So I had a day off for shopping and cafe-hopping at Harajuku, land of fashionable people. So, the plan was to look for my favourite Japanese labels (minus EMODA, which is at Shibuya 109) like, Lowry’s Farm, Jeanasis, etc. And I knew STREAMER Coffee Company (by Sawada Hiroshi, celebrity barista that people from Maison Ikkoku know) was in the area, so to Harajuku I went. This photo was taken at at LAFORET, land of awesome shops. (What biased opinion?)
So after that no photos were taken because shopping. I’m in love with Japanese changing rooms. They also make me feel bad every time I buy something because they wrap it with such love and care and tissue, then carry it all the way to the exit of the store, and bow until I’m out of their sight.
Streamer, from the outside. It took me a really long time + asking for directions + google maps + WHY IS IT UP A HILL to find it. I almost jumped for joy – but had to keep it in because we’re in Japan guys be cool…
The latte art was amazing, but the coffee was normal. Sweeter than normal, probably because Japanese milk is creamy, but nothing special. Maybe I was expecting to see rainbows and shooting stars. And I also missed brewed coffee.
And so I walked back to Omotesando and found this!!!! It’s a tiny obscure shop under the famously long-queue Eggs n Things. I loved the place! The baristas were friendly, I was the only one in there so I could talk to them, and they played Florence + The Machine! Talk about an awesome place to be in.
And here, I cultivated the love for brewed coffee (specifically the chemex) over ice.
I saw rainbows and shooting stars. Light, refreshing brewed chemex, with it’s clarity intensifying with the ice.
And made by the sweetest baristas. ❤ Hanging out there was really enjoyable.
It was getting dark and I wanted to get back to the hostel, but I went to look at Christmas illuminations first. :3 Ahhh, Japan and your fairylight abuse.
Picture heavy post ahead, where I’m finishing up the Taiwan Trip posts! So… here we go.
We are rolling later and later out of bed. Had rice noodles and onigiri for breakfast, and got ready to hunt for a hair salon! I wanted to have ombre (hey, this was in MAY so ombre was still kind of in then!)
I tried on grey contact lenses I bought from Ximending for the first time – for only SGD$5!! The diameter was too small for my eyes and I walked around with blurry vision all day, though. My pupils are too big.
Taken in the bathroom before dying my hair! Okay, this is actually what my hair color is NOW, but try to imagine with me that we are back in May, alright?
So we went around hunting for a legit place and I showed them a few photos.
And we found a place! It was massive and had two floors! It looked more like a mansion that a salon!
It’s quite cool, they have televisions to entertain us.
The dyeing process took 5 hours. I bleached my hair three times. I also couldn’t really understand what they were going to do to me because my Mandarin is terrible. So I sat through the whole ordeal. X_X
The above picture was probably the second bleaching round or something because I wasn’t smiling towards the end. FIVE HOURS OF SITTING AND DOING NOTHING.
So after dyeing, we decided to have Japanese curry for dinner! (Going to Taiwan for Japanese food. Sounds reasonable.)
Decided to try this curry place with a massive gorilla outside that we walk past everyday.
It was quite good.
After dinner we headed to Zhongxiao to look for this brand called “Knightsbridge” at Mingyao but all we saw was a massive Uniqlo.
We went back to SOGO instead and I finally bought a white shirt! Japanese brands why you so nice and expensive.
Headed back to the hotel after buying snacks.
We were dead exhausted.
Yeah, my hair was an ash-blonde-grey color at the ends.
Look at our bloodshot eyes haha. Mine is mostly due to five dollar contact lenses which I took out.
Showered and watched TV, trying to get sleepy enough to fall asleep. Some talk show about Taiwan ghost stories came on while Chlo was showering. We got a bit too spooked and decided to switch to Disney instead.
Watched Halloweentown and was thoroughly amused seeing them speak Mandarin.
We did facial masks.
