TRY IT! If you like tea, you won’t be disappointed. Royal Milk Tea is easily one of the things I miss most about Japan.

Other suggestions: Yoghurt flavoured Fanta (bought this due to a weak “dare”, it’s basically Calpis), actual Calpis (drink it like a mermaid), and anything with Rilakkuma’s face on it (why even front).

A can of British Style Royal Milk Tea: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/108596479/



HAIR EXTENSIONS

You’ll want them by Day 2 of your trip. Promise.
P.s. Japanese girls do actually look like this.
Mar 17

HAIR EXTENSIONS

You’ll want them by Day 2 of your trip. Promise.

P.s. Japanese girls do actually look like this.



HORROR THEMED RESTAURANTS

FUCK THAT. I bailed on this shit so fucking hard. I tried showing up to a booking that was made (not by me) at The Lockup - maybe I was feeling especially sensitive that day, but I was so scared that even the short journey to the reception desk made me want to pee myself. Hastily, I announced, “Fuck this, I’m way too hungry for this shit”, and left with my best friend. We ended up having some hot and delicious ramen in a soothing, traditional atmosphere. No regrets.
I don’t know about you, but I like to feel relaxed and comfortable when I sit down to eat. I don’t want to be eating on some noodles, then have to deal with any Tokyo Gore Police bullshit, or even Battle Royale status horror. If that freaky deaky from The Ring tries crawling up towards me with her messed up weave, I’ll straight up smack that bitch in the face.
Who should be more afraid at this point? Hold fast, you scary motherfuckers. I’m coming for you.
Horror themed restaurants in Tokyo (Shibuya):
The Lockup: http://www.tokyoweekender.com/2009/10/the-lockup-shibuya/
Alcatraz: http://alcatraz-er.net/
Mar 18

HORROR THEMED RESTAURANTS

FUCK THAT. I bailed on this shit so fucking hard. I tried showing up to a booking that was made (not by me) at The Lockup - maybe I was feeling especially sensitive that day, but I was so scared that even the short journey to the reception desk made me want to pee myself. Hastily, I announced, “Fuck this, I’m way too hungry for this shit”, and left with my best friend. We ended up having some hot and delicious ramen in a soothing, traditional atmosphere. No regrets.

I don’t know about you, but I like to feel relaxed and comfortable when I sit down to eat. I don’t want to be eating on some noodles, then have to deal with any Tokyo Gore Police bullshit, or even Battle Royale status horror. If that freaky deaky from The Ring tries crawling up towards me with her messed up weave, I’ll straight up smack that bitch in the face.

Who should be more afraid at this point? Hold fast, you scary motherfuckers. I’m coming for you.

Horror themed restaurants in Tokyo (Shibuya):

The Lockup: http://www.tokyoweekender.com/2009/10/the-lockup-shibuya/

Alcatraz: http://alcatraz-er.net/



HOW TO WIN AT SKILL TESTER MACHINES

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!Most of the prizes in Japanese Skill Testers are totally adorable, and will feature a lot of official merch of the current cute mascots (eg. Rilakkuma, Hello Kitty, that whole Arpakasso deal). You’ll find most game centers will have a level dedicated to these machines.
Before you end up spending your daily food budget on trying to figure out how to win a take-home “Japanese Experience” souvenir, I’m just going to go ahead and tell you how to do it. Use this information however you like - suggestions: impressing your friends with your “natural flair”, making “if I win-” bets with people you don’t like, hoarding super-cheap, tres kawaii gifts for your friends back home, etc.
The technique: 

The claw won’t “pick up” the prize - have you seen how flimsy those things are? They’re not even trying. The trick is to use it’s “opening” motion to push the prize into the drop tunnel. So, for example, if you need to knock a prize to the left, make sure that you aim the claw for the right of the prize. When it drops down, and opens, one of the claw’s talons should push the prize over to the left before retracting back. The prizes closest to the drop are the easiest to get, so long as they’re not wedged in.
Alternate technique: (don’t make bets with this one)
Be a big baby and act all stressed out and depressed about how much of a huge loser you are to the staff, “wah, wah, I tried so hard and I still can’t win! :’(” - the more pathetic, the better. They will actually just give you one of the prizes if it’s small. Not joking. Worth a try if you have bad aim and really want one!
Mar 19

HOW TO WIN AT SKILL TESTER MACHINES

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!

