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Japan

The First Harajuku Fashion Walk International Day

July 29, 2015
Fashion and makeup, Japan, Nerds and Geeks, Parties and Fun, Wonderful Weekend


Photo by ALT TeeVee
On the weekend of July 25th and 26th it was the first Harajuku Fashion Walk International Day. Usually the Harajuku Fashion Walk just happens in the famous, wonderful suburb of Tokyo but the people who organise it decided it was something the world should get in on and so they announced that it would be an international day from now on! My friend Melinda asked if I’d like to help her organise something about two weeks before the actual date and naturally I sad YES!

Because we’re both busy women and time wasn’t exactly on our side, we didn’t do a whole lot to organise the event beyond deciding the time, creating the Facebook page and setting up an event. But even so, we were stoked at how decent a turn out we had! It was absolutely wonderful seeing so many people dressed in their finest Japanese-street-style fashion, including fairy kei, decora, lolita, visual kei and much more (if you’re curious about the types of Japanese fashion styles, this post has an awesome rundown of many of them). I often lament that almost no one in Brisbane gets kawaii fashion, so it was bloody awesome to see that there actually are a bunch who do, and there’s probably heaps more out there who didn’t make it to the walk. We can’t wait to plan next years event already!

It was also great to see people’s reactions to us and the walk. Many people approached us for photos and asked what we were up to. I tended to just say we weren’t dressed up for anything, that’s just how we like to dress, as I didn’t want them thinking it was just a bunch of people cosplaying (for some of us, kawaii is a way of life, not a costume!). Speaking of cosplay, there was very little of it which was an enormous relief to me as I feared it might be over run by cosplayers who further reinforced the idea that dressing differently = costume.

 
The starting point was King George Square where everyone met up and took lots of photos (there were so many photographers there specifically for the event which was super cool) before we walked through the Queen Street Mall and over Victoria Bridge and into Southbank where we took lots more photos and had lunch at Harajuku Gyoza. Someone from the ABC offices saw us and grabbed some photos of us as we passed by which was awesome!

 
My outfit was kind of a mic between fairy kei and decora. It was very exciting to be able to come up with a wonderfully OTT outfit with stuff I already owned! I loved being able to represent some of my crafty friends with my various accessories, such as Miss-a-Ree Guts Creations, Creep Heart and Winnifreds Daughter. Oh and my own brand Ruby Kawaii, of course! Unfortunately my phone was being a bit of a jerk and blurred for most of my close-up outfit photos :(

 
It was an awesome day all round and I’m glad we were able to quickly organise something. It was lovely seeing all of the excellent photos people took, not to mention this fantastic video shot by one of the participants:

There are lots of other photos floating around if you’re interested! The rest of my photos can be found here, otherwise check our Facebook page and the event for plenty more!

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Japan: A Quick Summary

May 28, 2015
Japan, Life, My Life, Nails, Nerds and Geeks, Parties and Fun, Travel

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Hello friends! Ben and I are officially back from our 3-and-a-bit weeks in Japan and we’re already back at work! No time for rest ever, apparently! We had an AMAZING time on our trip, we barely stopped until close to the end and only because we were totally exhausted.

Our first stop was Tokyo where we spent 10 days. The first two we stayed with our friends Anekie and Iain who have been there for four years and are both teachers. They took us around a few of the days we were there including a huge day in Harajuku, to an Oktoberfest (yes, in May) in Odaiba, to a traditional street festival with lots of drunk people carrying shrines, karaoke, maid cafes and much more. On our own we explored places like Shinjuku (where we stayed), Nakano Broadway, Roppongi, Akihabara and Shibuya. We visited the Ghibli Museum, took a day trip out to see the plum blossoms in the shadow of Mt Fuji, went to the Robot Restaurant and both Disney parks.

The 2nd stop was Osaka where we stayed for one week. We discovered Ame-mura for fashion, music and pinball arcades. We explored Dotonbori and it’s many touristy sights. We wandered through rose-filled parks and visited excellent looking shrines (not all of which were open, damn 5pm closing times). We took a day trip to Nara to pat deer, look at massive shrines and then sneak into abandoned theme parks. We made friends with the owners of an awesome toy shop who happened to be famous Universal Monsters collectors, who took us out and about and made us feel incredibly welcome. I even got my nails done and we spent a day at Universal Studios.

The 3rd spot was Hiroshima where we had four days, which turned out to not be nearly enough. We met a heavily tattooed man named Potty who’s famous for being the #1 fan of the Hiroshima Carp baseball team and his sweet wife Misa. They took us out to dinner and were fabulous hosts, though I got stupidly drunk at the BBQ we all went to (possibly the drunkest I’ve been in many years, but gosh it was fun). We went to the Hiroshima Peace Museum which probably would have been a lot more moving were it not for the 200 or so school kids crowding the place and being rowdy. We went to Miyajima Island to pat more deer (much nicer than the ones in Nara) and admire the floating shrine. We spent a day traveling to and on Okunoshima Island (while I was stupendously hungover) which is overrun by wild but friendly bunnies who were more than happy to climb all over you for the perfect photo. No amount of hangover can withstand the power of bunnies!

Our last stop was Kyoto because we knew we’d need a place to wind down after so doing so much. We still managed to visit a number of shrines and temples, walk through the bamboo forest and got halfway up the Fushimi Inari Shrine walk. We even stumbled upon the delightful Kyoto Arashiyama Orgel Music Box Museum which we highly recommend! We did manage to find a decent amount of time to wind down, relax and get acquainted with the fact our trip was ending. We’d done so much that we were actually pretty ready for it, plus we missed our dogs :)

I won’t be so bold to suggest I will get around to posting more detailed accounts of the trip (we all know how badly I did with my US trip in 2013) but I’ll definitely post a bit more about some of my favourite days, such as the time spent in Harajuku and our Nara day trip.

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