Shopaholic in Tokyo 东京瞎拼

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从东京回来已有两个月了。在撰写游记的过程, 回想起路途的点滴, 感觉既是美好却有点意犹未尽。也许只能从照片和买回来的东西里找到些许记忆。哎呀, 怎么感触起来了? 其实,每个旅途都会有故事和精彩。 这样才会让你期待下一个旅途的到来,不是吗?
在日本购物是一种享受也令人感到震撼。是东西新奇或是商场营造出的气氛? 总是会引起人们 (是我啦) 的购买欲。
也许, 这就是日本的魅力.
好啦, 就来分享一下一些比较喜爱的战利品吧。
It's been 2 months since my holiday in Japan. Sorting out the collaterals and writing the travel journal brought back wonderful memories. Sure it was a great trip, but can't help pinning for more. Somehow, there's always a sense of loss after every trip. But the dreamer in me will still fantasize about the next one.
Anyway, talking about shopping in Japan. It is simply pulsating! I guess because there is just so much to look at! Certainly overwhelmed by things that I have not seen back home.
Here's sharing some stuff that got me drooling and swooning.
These are 2 bags bought on the last day at this shop called Concierge Petit at Tokyu Shibuya. Fell in love the moment I saw them, especially the 2-colour tote bag - tobo range under babyroo brand. Very unique because there are 2 sides - turquoise and orange and side zipper tied with a shocking pink ribbon. The other bag is etoffe range under the hemings brand. Found a charm at Pluck,Haji Lane (Singapore) to go along with it; and there you have, a casual yet chic bag for the weekend!
Bought these mainly for photo taking purpose (complement food photos), because can't find picture-beautiful ones readily in Singapore. (Now that Pantry Magic is open, should have more selection, yeah!) Jiyuugaoka has many shops offering great choices. But wouldn't really bear to use them because they are not exactly cheap.
And not forgetting the food stuff, merely looking at the display can make you drool and not to mention the lovely packaging. Gift giving is a culture and art in Japan; because it is a practise to buy gifts (usually food items) when visiting someone's place or returning from a trip. The gift should be wrapped nicely and presented to the receiver after the greetings and formalities. The receiver will usually seek permission from the sender to open the gift immediately and express gratitude by sharing the gift if it is food item. Therefore, most merchandise sold in shops are packaged presentably.
In fact when you make any purchase, the shop owners will ask if the merchandise is meant as gift or personal use. Just say 'omiyage' or 'present' and they will painstakingly wrap it up for you, complete with wrapping paper and ribbons/stickers. Usually the service is free but paper/ribbon used are plain and simple ones. If you are willing to top up a small fee, you will get a wider and nicer selection; although the simple ones are already presentable enough.
I'm missing the shopping already... 怎么办,好像有点买不够。

Day 9, 23 Dec 06 - Last Day in Tokyo, Returning Home

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Here we are. The.Last.Day.in.Tokyo. The mere thought of returning home (and to work!) sucked. But I guess this is reality and the fact is we enjoyed the past 8 days very much. Can't ask for too much.
We had a whole morning to idle as our flight was in the evening. First we checked out and deposited our luggage with the concierge and also confirmed our Airport Limousine Bus tickets (it is advisable to make reservation a few days beforehand to secure tickets as the service from hotel to airport is not frequent).
Hubby suggested to go back to his fishing tackle shop near Shibuya station. Since I didn't get enough of Tokyu Food Show the other day, I went along. Was definitely a good idea as I managed to do more shopping and take more photos! Tokyu Food Show was really crowded as it was a weekend and day before Christmas Eve. Christmas is big in Tokyo and Japanese people seemed quite willing to spend on christmas cakes and goodies. Oh well, who could resist those lovely packaging and too-pretty-to-eat cakes?
We went back to Nishi-Shinjuku for lunch and decided to eat grilled meat. Since it was our last meal in Tokyo, no harm indulging a little. Hubby ordered grilled pork set while I ordered grilled beef set. Once again, the food never failed to delight us. Meat was tender and succulent and our mouths filled with barbeque aroma with each bite.
After lunch, we rushed back to Shinjuku Washington hotel to fetch our luggage and catch the bus to Narita Airport. As the bus drove further away from the city, I made a promise to myself that I will return again. Sayonara Tokyo.