Most of the prizes in Japanese Skill Testers are totally adorable, and will feature a lot of official merch of the current cute mascots (eg. Rilakkuma, Hello Kitty, that whole Arpakasso deal). You’ll find most game centers will have a level dedicated to these machines.

Before you end up spending your daily food budget on trying to figure out how to win a take-home “Japanese Experience” souvenir, I’m just going to go ahead and tell you how to do it. Use this information however you like - suggestions: impressing your friends with your “natural flair”, making “if I win-” bets with people you don’t like, hoarding super-cheap, tres kawaii gifts for your friends back home, etc.

The technique: 


The claw won’t “pick up” the prize - have you seen how flimsy those things are? They’re not even trying. The trick is to use it’s “opening” motion to push the prize into the drop tunnel. So, for example, if you need to knock a prize to the left, make sure that you aim the claw for the right of the prize. When it drops down, and opens, one of the claw’s talons should push the prize over to the left before retracting back. The prizes closest to the drop are the easiest to get, so long as they’re not wedged in.

Alternate technique: (don’t make bets with this one)

Be a big baby and act all stressed out and depressed about how much of a huge loser you are to the staff, “wah, wah, I tried so hard and I still can’t win! :’(” - the more pathetic, the better. They will actually just give you one of the prizes if it’s small. Not joking. Worth a try if you have bad aim and really want one!


Mar 20

DON’T PACK SHAMPOO

I challenge you to leave your Bumble & Bumble, Frédéric Fekkai, Aveda, whatever, at home. You are now entering the country that has won first place for “Best Hair Ever” infinity years in a row. The Japanese are huge on beauty so even the drugstore stuff is really great.

My recommendation, that I still order in, is Shiseido’s Tsubaki “Shining” series (red packaging). You can purchase it basically anywhere, and it’s totally affordable in Japan so stock up.

The “treatment” is so good I want to have it’s babies! Note: I’m a peroxided blonde.




MOS BURGER

"Making people happy through food" - UNDERSTATEMENT!For those times when you “just feel like a burger” - keep an eye out for Mos Burger. I don’t know what it is about those clever Japanese, but somehow they know the right dimensions to make even burgers super cute (and tasty).
I can’t count how many times I’ve craved Mos Burger here in Sydney. One time when I was in Japan it was so cold and rainy, and I was so hungry that I almost cried tears of relief when I entered the warm mother’s embrace of a Mos Burger franchise. Emotional!
P.s. I love this creepy drawing I found of Ronald and The Kernel eating some sneaky burgers!
Mos Burger Menu: http://www.mosburger.com.sg/mos_menu.php
Miniature Mos Burger key chains: http://www.japtou.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=8120
Mar 21

MOS BURGER

"Making people happy through food" - UNDERSTATEMENT!

For those times when you “just feel like a burger” - keep an eye out for Mos Burger. I don’t know what it is about those clever Japanese, but somehow they know the right dimensions to make even burgers super cute (and tasty).

I can’t count how many times I’ve craved Mos Burger here in Sydney. One time when I was in Japan it was so cold and rainy, and I was so hungry that I almost cried tears of relief when I entered the warm mother’s embrace of a Mos Burger franchise. Emotional!

P.s. I love this creepy drawing I found of Ronald and The Kernel eating some sneaky burgers!

Mos Burger Menu: http://www.mosburger.com.sg/mos_menu.php

Miniature Mos Burger key chains: http://www.japtou.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=8120