Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ok, i need to learn japanese or something

I came home to drop off some groceries, but then i kind of got stuck here.
And Martin was on Skype, so we had a quick chat about what's going on back home and whether Rasmus Klump was ever gonna be big in Japan.
And other important stuff like that.
Later tonight i'm gonna meet Izumi somewhere, and if Allan doesn't finish too late he'll come too.

Goma chan pudding, i'm gonna have to try this

My japanese somehow seemed better the last time i was here, i feel like i'm stuck.
I wanna have a conversation with the staff at my 7-11 that's longer than "hi, how are you" or "see you tomorrow".
After knowing them for about five years, i have a feeling they have more to say too.
I guess i should study, but my Rosetta Stone disc is lost somewhere in my mess of souvenirs and magazines.
Ah, well. Tomorrow.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Moon over Shinjuku

Or at least that's what this picture is supposed to be.
But my crappy camera (sorry camera, you're not crappy, just... night-challenged) wouldn't capture it.
But it was a pretty moon, thin and tilted.
Moon enthusiasts would appreciate it.

I heart big cities (REAL big cities)

A little better? Maybe? No?

Another day of trying to convince my body that it's fiiine, not sick at all.
Almost worked too.

I went to Tokyu Hands today, and tomorrow i'm gonna do a real, proper post about that most magical of places.
I also met Allan and Mattias for a quick coffee and brownie, before they continued on their quest to visit every camera shop in Tokyo (or something like that).

I was back home around 8 o'clock, had a cup of chicken soup from Muji and then i took a nice, long bath in my tiny Tokyo tub.
Copenhagen apartments don't have tubs, so i only do this a couple of times a year.
Which is fine, cause i think it's a huge waste of water anyway.
But when you're sick it feels pretty damn good.

Todays treasures: chopsticks, extreme mushroom chips, cardigans, onigiri lunchbox, Steven Alan for Uniqlo dress, bath salt and some special orders from people back home
My own little private onsen

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday in Koenji

I'm still feeling really sick, so i slept most of the day.
And on the one day when Izumi had time to hang out.
Dang it.

After a quick shower and morning (or afternoon) exercise i decided to go outside.
Being sick is no excuse for not working and by work i mean... you know what i mean.
I went for a little walk on a small walk path near our house.
Cold, but nice.

I met these two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels guarding their back yard, after a quick sniff i was approved and could move along
For years i've been wanting to buy this house and fix up the garden
See, it is spring... so why is it still so fucking cold?

I went to a couple of vintage shops, there are so many of those in Koenji, and i actually found some good stuff.
Many of the vintage shops here in Koenji have American imported used clothes and it can get pretty expensive.
So the trick is to find Japanese vintage, which is, in my opinion, much more fun anyway.

Cropped knitted cardigan in a funny acrylic type material
Even tinier little lace cardigan, looks stupid with my t-shirt but i was freezing and sick
60's-70's baby blue top, again, would probably look better without the t-shirt

I bought all three, they were only 1900 Yen each.
I also went out and bought three new pair of knee high socks, cause it's so bloody cold here!

After my short and local shopping trip i went to the shop and read my book and drank some tea, while Allan's customer screamed and cried.
Poor guy, he wasn't japanese.

We had tonkatsu for dinner and when we were finished eating we went to the drugstore to buy something for my sore throat.
I needed some anti acid medicine too, so i got Hata to translate, making both him and the clerk very uncomfortable.
I was fine, i don't get easily embarrassed.
And i got my stuff, plus some tea that may or may not be any good (according to Hata, all the herbal tea in the shop was for dieting)!

Tomorrow Allan has a man date, so if i'm feeling any better i may go to Tokyu Hands.
Or i may just stay home and blog all day till y'all get sick of me.
I'm gonna lose all my readers if i don't get well soon.
Go, vitamin C drink!

Claim of wild & beautiful

I once bought some of their hair wax just because i love this text so much.
Can't STAND being just like other guy!
More fun signs and stuff coming up...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dinner

Hello ladies
Allan and sneaky Hata

More pictures from this restaurant here and here!

Very much off topic

I hate Paris Hilton.
I don't hate many people, especially people i don't even know, but i hate her.
To me, she is the essence of what is wrong with us as a species and i'm embarrassed to even be on the same planet as her.

But then i saw this video and it made me think i've been too hard on her.
She's obviously a very complex person with many hidden layers, i just didn't know about.

See for yourself:

Shopping shopping shopping

My shopping trip yesterday went very well.
You know, until i started getting sick and all that.
This past week, i've just been doing the visual shopping list and it actually helped make my shopping trip much more efficient than usual.
Only problem is, that i am now in the consumer zone, and i just wanna buy buy buy all the time.
Maybe my body made me sick, to save me from myself?