Day 5 – Homebound
Sleepily rolling out of bed around 9 to pack because we had to check out by 12.
We managed to stuff everything in the luggage!!!!!
Oh yes, we showered and had breakfast and all that as well.
We had two hours to kill before taking the bus to the airport. So we left our luggage at the reception.
It was a rainy afternoon. We walked around Ximending and got harassed by people with funny English who wanted to sell us stuff. Ahaha.
I think this is the famous mee sua, but I don’t like mee sua.
Have some Taiwan street view. There were actually bikes everywhere and in long rows everywhere we went!
Headed back to the hotel to grab our luggage and wait for the shuttle bus.
The receptionists, who were pretty awesome. And their uniform is so cute! They even have matching glasses!
We went to wait for the bus, which was late, so Chlo and I panicked. Us waiting in the rain also helped to our panicked misery.
The bus was to ferry us to a larger coach that would take us to the airport. The smaller bus was really cramped and my luggage kept rolling around. T_T
When we got to the larger coach where everything was stored snugly under the bus, I promptly fell asleep until we got to the airport.
Declared duty-free goods, checked in, walked around the duty-free shops. I bought Reader’s Digest to accompany me on the plane.
And back to Singapore.
Where we got lost at the arrival hall and couldn’t find our way out. Yes, getting lost in our own country. Well done.
Late post is late and I should feel bad yes. NAG AWAY.
Chlo woke up at 7am and stared at me while I was sleeping. Eventually rolled out of bed at 9, really sleepy.
We had 7-11 onigiri for breakfast and headed to Red House Theatre, which was nearby.
We went on a weekday, so no shows were going on during our visit. Meh. 😦 All their shows were weekend only. But we did take a look at artifacts from the war on display.
It was ridiculously quiet.
But we were listening to the audio guides. The English guide was really funny, I think I prefer to fumble my way through listening to Chinese..
We sat down in the museum trying to plan our way of going to the Taipei Main Station underground mall. Then two darlings came along.
No kidding – their names were Gong Xi and Fa Cai. Gong Xi Fa Cai. Or Happy Chinese New Year if you’re not Chinese. Bahaha.
Then there will be a period where there are no pictures because we are busy shopping.
But here’s Chlo’s OOTD (outfit of the day)
Chlo and I wore the same shoes and walked around the entire day in them. MOST COMFORTABLE WEDGES EVER!!! Should have bought like 20 of those or something.
Anyway, we walked to Taipei Main Station and found the underground mall – WHICH WAS MASSIVE. Like seriously. Massive. Bought touristy pineapple cakes and some other crap.
Then took a train to SOGO with our passports to get our tax rebate. THEN went back to the hotel to put our stuff down.
Then I took a quick shower.
And we got dressed to head off to Shilin! Yay!!!!!!
We walked from Shilin Station to the Night Market. It was nothing like what we remembered from our trip 5 years ago! It probably went through renovation and we were too stubborn to accept it.
We also tried to locate the awesome fried ice cream we had 5 years ago but we couldn’t find it. Chlo had to go around asking people, “Where is Shilin Night Market?” (in Chinese of course) and they would be like “Isn’t this Shilin?” It was very tempting to run around asking “WHAT YEAR IS THIS?!??!!” after that.
We were really hungry so we settled for random food.
Because what’s Taiwan without XXL Chicken, right?
I also had bubble tea. Because what’s Taiwan without bubble tea and xxl chicken?
I didn’t have mee sua.
We went shopping around Shilin and I bought a top from a dodgy store that looked REALLY dodgy. Like drug selling. Dopey.
Went back to the hotel after buying breakfast from 7-11. We were poor and lazy to venture out so early to look for breakfast.
I keep seeing this on tumblr but I never got to try it cos Singapore doesn’t have it! It’s pretty awesome!
And Singapore’s 7-11 should do a major upgrade with the food and drink section. And sell onigiri. And a larger variety of instant food!