Friday, 1 April 2016

Sakura Mochi and Maple Cake - Lolita Date in Kyoto

I had a most wonderful outing last week on Thursday. I needed to go to Kyoto to pick up my blouse from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. I had forgotten my passport last time, which meant I couldn't buy it tax free. I contacted one of my Lolita friends in Kyoto who said she could meet up so my Lolita date was set.

We decided to meet at a cafe called Café du Thé François in Shijo Kawaramachi so I chose to wear Angelic Pretty's Wonder Party to match the cafe theme. I matched it with off-white accessories including a beret from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. Rest Room Selfie, anyone?

I wore a wig for the first time in ages to cut down on hair styling time. The wig is from Gothic Lolita Wigs and its definitely my favourite. This blonde doesn't make me look washed out and the hair style is cute but elegant. The reason for leaving early being is that I had to head off early to buy some Japanese sweets as souvenirs before meeting up with my friend. 

Buying Mochi at Futaba

The sweets shop I went to is called Futaba and is situated in Demachi Anagi. It's already quite well known for Mame-mochi but I was there to buy the Sakura Mochi! It's readily available during the cherry blossom season and is a gorgeous glossy pink colour wrapped in a Sakura leaf. Sakura is a slightly strange sweet leafy taste and with the leaf being salty and the mochi being sweet it quite an interesting sweet to eat. I didn't like it the first few times I ate it, particularly the leaf but with the mochi being recently advertised on the T.V. with high recommendations I didn't want to miss the opportunity to try it again.

When it comes to popular foods, in my experience, the Japanese have a different way of thinking to what I've seen in Australia. Firstly, Australians seem to be less enthusiastic about something simply because it's introduced as popular and on top of that most Australians seem to avoid waiting in long lines. Conversely, it seems that the Japanese are happy to line up in order to get something that's been advertised as it means they are sure to get a good product at the end. This certainly seemed to be the case at Futaba as the line curled around three times in front of the shop. There was a person outside the shop reminding people to keep moving forward and that the wait was around 20 minutes. They were also there to stop the line from moving too far over on the path. 

There were so many people and I didn't want to be late for my date so I didn't stop to take photos except for this one above. The line moved quickly and smoothly. Before long I was at the front of the line and my order was taken, the mochi was placed in a plastic pack, wrapped and handed to me in a bag. With my souvenirs in my hand, I walked to the bus stop to head to the cafe.

The Cafe and Kamogawa

I arrived at Shijo Kawaramachi bus-stop an hour before I was scheduled to meet with my friend. It gave me a chance to look around and take some pictures of the newly bloomed Sakura. 

The cafe is situated on Kiyamachi Street is a beautiful street with Kamogawa River running beside it and Sakura running down each side. In the Edo period (around the 18th century) many traditional style cafes, restaurants and bars were built to entertain the travellers who would come to the area. Today, the area is still a place for travellers to come to eat, drink and be entertained, however many of them are foreign travellers, like myself. Many of the places have a traditional shop front and some are even award winning gourmet restaurants. 

I also took a few snaps of Café du Thé François complete with poodle. 

History of Café du Thé François

Café du Thé François was listed as Registered Tangible Cultural Property in 2002. While it was originally a machiya, a Japanese townhouse for merchants or craftsmen, the shop was opened by Shōichi Tatemoto in the 1934 with the building redesigned into a western-style cafe with a design to reflect the spirit of enlightenment through socialism and art. The name of the cafe is a nod to painter Jean-Francois Millet. In 1937, during the second Sino-Japanese war, Tatemoto was jailed for anti-war activities, which included raising money for the Japanese communist party and distributing anti-Facist publications. After his time in jail Tatemoto had the interior re-designed by an Italian architect friend, Alexsandro Bencivenni, who himself had run away from Facist Italy. The interior was designed to resemble an ocean liner travelling between Europe and Asia and is a mix of 17th century Italian Baroque and Renaissance in style. The cafe kept running through the Pacific War when it was re-named Miyako Sabo (Kyoto Tea house) due to the law not allowing the use of enemy languages. Bencivenni, who refused to swear allegiance to the Italian Socialist Republic when the alliance was decided, was even sent to a prisoner camp in Nagoya for two years. The shop eventually closed in 1944 due to food shortages. The shop was re-opened in 2002 with the instatement of it's new status and is now run by the owner's three children.