And just so this is not a completely self centered "look-at-all-the-pretty-things-i-got" post, i'm gonna throw in a few more travel tips!

Most shops in Japan have a billion sales people, there to help you with anything you need.
They may not all speak english super well, but if you keep it simple (like showing them the pair of pants you wanna try and saying "M size"?) you'll be fine.

When you get to the fitting room, remember that in most cases you have to take off your shoes.
Especially if there's a carpet in the room.

They'll also give you a face cover to put on, so you don't get make up on the clothes while trying it on

First stop on my list was Muji near Isetan in Shinjuku.
There i bought a pair of shoes and tried on a few other items.

By the way, i don't just take fitting room pictures for the blog, it's actually a great way to find out if something looks good on you or not.
I thought i was the only one doing it, but yesterday, while trying on a gazillion items, i heard a camera click from the room next to mine.
So i guess it's not just me then.
Now, back to my shopping trip!

They look almost exactly like a pair i have at home, that are falling apart
This one was on the visual shopping list, but it looked a little weird from the side, so i didn't get it
Muji has lots of other stuff too, how about some squid?

Then i went to Lowrys Farm, one of my all time favorite shops.
There are several all over the city/country, but i went to the one in OIOI Current (pronounced Marui), that used to be OIOI Young.
Lowrys farm is on the B1 floor.

I loved the sleeves and color...
But from the side it was just a little too... puffy, so i didn't buy it
They had so many cute jeans, i bough these
And the cardigan too!
This is so soft and comfortable, perfect for summer (if summer ever comes, that is)
And the pocket detail is great
After Lowrys Farm i went by Studio Alta, which is both a shopping mall, meeting place and kind of a less hectic version of Shibuya's 109.
I went to the B1 floor where one of my favorite accessories shops is located and i found that it had closed and been replaced with some skanky ass clothing store!
Horror!
Where do i go now for cute vintage brooches, sunglasses and Milkees CD's?
After that shock i needed to shop some more, so i went upstairs to Love Boat.
I don't normally shop there, but on thursday, while waiting for Mattias, i'd noticed this black dress with eyelet detail at the hem.

I actually didn't think i was gonna buy it, but then i fell in love a little
There's no room for a bra, but it'll be cute for summer (again, if there is a summer, in Denmark you just never know)

I also went to the Seibu Shinjuku St. building and bought some socks (and scored two new pointcards), but i didn't get pictures of the socks, cause i was starting to feel a little sick already.
That place is on my recommended list too.
It has a Muji, Uniqlo, lost of cute little clothing and accessories shops and on the 8th floor there is one of the best 100 Yen shops i know of.

Many stations have shopping malls, it's very practical
100 yen Shop is where i do most of my shopping, both practical stuff and souvenirs.
It has everything.

I'm gonna go take a nap now and hope i feel well enough to go to the shop later.
I miss Allan and the guys already.
Sad.

The land of many exits

Here's one of those posts dedicated to the people planning to visit Japan.

Getting lost in Tokyo can be fun, but only when you actually want to get lost.
So i'm gonna give you a very simple piece of advice that i wish someone would have given me the first time i went to japan, that'll maybe save you from getting lost when you don't feel like it:
Know your exits.

You see, stations in Tokyo, like most other places i guess, have multiple exits.
The bigger the station, the more exits.
A station like Shinjuku has about a million of them.
And if you take the wrong exit, you could end up in what can appear to be a totally different city, far away from the place you were planning on going.
That happened to us more than a few times the first time we were here, and it's really annoying.

In the bigger stations you'll need to follow the right exit signs all the way from the platform.
It's not hard, just bring a notebook and write stuff like, "to get to Studio Alta, take the East exit for Kabukicho".
There, easy as that!

The signs are in English, so that's one thing you don't need to worry about!

And while we're on the subject, another good thing to remember is the name of your station.
And i don't mean the name in english, i mean the name in japanese.

Like i said before, most signs are in english and that makes getting around super easy.
But at many stations the map above the ticket machines is only in japanese.
If you have a railpass* there's no need to worry, but if you need to buy a ticket, knowing what your stations name looks like can be very handy.
I happen to have the name of my station tattooed on my arm, which is super handy, but you might not want to do that!
So i suggest you just write it down.

You are here, yes, but where do you need to go?

*The railpass only works on the JR lines, not to be confused with Tokyo Metro, which is a whole other system.
Read about the different forms of transportation here.

Kappa

Thursday we went to an art opening at The Ghetto in Shinjuku.
Our friend Crystal from Gomineko Books were the brains behind the whole operation and she did a wonderful job.
The theme of the show was Kappa and the artists were from Japan and around the world.

