Tuesday, 12 August 2014

5 Things I've Noticed When Shopping in Japan

From the talking trucks to singing train stations Japan is very different to Australia including your shopping experience. Good service is very important in Japan and shop staff work very hard just to offer the service which is expected of them. Furthermore, there are some different rules of etiquette required of a customer when they enter a store. Here are some points I've noticed after spending 5 months in Japan.

Be sure to let me know about your experience shopping overseas in the comments section!

1. Umbrellas in the rack

During the rainy season an umbrella rack will be placed at the door of the shop. It's expected that customers place their umbrellas in there. Bringing them into the store may wet the floor, making it dangerous for other customers or simply damage the merchandise. Angelic Pretty has an umbrella stand outside for customer umbrellas and inside for their umbrellas - just be careful not to mix up the two or forget your umbrella when you leave.

2. Bags don't belong on the floor

In Australia I didn't worry about putting my bag on the floor when I went to cafe or restaurant. In Japan, cafes, restaurants and some shops offer baskets or tables to put your bags on. Victorian Maiden have a coat rack and a chaise lounge to put your belongings on and shop staff will kindly take your coat and bag when you enter the store. 

3. I'll see you to the door

If you purchase something at a store the staff will often carry your shopping to the door for you! If available they will also get you a new version of the item from the back of the store, wrap it up all nicely in a bag and perhaps include a sticker or postcard form the store. It's a way to thank you for your patronage and ensure that each customer feels attended to individually.

4. Kawaiiiiiiiiiii <3

Shop staff will compliment you if you try something on - without fail. I'm still not used of it myself but it's all a part of serving the customer individually and encouraging further patronage. The most popular comments I've heard are kawaii - "cute", suteki - "incredible/amazing" and o-niai desu - "it suits you". Shop staff are also forth coming when you're browsing the blouses: yoroshikereba, hirogete mite kudasai - "you can unfold it to see what its looks like if you wish" and when you're drooling over dresses: yoroshikereba, kagami de awasete mite kudasai - "you can hold it up in the mirror to see what it's like if you wish". They will also help tie up bonnets and do up your shoes if you try them on.

5. No shoes in the house

Or rather in the change rooms. Change rooms will often be carpeted and you will need to take your shoes off before you enter. There are also stores which have make up covers that you're encouraged to wear over your head and some places won't let you try anything on unless you're wearing a camisole.

I've always thought that shopping in Japan was like that feeling you get in your dream where you're in your school... but it's not actually your school. The setting seems to be the same but the feelings and things you experience are completely different. I take my hat off to the shop staff who work so hard to make everyone's shopping experience so special.

Let me know about your shopping experiences in foreign countries in the comments. What happened? How did it make you feel?

Until next time...

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Osaka Adventures in August

Hello again!  The weather is terrible today so it's a perfect time to update the blog.

I am so happy with the way the under-dress
compliments the VM over-dress.

As I mentioned at the end of my last post I went out to Osaka again with one of the lovely friends I've made in Japan. It was a lolita Date!

This was our second date together, our first was when we went to the chocolate cafe Godiva for Easter.

Our first date in April
I love her BABY x Disney Snow White dress.

We headed to Victorian Maiden first to reserve a dress for my friend. I nearly bought the marine style skirt with the open back but decided against it at the last minute.

We then headed over to Angelic Pretty where I bought a couple of cutsews and the Romantic Rose Letter necklace that I've been eyeing off for ages. Then at the second hand shop next door I nearly gave into the BABY x Disney's Alice in Wonderland JSK in sax but decided it was a little beyond my budget after the purchase at AP.

When we went to BABY I couldn't go past some wrist cuffs that were on sale.

In the end this was the result of my mini-haul.
Clockwise from top left:
AP - Romantic Rose Letter Necklace in Red x Pink
AP - Pure Ribbon Cutsew in  Pink
AP - Airy Square Cutsew in Ivory
BTSSB - Scarlet Wrist Cuffs in Ivory
We also popped by the KERA shop and drooled over Juliette et Justine but agreed that we should wear cute prints while we are young. 

In the dying hours of the afternoon we went to a photo booth and then in the evening went to see another friend who runs a bar near Ibaraki called Precieuxse Endroit. We had a barbeque (yes, a barbeque) and ate watermelon (the summer fruit in Japan). I didn't get home until after midnight but it sure was worth it.
My friend and I both wore Rococo Bouquet
in different cuts and colours. I was so happy to
wear the under-dress I bought from VM
last time I went to Osaka.
Having a rest at Starbucks after going to AP.
I was very quick to put on the Romantic Rose Letter necklace.
I was recommended the red by my friend and I have no regrets.

Eating watermelon, taking purikura and meeting up with old and new friends at Precieuxse Endroit.

This outing probably marks my last haul until November. I've decided to take a trip to Tokyo to go to my best friend's wedding reception. I have to save, save, save. However, I do have some meets coming up, in particular a meet for international lolitas in Kyoto at the end of the month. I hope to write a post about that and perhaps one more in between.

Until next time...

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Maidens in July

In mid-July my friends and I headed to Osaka to visit Victorian Maiden. It had been really hot lately so I decided to wear the lightest and breathable piece in my wardrobe - Abandoned Night Chiffon OP from Korean indie brand Baroque.

I've been really into the false crown braid recently. It's rather quick, uses my own hair and looks really smart with most coordinates. It's definitely my recommendation for a Summer hair-style. My hair is growing quite long too so it means the plaits are nice and thick. For make-up I've been following a Misako Aoki tutorial with false top lashes but only mascara on the bottom. I think it has a nice look without being too heavy.

When I met up with the girls they were both wearing BABY the Stars Shine Bright x Disney Alice in Wonderland dress in different cuts and colour-ways. I have the Angelic Pretty x Disney Alice in Wonderland collaboration dress so I wished I'd have known!

It's the most stunning print. I'm falling more and more in love
with BABY!

The day was completely packed we went to Victorian Maiden where I finally bought the under-dress I've wanted for a year. They were having a sale so my one of my friends also bought a Rococo Bouquet OP in blue which looks stunning on her.

 Then we headed to Angelic Pretty with the most incredible time sale on. Some of the merchandise was 70% off! I wanted to buy the trump bag from the Wonder Queen series but decided against it because of it's somewhat small size and limited coordinating options.

Wonder Queen Shoulder Bag
It only really goes with my Disney x AP print :(

Victorian Maiden is like the wardrobe of a Victorian well-to-do lady.
Angelic Pretty is like putting on a pair of rose coloured glasses and stepping into the frilliest closet of your dreams.

After heading to Bikkuri Donkey for lunch (STEAK... but I had a hamburger patty) we went to Baby, where I fawned over an amazing headdress which was lacy, flowery and surprisingly gorgeous from the Rosa Mistica series. 

Then we all headed home. I swear I had sore feet for the next 3 days. We walked so much. Next time I'm going buy feet cushions for inside my shoes! I was so tired that I didn't even try on my dress, which is why I waited until today.

Ta-Da!! I'm heading out again today to Victorian Maiden with one friend who is going to wear the Rose Bouquet that she bought recently! Hopefully I can come home with a new blouse. 

Until next time...

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