Day 9 thoughts: When will I be back in Tokyo?
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Day 8, 22 Dec 06 - Last night in Tokyo

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Would be returning home the next day, had to seize every opportunity to shop and eat our fill. We made our way to Takashimaya Times Square which housed Takashimaya Department Store, Tokyu Hands and Kinokuniya.
First stop was Tokyu Hands, a mega creative living space cum DIY ware store that sells practically everything a home and office need like home electronics, stationery, party supplies, tools, lighting & bathroom fixtures, camping gear, bicycles & bike goods, car & motorcycle stuff, home improvement & kitchen ware, gardening equipment, toys, games, office & art craft supplies, storage solutions etc etc etc. There is every material possible at Tokyu Hands, creating a conductive environment for DIY.
We spent a whole morning shopping at Tokyu Hands only breaking for lunch at Takashimaya Food Hall. Had a tonkatsu rice set over at a counter stall, even a simple meal like this was oishii, especially the miso soup!
Similar to Tokyu Food Show, Takashimaya Food Hall also woos customers with a huge selection of food and confectionery items. I spent some time feasting with my eyes and camera, and wishing that I could stay here long enough to savour all the different types of food. I kind of envy the people staying in Japan. Oh well, Singapore is not bad either, just that I'm quite a sucker for packaging and pretty looking stuff. Shallow huh? But hey, these are not only good lookers, they are big on quality too. I know because I went around sampling some of the food :p

Thereafter, popped into Kinokuniya to get some zakka magazines and books which are not readily available in Singapore. As we had too many shopping bags and didn't want to pay for lockers, we went back to the hotel to unload our barang barang and freshen up first.
Decided then to make a trip to Omotesandō 表参道, an upscale shopping area featuring several international brand outlets like Gucci, Chanel, Burberry etc etc etc. Heard that it is the hippest place in town at the moment and SMAP just opened a shop there. Omotesando also links to Aoyama 青山, another hip and trendy area. I supposed we could only afford window shopping but it was a good place to soak in the atmosphere and people watch.
We strolled along the streets of Omotesando and chanced upon the SMAP shop! Almost walked past the shop without realising it, was wondering what the commotion was about as there was a queue forming outside a shop. And there it is, the SMAP Shop. You mean people actually have to queue to get in? I guess because the shop is really tiny. Was quite interested to find out what sort of merchandise the shop offers and I'm quite fond of Kimura Takuya, yep so I queued too. Was rather disappointed though coz there were limited items on sale, only concert DVDs which cost a bomb. Apparently there was even SMAP chocolate but they were sold out. There wasn't even any life size posters. *Disappointed* To think that people (including myself :p) would queue for it, you can guess the cult status of SMAP in Japan and the extent to which people worship the band.
In the end, didn't manage to go to Aoyama as it was getting late although I very much wanted to. Next time perhaps. As for our last dinner at Tokyo, decided to eat sushi since we have not had any for this trip. Went into one conveyor belt sushi bar which looked rather presentable and was pleasantly surprised that seafood and fish offered was fresh and price reasonable too. It shouldn't go wrong eating sushi in Japan. Well, this more or less summed up my last night in Tokyo... couldn't help feeling a tinge of sadness that I have to leave the next day.
Day 8 thoughts: Last night in Tokyo, wished that time could stop there and then.

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Day 7, 21 Dec 06 - Shopping for Zakka Goods

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How time flies, we were in Japan for almost a week already. Last few days in Tokyo, gonna make every moment count with more food and shopping!

Objective for the day was Jiyugaoka 自由が丘 and Daikanyama 代官山. Both are havens for zakka 創意生活雜貨, (lifestyle concept shops) selling all sorts of creative goods from office stationery to household and kitchen wares to fashion and accessories. Jiyugaoka also boast of many famous confectionery shops.