I didn't take many pictures of the rest of the day but safe to say my friend and I had a great time, which included ordering matching Maple cake and coffee with cream set. It was absolutely delicious and ended up being my lunch. In between I went to buy the blouse and we moved to cafe number two to enjoy a coffee float chatting until 6pm. We promised to get together again in Kyoto as soon as we could manage. It really was a wonderful day. 

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Opening of Leur Getter Kyoto

After a 17 hour flight, including a 6 hour stop-over in Singapore, I arrived in Japan on Thursday morning. I often read Misako Aoki's blog and she mentioned that she would be attending the opening of a new Leur Getter shop in Kyoto on the 26th. I met Misako at the Kera shop in Osaka last year in June so I was really excited at the possibility of meeting her again. Here's a picture from Misako's blog from the meet at Kera Osaka in May last year. It truly was great to be able to meet her and have a chat.

I admit I spent a good deal of time getting ready so I was late leaving the house and didn't get a snap of my outfit before leaving. There was also the problem of the mirror in the hallway being cluttered with luggage. (Most embarrassing behaviour.)
I wore a very similar outfit to this one below with the only change being the brown Innocent World head band that I wore with the cream beret. 

Luckily, I managed to catch the right train and arrived in Kyoto at 10:30am. The opening was scheduled for 12 so I decided to check out the place where Leur Getter was and then look for a place to get lunch before heading to the actual opening. I exited the station and headed to Teramachi street. If you're familiar with Kyoto you may know the Teramachi street shopping area and maybe even the Metamorphose shop there. The Leur Getter store is about a minute walk on Teramachi street opposite the shopping mall exit closest to Metamorphose. 

After finding the store's location, I returned to the Teramachi Mall and decided to take lunch at the Lipton cafe right at the exit onto Shijo street. The Lipton cafe is a quaint chain cafe around Japan. The main draw card is voluminous Western-style sweets and special drinks, however there is also a lunch menu, both of which can be ordered in a "set" which is a food plus a simple drink for a special price. I chose the daily lasagne with meat and eggplant and an ice coffee. When the drink arrived I realised I had missed a great opportunity of drinking a Lipton tea at the Lipton cafe and to be honest the coffee was not to my taste. The lasagne, however, was amazing. A thick topping of tasty white sauce topped with cheese with two layers of pasta with rich beef mince and eggplant. It was very hot so it took me a while to eat the whole thing but I enjoyed. Every. Single. Mouthful. 

By the time I had finished it was around 11:30am so I fixed my beret and lipgloss and headed down Teramachi street to wait for the opening. When I arrived the shop was already open and the little shop was full to bursting with keen Lolitas. Out the front was the creative director of Leur Getter, and Misako Aoki. 
The creative director is a wonderful older lady who was also the head designer of Emily Temple Cute but has moved on to heading this brand. I was very lucky to meet her once before when she came to look after a boutique in Kyoto for the weekend. She remembered me too! She is very easy to talk to and spoke about how happy she was to open the store and encouraged me to enter the shop and try something on as it would "surely suit me". 
I also spoke to Misako Aoki, who looked gorgeous in a full Leur Getter outfit. This picture is from her Line Blog. 

She asked me about my trip and where I was going. I mentioned that I was interested in going to Tokushima. She laughed as she professed that despite being Japanese she'd never been to Tokushima. I asked her if she was going to do anymore events but she answered that she was unsure if she would be doing anything in the Hyogo/Kyoto area while I would be in Japan. 

Misako wasn't taking pictures at the opening event but if I had bought something over ¥20 800 I could have gone to a flower viewing party with Misako later in the day. Being the first week in Japan, I decided against buying something so expensive so quickly. I took my leave at this point so that more Lolitas could browse the store. I took a few pictures of the shop front and said goodbye to the newly opened Leur Getter shop. 

Teramachi is very close to OPA Kawaramachi, where Baby the Stars Shine Bright is. When I lived in Japan in 2014/2015 Angelic Pretty hadn't opened. I believe that my visiting Baby in Kyoto greatly affected my own style. It was so wonderful to meet up with the staff, Bambi and Leo. Leo helped me to try on the new releases Snow Dot JSK in sax, Marie Antoinette JSK and skirt. She is amazing at tying waist ties, there's a video of her doing it on the net floating around somewhere. I was quick to cast my eye over the blouses and after a serious conversation with Leo about which would sell out first I decided to get the blouse. Surprise! I had forgot my passport. Without it, I could not get it tax-free so I put down ¥1 000 to hold it for a week. 

