Saturday, 23 April 2011

It's as if we never said goodbye

So I'm alive and back in the UK.

For anyone who hadn't guessed I came home because of the horrific earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. I was in my Pre school when the earthquake hit Tokyo and it was honestly the scariest experience of my life...not just because my own life was in danger but because I was responsible for all of the children in my class. We evacuated the school without anyone being hurt and the school was undamaged. The monorail station directly outside the school shook violently and we could see the train car down the track swaying from side to side. All of the mothers told us that in all their life they had never expeienced something like this which made it all the more scary. At the time we had no idea of the destruction happening in the north of the country and we were stuck at school for the magority of the night due to all the trains in Tokyo being on shut down. The next day Nozomi and I took a trip to Hakuba to go to a party at a ski resort and when i arrived back in Tokyo I got a message from my folks to get on Skype. We had a discussion about how safe I was regarding the nucleur reactor in Fukashimi. Obviously back home the news had been contantly playing footage and reports of the horrific detruction and the general state of Japan so I can understand my family's concerns. I made the decision to leave Japan the next day.
My heart goes out to all those who have been effected by this horrific event and for all my friends still over there. From what I hear everything is pretty normal in Tokyo but please everyone TAKE CARE!

And thats basically it. I'm still dealing with the fact that my life there is over for the forseeable future but I am making plans to return and get a full working visa. This will take me several years of planning and working but the love that I feel for the country has given me the drive and inspiration to see the path I'm going to walk down. I won't ever forget the year I spent in Tokyo, the people I've become so close to and the fact that I was brave enough to do it in the first place.

Right now I am taking a few months out to live like a lazy bum and enjoy the summer with my UK friends. I have a really part time job in a deli in my hometown with one of my best friends Toni so I'm earning a little money to have fun with while my last months wages from the school is going to be used to get me on some early childcare courses so I can work at a preschool here.

As I am one of those people who need something to obsess about or I go nuts, I am starting a new blog mainly about clothes and my favourite styles and anything else that comes to mind. So if that interests you please come over to...

and lets have some new age fun with a vintage feel.... :P

Friday, 17 December 2010

Honest to blog

Well that took a while.
My laptop died a few weeks back and so I've been out of blogging action. Also I am in fact a lazy human being who can't even be bothered to type a few thoughts now and again!

I've found myself being very lazy in alot of aspects of my life recently. My Japanese studies have been neglected and I'm pretty shocked that even after a year my listening, reading and most of all speaking is rediculously bad. I admit it's better than it was when I first came here but still I would have liked to have seen myself doing a bit better by now. Hey
Ho though, some days I'm filled with the drive to learn and study hard but I had a period of being very dissinterested in language. Perhaps due to my job allowin
g me to speak only English I had no fear of communication. The only words I have to speak everyday is "Arigatou Gozaimasu" to the clerks at the 7Eleven.
Conclusion, I need the fear!

One of the highlights for December has been getting the FLU. I was knocked out for a week, and I do mean knocked out. Flopping around in bed like a fish, sweating and crying for my mum!
I visited the doctor 4 times and 4 times I was put on drips of vitamines and antibiotics.

Seeing as I'd never in my life been on a drip before this was somewhat of a novelty but by the 4th time of being sat for 2 hours with a pin in my arm I was ready to get the fuck better.
It's funny, in England I would visit the doctor maybe once or twice a year if that but since I've been in Japan I have been to the doctor/hospital a total of 6 times! SIX! WHY IS THIS? Does riding the Chou line everyday mean really mean I am just begging for sickness? Should I really start wearing those masks to keep peoples nasty germs away? Or is it the fact I work with a classroom of toddlers who lick their snot off their hands and cough in my face? These are mysteries of the universe but nevermind, Tokyo made me sick. Not that getting the flu is uncommon but I haven't had it for a few years and so I'd fogotten how truely crap it is. I sware I get man flu...
The attitudes towards illness are slightly different here too. Like being put on a drip was, for me, a fairly extreme thing to go through. In England, you are told to drink fluids and rest for a few days while taking painkillers. There was a point in my illness where the doctor told me he was going to refere me to a hospital if I didn't improve by my next appoinment (The next day)...LIKE WHAT?! ARE YOU CRAZY? But I understand why now....
I'm not complaining, but (ohh but) the medicine here sucks. The Japanese drugs seem to be a good few years behind most other places, the painkillers you get are expensive and weak and are pretty much a waste of everyones time. Cold medicines cost around Y1500, roughly GPB10 which is, quiet honestly TAKING THE PISS. But I haven't found the perscription to be any better. The doctor gave me Tamiflu, which was made notorious in England for making people worse when they had flu, and another tablet I got was just a B12 vitamin...but I trust these doctors medical knowledge is greater than my own so I took the pills and felt the same. The drips however did have an effect and after my second dose of the purple bag I found I could sit down, stand up and move my head without wishing I was dead. The drips may have seemed extreme at the time but I have I feeling they are the only thing that would do any good.