We were supposed to take the Tokyu Line from Shibuya Station to Jiyugaoka but hubby discovered a huge fishing tackle shop next to Shibuya Station. Like a little boy in a toy store, he spent almost 2 hrs there, should have gone shopping by myself!
As it was approaching lunch hour, we decided to drop by Tokyu Department Store - Food Show to grab a bite first. I remembered the last time in Tokyo, we packed a galore of food back to hotel for a feast. Indeed, Food Show is a melting pot of many selection of food, all vying for your attention. To call it Food Show is an understatement because it is really more than that, with explosion of sight, sound, smell, taste and even touch amalgamated to overwhelm your senses.
Apparently, most department stores in Japan would invite renowned brands, patissiers and restauranteurs to set up stalls at the basement area so as to attract crowd and boast sales. Long queues are common sights as most stalls pull promotional gigs such as limited edition or value items which are seasonal. Food Halls have become a culture in Japan. Fruits, seafood, meat and vegetable in the supermarket also look exceptionally fresh.
I had ham and egg crepe and hubby had Tori Katsu Don (Chicken Cutlet Rice). Crepe is apparently quite popular among the teens in Japan and it is not just a sweet snack but can be a full meal with fillings such as tuna and meat.

After lunch, we headed off to Jiyugaoka and I spent the entire afternoon shopping for zakka goods. Despite its reputation as a zakka haven, Jiyugaoka remains a quaint town dotted with interesting concept shops and doesn't appear as too commercialised. It is really comfortable as I stroll leisurely, feeling somewhat like a demure Japanese homemaker shopping for ideas and wares to furnish the house. A few of my favourite zakka shops are Afternoon Tea, quatre saisons, Watashi no Heya and Sunday Brunch.

Spent too much time at Jiyugaoka and by the time I got to Daikanyama, it was quite dark and difficult to navigate. Had to cut short the shopping at Daikanyama but I was already one satisfied shopper with bags of merchandise from Jiyugaoka.

We went back to Shinjuku and decided to go for chinese food at Din Tai Feng at Takashimaya Times Square. Chinese food is equally popular and we had to queue for a while. After a meal of dumplings, spicy hot soup, noodles and fried rice, we stopped by a cafe for drinks before calling it a day.

Day 7 thoughts: I love love love Food Halls and Zakka Shops!

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Day 6, 20 Dec 06 - Tokyo Disneyland

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Hubby and I are not big fans of theme parks nor Disney characters. But we (it's me actually) couldn't resist a chance to go to the much raved about "Happiest Place on Earth", because the truth is I have never been to Disneyland before! Had wanted to take the 8.10am direct bus (600 yen one-way) from Shinjuku (new south exit) station but the bus was full. Didn't want to wait for 30 minutes for the next one, we decided to take train instead.
  • Shinjuku Station > JR Yamamote line > Tokyo Station > JR Keiyo
    Line > JR Maihama Station.
When in doubt, just follow the crowd as there would be throngs of children, family, couples heading towards the same direction. Curious, most children were carrying some plastic tub imprinted with Disney characters; we were about to find out just what these tubs were meant for. And it was rather amusing to see teenagers donning all sorts of Disney character accessories and ear muffs, all eagerly looking forward to Disneyland.

It was almost 9am (opening hour) when we reached JR Maihama Station, and there was still a queue to get into the park. A one-day passport cost 5800 yen per person, not exactly cheap. By the time we got into the park, we have missed the opening gigs and some of the more popular Disney characters. It was okay because I was more attracted to the World Bazaar shopping arcade. Being the Christmas season, the park was aptly decorated with Christmas trees and ornaments; shops playing Christmas songs, creating the perfect mood for Christmas shopping. Had to resist the temptation to start buying because won't want to lug around shopping bags.