So, my next adventure is decided! I'm still unsure what I will do next week but I do know it will involve the acquisition of a beautiful chiffon blouse from the new Easter series. I hope you will join me then!

Friday, 4 March 2016

Packing for Japan

Hi all... 

It's already two weeks until I move out of my country town and three weeks until I head to the land of the rising sun for a few months. 

I have been thinking about what to take with me for a while and after seeing Roli's Ramblings post on packing a weeks worth of outfits I decided to give it a go myself. The items are chosen using a system based off the hypothetical wardrobe posts that are common on her blog, they dictate the amount of items and and the item traits in order to create a complete and versatile wardrobe for many different occasions.

Here is what I chose based on Roli's formula...

Three Main pieces

One one piece, one jumper-skirt and one skirt including one solid-colour piece.
  • Mystic Chiffon One-piece (navy), Alice and the Pirates
  • Collection Chocolatier Douce Praline Jumper-skirt (Sax), Baby the Stars Shine Bright
  • Wonderparty Skirt (Brown), Angelic Pretty

Mystic Chiffon OP from Alice and the Pirates is my solid colour piece. I chose Collection Chocolatier Douce, praline jumper-skirt because it's my favourite, most versatile piece and simply perfect for the spring weather in Japan. Lastly, I picked out my Wonderparty Skirt by Angelic Pretty. My first impression laying them out on the bed was that they may clash or prove to be difficult to coordinate.

Three Blouses

Two neutral blouses including one short-sleeve and a different coloured or dressier blouse
  • Pintuck Blouse (Off-white), Baby the Stars Shine Bright
  • Sheer sleeve knit blouse (off-white), Off-brand
  • Carolyne Blouse (beige), Baby the Stars Shine Bright
As I discussed in my wardrobe post, I don't really have any short sleeve blouses that are in working condition so I chose two long sleeve white blouses: one plain pin tuck blouse from Baby the Stars Shine Bright and a dressy knit that I use as a blouse which I picked up for $15 in an off brand shop. For the third blouse I chose my Carolyne blouse in beige (it's shiny so I initially thought it was gold), which is also a dressier piece.

Two pieces of outerwear

One short-sleeve and one long sleeve

  • Short Sleeve Knit Cardigan (Off-white), Metamorphose
  • Cardigan with fur collar (navy), Baby the Stars Shine Bright
I chose my short sleeve cardigan from Metamorphose and a long sleeve cardigan from Baby with a detachable collar. Detachable items are really useful for easily creating versatility, however the drawback is that they often are bulkier than similar items without the detachable pieces and this can make it difficult to create a nice line for those who are just on the edge of brand measurements, like myself. 

Leg wear

One pair of stockings, one pair of over knee socks and one pair of ankle socks including one solid colour piece

  • Esprit de la belle epoque de paris over-knee socks (ivory), Baby the Stars Shine Bright
  • Kumya Kuma over-knee socks (beige), Baby the Stars Shine Bright
I chose two pairs of over knee socks: one, a translucent pattern and the other, a beige pair with kumya kuma on them. I currently have no solid colour opaque tights that are in working order.


  • Hat: ivory beret, BtSSB 
  • Pin: navy beret ribbon pin, BtSSB; chocolatier pin, BtSSB 
  • Barret: brown barrett with yellow roses, BtSSB;  Ivory Ribbon and Crown Barrett, Innocent World
  • Headband: two  striped ribbon head bands in navy and brown, Innocent World
  • Necklace: Alice teatime necklace, BtSSB, original crown and trump necklace, Innocent World
  • Ring: Alice teatime ring, BtSSB 
For accessories I just pulled a few accessories together considering colours in my wardrobe and luggage space. 


Two pairs of shoes that go with everything
  •  Ribbon pumps in chocolate, Innocent World
I already have a few pairs of shoes in Japan, a pair of flats and heels in white and a pair of boots and heels in brown, that I couldn't bring back last time so I will only take one pair of shoes over that suit most things in my wardrobe.

After picking out what I will take over the first thing I noticed was that it was easy to see the holes in my wardrobe using this method. It was very easy to see that I lack plain coloured pieces, in particular leg wear, something I will need to rectify in the near future.


