Saturday, 10 April 2010

The adventures of a frazzled Briton in Japantown~

When I was in San Francisco last summer, we were staying near Japan town (luckily!). Unlike the Asian 'towns' we're used to in the UK, such as Chinatown; a few streets strung with all you can eat buffets and a couple of buildings where our gyarusa go for purikura, the Japantowns and Chinatowns of the US are completely off the scale.

Gotta put this picture of a pork bun here, because they're the tastiest things in the goddamn world:

If you've visited London's Chinatown, you might think that it's pretty big, but if you put it in perspective against the Japantown and Chinatown of San Francisco, it's like a small pork bun stand (oh god I love those so much) against an industrial pork bun factory (mmm... lots of pork buns in one building~~).

Japantown isn't a couple of streets filled with Japanese restaurants, it's actually a town built to resemble a town in Japan, i.e: it has Japanese shopping centres, Japanese shops, Japanese super markets, Japanese bookstores, HUGE purikura rooms, a massive outside plaza with a stage, really nice Japanese restaurants, Japanese shops with LOADS of GAL stuff in them - no joke, I was standing there gawping at it all for a good 10 minutes. They have the lot; hoards of Japanese branded fake eyelashes, hair dye, makeup, clothes and other gal-must-haves. There's even a huge Sanrio store full of hello kitty goods, and somehow I managed to win a prize in there, so I got some hello kitty stuff for free and some cute stickers too~

On the upper floor in one of the shopping centres, they have a MASSIVE bookstore called 'Kinokuniya Bookstore'. It's awesome. The gal magazine section is the biggest i've ever seen, they have maybe 4 to 5 times more books there than the Japan Center in London do, and not ONLY do they have books and comics, they have a whole section dedicated to music and music DVDs, so if you're looking to buy Koda Kumi, Gackt other Japanese, Korean and Chinese musicians or even Parapara DVDs, that's the place to be, I tell you!
I was so tempted to pick up a massive Koda Kumi box set, but it was $60, and I didn't want to spend all my money on just that TT___TT.
What they also have, something that perhaps the UK lacks in slightly - a HUGE population of youths who follow Japanese fashion trends; Lolita, Visual Kei, Decora and even Gal!

Possibly the best place in Japantown is the NEW PEOPLE building. On the first floor it has an art and book shop with some really nice Japanese art and books and other cool things for sale. There's also a cinema, for Asian films ONLY (it's awesome!). However, the best part of this glass building, is the second floor. OH MY GOD GHUGRIEHGERHE. I wanted to spend all my money there, I had to restrain myself like a madman XD.

Okay, prepare yourselves, IT HAS: A 6%Dokidoki store, A Baby, the Stars Shine Bright store, with Alice and the Pirates branded clothes being sold there too, and Black Peace Now.
*NOSEBLEED*... Amazing stuff, seriously.
Here are some pictures~

From left to right: the three shop assistants/dances from 6%Dokidoki store in Japan, the DESIGNER and founder of 6%Dokidoki, Masuda Sebastian, the famous Lolita model Misako Aoki, who modeled at the fashion show that day (I have some videos that I took that i'll post up in a minute) and the DESIGNER and founder of Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Uehara Kumiko.
I got to meet the 6%Dokidoki dancers, and they were all really sweet, and I got right up to the front at the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright fashion show, including an interview with Uehara Kumiko, i'll post those videos at the end of this post ;D!

Black Peace Now:

Baby, the Stars Shine Bright:

Here are some pictures of the things I brought from these shops. They're pretty small, but you can probably imagine how expensive everything was there; dresses at Baby, the Stars Shine Bright were minimum of $200.00!

On that note, we'll start with Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, since it was so expensive, I could only afford to buy one thing, AND, omg, it was so fucking ridiculous; there was NO air conditioning in the whole building. Picture this; San Francisco, in the middle of summer, on a cloudless day, in a building with no air conditioning, waiting in a queue to buy ONE thing for an HOUR. I died; literally. I had to get my sister to buy the item for me in the end, because I felt so sick, it was awful. I goddamn hope they've installed some air con now!

A little lolita-y, but I thought it was so cute, and it was basically the only thing I could afford, at a whopping $48.00... Just for that (Q__Q)

The next lot are all from 6%dokidoki, since they had so many adorable little trinkets, I couldn't help myself and just HAD to buy a few cute things~~

6%dokidoki top, I can't remember how much it was, but it was so cute, I just had to get it!