On my way to the station in me new jacket, new pants and Lola Ramona shoes
The Ghetto has it all: gallery, bar, shops and even a skate ramp
Some of the paintings currently on display
Crystal, always loud, always sexy!
Upstairs we were introduced to a very tall bike
Mattias explaining how this crime against nature works

We did get a demonstration, but beacuse it was so dark the pictures turned out crap, so you'll just have to imagine how crazy riding a tall bike looks.
Oh, and it has no breaks.
Because, why would a bike need that?

That ramp is probably the only place in Japan you're not allowed to smoke

You can catch the Kappa show at The Ghetto until the 9th of April, so if you're in Tokyo i suggest you get over there right now.

Actual cold 1, Amalie 0

I don't know if you all know this, but this fall and winter we had a flu epidemic in Denmark.
Pretty much everyone i know fell victim to this at some point, even Allan who's usually about as prone to sickness as Bruce Willis in that superhero movie, that's not really a superhero movie.
I didn't even catch the sniffles.

But last night, after a long hard day of working, and by working i mean shopping, i started to feel a little weird.
By the time we were done with dinner (at the amazing new Osaka pizza place) i knew what time it was.
The cold that i'd been avoiding for so long had finally caught up with me.

So now, instead of being at a wonderful fleamarket with my buddies Crystal and Nico, i'm sitting in my apartment in a t-shirt and leggings, drinking tea and vitamin C cocktails.

My throat is just killing me, but i'm hoping that i can make this thing, whatever it is, go over soon by staying home.
So i guess this means i'll be finishing my homework (an article i'm working on) and probably also lots of bloggin!

I don't actually know what's in those bottles, but that has never stopped me before

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fun with poodles

Yesterday outside the rice shop on our street, we found this little old lady who was getting her poodle all worked up over this toy on the bench outside the shop.
The poodle went from playfully trying to reach the toy to a full on barking frenzy in a matter of minutes.

Now we know what old ladies in Koenji do when they're bored!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Last night

Royal milk tea and Mister Donut
I love you, Pon de Lion!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yokohama treasures

I found a bunch if cute little pieces of fabric at a small shop right outside Yellow blaze.
Perfect size for hats!
The cat, not sure if it's meant for cream or soy sauce, was standing on a shelf in this tiny souvenir shop in Chinatown.
It was all dusty, it looked like it had been at the same spot for the last 20 years.
I'm gonna use it for milk!

All together, about 1500 Yen

From the fitting rooms

I went to Hula Girl, across the street from Inkrat, where they sell socks, accessories, glasses and vintage clothes.
They had a bunch of vintage kimonos for sale and i bought this little kimono jacket for 1050 Yen.
So cheap!
And i think there's a Hula Girl in Shibuya too, so if you can't find Koenji, go there instead.

If i don't wear it, i can always use the fabric for something else
Hula Girl in Koenji

A couple of nights ago we went to Jeans Mate, one of my (other) favorite shops in Koenji.
There are many Jeans Mate all over Tokyo, but this one is open 24 hours, so we always go there really late (sometimes at, like, 4 in the morning) to try on pants.
Just because we can, you know?
I bought a pair of dark, japanese skinny jeans, not the pair pictured.
But i might come back for these too...

I'm trying to look skinny, cause we just ate, and Allan is helping!

Welcome to Chinatown

Yesterday Allan had his first of three sessions on his back.
Not first-first, just first on this trip, that is.
Usually when he gets tattooed, i go on sightseeing trips to interesting places.
Last time i went to Sankeien Garden and Kamakura, the time before that i spent a whole day just walking around Yokohama.
But yesterday i felt like doing... nothing.
Allan woke me up 15 minutes before we had to leave, so i think it's fair to say my day didn't start out super awesome.
And i hate getting up early in general.

So, once they got started i took my heavy bag full of books and magazines and headed down Motomachi to a café where i planned on hanging out most of the day.
But i never stick to my plans, do i?
No, i just had to make a quick stop in Chinatown, which of course turned into over two hours of walking around.

A cold, but beautiful, day in Chinatown
Temple prettiness
Your guide for the day
A very well fed street cat
Look at that pretty face!
Welcome!
Who doesn't like food-on-a-stick
More temple prettiness
Elephant
Grrr, dragon!
One of those things i ate my first time here and swore i'd never get used to!
A very famous ship (apparently) in Yamashita Park and the birds who live on it
So cute
Photo session by the rockstar tree
There are other flowers too!
I did eventually get to the café, had some coffee and read a book.
And Allan's session was a short one (compared to the other ones that is) so we made it home in time to say goodnight to Hata, Skype with Martin and watch some 30 Rock on Ninjavideo before passing out.

I'm not sure what i'm gonna do for his next session...
Maybe another trip to Sankeien Garden, since it was a rainy day in November the last time i was there?