Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shopping in Tokyo, Part 3

Here is the last part of my Shopping in Tokyo 3-part series. Enjoy :)

I found pants that actually fit! I really like them because they're comfortable, casual and fit my style. Another piece from Ozz, which has become one of my favorite brands ^_^
Brand: Ozz On
Price: 1200 yen
Store: closet child, Harajuku

Another pair of pants that fit. I haven't worn these yet, because I haven't figured out how to take care of the drawstrings at the bottom of the legs...I don't want to trip :/
Brand: Ozz croce
Price: 1800 yen
Store: closet child, Harajuku

Brand: Qutie Frash
Price: 4200 yen
Store: closet child, Harajuku

I'm not sure if you can see it, but this is actually a 2-piece skirt, with the lace being a separate piece. This makes the skirt see-through in some areas. I wore this combined with a pair of black shorts worn over stockings. The top piece would probably work with a pair of pants as well.
Brand: Ozz On
Price: 1400 yen
Store: closet child, Harajuku

Sterling Silver rings
Price: 525 yen each
Store: Paris Kids, Harajuku

Dragon Charm Choker
Brand: Ozz On
Price: 1200 yen
Store: closet child, Harajuku

Isn't this just the cutest thing? I carry my phone or camera in it when I go out. I haven't used it lately since I have nothing to attach it to when I go to work, but the next time I go out I'll be sure to have it :D
Brand: HN+nois (h.NAOTO)
Price: 1680 yen (50% off from 3360 yen)
Store: h.NAOTO, Harajuku

Brand: Algonquins
Price: 600 yen
Store: closet child, Shinjuku

So that's pretty much it for my special items from Tokyo. I won't be out shopping for a while since I'm trying to save up for some lives coming up. I think my next shopping trip will be in Osaka, which I STILL haven't visited yet. If you haven't figured it out by now, closet child is one of my favorite stores in Japan. They have an online shop, but I'm not sure exactly what they have compared to their in-store stock. Be sure to check out BODY LINE's website too, they have good stuff and ship overseas as well.

Now to just figure out how I can set up a photoshoot with someone here so I can put some outfits together...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dear Japan: "Foreigners are more promiscuous" is just a stereotype.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not lewd, perverted, promiscuous, etc. My modeling photos are not overtly sexual--maybe they might have been a looooooong time ago, but if you've ever visited Model Mayhem, you'd think that I was an angel compared to other models.

So, with some of these modeling photos posted, I was a bit surprised to have received messages from several Japanese men on mixi, all expressing interest in dating (or not) and commenting on how beautiful I am. At first, being called 'beautiful' by a Japanese guy was rather shocking to me, because of how much the "kawaii" look and the "blonde-haired, blue-eyed" look is pushed in Japan. I thought that, aside from the hip-hop J-boys who seem to have a Black female fetish (haven't met one but I'm sure they exist), there may actually be some guys who don't care what color a woman is, and recognize beauty regardless of ethnicity. I'm sure they exist too, somewhere out there.

On top of that, I know that there are Japanese men who, not only recognize non-Japanese beauty, but can also recognize and appreciate that woman's personality.

Unfortunately, two of my previous experiences on mixi do not include such men.

One of my experiences is described in my latest YouTube video. This guy was nothing but a horndog, looking for a woman who lived nearby that he could get into bed with. How do I know this? Because after we became friends on mixi, I saw his recent activity and noticed that he became friends with several other women, all around the same age (the youngest being 18 and the oldest being 27) and all living in Hyogo Prefecture, which is where he lives and where I live.

Not long after things ended with this guy, another guy who lives in Hyogo messaged me. His messages were very short, which told me that nothing good was going to come out of this. The conversation went something like this (in Japanese):

Him: Can I talk to you?
Me: That's fine.
Him: Do you have a boyfriend?

Me: No, but...why do you want to know?

Him: I'm just interested in foreigners.
Him: Is it okay if I ask you something?
Me: Sure.
Him: Are you interested in sex? <3
(2-3 minutes later)Him: Was that not okay to ask...?

My mind could have blown up from reading that question. After what had just happened, this only made me more annoyed. I responded as follows:

"That's not okay.

I'm not interested in sex.