It was a quicky, however Christmas is fast approching and I'm interested to see how 2 Brits and a Sweedish girl (Namely me and my housemates) will fare this holiday season....having no oven to cook a roast dinner, no Christmas crackers and no SPROUTS. Drama is sure to happen, please watch out!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Harajuku girls I am yo biggest fan

Let's talk about one of the things I love most about Japan. Cosplay!
I've tried my hand at cosplay many years ago but anything I attempted just ended up an embarrassing mess on me. So it really impresses me when I see people doing the character they're cosplaying justice. With cosplay's growing popularity it now seems really easy to find resources and people to help you with costumes. Online and real stores now exist for all your cosplaying needs so it's easier than ever to become your favourite character. Although i think cosplaying is alot more then just putting on a wig and a store bought costume and the people who manage to pull all those extra things together are a real inspiration to me. I get so excited to see someone looking exactly how I would imagine the character to look in real life and I become a total fangirl all over again.

I went to a cosplay event in the oldest theme park in Tokyo, in Asakusa. A pretty odd setting for a cosplay event but when I got there I realised it was pretty appropriate as there where alot of interesting places for everyone to have photos taken with various types of shrubbery!
As this was a cosplay event some of the cosplayers seemed a little too Pro and it seemed like they didn't want their photos taken by non-pro photographer white-assed-white-girl, which seemed a bit silly to me but most of the crowed were very friendly and put up with my bad Japanese when trying to compliment them on their effort.

There where alot more but these are my favourite and were the nicest people.

The next event was Tokyo Game Show. Although I saw alot of cosplays I couldn't take photos of all of them because it was sooo busy and there was no space to take a decent photo. However, there was a whole cosplay area where you could fight your way through the crowds and ask them to pose how you wanted :/ Mostly I just lerked around and took photos when I had a good oppotunity. Obviously, this being a gaming convention, there are only game characters...

2D Kingdom Hearts

3D Sora

Real Sora :D

Chaos Vincent Valentine

FFX ladies

Mai from King of Fighters being surrounded by pro cams :O

Asuka handing out Evangelion fans.

Persona 3 Portable

Resident Evil! CHRISS! LEON!

Snow and Sarah

Sarah and Vanille FF13


FF7 Cloud and PERFECT Tifa

My ultimate favourite cosplay of the day and one that I was so lucky to get a photo of. Jasmine and me saw them standing in a queue for one of the games and nearly wet ourselves. I think they must have seen the pleading in my eyes as they agreed to a photo. HOW PERFECT ARE THEY. Just as a referance..

Ohhhh Bayonetta! <3
That about wraps up my cosplay report. I hope you enjoyed these awesome costumes!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to be asked to do a podcast on westerners views on gyaru and gyaru culture in the UK. I hope everyone realises that while I love the gyaru style and use elements of it for my own style I don't think I'm dedicated enough to call myself gyaru. Nevertheless I tried to put forward some of my opinions on gyaru culture.

The podcast isn't available yet but as soon as it is I shall post it. I am a little worried seeing as I had 4 hours sleep because I was clubbing in Shibuya until 6am! I don't think I was able to convey some ideas very coherently so please enjoy laughing at that!

