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Little critters

Since being here I’ve been bitten on my arms, legs and even face by some unidentified unseen mushi!

At any one time I seem to have a constant 13 actively itchy bites.

I decided enough was enough!

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Two days on and I don’t think I have a new bite and my current bites are improving considerably!

The spray can is insect repellant-hopefully the strong chemical kind and the patches are citronella.
The Hello Kitty muhi works really well at treating bites but I have no clue what’s in it. And lastly the tube at the bottom that Ive had for a few weeks I thought was minty gel actually contains a steroid. It didn’t seem to have much affect on my bites though.

Anyone have any more tips? I got some useful information here, and here.

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My first week in outfits

Seeing as we are backpacking for a few months I only had room for two dresses and one pair of shoes among my walking boots and electrical goods.

26th June
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Harajuku

27th June
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Meeting friends

30th June
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Meeting My Melody @ Uniqlo Ginza and then hanging out with the International Tokyo Lolitas group

29th June & 1st July
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Hama-rinkyu Gardens and Yoyogi Park in the rain! (Wish I had a nicer full shot in this dress!)

2nd July
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Harajuku and Yoyogi again :)

As you can see I bought a few new things :)
The cake dress is Emily Temple Cute and perfect for this heat! The hat is Liz Lisa I got in the sale and the cream
head bow Innocent World. The last dress in my new crush <;3 Baby, The Stars Shine Bright Love Letters to Juliette…(or something!) it was a steal at Closet Child as the waist ribbon is missing.

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Keitai for foreigners

So before I came to Japan I did some online research into what phone plans were open to foreigners in Japan. Most information pointed to SoftBank and that a 3000yen/month prepaid sim was available.

Great I thought I’ll pop it into my iPhone and be ready to go!

Wrong.

The Japanese mobile phone system here is quite complicated and I don’t fully understand it. From what I gather you pick a network and a corresponding phone and are then tied into the two for at least two years. Your email address is also tied in with your phone and provider. I am also under the impression you give the phone back at the end.

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On Sunday I went to SoftBank Omote-sando store where a nice young man with American sounding English explained it was not possible for me to put the sim in my iPhone. I needed a Japanese flip-phone. He issued me with a ticket and I had to wait about 20minutes to be seen and taken downstairs.

To obtain a Japanese phone you have to prove you are staying in Japan for more than 3 months. (You need your passport with your visa in for this!) You also need a Japanese address, I used my hotel address and this was fine.

The only options I got were – black or white?! White of course :)

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The handset itself cost about 2500yen, the charger 1500yen and 3000yen for credit.

The nice lady activated it for me, set it to English and put my credit on. To activate data (email) you need to call 1400 and follow the options in English, it costs 300yen to do this and expires after 30days. Calls cost an extortionate 100yen/min!

I signed a piece of paper and she showed me my number. And then I was on my way.

You get a designated email address something@softtbank.ne.jp and you can easily change the bit before the @ either on your phone or at SoftBank.jp
To access SoftBank.jp you need the 4 digit pin number from the paper you sign.

The great thing about having a Japanese keitai email address is you can get purikura sent to your phone (well actually a link to click to download them).

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The phone itself is very basic. I find it so hard to use after 5years of iPhones. It has a 2MP camera, alarm, music player and calendar. However it is really cute and I always wanted a Japanese cell phone!

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Hama-rinkyu Gardens

One of my favourite places to relax in Tokyo is the Hama-rinkyu Garden, located a short walk from Shiodome station.

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The park costs 300¥ to enter and you get a pretty ticket and visitors stamp.

Nakajima-no-ochaya is a teahouse from 1707 and you can still go and enjoy tea there today. Just 500¥ for matcha and wagashi.

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I had mine cold and J had his hot. I really love wagashi it’s possibly my favourite thing to eat!

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In case you are worried about etiquette the staff provide you with English instructions on how to eat the wagashi first and how to hold and sip your matcha. But it also says you don’t have to follow the rules and just enjoy yourself!

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View of the tea house.

The park also has a lovely walk, you can visit a small shrine, Peony Garden and 300 year old pine tree.

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The peonys weren’t in season but the Ume trees were ripe.

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The park also affords you a wonderful view over Tokyo Bay and Rainbow Bridge.

I’m not sure how long we were at the park relaxing and taking it all in but before we knew it the calls were going out for the parks imminent closure at 5pm.

I really look forward to going back in a few weeks.

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Hanging in Harajuku

Yesterday was such a lovely fun packed day.

We met some friends at the station and went for bubble tea. Afterwards we swung round a few shops including closet child where I picked up APs tokeimeki bracelet that I’d wanted for a while.

Of course we took some purikura! The booth was bambi themed and was meant to elongate your legs!

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The iris garden at Meji-Jingu was open so we decided to go in.

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At the end of a garden is a magic wishing well, so we joined the que and washed our hands in it! I hope it brings us luck!

Next up was gaming at Shibuya kaikan, where Emer and I attempted some DDR!
Dinner was some tendon at a small eatery and then we went to 8-bit cafe for some cocktails and to peruse the retro games.

Lastly we ended the night soaking up the fantastic views at the Tokyo Metropolitan Building.

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On my way home at the end of the day!

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Essential Packing

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Yorkshire Tea!

I do enjoy drinking green tea but not sure how long I could go without a proper brew! What could you not live without?

Only a few days till we set off now, backpacking and lolita dont necessarily go well together so far I’ve only found room for two outfits in my case. One for meeting my friend Emer and another for the Tokyo International lolita meet both of which I am really looking forward to! I’m sure a few more pieces will work their way into my bag whilst we are there…. :)

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Drizzly Durham

Today I went to Durham to meet my lovely friend Livi.

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I had a great time in the light rain looking at shops, the cathedral (where some scenes from Harry Potter were filmed!) and having coffee and cake.

What I wore:

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Jsk-innocent world
Pocket watch-my grandfathers
Blouse-off brand
Cardigan-metamorphose

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Toy Parade

Just a quick snap from last weekend when I wore Toy Parade – its one of my all time favourite Angelic Pretty prints. I had mixed feelings when I saw it had been rereleased as I paid over the odds for the skirt, but the new release skirt is a slightly different style. Plus I’ve had nearly 3 years of enjoyment out of mine.

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Skirt – AP Toy Parade
Cutsew – AP Petite Patisserie
Cardigan – AP Sugary Carnival
Headbow – Innocent World
Bow necklace and shoes – AP

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Flights and bookings

I managed to get most things booked and sorted the weekend we got our visas.

We fly out June 24th to Narita with Al Italia.

So…just over 7 weeks to go!

We have booked to stay in some beautiful places like the Toco Tokyo Hostel below.

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We have all the major festivals pencilled into our itinerary, a trek to the summit of Mt.Fuji and volunteer work in Tohoku. Trips to sake factories, lavender fields, temples, lakes, museums and castles.

I can’t wait for all the small things like purikura, Japanese curry and tempura, taking a stroll down Takeshita Dori, hearing ‘irrashimasen’ every time I walk into a shop and all the little train tunes on the metro.

I look forward to meeting new people, learning more about Japan and Japanese culture and having the most epic journey of my life!