By the way, I looked at your profile and noticed that you have a why are you asking me such a question?"

At that point, I didn't care about sounding rude or making grammatical errors in Japanese. I was really annoyed that this fool had the audacity to think that he could just message some foreigner under the impression that I would be willing to be frisky with some random guy such as him.

His answer was something along the lines of, "I thought foreigners might have been frisky after all. I'm sorry. I do have a girlfriend so I won't message you anymore!!"

One might think he would've felt some kind of remorse for attempting to cheat on his girlfriend of a mere four months, but I'm sure he'll be continuing his search. His words struck me though--did he really think that foreigners would just sleep with anyone if asked?

Other questions popped into my head as well: Did they truly see me as attractive, or did they just think I was some easy foreigner? If the second guy was seeking to cheat on his girlfriend, why would he ask me if I had a boyfriend? If I had said yes, would he have left me alone, under the impression that I was in a happy relationship? Did he find it somehow okay for him to cheat but not for the woman that he asks?

Is this all making sense? Even if it doesn't, it doesn't matter. The bottom line is that they're jerks.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shopping in Tokyo, Part 2

More pictures of items I bought while in Tokyo.

Price: 525 yen (on sale)
Store: MAXICIMAM, Harajuku

Price: 600 yen
Store: ACDC, Harajuku

Brand: H.Anarchy (H.NAOTO)
Price: 300 yen
Store: closet child, Ikebukuro

Large Tote Bag & Charm
Brand: Algonquins
Price: 400 yen (bag); 200 yen (charm)
Store: closet child, Harajuku

Brand: Vivienne Westwood
Price: 1,050 yen
Store: Marui (◯|◯|), Shinjuku

Price: 500 yen
Store: closet child, Shinjuku



Brand: H.NAOTO
Price: 600 yen
Store: closet child, Harajuku

There's still more to come!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Mistake with NHK

On Japanese television, there is one channel called "NHK," which stands for "Nippon Housou Kyoukai," meaning "Japan Broadcasting Corporation." I can't really go into what type of programs they air, since I don't even watch it. I guess it's kind of like the Japanese version of the BBC.

Anyway, if you are a resident in Japan and own a TV, you're supposedly required to pay a subscription fee. Even if you don't watch NHK. Even if you don't watch TV at all.

With the number of corruption scandals involving NHK in recent years, an increasing number of Japanese people are refusing to pay their subscription fees (just Google "NHK subscription fee and a few articles will come up). There's really no penalty for not paying the fee either.

So this morning, a man I didn't know rung the doorbell. I didn't answer, and he left immediately.

Later in the evening, he came back and rung again. I didn't answer, and then he rung for a second time, and for a split second I thought that maybe it was something important, so foolish me decided to open the door.

Blah blah blah, the same "you own a TV?" crap that I had once gotten a few months ago. This guy looked a little more determined than the first one who showed up months ago, so I felt I couldn't avoid what was coming.

I was also stupid enough to write in my name and phone number as requested, and paid the 1,345 yen fee. I rolled my eyes as this guy placed his bag right in my apartment doorway as he tried to calculate change for my 5,000 yen bill. I would've given him the 345 yen in change, but decided that it wasn't worth the effort to make the math easier for him.

Along the way I pretended like I could barely speak Japanese. And I'd continue to do so, but I don't think I'll need to since I don't plan on answering the door again if I see someone that looks like they're from NHK, and I don't plan on answering my phone if they try to call. They can have my 1,345 yen and hopefully they can manage to use it for something legitimate before some other corrupt CEO gets to it.

Besides, NHK airs Kouhaku Uta Gassen every year, so they're good for something.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Changes in Tokyo.

Seeing Tokyo for the first time in over a year (not counting my 4-day orientation in August) made me realize how much things change over time. Certainly things are not put on pause while you're away; I've realized that when moving between Japan and the U.S., and it's the same with any place you go.

My first surprise was when I visited Ikebukuro and noticed several changes:

- Rikkyo University was constructing yet another building on their campus. Right before I left in 2009, they had started working on a building and they've finished it and starting building another one.

- On Sunshine 60 Street, there are a number of game centers, and one of them was so worn down and old-looking. When I returned, it was a brand new place, looking so much brighter than it used to be. It was so new, in fact, that there were congratulatory bouquets of flowers sitting outside.