This necklace is one of my favourites, it's shaped like a wee dummy, and I just LOVE it, it even has a wee bow!

Even though this was an earring, it was still pretty expensive, so I could only afford to buy one hahahaha, nonetheless, i'm still happy with just one, look at it, it's in the shape of a sweet, bawwww!

This is the best ring I have ever bought ever; not only is it heart shaped, it's MASSIVE, and it's so sparkly, and I am the biggest sucker for sparkly things, let me tell you.

One of the shop assistants was wearing this in her hair, and I loved it! I think it's really quite Kaoru Watanabe style; bold, but stylish and cute! I also love the little pearl strands and smaller stars draping from the main clip, I think it deliberately resembles that of a traditional hair accessory worn with kimonos?

Right, here comes the fun part, THE FASHION SHOW. I got to the front row, but got stuck behind this really annoying woman photographer, who was all like 'OMG, I NEED TO BE IN FRONT OF YOU BECAUSE I HAVE A CAMERA, SO STEP BACK, YOU GET ME?', in a really southern-American accent, she was kind of rude T__T, but I waited until she took her shoots and went somewhere else, and then regained my place, ho ho ho!
Bah to her..
Here're the videos of the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright x Alice and the Pirates fashion show (please ignore my crappy video editing, it was nearing midnight when I put them on youtube XD):

Part one:

Most of the western models featured in the fashion show were amateurs I think, so a lot of people thought they were very stiff, I think it was probably because they were very nervous. However, all/most of the Japanese models there were professionals, like Misako Aoki, She's SO cute!

Here's part 2:

I bet if I even tried to wear that dress with a train, I'd just fall over and knock over everything ever, and everything would go BOOM. The end.

After the fashion show, the BTSSB (the name is soooo long!) designer, Uehara Kumiko got interviewed on stage, and I managed to video it - until my phone ran out of battery at the last second :'(!

Can I just say, I love the presenter at the show, he's so camp and funny, he reminds me of those really enthusiastic wildlife presenters who're always jumping around, even in the desert, LIKE STEVE IRWIN. I love Steve Irwin XD
Okay, i'm going to go into grieving if I talk about Steve anymore ;____;
MY FILMING IS SO BAD IN THIS. I put my finger over half the camera at one point, so please ignore, and pretend it's something cute and fluffy... Or something.

Part one:

Kumiko is adorable! I think it's so sweet that she's following her dreams~ I'd love to have her job any day haha!

Part 2:

Damn phone for dying on me!! How upsetting ;_____;

So, yeah, if you ever get a chance to go to San Francisco, GO TO JAPANTOWN, it's amazing, and a place of worship for Western gyaru.
And now, my eyes are closing, so to end this post, have this nice, nice picture of Minho looking like a duck:

Oh Minho, you duck, you :')


  1. Awww, you make me miss san fran girl. also mmm minho ^^

  2. Gurl, when did you go to SF :O? I lovee it!

    ALSO, I just had a look at your blog, LOOOVE IT, it's filled with Kpop-ness everywhere, and your 2PM layout is hawwwtt~~

  3. I hate queue's Its all your fault. Nice blog by the way sister :3 very pretty!!

  4. I went a few years ago now. It was so good though, I really wanna go back at some point.

    As hot as the layout is it's annoying me a bit. The cursor keeps disappearing and you can't comment =_= Glad you like it though ^.^

  5. why cant the uk have a japantown D: !!!!!

  6. Thanks deedub, glad you like it :)!

    @Ellie, n'awww, I hate it when that happens - you get a good layout, and you test it out, and then it can't do certain things ;___;
    I still think it's cool though, hahah, I managed to leave you a comment in your side-chat-comment-thing though :)!!

    Sweet, was it a holiday or? Yeah, me too, my dad gets to go there for business trips all the time, the lucky bugger TT_TT! I really miss it, I think at some point, i really want to live there for a few years~

    @Toni, I KNOW RIGHT!? If the UK had a Japantown, I'd totally live/work/spend my old age there XD, it would be awesomeee!
    I wish we had a Chinatown like San Francisco too, IT'S MASSIVEEE, like, a billion times bigger than our Chinatown, and it actually looks like China O___O;;