Here are the outfits I came up with from my hypothetical suitcase...

As you can see there is a large variety of outfits for a different weather and occasions. I probably could have created more if I hadn't have become so tired due to changing outfits so often. 


I had no idea these cardigans would come so in handy, simply layering the cardigan can change an outfit drastically. 

Doing this experiment really shows me how versatile my wardrobe has become over the past two years and it has further solidified my view on the positives of having a wardrobe based on colour palette.


As I'm going to Japan for far longer than a week (three months actually) so I would like to add a few more items to my suitcase. Specifically, two more jsks: the Dear Bunny JSK, which I promised to twin with a friend with and my Kumya Kuma Sweet Chocolate JSK, which I just really want to wear in Japan; I would also like to add a pair of plain coloured woolen tights to keep my legs warm during the cooler spring months.

All in all I'm really satisfied having done this challenge. The formula really worked for my wardrobe and it has allowed me to create many different outfits. Even if I wasn't going overseas, participating in this challenge has given me lots of coordinate ideas and has shown me where the holes in my wardrobe are. If you're stuck for outfit ideas or need a start on packing some lolita fashion for a trip I would recommend using this challenge as a starting point.

Until next time...

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Lolita Fashion Book - Prologue translation

I bought this book when I was over in Japan in 2014/15 and I still open it often. It covers all the basics of the fashion and offers some great tutorials on how to do make-up and hair. Although the pictures are sufficient to glean information from, those who do not understand Japanese do not get to read things like the history of the fashion; the letter from Novara Takemoto, writer of Shimotsuma monogatari; or feel the atmosphere of the Lolita fashion-inspired writings which were written by, as I understand it, Misako Aoki herself. 

This week I will share with you one of those writings: the prologue. I translated it myself and I hope it will help you to enjoy the book even more.
The Lolita Fashion Book
Published in 2014 and edited by Misako Aoki. 


Page 3

I open my eyes, light that twinkles faint rainbow colours from the curtain.
I have long dreamed here
of a strange world so filled with the things I love.

This world is the magical spell that Lolita fashion has put on me. 
When a pink skirt ruffles lightly, the curtain rises on my story.

Here, I can be a princess.

Let us go.
To a kawaii-filled, frill and ribbon Wonderland.

Page 5

I've got to hurry. The tea party is going to start.

My closet where my favourites are all in a row.
I can't decide the one I like best  
However, time spent wondering what to wear is a wonderful gift given only to women.

When I have decided what to wear, I iron my blouse 
I don't hold back on the number of fills and ribbons I wear.
I apply girly pink to my cheeks and lips.
I'm ready. It's time to go out.

A Lolita clothed in the fashion she loves is invincible,
So I already can only think of enjoyable things, I won't think of anything but.
My spirit is lifted with each pannier I put on,
I feel so free that I could fly.

Today, the heroine is me.

Page 7

Now, the beginning of the tea party.

Macarons on cakes, doughnuts on cookies...
Many sweet, pastel-coloured jewels laid out on the table,
I feel like my idol, Marie Antoinete.
I eat as many as I like of my favourite sweets
And put on some sweet smelling tea.

When I have one bite of a sweet cake, suddenly a story blooms.
Shall we go? To the beginning of the story of a dream that lolitas speak of
Tell me more, as well, of your cute secrets.


What do you think? Did you enjoy Misako Aoki's interpretation of the Lolita world? Would you like to see more Lolita-influenced writing in general?

I hope to translate a few more passages in this book in the future in particular, the letter and history that I spoke of earlier. 

Until next time...

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Tips to Stop Buying Lolita

Hi all...

I am currently planning a trip over to Japan in April, buying flights, planning transport and itinerary. I've been saving money for a number of months and now that it's getting closer I'm trying not to spend any money on Lolita fashion until April. 

There are many reasons why you might need to temporarily stop buying Lolita. Perhaps you're saving up for a holiday, like me. Or maybe you already spent all your Christmas money and maxed the credit card on Lace Market?  Stepping back from the auctions and second hand sales can be difficult if it has become a habit. So this week I'll share with you some tips I find useful to stop buying Lolita.