- closet child had moved. At first I thought it was gone completely, but after checking on the internet I found out that they had just moved about a block away. The new location's layout looks almost identical to the old one. I'm relieved that it hadn't closed down.

-HMV closed on Sunshine 60 Street, which was a little sad despite the fact that I never went there. On the bright side, it was replaced by a BOOK-OFF.

- One final change I noticed was that there was a Krispy Kreme that was located near the West side of Ikebukuro station. This made me happy because the only two locations I knew about before were the ones in Shibuya and Shinjuku. It's also very easy to find, which is good. Krispy Kreme makes the best donuts :)

One of my friends pointed out that Harajuku is no longer the only place where there is an H&M and a Forever 21. There are now locations in Shinjuku and Shibuya as well. Personally it's no big deal to me, since I kind of prefer the U.S. stores anyway. But I did visit the H&M in Harajuku and bought a shirt that was on sale for 1000 yen from there.

Shinjuku hadn't changed much, except for the changes in host clubs in Kabukicho. It seems that the hosts doing catch duty are coming out later at this time of year; I used to see a lot starting from 6:00 in the evening, but right now they don't seem to come out until around 7:00. It's cold outside, so that might be the reason.

I did visit one host club with a friend on New Year's Eve. It was only for an hour and it seemed that all of the "good" hosts were unavailable, making the visit not so great as I wanted it to be. Strangely enough, I ended up befriending a host. Now, by "befriending" I don't mean regular small chat e-mail exchanges that I used to do with other hosts. This host actually seems to want to be friends with me...OR, he's either a) very desperate to get a customer, even as far as to break the rules of contacting a customer that's not yours, or b) really wants a girlfriend, and happens to like foreigners. He insists on using English to communicate in our e-mails, although he makes a lot of mistakes. I don't know how long this will last but if he wants to be my friend then it's okay with me, as long as he doesn't do anything weird. He knows that I don't live in Tokyo but he wanted to contact me anyway, which is nice. I was told by my friend to try a host club in Osaka, which she thinks are better (and I can imagine them being so). Right now I have to save up my money, but maybe in a few weeks I'll finally visit Osaka.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shopping in Tokyo, Part 1

So I'm back from Tokyo. One and a half weeks is a great length of time to spend on vacation, so I'm happy. There's much to write about, but I'll start with shopping.

I've bought a ton of things in Tokyo, mostly clothes to add to my punk/goth wardrobe. It seems that the end of the year into the first few days of January is one of the best times for shopping in Japan, because a lot of stores are having big sales. I visited KINJI, my favorite used clothing store, and then I went to BODY LINE and the chain of closet child stores in Tokyo (Harajuku, Ikebukuro, and Shinjuku).

closet child was having a big winter clearance, so I took advantage of that and visited each store multiple times. Perhaps it's because I have a salary now, but the prices seemed so reasonable this time around. When I visited back in 2008 and 2009 as an exchange student, I thought the prices were too high...or perhaps I wasn't looking at everything and just stopped at the first price tag I ever saw.

Anyway, here's some of what I've bought:

Brand: Ozz On
Price: 1,200 yen (used)
Store: closet child, Harajuku

Brand: Ozz Oneste
Price: 900 yen
Store: closet child, Harajuku

Price: 735 yen
Store: KINJI

Price: 1575 yen
Store: KINJI

Price: 945 yen
Store: KINJI

After going to BODY LINE and closet child I was starting to feel like I wasted money on normal clothes like this top, but stuff like this is great for normal outings, when studs and chains are too tiring to maintain ;)
Price: 735 yen
Store: KINJI

Price: 735 yen
Store: KINJI

Finally, the petticoat I always wanted!
Price: 1499 yen

Price: 1999 yen

I used to think that clothes like what I got from BODY LINE and closet child were always ridiculously expensive, but in actuality they're pretty reasonably priced. Of course, the clothes at closet child are used, which means their original prices were much higher. But now I feel like it's really possible to advance my wardrobe to what I always wanted it to be.

In upcoming blogs, I'll post some more clothes as well as some non-clothing items. Stay tuned!