I was asked to do the podcast by two wonderful people Matthew and Terri who run this fantastic place in Meguro called Tokyo Hacker Space

I didn't realize but there are many Hacker Spaces around the world! I was so surprised at the type of work that goes on in the Hacker Space. It's a place where anyone can take their ideas and use the resources to make it real, weither that idea is to do with art, the environment, computer hacking, fashion, language, music...anything! All the Hacker Space's tools can be used and they have a huge library on many subjects that are available. Workshops go on all the time and when they also hold BBQ's, movie and anime events and talks on various subjects. It really is a wonderful place to meet creative people from all over and I hope to get to visit them again soon!
Terri and Matthew were so kind to me and made me feel very at home, they even gave me ideas and tips for making my own podcast or video blog which I hope to get off my lazy arse and actually DO one of these days! They asked me lots of questions about the UK gyaru scene, what resources are used etc and gave me some facts about gyaru I didn't even know myself!

My podcast will be on..

Terri and Matthew do wonderful shows with lots of interesting insights so please take some time and listen to them!

In other news, work is going well. I've been asked to take on some extra English classes in the afternoons for older kids which is great. It's a fantastic opportunity for my teaching skills to level up and it'll mean a bit more money for shopping!
I've been checking out the party scene in Tokyo a bit more, I've been to a few dance music events in Shibuya and I love them. Before it felt like I hadn't been out dancing in an age, even though I LOVE to have a boogie! Le Fabric hosted a school girl themed event but Nozomi and I were the only ones dressed up!

It was a great night but the crowd got a bit thin towards the end and getting the first train back in the morning was a little weird in a full school girl costume! At least I didn't get ID'd on the way home like Nozomi. I didn't know that in Japan all minors have a curfew and will get pulled off the streets if they're caught out D: So very different from the UK where gangs of kids can stay out all night in front of my old work making a mess and skateboarding.

I went to a club night recently near Shibuya where my workmate was DJing. Great night although I ended up going for soba at 3am so I missed alot of it! Also Nozomi did the classic Japanese "I've-had-too-much-tequila" thing and passed out on a table.

Even though I'm going out more I've not been bad drunk for a long time. I'm finding it easier to keep myself in check so I don't end up a stupid mess like when i first came here. Maybe this is me growing up a little bit. Although I know I don't feel anything drastic I can see that I'm not the same person I was when I left England. Especially recently I feel like I'm taking on more responsability and it's not phasing me as much. I'm also taking responsabilty to make sure I get out and take oppotunities to see some amazing things, over the summer I felt very boring and that I wasn't using my time wisely enough but now I feel like im hitting my stride and I feel more confidant exploring Tokyo. The trains and cities don't intimidate me much anymore so I feel I can actually go and meet people. I went to a gaijin bar called the Pink Cow this week and it was probably the friendliest bar I have ever been too. The barmaid and 2 regulars chatted with me for hours and I ended up completly neglecting Jasmine and the two men we came with! I'm sorry, but I am definately going to pay it another visit.


Thursday, 2 September 2010

I be looking for labels, I ain't looking for love...

I'll get everything negative out of the way first. Today was an utter failure. I hoped to go to the bank to sort out some finances. I was told there was a branch of my bank in Shinjuku near the shopping centre Alta, but alas I wondered up and down the main road with no bank. So I thought I would take a trip to Harajuku to scout out some hair salons. Of the two I found that actually did extensions the cheapest price I was offered was Y20,000...I was thinking more like Y12,000! So I turned back up the main street and tried to do some shopping. BUT NO, the universe was not my friend today and I couldn't decide on anything to buy except some AWESOME underwhere that turned out to be too small (they were all in packs and marked S,M,L).

Ok, that's out of the way! Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet up with an old friend Emma ( . Just seeing her and hearing her voice was a surreal experience just because she reminded me of home and all my friends from my town! It actually made me really really happy rather than more homesick. It was great just being able to talk about home our experiences of Tokyo.

109 was obviously hit. I think the only shop I actually spent money in was CocoLulu...

I treated myself to the new "ACTION" hoodie, mentioned a few posts ago, and the complementing tee.

