Monday, November 11, 2013

Christmas Shopping in Tokyo


The weekend before last was a three day weekend so I took advantage of that and went to Tokyo. I did a lot of Christmas shopping. I could have easily found Christmas presents in Iwata and Hamamatsu, but Tokyo is even more awesome.

I left a little before 8:30 on Saturday so I arrived in Ikebukuro, where my hotel was, a little before 1:00. As I got close to Tokyo some guy walked into the train car I was in, listening to his ipod and singing along really loudly. He walked through the car singing and dancing. Some high school kids got up and started dancing, too. It was hilarious.

After dropping my luggage off at the hotel I ate a quick lunch at Becker's near the station. I read the menu and saw a meat and egg croissant. So I thought it would be ham and egg. It turns out that I didn't read the full name and it was a meat sauce and egg croissant, which meant that it was like spaghetti meat sauce, lol. It was a kind of weird combination. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't something I would get again. I also got barbeque and bacon fries which were tasty, but didn't have enough cheese. Probably healthier that way though, lol.


My first shopping destination was Sunshine City in Ikebukuro. In the center of the mall there was a dance performance going on. It was pretty!


There was also a rose display thing. These were a little old looking, but the color was sooooooo pretty!



Later there was a woman in a really pretty dress playing the flute. 



My first purchase of the trip was a bottle of nail polish from Its'demo (no clue what that name means), which is a cute cosmetics store.


They have a collection of polishes there with really cute glitter! They have several different combinations of hearts and Mickey and Minnie and crown shaped glitter. I got one with pink and lavender hearts and silver Mickey and Minnie glitter. I used it the next day. I had some trouble with the Mickey and Minnie glitter pieces not laying flat. But on the last nail I did I pressed it down with my fingers and then used topcoat to cover up my fingerprints. That worked pretty well. It didn't stand out a whole lot over the gold polish I used first, but I think it will be super cute over some other colors!


At Sunshine City I also bought some lotion (White Musk Smoky Rose scent) from the Body Shop. It's a really nice perfumey scent and lasts a long time too. I've been looking for a good scent for winter and this is really nice. All the Japanese lotions I've seen in stores are almost all floral scented and don't last long at all. So yay!

I also bought a cute light blue sweater that is a little bit sparkly and has pearls on the front. I kept thinking about buying it and went in that store like four times before I ended up just buying it. Oh, and I bought a new pair of boots, too. The pair of shoes I was wearing were kind of falling apart and I had forgotten to bring other shoes. I had also forgotten clothes for Monday (so the sweater purchase was actually necessary). I guess forgetting stuff ended up not being so bad, haha.

Here are a couple pictures I took in Ikebukuro on my way to the station.



Next I went to Shibuya. I first looked around 109 for a while and then went to Ichiran ramen for dinner. Yum! 




After spending some time looking at CDs in Tower Records I headed back to Ikebukuro. As I was looking at the map to check the price of the ticket I needed to buy, a man came over and asked me where I was going. I understood what he said, but I just told him that I didn't understand and walked up to the ticket machine. He then started pointing frantically at the English sign and was like, "There's English over here." I then told him I could read kanji (Well, some...) I put my money into the machine as he ran back over to me and hovered over it and pointed to where the ticket would come out. I was afraid he was going to try to steal my ticket or my change. It wouldn't be a big deal since it was only 160 yen and I was only getting 40 yen in change, but still. He grabbed the ticket but then handed it to me. I then quickly headed towards the gate. As I got close to the gate he grabbed my arm and said (this time in English), "Now help me. Give me 300 yen." I quickly ran through the gate. Well, that was weird. His scam wasn't very well thought out. He spoke to me in Japanese most of the time and if I was able to understand him I probably didn't need his help anyways. The next day when I went back to Shibuya he was at the station again just standing around and I avoided him.

When I arrived in Ikebukuro there was some guy at the station doing a puppet performance. He was playing classical music and making the puppet play the violin along with the music. It was so unimpressive, lol.




Outside of the station they were decorating for Christmas. Normally I would be annoyed with Christmas stuff so early, but I was Christmas shopping so it was actually nice.

I headed back to the Sunshine City area to go to Bookoff. On the way there I saw a crowd gathered and wondered what it was. A bunch of people were surrounding a TV outside of a store watching some baseball game. I guess something special was going on? I don't know, haha.


