This is part of a series on Traveling in Lolita during the fall season. The masterpost, containing general details and an overview of the coordinates, can be found here.
For Day 1, the emphasis was on comfort. This was what I would be flying in, so I wanted a coordinate that would be:
- easy to move and breathe in
- easy to add or remove layers; wearing heat-tech in 32°C is just weird. On the other hand, Tokyo was around 12°C that day.
- the shoes should be easy to remove for security checkpoints
- ideally, something that will not set off metal detectors
- the bag should be roomy enough to hold necessary papers and things like passports, boarding passes, pens, gadgets, etc.
Right away, that eliminated any coordinate with kimono and obi. Even with pre-tied obi it’s a long slog folding them for lolita and tying everything in place before proceeding to the next stage of getting dressed. Not something I’d want to be bothered with for an early morning flight, either.
This was the time for a haori!
This is the only coordinate that ticks off all of the above requirements. Regarding what I said about not wearing wigs going through immigration, I had this brown wig in my hand-carry stroller and went through bare-faced and with my real hair. The officer barely gave me a second look. Pass!
When I was blonde in my visa and brunette in real life, now that was a different story…
- JSK – Angelic Pretty
- underskirt – Bodyline l353
- haori – local kimono sales
- knit turtleneck, fur tippet – both offbrand
- knit gloves – Terranova
- knit socks – Forever21
- boots – Bodyline. Platforms are a must in Japan. Most of the cities have rows of raised guide lines for the blind, and some areas with paving stones. With regular flats your feet would take quite a beating.
- bag – ahcahcum muchacha. I hate chain straps, so I replaced it with leather; now I can wear it without the stupid chain tangling in my wig or clothes
- velveteen bonnet swiped from my large teddy bear; it still has ear holes, but it fit me and that’s what mattered
After some minor hangups in the afternoon involving Google maps and our hotel being a park (not a parking lot; a whole actual park) removed from where I thought it was, we went to Ebisu in the evening. I am not ashamed to say that my primary reason for going there was because it was the gateway to the kingdom of ramen. Ebisu has many excellent ramen places, but we went to Afuri Ramen to partake of their famous Yuzu Shio.
Look at that. I haven’t touched up this photo, and it looks amazing. Also, this is not a food blog, but I can’t help myself. I scarfed it down, but I’d walked for ten miles to find this place, that makes it okay, right?
Back to our regularly scheduled topic
Right, before the romantic interlude about ramen. Yebisu (modern spelling is ‘Ebisu’) is a little off the tourist track for first-time travelers, but good to visit for those who’ve already been to Meiji Shrine and Asakusa. The name of the town (and the station) comes from Yebisu Beer, and Ebisu Garden Place was built on what was originally a brewery.
The Museum Of Yebisu Beer offers more information; but I am a devotee of ramen, not alcohol, so this wasn’t a priority for me.
Ebisu Garden Place is also the site of the Chateau Restaurant Taillvent-Robuchon; very, very pretty and also very, very spendy. I wasn’t there to splurge on 3-star Michelin dining, but if that’s your fare, you’ll have a lovely view of the Baccarat set up in the garden square.
The nearby Ebisu Garden Place Towers are open to the public. Most guides take tourists to the Tochō, aka the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, but Ebisu is much more quiet. There is plenty of time to quietly enjoy the view, instead of being jostled by people angling for a picture.
Next up: Day Two, Harajuku!