Dirty mirror!! D:

Wow and I only realised on the train that they gave me some cute buttons

I actually had a bit of inspiration while walking around 109 and thought it would be a great idea to do a virtual makeover for people I know. Just because when I go shopping I always see things other people would look fantastic in. One Spo currently have this incredably sexy Russian/military theme going on and I imidiately thought of Toni. Since One Spo have no online store I had to use one of my photos! So forgive my poor editing Toni, but I thought this outfit suited you to a T!

:Toni in One Spo Autumn 2010


Tomorrow I will hopefully manage to do the things I planned for today but also I am going to Le Fabrique for the house/trance night 'Disco Manga' which happens to be a 'Back to School' theme :D Perfct for me an my school uniform love!
After I came back from Shibuya I took myself to Donki to pick up this little number...

Also had a great message in the tag...

Thanks Teen Girls, I will!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

I told you that Im crazy for these cupcakes, cousin.

Obligatory lazy Sunday post.
Due to my sickness still not letting up I have done very little today apart from play Star Ocean for a few hours, watch Six Feet Under for a few hours and nip down the shops for some Oreo's and juice!

For once I will actually show you what I wear down the shops

Despite not making effort with my clothes I try to practice my makeup every day whether I am leaving the house or not

You can also see how bad my extensions have gotten! I know I probably wouldn't get best quality for paying Y6,000 but I didn't want to go hella expensive on my first try. Now I know better though. I mean I seriously tried to look after these extensions, I bought treatments and really good quality conditioners, slept with my hair in plats every night and brushed them gently as so to not damage them but they were dry and brittle within a week. Extensions are amazingly cheap in Tokyo because they are extremely popular, I guess mostly due to the gyaru boom. Even though they are so cheap I still find spending that much money in one go I feel like I shouldn't be spending it on myself so I guess I went for the cheapest option I found...which turned out to be a bit rubbish. So in the name of research I will be going to a different salon this week to document getting some better extensions!
I'm going on the hunt for English speaking salons too so I can give some reviews on service...basically if they don't bring me a coffee its an instant fail!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Swallow a little of that sea, now taste a little bit of the salt in me...

Hello there Internetland.

It's been a busy time at work as the holidays are now coming to an end, which means I've had to wrap up my summer school art classes, finish the progress reports for the class and help dismantle our classroom in preparation for the move to our new school this weekend. Also I have fallen a bit ill with a tempreture and lightheadedness...which has scared me a bit since the last time I was ill here I actually fainted on the train at Shinjuku station! The humidity here is unreal, obviously being a Brit I've never known a summer to go on for so long. My experience of summer is one week of blasting sunshine then back to gray skies. Here in Tokyo we've had the hottest summer on record since the war ended with everyday temperatures in the mid 30's....and it isn't going to start letting up for another month! I'm all for sunshine but I literally feel like I don't want to venture too far from home because of the heat! I know that keeping hydrayted is essential and having vendo-machienes everywhere makes that pretty easy but even so I'm not used to this intesity and find that it saps my energy so so quickly. Now I understand why I always see women with black umbrellas, long black sleeves and visors.
Staying in all the time gets me down sometimes but I know that this heat is not good for me. At the moment I'm planning to do things in the autumn when it has cooled down a bit and I feel like I can go on day trips!

Amoungst the mayhem that is the weather (Yes I'm allowed to talk about the weather) I've made a new header for this blog, the old one felt a bit outdated as the picture was old and crap! Maybe the new one is better?
Eventually I want to make this journal more colourful and fun to reflect my current fashion obsessions like Co&Lu. After Tuesday this week and taking myself on a little shopping trip and will try and make an effort to take photos of my purchases. Also I have the oppotunity to meet up with an old friend from my hometown Emma, or you may know her as bloomzy. From...

Also this week I have been asked to do a podcast for this website

I've been asked to talk about gyaru, and I while I don't consider myself an expert on the subject I'm excited to have the oppotunity to express my views to the internet, so please look forward to that!

I'm also still waiting for a link to the music video I was in a few months back. It seems incredably hard to find! I may just have to bite the bullet and buy the DVD! GASH!

Just going to end with some phone photos as my camera cable still hasn't been fixed. For now enjoy some awesome kids wearing CocoLulu *_~