1. Set a goal 

If you really enjoy the fashion and you find it difficult to stop purchasing, setting yourself a goal is one of the best ways to stay motivated.  Being unsure of "buying boundaries" will make it harder to keep resisting as time goes on. In other words, saying "I'm just not going to buy anymore Lolita" is setting yourself up for temptation and disappointment. I have the trip in April to save up for and the added bonus of going somewhere that I can buy Lolita fashion. A date, a monetary amount, an event - anything can become your goal as long as you have a one. 

2. Make a plan of what your next purchase will be

Deciding what you want or need to buy next will help you with impulse purchasing. I'm thinking that I should buy a short-sleeve, white blouse next as that will have the greatest effect on my Lolita wardrobe in summer months. Knowing you want to buy a blouse or that you need to buy a new petticoat will stop you from getting that quick bargain that pops up on your social media feed.

3. Control what you look at on social media

When trying to save up, one of the worst things you can do is go and look at an auction site or eglcommsales on Live Journal with a casual attitude. You're deliberately putting yourself in a situation where it's easy to buy and encouraged. Even if you look at a sale, try to think about what would be good to buy after you achieve your goal or what might work in your current wardrobe rather than "can I afford it now" or "should I buy it now". This kind of change in browsing habits and attitude will be vital in keeping your sanity when you're not buying Lolita fashion. 

4. Replace your habit

I really enjoy the purchasing side of Lolita. Buying something new from somewhere far-away, waiting for something to arrive in the post; it definitely is one of the joys of this fashion, in my opinion. If I want to buy something when I'm on a budget however, I will try to do something else that I enjoy or is rewarding. I will wear my favourite outfit, spend more time on my make up, look at other people's outfits online. If I'm still reaching for the credit card, then I'll do something productive or even go buy something that's less expensive like some make up or take myself out for a coffee. This way I can stay positive and not feel like I'm punishing myself for trying to save money.

5. Decide Your Priorities

Deciding what is important to you will help you stay on track. If you actually write down what you want to do in order then it will be easier to follow through. Also keep in mind that buying lolita will only set you back from achieving your goals at this time.

However you approach budgeting don't forget that there are many ways to enjoy lolita outside of increasing the pieces in your wardrobe. What about trying a new make up technique or creating coordinates with your current wardrobe. Plan what gaps you have in your wardrobe or even have a look at other fashion styles to see how they coordinate their outfits. You may learn something you can incorporate yourself. 

As with many things, the trick is about remaining realistic and doing things in moderation. Good luck with your budgeting! 

Until next time...

Sunday, 14 February 2016

A few funnies and a faux pas...

Hi all... 

Well, this week has been a steady 40 degrees celcius all week so with the heat and some changes at work there's not been much energy for blogging. While this week is a rather short post, I hope to post something a little more substantial in the coming weeks.

In my free time I love to trawl through brand sites and the wondrous archive that is Lolibrary. This week I want to share a few print names that tickled me pink!

The Japanese name for this is ちびねこブーケ柄リボンいっぱい ジャンパースカート(chibi-neko-buuke-gara-ribon-ippai-janpasukaato). "ちびねこ" (chibi-neko) translating to tiny cat so it's pretty easy to see how this came about.

Again the Japanese name gives a hint to the translation チャーミーキティコテコテストラップ(chaami-kithi-kote-kote-sutorappu). "コテコテ" (kote-kote) is a word meaning over the top; 鏝 (kote) using this symbol means hair-curler, flat-iron or trowel.

The above jumperskirt and bracelet are older items, 2009 and 2006 respectively, so you can imagine that there would have been less resources around to translate. Besides how are second language users to know that the words "runt" and "trowel" are not kawaii!

(Mind you, I would buy a bracelet with a little garden trowel charm on it)

There are some other items where the translation is a little stilted such as "Bless from Michael", the entire catalogue of the Queen of Snow Dresses and the ever popular "Cherish my Juicy Cherry". Nothing quite compares with the magic of Trowel Iron, however.

Smell it. Touch it. Cherish it. Cherish it!


When I saw this recent print by Baby, I checked the background for "Engrish" and was not disappointed "soverayn" "chese and chese" "evere". I had a good chuckle to myself and after a while I decided to google some of the lines to discover it was a poem! Not just any poem, but a poem written by Geoffry Chaucer in around 1380, who according to a number of sources is the father of modern English literature.

WELL, did I feel like a fool. I was schooled on English Literature by a lolita brand. It just goes to show that you can never get too ahead of yourself.

Let's hope next week offers some cooler weather.

Until next time...

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