I spent a while at Bookoff and then went back to my hotel. The next day I did more shopping... of course! I wore my dress from Axes Femme and my new boots. Yay! 


I first visited Harajuku. There was a candy store called Candy a Go Go. The girls working there wore really cute clothing and handed out samples. 



It was similar to candy stores at malls in America except cuter. I bought a little bit of candy. I got some grapefruit slices, black currant gummies, mango gummy bears, a gummy flower, and a gummy Euro coin.


Then I saw another store I had never seen before. It was a store filled with K-pop merchandise! They had several TVs in there (I think about 15) playing various music videos. Some girls got really excited about one of them and started singing along and dancing a little bit. They screamed every time one of the members came on the screen. It was entertaining, lol.


I bought a random drink with TOP from Big Bang on it, haha. It was only 120 yen which I was surprised about since it was imported. I had no clue what it was but it ended up just being orange soda, which was good.


Haha, the can cracks me up!

After spending some time in the craziness of Takeshita street, I headed over to Omotesando which has a completely different feel even though it's just a few minutes away.




That tree is sooooooo pretty in real life. My camera could't capture all the rainbowy sparklyness of it!


I bet Omotesando is sooooo pretty when the trees reach their full fall colors.


I went to Kiddyland and bought a cute little plate for soy sauce and dipping sauces and stuff. It's so small and cute! 


I then headed back to Takeshita to go to Bodyline (a cheap lolita store) since it hadn't been open yet earlier.


After Harajuku I went back to Shibuya and ate lunch at Freshness Burger. I was excited to see that the beans burger was back. That was my favorite burger there and I hadn't seen it on the menu since returning to Japan. Unfortunately it wasn't as good as it used to be. The flavor wasn't bad, but it was kind of mushy. Sad. :(

Then I went to Loft for a while and bought a couple cards. Japan has such pretty Christmas cards!

By this point my feet were hurting because of my new boots. Walking around so much when they were new was probably not the best idea. So I went back to Ikebukuro to drop off my purchases and change into my other shoes. I had been afraid that they would fall apart but they were actually holding up pretty well.

Before heading to the hotel though I stopped at Auntie Anne's to get an apple cinnamon pretzel. It was delicious! :)


After eating my pretzel and changing my shoes I headed out to Asakusa. I had never been there at night before and I liked it even better than during the day.


I had read online that many of the souvenir stalls stay open until 7 but that some close earlier. Quite a few of them were closing earlier that day. Many closed around six or earlier. I still had enough time to buy a couple of gifts though.


Sensoji Temple is neat at night!









I didn't get any food from that stall, but I thought it looked cute! :)

After Asakusa I went to Akihabara to go back to the doll store I had visited during the summer. I bought stuff to put together a doll! I tried putting the eye decals on but they didn't stick. I'm going to try again, but if those don't work I'll have to buy some spray stuff. I saw it at the mall in Hamamatsu, but it was 700 yen so I don't really want to buy that to use just once.


Haha, all this stuff looks kind of creepy when it's separate. The head was especially creepy because I had it on a chopstick while I cut the hair.


I started off the next day with a visit to the Pokemon Center. First I took a picture of some cute owls in Ikebukuro.


A giant Pikachu was outside the Pokemon Center. Kids could go inside and bounce around! It looked like fun!

After doing a little shopping at the Pokemon Center I went back to Ikebukuro. Before shopping I ate a quick lunch at Andersen, a bakery. One of the things I had was an apple crumble pastry and it was sooooo good!



I'm not sure who these characters were, but they were trying to attract people into the arcade.

I couldn't find what I was looking for in Ikebukuro so I ended up going to Shibuya again.

As I was about to exit the station I saw an ad for Big Bang's concert tour! I would really like to go, but Jonathan and I are going to Sapporo for Christmas so I need to save money for that. It's really too bad because I will actually be in Tokyo (because we're flying to Sapporo the next day) on the night of one of the concerts!


After doing some shopping in Shibuya (and having success, but not what I was originally looking for) I then went back to Ikebukuro to pick up my luggage at the hotel and head back home. It had been a great trip! It had been a long time since I had done a shopping trip like that in Tokyo. Since returning to Japan every time I've been to Tokyo I've been with Jonathan and he doesn't like shopping like I do. I think three days of shopping would be torture for him. So I took advantage of getting to spend all my time shopping! :)

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