There are 5 thematic areas - Tomorrowland, Toontown, Fantasyland, Critter Country, Westernland and Adventureland. As we hated queuing, we decided to take our own pace to soak in the atmosphere and went for the more challenging rides only. Managed to use the fast pass for a couple of rides and had to queue 1hr for some. The park was crowded, queues were long but orderly and everyone seemed happy.

When it was almost time for the special event "Disney's Christmas Dreams on Parade", everyone just lined the parade route and literally sat down on the ground. Neat! It was the same situation during the "Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights. There were even park ushers to line people row by row. Wonder if it is the same at other Disneylands?
Food wise, most items were quite delicious maybe due to cold weather? For lunch, we had our fill of popcorn and turkey legs which were sold at pushcarts. Dinner was curry rice. Having spicy curry rice during winter sure was fulfilling.

The special holiday version of "Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights" was really pretty; Christmas songs filled the air and create a festivity mood throughout. But the grand finale of "Christmas Wishes in the Sky" was tip of the iceberg with a fireworks show set to Christmas songs.

After watching the fireworks, we scurried to the shops and started a shopping frenzy before catching the last bus back to Shinjuku station (600 yen per person).
Day 6 thoughts: Sure was a happy experience at Tokyo Disneyland.
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Day 5, 19 Dec 06 - Tokyo/Asakusa

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Snugged comfortably in our futon, we didn't feel like waking up knowing that we were about to leave this beautiful mountain onsen ryokan. The warm Japanese-style mattresses and bedding spreaded out over the tatami mats were certainly sheer comfort in cold weather.
After yet another sumptuous breakfast, we decided to go for another quick dip at the hot spring (must make every minute count!).
Soon it was time to check out and for a moment, we couldn't bear to leave this tranquil town for the hustle bustle Tokyo. Perhaps we would be back some day.

We decided to take a bus directly to Kinugawa Onsen Station to catch SPACIA, the Tobu Limited Express train back to Asakusa. The bus journey took 1hr and cost 1500 yen per person. We had to pay an additional 1300 yen per person to upgrade to SPACIA but the money was well worth as the seats were more comfortable and spacious than the rapid train (which gave us stiff back during the journey to Nikko).
2hrs later, we were back at Asakusa, a contrast to the peaceful mountain village of Yunishigawa. Although we had visited Sensoji 浅草寺(Asakusa Kannon Temple) before, we decided to re-visit it again since we were already in the vicinity. It is customary for visitors to go through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) 雷門, the outer gate of Sensoji and symbol of Asakusa, followed by shopping at Nakamise-dori 仲見世, a shopping street of over 200 meters before reaching Sensoji.

Nakamise was exceptionally vibrant and we learnt that it was Hagoita-ichi (Battledore Fair) from 17 till 19 Dec. Numerous stalls selling hagoita (battledores) 羽子板, shuttlecocks, kites and other New Year decorations lined up the streets around Sensoji. Hagoita is the wooden paddle used in Hanetsuki, a traditional Japanese New Year's game that resembles badminton. The Hagoitas on sale are good-luck charms for ornamental purposes and they come in different sizes, most of them feature portraits of kabuki actors and Edo ladies; and even celebrities from entertainment, sports, politics, anime. When a battledore is sold, it is common practice for the sellers and buyers to clap their hands rhythmically while shouting some cheer representing good luck. Really omoshiroi (interesting) to witness this colorful festival.
As we wondered around Asakusa, we came across some pachinko parlours and couldn't resist popping in to have a go at the game machines that got millions of Japanese salarymen and housewives hooked. Hubby also tried his hands on those UFO machines in an attempt to catch some freebies.

Checked in Shinjuku Washington Hotel in the evening, and we were lucky to be upgraded to a bigger room. Really appreciate the extra little space where we could put our luggage(and shopping bags :p).

As for dinner, after 3 days of Japanese feasting, we decided to go for Italian cuisine which is very popular in Japan. Ordered casear salad, pasta and pizza, which were nicely prepared.

With that, we concluded our day looking forward to Disneyland the next day. Yippee!

Day 5 thoughts: I wish we can go back to Yunishigawa some day.
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